Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: 7th October 2017

Givenchy’s Spring/Summer 2018 Show Marks the Beginning of a New Era – Hypebae

Clare Waight Keller’s debut at Givenchy has been one of the most awaited of fashion month. Honestly, I wasn’t suuuuuper excited about it because I love Riccardo Tisci and I miss him already. However, I did like the collection. It was a faraway step from Tisci’s Givenchy, filled with gothic vibes, vampy lips, and almost exclusively black clothing. Instead it was light, slightly romantic, and closer to Keller’s Chloé. She is somebody who manages to tailor her aesthetic to whatever brand she works for, which is a good skill to have, but I’m not sure that I am clear on what her specific signatures are. Before this collection was shown, I read a New York Times profile of Keller and it presented her in a very positive light. For one, she is calm, cool, and collected, which is a departure from the fashion stereotype of uptight, crazy dictator-like bosses who will snap at any given moment. Furthermore, she has much more experience than most initially give her credit for having been creative director of various brands, most recently Chloé, where she left to join Givenchy. A major criticism of her appointment at Givenchy was that she cannot do menswear, that she doesn’t have the required experience. However, she did menswear at Pringle and Ralph Lauren (where she was the Director of Menswear) so this criticism is likely shortsighted. I also like the campaign’s for the brand with the cat. I have spotted one in Tribeca and it is literally just an image of a black cat then the logo with the address of the store. No names. No added information. Interesting, huh? I am curious to see how Keller comes into her own during her tenure at the brand.

“This Model Turned CEO Is Betting ‘Bricks and Clicks’ Can Create a Green Fast-Fashion Empire” Forbes

from Forbes

Forbes wrote an interesting profile of Yael Aflalo, founder and CEO of Reformation, the well-loved, oft-Instagrammed sustainable fashion brand. Yael has to be commended for being the first person to approach sustainability at a semi-affordable price point without sacrificing style or any design details. People walk into a Reformation store, perhaps not even realizing that sustainability is its main mission, and see racks and racks full of cute and super flattering clothes. They have sweet slip dresses, nicely cut denim, and even a bridal line. The most interesting part about the enterprise is the way that the clothes are made, normally with recycled/repurposed fabrics, in Los Angeles (60% of the time in the on-site factory), and in the most eco-friendly way possible. The Forbes article tells the tale of how Yael got her start in sustainability after taking a trip to China and also reaches further back into her career, telling the story of her forays into fashion before opening Reformation. I was most interested to read this because I love hearing people’s stories of how they got to where they are. I personally love Reformation. The clothes are cute, the message is clear (and one that I would like to support), and the company seems to be pretty ethical. All of this, coupled with the fact that the leadership is almost fully female, it seems like a very forward-thinking company and one that I’d like to be a part of in the years to come, whether that be as a customer or even an employee.

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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: 23rd September 2017

How the Red Carpet Became a Runway – W Magazine

I loved this video from W Magazine about how the red carpet has evolved over the years, from stars wearing pieces borrowed from film studios costume departments in its infancy to having custom created looks and couture-style pieces nowadays.

“The Trouble with Topshop” – BoF Professional Exclusive

Kate Moss for Topshop

Being in the US, I didn’t realize that Topshop was having any issues, just because I haven’t been in any of their British stores to notice any changes or read any British newspapers which tend to cover the Arcadia group in great detail. According to this BoF article, Topshop is not faring well in comparison to H&M and Zara who have taken over the British high street and offer cheaper and often more fashionable styles. They are also facing high competition from e-commerce sites like Boohoo & Missguided which are even cheaper and have a wider, more global reach than Topshop have managed to successfully achieve. I didn’t realize this when I was initially looking at London Fashion Week images but Topshop Unique is no longer, with the line now being called Topshop London Fashion Week. The price points are lower and the styles will be less exclusive than the Unique line was, in an attempt to capture a younger customer once again who were slightly outpriced by the Unique line in the past. This season’s show was the last collection designed by Kate Phelan, former British Vogue editor turned Creative Director of the line, whose work I always admired and found to be very on the pulse of what women actually want to wear. That was the merit of Topshop Unique. She has been replaced by a Swede, David Hagglund, who is now in charge of both Topshop and Topman. A new head of merchandising has been hired too. I was on Topshop’s website a few days ago and whilst looking at the shoes I found myself getting annoyed at all of the strange angles of the shoes and I felt like I couldn’t get an immediate image of what the shoe actually looked like, instead focusing on a zip on the inside of your foot or a really random angle. I hope that this is not part of the new strategy because, in my opinion, it doesn’t make for a good shopping experience. I’ll be interested to see how things take shape going forward, if any design / stylistic changes are immediately apparent once Phelan departs.

“At Italian Vogue, A New Beginning” – The New York Times

This article about Emanuele Farneti, Vogue Italia’s Editor-in-Chief who replaced the late, beloved Franca Sozzani at the beginning of the year, was a great profile of the man who I think is shaping up to become a fantastic Editor-in-Chief. This year brought many changes to the world of fashion, especially in the print magazine sector with the untimely death of Sozzani, the resignation of Alexandra Shulman, EIC of British Vogue since before I was even born, and many departures and new arrivals stateside as discussed in a previous Weekly Words. Sozzani was replaced by Farneti and Shulman was replaced by Edward Enninful, longtime W Magazine editor and one of the fashion industry’s most beloved stylists. The arrival of these two new editors brought in a big change in the sense that it was the first time any men had been in charge of Vogue. Both of their appointments were rather historic. Enninful is yet to publish an issue that he has edited – December is slated to be his first – but Farneti has been working at Vogue Italia for months now, producing a couple of really memorable covers from the start. The first I recall was the e-commerce themed cover, which I wrote a piece about a few months back, and then also Bella Hadid’s retro-inspired cover which featured the most beautiful colors in such dreamy tones. The whole gist of the New York Times profile is that Farneti, unlike most of the other EIC’s, is very low-key. There is no paparazzi frenzy surrounding him. He lives a normal life with a wife and two children. His approach to both life, and editing, is very different than others in his role. Interestingly enough, he has worked in various facets of publishing – menswear, sports, and womenswear – before landing at Italian Vogue. He was an unlikely choice for many, but, I think, so far, he has proven to be a good one.

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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: 9th September 2017

Instead of focusing on news stories this week, I thought I would highlight some editorials/magazine covers that I have spotted and really loved. As I’ve said a zillion times before on here, I don’t love Kim Kardashian. However, she has been involved in two great photoshoots which have been released over the past couple of weeks that I feel would be a shame not to share. She is actually fairly versatile as a model so that’s one thing I will give her. Her Harper’s Bazaar Arabia shoot was to die for. I love the Cher inspiration and it is nice to see her channeling another Armenian icon. Kardashian herself is a huge fan of Cher, having posted various images of her as inspiration on her Instagram a few months back (and losing millions of followers whilst doing so), so it is cool to see her doing a shoot that you know she would’ve actually been really excited to participate in. The second shoot is the Interview cover which Kim shares with her daughter North (aka the cutest kid in North America). There has been some controversy over this shoot because Kim’s skin tone is a lot darker than what it is in real life (and the same shade as her daughter, which is impossible given that her daughter is half African-American and Kim is White & Armenian) and also because people think that Kim channeling Jackie Kennedy is in poor taste (apparently she is not classy enough to be a first lady, but I beg to differ given the current administration). However, the shoot is cute. It is a fun historical take on fashion, and it features Kim in styles that we wouldn’t normally expect from her. Finally, I wanted to show off the Bella Hadid covers for Vogue Brasil. Bella has broken a world record for being on the most Vogue covers in one month, formerly held by Doutzen Kroes. Out of all of the international editions of the magazine that she is featured on, I like the Brazilian cover the best. They are fun, retro, and give me serious Carla Bruni vibes. Now that I think about it, Bella can look like Carla in some photos. If nothing, looking like a true supermodel from the 80s is the highest compliment a model can receive.

Harper’s Bazaar Arabia – Kim Kardashian West by Mariano Vivanco, styled by Simon Robins

Full editorial here.

Interview Magazine – Kim Kardashian West & North West by Steven Klein, styled by Patti Wilson

Full editorial here.

Vogue Brasil – Bella Hadid by Gui Paganini, styled by Yasmine Sterea

Full editorial here.

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Fashion, Film & TV, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: 2nd September 2017

“Reflecting on a Decade of ‘Gossip Girl’ With Eric Daman” – Fashionista

It’s hard to believe that it has been a decade since Gossip Girl hit the small screens and had an impact on a generation of kids. We all wanted to live that Upper East Side lifestyle filled with scandal and, most importantly, style. I know some people whose real life was like a watered down version of that strangely enough. In honor of the anniversary, Fashionista.com conducted an interview with Eric Daman, the costume designer behind all of the looks on the show. He was responsible for all of the characters’ sartorial choices and almost single-handedly put headbands back on the map. It’s a great, nostalgic read really (linked above).

“Shopify’s E-commerce Empire Is Growing in Amazon’s Shadow” – Bloomberg

I was interested to read this article about Shopify and how it helps small business owners grow purely because it is the platform that I am most familiar with having used it at my internship. In fashion, there are three to four basic hosting sites that every brand uses for their e-commerce ventures. Shopify is growing to be a major player thanks to its super user-friendly interface. It is literally so easy to use that it is incredible. Because of its ease of use and relatively low cost, it is a good option for people who want to create small businesses and sell merchandise online in their own branded store, instead of through a platform like eBay or Etsy. You’d be surprised by how many huge businesses use Shopify. If I were to ever start my own e-commerce site, it would be an option I’d definitely lean towards. The article tells the story of a college student who made $100,000 in a year selling Christmas sweaters before moving into custom printed t-shirts. Pretty impressive numbers, right?

“Farfetch Boss José Neves: ‘The Magic of Bricks-and-Mortar Shops Will Never Die'” – The Telegraph

I’ve spoken about Farfetch on here before, in the post about the Vogue Italia e-commerce cover, and how I think it is a great e-commerce site because of its clever model. José Neves, the CEO, gives more of an insight into how the business operates in this interview, calling it a cross between OpenTable & Deliveroo – they can show you what merchandise is available from various boutiques (the same way OpenTable shows you free tables in restaurants) and deliver it to your house (just like Deliveroo does with your food). It was a good analogy really. Neves also talks about how Natalie Massenet joining the site gave it a little more clout as Massenet, the founder of Net-a-Porter, is one of the most credible businesswomen in fashion.

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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: 12th August 2017

“Here’s the Full Lookbook for Kith and Coca-Cola’s Nostalgic New Capsule Collection” – Complex

I’ve spoken about Kith quite a few times now because I really like the store. I think it is really cool and does a tremendous job of drumming up anticipation and creating a great sense of urgency around its products. Most of the time, I will look at something and think about it for a while before purchasing whereas with Kith you know that you have to get it instantly or it will be gone. Throughout the summer they have been releasing new logo tees every week, each of them generating a round-the-block line and selling out online almost instantly. The t-shirt program is surely highly profitable for them and a fun, creative outlet for the designers. However, the new Coca-Cola collaboration is a large feat for the brand, and for women’s Creative Director Emily Oberg who worked on the capsule collection. I really like Emily too. Based on interviews I’ve heard (like last week’s Improper Etiquette podcast), she seems like a genuine person with a good head on her shoulders. Plus, she has a killer Instagram so that helps in the social media age. The Coca-Cola collection itself features styles for both men and women, hoodies to swimwear and everything in between. The pricing is pretty standard for Kith’s limited edition drops too – fairly high but potentially worth it if you’re a fan/eager reseller. By the time you read this (Saturday), it will have launched the previous day and probably have already sold out. I’ll let you know if I end up buying a piece.

“Do Fashion Collaborations Need a Revamp?” – BoF

Continuing on the same theme of collaborations, Business of Fashion posted this interesting article about fast-fashion and designer collaborations like the H&M X [insert brand name] and the similar offerings from Target. The piece argued that the fast-fashion stores like the aforementioned should make the collaborations more like streetwear drops which generate buzz and have high resale values almost instantaneously. People camp outside for drops. People get in fights over drops. This is really what some people live for (and make profitable businesses from). The article came about after the news of the H&M x Erdem collaboration failed to generate the same level of noise that previous collaborations have (like Balmain, Alexander Wang, and Versace have, to name a few). The choice of Erdem did seem curious to me when the news was first announced because I didn’t realize that the designer had enough mainstream success to really warrant a collection. I don’t mean for that to sound negative but generally the brand that collaborates with H&M is one of the biggest brands in that moment in time, so for Erdem, a young London-based brand celebrated by the fashion set for the beautiful and intricate embroidered pieces, to receive the same honor seemed strange. However, H&M’s communications director reiterated that they are excited about the brand and that they have many others on the list for the future. Regardless of who the name on the banner is, the collection will sell well and there will be people waiting for the store to open to get their hands on the goodies. I’ll be interested to see what the pieces in this collection look like and how they can replicate the small details for a smaller price-point.

“The 2018 Met Gala Theme Is Here — & It Might Be Controversial” – Refinery29

Hussein Chalayan (1996)

Fashion and religion. Sounds like a strange combination at first glance but surprisingly there is a lot of crossover. If this Refinery29 article is anything to go by, Andrew Bolton will be dissecting that crossover in great detail and placing all of the overlaps in a neatly curated exhibition at the Met starting next May. If this is the case, I am excited because this also means we could get some really amazing Met Gala looks next year. Fashion and religion don’t sound like they go hand in hand, but many designers force them to. Religion is often about modesty yet fashion can be extremist, baring all and showing off. Many designers use religious iconography in their pieces too. Think of Dolce & Gabbana’s various odes to Catholicism, like dresses with the Virgin Mary embellished on the chest and large crosses. I think this could be a really interesting exhibition to see and I can already think of a few pieces that I can imagine may be included – Nicki Minaj’s Versace pope outfit, Hussein Chalayan’s veils that got more and more naked by the outfit back in the 90s, and lots of Jean Paul Gaultier. There are also various different routes that this could follow as there are so many religions and interpretations of them out there. This could be one of the most thought-provoking Met exhibitions in years and I can tell already that I want the coffee table book when the time comes!

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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: 5th August 2017

“The Blogger Divide: Converters or Brand-Builders?” – WWD

Chiara Ferragni active collection is coming and you'll love it ⚡️ @chiaraferragnicollection

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There’s an ever-evolving conversation about influencers and what their influence actually means. How does it translate into sales or awareness for brands and why even work with them (and pay them the exorbitantly high figures that they do)? With the rise of micro-influencers and brands gravitating towards those with a smaller but more engaged following, the place of the true influencers (1m plus followers on a platform) has been wavering. However, this WWD article shows that influencers are now separated into further subcategories, converters or brand-builders. Converters are the ones who actually drive sales and tend to have a smaller but more engaged following. They help the brand make sales and the influencer make money via affiliate links. Brand-builders are the ones like Chiara Ferragni who have huge followings (in Ferragni’s case, she has 10m on Instagram) but don’t necessarily convert these views into sales. However, neither type of influencer is better than the other and brands continue to work with them both. I’d be interested if there was a website out there that would be able to give you a list of all of the influencers and how their conversion actually works out so you’d be able to see who really is the most influential.

“Anthony Vaccarello’s Vision” – Harper’s Bazaar

I enjoyed reading this interview with Anthony Vaccarello, Saint Laurent’s creative director. Saint Laurent has been one of my favorite brands for as long as I can remember even caring about fashion and it is one that I keep up with season after season. Vaccarello had some large shoes to fill, entering the role after Hedi Slimane departed, but I’d say he has done a good job keeping the same level of buzz (or perhaps even growing it, marginally). Remember those slouchy glitter boots which had a waitlist at Saks the day of the runway show? They retail for $10000, FYI. I liked Vaccarello since a couple of years ago, when he was showing in Milan with the sexed-up Versace level of glam designs that put him on the map. I feel like his designs at Saint Laurent are just an extension of these with an added twist thrown in for good measure. This interview goes a little more in depth about Vaccarello’s life and career history. I’m always curious to hear people’s stories, especially those who are in a position that I admire. I’m excited to see the next Saint Laurent collection come the Spring shows!

“Vogue to Host Fall Conference with Star-Studded Designer Lineup” – Fashionista

#vogue100

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Vogue Magazine is hosting a conference in October and no it doesn’t sound like that boring kind that your parents may have gotten sent to when you were a kid. They’ve managed to line up the best of the best in the industry as their speakers and have developed a one-day program at Milk Studios in Manhattan that seems like a genuinely interesting and valuable day to attend. Sounds great, until you see the price tag. A single ticket costs $3000. This is extremely prohibitive. I wonder how many companies will be willing to shell out this much for a ticket for employees and/or how many people will be willing to spend this much cash, personally, on such an event. The cost seems prohibitive. According to the Fashionista article, they will be releasing heavily discounted student tickets but I imagine even these will run for around $500. It’s a shame because when I first read about the event it seemed akin to the Vogue Festival which British Vogue hosted in London a few times. You could purchase tickets to individual talks for (I think) around 50 GBP (I don’t remember the exact price) and you had access to trend talks, styling sessions, and free manicures and hair & make-up. I initially thought this conference may have been a similar thing but evidently, it is not. Vogue is focused on professionals. I think it is sad that the cost is so high because the speakers are really amazing and I think the talks would be super valuable for people to hear, especially those who are trying to break into the industry. I’m waiting to hear what the student price is!

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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: 29th July 2017

Pat McGrath Joins British Vogue as Beauty Editor-at-Large” – Fashionista

Since Edward Enninful’s editorship of British Vogue was announced big changes have been underway at the magazine. Not only has he replaced the Fashion Director, but he has been assembling his own dream team, filled with some of the major players of the industry. Honestly, all of the biggest names you can imagine are signing on to work at the magazine. I believe that it will become the leading fashion magazine, at least in insider opinion, by the end of the year. Pat McGrath, everybody’s favorite makeup artist and glitter giver, is now the beauty editor at large, with big names like Charlotte Tilbury and Guido Palau named as beauty contributors. The Fashionista article linked above also mentions all of his new appointments such as Jane How and Marie-Amélie Sauvé in the fashion department and Adwoa Aboah as a contributing editor. I’m so excited to see Edward’s first issue and how it all turns out.

“Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing Sets Up Shop at the Root of His Pop Culture Obsession” – Fashionista

Can you believe that Balmain didn’t already have a Los Angeles store? I couldn’t, but alas Olivier Rousteing has opened up the brand’s one and only LA based boutique on Melrose Place, one of the city’s most desired addresses just off Melrose Avenue. The store launched with an event attended by Kim Kardashian and it was the first time that I have spotted the Kardashians in Balmain for months now. The brand seems to have fallen out of their favor and, with that action, out of the public’s consciousness. It’s a fickle world we live in. Regardless, the new boutique looks like it will be a beautiful store to shop in. The design is very classy and features a stunning outdoor space (photographed above). I think I’ll make a visit to the store when I’m back in LA at the end of summer.

“Warby Parker Does Streetwear, Collaborates with Virgil Abloh” – Refinery29

Accessible and cool eyewear brand Warby Parker has teamed up with fashion industry darling Virgil Abloh for a collection of three pairs of sunglasses. Aptly named “Small Sunglasses”, “Medium Sunglasses”, and “Large Sunglasses” (quotation marks included), the three styles are unisex and priced at just $95. Although I can imagine that the smallest size will sell out the fastest (everybody loves those mini-styles nowadays), I personally prefer the large as I like my sunglasses oversized. As of the launch date (July 25th), I’m still deciding if I want to purchase a pair. It is a pretty cool collaboration and I can imagine there will be a decent resale value. Plus, they look really good.

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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: 22nd July 2017

“Why Does Every Model Look Like Kylie Jenner Now?” – Racked

GQ @gqmexico @gq_germany @mrmikerosenthal

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Racked made a good point that upon perusing various e-commerce sites and teen-focused retailers, a lot of the models looked like or were styled like Kylie Jenner. This doesn’t come as a surprise to me as this is something that I have noticed when looking on these stores. Conveniently so, some of the brands name-checked in the article are stores that Jenner herself has promoted on her Instagram at one point or another – FashionNova and the infamous badly photoshopped photo of her butt in jeans, PrettyLittleThing and the orange dress that kept selling out after she wore it to one of their parties, House of CB, a brand worn by all of the sisters. Other stores like Missguided often curate an edit around “Kylie Jenner” style pieces, either inspired by what she has already worn or by what they think she would wear. It makes a lot of sense that all of these retailers would do this given that their customer base tends to be interested in all things Kardashian. They are the same age as the Jenners (or a little bit younger), will dutifully copy and buy anything that they are instructed to, and manipulate their own appearance to look like the lipstick mogul. It’s only common sense that the brands would then use models who look like Kylie to sell their products because that way their customers can imagine theirselves looking like that to. It is a fairly easy look to achieve with the right make-up products (and perhaps a trip to the doctor’s office for the most dedicated few). Say what you want about Kylie Jenner (and the rest of her family for that matter), but one thing that is undeniable is their influence on teenage girls and on teenage culture in general.

Elle USA August 2017 cover

This cover screamed vintage Madonna at me as soon as I picked it out of my mailbox. Everything looks very Italian and the hair style and make-up made me think of Madonna circa the 1991 shoots with Steven Meisel. Couple that with the Dolce & Gabbana corseted bustier and it’s a material girl in front of our eyes. Emilia Clarke, best known as the platinum blonde from Game of Thrones, makes sense as a cover star given that the latest series of the show premiered last weekend. The Dolce & Gabbana outfit is also apt as she signed on as the face of their perfume earlier this year, with her debut campaign for the brand set to launch in September. The cover was shot by Alexi Lubomirski and styled by David Vandewal.

Zara FW17 campaign is shot by Steven Meisel, styled by Karl Templer, creative direction by Fabien Baron

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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: July 15th 2017

“Does the fashion industry still need Vogue in the age of social media?” – The Guardian

Following Lucinda Chambers’ interview last week which shook the fashion industry to the core, The Guardian have explored some of the issues that were brought up further, namely Vogue’s influence in the fashion industry in the age of social media. Since fashion shows are live-streamed and anyone can share their opinion online, traditional magazines like Vogue no longer dictate styles and trends in the way they used to. In fact, they are now influenced by social media whether that be by the pieces they feature in their editorials (often the buzziest looks from shows) or the models they cast. The magazines that are faring well in the industry are the publications who embrace the rise of social media by featuring influencers on their covers or in their pages. The Guardians’s article, penned by Karen Kay, details this all further.

Vogue Italia July 2017 Covers

Vogue Italia has undergone a rebrand since the new editor in chief took the helm. That includes retro styling and a different typeface on the covers. I personally love the new look. This magazine cover is funny to me because I didn’t even realize that the male model was nude until adding this image to my post. I have seen it so many times and failed to catch that detail as Grace Elizabeth is truly the focus of the shot. The images are shot by Steven Meisel and styled by Benjamin Bruno.

“The End of an Era: Colette to Close Its Doors” – BoF

On its 20 year anniversary, Colette, the famed Parisian multi-brand boutique has decided to shut down. The news came as a surprise given that the store is doing well and having various celebrations for their anniversary. For example, for every month this year they are giving an entire floor of the store to a designer. So far they have already hosted Balenciaga, and in the future will be hosting the likes of Sacai and Thom Browne. They are in talks with Saint Laurent, a brand that they formerly had issues with when Hedi Slimane originally took over the creative direction, to take over the store space. It will be sad to see Colette go as they were famed for their selections and for being one of the best multi-brand stores in the entire world.

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Weekly Words: July 8th 2017

“Will I Get a Ticket?” – Vestoj


In an explosive, first-person report, Lucinda Chambers, former (25 year) fashion director of British Vogue, reveals some hard truths about the fashion industry. The most important thing that she revealed was that she was fired by Edward Enninful almost instantly (in three minutes) and that nobody around her, not even the publisher or current EIC, knew that it was going to happen. I don’t think anybody was surprised when she stepped down from her role. After all, when a new EIC comes in it is not uncommon for the team to change entirely. However, it was the fact that she was fired then replaced fairly quickly by Venetia Scott that was surprising. Other things that she reveals in the account are that she hasn’t read Vogue for years nor lives a Vogue-like lifestyle, that she thinks the fashion system is unsympathetic and does not give people a chance, and that Vetements was a welcome addition to the fashion calendar. I encourage you to read this piece while you still can. It was published then unpublished in a day due to the reaction it got in the fashion community (it was published during Couture Week, when everybody is together again), and then republished again the following day.

“How to Sell a Billion-Dollar Myth Like a French Girl” – Racked

Bardot in stripes

The concept of living like a French girl, from eating a croissant in the morning after rolling out of bed with your hair in that perfectly undone up-do to dressing in Breton stripes and cropped pants, riding a bicycle along the Seine, is a long-standing stereotype of sophistication. French girls have that je ne sais quoi and the media and various companies have capitalized off this. They are foreign enough to Americans and Brits that we want to emulate their lifestyles but not so different that it seems completely unachievable. That’s why countless books, magazine articles, and online posts have been penned on how to be French if you aren’t even from there. It’s almost an in-joke now. This particular article from Racked focuses on how companies have managed to profit from the stereotype, from beauty brands like Glossier and French Girl Organics to clothing brands like The Kooples. It is a fun read that helps you see things for how they really are.

“Why You Should Never Name a Company After Yourself” – Quartz

Clare Vivier of Clare V.

This article was apt as a follow-up to the one I posted last week about Thaddeus O’Neil and his battle with surf brand O’Neill (different spellings, different target markets). It details the various reasons why designers shouldn’t use their own name as a brand and gives examples of many designers who have now lost the rights to use their own names for their own products – Donna Karan and Kate Spade are two major names. It seems crazy that you lose the legal grounds to your own name but once you build it up as a brand and sell it to external investors, you give it up. Smaller brands can be devastated by the legal fees that come with litigation (like the situation that Thaddeus O’Neil is in right now) and often have to give up to the corporate giants who sue them. Los Angeles-based handbag designer Clare V is an example of this, with the brand formerly being known as Clare Vivier before being sued by Roger Vivier. She chose to change her brand’s name because they could not afford to waste money fighting the case. This likely happens for many brands and according to the article the easiest way to protect yourself in this situation is to choose a unique, different name to begin with.

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