Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: 9th December 2017

This week has been a hectic, crazy week for me. I have barely stopped thus far with lots of travel and appointments filling up my days. I’m not in New York at the moment and it is really strange removing yourself from that bubble. It is very easy to get stuck in the mindset that New York is the center of the universe when you live there, because it really is its own self-contained world. Everything you could ever need is there. However, the world did not stop turning just because I left the city and once again it is another week filled with news and happenings. Here’s some of the most important fashion news, in my opinion:

Kim Kardashian copies Vetements

Instead of finding this online, I stumbled across this myself and I was actually very disappointed. When Kim and North wore the matching silver Vetements dresses to one of Kanye West’s Saint Pablo tour shows back in September 2016, the whole internet’s collective hearts melted. They looked so cute. It was twinning at its best. Fast forward to 2017 and Kim Kardashian and Kanye West launched their own kids clothing line, called The Kids Supply. The line appears to be pretty successful, operating on a drop system comparable to a sneaker release and providing kids with miniature versions of their parents’ clothes. They even sell baby Yeezys. For the Holiday 2017 collection, Kim & Kanye included a silver dress which is a direct knock-off of the Vetements style that was custom made for North last fall. It’s disappointing to see them try to profit off of one of their friend’s (or at least acquaintance’s) designs, especially when the design in question was a one-of-a-kind piece made for their daughter. I understand taking inspiration from something, but when it looks like a direct replica that is a little bit inappropriate. This isn’t the first time that Kim & Kanye have been called out for copying with this line, with their furry slides last season getting attention for being very similar to the Fenty Puma and Givenchy styles. I noticed this on Monday 4th when Kim posted the line sheets on her Twitter. Since then, countless places have called her out and Kim responded by saying the styles were paying homage and that they would be named after the respective designers with the proceeds donated to charity. Sigh. Ok. I’m glad they are doing something positive but you know for sure that if they weren’t called out for the copying they would’ve kept the profits. The second garment in question is a copy of a Comme des Garçons bomber jacket.

Bruce Weber Sued by Male Model for Sexual Misconduct” – Fashionista

Since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke a couple of months ago, the entertainment industry’s sexual predators have been exposed at a rapid rate. The latest name to emerge is Bruce Weber, noted fashion photographer famous for his Calvin Klein and Abercrombie + Fitch ads. Weber’s name was first thrown around over a month ago after some of the stories posted by Cameron Russell under the #myjobshouldnotincludeabuse campaign alluded to him. Terry Richardson was the name most known but lots of people had heard rumblings about Weber too. Model Jason Boyce brought a lawsuit against the photographer in New York last week, alleging abuse and humiliation. Sadly, it seems that the news of the accusations weren’t anything new to a lot of people in the fashion industry and it makes you wonder how widespread this cover-up really is and who else is involved.

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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: 2nd December 2017

“Lisa Marie Fernandez Claims Emily Ratajkowski Copied Two of Her Swimsuits” – Business of Fashion

Emily Ratajkowski, a model most commonly known for her social media following and appearance in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” video, decided to monetize her assets by creating a swimwear line. After teasing the launch for weeks online, a collection of 6 swimsuits was released on November 16th ranging in price from $75 (for either a bikini bottom or top) to $160. The collection was cute, retro-inspired, and totally made for Instagram. I can already imagine all of the influencers posing in the suits now. The launch was not without controversy. Lisa Marie Fernandez, a buzzy swimwear designer whose line is carried in stores like Barneys and Saks, alleged that Ratajkowski copied two of her copyrighted designs and sent her a cease and desist letter. Fernandez’s side of the story can be read in more detail in the above linked BoF article.

It seems that Fernandez isn’t the only designer whose work has been copied for the launch of the Inamorata line, as the “Swami’s” suit in leopard print is a recreation of a late 80s Norma Kamali piece. Ratajkowski has posted photos of her “inspiration” on Instagram, but doesn’t seem to realize the implications of admitting that you completely copied someone. I also think that swimwear is a super saturated market and it is very difficult to create original styles nowadays given that virtually everything has been done already. However, Fernandez’s styles were very popular and she definitely made the styles her own and gained brand recognition in the fashion industry for them.

I will be curious to see how this case pans out and if there are any more lawsuits against the company. Copyright laws for clothing are very poor in the US, but they are stronger in Europe where designers have more chance of winning a case. In this case, I feel like the lawsuit was brought against Ratajkowski to gain publicity and alert people of the copying that has occurred instead of actually seeking a financial settlement. Ratajkowski will need to be careful going forward because the last thing that a fledgling business needs is to go bankrupt from lawsuits.

“Established Beauty Companies Are Now Turning To Kim Kardashian For Business Advice” – Fashionista

Ultralight Beams 12.01, 12pm PST kkwbeauty.com

A post shared by KKWBEAUTY (@kkwbeauty) on

In the same way that Kylie Jenner smashed all odds and launched a company worth hundreds of millions of dollars in a little over a year, her sister Kim Kardashian launched one too. KKW Beauty was introduced in June 2017, beginning with just a contour kit comprising of double-ended cream contour sticks with brush and sponge applicators for blending. Since then, the product offering has expanded into more face and lip products, newly launched fragrances, and most recently a multi-purpose glitter-gloss. Instead of the traditional licensing deal that celebrities tend to stick to, branding products with their names but having no involvement with the actual manufacturing and development processes, both Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner are highly involved in every step of the product’s life cycle, from ideation to market. What’s most notable about the two brands is how quickly they grew, something that most traditional brands cannot manage. In the six months that KKW Beauty has existed, it has done tens of millions of dollars in sales. The perfume launch alone made $10 million in one day. Both of these businesses have chosen to forego the traditional approach to advertising and marketing, using just the two founders’ own social media presence to promote the products and push the line. The Fashionista article talks about how other brands are trying to work out how to replicate the Kardashian/Jenner success, but I think that it cannot be done. You see, they have a loyal audience ready to spend their money on the products: their market already exists. KKW Beauty already has 1 million followers on Instagram, whereas Kylie Cosmetics has almost 15 million. For comparison, Anastasia Beverly Hills, a hugely successful cosmetics line that is around twenty years old, has 15.1 million followers, and their social media presence is considered gigantic for a cosmetics company. When a new brand launches they have to build up their following and gain fans and attention all by themselves; when a celebrity launches a brand, the following is already there. That’s why I think trying to replicate their success is a waste of time, because they are playing a different sport than most brands. The Fashionista interview was actually interesting. Normally I don’t like reading about Kim Kardashian but in recent months I have began to admire her business acumen. She is so skilled at turning anything into gold. It’s fascinating to watch and I am so curious to see how the Kim and Kylie competition heats up. Whose line will be bigger in the end? Stay tuned to see.

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Weekly Words: 18th November 2017

“Former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman: ‘I find the idea that there was a posh cabal offensive’” – The Guardian

Edward Enninful’s predecessor Alexandra Shulman has been dealing with controversy since stepping down from her role as EIC of British Vogue a few months ago. The formerly inoffensive character has been marred by allegations of racism and classism along with being charged with taking thinly veiled swipes at her replacement in a Business of Fashion column. In an attempt at damage control, Shulman sat down with an interviewer from The Guardian to set the record straight. As tends to be the case with any interview to address a problem, it didn’t go well. For starters, Shulman was set up to fail as the interviewer clearly had some personal issues with her and the article seemed extremely biased to read. I am not a Shulman die-hard fan but I did think that the interviewer seemed very keen on knocking her at every possible opportunity. The portrait of Shulman painted was one of a very out-of-touch woman. She didn’t seem racist or hateful in anyway; she really just seemed clueless. Shulman’s approach to editing British Vogue was all about numbers, not creativity. She was focused on growing the circulation and readership, not being groundbreaking or progressive. With Enninful as EIC, it will be interesting to see the changes that are made. Now that more people have got their hands on the December issue, more reviews are coming in. The cover has been praised by almost everybody in the fashion industry (and, of course, it is divine) but the editorials inside apparently still have the same cast of models who frequented the pages of Shulman’s Vogue. This, coupled with the accusations of photoshopping cover star Adwoa Aboah lighter, have meant that Edward Enninful’s debut issue may not have been as perfect as we all hoped. However, I’m sure it’s still great and I can’t wait to flick through my own copy.

 

“Exposed: Beauty Bloggers Committing Fraud!” – Chloe Morello, YouTube

Australian Youtuber Chloe Morello posted a video this week exposing the culture of buying fake followers and engagement on social media in order to receive influencer status. This is common practice and done by so many girls who see Instagram as a means to an end. They see other girls living fun lives and want to do the same thing. Unfortunately, the time to gain an online following has long passed. It was an easier thing to do five years ago but now the market is so saturated that it is almost impossible to grow a following from scratch organically nowadays. So how do new influencers keep popping up then? That is what Morello dives into in her video. The notion of bots, comment pods, and fake followers is nothing new but it is getting ridiculous and borderline fraudulent. Brands are wasting money by sponsoring influencers who don’t have real followings and therefore no audience to influence and turn into customers. On top of all of this, people are getting to live a life of luxury that they haven’t earned. I wonder how much more exposing has to occur before people get shutdown, whether that be by the social networks themselves (imagine if they deleted every account which had bought followers, the drama…) or by brands by effectively shutting people out. I’m curious to see how this develops.

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Weekly Words: 11th November 2017

This week has been another news-filled saga, with more and more sexual harassment accusations coming out. Kevin Spacey has finally tumbled. I read about him years ago and told many of my friends, but of course his accusers weren’t believed until a week or so ago. It is getting to the stage now where you wonder if there are any stars in Hollywood who haven’t been affected by this kind of behavior, whether they were the victim or the culprit. Fashion isn’t much better, on the modelling side of things, and much of the focus has been on Terry Richardson. Although it is good news that publications are finally refusing to work with him, he is not the only person in the industry who behaves in such ways. Edie Campbell penned a good open letter in WWD on this topic, and her status as an insider can describe the situation a lot better than I can. On a happier note, Edward Enninful’s first British Vogue cover hit the newsstands this week. So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Thankfully, he pulled out all the stops with a Steven Meisel-lensed, Adwoa Aboah-fronted cover. The styling was great, the makeup was memorable, and the overall concept was so retro-glamorous that it could not be faulted. I am going to keep my copy for years to come. I know it will become a real collectors item. Finally, the last big news item of the week is that the Met Gala’s 2018 theme has been confirmed as relating to Catholicism and its depictions in fashion. Not only will it include inspired pieces, but garments worn by the Pope are going to be transported into the museum. Apparently it will be the biggest exhibition yet, but I feel like they say that every year so we shall see. Rihanna and Amal Clooney are the hosts, which I feel is a rather strange choice as neither of them are outwardly Catholic. However, Rihanna is the one Met Gala attendee that you can always count on to show up on theme and try hard so she is always welcome.

British Vogue, December 2017

Reading:

“British Vogue: Why the new issue is so historic” – The Independent

“Edie Campbell Pens Open Letter on Model Abuse” – WWD

“The Costume Institute Takes On Catholicism” – The New York Times

“Kevin Spacey’s Unprecedented Fall From Grace Tests a Stunned Hollywood” – LA Times

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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: 28th October 2017

I know that last week I said that I didn’t want to spend too much time focusing on the sexual assault discussion that has permeated pop culture over the past few weeks but we are at a stage where it is impossible to ignore it. The fashion industry was dragged into the Harvey Weinstein scandal last week, when model Cameron Russell started the #myjobshouldnotinclude abuse campaign. From the campaign, changes in the fashion industry are slowly starting to occur. According to the New York Times “New York State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, a Democrat from Queens, announced she would introduce an amendment to the state’s current anti-discrimination laws. If passed, it would extend certain protection to models, putting designers, photographers and retailers (among others) on notice that they would be liable for abuses experienced on their watch.”. Basically, a legislation would protect the models in the workplace as the current protections in place are clearly not working. Read the full article here for more information on the topic.

“Terry Richardson Banned From Working With Vogue And Other Leading Mags, Leaked Email Shows” – The Telegraph

Lady Gaga shot by Terry Richardson

British newspaper, The Telegraph, got its hands on a leaked email from Conde Nast’s COO and Executive Vice President informing all publications that they were no longer to work with famed photographer Terry Richardson. The move was to be effective immediately, with any work of his that hadn’t gone to print to be killed and any future work to be cancelled. For some context, Terry Richardson is to fashion who Harvey Weinstein is to Hollywood. He is a notoriously creepy photographer who has been accused of sexual assault for almost a decade. However, he has managed to dodge any real scrutiny from the brands and publications that he works with because he has always managed to have an air of credibility due to the big names he has photographed; Terry Richardson has even shot Barack Obama. Although there have been rumors swirling around Richardson’s behavior for years, the rumors never seemed to stick. However, right now we are in an exodus period where anyone who has been sexually assaulted by a public figure is finally getting their voice heard. Since the Telegraph article broke, Valentino and Bulgari have announced that they are no longer working with Richardson (he shot both brand’s recent campaigns). Other brands will surely follow suit, although many don’t have to specifically announce that they are not using him as many haven’t booked him for years. Many of his close collaborators like Carine Roitfeld (whose magazine, CR Fashion Book, frequently features his work) haven’t spoken out. Business of Fashion did a good summary on why the latest moves to block Richardson’s work are “too little, too late”. I agree with what they say because the belated condemnation of Richardson makes it seem like his accuser’s words were thought to be invalid until enough people stepped forward so they couldn’t be ignored. It’s not like the Terry Richardson rumours are anything new, but then again, neither were the Harvey Weinstein ones. Weinstein seems to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“Let’s Face It, Buying Sneakers Has Become Way Too Complicated” – High Snobiety

I enjoyed this article from High Snobiety on sneaker culture. Sneaker culture itself is fascinating to me because I am so far removed from it. I’ve never tried to buy a pair of sneakers because of the hype surrounding them, nor have I ever waited in line for a drop. For that reason, I may not necessarily be the typical High Snobiety reader. This article basically discusses how sneaker culture is broken in a way, because it is all about reselling. People use bots to hijack shoe releases, causing them to sell out almost instantaneously and leaving everyone who actually waited on their computers and tried to shop like a regular person without the merchandise. The internet and online drops was meant to make sneaker culture more inclusive and bring it to an audience who may not live in a large metropolis like New York City. However, as with most things, there’s always people out there who like to ruin it for everyone. Those who use bots often resell their picks online (using Grailed, or similar services) which pushes the cost up, meaning that kid who lives in the Mid-West and wanted to get his hands on a pair of sneakers that originally would’ve paid $120 now has to pay $400. It’s lame. I noticed a similar situation myself one time when I tried to shop at Kith. I thought this was a timely story to tell given the drop of their second installment in the Bergdorf Goodman collaboration (which I love, by the way). It was the Coca-Cola collection which I’d read about online and seen on Emily Oberg’s Instagram. Some of the pieces were actually super cute so I thought I’d log on and buy some. I went on the site at 11am (the minute it dropped), added the styles directly to my basket, and by the time I hit checkout and went to enter my card details I got an error message saying the styles had sold out. I was disappointed and discouraged, and I have yet to try and shop a Kith drop online again, because I really feel like there is no point. Until retailers find a way to beat the bots, the only way regular people can get their hands on the product is to camp out in line. I sure as hell have never wanted any product that badly, but I know plenty of people who do.

“Diet Prada Is The Instagram Account Calling Out Copycat Culture In Fashion” – High Snobiety

I remember following this account on Tumblr back in the day when the #fashun community on the site was at its peak. It has since declined in favor of other social networks like Instagram. Diet Prada, it seems, has successfully made the switch. The premise of Diet Prada is calling out designers for copying one another, in a fun meme-like way. To see that it has hit the mainstream with coverage in various online news sites is so cool to me. We are at a stage in fashion where copying is so common that it can no longer go unnoticed. Brands get called out for their foul play regularly now. Diet Prada is good at creating the memes that go viral and often lead to change. After Gucci copied Dapper Dan, they agreed to fund his business re-opening and featured him in a campaign. What makes Diet Prada stand out from the rest of the fashion accounts on Instagram is the depth of their fashion knowledge. They can find references to collections from decades ago. It is a level of expertise that I hope to possess myself one day. Until then, I can rely on Diet Prada to do the job for me!

 

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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: 21st October 2017

For this week’s edition of Weekly Words, I read through various articles on the internet about fashion and related topics and struggled to find anything that I could really share my opinion on, or even add to the conversation. The fallout from the Harvey Weinstein scandal has dominated the news cycle, and his involvement in the fashion industry and how that crossover works has emerged and is deeper than initially expected. Furthermore, the sexual assault / harrassment issues in Hollywood have permeated the fashion industry. Model and activist Cameron Russell started a hashtag on Instagram (#myjobshouldnotincludeabuse) where she shared stories of sexual abuse experienced by models, gathered through DMs which she kept anonymous. It seems like the floodgates have opened and the entertainment industry (fashion now included) cannot ignore it anymore. Check out Cameron Russell’s Instagram to read the stories in full. All are horrific, with many including underage models. Now non-famous people have gotten involved with #metoo being used to share stories of sexual assault. As the internet has been a dark and depressing place recently, I decided to try to keep this post a little more lighthearted (as some escapism almost).

“Naomi Campbell Recounts A Week Spent Doing Community Service—Wearing Dolce & Gabbana—In 2007” – W Magazine

Somehow I stumbled across this article from W Magazine’s archive this week and I’m so glad I did. Basically it is just Naomi Campbell’s diary from her time doing community service. She shares her experience with the Sanitation Department, the people she encountered, what she actually did, and explains the logic behind wearing the insane outfits that she wore. The supermodel’s community service week became a media sensation and it is hilarious reading about it now, ten years later, because it all just seems so ludacris.

“Azzedine AlaÏa Invents The Future: Alexander Fury Meets The Master” – 10 Magazine

Alexander Fury is my favorite fashion writer of all time. He has such a deep love for fashion, the whimsical nature of it, and the craft behind the clothing. This adoration manages to seep into his work, especially when he is writing a piece about somebody who he admires. His interview with Azzedine Alaia, friend of the aforementioned Naomi Campbell and one of the most revered fashion designers of all time (anyone who loves fashion loves Alaia, I promise), was truly heartwarming and it is a great profile of the designer who is famously media-shy. An Alaia show has no external photographers (he employs his own) and doesn’t stick to the traditional show schedule for the seasons. He makes couture-level pieces but doesn’t call them couture; Alaia refused to join the official couture group of France since the 1980s and shows no signs of succumbing now. It was just lovely to read a piece full of genuine admiration and respect for somebody who is truly a great artist. Everybody should know a little more about Azzedine Alaia so I encourage you to read this beautifully written interview!

“Where ‘Hitler’ Doesn’t Mean Anything” – The Outline

This piece was just strange because it was so absurd. Apparently they have no idea who Adolf Hitler is in Pakistan. The ignorance runs so deep that one of the most popular menswear lines in the country is named after one of the most deadly dictators in modern history. The thought of seeing storefronts with Hitler on the sign is certainly a jarring image. What’s more crazy is that when the writer asked people in Pakistan what they thought Hitler meant they said that all they knew was that he was an army general who was very disciplined. That’s it. Wow. You need to read the piece because it is really fascinating.

 

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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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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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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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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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