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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Fashion, Weekly Words

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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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: 24th June 2017

Daya by Zendaya Collection

Whilst flicking through a magazine earlier this week, I read an interview with Zendaya Coleman, teen-starlet turned fashion designer. In the interview, she mentioned her collection. Naturally, I had to take a look. I went on the website and seen a few pieces that I thought were cute. Of course, it is nothing entirely new (nothing is anymore) but I liked some things nonetheless. I decided to order a velvet blazer that was on sale for $29.99. I placed my order on Monday evening and by Wednesday afternoon I had it in my apartment – super quick delivery. I was amazed to see that the blazer was actually really high quality. The buttons are heavy and feel more like metal than plastic, the fabric is closer to velvet than velour (what you normally get with “velvet” pieces), and the cut is near perfect. Overall I’m really pleased with my purchase & I think I’ll buy more things in the future. I encourage everyone to check the line out!

Two Separate Designers Claim Gucci Stole Their Logos for Its Cruise 2018 Collection – Fashionista

Gucci’s recent collection has been plagued with controversy. First there was the whole Dapper Dan debacle, in which the brand did admit that they had taken inspiration from the Harlem-based designer, and now there are two new artists claiming that Gucci has copied them, and honestly it is clear to see. The first case was from a New Zealand artist who had designed a snake logo for his t-shirt line. All Gucci did in this case was mirror flip the logo and change the text. The second case was from an Australian graphic designer who designed a tiger logo for a tattoo shop (which he owns the rights for). Gucci copied the logo and placement but changed the animal from a tiger to a lion. I think it is very shady that so many elements in this collection have been copied from other artists, all while Alessandro Michele gets the credit and Gucci gets the profits, because we all know that the t-shirts & totes will retail for hundreds of dollars when they cost less than $50 to print…

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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: 17th June 2017

In New Condé Nast Partnership, Farfetch Buys — and Shutters — Style.com – Fashionista.com

Thank you @styledotcom & @magdalenafrackowiakjewelry

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The new iteration of Style.com was a short-lived pursuit. Relaunched in September 2016, the Style.com we all knew and loved had disappeared and in its place popped up a curated e-commerce site, like a shoppable magazine edit. Just days ago, model turned jeweler Magdalena Frackowiak posted three screenshots from the website on her Instagram. They had just featured her products along with a mini-review of her line. Come Tuesday and Style.com is gone. Type it in your browser and you will be automatically redirected to FarFetch. It all happened extremely quickly yet it is not entirely surprising. I remember when the original Style.com closed, how disappointing that was given that it used to be the go-to source for all runway shows. Vogue then launched VogueRunway.com which actually just turned into Vogue.com/Fashion-Shows (not a separate site as initially discussed). Then when Style.com relaunched as the e-commerce site, things were a little quiet. It didn’t seem to generate the buzz that Conde Nast had hoped for. It makes sense now that FarFetch have acquired the site. In terms of the online landscape, there really are two major players now and FarFetch are one of them (along with the Yoox Net-a-Porter group). I have written about FarFetch in detail before on my post about the Italian Vogue e-commerce cover because as I said before I think it is the future of fashion. This new acquisition for the company just proves that things are only getting bigger and better. I plan to follow FarFetch’s progress closely.

“Your Favorite Influencers Aren’t Writing Their Own Content – These Women Are” – Marie Claire

An amazing graphic from Marie Claire

Ok let me start this off by saying that this was the first time I’d ever visited Marie Claire’s website and I was so surprised at how beautiful it looked. Really, it’s the most stunning website that I urge you to check out. Secondly, this article was eyeopening to me. First of all, did you know that some influencers do not write any of their content that goes out? That means Instagram captions (even for non-sponsored posts), tweets, anything is all written by a ghostwriter. It seems so crazy to me because people look at influencers as relatable people. We are meant to be getting a glimpse into their real life and their personalities. To find out that there are some out there whose online persona is completely crafted by someone who they haven’t even met (in some cases) is a little bit strange and off-putting to me. Fortunately I am not someone who is heavily swayed by influencers. I don’t buy things because they tell me to. I don’t wear things because they wear them. I don’t think things because they say them. However, some people do, especially younger people. Influencers who are geared towards the teenage set are particularly dangerous in my eyes as the teens will be latching onto something that is entirely fake. It would suck to find out that your idol is, in fact, nothing like how they appear to be online. That used to be the case for celebrities (hence the phrase “never meet your idol”) but for influencers the whole idea was that they were real people. The article goes further into depth about what the ghostwriters do and I encourage you to read it yourself. Transparency is key, people!

“Miami’s best concept store is opening a six floor location in NYC” – CR Fashion Book

The South Beach location

The Webster, South Beach’s luxury concept store perhaps akin to the likes of Maxfield, is opening a new location in SoHo towards the end of the year, and I, for one, am excited to visit. I have heard only good things about the South Beach location, from the selection of designers and merchandise carried (supposedly very cool) to the visuals in-store so I am interested to see how the new store looks. Judging by the write-up in CR Fashion Book plus on various other media outlets, it will be quite the store both architecturally and in terms of visual merchandising. Fashionista.com did an interview with the owner of the boutique, Laure Heriard Dubreuil, and in one of her responses she discussed her merchandising technique of mixing the brands together to curate outfit looks for customers. I love that idea because sometimes it is boring seeing all the brands grouped together and it is easy to bypass cool items because you are not interested in the brand. The store is already generating buzz and an opening date has not even been announced. As far as I can tell, it will be a welcome addition to the SoHo retail landscape.

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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: June 10th 2017

“The Kendall Jenner Effect: How Long Can It Last?” – Business of Fashion

officially joining the adidas fam! @adidasoriginals #adidasAmbassador #adidasOriginals

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In a subscribers only article, the BOF team discussed the Kendall Jenner effect, a combination of sales and social media dominance, and how long it will actually last for. The reasoning behind this was the slew of poor publicity which Jenner has been at the forefront of in the past month or so. It was just announced last week that Jenner was the new face of Adidas, the sportswear giant where brother-in-law Kanye West has a hugely successful line. This announcement was met with significant backlash from the press and social media alike with complaints that yet another model (like Gigi & Bella Hadid, for Reebok and Nike respectively) was the face of a sportswear brand instead of using actual athletes. Of course, this was not Jenner’s fault but it seems that she was the straw which broke the camel’s back. The article goes on to compare Jenner to Pierre Cardin, in reference to perhaps diluting her brand or spreading it too thin by taking on so many partnerships – the point being Cardin ruined his brand value and Jenner risks doing the same.

“Yoox Net-a-Porter Group is going completely fur-free” – Fashionista

Looks to try in this cold af weather, Grace Jones for @fendi (1986) | #GlamourGoals #18

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In a surprising move, the Yoox Net-a-Porter group, in an effort to increase sustainability on a major scale, have decided to go completely fur-free, removing all animal fur based products from their outlet site The Outnet. Perhaps I’m finding this move more shocking than it actually is but I don’t understand the mindset behind removing all fur based products from a business standpoint, given that they are a luxury group and fur is the utmost of all luxury products. Even nowadays when people are trending vegan, fur accessories continue to remain popular, even in the form of little pom-pom bag chains. At the end of the article, the writer questions if Farfetch, their largest competitor and the site where NAP founder Natalie Massenet now works, will also go fur-free, citing it as a tempting move to follow. In my mind, this would make Farfetch do the opposite, instead stepping up their fur offering in an attempt to gain all of the sales and customers that Yoox/Net-a-Porter may have lost.

“In Hong Kong to launch second store, Virgil Abloh, Off-White founder and Kanye collaborator, opens up” – South China Morning Post

SS14 Off-White in an editorial for Uname / Unameid.com

The article I’ve linked above was a lengthy discussion with Virgil Abloh about his career and his brand. The most exciting takeaway from the piece was that Abloh’s is getting his own retrospective exhibition of his work in Chicago, at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Due to open in 2019, the exhibition will house pieces from Off-White and the other projects which he has worked on throughout his career. Instead of just looking at the clothing, the exhibition will focus on the broader societal context and millennial culture. The whole idea behind this exhibition sounds really cool and I’d like to go and visit the exhibition when it opens. Virgil’s success over the past 18 months to two years is inspirational. This is a man who has been toiling away for years and finally getting the kudos he deserves.

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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: June 3rd 2017

Can a faded fashion house reclaim its 1970s glory? Inside the effort to save Anne Klein – The Washington Post

Robin Givhan’s latest piece delves into the reinvention of the Anne Klein brand and its latest revival. Speaking with the current creative director, Sharon Lombardo, Givhan delivers an interesting and information-heavy profile of the brand and it’s current challenges. Lombardo took the helm of the brand two years ago and has spent her tenure trying to redefine the brand, asking “who is the Anne Klein woman today?”. Lombardo has made many subtle and strategic changes to the brand in an effort to recapture the brand’s former position in the marketplace as the go-to for working women. She has redesigned the logo, began using fit models who are older and larger than the standard, and has changed the materials used in their products (real leather instead of PVC, for one example).

I personally didn’t know a lot about the Anne Klein brand until reading Givhan’s book The Battle of Versailles which tells the story of the lead-up to and the events revolving around the Battle of Versailles, a fundraising fashion show held in 1970s France that was a “battle” between French and American designers. Anne Klein was one of the most commercially successful designers at the time who made sophisticated, wearable sportswear. Soon after the fashion show, Klein succumbed to cancer, leaving Donna Karan, her longtime assistant, as the co-creative leader of her brand. Reading the article about what the brand is doing now to try to recapture their former glory is interesting as the brand has always survived but it has not thrived. They are now taking measures to modernize. I’ll be interested to see how things turn out.

“The Most Influential Stylist of the ’90s on Building a Cult Brand” – The Business of Fashion

Continuing with the brand building theme, Business of Fashion conducted an interview with Melanie Ward who is the stylist responsible for creating some of the most iconic images of Kate Moss back in the 1990s. Ward still works as a stylist now, taking on other responsibilities like creative direction as well. The biggest takeaway from this interview for me was about branding. Ward emphasizes the importance of having your own personal brand but toning it down when working for a client, realizing that you need to suit their brand and speak to their customer when working for them.

The word ‘brand’ is a bit of a buzzword nowadays anyway, with everyone wanting to curate their own brand via Instagram. Something that Ward mentioned was hiring designers based on their following versus their talent, reiterating the (should-be) common sense fact that talent and technical skill is more important than following. I think this theory should apply for all professions, but especially creative jobs in fashion. Overall, I found the interview super interesting, especially the part where Ward lays out her 6 key points of advice for building a brand. I encourage you to read it!

Gucci versus Dapper Dan controversy – various sources

This past week Gucci showed their Resort 2018 collection. Similar to the previous seasons collections, I spotted quite a few pieces going down the runway that I know are either going to sell out in stores, be worn by celebrities, or be the buzziest pieces all over Instagram. It’s impossible not to fall for the Gucci hype nowadays. Even if you don’t care for the clothing, the strength of the shoes and accessories is undeniable.

For the resort season, the collection got slightly more attention on mainstream social media than it normally would, crossing over from the fashion community into the masses. The reason for this being that Alessandro Michele, the creative head of the brand, paraded a jacket down the runway that was a direct copy of a piece Dapper Dan had made in the 1980s for Olympic medalist Diane Dixon. The jacket in question featured puffy, logo-covered sleeves and a fur vest. Dapper Dan’s version has the Louis Vuitton monogram whereas Michele’s has the Gucci pattern. Rightly so, people are calling out for Dapper Dan to get the credit he deserves. Gucci responded, offering slight credit to Dapper Dan but not really acknowledging the issue at hand and only after countless memes were shared and articles published on various outlets.

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