7 Slow Fashion Workwear Brands to Try

In honor of Earth Day today, we’re sharing an update to our Guide to Slow Fashion: more slow fashion workwear brands. We’ll talk about brands that emphasize quality craftsmanship, ethical practices, and eco-friendly production. If you haven’t yet checked out the series, which we launched in 2015, here’s what we’ve covered so far:

Small, independent brands are on one side of the spectrum, while on the other side are big fast-fashion companies such as H&M, Zara, and ASOS that are trying to be more responsible and sustainable — for example, we featured H&M Conscious in a previous post in the series. A couple of years ago, Fashionista featured a piece that asked, “Do the H&M Conscious and ASOS Made in Kenya Collections Count as Ethical Fashion?” When you’re seeking out slow fashion/ethical fashion, are you more likely to buy from a smaller independent brand with a sole focus on those practices, or a mainstream retailer with an ethical/sustainable line?

I’ll note that the brands below offer a lot of items that are definitely more on the casual side (low necklines, high hemlines, more casual styles in general), but you can find office-appropriate pieces from all of them. Also, the entirety of the size ranges we mention for the brands aren’t always available for every item they offer.

Here are some slow fashion workwear brands worth checking out: 

Theory’s “Good Fabrics”

Good Wool and Good Linen are Theory’s environmentally-conscious lines, available at their own website (linen/wool) as well as Nordstrom (wool only — including Nordstrom exclusives) and Neiman Marcus (wool only). The merino wool comes from sheep in Tasmania and is ethically and responsibly farmed, while the flax that produces the stretch linen is grown in China without chemicals in a process that produces no waste. The fabrics are woven in Italy using renewable energy and other sustainable practices. Sizes are 00–16.

collage of Theory Good Wool

pictured above: one / two / three

Pure Collection

Pure Collection sources its sustainable cashmere from goats in Mongolia, where the company works directly with herders to avoid overgrazing — a big contributor to desertification — by encouraging them to give their goats healthy feed. They have a focus on slow fashion as well; as Pure’s website notes, “Each one of our cashmere garments undergoes 40 different hand processes.” The clothing is available on the brand’s own website and from John Lewis. Sizes are 2–22. 

collage of Pure Collection items

pictured above: one / two / three

Amour Vert 

Amour Vert makes its clothing in limited quantities from sustainable fabrics — and 97% of it is produced in factories near its San Francisco office. The fabrics used include a sustainable, pesticide-free, biodegradable modal; GOTS-certified organic cotton; ethical merino wool; and more. Also, with every t-shirt purchased, the company will plant a tree in California’s Sierra National Forest. After all, the brand’s name means “green love” in French. (And now I have Jody Watley’s “Real Love” stuck in my head, and oh yes I am old.) Sizes are XXS–XL.

collage of Amour Vert items

pictured above: one / two / three

Emerson Fry 

Emerson Fry clothing focuses on “limited production runs each week of new and existing products” made in the U.S.A. and also offers its India Collection, made by artisans in India who use heirloom hand print and dye techniques on organic natural fabrics using low-impact and natural dyes. For its U.S.-made line, the company takes orders before producing the items, and you can sign up here to get updates. Sizes are XXS–XL. 

collage of Amour Vert

pictured above: one / two / three

Reformation

Reformation tries to keep 75% of its fabrics either (1) natural fibers that are rapidly renewable and plant-based and have a potential for circularity, and (2) almost all natural or recycled fibers. They prioritize energy-efficiency, recycling, locally/domestically-sourced materials, green building practices for stores, and ethical/sustainable practices in general. Most of Reformation’s clothing is made in the U.S., and you can actually tour the factory in L.A.) Sizes are XS–3X; you can also find the brand at Nordstrom

collage of workwear from Reformation

pictured above: one / two / three

No.6 Store

No.6 Store says it “takes great pride in its manufacturing practices” — and it makes its signature clothing line and handmade clogs in the U.S. In contrast to typical fast fashion practices of selling inexpensive, trendy items for customers to only wear for a short time, No.6 Store says its goal is to “create pieces that can be worn over and over.” In addition to its own designs, No.6’s site also offers dozens of other designers. Sizes are XS–L.

collage of No. 6 items

pictured above: one / two / three

Grana 

On its website, Grana states that it wants to “fight fast-fashion one item at a time.” The site shares details about the origin and production of the various fabrics used; for example, its Tencel™ is made from sustainable forest wood pulp, and the chemicals used to make it are reused, not released as pollutants. Note that Grana’s wool comes from Tasmania, the source of Theory’s Good Wool, and that it’s woven at the same Italian mill, Tollegno 1900. (Sound good? Get 10% off with our referral code!) Sizes are XXS–XL.

collage of Grana items

pictured above: one / two / three

Readers, do tell: What are your favorite slow fashion brands for workwear? When you buy clothes, how important is it to you to support sustainable and ethical practices? 

Further reading: 

  • When “Made In China” Means Sustainable, Ethical, And Expert [Fast Company
  • 14 of the Best Resources for Becoming a More Ethical (and Educated) Fashion Consumer [Fashionista]
  • Favorites: Colorful & Patterned Responsible Clothing [Grechen’s Closet]
  • We Need to Change the Way We Think About Sustainable Fashion [i-D (Vice)]

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Amazon Fashion Takes All the Fun Out of Clothes Shopping—and Customers Love It

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast/Photo by Getty

Last Sunday morning, I woke up to a message in my friends’ group chat with a link to the Saturday Night Live skit “Fashion Coward.” It was a parody commercial for a store that caters to people who hate shopping. At Fashion Coward, customers can easily buy “clothes that suggest the general idea of a person.”

Racks are stocked with “brown sweaters, navy shirts, pants for the leg, and one black dress that says, ‘Keep it moving.’” The joke’s punchline is “It’s just Ann Taylor,” an easy jab at the much-maligned chain of business-casual basics.

But Ann Taylor has some competition in Amazon, where women flock to purchase utilitarian, good-enough clothing with as much passion as they would buying a new toilet brush.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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But Where are the Lederhosen? Mike Cernovich Models Male Fashion

Photo illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos via Mike Cernovich

No one asked for fashion advice from Mike Cernovich, the prominent far-right internet troll. But then again, no one asked for Cernovich to push Pizzagate, write that “date rape does not exist,” or spread misinformation about Hillary Clinton’s health.

So here we are. The 41-year-old former lawyer and YouTube personality posted a sartorial manifesto on Tuesday in the form of a 25-tweet-long thread.

“I will start posting outfits for men to wear,” Cernovich began. Those with any self-preservation skills would have clicked away from the tweet so fast they risked bruising a finger; the rest of us scrolled on to see photos from ghosts of “Cernos” past.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Fashion, Love, Fame: How Victoria Beckham Keeps Proving the Skeptics Wrong in Every Aspect of Her Life

ESC: Style Evolution, Victoria Beckham, 2018“They always say, ‘My God, David is so handsome, he’s gorgeous, he’s so good-looking–and she’s so funny.’ Basically that means you’re a pig with a sense of…

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Find Out All The Fashion Details On Our Favorite Lewks From Rihanna’s Harper’s Bazaar Shoot

Fashion gala 'Met Ball' in New York

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That Rihanna reign just won’t let up!!! Rihanna has landed yet another cover for 2019, this one for Harper’s Bazaar May 2019 issue. She’s repping for their annual beauty issue and was shot by her longtime photographer Dennis Leupold.

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NY artist Debra Rapoport turns garbage into high-end fashion

Calling herself “Debra Debris” or “Residue Rapoport,” the artist turns other people’s trash and simple materials like paper towels and toilet paper rolls into couture-style fashion. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).


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Devastating Notre Dame Cathedral Fire Rocks Fashion World

A catastrophic fire took hold of the Notre Dame Cathedral, one of Paris’ most iconic landmarks on Monday.
The blaze set off on Monday afternoon and continued to rage throughout the evening. Thousands of onlookers in the City of Light watched from the bridges and sidewalks as the building’s famed spire, which painted the Paris cityscape for more than 800 years, collapsed into the flames. No casualties have been reported and there has been no cause for the fire cited at press time. The 14th-century French Gothic building, with its pointed arches, intimidating gargoyles and rose windows was immortalized in film and literature, most notably in Victor Hugo’s classic novel “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
Designers and dozens of members of the fashion industry have taken to their social media feeds in tribute to the French landmark. See their posts here:

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Notre Dame de Paris in flames ! How terribly terribly sad ! 800 years of history …treasure of the world….Quasimodo, Esmeralda … Victor Hugo… …all in smoke .. so so sad
A post shared by @ therealdvf on Apr 15, 2019 at 12:45pm PDT

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Notre Dame

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Moschino taps ‘The Sims’ for Coachella’s big fashion moment

Coachella is full of fashion and lavish parties to showcase it. The standout of both this season is sure to be Jeremy Scott’s Moschino x The Sims capsule collection, which he’s set to unveil at his annual Palm Springs Desert Party this weekend. “I love the idea of being able to imagine, design and bring…
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Lagerfeld Fashion Sketches Going Under the Hammer

The death last month of longtime Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld has only increased demand for the brand and heightened interest in the man. Now, a little-known chapter in his career will be illuminated when a Palm Beach auction house on April 18 offers 125 of Lagerfeld’s fashion sketches dating to the early Sixties when he was working for the House of Tiziani in Rome, long before he joined Chanel in 1983.
The trove of sketches is the second sale of Lagerfeld’s fashion drawings by the Urban Culture Auctions division of Palm Beach Modern Auctions. The company in 2014 offered sketches by Lagerfeld, which were saved by Tiziani’s founder Evan Richards and preserved by subsequent owners who maintained the archive.
Urban Culture’s co-owner Rico Baca in 2014 traveled to Rome with the consignor and spent a week sifting through the archive. “Many of the sketches had Lagerfeld’s signature on them,” he said. “I had to look at the rest of the collection and find similarities. You can see how the shoes are done and how the faces are done. Many design studios don’t add hair to the faces.”
While Baca thought he’d auctioned the last of the sketches in 2014, he subsequently learned that

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9 Fashion and Beauty Brands Spawned From Original Cast of ‘The Hills’

While it originally aired in the early aughts, MTV’s “The Hills” still holds a soft spot for many Millennials, who are now impatiently waiting for the show’s reboot, called “The Hills: New Beginnings,” set to premiere on June 24.
More than just a cultural moment that gave birth to many famous lines and sage pieces of advice, the show launched a new generation of reality TV stars turned entrepreneurs. Many of the show’s cast have gone on from the show to launch their own companies in the fashion, beauty and wellness spaces, some lucrative — for instance, Emily Weiss’ Glossier Inc., valued at $ 1.2 billion — while others — like Heidi Pratt’s Heidiwood — fell flat.
The show is coming back with some of its fan favorites, including Pratt and her husband, Spencer; Whitney Port and Audrina Patridge, and newcomers, like actress Mischa Barton, who is making her reality TV debut.
Now that MTV is reprising the show, WWD takes a look at all the brands created by “The Hills” current and former cast.
1. Lauren Conrad: LC Lauren Conrad and The Little Market

Left, Lauren Conrad attends season three premiere of “The Hills” in 2007. Right, Conrad at the Baby2Baby Gala in 2018. 
REX/Shutterstock

Although Lauren

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Karl Lagerfeld’s Dreamy, Star-Studded Farewell at Paris Fashion Week

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

PARIS — A moment’s silence for Karl Lagerfeld at his final Chanel show on March 5 marked the death of the designer on February 19, and the close of Paris Fashion Week for the Fall/Winter 2019 ready-to-wear season.

The nine-day fashion extravaganza showcases some of the world’s finest fashion houses to an audience of industry insiders and stars.

From the smallest to the most famous of designers, herewith some of the most memorable looks of the season.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Sergio Garcia rakes away tap-in before Matt Kuchar can give it to him, loses hole in brutal fashion

At the par-3 seventh hole, trailing Kuchar 1 down, Garcia had a seven-foot par putt left to win the hole after Kuchar was in for bogey. Garcia didn't make a great stroke, and his putt missed on the left side, coming to rest an inch (maybe even less) from the cup. We've seen guys not give short putts on Saturday due to the windy conditions, understandable given the fact that when there is still meat left on the bone, the wind can play a huge factor.

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Fashion News Roundup: March 2019

A new size in women’s jeans, Anthropologie is extending its size range, anti-pollution make-up is trending, and more news from the fashion trenches this March.

Interesting Fashion Quote

I thought what writer Lindy West said here about being styled so often with a bright red lip and glamorous almost 1940s-style hair was thought-provoking:

“You know, it’s interesting: I absolutely love that look, but it’s not actually my look. Whenever I do press or have my picture taken, people just tend to style me that way. And I do think it has to do with size. I think folks can have such a hard time imagining that fat women can be beautiful that they think the way to make it happen is to over-style them. When it comes to beauty for fat women, it has to be this super exaggerated hyper-femininity. I’m always styled like ‘old Hollywood glamour.’ I have this fantasy about going to a photoshoot and having them say, ‘We’re gonna do a natural look. And you’re not going to wear a bombshell, pin-up dress. We have this weird smock for you.’ I dream of someone saying that to me. Just put me in a smock and do something weird with my face! Fat women don’t really get to be glamorously androgynous, you know?”


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Dame Zandra Rhodes Becomes Lifetime Patron of Graduate Fashion Week

THINKING PINK: In her 50th anniversary year Dame Zandra Rhodes will become a lifetime patron of the Graduate Fashion Week Foundation, the charity that promotes B.A. level fashion students with an annual week of catwalk shows and events in London.
The next Graduate Fashion Week will take place from June 2 to 5 at The Old Truman Brewery, and the event will culminate on June 5 with the gala awards show.
Rhodes’ new role for the Graduate Fashion Foundation will include being a judge for the week as well as drumming up support for the charity. She will also offer career mentoring. “I think it is a very important cause, supporting upcoming talent across the U.K. and internationally. U.K. colleges are the best in the world and graduates and U.K. talent need this visibility which the charity offers.”
Rhodes is the seventh lifetime patron of the charity, joining Christopher Bailey, Victoria Beckham, Vivienne Westwood and Nick Knight, who were appointed in 2016, when the charity marked its 25 years in business. Diane von Furstenberg and Nadja Swarovski were appointed in 2018.
Martyn Roberts, managing director of Graduate Fashion Week, said Rhodes’ work “has had a huge influence on fashion and British culture over her long-spanning

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Is Anything Truly Classic in Fashion?

stock photo of audrey hepburn in a black top and black pants

Readers, here’s a question to ponder for today: is anything truly classic in fashion? And if so, what is it? I’ve written before about how when skinny jeans started to come back into style I clung to my bootcuts, insisting that they were a classic look (and one that flattered me). As I write this I’m still not sure I would disagree with the idea of bootcuts as classic, particularly since they’re coming back in fashion now, but what I found was that the things you wear with denim — boots, tops, jackets — all changed to accommodate the look of a skinny jean silhouette, so eventually I felt outdated to wear bootcut jeans. Mark my words, it will happen again as we swing back to denim with more volume on the bottom — it’s the fashion industry’s way of making everyone toe the line and completely replace your wardrobe every ten years. (I’ve said before that I feel like denim trends do influence workwear in significant ways, so keep an eye over the next few years — I wouldn’t be surprised if slim leg ankle pants, the roundest of ballet flats, and untucked/voluminous blouses all start to be scarce…) Readers were recently discussing long necklaces and whether they were in –and I know this question has come up with regards to brooches — so let’s discuss. What does “classic” mean in the fashion context? And what looks or items would you include in the list? Is it a specific base item you adhere to (e.g., bootcut jeans) or is it something more akin to style? 

{related: how to cultivate style}

Things I might argue are classic (but I suspect readers will fight me on at least half of them):

  • a crisp white blouse
  • pointy-toed kitten heels 
  • pointy-toed flats
  • stilettos
  • pencil skirts
  • a sleeveless sheath dress
  • a red lip 
  • classic fitted trench coat

There’s also a list of items that are NEVER “fashionable” but would qualify, I’d argue, as classic, at least in certain parts of the country: pearls, twinsets, Ferragamo pumps, Chanel flats… 

What say you, readers? Is anything truly classic in fashion? Are you making purchasing decisions based on it (i.e., investing a bit more in the workwear pieces you think are classic?)?

Photo of Audrey Hepburn courtesy of Photos for Class. But see

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What Is ‘Modest Fashion’ and Why Is It Spreading?

When the topic of “modest clothing” comes up, images of Middle Eastern women in long robes emerge. And while that remains true, the trend of modest clothing is spreading west.
According to data analytics firm Edited, the demand for modest fashion “is expanding outside of the UAE and seeing growth in the western world with a 15 percent increase since 2017.”
In a report written by Charlotte Yau with research and data by Edited market analyst Kayla Marci, the firm noted that “modest clothing” receives about 8,000 Google searches each month in the U.S. “And religion isn’t the only reason women are opting to cover up,” the researchers said. “For some, it’s a personal preference; they find modesty empowering. With the #MeToo movement, women are dressing for themselves than for the male gaze. While the majority of customers are based in the Middle East, demand is growing in the U.S. and U.K.”
Yai and Marci noted that in the U.S. luxury market “there was a 50 percent [year-over-year] increase of long-sleeve blouses with a high neckline” and the midi shape “also makes up 53 percent of total skirt assortment.”
“So who’s wearing modestly?” the researchers said. “Western women in the U.S. make up 36

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Lady Gaga, Kate Hudson and More Dazzle at The Daily Front Row’s Fashion Awards

Lady Gaga, Tan France, Kate Hudson, Daily Front Row AwardsThe Daily Front Row hosted its fifth annual Fashion Los Angeles Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Sunday, and several celebrities attended for a night full of fashion and fun.
Kate…

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EXCLUSIVE: Shanghai Fashion Week Schedule Reinforces Regional Dominance

LONDON — Shanghai Fashion Week, the powerful fashion platform in the Greater China region, will release its official schedule on Tuesday, with a strong lineup of international designers, local talents and commercial power players such as Vivienne Tam, Jenny Packham, Shushu/Tong and Angel Chen.
This is the 17th year of the fashion week, which has become a stepping stone for global brands to enter the lucrative Chinese market. The stars of this year’s schedule include Xu Zhi, 8on8, Ximon Lee, Andrea Jiapei Li, Samuel Gui Yang, Sirloin and Yirantian, showing across the Xintiandi main venue and talent support platforms such as Labelhood and Xcommons.
Angel Chen said she will bring her Woolmark Prize creations to the Shanghai audience and cap off Labelhood as the final presentation for the fourth time. Yirantian, designed by Yirantian Guo, one of the most celebrated young local designers, will showcase her collaboration collection with 1436 Erdos, the luxury line of Erdos Group, the world’s largest cashmere manufacturer.
Berlin-based Ximon Lee, an LVMH Prize finalist and H&M Design Award winner, will present a “delightful” and easy-to-wear capsule collection with Peacebird. Andrea Jiapei Li, a New York-based designer known for her clean and feminine touch, said she’s excited to show

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ICYMI: Wrapping up Fashion Month Fall 2019, Shop Platform Sneakers and Tan Handbags & More Street Style Inspiration

Sure, we’re all glued to our phones/tablets/laptops/watches that barely tell time, but even the best of us miss out on some important #content from time to time. That’s why, in case you missed it, we’ve rounded up our most popular stories of the week to help you stay in the loop. No need to thank …

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Poppy, Lupita Nyong’o and Other Celebs Went All out With Bold Fashion Choices on the Red Carpet This Week

While the fashion world is still reeling from the end of a relentlessly hectic Fashion Month, celebrities are keeping their foot on our necks with plenty of bold and adventurous red carpet looks. For the iHeartRadio Music Awards, singer Poppy opted for the ultimate statement piece, a dress …

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Xcommons Partners With Tmall Fashion for Shanghai Fashion Week

LONDON — Xcommons, a Shanghai-based biannual designer support and crossover platform, is teaming with Alibaba’s business-to-consumer channel Tmall to help talented Chinese fashion designers to collaborate with some of the biggest commercial fashion brands in the region.
In the upcoming fourth edition, which runs from March 28 to 31 during Shanghai Fashion Week, Ximon Lee, Andrea Jiapei Li, Haizhen Wang and Minki Cheng will present their fall 2019 collections, as well as capsule collections with Chinese brands Peacebird, Blue Erdos, Blink Gallery and Bloomin, respectively.
“We value Xcommons for their high-quality designers and strong executions,” said Ricky Xie, Tmall Fashion’s senior marketing director. This season, the e-commerce platform is launching a “digital trend project” on March 30.
“Through Tmall’s intelligent trend discovery mechanism, companies can catch up with fashion trends faster and more accurately. In this context, Tmall Fashion forecasts the color, product category and crossover trends, and we work with Xcommons and Chinese designers and commercial brands to bring unique products to our consumers during the upcoming Shanghai Fashion Week,” Xie said.
All collaborations will be sold exclusively on Tmall Fashion. Customers can customize the color and pattern of the capsule collections during Shanghai Fashion Week and products will be delivered in two

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The Best iHeartRadio Music Awards Fashion Looks of All Time: From Flashy Jumpsuits to Goth Glam Dresses

Rihanna, iHeartRadio Music AwardsGet ready to gasp… at the best iHeartRadio Music Awards fashion looks of all time.
The star-studded ceremony kicks off on Thursday, March 14, and fans will eagerly await to see which…

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The Best iHeartRadio Music Awards Fashion Looks of All Time: From Flashy Jumpsuits to Goth Glam Dresses

Rihanna, iHeartRadio Music AwardsGet ready to gasp… at the best iHeartRadio Music Awards fashion looks of all time.
The star-studded ceremony kicks off on Thursday, March 14, and fans will eagerly await to see which…

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Secrets from the Barbie fashion workshop

Fashion designer Carol Spencer spent her career creating covetable clothing for a highly unusual client, one who stood just 11 ¹/₂ inches tall: Barbie. Spencer designed the doll’s wardrobe for more than three decades, making her the iconic figure’s longest-running stylist. Now happily retired, the 86-year-old writes about her reign in the colorful “Dressing Barbie:…
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Calvin Klein Learns a Harsh, Expensive Lesson: Less High Fashion, More Underwear

Angela Weiss/Getty

It was as if the mannequins at Calvin Klein 205W39NYC, the label’s Madison Avenue flagship, knew its higher-ups had just announced the shuttering of its runway collection. Scattered throughout the store, the gray figures slouched and hunched somberly, one in a sequin dress sitting on a table like a bedazzled version of Rodin’s Thinker.

Hours after Page Six reported that Calvin Klein Collection would cease operations, the flagship was empty, save for a few employees. The store’s loud, taxi cab-yellow walls punctuated just how quiet it was inside.

From the street, a woman stopped to take a photo of the 34-foot display window, which featured a pants-less mannequin wearing a t-shirt tucked into a pair of boy short underwear.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Cottweiler Becomes First British Brand to Show at Seoul Fashion Week 

LONDON — The British Fashion Council is furthering its partnership with Seoul Fashion Week in support of emerging talent, with men’s wear label Cottweiler the first to benefit from the special relationship.
Cottweiler, the streetwear brand that won the 2016-17 International Woolmark Prize for men’s wear, will be the first British name to be sponsored at Seoul Fashion Week in March. The brand will restage its fall 2019 show alongside those of South Korean designers.
“We are very grateful to be given the opportunity by the BFC and Seoul Fashion Week to present our work to a wider audience and connect to our already growing fan base in South Korea,” said designers Matthew Dainty and Ben Cottrell of Cottweiler. “This will be our first venture outside of London Fashion Week and for it to be in a city that embraces cutting-edge style like no other is an exciting prospect.”
The BFC-Seoul partnership aims to support emerging British and South Korean talent through sponsorships and to provide them with the opportunity to showcase directly to buyers and media.
“We are thrilled to be able to host Cottweiler in Seoul and to build on our partnership with the British Fashion Council,” said Jung Kuho, executive director of

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Rachel Roy Talks Consumers’ Role in Ethical Fashion, White House Chat About Child Labor Issues

A week after discussing child labor with first lady Melania Trump and Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, Rachel Roy wants to keep the conversation going in the fashion industry.
Roy, a U.N. Women-appointed Champion for Innovation and Change, continues to help organize screenings and talks about the documentary “The Price of Free” that highlights Satyarthi’s crusade to end child slavery. Last week the pair joined human rights activist Kerry Kennedy for one at The New School’s Parsons School of Design. Three more screenings are planned in the next few months including one at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit.
Worldwide, 218 million children between the ages of five and 17 are employed including 152 million who are victims of child labor, according to the United Nations. Of those who are forced to work, nearly half of them — 73 million — work in hazardous child labor conditions.
“What I love about Kailash is that he takes the approach that companies just don’t know. That is actually the case. We think the factories are compliant and that are agents [overseas] are doing what we pay them to do but in many, many cases we don’t know. Then we’re given the chance to correct that. That’s what is

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Vuitton tops off fashion season with a museum mash-up

Louis Vuitton brought Paris Fashion Week to a close with a novel catwalk, building a replica of the pipes and scaffolding exterior of the Pompidou modern art center within the heart of the Louvre. Vuitton, originally a luggage maker now famed for its handbags, is one in a stable of LVMH-owned brands that put on lavish shows in recent days. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).


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My Fashion Era Nostalgia

I am very nostalgic about my favourite fashion eras, which are the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. I thought that most people shared the same emotion, but as it turns out, relatively few people have fashion era nostalgia, and very few are as nostalgic as I am. 

When I see fashion and style from from my favourite fashion eras, I feel a surge of positive emotion. A happy excitement runs right through me, and I want to wear the items again — but with a big dose of modern and current so that I don’t look lost in a time warp. Maybe I feel this way because I’m an extremely sentimental person.

I was born in 1970 and was blessed with a very happy childhood. Part of this happiness came from seeing my Mum and her friends rock their glam ‘70s fashion with verve and panache. I was in awe of their beauty and style, and wanted to look just like them. All these years later, and those ‘70s childhood images are as vivid and aspirational as ever. That’s why I’m nostalgic about ‘70s fashion and like to incorporate it into my style.

I wasn’t around for the ‘60s, but seeing photos of my Mum & Dad in that era — as well as in many movies — pulls at my heart strings. I used to watch ‘60s movies with my late Mum, and together we would passionately “ooh and ahh” at how incredibly well dressed everyone was. These are happy moments that I hold in my heart forever, and why the fashion era is special to me.

I was a teen and student in the ‘80s. Although the years were amongst the most challenging of my life, I LOVED the fashion and the music. The tough times were thankfully juxtaposed with the very best moments. The decade touched my soul like no other fashion era, and that’s why I am the most nostalgic about the ‘80s. I liked the early ‘90s because it was very ‘80s, and I loved the Seattle grunge music scene. I incorporate the ‘80s aesthetic into my style because it rekindles these euphoric feelings, which makes me happy. It also makes me chuckle and shake my head at the types of cringe-worthy things I thought and did at the time — all of which still make me smile.

Case in point when I saw these new season items, I was instantly excited because they’re deliciously ‘80s and bring back very happy memories. Back in 1985 with the help of my Mum, I made a pair of pants just like the pink plaid, but in a turquoise tartan. I had a red top very much like the the puffy sleeve darling back in 1983. I lived in athletic white hi-tops as a student in the late ‘80s. The jeans are styles I loved to wear back then too. The bias-cut skirt is a little later in the ‘90s, and I loved wearing the silhouette. I want all these items in my closet right now!

I will wear a look from a past fashion era that I’ve worn before and enjoy it just as much as I did then. Maybe more, because I’m more comfortable in my skin now than thirty years ago. Are you nostalgic about fashion eras? If so, which ones?

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Byredo Toasts Collection During Paris Fashion Week

Ben Gorham brought together Byredo’s trendy community during Paris Fashion Week, from Off-White designer Virgil Abloh to Anja Rubik, Aymeline Valade and influencers Pernille Teisbaek and Caroline Daur.
The occasion was Gorham’s accessories collection for the label, which dabbles in beauty and leather goods.
“I’m based in Sweden, so this is the right occasion to bring everyone together and connect with our community,” said the designer.
But despite his cult following, Gorham is committed to going against the fashion current and taking it slow.
For fall, he presented a small, focused accessories collection where he reworked the brand’s popular Seema bag using embroideries and hand-painted techniques.

Byredo fall 2019 
Courtesy Photo

His inspiration was the art of bird-watching, which he was drawn to for its peaceful, community-based nature. He loosely translated this into bags in bright colors and hand-painted inkblots, that reflected the “perfect symmetry of birds.”
A black version featuring neon blue inkblots stood out.
“This style has quickly become our iconic bag, maybe because it has a very strong silhouette — without branding or without hard wear, it still became quickly recognizable. So I felt like I should keep exploring different iterations of this bag and use it as a canvas,” said Gorham. “I’m quite slow, but

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Zendaya Hosts Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Show Featuring All Black Women

Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Smallfoot' - Arrivals

Source: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / Getty

Zendaya brought pure black girl magic to the runway over the weekend for the reveal of her #TOMMYNOW collection for Tommy Hilfiger in Paris. Her models were exclusively all black, but when it came to age she was all-inclusive, recruiting models from ages 18 to 70.

Among the 59 models that strutted during the show include Grace Jones, Beverly Johnson, Veronica Webb, Pat Cleveland and Winnie Harlow.

The 22-year-old starlet said she wanted to use this platform to pay homage to the women who paved the way for her.

“I want to make a show inspired by the women who made it possible for me to be in the position where I am now,” she told Elle. “Honestly, I just wanted to say “thank you” to them through this show. I said to Tommy, ‘If we do a show, this is what it needs to be about.’ And Tommy said, ‘Great. Go for it.’ And he actually meant it. I mean, look.

The former Disney star said she was shocked when Hilfiger called her and gave her creative control over the show.

“I didn’t really believe it [was him] at first. Tommy Hilfiger on the phone? And he said, ‘Look, if you do a show with me, you can have whatever you want and do whatever you want. Go nuts. If you have a vision, tell me, and we’ll execute it together.’”

Check out some of the looks below.

Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres : Runway At The Theatre Des Champs Elysees In Paris
Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres : Runway At The Theatre Des Champs Elysees In Paris
Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres : Runway At The Theatre Des Champs Elysees In Paris
Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres : Runway At The Theatre Des Champs Elysees In Paris
Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres : Runway At The Theatre Des Champs Elysees In Paris
Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres : Runway At The Theatre Des Champs Elysees In Paris
Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres : Runway At The Theatre Des Champs Elysees In Paris
Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres : Runway At The Theatre Des Champs Elysees In Paris
Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres : Runway At The Theatre Des Champs Elysees In Paris
Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres : Runway At The Theatre Des Champs Elysees In Paris
Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres : Runway At The Theatre Des Champs Elysees In Paris
Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres : Runway At The Theatre Des Champs Elysees In Paris
Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres : Runway At The Theatre Des Champs Elysees In Paris
Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres : Runway At The Theatre Des Champs Elysees In Paris

 

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Grace Jones stuns in shimmery bodysuit closing Tommy x Zendaya show at Paris Fashion Week

Tommy Hilfiger’s fashion show in Paris was about as suped up as it gets. The American designer unveiled the highly anticipated Tommy x Zendaya collab tonight at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in front of model guests like Gigi Hadid and Tyra Banks. Starring an array of catwalk queens like Winnie Harlow, Halima Aden and Pat…
Fashion News, Photos, and Video | New York Post

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Stella Jean collaborates with Pinko for a more sustainable fashion world

Words by Cristiana Frunza

In 2018 Pinko initiatied the Treedom campaign, a project which allows people to plant a tree with a simple click. The goal behind the project was to give birth to the PINKO forest in Kenya which includes fruit trees like mango, banana, African cherry, avocado and macadamia. The PINKO forest allows to feed and support the local community in the area.

The project was extended when two ethical fashion brands, PINKO and Stella Jean came together. Known for years, Stella Jean has always been in the creation of a more sustainable fashion model through constant and concrete work.

The #StellaJeanPINKOtreedom collaboration released a capsule collection of five t-shirts designed by the Italo-Haitian stylist and produced by PINKO with special attention to sustainability. They revolve around these key issues: sustainability, reforestation, multiculturalism and international cooperation.

We all know being eco-friendly and living consciously is a must nowadays, so why not join the cause? Each piece is made from organic cotton and printed with watercolours. To connect the people with the PINKO forrest the illustrations, embroideries and motifs are all inspired by the Masai culture in Kenya. This gives a feeling of belonging, changing and supporting.

The t-shirts will be available from April.

The post Stella Jean collaborates with Pinko for a more sustainable fashion world appeared first on Marie Claire.

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The Very Serious Business Of Fashion

According to Bojack Horseman, Netflix’s horse headed misanthropist, “Time’s arrow neither stands still nor reverses. It merely marches forward.” Whether you think that time is marching towards progress or to the contrary, there’s no turning back now. There was a time when almost all industries were cottage industries, where sweaters were spun and sold in their own hometowns, and bread was baked on the same street that it was eaten. Then came industrialization and everything changed, what was once the trade of artisans and craftspeople became the role of big businesses and entrepreneurs. Supply rose, the cost of production declined, and consumer prices fell. So began the age of mass production. Oh no!, I hear you exclaim. The age of mass production, the production of accountants and bean counters, the age of the insatiable desire for profit. However, much like a good pair of trousers, things are rarely black or white, they’re often grey.

In this maelstrom of mass production, where do the cottage industries and the niche fashion brands of our age find themselves? Being small fish in a big pond, it can be difficult to make ripples or waves in an industry that thrives on attention, marketing budgets, and celebrity influencers. But sometimes it’s not about taking over an industry, sometimes it’s about quietly finding your corner of the market where it’s possible to take advantage of all the resources available to you, to build a successful business with very different aims and goals.

The effect of mass production on cottage industries has been historically varied, and the future for regional craftspersons is yet undetermined, but cottage industries, as wonderful as they were, haven’t always been picture perfect. They were usually limited, restricted, and isolated. They were often built on very specific specializations, based in increasingly historical contexts, and they weren’t known for being adaptable to the changing times. While you can still rely on the Isles of Harris to be colder than a polar bear’s nose, and by extension, reliably produce some densely woven woolen cloth from its hardy sheep, you can’t always expect consumer demand to support the island’s traditions (although thankfully there are some areas of the world where quality wins out). What you can expect is for times and tastes to change, fashions to come and go, and buying habits to alter. They say that time makes liars of good men, well it also makes redundant what does not sell.

 

 

In an Articles of Interest’s opening sequence, Avery Trufelman describes how the first software, the concept of binary computing, was applied to looms, those great, big, hefty machines used to produce fabrics. She explains how the role of the drawboy was to move and adjust the threads to create a woven pattern. That was until the introduction of punch cards, which became the intellectual property of fabric manufacturers and master weavers, whereby the punch cards encoded the weaving process, making the purpose of a drawboy redundant. This innovation and its consequential redundancies were seen as modernization, machines alleviating the physical and deleterious workload of human beings. It was more efficient, more accurate and more productive too. This is a theme that would repeat itself throughout the 20th century. Production needed to be centralized, specialized, and produce higher quantities at lower costs in order to be competitive, raise the real wealth of its consumers, and enfranchise the poorer classes.

We sometimes forget, but fashion, the very serious business of fashion, is, at the end of the day, an industry. While huge numbers can often be abstract or even darn right alienating, modern estimates peg it at a value of 3 trillion dollars worldwide, which equates to 2% of the world’s GDP. As such, it’s subject to the same economic forces and laws as any other industry, but those forces need not be negative for modern producers and consumers, they can also present opportunity. As American historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. pointed out, ‘Righteousness is easy in retrospect’ and it’s now, today, that we find ourselves at the end of a very long business cycle, one where the rules may have changed, suggesting that ‘Today – just might be – the best time in fashion’.

 

 

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Today is not the same proposition for cottage industries, designers, textile producers or clothes manufacturers as it once was at the beginning of the 20th century. Today presents new opportunities that weren’t available before the modern globalized infrastructure. Some of the things that were great back then are still great now, such as brushed Shetland sweaters. At the same time, Japanese denim was unlikely to have taken off without Toyota Motor Corporations’ Model G automatic selvage loom, sportswear without synthetics, and it’s worth considering where rainwear would be without the invention of gabardine, Ventile, or Gore-Tex.

The invention of these new materials, as well as the automation of the machines on which to craft them, wouldn’t have been possible without big businesses and their ability to take advantage of economies of scale. It’s still much the same today with major innovations coming from the top down. Companies such as Wrangler are pioneering more sustainable modes of production, a problem all too familiar with natural textiles and driven home in Derek’s article ‘Dying for Meaning’. Small cottage industries just aren’t in a position to invest large sums of money in R&D. Even collectives would struggle to justify attributing large percentages of their funds to discovering environmentally friendly production techniques. It takes large scale production to be able to absorb huge sums into small margins, but when it’s successful, it can have big implications, a benefit that extends to those within smaller, niche areas of the fashion industry.

It’s not just machines, intellectual property, or technically-advanced designed fabrics that the established fashion industry proffered into the collective fold of fashion production. It’s also responsible for nurturing the individuals at the forefront of fashion’s newest creations. Virgil Abloh of Off-White fame cut his teeth at Fendi long before starting his major hype brand. Ralph Lauren has long been an incubator for some of the biggest design names in fashion, Michael Bastian, Frank Muytjens, Todd Snyder, John Varvatos, and Antonio Ciongoli among them. The-interpreters of English tailoring classics, S.E.H Kelly, came to make the garments they do now by taking advantage of their connections to Saville Row. From high fashion to modern streetwear, and from tailoring classics to relaxed everyday garments, the fashion industry has helped to mold and shape the path of some of the more exciting modern brands. It continues to do so with projects such as the CFDA Fashion Fund, which brought to the fore designers such as Alexander Wang and Public School.

 

 

The New Era

Fashion is, however, a fickle mistress. Just as times changed for cottage industries of the early 20th century, for bespoke tailoring in the relaxing climes of the later 20th century, and for brick-and-mortar stores upon the mass adoption of the internet, times are slowly changing again for established players. Consumers used to shop based on quality, and they still do, but the overriding principle for the modern shopper is often price, which has encouraged a behavior of almost constant, never-ending sales paired with cost-cutting. Instead of offering one good thing that’s been made well, we have many things made to cover all possible consumer bases. This catch-all method of developing market share has dragged on for years, and its consequences are now starting to be felt in high-street balance sheets, with fast fashion retailers such as H&M holding unhealthy amounts of unsold stock from trends of years gone by, with ultimately no resale value. Much has already been said at Put This On about J. Crew’s inability to find its place in a polarising marketplace. In many ways, these companies are struggling because of their inflexibility. High-street companies are established and established businesses have established ways of doing things. They buy from certain fabric suppliers, they use certain factories for garment construction, they make their clothes in countries with favorable exchange rates and employee wages, and they use established distribution networks to deliver their products.

This globalized production model does indeed take advantage of David Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage, which allows fashion brands to use international production to reduce relative costs, and therefore reduce the price of the final product that lands on their shelves. However, these processes also must be run through the corporate mill, from signing off designs over six months in advance, approving fabrics, putting in large seasonal orders at factories, and then dealing with freight lead times. This is a long, drawn-out process that increases the risk of a product hitting or missing with an increasingly discerning consumer when it finally does appear. In their article asking whether apparel manufacturing is coming home, a team of writers at McKinsey recently questioned whether “speed-to-market and in-season reactivity are now more critical than ever to an apparel player’s success.” They also argue that “the industry is at a crossroads where speed beats marginal cost advantage,” and I’m inclined to agree. Modern consumers who want to be ‘on trend’ want to be on trend now and not in six months, while quality conscious consumers are beginning to consider environmental sustainability, ethics, and cost-per-wear metrics. If that comes with sick fades, a rich patina, or hand stitched finishes, all the better. Even Highsnobiety is questioning whether streetwear is hype without substance, and if the industry’s ‘drop model’ is a bubble destined to burst.

 

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Almost there.

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The Best Time for Niche Brands

What does this mean for niche designers, brands, and textile producers — those who focus on real quality or those with a coherent voice that resonates with their particular tribe of consumers? Well, as Jerry Evensky writes about Adam Smith, father of modern economics: “Smith believed that we can develop an informed image of the ideal by culling from the lessons of history the principles that lead to progress and thus inform that ideal. For Smith, the ideal is a limit, not achievable but approachable.” So, if brands are to learn from the lessons of the past and approach that ideal, they will need to take advantage of fashion’s technological advances, fashion’s intellectual property, and the establishment of modern logistics and distribution routes. It’s now, like a phoenix from the ashes, that cottage industries should be looking to take advantage of major industry players’ saturated positions and overinflated hype to advance themselves using the internet and direct-to=-consumer marketing, to reach an ever-growing market with the stories of their products, and to create some real connections with their customers.

Speaking to Paul of S.E.H. Kelly, purveyors of “that sleepy British look,” he describes the change as so: “Running a business like ours in the days before the web would have been quite different. I suppose, instead of a website we would’ve sent out catalogs every month, ran classifieds in relevant newspapers and magazines, and perhaps managed some sort of snail-mail list.” While no doubt this would have come with its own set of die-hard catalog collectors, I can’t help feeling that SEH Kelly’s website and Instagram now reach far more passionate followers, creating a larger community, which helps to bolster both S.E.H. Kelly’s business and that of the factories and clothmakers they collaborate with.

So, whether it’s taking advantage of off-season production to produce quality-made basics, using your Saville Row connections, or whether you, in the words of Nigel Cabourn, “create styles that have the quality to last and get better with age,” it looks like now, right now, might be the best time for niche fashion brands to take advantage of “the best time in fashion.” Just maybe not in brick-and-mortar stores at metropolitan centers. 

The post The Very Serious Business Of Fashion appeared first on Put This On.

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Fashion News Roundup: February 2019

Karl Lagerfeld passes away, a sustainable fashion and lifestyle brand from the BBC, the Met Museum’s new exhibition, and other style news that caught our attention in February.

Fun Fashion Fact

Did you know that back in the day modelling for a Paris couture house like Dior was an exclusive job? Each designer had their own select group of models, and each garment shown by the model would be made to her exact body measurements. Moreover, the model would receive a commission if the garment sold well.


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Karl Lagerfeld: Gone, but Not Forgotten at Paris Fashion Week

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

PARIS—“Sad. That’s how the Front Row feels about Karl Lagerfeld’s death,” said Paris-based fashion journalist Jessica Michault. “It’s the end of an era. The cutting of a cord. Lagerfeld so beautifully understood 20th century French fashion and brought it into the future.”

As Paris Fashion Week settles into its second full day, with big shows on Wednesday including Lanvin and Dries Van Noten, snap-happy fashionista posed at venue entrances across the city. Inside, the fashion world proper went about its business. Lagerfeld, who died just over a week ago aged 85, was never far from people’s minds.

“It was really sad in Milan on the day of the Fendi show,” added Michault, a former New York Times fashion journalist. The Fendi show took place two days after Lagerfeld died. He had been creative director of the house since 1965, as well as serving as creative director of Chanel for the last 36 years.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Swarovski, CFDA Part Ways for Fashion Awards

The CFDA Fashion Awards and Swarovski are parting ways after a 17-year run.
The two organizations won’t be partnering on the 2019 CFDA Fashion Awards, that takes place June 3. Swarovski has been the main sponsor of the industry event.
“After an incredible 17-year partnership on the CFDA Fashion Awards, the CFDA and Swarovski have decided to shift the scope of the relationship and work on other programs to support American fashion. We appreciate Swarovski’s tremendous support of American fashion and look forward to our continued work to support the fashion industry,” said Steven Kolb, president and chief executive officer of the CFDA.
Nadja Swarovski, member of the Swarovski executive board, said, “We are proud of our 17-year partnership with the CFDA Fashion Awards, including our support and recognition of 45 designers through the Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent and the Swarovski Award for Positive Change. Swarovski looks forward to continued support of the next generation of American talent through our diverse range of fashion support programs.”
In 2017, CFDA established the Swarovski Award for Positive Change, which honors an American individual in the fashion industry who has made an impact on American communities and improves the welfare of others through civic responsibility, philanthropy

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Pyer Moss And Other Luxury Black-Owned Labels Disrupting the World of Fashion

Several high-end fashion brands from Gucci to Prada to Burberry are under fire for selling racially-insensitive products that resemble blackface. Critics say this points to the need for more diversity in the fashion industry and larger support of black-owned fashion designers and the #buyblack movement at large. Investing and supporting brands made by people of color is one way to ensure that designs are culturally appropriate and may help to eliminate racism and racist imagery in fashion.

Here are four black-owned fashion labels disrupting the fashion industry and using their products to make an impact.

Pyer Moss

Kerby Jean-Raymond, the founder of the menswear label Pyer Moss, is one of the most talked about designers in fashion. He’s dressed Hollywood darlings like Tracee Ellis Ross and Issa Rae and won the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award in 2018, along with a $ 400,000 prize. However, his fashion career almost came to a halt in 2015 after he debuted the Pyer Moss spring/summer 2016 collection at New York Fashion Week. His provocative runway presentation incorporated real footage of police violence against African Americans, including the final minutes before Eric Garner was choked to death by police and a black person being run down by a police car.

“We were the first to bring Black Lives Matter to the runway,” Jean-Raymond told BLACK ENTERPRISE. “That was probably one of the most viral moments in fashion history.” At the time, “the plight of [being] black wasn’t being discussed, but the black body was being used to continue to promote luxury items. So, for us, it was a way to wake them up.”

Although many applauded the New York-born designer for taking a stance against police brutality, the controversial showcase nearly destroyed his company. “It cost me a lot. By doing that, I lost a lot of business,” he said. He lost partnerships and investors and wasn’t able to fully recover until 2017 when he was offered a deal to work with Rebook. Despite feeling like a “martyr,” today Jean-Raymond says he’s thankful that his brand helped pave the way for conscious fashion. “We’re grateful to be one of the leaders of that change.”

Last year, Jean-Raymond teamed up with Hennessy to create a capsule apparel line that honors the legacy of pro cyclist Marshall “Major” Taylor, one of the first African American international sports champions. The unsung athlete set multiple world racing records in the 1890s while overcoming racial bias. “He’s one of those world champion athletes like Jack Johnson who’s largely been omitted from the history book,” said Jean-Raymond.

 


Life On Autopilot

Christopher Tuning and Talib Graves-Mann launched Life On Autopilot (LOA) in 2016 after becoming frustrated with the lack of stylish solutions to protect their baseball caps while traveling. As a solution, they created a luxury luggage brand company that combines style with innovation and is designed specifically for trendsetters and tastemakers.

Their first product, the SkyCap, is a luxury cap carrier with an internal storage compartment. The premium leather carrier holds six baseball caps, while the interior is lined in suede and includes a zipper compartment, an underbelly zip pocket, and a custom snap hook. Tuning says the design was influenced by hip-hop, sports, and black culture.

In addition, LOA offers luggage items and travel accessories, like their First Class Backpack, which comes with a shoe compartment, two front zip pockets, and multiple interior pockets.

“I started off with very few resources and capital, says Tuning, who also serves as the brand’s CEO, in a statement. “I’ve found beauty in the struggle driven by a force of passion and perseverance that comes from knowing my ancestors didn’t have the opportunities I have today.”

According to Graves-Mann, shoppers frustrated with the lack of diversity in fashion should support companies like LOA, which are inspired and intended for the culture.

“It is important for our community to seek out and invest in luggage designers that reflect our community,” he told BE in an email. “Our products are of equal—if not higher quality—than many of the luxury brands in the marketplace. Each of our products are hand-made and also culture-made.”


Stevie Boi

Stevie Boi

Stevie Boi Premieres “M3TAL” Collection During NYFW FW19 (Courtesy of Access by NKC)

Stevie Boi has been disrupting the fashion world with his unique eyewear collections since he was thrust into the industry at the age of 19. His ornate eyewear, SBShades, have been flaunted by Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna. Like his sunglasses, Boi, himself, is known for his fierce and bold style as well as his androgynous looks. Meanwhile, in addition to being edgy and daring, his runway shows are known for being a platform that promotes diversity and being inclusive. “If you look at the people who’ve walked for me in all of my shows from the get-go, [they’re] all different sizes, colors, ethnicities, etc.,” he told BE minutes before his fall/winter 2019 collection made its debut at New York Fashion Week. “I include everybody.” Some of the models included transgender model Shauna Brooks, Love and Hip Hop: New York’s Bianca Bonnie, and TV personality Jose Ayala.

Despite his 10-year success in fashion, Boi says that SBshades grew in demand and in popularity years before it actually became lucrative. “The challenges started off when I was younger,” he admits. “I didn’t know what I was doing. I had a lot of people utilize my products and wear them on billboards and album covers…but I didn’t know how to turn it into income. So I went a good five years without making any income. I had a government job to support my business and that’s how I was able to stay afloat.”

 


McKenzie Liautaud Jewelry

Mckenzie Liautaud

Jewelry from Mckenzie Liautaud’s Voodoo collection (photo credit: Jayson Keeling)

New York native McKenzie Liautaud is a former model-turned-jewelry designer who creates timeless pieces with a purpose. Inspired by his Haitian roots and love of healing crystals, Liautaud’s upcoming Spring 2019 Collection, Voodoo, is dispelling the myths and stereotypes around the religion, which is largely practiced in Caribbean islands and parts of Africa. Liautaud believes in the magic of Voodoo and the power of precious gemstones such as rock crystals, pyrite, rose quartz, labradorite, and jade to attract love, luck, and prosperity.

His signature collections utilize delicate 14 karat cable chains, lustrous natural freshwater pearls mixed with assorted gems, and his signature star symbol. McKenzie Liautaud Jewelry has been flaunted by celebrities like Eva Longoria, Rosario Dawson, Shakira, and Will.I.AM. In addition to sending positive vibes, 10% of sales benefit New Story, a nonprofit charity dedicated to building sustainable homes for disaster victims around the world. He aims to raise $ 39,000 to help build six homes in Haiti. “I do this in honor of my parents who emigrated from Port-au-Prince to New York and raised six children in a happy, healthy, and safe home,” he said in a statement.

The post Pyer Moss And Other Luxury Black-Owned Labels Disrupting the World of Fashion appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air helped me find freedom in solitude and fashion

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air helped me find freedom in solitude and fashion


<em>The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air</em> helped me find freedom in solitude and fashion

February is Black History Month. Here, an HG contributor celebrates The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, one of the most prominent Black sitcoms of the ’90s, for how it made her a free spirit in her career, her style, and her way of life.

From the moment Will Smith stepped out of the yellow taxi cab and entered his new life in Bel-Air, it was obvious his transition would be anything but smooth sailing. With the exception of his younger cousin Ashley and his Aunt Vivian, no one seemed to embrace his colorful personality. The rest of his family didn’t understand him or the world he came from. In all honesty, they didn’t want to try to understand.

In the very first episode of the series, we already notice that Will speaks and dresses differently than everyone else. Soon, we also learn that he has a different perspective and different interests from almost everyone he meets in Bel-Air, too.

Will’s culture shock was essentially a reflection of my whole childhood.

While I was never uprooted from my urban, predominantly Black N.Y.C. neighborhood to live with my rich uncle in a predominantly white neighborhood, I always felt a deep connection to the struggles that Will encountered. He constantly tried to stay true to his identity while battling the expectations people had set for him based on his background. Within my own peer group,  I never really found my place. Then I enrolled in a predominantly white high school, and my struggle to find friends worsened.

I was always stuck somewhere between fitting in and standing out. And I hadn’t yet accepted that standing out always felt much more natural to me.


For the majority of my childhood I felt a dire need to do what everyone else was doing. Most children found pleasure in joining cliques and participating in “cool” extracurricular activities. I preferred being alone in a classroom during lunch and recess so I could listen to music. Time to myself was more important to me than time spent trying to fit in with others. Most girls danced and jumped Double Dutch after school, but I loved ceramics classes and poetry slams. I once joined the school dance team just to prove to myself that I could dance as well as my classmates and so that my parents would be happy—they always wanted me to do things they believed other girls my age should be doing.

But I had my own plans.

In the episode “Bang The Drum, Ashley,” Will’s penchant for self-expression quickly rubs off on his impressionable young cousin.

Ashley, the youngest member of the Banks clan, is the first person in the family with whom he truly bonds. Not long after meeting Will, she shares that she is unhappy with how her parents control her free time. Ashley has a packed schedule of extracurricular activities from violin lessons to tennis matches, and plenty of other activities that most 13-year-olds wouldn’t find remotely interesting. Will introduces her to the activities he enjoys, like rapping and playing the drums.

While Ashley doesn’t completely fall in love with the drums, she learns a vital lesson. For the first time in her life, she is able to tell her parents that she needs to do things that actually make her happy. The audience would never see a timid Ashley conform to her parents’ expectations again. Sure, her newfound freedom would get her in trouble sometimes (i.e. the Season 5 episode when she goes behind her parents’ backs and enrolls in public school). But it would also let her explore passions like singing.


If Will wasn’t inspiring other people to loosen up, his free spirit was evident in his style of dress.

When Will first enrolls in the all boys prep school, Bel-Air Academy, he is utterly disturbed by the stuffy uniforms that students have to wear. The thought of blending in drives him crazy. Will being Will, he flips the uniform’s navy blue blazer inside out, revealing a funky pattern and letting him feel more comfortable in a situation that forces him to be someone he isn’t. Soon, his willingness to stand out rubs off on others who copy his reversed jacket.

I always admired how Will used fashion to reflect his identity—even if it wasn’t the “appropriate” thing to do. From the moment Will showed up at the Banks’s residence in loud, brightly colored streetwear, he brightened the dull neighborhood of Bel-Air. When I was younger, what I really wanted to do was dress however my heart desired, just like Will did. But as an impressionable teen, it felt more important to keep up with the latest trends.

I remember sitting in my bedroom when I was 15 years old, feeling super unhappy because the clothes in my closet didn’t feel like mine. They were carbon copies of the people I thought I was supposed to look like. Desperate to break away from the crowd, I decided to revamp my clothes myself.

I distressed everything, and turned old jackets into cools vests by adding patches and cutting off sleeves. I even went so far as to teach myself DIY nail art and make my own clip-in hair extensions. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t have a rich uncle to bankroll my new fashion obsession—but it became a passion project instead. Eventually, like Will, I accepted that I was actually happiest when I could bring some flavor to my style—even if meant that my classmates raised their eyebrows at Mika 2.0.

But like Will in Fresh Prince, people soon embraced my uniqueness and wanted to emulate it.

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, which I learned as a 15-year-old trying to break out of a box I felt trapped in. When people were interested in my new style, I felt free—I had presented something different from the norm and, for the first time in my life, I could be proud of my differences—not embarrassed by them. Today, I still celebrate how my appearance exudes my personality. Whether I’m trying out bold makeup or wearing millions of prints, I feel my best when I’m not following trends.

When I embraced this freedom, I started uncovering parts of my identity that would essentially shape my adulthood. I started exploring my love of makeup and writing, which is now my career. Had I been focused on what everybody else—including my parents—wanted for me, I wouldn’t be the successful person that I am today.

In Fresh Prince, when Will was unapologetically himself, it often got him further than any of the other characters. Now, I feel the same way about my own life.

The post <em>The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air</em> helped me find freedom in solitude and fashion appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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Straight Copying: How Gay Fashion Goes Mainstream

When J. Crew debuted their Liquor Store ten years ago, they transformed an after-hours watering hole into a menswear-only boutique laden with 1960s-era references to traditional masculinity. Dimly lit rooms were covered in plush leather chairs, oriental rugs, and wood paneling. In the corner of one area, a bookshelf was stacked with Strand-issued classics — Kerouac, Hemingway, and Cheever among them. Thick cashmere cardigans were draped over Globetrotter suitcases; striped rep ties rolled into lowball glasses. In another area, J. Crew showcased their collection of Red Wing heritage work boots. Once made for loggers, carpenters, and longshoreman, the preppy clothier has since helped mainstream these blue-collar styles into white-collar offices.

A few years ago, I had the chance to interview Frank Muytjens, then the head of menswear design at J. Crew. We talked about his design process, his love for vintage, and how he chooses which third-party brands get included in J. Crew’s much-revered “In Good Company” section, which is where many American men first get introduced to storied names such as Barbour and Alden. When it came to Red Wing, Muytjens said plainly: “I saw them in Chelsea.” Chelsea, for those unaware, is Manhattan’s art district. It’s home to expensive art galleries, hip rooftop bars, and one of the city’s largest LGBTQ communities. Muytjens continued: “Red Wings were popular with lesbians there. I just loved how they wore them with slim jeans and plaid flannel shirts, so I helped to bring the brand into J. Crew.”

Anna Pulley, the author of The Lesbian Sex Haiku Book (with Cats!), says about as much in the opening of Articles of Interest’s second podcast episode. When she moved from the Midwest to San Francisco, she didn’t know who to hit on anymore because the language of unspoken dress codes had changed. Where Pulley’s from, some women style their plaid flannels in a way to show they’re part of a group, but in San Francisco, where every office looks like a sawmill, they’re just part of a middle-class uniform. “Midwestern queer culture is extremely different from Bay Area queer culture, and one of the things that stood out to me was the difference in fashion,” she says. “Flannel was one way to signify, like, I exist.” Now when she sees someone wearing a plaid flannel shirt, she wonders if they’re a bike messenger.

 

 

The Dress Codes of a Subcultural Habitat

The urban lumberjack uniform took off in the early 2000s thanks in part to hipster culture. Although it’s often billed as a classic, it’s really a new invention. The pieces are generally timeless, but they come together in a way that shows the fit and styling are more about broadcasting identity than performing manual labor. At some point, the look was picked up by a segment of the LGBTQ community, where it took on new meaning. And it was through that community that a J. Crew designer fell in love with how an old boot style could be worn in new ways.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. The border between the queer community and popular fashion is porous. The first will often take things from broader culture, remix it, and make something their own. Then the more general public will adopt a look once it’s reintroduced as fashionable (and then, the original in-group meaning is lost). The urban lumberjack look is also one of the many examples of how gay men and lesbians have used clothing as a way to navigate a challenging world. To be sure, people from all backgrounds use fashion to try on different identities, explore their sexualities, find community, and announce their orientation, but clothing is even more critical for people in the LGBTQ community.

“The illegality of homosexuality and the moral disapproval it attracted forced gay men and lesbians to live virtually invisible lives in Britain, North America, and much of the world,” writes Shaun Cole, an Associate Professor in Fashion at Winchester School of Art and author of Don We Now Our Gay Apparel. “Up until the gay liberation movement of the late 1960s, the most important criterion of public dress, for the mass of gay men and lesbians, was to be able to ‘pass’ as heterosexual. Despite this need, many were aware of the dress codes and items that could be used to signal sexual orientation.”

These signals were often so subtle, they passed undetected by outsiders. Baffled by how gay men were able to find each other, early researchers even hypothesized there was something such as a “homosexual sixth sense.” In reality, people wore their identity on their sleeve through symbols that were softly coded into style accessories. During the Oscar Wilde trial of the 1890s, gay men wore a green carnation in their lapel’s buttonhole, which was a queer signal they adopted from “rent boys” plying their trade in London’s Piccadilly Circus. At the turn of the 20th century, the signal was sent through white gloves and pinkie rings. In the interwar years, particularly in New York City, it was a red tie (something George Chauncey documented in his book Gay New York). J. C. Leyendecker, the most preeminent of menswear illustrators and a gay man, excelled at depicting men in intimate spaces exchanging knowing glances and striking curious poses. In one of the illustrations above, you can see one of the men wearing a narrow, red silk tie, which probably went unnoticed by Leyendecker’s employers (he drew for newspapers, manufacturers, and even the US Army).

For a while, light blue socks were the symbol of homosexuality in England. Then it was green cravats in France. One of the most internationally used and enduring signifiers of homosexuality is pointy suede shoes, which was so well-known to the public in 1960s England, wearing a pair could raise suspicions. As Max Mosher wrote in “Out of the Closet,” these coded accessories were a “quiet wink at the initiated in the same way an offhand reference to Judy Garland could determine whether a stranger was a fellow ‘friend of Dorothy.’”

 

 

Not everyone was with the program, however. For one, many of these signals were pegged to the more effeminate interpretations of what it means to be a gay man — associations that have held firm since the outing of Oscar Wilde, who was known for being witty, effeminate, and boldly dressed. “Pansy, nellie, swish, queen: the fairy went by many names, but one thing universally acknowledged was that he wasn’t a ‘real man,’” writes Mosher. “Sexual theories of the time suggested that homosexuals were women in men’s bodies, unnaturally devoid of masculinity. But the easily recognizable identity proved useful for lonely men desperate to find each other. Gay men flocked to the stereotype like fairies to a flame. [Later], masculine gays felt alienated from an identity that didn’t represent them; early queer activists worried that the fairy stereotype gave the community a bad name.”

In many marginalized communities, there’s a running tension between those who think they should quietly assimilate and those who want to proclaim their identity to the world proudly. In the LGBTQ community, this tension came to a head during the Stonewall Riots, which were a series of protests against police raids at a popular Greenwich Village bar. The riots were violent, eventually ending with patrons burning down the watering hole, but the protests were also a watershed moment for the gay liberation movement. No longer would people quietly endure the stigma associated with their sexual and gender identities. Shame was replaced with a newfound sense of pride, and accommodationist goals were abandoned.

For gay men, reaching into their closet was one of the ways for them to come out of it. Fashion during this time was bolder, brasher, and unapologetic. Taking inspiration from transgender sex workers, some adopted what became known as “radical drag,” which blurred the line between masculine and feminine by combining the more extreme symbols of both. Gold lamé dresses were worn with work boots, pink tutus were paired with army jackets, and bearded faces were caked with make-up. “Taken off the stage and put on the street, what was once a camp performance became a political act, questioning what, if anything, gender meant,” Mosher explains. “By the ’70s, entire outfits were shouting, ‘We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it!’”

Radical drag never really crossed over into popular culture, mostly because it was too extreme, but it introduced a new kind of “genderfucking” that made people think about how they could “fuck with” traditional norms of gender identity, gender roles, and gender presentation. Those ideas would later be carried forward through the 1970s and ’80s punk movements. The New York Dolls, for example, was an influential protopunk band that performed in feminine dresses, long hair, and glitter-glam make-up. Their first two albums would later have a big influence on groups such as The Sex Pistols, Kiss, the Ramones, Guns N’ Roses, and the Smiths.

 

 

The Crossover Moments

Queer culture sometimes influences fashion in indirect ways. The dark, avant-garde designer Rick Owens, for instance, has looked to the more extreme edges of performance art, where he’s taken inspiration from the “purposefully surreal, absurdist and unsettling physical disposition of David Hoyle and Christeene Vale.” Other times, the lifting is more direct. Over the last hundred years, mainstream culture has siphoned from perfumed dandies, dillys, scallies, the new romantics, and fierce voguing divas.

Before Madonna released her 1990s hit single “Vogue,” which today endures as the fashion industry’s unofficial anthem, the original vogue queens were people in Harlem’s “House Ball” community. During the ’80s, people would “walk,” dance, and emulate other genders to compete for trophies at various drag balls. In the LBGTQ documentary Paris is Burning, one performer said: “Those balls are more or less our fantasy of being a superstar, like at the Oscars or being a runway on the model. A lot of those kids don’t have two of nothing. Some of them don’t even eat, they come to the balls starving. They sleep at Under 21 or the piers; they don’t have a home to go to. But they’ll go out and steal something to get dressed to go to the ball for that one night.” Just a couple of years after that scene was filmed, dancers introduced Madonna to the concept of “vogueing” at The Sound Factory Bar. She then used the concept for one of her most famous songs, imitating people who dreamt of one day being like her, as well as mainstreaming the dance style into popular culture.

One of the best examples of crossover is “The Clone Look.” During the 1970s, journalist Frances Fitzgerald combed through some of San Francisco’s gay neighborhoods to write about LGBTQ culture. One of the things she noticed is how everyone seemed to dress the same. “The Castroids,” she wrote of the people living on and around Castro Street, “were dressing with the care of Edwardian dandies, only the look was cowboy or bush pilot: tight blue jeans, plaid shirts, leather vests or bomber jackets, and boots. The new look was ‘gender-eccentricity.’”

Men who grew up thinking that being gay necessarily meant being effeminate found new representation through the traditional icons of manhood: the cowboy, the construction worker, the mechanic, the sailor, and the lumberjack. Whether they were in heavy denim and leather, athletic shorts and knee-high socks, a bushy handlebar mustache always completed the look. According to Cole, “gay men realized that it was fine to be overly masculine […] that sex and sexual freedom were something that they could freely embrace.”

 

 

While these styles aped straight culture, they were very much a gay aesthetic. “In the 1970s, gays were much more visible and less concerned about being recognized as gay,” writes Mosher. “Clones had taken the look of the working-class male and sexualized it, emphasizing muscles through tight t-shirts, and shapely buttocks through deliberately shrunken jeans. The clone look was, in fact, a deconstruction of the traditional male, a kind of ‘butch drag.’ By dressing like ‘real men,’ clones had discovered that masculinity was a performance with costumes no less contrived than the fairy’s tailored suits or the radical drag queens’ gowns. The clone look, the first style to say it was okay to be both gay and masculine, may have encouraged thousands of men to come out.”

If the look seems familiar, it’s because it would later find crossover success in the subsequent decade. The popularity of a brawny, mustachioed Tom Selleck in “Magnum PI” convinced straight men that they could have the same magnetism if they just wore slim jeans, a low-buttoned hibiscus print shirt, and a bushy mustache. “The clone look went mainstream in the ’80s, adopted by heterosexuals who apparently missed the irony of straight men dressing like gay men dressing like straight men. This, of course, killed the look for many gays.”

Today, many of these looks overlap. Gay and straight styles have intermingled through close association in bars and clubs. Craig Green, who won last year’s British Designer of the Year award, went to school at the famous Central Saint Martins to study fashion. For his senior dissertation, he wrote about how straight men copy gay style subcultures. “When I was younger, what I thought of as a very gay look was really a metrosexual thing, a bit Italian, clothes a tiny bit too tight, skinny jeans, tanned, tight T-shirt, worked out,” he told The Guardian. “Most of the men who dressed like that were straight. Gay men all seemed to be growing beards, too. It was a less specific time. You couldn’t really tell who was who anymore. Have we come to a melting point?”

Maybe there are still subtle style signals the rest of us are missing.

The post Straight Copying: How Gay Fashion Goes Mainstream appeared first on Put This On.

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The best moments from Milan Fashion Week 2019

Arrivederci, Milano! A look at six standout moments from Italy’s fashion city Best tribute Just two days after fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 85, Fendi held its fall 2019 show featuring his last collection for the house. Lagerfeld was celebrated everywhere, from the “Love Karl” sketched above…
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