05:37 AM, 25 April 20170 comments
Amber Heard and Elon Musk Make Their Relationship Instagram Official
Amber Heard and Elon Musk are getting close down under.
In a series of paparazzi photos, the duo are seen zip lining in Gold Coast, Queensland. The actress is currently in Australia to film Aquaman, in which she stars opposite Jason Momoa.
Heard, 31, and Musk, 45, both took to their Instagram accounts to post a photo that showed the billionaire and Tesla CEO with a lipstick kiss-mark left visibly on his cheek. "Cheeky," captioned Heard. According to Musk, they were sharing a meal with Aquaman director James Wan and film producer Rob Cowan at Moo Moo restaurant.
Heard and Musk were seen out and about together last year following their divorces from Johnny Depp and Westworld's Talulah Riley, respectively. Musk also has five sons from his previous marriage with author Justine Musk.
Musk had apparently been interested in meeting Heard years ago, when he nearly met the actress while he was doing a cameo in Robert Rodriguez's 2013 movie Machete Kills. (Heard starred as Miss San Antonio in the action film.) A source told The Hollywood Reporter that he would send emails to Rodriguez and others to set up a meeting with Heard.
Looks like those emails worked out, after all.
06:00 AM, 21 April 20170 comments
Artist Richard Prince Claims Instagram Artworks Covered by Fair Use
On the heels of Beyonce’s legal team claiming fair use in the copyright infringement lawsuit filed against the singer over her hit song “Formation,” artist Richard Prince is relying on the same defense in the latest copyright suit filed against him. Prince – a well-known “appropriation artist – was slapped with a couple of copyright infringement suits last year in connection with his “New Portraits” show, which consisted of photos of others’ Instagram postings with some minor additions from Prince.
In the first of the suits, which Los Angeles-based photographer Donald Graham filed against Prince in a New York federal court in January 2016, Graham alleges that Prince infringed the copyright in his photo, Rastafarian Smoking a Joint, “a somber black and white portrait capturing a Rastafarian man in the act of lighting a marijuana cigarette” by including it in his “New Portraits” show.
Graham further alleged that the differences between his original photograph and Prince’s subsequent print are minimal: Prince “minorly cropped” the top and bottom slightly and framed the photograph with the design elements of Instagram, including four lines of text comments. The dimensions are almost the same: Graham has a limited edition print available at 4 feet by 5 feet; Prince’s work is 4 feet ¾ inches by 5 feet 5 ¾ inches.
In asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to toss out the case, Prince’s legal counsel has argued that the artist’s use of Graham’s photo amounts to fair use, thereby shielding him from copyright infringement claims.
Prince’s lawyers rely on a 2013 ruling from the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which held that Prince was protected by fair use, a defense to copyright infringement based on the notion that a work derived from a previously copyrighted work may be transformed to the point that the copyrights stemming from the original work are not violated by the subsequent work. The Second Circuit found that Prince largely did not violate photographer Patrick Cariou's copyrights in using his photos, as Prince's works were different enough from the originals, even though they were clearly based on prior works of Cariou. Prince altered and incorporated several of Cariou's photographs for a collection of his own, entitled "Canal Zone."
In that case, the Second Circuit overturned the lower court's ruling, which found that Prince's art was lacking the necessary commentary on Cariou's work to be considered fair use.
Prince’s motion to dismiss comes after his legal team filed a response to the plaintiff’s lawsuit (in a legal document referred to as an answer), “blasting [Graham’s suit] as an attempt to ‘essentially re-litigate’ his controversial fair use victory against [Cariou].” Prince's attorney, Joshua Schiller, of Manhattan firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner, argued in the answer that the court should rely on that case, and find that Prince’s current work is similarly transformative, and as a result, such work should be protected under the "fair use" provisions of copyright law.
Schiller further argues that because the central meaning of Prince’s work is firmly based on the use of social media, it is not merely an appropriation of Graham's photograph. He also suggests that the work should be protected because it does not affect the market for Graham's output, which is one factor in legal test for determining fair use.
In the other copyright infringement suit against Prince stemming from the “New Portraits” show, commercial, editorial and fine art photographer, Eric McNatt, claims that Prince made an infringing derivative copy of his portrait of Sonic Youth front woman, Kim Gordon, and is therefore, on the hook for copyright infringement.
06:02 AM, 19 April 20170 comments
Some Hong Kong fashion and lifestyle retailers are closing because of dwindling sales but others are trying experimental business models. Popular flash sale retailer On The List banks on in its pricing to lure shoppers.
Launched in January 2016, its pop-up sales offer clothing, accessories and lifestyle goods from well-known brands at heavy discounts. A year on, the company has just invested in its first permanent showroom in Central, which will host weekly sales for its growing list of members.
The company was founded by two former retail executives Delphine Lefay and Diego Dultzin Lacoste, who noticed a lack of options for brands looking to dispose of excess stock.
“Excess inventory is problematic. Yes, you have brand-run outlets or malls like Citygate but these are usually very big, and appeal to tourists who are looking for specific items such as logos. The stock is also extremely old while discounts aren’t that competitive. We view ourselves as complementary to these existing models,” says Dultzin.
While flash sale retailers in Europe and America tend to exist solely online, the duo decided to break with tradition and go bricks and mortar. They tested their concept by hosting a series of four-day pop-up sales at prime locations in the city including PMQ or the Fringe Club. Instead of focusing solely on luxury, they approached popular labels in the contemporary and mass market sectors such as ready-to-wear brands ba&sh, Karen Millen, and Ted Baker, as well as lifestyle companies including ghd, Watson’s Wine and Moleskine.
“Initially we were too young for big brands to come to us so we focused on any brand that is desirable,” says Lefay. “Our members may own a nice pair of shoes from Santoni but they also own flip-flops from Havaianas or a jacket from Reiss. The modern customer, mixes and matches so we thought it would be good to mix product categories, price and positioning.”
On The List events are members-only and a personalised barcode is used to access the sales venue. A team of up to 50 staff ensure that crowds are kept to a minimum and that everything runs smoothly.
It wasn’t long before the big players such as Armani, Vilebrequin and Roberto Cavalli came calling, and the company increased its sales frequency from monthly to weekly in October (since inception it has held more than 30 events). Earlier this year it started looking for a permanent venue before finally settling on a 7,000 sq ft space in the basement of an office building in Central.
“Getting the trust of brands was the biggest challenge. Convincing them that you can do the operations and still bring value in terms of stock is hard,” says Lefay. “Now they are convinced because we offer them a solution which includes a venue, publicity and a database that is different to theirs. For Hong Kong people it’s a new concept and out of the box. It’s a way for them to discover a brand, and even if they are buying at discount, hopefully it builds loyalty,” she says.
05:36 AM, 17 April 20170 comments
Karina Akhmadikina, Thomas Klocanas
Karina Vadimova Akhmadikina, a daughter of Farida H. Batyrova and Vadim N. Akhmadikin of Houston was married April 11 to Thomas Michel-Théodore Klocanas, a son of Benedicte C. Brouder of San Diego and Philippe D. Klocanas of Paris. Angel L. Lopez, a staff member in the office of the City Clerk, officiated at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau.
The bride and groom graduated from Bocconi University in Milan, and each received a master’s degree in management from HEC Paris.
Mrs. Klocanas, 25, works in New York as a fashion and luxury industry analyst for Barclays Investment Bank.
The bride’s father is a business development manager at Halliburton, the oil field service company based in Houston. Her mother is a Russian language teacher at Masha Russian Academy, a day care for children in Sugar Land, Tex.
The groom, 26, is pursuing an M.B.A. at Columbia. Until December, he was a financial services analyst at Barclays Investment Bank in London.
The groom’s mother runs the middle school division at the San Diego French-American School. His father is a partner in the Weinberg Capital Partners fund in Paris.
The couple met in March 2011 at a fashion blogger’s birthday party in Milan.
05:33 AM, 14 April 20170 comments
Target’s newest Kids’ apparel and accessories brand, is in session! The trendy line is all about encouraging kids to express themselves through what they’re wearing, just like an actual art class.
The line kicked off with a limited-edition collection called The Class of 2017, which was co-designed by a group of 10 notable kids whose interests range from singing and dancing to cooking and surfing, and are known for their creativity and ingenuity.
The Class of 2017 includes 13-year-old YouTube sensation and singer Johnny Orlando, 14-year-old tech guru Mercer Henderson and 7-year-old model, actress and globally-recognized young fashionista Haileigh Vasquez, among others.
With most items under $20, the spring assortment features edgier and expressive everyday apparel for kids including jersey dresses, joggers, tropical-printed track jackets and tie-dye denim.
We had the oportunity to contact Haileigh Vasquez, and this is what the Dominican-American fashion designer said about this exciting experience.
Latin Times: What sparked your interest in fashion?
Haileigh Vasquez: I started modeling as a baby. My parents discovered my love for fashion when I took my first steps chasing after a purse. Now, I’m really into being creative, so I draw all the time and even cut and stitch different colored and patterned fabrics together.
LT: Why did you decide to collaborate as a fashion designer for Target? When and how did Target contact you to be part of The Class of 2017?
HV: Target reached out to me last summer to share its plans for Art Class and see if I’d like to participate as part of The Class of 2017.
LT: What is your favorite part about being a fashion designer? What role did you play in the design of the collection?
HV: Honestly, I love everything about being a fashion designer. It was so much fun to touch and see the different fabrics of the Art Class collection. I also really enjoyed being involved in every part from sketching to last minute touches. It means so much to me to be able to see my ideas come to life!
I worked with Target’s design team at their headquarters in Minneapolis to co-design two pieces in this collection, and also shared my feedback on the other items that they created for Art Class. I loved working with Target. I think it’s awesome that they’re listening to kids and letting us be part of the design process for this new fashion line.
LT: How do you define your creative process?
HV: I would describe my creative process as magic! When I see a color or style I like, it’s almost as if a fashion alarm goes off in my head alerting me that something amazing is about to come to life.
05:41 AM, 12 April 20170 comments
British Columbia Amends Law to Prohibit Employers from Forcing High Heels on the Job
Until very recently, some companies in British Columbia were legally permitted to force women to wear high heels at work. Not anymore. A recent amendment to the Canadian province’s 1996 Workers Compensation Act has outlawed the practice in an effort to ensure that workplace footwear is of “optimum safety to the employee,” with factors including slipping, tripping, potential for musculoskeletal injury and temperature extremes all taken into account.
The premier of the province, Christy Clark, announced the amendment on Friday, stating: “In some workplaces in our province, women are required to wear high heels on the job. Like most British Columbians, our government thinks this is wrong.” She continued on to note that the high heel requirement was “dangerous and discriminatory” and that “there is a risk of physical injury from slipping or falling, as well as possible damage to the feet, legs and back from prolonged wearing of high heels while at work.”
The province’s labor minister, Shirley Bond, echoed this noting, saying: “I expect employers to recognize this very clear signal that forcing someone to wear high heels at work is unacceptable.” The amendment comes a month after 25 restaurant chains in Ontario stopped forcing female employees to wear heels and short skirts as part of their uniform.
Law in the UK
Meanwhile in the United Kingdom, British Parliament members recently reviewed legislation in connection with “sexist workplace dress codes,” including jobs that require women to wear high heels after receptionist Nicola Thorp launched a petition, asking Parliament to review such legislation.
The petition, which Thorp started after she was sent home for work on more than one occasion for refusing to wear shoes with a 2- to 4-inch heel, surpassed the requirement of 100,000-signatures, which are needed before Parliament will consider a petition for debate. "There is no written statutory law that deals with dress codes per se," Anna Birtwistle, a partner at employment firm CM Murray in London told Fortune last year.
Employers generally have the right to enforce dress codes at work if it represents a "reasonable request," she told Fortune. Whether or not a dress code is discriminatory against women or other protected classes depends entirely by court-made law in the UK, and such determinations are based entirely on how a certain dress code relates to a worker's ability to do his/her specific job.
In connection with Thorp's petition, British MPs said that laws banning sexist dress codes at work must be more readily enforced. "The government has said that the dress code imposed on Thorp was unlawful—but the Committees heard that requirements for women to wear high heels at work remain widespread," the parliamentary committees for Petitions and for Women and Equalities said in a joint response in January.
Helen Jones, chair of the Petitions Committee, said: "It's not enough for the law to be clear in principle—it must also work in practice. The government has said that the way that Nicola Thorp was treated by her employer is against the law, but that didn’t stop her being sent home from work without pay."
In the United States
Finally in the U.S., it is not illegal to require women to wear heels on the job, per say. While on-the-job uniform requirements are permissible, they will likely afoul of the law if there are specific policies that segregate garments and accessories requirements based on gender. Federal law in the U.S., including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, allows for different rules depending on an individual's gender as long as the policies do not burden men or women unequally or constitute discrimination on the basis of sex stereotype.
In New York, in particular, the New York City Commission on Human Rights announced new guidelines last year that expressly prohibited “enforcing dress codes, uniforms, and grooming standards that impose different requirements based on sex or gender.” As noted by the New York Times' Vanessa Friedman, this means that "no employer may require men to wear ties unless they also require women to wear ties, or ask that heels be worn unless both sexes have to wear them. And though this applies only to 'official' dress codes, the trickle-down effect is inevitable."
05:37 AM, 10 April 20170 comments
Zero Space to Create Ethical Fashion To Benefit Consumers, Environment & Fashion Companies
Zero Space a small fashion startup in South Korea, is headed towards ethical fashion in order to render awareness about environment caused by fashion companies. The company is taking a strict step over the waste thrown each day by the fashion companies. This is the first time any fashion company has step forward to protect the environment.
The CEO of Zero Space Shin Yun-ye stated that they throw out 22 tons day which is around 8,000 tons a year. Her company is a small fashion startup nestled between the factories in Changsin-dong. As reported by Korea Herald, Zero Space is working to produce high-quality clothing and home products that create as little waste as possible.
Shin was a finalist of beauty content and she is also a fine artist by training. She first came to Changshin-dong in 2011 as a volunteer to run a large corporation for underprivileged children. She stated that the has realized that simply running an arts program funded by the corporation was not the best way to solve the problems that people are facing due to fashion companies.
She stated that she thought about various options that they could use art to change real life hardships through Zero Space. While working with the locals, she has come across a new problem that is very dangerous to the environment. Each day, when the motorcycles were fully loaded with finished products, the factories throw away their leftover fabric.
But soon, she has managed to use the leftover fabric with a simple yet creative idea. Along with the apparels, Zero Space started manufacturing products too. The products like cushions and pouches stuff with leftover fabric. They started a conversation about the fast moving fashion cycle with the locals and the community even offered them a superficial approach towards their creative idea.
Zero Space started manufacturing fashion products for branded e-stores like Common Ground and many other offline shops. Since then the company has sold over 5,000 pieces and the revenue from consumer sales have grown from $28,000 to $153,000.
05:07 AM, 6 April 20170 comments
how traditional Korean dress influences today’s street-style and casual-wear designers
In South Korea, one of the most enduring influences on fashion design is the traditional hanbok. Long before Chanel presented a Korean-dynasty-inspired cruise collection in Seoul in 2015, Korean designers had played with different ideas for modernising the traditional national dress.
Veteran designers such as Lie Sang Bong have made use of traditional Korean fabric arts, including silk quilting techniques found on bojagi, Korean “wrapping cloths”, while the otherworldly creations of late designer Andre Kim often featured traditional patterns and an endless array of shimmering brocade. Seeing his collections on the catwalk made you feel like you were watching a futuristic Korean opera while floating in space.
The popularity of historical Korean dramas such Jewel in The Palace and Moon Embracing The Sun has contributed to a resurgence in the popularity of traditional wear among Koreans, while in everyday life the hanbok is often worn on important cultural days or at family events, such as weddings and first birthdays.
On the streets of Anguk and Insadong, popular hanok (traditional Korean house) neighbourhoods of Seoul, young Koreans and tourists alike can often be seen in borrowed hanboks, rented by the hour from local shops. Most of them wear bright, vibrant colours in deep reds, purple, gold, or bright pink – colours traditionally worn by Korean royalty. Muted greys and pastels were worn by commoners and peasants, depending on marital status and age; black and white hanboks are rarely worn because of the colours’ association with death.
On the subways and streets of Seoul older women can often be seen wearing tent-shaped silk dresses – inspired by the garb of the Joseon dynasty that ruled the Korean peninsula for five centuries – that keep the wearer cool in the heat of summer or sporting boxy cotton-filled coats made from Korean jacquard with woven patterns featuring flowers such as the chrysanthemum and cherry blossoms.
And last week, while models paraded autumn-winter 2017 collections at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, on the streets of Seoul a group of Indonesian tourists had finished off their hanbok looks with hijabs, while young Korean women could be seen in full or partial hanboks; modernised versions of the jeogori – the upper part of the hanbok – can be bought at shops and markets, to be worn with dresses, jeans and other looks. At fashion week, there were some new takes on traditional clothing, and the hanbok’s influence could be seen in casual-wear and even street-style collections.
At The Kam’s “Wear Grey” concept show, held in collaboration with four other sustainable-fashion designers, lilac lace embroidered with traditional floral patterns was layered over other fabrics, while chest-level ruffle details on a satin dress emulated the top of the chima, or skirt, of a hanbok.
“The collection features different aspects of the hanbok’s tie or collar,” said Seonju Kam, director of The Kam, of the long neck sash featured in a few looks. “I think the grey tones of this collection are reminiscent of the late Joseon dynasty.”
Dgnak, a brand led by Kang Dong-jun, one of Korea’s more eccentric designers, has in the past married traditional Korean silhouettes with all-black street-style looks. Kang often has local underground hip hop groups perform and walk in his shows. This season, he conjured visions from 1993 Hong Kong martial arts film The Bride With White Hair; models with whitened hair and wearing silvery contact lenses paraded down the catwalk in black hanbok-inspired robes and coats amid the fog from a smoke machine.
Near the end of his show, Yohan Kim, of Yohanix, featured a series of shiny brocade coats in pink and navy, lime-green and navy, and violet and green, featuring cherry blossom and other floral patterns. Such materials and patterns are usually worn by older generations of Koreans; it was interesting to see the look reinvented for a youthful audience.
Miss Gee Collection, designed by Gee Chun-hee, caters mostly to older women and offered a take on an old classic too. The tailored, feminine womenswear collection featured a black satin two-piece suit with floral patterns, as well as a topcoat featuring the same patterns along with a fur-rimmed collar.
Injoo Lee at Moon Lee Artwear had a fun, youthful twist on traditional silhouettes and colours. Lee, who is known for combining traditional materials with modern pattern cutting techniques, showed a playful series of looks, including velvet goreum sashes and an array of billowing gem-toned chima-like bottoms.
08:57 AM, 4 April 20170 comments
A Sneak Peek at Chanel’s Red Slouch Boots, Christian Louboutin’s Lead Role and More News From Paris
The Nineties redux continues apace. Cult skate brand Airwalk is relaunching its Classics collection and has chosen Paris’ Colette concept store for the worldwide debut. “We are incredibly excited to be the first store to relaunch the Airwalk Classics collection,” says Colette creative director Sarah Andelman. Check out the week-long Airwalk installation in Colette’s famous Rue Saint-Honoré storefront window starting Monday at colette
ON SET WITH CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN: The shoe supremo is full of surprises. Along with gallerist Thaddaeus Ropac and photographer Ali Mahdavi, Louboutin is appearing in “Alien Crystal Palace,” an independent film directed by French artist Arielle Dombasle. Despite the name, it’s suitably cerebral. Dombasle is married to the philosopher Bernard Henri-Lévy, after all.
On Friday, she shot a scene bang in the middle of a party hosted by interior architect Vincent Darré (the film’s art director), which involved the trio working their way through the throng of guests, flanked by cloaked, hooded figures wearing gold masks. “It’s an impossible love story, and that scene is about the metaphoric forces that lead people — fortune, crime and civilization. That’s all I can say,” the director told us, continuing that Ropac represents civilization, Mahdavi crime, and Louboutin symbolizes fortune. But of course. “We’ve been friends since forever,” she said, “and I always put my friends in my movies.”
I SHOULD COCO: We’ve already seen Chanel’s fall 2017 show shoes — those glitter boots in all manner of sparkly iridescent shades — but here’s a sneak peek at Act 1, the commercial collection. 2017 is all about celebrating the house’s founder, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, so footwear designer Laurence Dacade has created a covetable take on the slouch boot that is set to dominate our shoe-drobes come fall.
This red suede number features the house signature bi-color toe done in contrast black satin and comes daubed with the name of the house’s founding doyenne. A new signature piece if ever we saw one.
08:52 AM, 31 March 20170 comments
H&M Works on Gaining Speed, Launches New Brand
After years of hectic expansion across the world, Swedish fast fashion giant H&M's profitability has faltered as Inditex (parent to Zara), Fast Retailing's Uniqlo and online specialists, such as ASOS, have gained an edge in "fast fashion.” By turning over more new styles each year and having production closer to customers, they can quickly boost supplies of best-selling items.
H&M's supply chain lead times are around double those of Inditex, according to a report this month by Goldman Sachs, which recommended that investors "sell" H&M shares. The company’s Chief Executive Karl-Johan Persson conceded that its supply chain practices had remained the same while the world had changed. H&M would "definitely" move some production closer to end-markets while keeping an eye on profitability.
"Some is about moving to Europe as well, it could be Turkey or other countries in Europe, in order to get faster deliveries to Europe," he said. The company would also seek more flexibility with suppliers so it needs lower inventories and boost spending to make the supply chain more flexible.
H&M has seen competition and price pressure in its budget ranges increase from rivals such as Britain's Primark, which recently entered H&M's biggest market Germany. H&M is also branching out to reach a broader customer base and cut exposure to the budget segment. On Thursday it announced a new chain of stores, ARKET, with a slightly higher price range than its core budget H&M brand. The new chain would also sell brands made by third parties.
But H&M has a dilemma – the need to compete on price means four fifths of its production is in Asia, far more than Inditex which sources around half its products from countries close to its main markets, allowing it to react faster to sales trends. More of Inditex's clothes are ordered, produced and delivered in-season, on demand, from nearby factories within weeks so it can capitalize on the constantly shifting preferences of young, fashion-conscious shoppers.
H&M's further-flung supply base could also leave it more exposed to trade disruption from protectionist moves such as Britain's decision to leave the European Union and the election of U.S. President Donald Trump. "While we don’t know if imports or exports will change for either, or other, countries at this point, if they do create significant impacts, that could change the dynamics of production for many retailers in the long term," said Kantar Retail consultant Tiffany Hogan.
05:22 AM, 29 March 20170 comments
Snapchat wants to rival Facebook, but it should worry first about Instagram.
Although Instagram and Snapchat were launched within just a year of each other — in October 2010 and September 2011, respectively — fashion brands have made Instagram a cornerstone to their strategies while Snapchat remains, in most cases, firmly in the experimental bucket.
Most designers were hesitant to join Snapchat. They weren’t sold on its unfiltered nature that was inherently antithetical to the fashion industry’s pristine aesthetic. Many still aren’t — especially higher-end designers, said Jodie Chan, director of Altuzarra’s marketing and communications. She ultimately decided it’s “not viable for our brand and relevant to the demographic we are trying to reach.”
However, with time, a range of designers began to see the value of sharing behind-the-scenes looks at their personal lives and the business. Marc Jacobs joined Snapchat in fall 2016, just in time for New York Fashion Week, and then Burberry and Louis Vuitton followed by sharing announcements and photos from special events on the platform. So did Rebecca Minkoff and Prabal Gurung, longtime personal users who decided to let fans catch glimpses of their work lives. During the end of 2015 and early 2016, brands were clamoring to get on Snapchat.
Then Instagram announced Instagram Stories, and everything shifted.
Snapchat meets its match
In August 2016, Instagram launched Stories, a feature that allows users to share photos and videos on their accounts that are visible for just 24 hours. In essence, Instagram now offered the best of both worlds — its glitzy photos, juxtaposed with the short clips for which users love Snapchat.
“As Instagram encourages more polished content, as well as tools that support content that feels instantaneous and ephemeral, that seems to address what it could have potentially lacked, in comparison to a platform like Snapchat,” Chan said.
Suddenly, brands that had been regularly active on Snapchat lay dormant, opting to share fleeting content on Instagram instead. As a result of Instagram Stories, Snapchat’s growth slowed by a whopping 82 percent. Snapchat had 122 million active users in Q1 of 2016 and 143 million by the end of Q2, raking in an impressive 17.2 percent growth rate. However, by Q3, its growth tumbled to 7 percent. At the same time, Snapchat did away with its autoplay feature, which had helped bolster story views for brands.
Instagram, on the other hand, already had a captive audience of 300 million users daily, who now only had to look at the tops of their screens to view Stories. According to TechCrunch, by October, its Stories feature had already amassed 100 million daily users.
“Snapchat was certainly the social darling of 2016, and brands were smart to leverage the platform at the time,” said Camilla Opperman, research associate at L2. “However, Instagram Stories have proven to have greater reach than Snapchat, and brands are realizing that their resources can be more efficiently allocated towards Instagram.”
Meanwhile, the demographic differences between the two platforms remained telling. Today, Instagram users skew significantly older: 51 percent of its user base is above age 35, compared to just 14 percent of Snapchat users. These older users, in many cases, have more disposable income than their younger Snapchat-using peers, making Instagram particularly appealing to fashion brands.
“Instagram has a number of things working to its favor: It’s got a larger follower base and an older audience that’s more likely to be spending,” said Sucharita Mulpuru, an e-commerce advisor and the former chief retail strategist at Shoptalk.
The resource crunch
For fashion brands, many of which have nimble, short-staffed digital teams, the ability to have the capabilities of Snapchat and Instagram in one place has been particularly advantageous, according to Kyle Wong, CEO of Pixlee.
“Content generation is hard. These brands have a limited bandwidth to manage these social platforms,” he said. “Most fashion brands out there probably have one person max running social media accounts. They are spread thin between keeping multiple channels updated, rather than engaging the community on those channels.”
It’s also more laborious to create a follower base on Snapchat, which requires users to know a retailer’s exact username in order to follow them. With Instagram Stories, brands already have a built-in following that doesn’t require additional promotion.
“Instagram is definitely more brand-friendly than Snapchat,” Opperman said. “Most fashion brands already have Instagram accounts, so it’s much easier to move to Instagram Stories than learn the entirely new Snapchat platform. Instagram also has a leg up in discoverability, as Snapchat lacks a robust search function, making it difficult for consumers to find brand Snapchat accounts.”
The evolution of Instagram Stories — which now includes the ability to include Boomerang videos, tag users with direct links to outside profiles and add links to stories for verified accounts — is leading some retailers, like Fossil, to stop using Snapchat altogether.
“With Instagram Stories, we stopped using Snapchat,” Rosi Sanchez, social media strategist, said at SXSW. “The following is already there — we’re seeing 3,000 views on Snapchat, versus 70,000 or 90,000 on Instagram Stories.”
06:20 AM, 27 March 20170 comments
‘See it, want it, buy it’ model challenging fashion set in the UAE
The buzz phrase on the ground at Fashion Forward this season was that of ‘see now, buy now’.
To debate the finer points of the trend, which allows customers to purchase collections straight after they debut on the runway, FFWD staged a panel discussion during its three-day stint at Dubai Design District, which ended on Saturday.
Sharing their thoughts with a packed room of press, buyers and members of the public was Etienne Cochet, general manager at WSN Development, Bong Guerrero, chief executive of Fashion Forward, Firas Alwahabi of Faux Consultancy, and Rania Masri, general manager of Level Shoes for Chalhoub Group.
While consumer demand for immediate access to collections is sending shock waves through the global industry, worth more than US$3trillion (Dh11tn), there’s no consensus among professionals about how best to proceed.
Designers are voicing concerns about the industry’s readiness and whether the supply-chain management is in place to accelerate the distribution of collections from catwalks to shop floors. Meanwhile, high-street retailers are coming under fire for churning out copycat lines, or ‘fast fashion’, before the high-profile designers have a chance to sell their wares.
"If you only have fast fashion then some of the dream is lost," says Cochet. "People like to dream about upcoming collections and can wait for up to six months for them in the stores. Fast fashion takes all that away."
This year, Tom Ford turned his back on the instant fashion trend, having experimented with the idea for one collection last September. While sales spiked in the weeks following his runway show, they didn’t equate to profits traditionally generated on the back of a six-month marketing and press campaign.
The formula, on the other hand, has proved successful for others, including Burberry – pioneers of the immediacy trend – Paul Smith and Tommy Hilfiger.
"As a small brand, you don’t have the luxury of producing things you will sell a year later, you need your cash straight away.
"The monthly bills keep coming so it is impossible for me to operate any other way," says UAE-based designer Katya Kovtunovich, who attended the interactive session at FFWD.
"There’s also no guarantee that any stores will pick up my pieces in six months to a year, so to wait is a tremendous risk."
The frequency of apparel and accessory collections has quadrupled in recent years with micro-seasons being added to the original calendar of spring/summer and autumn/winter.
Compounding woes for designers and manufacturers are affordable clothing chains flooding shop floors with trends ‘stolen’ from the runways of the major players.
According to a Euromonitor report, the United States remains the leading market for fast-fashion in value terms, led by sales at H&M and Forever 21.
Over the past decade, Zara and Primark have also cemented themselves within the top-10 global apparel and footwear brands, taking share from specialist and traditional players.
Key advantages established designers have when it comes to weathering current turbulent market conditions are deep pockets and sound working capital.
"For some big brands it works for them to follow the seasons," says Kovtunovich.
"They have strong relationships with retailers that allows them to show collections and supply them six months later.
"They’re OK with that as their main source of income. I don’t follow any calendar or industry rules because that’s the most convenient thing. As an independent designer I like the freedom of producing what I want, when I want."
It’s not just runway clothes that consumers want immediately though, they also want the shoes to match. Seeking to harness the full power of shifting purchasing practices in the Middle East is the multibrand Level Shoes in Dubai Mall.
"We wanted to be the first to do it with shoes in the region," said Rania Masri, general manager of Level Shoes for Chalhoub Group, during a panel discussion at Fashion Forward Dubai. "With Burberry, we had two styles of shoes and they sold very well.
"That taught us that if pieces are available to buy immediately after a show, they will sell.
"People want things now, but to start with, you can tease them with bits of the larger collection."
Making select pieces, a pared-down range or exclusive few items available straight after a fashion week presentation would seem to be a way for designers to test the viability of the ‘see now, buy now’ model and measure client interest. Turbo-charging the design cycle, however, is an unwanted pressure for many and squeezes all fun out of an already intense production process.
"Some designers simply can’t keep up with having to constantly create," says Masri.
"Unfortunately, today people want new things and they want them right now. It is all about giving them what they want.
"Also, a retail buyer, it is important for me to remember that the purchases made are about an emotional connection with the consumer. That’s why we in the industry have to remain passionate when choosing what goes into the stores."
06:20 AM, 23 March 20170 comments
‘Millennial pink’ is the colour of now
Name: Millennial pink.
Age: Timeless, yet very now.
Appearance: Well, that’s the tricky part. It’s sort of a grapefruit shade of apricotty salmon.
That sounds disgusting. Au contraire. The worlds of fashion and design are swooning over it. They’re tipping buckets of millennial pink over everything they can get their hands on.
So it’s a colour? Yes. Although not everybody agrees what colour.
So it’s several colours? Yes. But all of them are pink. It’s quite close to skin colour, if you have that skin colour.
This isn’t helping. Can you give me some examples? Some say it started in 2014, with Wes Anderson’s movie The Grand Budapest Hotel, which embodies a kind of arch retro-kitsch and is centred on a building painted several kinds of pink.
Right. Others say the tipping point was the “rose gold” iPhone in 2015. That was pink, too, although it didn’t say so. Pantone named rose quartz its joint colour of 2016, and pale dogwood is one of its colours for spring 2017. Pink is certainly a craze among many big designers currently.
Which ones? Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Céline, Balenciaga …
I’ve heard of some of those. Congratulations.
Let me guess: it has got something to do with Donald Trump or populism or Brexit or whatever? Almost certainly. Plus it goes beautifully with black, grey, white and other pinks.
What the living heck is pale dogwood? It’s “a quiet and peaceful pink shade that engenders an aura of innocence and purity”.
Well, it engenders something else in me. Seriously though, why has everyone gone nuts about pink all of a sudden? Remember how brown was the new black and grey was the new magnolia?
I think it will save a lot of time if I just say yes. Well, this is one of those moments. Millennial pink, or “Tumblr pink”, as it is also known, represents a kind of ironic prettiness, or post-prettiness. It’s a way to be pretty while retaining your intellectual detachment. It’s a wish that prettiness could de-problematised.
And that’s what salmon are going for as well, is it? Theirs is a pre-ironic version.
Do say: “Wow. Your snack is so on-trend!”
Don’t say: “Look, I just like apricots, OK?”
06:19 AM, 21 March 20170 comments
The Look: An emerald green Lela Rose look featuring an off-the-shoulder top and cropped pants from the fall 2017 collection.
The Wearer: Mandy Moore, star of NBC's tear-jerker hit show This Is Us. The actress was styled by one of THR's Rising Stylists Erica Cloud.
The Event: The Paley Center for Media's 34th Annual PaleyFest on Saturday, where Moore was joined by her This Is Us co-stars Milo Ventimiglia, Sterling K. Brown and Susan Kelechi Watson.
Why It Matters: Whether her decision to reach for the green Lela Rose look was a belated nod to St. Patrick's Day or the dreamy hue was merely a coincidence, there is no denying that the fresh shade was seemingly made for Moore's fair complexion and cool green eyes.
But festive colors aside, we love the playful yet tailored look of the top and pants ensemble. With its whimsical sleeves and a romantic neckline, which are juxtaposed with the sharp pleats in the pants, the look falls in the sweet spot between appearing too feminine or too severe. For an occasion like PaleyFest, which is more casual than typical red-carpet affairs, Moore's look was the perfect power-dressing ensemble.
Where to Buy: Both the top ($995) and the pants ($695) will be available on LelaRose beginning in June.
06:10 AM, 18 March 20170 comments
Kate Middleton Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day in Custom Coat and Gianvito Rossi Heels
Ahead of her trip to Paris with Prince William later today, Kate Middleton made an appearance in London for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge honored soldiers from the Irish Guard. Prince William wore his military attire while Middleton opted for a Catherine Walker & Co. bespoke dark green coat that featured a contrasting velvet collar and gold buttons. She paired the look with Gianvito Rossi pumps in a similar green color.
In an adorable moment, the duchess also greeted a mascot for the day’s festivities — an Irish Wolfhound.
The trip to Paris will be Prince William’s first official visit there since his mother Princess Diana died in a car crash there nearly 20 years ago. The couple will, among other appearances, visit with outgoing French president Francois Hollande.
08:40 AM, 16 March 20170 comments
DFW Veteran Gino Velardi Will Be Returning to His Roots This Runway Season
Denver Fashion Weekend will be here before you know it. This year we will be bringing out veteran designers alongside newcomers on the runway. Gino Velardi, a long time designer and participant in DFW, will showcase his latest collection on Saturday, April 1. Known for his drop-dead, runway style gowns, Velardi will be returning to that aesthetic this spring as his models hit the runway.
A Colorado native, he finds inspiration from his surroundings and the changing seasons of Colorado. Last year’s show drew inspiration from the golden age of disco with metallic leathers and afro updos. We cant wait to see what Velardi will show us this year so we sat down with the designer to talk inspiration, this years collection, and his native roots. Additionally, the first super model with down syndrome, Madeline Stuart, will be walking in Velardi’s show on Saturday, April 1.
First of all, can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?
Gino Velardi: In regards to my upbringing, I was the child of five siblings. I had to adopt that “determination value” in my life and try to set myself apart, and the fashion world was my outlet. I had to inflate this character of a “fashion designer” with very few references (at the time). So, I felt like I had to convey confidence, poise and accuracy. But with each passing year and collection, I grow more and more as a person and a designer.
When was the moment you decided to become a fashion designer? What inspired you to pursue this career?
GV: I think it started at a very young age. I remember playing with my mother’s silk scarves, costume jewelry and her real fur coat…recognizing the luxury of textiles and beautiful objects. I never planned on becoming a fashion designer (I was expected to be a trial lawyer), so I guess it all came down to the universe. I stay in fashion because, at this point in my life it defines me to a certain extent, and I’m enriched by that. Plus, I love the hell out of it! I feel like I’ve worked very hard at this career, and it’s been a long, hard road, but it’s what makes my name and my brand, humble.
You’ve showcased at DFW in the past, tell us a bit about your experience.
GV: DFW has always been so awesome to me! I get so excited to show each time and hope I’m asked back every year. The excitement comes from being around the most talented artisans in town, all working together to ensure a great show. The goal and energy is fascinating to be a part of! I still get nervous to show, although I’ve been doing this for 100 years, but it’s true.
07:03 AM, 14 March 20170 comments
The Dramatic, High-Fashion Looks Angelina Jolie and More Stars Should Wear at Cannes
I am finally back from Fashion Month. I am sitting on my own couch; I slept in my own bed; and I spent the weekend catching up on TV and not thinking about fashion. With the shows and awards season behind us, I think that most of us can agree that while everyone looked good, it wasn’t the most exciting season for the red carpet. Thanks to social media and numerous best- and worst-dressed lists to deal with, no one is willing to have any fun anymore. Remember Cher’s Bob Mackie gown? She looked crazy, but it was major, and people will always remember.
Let’s continue the game of coulda, shoulda, woulda and start thinking about Cannes. Since this is my fantasy, I am also not going to worry about contracts that mean stars can only wear a certain designer, or who will actually be attending the festival. I am just going to pick five ladies I love and suggest looks from the last month of collections that won’t leave people saying, “Oh yeah, she looked pretty, right? What did she wear again?”
I am still and will forever be Team Angie, which is not to say that I don’t love Brad Pitt as well. She is an icon, and the prettiest woman I have ever met. Yes, I have met her, and yes, that was a bit of a name drop, but it’s Angie, as I now call her. (Dear Angelina, if you are in some alternate universe reading this, I have no idea if you actually like being called Angie or Angelina, but just give me this one.) I think this off-the-shoulder sequin top with black jeans (maybe replace jeans with a slim, black tuxedo pant) from Saint Laurent would be prefect for you. Also, you won’t risk having another leg-gate.
Yeah, we’ve also met. We watched the U.S. Open together; she shared her blanket with me, and we were both screaming for Rafael Nadal to win. He did, and we were put on the Jumbotron. Afterward, I asked if she was worried about the paparazzi thinking were a couple. “Fuck ‘em,” she replied. My heart will be hers forever. In hindsight I imagine she was probably thinking, “Yeah, like people are really going to think I am dating this queen.” She always looks amazing, but plays things relatively safe, yet always sexy. I’d like to see her in this 70s-inspired mesh jumpsuit from Brandon Maxwell, which would be different for her—but still very sexy—so she would not have to stray too far from her wheelhouse.
She is having a nice moment right now, and I have always been drawn to her. Penélope generally looks great on the red carpet, but tends to go pretty safe as well, often opting for a gown that is big and voluminous. I think it’s the Spanish in her. I know a lot of Latina women, including my own mother, and they have a flair for the dramatic. I suggest this pink pantsuit from Oscar de La Renta paired with a sequin silver cummerbund. Hair should be back, and she should wear a simple black, strappy high-heel sandal. It’s still dramatic, but less princess-y.
10:40 AM, 10 March 20170 comments
Why 73-Year-Old Runway Models Could Be The Future of Fashion Week
Modeling has to be one of the careers with the earliest retirement age. After all, someone like Karlie Kloss is considered a modeling veteran with an almost decade-long career already, and she's only 24! But this Fall 2017 fashion season challenged the idea that runway models need to be under the age required to rent a car.
At NYFW, Michael Kors cast 90s-era supermodels Carolyn Murphy and Amber Valletta to walk alongside Ashley Graham, while 65-year-old model Jacky O’Shaughnessy modeled in the Tome show. Then, models at Simone Rocha's show at London Fashion Week spanned seven generations, according to Elle.
The lineup included 73-year-old Benedetta Barzini, 69-year-old Jan Ward de Villeneuve, and 50-year-old Cecilia Chancellor, who all had major modeling careers in decades past. In Paris, Dries Van Noten celebrated his 100th fashion show by casting models he's worked with throughout his career, creating an intergenerational cast.
This diverse casting in terms of age is part of a growing evolution in fashion. Ever since Ari Seth Cohen launched Advanced Style in 2008, his blog devoted to capturing the “sartorial savvy of the senior set," he's noticed more and more older men and women on the runways, in fashion campaigns, and in lifestyle media in general. Advanced Style's grown to include two books, and the women Ari's photographed have signed with modeling agencies (Colleen Heidemann landed an UGG campaign, and Accidental Icon blogger Lyn Slater is a face for Valentino Eyewear). "I am thrilled to see how the fashion industry continues to challenge traditional notions of beauty by including older models. Trend or not, this is having a huge impact on the way the world is redefining the image of aging," Ari tells The Lookbook.
NYC style icon and star of the documentary film Advanced Style Tziporah Salamon told The Lookbook that she also isn't sure whether it's a trend, but it's something that should be applauded. "I think it's about time, and definitely needed since we're living longer. Older women also wear clothes and are interested in fashion and style," says Tziporah, who has a book called The Art of Dressing out next month.
After all, why shouldn't runway models look like the shoppers who are buying designer clothes, Tziporah points out. "The older woman is the woman who, for the most part, has the means. She's still working and has an active social life and the interest. We don't lose interest in clothes just because we age. I'm just interested in good clothes today as I was when I was younger," she says.
06:33 AM, 8 March 20170 comments
For Most Brands, Garments Do Not Sell but Accessories Do
Belgian design force Dries Van Noten reflected last year on the business model of his privately held brand, including the role of the runway show. In an interview for Rolex’s The Talks series, he said: “For me [producing every single look from the runway for retail] is absolutely necessary.” His comment sheds light on his ongoing resistance to conforming to a larger practice in the fashion industry: Brands’ reliance on the sales of non-runway – and in many cases, non-garment – goods to derive the majority of their profits.
So, why do designers show garments on the runway that never make the transition to retail? There are two relatively straight forward answers for this phenomenon. The first being that runway garments are simply not meant to represent marketable items but instead, serve a different purpose. One could argue that modern day couture and ready-to-wear shows, in many cases, are more akin to large scale marketing events for brands – for the purpose of enabling and/or maintaining lucrative licensing deals – than buying opportunities for clients.
(There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, with shows leading to actual sales of runway garments by way of existing and/or potential clients in attendance, but more commonly, such over-the-top shows serve as an opportunity for brands to market themselves as luxury fashion brands).
The second reason centers on the tactic of putting runway garments on the backburner in favor of brands more strongly pushing runway accessories and derivatives thereof – namely, bags and sometimes, shoes – and watered down garments, as these have proven to be key sources of income for brands. In short: clothes are not what sell. For luxury brands, it is about licensing and handbags with nearly everything else taking the form of marketing. So, why waste time and other resources manufacturing high fashion garments?
THE ROLE OF LICENSING
For the uninitiated, licensing is the practice of contracting with another party to obtain and use certain rights (almost always intellectual property ("IP") rights) in exchange for an agreed payment (a fee or royalty). A IP licensing relationship typically involves an agreement between a trademark owner (the “licensor”) and another party (the “licensee”) in which the licensor permits the licensee to use its trademark in commerce. Simply put, a license grants the licensee rights in property without transferring ownership of the property.
Licensing is of great magnitude for many brands, as it serves as a significant revenue-driver, particularly because designer clothes – both in terms of couture and ready-to-wear – do not tend to sell in any great volume. Designer garments are pricey, for one thing – often much pricier than their accessory counterparts. Moreover, garments are generally more difficult purchases; for instance, consumers must take sizing/fit into account when purchasing clothing more significantly than compared to other luxury items, such as watches and jewelry, and accessories, including bags and shoes.
So, what good is advertising garments if they do not sell nearly as greatly as accessories? Well, it is often indirectly very effective. As many high fashion houses learned early on, couture and over-the-top ready-to-wear collections allow them to not only reach a large audience, but they enable them to establish and/or maintain a reputation for luxury and fashionability. As a result, they can sell more accessible items, such as fragrances for $100+ or lipstick for $40 based on their names and the goodwill associated with their names.
Enter: Licensed goods, which tend to come in the form of branded sunglasses, cosmetics, fragrances, watches, and sometimes, jewelry. Such licensed products – which are manufactured and marketed by third party companies, the licensees – are sold at much lower price points than a designer dress, for instance, and as a result, they serve as an important revenue source for brands, as well as a way to court potential new customers.
To ensure stricter brand protection, brands have moved to significantly reign in their licenses over the past 15 years or so – around which point Tom Ford and Domenico Del Sole worked to clean up Gucci’s license network; Holding di Partecipazioni Industriali did the same for Valentino. Dior was perhaps the most aggressive to cut down on outside revenue sources, reducing its outstanding licenses from 300 to just a handful under the watch of CEO Sidney Toledano.
The practice still serves as an especially effective tool for high fashion houses, albeit in a much more selective and controlled manner. In fact, the licensing model remains tried and true. While the average consumer cannot afford a $4,000+ Chanel dress, many still want to tap into the appeal and status symbol powers of designer goods. This is why $600+ Chanel sunglasses and $90 powder compacts, for instance, sell in relatively high volumes.
It is worth noting that most companies do not and cannot effectively sell everyday commodities, like sunglasses and cosmetics, for such high markups. With this in mind, Chanel and other high fashion brands must rely on their luxury brand ethos, much of which has been established and maintained by way of their runway shows (and red carpet placements) and the resulting press furor surrounding these events.
So, instead of primarily aiming to sell couture by outfitting celebrities in their wares, or ready-to-wear garments by putting them on the runway at least twice annually, luxury fashion houses aim to sell more accessible items, such as their licensed goods or similar goods that are produced in house.
Just how lucrative are such licensing deals and/or the sale of license-type goods (i.e. fragrance, cosmetics, etc.) for brands that have kept such production in-house? In the case of Dior, "you have to look at their business model," Katalina Sharkey de Solis, managing director at ad agency Moving Image and Content, and former digital director at Chanel, told Fashionista. "It's a diffusion business model, so the percentage of revenue that ready-to-wear actually represents is very, very small." Ready-to-wear, she says, is essentially a tool to market a label's other (often lucratively licensed) goods – i.e. sunglasses, makeup, skincare, or fragrance.
Kardashian favored brand Balmain has a similarly extensive licensing network. Operating mainly as a wholesale business, Balmain maintains fewer than 10 flagships stores around the world and much of its revenues – roughly 50% as of 2012 – are derived from licensed goods. This network is largely still in place to date with its licensed products ranging from eyewear and fragrances to its secondary Pierre Balmain collection in its entirety, the license for which is owned by Italian company, Ittierre. (Despite talk of a sale several years ago, it appears that Ittierre still maintains the Pierre Balmain license).
As for Chanel, it is one of the few brands to produce its fragrances and cosmetics in house (note: it does maintain a license deal with Luxottica for eyewear). While it has established a “high position” in apparel and leather goods, according to Bloomberg, it derives the bulk of its 6.5 billion euros of retail equivalent sales from its high-margin fragrances and cosmetics.
In fashion: lower cost/price license goods and license-type goods reign supreme – for consumers and the selling brands alike.
06:32 AM, 6 March 20170 comments
“It’s a little bit rock ’n’ roll looking. It’s a little bit Kurt and Courtney, a little bit Kate Moss — and it’s a little bit more elevated. So it’s positive looking, not grunge,” said Aaron de Mey backstage, regarding the beauty look for Chloé.
This involved the rims of models’ peepers being lined with black pencil. “I’m really smudging it out around the edges, I’m elongating the eyes,” said de Mey. “I wanted them to look tighter and wider — to stretch across the face. I’m putting a very sharp little cat eye at the very outside corner, and at the end — before the girls go on the runway — we’re going to put a load of gloss on top of the eyelid.
“So it’s a play on texture, a play on matte and shine, of darkness and light,” the makeup artist said. “It looks quite intense all through the eye area. Everything else is very simple.”
Using concealer and primer, he made models’ skin appear velvety and clean. “I wanted it to look like the girls have done the makeup themselves,” he said.
“I’ve gone the other way with the hair,” said hairstylist Eugene Souleiman. “What I’ve decided to do is nothing — literally — because I think that works.”
So models’ tresses were just washed, air-dried, parted and left to hang loose.
“The hair just kind of frames it all in a really cool way,” said Souleiman. “It’s very simple. We’re doing real-person hair.”