Fashion industry leaders voice support for anti-racism protests

Fashion industry leaders, including Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, have pledged their support for the anti-racism protests taking place across the U.S.Numerous demonstrations have been staged across the nation in recent days in response to the shocki…

Fashion industry leaders, including Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, have pledged their support for the anti-racism protests taking place across the U.S.

Numerous demonstrations have been staged across the nation in recent days in response to the shocking death of African-American man George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers on 25 May. All four police officers involved have been fired and one, Derek Chauvin, has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after he was caught on camera kneeling on Floyd’s neck for close to nine minutes.

Accordingly, prominent members of the fashion community have since taken to social media to share their outrage over the incident and to champion the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We all want to make a good life for ourselves and our loved ones. To have the opportunity to achieve this is an essential human right. The abhorrent acts of racism happening across America betray this and everything I believe in,” said Lauren in a statement, while Hilfiger added in a post on his personal Instagram account: “What is happening in this country is not OK/ What happened to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery – and countless others – is not OK. We need action. To achieve change we have to be fearless in speaking out and standing up for what is right.”

Elsewhere, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen bosses confirmed they would be making donations to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Vivienne Westwood noted she was “horrified” by Floyd’s death and encouraged those taking part in protests to wear masks and social distance in order to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, while luxury footwear designer Brian Atwood begged anyone who didn’t support the demonstrations to unfollow him on Instagram immediately.

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Off-White continues reign as world’s hottest brand

Off-White has once again been crowned the most sought-after brand in the world.The label, founded by designer Virgil Abloh in 2012, is known for its stylised streetwear-inspired items which feature the use of quotation marks, zip ties, and industrial b…

Off-White has once again been crowned the most sought-after brand in the world.

The label, founded by designer Virgil Abloh in 2012, is known for its stylised streetwear-inspired items which feature the use of quotation marks, zip ties, and industrial buckles, with celebrity fans including Gigi and Bella Hadid, JAY-Z, and Nicki Minaj.

Now, analysts have compiled data from the fashion platform Lyst for the first quarter of 2020 and reported that Off-White has come out on top in relation to global Lyst and Google search data, conversion rates and sales, as well as social media mentions and engagement statistics worldwide. The brand also topped The Lyst Index for the previous two quarters.

Balenciaga, helmed by creative director Demna Gvasalia, was the runner-up, while sportswear giant Nike landed in third place.

Other luxury brands in the top 10 included Prada, Moncler, Fendi, Valentino, Versace, Saint Laurent, Burberry, and Jacquemus.

“Jacquemus enters The Lyst Index of hottest brands ranking for the first time, with the label’s accessories having previously made the hottest products section,” a Lyst spokesperson commented. “The French brand climbs seven places to reach 15th position, after its supermodel-heavy fall/winter 2020 show boosted social media mentions by over 1,100 per cent. The other new entrants this quarter are Thom Browne and Rick Owens, both eponymous labels of U.S. designers, each with a distinctive and consistent aesthetic.”

Meanwhile, face masks have seen a huge spike in interest, having been worn by the likes of Billie Eilish and rappers Travis Scott and Future on the red carpet at recent events, as well as in light of the global coronavirus crisis.

“The coronavirus pandemic has seen more labels enter the mask market, and a 496 per cent surge in searches for fashion face masks over the quarter. Millions of shoppers worldwide are searching for masks by Off-White, as well as by Fendi, Bape and Marcelo Burlon,” they continued.

Other popular accessories include Loewe’s Eln fleece zip sweater, a Gucci x Disney hooded sweatshirt, and Bottega Veneta’s padded Cassette bag.

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Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing re-thinking traditional fashion shows

Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing is re-thinking the future of fashion shows amid the coronavirus crisis.The French designer participated in a virtual chat alongside Chloe’s Natacha Ramsay-Levi and Balenciaga chief executive officer Cedric Ch…

Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing is re-thinking the future of fashion shows amid the coronavirus crisis.

The French designer participated in a virtual chat alongside Chloe’s Natacha Ramsay-Levi and Balenciaga chief executive officer Cedric Charbit as part of Vogue’s Global Conversations series on Wednesday, with much of the discussion focused around the number of events cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping much of the world.

But while Rousteing remains adamant that fashion shows still have a place in the industry, he is contemplating a much more democratic format.

“I completely agree on the side that we need to have an experience,” the 34-year-old commented. “I know that after this confinement, I want to create something in the streets, I want to bring back the togetherness, for sure.”

And even though many of Balmain’s 10 million Instagram followers watch his spectacles online, Rousteing is also considering how he can better tap into his digital audience going forward.

“I don’t see digital as less emotional; I see digital as an experience where you can push your dreams to the next level,” he insisted, before noting that the tradition fashion show has already been altered by the introduction of social media. “Emotions are changing… Before people were clapping, now people are Instagramming, which is another kind of emotion. I’m sure that in the future that we can find a way with illustration, with digital, to bring that kind of emotion.”

Elsewhere in the discussion, Ramsay-Levi insisted that she will continue to hold fashion shows to present her Chloe collections, though will be looking at how they can become “more inclusive” for fans.

“We must be aware that the audience is mostly digital, but I won’t kill the shows. The shows are a beautiful moment,” she stated. “Fashion shows are special events, I believe. They are here to inspire and engage conversation – and they have a meaning and they must feel authentic. There’s a human dimension to it which I’m very keen to keep.”

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Julia Garner steers away from fashion trends

Julia Garner has no interest in following fashion trends.The Ozark actress has opened up about her approach to style in a candid interview with Porter magazine, noting that she always tries to stay true to herself.”I think art is most interesting when …

Julia Garner has no interest in following fashion trends.

The Ozark actress has opened up about her approach to style in a candid interview with Porter magazine, noting that she always tries to stay true to herself.

“I think art is most interesting when it contradicts itself. I try to do that with my acting, just like I try to do that with my fashion,” the star commented, before insisting that the secret to her classic Hollywood glamour is self-assurance. “I think the most important thing with fashion is confidence. You can wear something beautiful and if you don’t feel good in it, it’s not going to look great.”

Garner proved her credentials last December when she donned a custom-made Danielle Frankel pantsuit to wed musician Mark Foster at a town hall in New York, and over the past few years, has fronted a campaign for Miu Miu, featured in a Pirelli calendar alongside Misty Copeland and Gigi Hadid, and walked the runway during Alexander Wang’s last Balenciaga show in 2015.

Of this last event, Garner – who stands at 1.65 metres – conceded she struggled to keep up with the professional models.

“I had to walk so fast because the model behind me was just walking normally and (that) was like me running!” the 26-year-old recalled.

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Paris Couture Week cancelled amid coronavirus crisis

Paris Couture Week and Paris Fashion Week: Men’s have been cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic.France is one of the nations most affected by the spread of Covid-19, with an estimated 40,000 reported cases and approximately 2,600 deaths. In light of…

Paris Couture Week and Paris Fashion Week: Men’s have been cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

France is one of the nations most affected by the spread of Covid-19, with an estimated 40,000 reported cases and approximately 2,600 deaths.

In light of the crisis and lockdown of citizens, representatives for the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode have confirmed the two upcoming events have been scrapped.

“In light of the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic worldwide, strong decisions are required to ensure the safety and health of Houses, their employees and everyone working in our industry,” they said in a statement. “Consequently, the Board of Directors of the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode has come to the decision that, in the present conditions, Paris Fashion Week: Men’s, scheduled from June 23rd to June 28th, 2020, and the Haute Couture Week scheduled from July 5 to July 9, 2020, cannot take place.”

However, the spokesperson insisted members of the federation are “actively working” with designers and fashion houses to find possible alternatives.

In addition to presentations from Chanel and Dior, the next Paris Couture Week was to feature the highly anticipated return of Balenciaga to the schedule.

Meanwhile, executives at the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) have also confirmed that the resort 2021 shows lined up for the middle of the year have been scrapped.

“The CFDA has been carefully following the developments of Covid-19, while providing information and resources to help the industry move forward during this most challenging time,” they commented. “With that in mind, the CFDA has decided to cancel the official NYFW: Resort 2021 schedule of presentations. The decision was based on the current global situation, the ongoing uncertainty regarding its impact on retailers and their open-to-buys, and designers’ challenges in producing collections at this moment.”

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Saint Laurent and Balenciaga workshops to begin making medical masks

Employees at Saint Laurent and Balenciaga’s workshops will soon begin making medical masks.In light of the escalating coronavirus crisis around the world, bosses at Kering, the parent company of the luxury fashion houses, announced on Sunday that they …

Employees at Saint Laurent and Balenciaga’s workshops will soon begin making medical masks.

In light of the escalating coronavirus crisis around the world, bosses at Kering, the parent company of the luxury fashion houses, announced on Sunday that they are preparing to transform textile plants so they can start manufacturing surgical masks for hospitals in order to help support local health authorities.

“The French workshops of Kering’s Houses Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent are preparing to manufacture masks while complying with the strictest health protection measures for their staff members, with production getting underway as soon as the manufacturing process and materials have been approved by the relevant authorities,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

Leaders at Kering, the conglomerate helmed by Francois-Henri Pinault, have already provided the French health service with three million masks, following on from contributions made to China and Italy in recent weeks.

They are also making a financial donation to the Institut Pasteur in Paris to aid scientists in researching the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, bosses at Kering’s main competitor Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) have also pledged to supply millions of surgical masks to workers in France.

“By virtue of its global distribution network, LVMH has managed to secure an order with a Chinese industrial supplier for a delivery of 10 million masks in France in the coming days (seven million surgical masks and three million FFP2 masks). The order will be repeated for at least four weeks in similar quantities (i.e. approximately 40 million masks),” a spokesperson commented.

Last week, LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault instructed the staff at LVMH Perfumes & Cosmetics, including those who make products for Christian Dior, Guerlain, and Givenchy, to prepare sites to begin making “substantial quantities” of hydroalcoholic gel.

The gel will be delivered free of charge to French health authorities and those working at Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris, a network of teaching hospitals that treats more than eight million patients per year.

At present, there have been over 351,000 reported coronavirus cases around the world, with 15,000 deaths. China, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Iran, and the U.S. remain the worst affected nations.

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Balenciaga confronts climate change with fall 20 show

Balenciaga has tackled the topic of climate change with its fall/winter 2020 show.Creative director Demna Gvasalia unveiled his latest line for the luxury fashion label as part of Paris Fashion Week on Sunday, with the likes of Bella Hadid, Kourtney Ka…

Balenciaga has tackled the topic of climate change with its fall/winter 2020 show.

Creative director Demna Gvasalia unveiled his latest line for the luxury fashion label as part of Paris Fashion Week on Sunday, with the likes of Bella Hadid, Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, and Kanye West all in attendance.

However, none of the celebrities were perched on the front row, as the Georgian designer looked to confront the climate crisis by having the show space transformed into a post-apocalyptic scene complete with flooded runway and LED screens on the roof depicting dramatic storms.

Merging a variety of references, the show opened with a parade of 14 models sporting head-to-toe black outfits, with many of them wearing long capes.

“The austerity of clerical garb and court robes are interpreted for casual wear. Classical traditions, hardcore aesthetics, and fetishised details are combined and rearranged, mixing business with pleasure,” Gvasalia explained in the show notes. “Neo-gothic dressing looks back and forward at the possibilities of menswear, layering floor-length skirts and caped coats.”

Elsewhere, the designer included deconstructed shirts and pleated skirts, leather trench coats, floral print dresses, PVC coat dresses, motocross suits, and dresses with exaggerated pagoda shoulders and upright collars.

Gvasalia also had fun with logos, introducing the fictional Balenciaga Football Club and a line-up of sportswear-inspired uniforms, with the outfits contrasting with the final looks, which included skin-tight bodysuits in red and purple, as well as slinky black gowns and a long-shoulder silver beaded dress.

“Gala dresses are all-inclusive: shoes, gloves, leggings, and gowns in one piece. Bodywear becomes a second skin, at once obscuring and revealing,” he added.

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Off-White continues reign as world’s hottest brand

Off-White has once again been crowned the most sought-after brand in the world.The label, founded by designer Virgil Abloh in 2012, is known for its stylised streetwear-inspired items which feature the use of quotation marks, zip ties, and industrial b…

Off-White has once again been crowned the most sought-after brand in the world.

The label, founded by designer Virgil Abloh in 2012, is known for its stylised streetwear-inspired items which feature the use of quotation marks, zip ties, and industrial buckles, with celebrity fans including Bella Hadid, JAY-Z, and Nicki Minaj.

Now, analysts have compiled data from the fashion platform Lyst for the fourth quarter of 2019 and reported that Off-White has come out on top in relation to global Lyst and Google search data, conversion rates and sales, as well as social media mentions and engagement statistics worldwide. The company also topped The Lyst Index for the previous quarter.

Gucci, helmed by creative director Alessandro Michele, was the runner-up, while Balenciaga landed in third place.

Other luxury brands in the top 10 included Versace, Fendi, Prada, Valentino, and Burberry, though the most surprising leap in rankings came from Moncler.

Nabbing the fourth spot, executives at the lifestyle label have found success over the past three years by harnessing a guest designer roster, which has included capsule collections from the likes of Simone Rocha, Craig Green, and Richard Quinn.

Meanwhile, Gucci’s logo belt was once again the hottest in the list of women’s products, with Amina Muaddi’s Gilda heels taking second place.

“As seen on Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber, Muaddi’s Gilda heels sparked an average of 60,500 monthly searches between October and December, while the brand saw a 73 per cent rise in views,” a Lyst spokesperson commented.

Other popular accessories include Prada’s Monolith boots, a scarf from Acne Studios, Spanx’s faux leather leggings, Balenciaga’s Hourglass top handle bag, and the UGG Scuffette II slippers.

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Balenciaga returning to haute couture

Balenciaga is gearing up to reintroduce haute couture.The luxury fashion brand hasn’t produced a couture collection since label founder Cristobal Balenciaga, a master couturier and inspiration to the likes of Christian Dior and Coco Chanel, closed his …

Balenciaga is gearing up to reintroduce haute couture.

The luxury fashion brand hasn’t produced a couture collection since label founder Cristobal Balenciaga, a master couturier and inspiration to the likes of Christian Dior and Coco Chanel, closed his Paris-based atelier in 1968. Balenciaga died at the age of 77 in 1972.

However, current creative director Demna Gvasalia, who joined in 2015, announced on Monday that he will be bringing back the high-end range in July.

“Haute couture is the very foundation of this house,” the designer said in a statement. “So, it is my creative and visionary duty to bring couture back to Balenciaga. For me, couture is an unexplored mode of creative freedom and a platform for innovation. It not only offers another spectrum of possibilities in dressmaking, it also brings the modern vision of Balenciaga back to its sources of origin. Couture is above trends. It’s an expression of beauty on the highest aesthetic and qualitative levels.”

Georgia-born Gvasalia did not announce when or where he will unveil his debut couture line. Yet, it is likely to be aligned with Paris Couture Week, which takes place from 3 – 7 July.

And Cedric Charbit, president and chief executive officer of Balenciaga, is looking forward to seeing what the 38-year-old dreams up.

“It’s an honour to bring back the haute couture to the house, highlighting the heritage of Cristobal Balenciaga. This project was possible due to the success of the creative vision of Demna Gvasalia as well as the exceptional results of Balenciaga these past few years,” he shared. “Establishing a dedicated team and atelier replicating the original salons at the historical address 10 Avenue George V represents a strategic step in further expansions. Coming back to the haute couture that was left off by Cristobal Balenciaga in 1968 links the house’s past, present, and future.”

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Emma Watson and Saoirse Ronan rock all-black outfits to Little Women premiere

Emma Watson and Saoirse Ronan both opted to wear black outfits to the recent premiere of their new movie, Little Women.The Hollywood stars appear alongside Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothee Chalamet, Laura Dern, and Meryl Streep in director Greta …

Emma Watson and Saoirse Ronan both opted to wear black outfits to the recent premiere of their new movie, Little Women.

The Hollywood stars appear alongside Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothee Chalamet, Laura Dern, and Meryl Streep in director Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of the classic Louisa May Alcott novel.

Ahead of the movie’s release on 25 December, the star-studded cast gathered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on Saturday to celebrate the world premiere of the hotly anticipated film.

Emma, who plays eldest sibling Meg March, wore a black Balenciaga silk gown with a rough lace trim and thigh-high black velvet boots, while she accessorised with a clamshell-shaped purse and Fred Leighton jewellery, including an ear cuff.

The Harry Potter star kept her brunette hair off her face in a loose bun, while she chose to keep the Gothic theme going with her full dark brows and crimson lips.

Three-time Oscar nominee Saoirse, who portrays headstrong Jo March in the movie, channelled prairie chic with her embellished high-neck Gucci dress, which featured sheer sleeves and a thigh-high split.

Meanwhile, her former Lady Bird co-star Timothee rocked an Alexander McQueen suit and Cartier bling, with Laura, who plays the March family matriarch Marmee, wowing the red carpet in a sparkling navy blue Ralph Lauren Collection crystal-embroidered gown.

Hollywood newcomer Florence, who plays youngest March sister Amy, wore an off-the-shoulder turquoise Valentino gown, teamed with drop earrings and strappy gold sandals, while Sharp Objects star Eliza, who takes on the part of studious Beth March, wore an eye-catching white Khaite gown with high neck and puffed sleeves.

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