Nicolas Ghesquiere keen to become more involved in social activism

Nicolas Ghesquiere has set his sights on becoming more involved in social activism.The French fashion designer is one of the most successful names in the industry, having worked for Jean Paul Gaultier and Balenciaga before landing the coveted position …

Nicolas Ghesquiere has set his sights on becoming more involved in social activism.

The French fashion designer is one of the most successful names in the industry, having worked for Jean Paul Gaultier and Balenciaga before landing the coveted position of Louis Vuitton’s head womenswear designer in 2013.

However, in a new interview with Out magazine, in which he was named as one of the Out100 honorees, Ghesquiere explained that he wants to do more to support causes closes to his heart.

“I’m not taking the voice of someone we’d call an activist today,” he said. “But if I had more time, I would do more and more. Maybe in the future I will. But the way that I do it (now) is with the respect, the attraction, and the inspiration to showcase people like (Scottish music producer) Sophie, (transgender model) Krow, or others I work with who express this way of being. They’re people I want to stand by.”

Ghesquiere’s interview took place shortly before he hit headlines for criticising Louis Vuitton’s parent company Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH)’s ties with Donald Trump last month, after the U.S. President attended the opening of a Louis Vuitton workshop in Alvarado, Texas. The American leader has attracted controversy in the past regarding his divisive policies relating to minority groups.

“Standing against any political action. I am a fashion designer refusing this association #trumpisajoke #homophobia,” the 48-year-old wrote on his Instagram page.

Elsewhere in the Out discussion, the openly gay Ghesquiere spoke about how his sexuality has informed his creative process.

“The sense that being gay gives me, it’s an asset for being inspired. Maybe it’s sometimes pushing my own limits – the limits I could have just for being gay – or maybe it’s making my imagination go forward, to another territory that belongs to fantasy, to freedom,” he shared. “I think it has an influence in the way I design where, sometimes, pragmatism and function can have a limit.”

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Off-White tops The Lyst Index’s rankings of hottest brands

Off-White has been crowned as the hottest brand in the world in The Lyst Index’s latest rankings.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…

Off-White has been crowned as the hottest brand in the world in The Lyst Index’s latest rankings.

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 Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber, JAY-Z, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna.

Now, researchers have compiled data from the fashion platform Lyst for the third quarter of 2019 and claimed Off-White has come out on top in relation to global Lyst and Google search data, conversion rates and sales, as well as brand and product social media mentions and engagement statistics worldwide.

Balenciaga, helmed by creative director Demna Gvasalia, was the runner-up, while Gucci fell back two spots in comparison to last quarter and landed in third place.

Other luxury brands in the top 10 included Versace, Prada, Valentino, Fendi, Burberry, Saint Laurent, and Vetements, while notable additions to the top 20 this quarter were Bottega Veneta and Loewe.

Since Daniel Lee joined Bottega Veneta in June 2018, the Italian fashion house has undergone a huge revamp, with the designer winning acclaim for his minimalist designs and Stretch sandals, which immediately sold out upon release following the launch of the label’s pre-fall 2019 collection.

“Daniel Lee has brought incredible energy to the evolution of Bottega Veneta and the reaction has been extraordinary,” Dario Gargiulo, chief marketing officer of Bottega Veneta, said of the brand’s transformation. “Free from any desire to become the hottest brand in the world, our focus is on the beauty and power of subtlety. We forego extensive explanation about our brand in favour of simply being visible and present across the current multicultural landscape.”

Among the most popular products were Bottega Veneta’s padded sandals, Adidas Continental 80 sneakers, Jacquemus’ pocket-sized Le Chiquito bag, Paco Rabanne’s reissued 1969 metal shoulder bag, Fendi’s FF motif bikini, and Mansur Gavriel’s cloud print sweater.

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Michael Kors will never have a muse

Michael Kors will never rely on a single “muse” for inspiration.The American fashion designer has never designed pieces with just one woman in mind, unlike the late Karl Lagerfeld, who had many muses including Vanessa Paradis, Claudia Schiffer, and Car…

Michael Kors will never rely on a single “muse” for inspiration.

The American fashion designer has never designed pieces with just one woman in mind, unlike the late Karl Lagerfeld, who had many muses including Vanessa Paradis, Claudia Schiffer, and Cara Delevingne.

“To this day, the question I hate the most is when people say, ‘Who’s your muse?’ And I say, ‘Muse? If I’m only designing for one woman, then we’re in trouble,'” he told Harper’s Bazaar.

And Kors attributes his successful, decades-long career to growing up in a family of strong, fashion-forward women in Long Island.

“They were all very specific in their point of view, they were all very opinionated,” the 60-year-old said, before recalling an argument his mother – former model Joan Hamburger – once had with her sister-in-law “over whether taupe or camel was a better colour for a winter coat”.

Kors also revealed that he helped to redesign his mother’s dress for her second wedding when he was just five years old.

“My grandmother was with us at the bridal salon, and my mother had ordered her dress, and was having the first fitting. It was floor-length, heavy cream shantung, very Balenciaga, and covered in bows. When my mother tried it on, I just went silent. My mother asked, ‘What’s wrong? and I said, ‘Those bows are so terrible!'” he laughed.

The designer, whose chic dresses were even worn by former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, wants to create clothes for women of all sizes and ages.

“My aim is to make women feel their best selves,” Kors shared. “She could be 85, she could be 16; she could be a size 22 or a size four.”

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Demna Gvasalia departing Vetements

Demna Gvasalia is stepping down from Vetements “to pursue new ventures”.The Georgian designer, who co-founded the Zurich-based fashion house with his brother Guram Gvasalia in 2014, announced the news in a statement to WWD over the weekend. “I started …

Demna Gvasalia is stepping down from Vetements “to pursue new ventures”.

The Georgian designer, who co-founded the Zurich-based fashion house with his brother Guram Gvasalia in 2014, announced the news in a statement to WWD over the weekend.

“I started Vetements because I was bored of fashion and against all odds, fashion did change once and forever since Vetements appeared and it also opened a new door for so many,” Demna stated to the fashion publication. “So, I feel that I have accomplished my mission of a conceptualist and design innovator at this exceptional brand and Vetements has matured into a company that can evolve its creative heritage into a new chapter on its own.”

The 38-year-old will continue in his role as creative director of Balenciaga. He is scheduled to unveil his spring 2020 show for the luxury label as part of Paris Fashion Week on 29 September.

“Vetements has always been a collective of creative minds. We will continue to push the boundaries even further, respecting codes and the authentic values of the brand, and keep on supporting honest creativity and genuine talent,” Guram, who is the chief executive of Vetements, added. “We are very grateful to Demna for having contributed to the great momentum of the house.”

The brothers’ statement also hinted at additional projects for Demna, who will be exiting Vetements “to pursue new ventures”.

Previously, Demna served as a senior designer at Louis Vuitton, working with Marc Jacobs and then briefly under Nicolas Ghesquiere.

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Natacha Ramsay-Levi views Chloe brand as a ‘community’

Natacha Ramsay-Levi sees the Chloe brand as a “community” women want to be part of.The French designer succeeded Clare Waight Keller as creative director of the luxury label in March 2017, having previously held positions at Balenciaga and Louis Vuitto…

Natacha Ramsay-Levi sees the Chloe brand as a “community” women want to be part of.

The French designer succeeded Clare Waight Keller as creative director of the luxury label in March 2017, having previously held positions at Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton.

Ramsay-Levi continues to stay true to her boho-chic aesthetic and use of retro prints, and has now shared that she has women at the forefront of her mind at all times.

“Chloe is the one brand that talks about femininity,” she said in an interview with U.S. InStyle magazine. “That, for me, is something between very natural and very strong. I see Chloe as being a community that women want to be a part of and clothes that relate to your own identity.”

For Ramsay-Levi’s debut spring/summer 2018 collection, she paid homage to previous Chloe designers, including brand founder Gaby Aghion, as well as Waight Keller, Phoebe Philo, and Karl Lagerfeld. Yet, the fashion star is adamant she is committed to carving out her own signature designs for the company and not merely imitating those who came before her.

“It’s not like I’m transforming myself to design for Chloe, because it’s a house I’ve always felt connected to,” the 39-year-old insisted. “I am trying my best to pay homage and show my love, which is very sincere. It’s my first creative direction, and I could not have done it another way.”

In addition to her main line, Ramsay-Levi recently unveiled a capsule collection with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop brand. The range is comprised of exclusive accessories and an edit of Chloe’s summer range, with items priced between $850 and $3,250 (£667 – £2,550).

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Jennifer Lopez’s costume designer always ensures she ‘shines like a diamond’

Jennifer Lopez’s longtime stylist Rob Zangardi is determined for her to shine “like a diamond” during the It’s My Party tour.Jennifer kicked off her gigs in Los Angeles at the beginning of June and will be ending her trek in Russia on 11 August. Rob pi…

Jennifer Lopez’s longtime stylist Rob Zangardi is determined for her to shine “like a diamond” during the It’s My Party tour.

Jennifer kicked off her gigs in Los Angeles at the beginning of June and will be ending her trek in Russia on 11 August.

Rob pieced together the 19 costumes the On the Floor hitmaker wears during the show, as well as the 176 outfits for her dancers.

“Sparkle is incredibly effective for a big show like Jennifer’s,” Rob explained to The Hollywood Reporter. “On stage, things translate so differently. When you have an intimate setting or a smaller venue, it’s important to see the artist’s face, what they’re doing and not distract too much with the costumes. But when you’re performing for 20,000 people in an arena, the people way in the back need to see you and nothing’s more exciting than seeing J.Lo shining like a diamond onstage.

“And that’s a J.Lo staple. Jennifer has always loved the sparkle, the jewellery and the more-is-more mentality – for everything that she does.”

Explaining how involved Jennifer is when it comes to her stage costumes, Rob shared that together they put together mood boards based on the 49-year-old star’s idea for each section with colour palettes and an overall vibe.

The next stage saw Rob reach out to the designers who suit the different ideas. Versace, Guess, Zuhair Murad, Giambattista Valli, Balenciaga and Marchesa are among the big-name fashion houses who contributed to Jennifer’s tour wardrobe.

“(We approach designers) who we have relationships with or who Jennifer wants to make sure are in the show. One of them always is Versace, so we’ll reach out to their team and give them the concept,” Rob added.

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Cate Blanchett: ‘True chic is effortless’

Cate Blanchett has praised Giorgio Armani for teaching her how to appear effortlessly chic. The Oscar-winning actress is a lover of fashion, and dazzles on the red carpet with pieces from the likes of Balenciaga, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Christop…

Cate Blanchett has praised Giorgio Armani for teaching her how to appear effortlessly chic.

The Oscar-winning actress is a lover of fashion, and dazzles on the red carpet with pieces from the likes of Balenciaga, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Armani and Givenchy.

But it was her friendship with the 84-year-old Italian designer that prompted Blanchett to rethink her relationship with fashion.

“It should never be work. That’s something I learned from Mr. Armani. True chic is effortless, and it’s got to come from you,” she told InStyle.

And the Australian star is a big fan of rewearing clothes she’s worn in the past and doesn’t indulge in fast-fashion.

“It’s not what gets likes and views. So, yeah, I mean, I love fashion, I love costumes, and I’m also a great lover of rewearing things I’ve loved in the past,” the 50-year-old explained. “I would say my go-to is pretty much a well-pressed suit. Or a good pair of trousers.”

Blanchett has also mastered the fine art of applying make-up in a moving vehicle, and prefers a durable compact foundation, rather than liquid. Most days, she simply wears a touch of foundation, mascara and lipstick, and as the face of Giorgio Armani’s new perfume, Si Fiori, she always ensures to dab on some fragrance before stepping out.

However, when quizzed on her favourite smell, the mother-of-four had a very touching answer.

“It’s boring, but newborn babies. They’re just delicious. And so full of possibilities,” she gushed.

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Steve Madden and YSL settle legal battle

Steve Madden and Yves Saint Laurent have settled their lawsuit out of court.The legal wrangling kicked off in August when footwear designer Madden accused the French label of trying to “stifle legitimate competition” by threatening to sue Madden and “a…

Steve Madden and Yves Saint Laurent have settled their lawsuit out of court.

The legal wrangling kicked off in August when footwear designer Madden accused the French label of trying to “stifle legitimate competition” by threatening to sue Madden and “at least 13” retailers who sell the brand’s Sicily sandal, claiming that the flats resemble its popular Tribute platform style.

The warring brands have now come to an agreement, with Footwear News reporting Steve Madden and YSL bosses have jointly filed to voluntarily dismiss the case in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The decision to settle came less than two weeks after U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni tossed out two of YSL’s counterclaims against the retailer.

In the original complaint, Madden called the issue “absurd and frivolous”. He also pointed out that the two styles were markedly different in appearance.

“Madden’s Sicily flat sandal design is so distinct from the high-heeled platform shoe design claimed in the (Tribute) patent such that no ordinary observer, even unaware of prior high-heeled platform shoe designs, could possibly be deceived into thinking that the Sicily flat sandal design was the same as the high-heeled platform shoe design in (YSL’s) patent,” the lawsuit stated.

YSL had sent cease-and-desist letters to at least 13 Steve Madden vendors, including Dillard’s, DSW, Walmart and Zappos. Some went as far as pulling the sandal and asked the Steve Madden brand to reclaim their unsold inventory.

Steve Madden has also faced copycat lawsuits from the likes of Valentino, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga in the past.

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Kering commits to only working with models aged over 18

Executives at fashion conglomerate Kering have reaffirmed their commitment to only hiring models over the age of 18.Over the past two years, bosses at top houses and media corporations have introduced new codes of conduct regarding photoshoots and runw…

Executives at fashion conglomerate Kering have reaffirmed their commitment to only hiring models over the age of 18.

Over the past two years, bosses at top houses and media corporations have introduced new codes of conduct regarding photoshoots and runway shows in light of the #MeToo movement and claims of sexual misconduct in the entertainment and fashion industries,

Now, bosses at Kering – which owns luxury brands like Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and Alexander McQueen – have stated that they will only hire models aged over 18.

“As a global luxury group, we are conscious of the influence exerted on younger generations in particular by the images produced by our houses,” declared Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of Kering, in a statement. “We believe that we have a responsibility to put forward the best possible practices in the luxury sector and we hope to create a movement that will encourage others to follow suit.”

Back in September 2017, leaders at Kering and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton introduced a charter with the aim of banning very thin and underage models from the runway.

The new regulation may mean models like Kaia Gerber, 17, miss out on gigs for a few months. However, a spokesperson for the company is adamant hiring models over the age of 18 signals further progress in a “continued commitment” to women.

“In our view, the physiological and psychological maturity of models aged over 18 seems more appropriate to the rhythm and demands that are involved in this profession. We are also aware of the role model element that images produced by our houses can represent for certain groups of people,” added Marie-Claire Daveu, Kering’s chief sustainability officer.

The new guidelines will be enacted as of the fall/winter 2020 shows.

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Demna Gvasalia didn’t anticipate success of Balenciaga’s Triple S sneakers

Demna Gvasalia had no idea Balenciaga’s Triple S sneakers would be so popular.The Georgian designer led teams at Maison Martin Margiela and Louis Vuitton in the past and is now garnering critical acclaim as creative director of Balenciaga and Vetements…

Demna Gvasalia had no idea Balenciaga’s Triple S sneakers would be so popular.

The Georgian designer led teams at Maison Martin Margiela and Louis Vuitton in the past and is now garnering critical acclaim as creative director of Balenciaga and Vetements.

Gvasalia first introduced the chunky-soled Triple S as part of his fall/winter 2017 Balenciaga menswear line, with the shoe quickly selling out and sparking the trend for “dad sneakers,” however, he is adamant that he never anticipated such strong interest in the creation.

“(The) Triple S became that commercial success that we didn’t expect,” he stated in an interview with The Washington Post. “We were not really very ready to supply the demand that we were actually getting… Everybody asks us, even the driver, like the Uber driver, asks me, ‘So when is there a new sneaker coming out?'”

A pair of Triple S sneakers cost around $830 (£645), with the shoes all currently sold out on the Balenciaga website. There is a huge demand for the designs on resale websites too, yet Gvasalia doesn’t view himself as the king of the “ugly” sneaker.

“I cannot feel the ownership or responsibility, for example, for ugly sneakers or whatever they call it. I cannot feel that responsibility because I truly do not consider Triple S as an ugly sneaker,” the 38-year-old continued. “I don’t like ugly things. Like, I don’t know who came up with that. I actually love beautiful things; but I maybe try to see beauty in other things that are not conventionally considered as beautiful today.”

Elsewhere in the discussion, Gvasalia spoke about his fall/winter 2019 ready-to-wear line for Balenciaga, and upheaval within the fashion world. He also chatted about his other controversial design – a $2,000 (£1,550) blue leather tote which resembles an expensive Ikea bag.

“I used, a lot, the actual Ikea bag in my student time. I always thought how great (it) would it be to have the same thing, but in a beautiful, luxurious bag,” he explained of the inspiration.

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