Sies Marjan shuttering amid Covid-19 pandemic

Fashion label Sies Marjan is closing down.Founded by creative director Sander Lak in 2016, the New York City-based ready-to-wear brand was known for its evocative use of colour and proportion. However, Lak announced on Monday that he was shuttering the…

Fashion label Sies Marjan is closing down.

Founded by creative director Sander Lak in 2016, the New York City-based ready-to-wear brand was known for its evocative use of colour and proportion.

However, Lak announced on Monday that he was shuttering the business as a result of financial difficulties in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

“As a young independent company, we were significantly impacted by Covid-19. With a heavy heart, we have made the very difficult decision to close our business,” he said in a statement released to editors at WWD. “What we have worked on has been a dream come true. Thank you to everyone who has given their time and talent to Sies Marjan over the years. We have built a singular brand whose legacy is not just in the clothes and collections, but within each person who contributed along the way.”

The Sies Marjan website and Instagram page have already closed.

Lak previously worked for the likes of Phillip Lim, Balmain, and Dries Van Noten before heading to the U.S. to launch his own label. Backed by Nancy and Howard Marks’ holding company Deia, the Dutch designer won the CFDA Award for Emerging Talent in 2018, having been nominated for the same prize a year earlier.

The news comes as a number of brands have indicated plans to restructure amid the Covid-19 crisis. Executives at Diane Von Furstenberg are reportedly cutting 75 per cent of staff members and closing the majority of stores, while John Varvatos filed for bankruptcy protection last month.

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CFDA launching initiatives to combat systemic racism in fashion

Members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) are launching new initiatives to help fight systemic racism in the industry.In the wake of the shocking death of African-American man George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police officers o…

Members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) are launching new initiatives to help fight systemic racism in the industry.

In the wake of the shocking death of African-American man George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police officers on 25 May, numerous anti-racism protests have taken place across the U.S. and in major cities around the world.

Now, in response to the demonstrations, CFDA chairman Tom Ford and CFDA president and chief executive officer Steven Kolb have announced that the organisation will be employing new measures to help combat injustice within the fashion industry.

“Having a clear voice and speaking out against racial injustice, bigotry and hatred is the first step, but this is not enough,” they stated. “This is a deeply disturbing moment that speaks to us all. Our world is in deep pain. Our industry is in pain and it is not enough to simply say that we stand in solidarity with those who are discriminated against. We must do something.”

Effective immediately, the CFDA is creating an in-house employment programme specifically charged with placing black talent in all sectors of the fashion business to help achieve a racially-balanced industry, and will be founding a new mentorship and internship programme focused on students and recent graduates. Ford and Kolb will also be implementing a diversity and inclusion training programme for all members, and are making donations to civil rights organisations, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Campaign Zero.

“We urge each and every member of the CFDA to take stock of their corporate structure to ensure that they have a racially balanced workforce and we challenge the retail sector of the fashion industry to ensure that their roster of brands and their product assortment is representative of the Black talent within the industry,” they concluded.

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CFDA and BFC leaders join forces to call for industry ‘reset’

Members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and British Fashion Council (BFC) are joining forces to call for an industry-wide “reset”.The coronavirus pandemic has hit the fashion business hard, with retailers forced to close stores te…

Members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and British Fashion Council (BFC) are joining forces to call for an industry-wide “reset”.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the fashion business hard, with retailers forced to close stores temporarily and designers having to postpone collections due to manufacturing restrictions.

In light of the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, officials from the CFDA, led by chairman Tom Ford, and the BFC, overseen by chief executive Caroline Rush, have been in “close communication” and are sharing feedback about the ways the industry will need to “rethink and reset” in the coming months.

Among the initiatives set out in a statement issued on Wednesday was a call for the fashion system to change “at every level”.

“We encourage our brands, designers and retailers, who are used to fashion’s fast, unforgiving pace, to slow down. For a long time, there have been too many deliveries and too much merchandise generated. With existing inventory stacking up, designers and retailers must also look at the collections cycle and be very strategic about their products and how and when they intend to sell them,” they outlined, before encouraging designers to focus on delivering only two collections per year. “We firmly believe this can provide our talents with the time they need to reconnect to the creativity and craft that makes our field so unique in the first place.”

Elsewhere, the CFDA and BFC leaders urged designers and company executives to re-evaluate delivery schedules, harness sustainable fabrics and techniques wherever possible, and utilise virtual presentations to show collections to buyers and journalists.

“The need to align as a global industry during these times has become more apparent. We will continue to work side-by-side, while each city will develop its own local initiatives. Fashion is a business of creativity and new ideas and difficult times are also ones for innovation. We will work to our industry’s benefit as we reimagine and create, with our members and partners, a successful future,” the statement concluded.

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Anna Wintour’s son in self-isolation after becoming ‘quite ill’

Anna Wintour’s son Charles Shaffer is self-quarantining away from his loved ones after becoming “quite ill”.The U.S. Vogue editor-in-chief shared the news while talking about her own coronavirus lockdown experience in a video for A Common Thread – a ne…

Anna Wintour’s son Charles Shaffer is self-quarantining away from his loved ones after becoming “quite ill”.

The U.S. Vogue editor-in-chief shared the news while talking about her own coronavirus lockdown experience in a video for A Common Thread – a new fundraising initiative for the fashion industry set up by executives at the publication and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

Introducing the series, Wintour said, “The fashion industry has been hit hard. I have been speaking to so many American designers and others in the community who fear that they won’t make their payroll or have had their orders returned, stores closed, who fear that their businesses and their livelihoods may not survive what we’re going through.

“The fund we’ve created is intended to help them and the talented people they work with.”

On a personal note, the editor explained that Shaffer, 35, was now self-isolating.

“My son is a doctor. He is currently quite ill and self-quarantining at home, away from his wife and his two small daughters,” the 70-year-old shared. “But when he is able, he will return to the ICU at his local hospital. I am so proud of him and so grateful to all the health workers, first responders, nurses and doctors, who are fighting to reduce the spread of the virus and to save lives.”

Meanwhile, CFDA chairman Tom Ford also created a video introducing the fundraising effort.

“Our goal with A Common Thread is not only to highlight the designers whom you all know and love, but also focus on those individuals who keep our industry running,” he added.

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CFDA Fashion Awards postponed

The 2020 Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Fashion Awards have been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The next edition of the annual fashion prizegiving had been scheduled to take place on 8 June at The New York Public Library, b…

The 2020 Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Fashion Awards have been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The next edition of the annual fashion prizegiving had been scheduled to take place on 8 June at The New York Public Library, but on Tuesday, a representative for the organisation announced that CFDA chairman Tom Ford and president and chief executive Steven Kolb had decided to postpone the event, as well as the unveiling of the nominees, until a later date.

“After carefully reviewing the guidelines of federal and state governments, as well as public health agencies, CFDA chairman, Tom Ford, and Steven Kolb, president and CEO, along with the full support of the board, have made the decision to postpone the 2020 CFDA Fashion Awards,” a statement on the CFDA website reads. “The CFDA will continue to monitor the ongoing situation and provide updates as they are available via email, at CFDA.com, and on our social media accounts.

“The Covid-19 outbreak is bringing many challenges to fashion designers in both their personal lives and professional operations. As an organisation with a diverse membership conducting business globally, the CFDA is doing everything it can to help our designers through these difficult times in their businesses.”

New York is the U.S. state with the highest number of coronavirus cases. As a result, New York City is on lockdown, with many bars, shops, and restaurants closed as residents self-isolate.

The coronavirus has led to a number of cancellations in the fashion world, most notably, the 2020 Met Gala, which was set to take place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Big Apple in May. Many brands have postponed upcoming runway shows too, while thousands of stores have been temporarily closed.

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Brandon Maxwell used to avoid watching his own runway shows

Brandon Maxwell used to avoid watching his own runway shows at all costs.The fashion designer is one of the hottest names in the industry, having been awarded the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Award for womenswear last year. But durin…

Brandon Maxwell used to avoid watching his own runway shows at all costs.

The fashion designer is one of the hottest names in the industry, having been awarded the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Award for womenswear last year.

But during a behind-the-scenes chat prior to his latest show, held at the American Museum of Natural History as part of New York Fashion Week on Saturday, Maxwell recalled how he used to suffer from anxiety during his early presentations.

“This is my ninth or tenth runway show and almost 20 collections, so I’ve been doing it long enough to know that it’s a waste of time to get stressed out because it all comes together in the end. I used to get really, really nervous in the beginning and get sick, and the first couple of shows I never even watched them I wasn’t even at them,” he said. “I would hide in a room and lock the door and put my music and my headphones (on) to the same amount of time that was at the show. And as soon as the music stopped in my ear, I’d unlock the door, run out of the room, wave at the end of the runway and leave again.”

Elsewhere in the clip, Maxwell explained that he was inspired by the idea of journeys for his fall/winter 2020 line. The collection was comprised of neutral separates, dresses made from a printed tortoise shell-look fabric, and denim.

“The theme of the whole show is journey. You’re packing your bag, your boots. We are in nature, we’re journeying, life’s a journey, this industry is a journey. It’s all about coats and bags and sweaters and warmth and happiness,” the 35-year-old shared. “This season, I wanted to make a liquid fabric that looked like tortoise and matched the tortoise shoes that we have, that are these six-inch tall boots, and all the tortoise jewellery.”

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Brandon Maxwell reflects on ‘defining’ year in candid post

Brandon Maxwell has described 2019 as the “defining” year of his life and career.The Texas-born designer has risen up the ranks of the industry in recent years, having served as Lady Gaga’s style director since 2012 and founded his own women’s ready-to…

Brandon Maxwell has described 2019 as the “defining” year of his life and career.

The Texas-born designer has risen up the ranks of the industry in recent years, having served as Lady Gaga’s style director since 2012 and founded his own women’s ready-to-wear label in 2015.

While Maxwell landed a gig as a judge on Project Runway this year and won Womenswear Designer of the Year at the 2019 CFDA Awards in June, in a new Instagram post, the fashion star admitted he has experienced just as many lows as highs recently.

“I was going to look back and reminisce on some memories that defined the year, but instead I locked myself out of my phone, got on an airplane, breathed in oxygen, and sat with myself for a week… 2019 was the most defining year of all my 35 here on Earth,” he wrote. “I’ve spent a lifetime running from all the ugly things about myself, and this year gave me no other option but to look them dead in the eye. I pushed myself to places unimaginable, I picked myself up off the ground more times than I would like to count, I faced rejection, loss, and fears head on, and as a result I met love with open arms.”

Maxwell went on to explain that some of his best moments didn’t take place in the spotlight, but when he was on his own and had time to think about his achievements and choices.

And as for the greatest gift he has received, the fashion star insisted it had to be “humanity”.

“What I know now is that it’s not about the race, it’s not about who cheers for you when you’re running the fastest, and it’s not about the finish line. It’s about the person who still loves you when you’ve fallen and you can’t get up, the person who was there all along when you were trying to get someone else’s attention, the person that wants nothing from you at all except to see you shine,” the 35-year-old added.

To conclude, Maxwell thanked his family, friends, and team for their continuing support.

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Kerby Jean-Raymond lands spot on Time 100 Next list

Kerby Jean-Raymond has landed a spot on the inaugural Time 100 Next list.The designer has been named alongside the likes of model Adut Akech, actress Awkwafina, singer Camila Cabello, basketball player Zion Williamson, Glossier founder Emily Weiss, wri…

Kerby Jean-Raymond has landed a spot on the inaugural Time 100 Next list.

The designer has been named alongside the likes of model Adut Akech, actress Awkwafina, singer Camila Cabello, basketball player Zion Williamson, Glossier founder Emily Weiss, writer Chanel Miller, and politician Carlos Alvarado Quesada as one of the 100 most influential rising stars.

Time’s new list is an expansion of its annual Time 100 – which has listed the world’s most influential people over the past 15 years – and instead looks at those who are “shaping the future” of business, entertainment, sports, politics, science, health and more.

Jean-Raymond was included for his “dedication to centring the Black American experience among others”.

The Haitian-American designer founded his Pyer Moss brand in 2013, and won the top honour at the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards last year, scooping the $400,000 (£311,000) prize.

He has previously spoken out about being “ostracised” and treated “like a pariah in the industry” after he staged a show during New York Fashion Week in 2017 that focused on the Black Lives Matter movement.

And while accepting a Footwear News Achievement Award for his collaboration with Reebok last year, he said that working with the sports giant allowed him to express his views through the pieces.

“My work is political, so I was offered political things, and I was offered things that were specifically black or specifically street. And Reebok said, ‘Do whatever the f**k you want,’ and that was immediately the perfect match for me,” he shared.

Jean-Raymond was later named Footwear News’ 2019 Person of the Year, and was tapped to be a part of this year’s CFDA board, along with Maria Cornejo, Carly Cushnie, and Virgil Abloh.

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Tom Ford wants to include international designers in CFDA Awards

Tom Ford would like to open the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards to include international talent during his stint as chairman. The American fashion designer, who succeeded Diane von Furstenberg as chairman of the organisation in J…

Tom Ford would like to open the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards to include international talent during his stint as chairman.

The American fashion designer, who succeeded Diane von Furstenberg as chairman of the organisation in June, hopes he can broaden the reach and appeal of the annual prizegiving ceremony by including international designers, but realises it may be a pipe dream as the CFDA board wouldn’t be taken with the idea.

“If you go to the British Fashion Awards, they give the British prizes, and then they give Best Womenswear, period. Guess what? People are interested,” he told U.S. Vogue magazine. “You’ve got LVMH (Moet Hennessy – Louis Vuitton) brands nominated, you’ve got Gucci nominated, and they all come, and it raises money, and they bring their celebrities and their models and the red carpet becomes bigger, and there are more pictures, and people start to care. By raising awareness of the CFDA, you elevate the global perception of American fashion.”

As part of the role, Ford, who created his eponymous luxury brand with menswear in 2005 and has since expanded into womenswear, underwear, accessories and beauty, has decided to streamline the upcoming New York Fashion Week (NYFW) schedule down to five days and will be hosting a dinner for American and international press as well as emerging designers to celebrate the event’s launch in September.

The 57-year-old also wants the talent in New York to be given more global coverage, with him commenting, “I want global exposure to the creativity that is in New York. Everything is too inward-looking in this country. So American star designers, they leave. Virgil Abloh, where is he? He’s at (Louis) Vuitton. You go to Paris and you become global. You stay in New York, and you’re in New York.”

Ford will present his own collection on 9 September.

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Marc Jacobs to receive inaugural MTV Fashion Vanguard Award

Marc Jacobs has been named as the recipient of the first-ever MTV Fashion Vanguard Award.The New York-based designer unveiled his first collection under his namesake brand back in 1986 and has since gone on to branch out into a number of categories, in…

Marc Jacobs has been named as the recipient of the first-ever MTV Fashion Vanguard Award.

The New York-based designer unveiled his first collection under his namesake brand back in 1986 and has since gone on to branch out into a number of categories, including perfume and cosmetics.

Now, bosses at MTV and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) have announced that Jacobs is to be honoured for making an “indelible impact” on the industry at the upcoming 2019 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs).

“Jacobs and music are inextricably linked, from tapping Cher and Missy Elliott for his ad campaigns, to dressing fashion icons Lady Gaga, Cardi B and Nicki Minaj,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “With a legacy that spans over three decades, Jacobs is a preeminent figure in fashion and music, perfectly embodying the spirit of the Fashion Trailblazer Award.”

In addition, Jacobs and his team are working with MTV to create a multimedia activation on the red carpet to highlight his creative vision at the event. The on-the-ground experience will have a dedicated photographer and stylised elements.

Jacobs’s clothing has been tied to music videos since the start of his career and he used the vintage MTV logo for pieces he designed in his spring 2017 resort collection.

“First of all, MTV always had the coolest graphics,” he told Vogue of his design inspiration. “It was very spot-on for what MTV was saying and who they were saying it to. It really spoke to me, and I think that generation of people at that time.

“I’ve maintained them in my memory bank, and they’ve never gone away. They’re iconic.”

The MTV Video Music Awards will take place in Newark, New Jersey on 26 August. Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco is hosting the event.

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