Peabody Essex follows a feminist thread through fashion history

That’s right: Until four years ago, a woman had never led one of the most iconic women’s fashion brands in its 70-year history. Ever. Chiuri’s blunt corrective paraded down the runway at the Musée Rodin for Paris Fashion Week Fall 2016, and it serves as a fitting opening salvo for “Made It!” It’s a show determined to transcend aesthetic ingenuity to grapple with the social history inherent in every stitch of women’s wear, spanning centuries.

More than that, “Made It!” is about taking power to share power, bit by bit — a quiet revolution against the arbitrary strictures of gender, cloaked in lace and lamé and chiffon. “Made It!” is a joint effort between the Peabody Essex Museum and the Kunstmuseum den Haag in the Netherlands, but it’s dressed up in American garb. That’s owing both to PEM’s own extensive fashion and textile collection, well-represented here, as well as the show’s timing. Even delayed many months by the pandemic, the late-November opening meant that PEM curator Petra Slinkard could still dedicate the exhibition to the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, just as she planned. That she was able to open the show the very same month that women played a critical role in bringing about change in the White House — suburban women, we salute you — feels significant, indeed.

Not that those seeking opulent ingenuity won’t find it. There are plenty of Chanels and Lanvins, Kawakubos and McQueens. But the point of “Made It!” isn’t to celebrate uncomplicated beauty so much as it is to pay homage to the revolutionary beauty that overcame mountains of complications — social, political, economic — to thrive and empower women from one generation to the next.

The first gallery celebrates European tailoring guilds from the late 1600s.
The first gallery celebrates European tailoring guilds from the late 1600s.Kathy Tarantola/Courtesy Peabody Essex Museum

In the exhibition’s accompanying book, Slinkard makes a case for the historical entwinement of fashion with social and economic power. The opening paragraphs of her essay “At the Cutting Edge: American Fashion as Catalyst for Change” dives right into the 1824 strike of 102 women at a Pawtucket, R.I., textile factory, the first major factory strike in American history. It’s an emblematic tale about agency and opportunity taken, not given. Almost a century before they could vote, women became an organized labor force in an industry where they dominated, providing a model for generations to come.

Staking their claim in the economy also gave women blossoming power over their own appearance, which, traditionally, had been determined by how men liked to see them (one word: corsets). Mass production dominated by women led to some significant shifts in comfort, among other things. In the mid-19th century, as the ranks of women garment workers ballooned by the tens of thousands, the rational dress movement — a name you have to love — moved from tightly-wound torso binding toward loose and comfy garments like bloomers.

“Made It!” takes this foundational tale and runs with it, backward and forward. The first gallery, called “Breaking In,”

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British Fashion Awards: move online heralds different set of priorities | Fashion

The British Fashion Awards is typically an evening of turbo-charged air-kissing, wildly expensive party dresses and extended acceptance speeches from tearful models.

This is, of course, a very different kind of year, and Thursday night’s awards, which took place online, reflected a drastically different set of priorities.

Instead of the usual categories of fashion icon and brand of the year, 20 designers were recognised for making positive changes in the industry, with kudos going to those who had produced personal protective equipment (PPE), celebrated frontline workers and campaigned for inclusivity.

It comes amid a punishing year for the fashion industry, with profits declining by 90%, according to a McKinsey and the Business of Fashion report released on Wednesday.

It is also a year in which systemic racism within fashion was laid bare by the Black Lives Matter movement. “The fashion industry is one of the most vibrant in the world but with that platform comes responsibility,” said Lewis Hamilton, who presented a section of the awards. In a segment filmed some weeks ago, the racing driver, now isolating after a positive Covid test, said: “It is no longer enough for the fashion industry to set trends. It needs to set more important trends of creating a more equal and representative society.”

Edward Enninful received an award for pushing change through the pages of Vogue. The campaigner Aurora James was recognised for her initiative, 15 Percent Pledge, which urges retailers to commit to dedicating 15% of shelf space to black-owned businesses. Lindsay Peoples Wagner and Sandrine Charles also won awards for setting up the inclusivity coalition Black in Fashion Council.

Other winners included Michael Halpern, who made PPE for the Royal Brompton hospital and gave frontline workers a starring role as models in his London fashion week presentation, and the Emergency Designer Network, which was set up in April and has helped create 50,000 surgical gowns and 10,000 sets of scrubs for health workers.

Designers including Stella McCartney and Anya Hindmarch received awards for their work in sustainability.

The actor Maisie Williams presented those awards and asked viewers to “understand that we are all part of the problem”, while the campaigner Aja Barber urged the industry to note that “we don’t have much time yet, so it’s time to make hard choices”.

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The Fashion Award winners of 2020 share their hopes for the future of the fashion industry

Samuel Ross 

Founder of the Black Lives Matter Financial Aid Scheme, Ross pledged £10,000 to those on the frontline supporting the BLM movement and gave grants of £25,000 to Black-owned businesses.

“Next year we need less talk—more action and change.”

Priya Ahluwalia Photo: Courtesy of The Fashion Awards

Priya Ahluwalia 

A pioneer of sustainable fashion and telling the stories of those who make her clothes, Ahluwalia is an agent for change who uses her platform to raise awareness about the Black community.

“2020 has been such a turbulent year, the importance of community has been imperative to me both personally and professionally. The community I built between my peers through the height of the BLM protests is unbreakable and I was able to get through everyday because of it.”

Lindsay Peoples Wagner Photo: Courtesy of The Fashion Awards

Sandrine Charles Photo: Courtesy of The Fashion Awards

Lindsay Peoples Wagner and Sandrine Charles 

Founders of the Black in Fashion Council—editors, models, stylists, creatives, and industry stakeholders who aim to bring diversity, inclusion, and accountability to the fashion industry.

“While this year has been incredibly tough, we want to make sure that people of colour are being supported and uplifted. The Black in Fashion Council community has meant so much to people who have been pleading with the industry for inclusivity, making people feel less alone and creating a lane for real hope and systemic change. And that means everything to us. We’ve made strides, but the work has only just begun.”

Aurora James Photo: Courtesy of The Fashion Awards

Aurora James 

James has brought change to the fashion industry through her campaign to promote Black-owned businesses, calling on retailers to dedicate 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned brands.

“I couldn’t have done any of my work this year without the strong friends and family who create my communities… We must carry this movement on whether it’s through hard policy work, corporate restructuring or even spending power, which creates economic equality for marginalised people and small businesses. The fashion industry has approached change with an optic lens for far too long. My goal with The 15% Pledge is to dig deeper.”

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Change-makers honored in a digital video

The Fashion Awards have always been a celebrity-filled affair, and in that respect, this year was no different. In true style, the British Fashion Council, the organizing body behind the event, recruited Priyanka Chopra, Lewis Hamilton, Maisie Williams and Rosalia to act as presenters, sprinkling star dust on the proceedings and adding pop culture clout.

a man and a woman posing for a picture: PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 01: A model poses during the Kenneth Ize Womenswear Spring/Summer 2021 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on October 01, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images)

© Kristy Sparow/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
PARIS, FRANCE – OCTOBER 01: A model poses during the Kenneth Ize Womenswear Spring/Summer 2021 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on October 01, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images)

But if the faces were familiar, little else about this year’s ceremony was. With coronavirus ruling out an event at London’s Royal Albert Hall, the BFC replaced its usual gala ceremony with a 30-minute film, released on YouTube and the Fashion Awards website on Thursday.

Gone were the Swarovski-crystal trophies for the brands, models and designers of the year. Instead, 3D-printed columns of recycled ocean plastic, commissioned by Parley for the Oceans, were awarded to 20 designers, brands and organizations that have “inspired us to develop a better future and take action on issues that require our immediate attention,” Chopra said in the video.

“If this year made something obvious, it is that there are people and brands who lead the way when it comes to change, and it felt the right moment to recognize and celebrate them. We need to spotlight positive change and creativity to help encourage and inspire our industry and beyond,” Caroline Rush, the BFC’s chief executive, said in an email to CNN.

Winners, who were grouped into four broad categories — community, people, environment and creativity — recorded their acceptance speeches on camera in their own spaces. Among the most high-profile were British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, who put uniformed front-line workers and activists on the cover of the magazine’s covers; sustainable fashion pioneer Stella McCartney; and Burberry, which redirected its supply chains to deliver 100,000 surgical masks to the NHS and committed one of its factories to the creation of non-surgical gowns and masks.

Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, who became co-creative directors of Prada earlier this year, bagged a win for showing the power of collaboration with their joint Spring-Summer 2021 collection, while perennial Fashion Awards favorite Jonathan Anderson was honored for his Covid-friendly fashion show alternatives for his own brand, JW Anderson, and at Loewe.

The Fashion Awards’ change in format and direction comes at the end of what has been an unprecedented year for the industry, rocked by pandemic-related disruptions to supply chains and buyer spending, and increased scrutiny around widespread systemic racism in the wake of the reinvigorated Black Lives Matter movement. Reflecting that, the film appears as a sort of montage of the year that was, with clips of boarded-up shops, protests, landfills and addresses from world leaders spliced with digital fashion show segments, designer PPE factory visits, and interviews with creatives about how their lives and professions have been transformed.

“This year

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Complex turned its fashion and music festival into a futuristic video game

Since 2016, ComplexCon has been a place where streetwear enthusiasts can gather in one place to buy exclusive gear, listen to amazing live music, and gorge at high-end food trucks. As with most live shows, though, the event isn’t taking place in 2020 — at least, not in the traditional way. In lieu of an in-person festival in Long Beach, Complex has built a video game where users can shop, watch talks and performances, and, yes, order from local restaurants.

It’s not a sprawling virtual world where millions can gather in one place, but rather a single-player experience designed to mimic the feeling of being at a live show. ComplexLand is a video game where the main activity is shopping, and you chase after sneaker drops like a hero in the latest open-world blockbuster.

ComplexLand will take place from December 7th–11th, and it’s completely free. The experience was built in WebGL, meaning it’s accessible via a web browser, either on desktop or mobile. Once you create an account, you’re dropped into a sort of abstract, futuristic cityscape and immediately prompted to create an avatar, choosing from various brandname hats and sneakers.

From there, the experience opens up, with a big world full of NPCs to talk to and points of interest to explore. To emulate some of the social experience, there will also be a persistent chat where attendees can talk about the day’s events. Most importantly: there are plenty of places to shop.

Complex’s head of collaborations, Neil Wright, says the creative team was inspired by Travis Scott’s appearance in Fortnite earlier this year, but they felt one key thing was missing. “Aesthetically, I thought it looked really cool. It was so over the top and whimsical in a way that was really creative,” Wright explains. “I think, for us, the one thing that it lacked was the commerce aspect. If you wanted to buy any of the merch, you had to go to Travis’ website. You had to go elsewhere for it. So when we were building this world, we wanted to make sure that commerce was top of mind.”

ComplexLand is essentially a game built entirely around shopping. Yes, you can watch talks where Fat Joe and Lil Yachty discuss the best sneakers of the year or listen to T-Pain’s thoughts on the future of esports. (All of the talks will be broadcast via YouTube Live.) But you’re also running through a sci-fi city in search of the latest gear. Complex has partnered with fashion brands like Adidas, BAPE, and Tokidoki for virtual booths that users can visit to shop for exclusive sneakers or hoodies. Everything is branded and shoppable: there are artists booths where individuals can sell their work, or you can pop by a Perrier booth plastered with Takashi Murakami’s iconic smiling flowers.

The experience also gamifies that ever-present part of streetwear culture: the limited drop. As players are exploring the world, they’ll get notifications that a new drop is about to happen. From there,

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Japan’s Richest Person Sees Wealth Cross $41 Billion As Fashion Sales Rebound In Japan And China

The net worth of Japan’s wealthiest person, Tadashi Yanai, the billionaire behind everyday fashion brand Uniqlo, touched a peak of $41.6 billion this week, spurred by a shopping frenzy for Uniqlo’s pandemic-friendly clothes from masks to tracksuits.

Yanai’s fortune was buoyed by a 114% rise in shares of flagship Fast Retailing since March, when they fell amid a pandemic-induced global sell-off. Yanai, who has a 47% stake in the world’s third-largest clothing retailer, has more than doubled his fortune since Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list where he was ranked No. 41 with a net worth of $19.7 billion.

Fast Retailing owns the Uniqlo brand in addition to brands like Theory, Helmut Lang, J Brand and GU. Analysts attribute the stock jump to the company’s new digital strategies and its focus on practical, everyday clothing, preferred by those working from home.

“Sales are good due to its product lines fitting the stay-at-home demand,” says Dairo Murata, senior analyst at JP Morgan in Tokyo. “Fast Retailing has always been promoting the ‘LifeWear’ concept, and selling clothes which fit the work-from-home style well.”

The Japanese retailer–which has more than 3,600 stores across 26 markets spanning Asia, North America and Europe–offers the LifeWear range which it promotes as “simple” and “high quality everyday clothing.” It also incorporates proprietary technologies like “Heattech,” which converts moisture to warmth and is currently used in everything from loungewear to T-shirts and socks. Another notable feature is its “AIRism” technology, which keeps the fabric breathable and is currently used in its range of cloth masks. The triple-layer AIRism masks with bacterial filters, which were rolled out in June in Japan were quickly snapped up by hordes of online and offline customers.

However, Fast Retailing’s annual revenues and profits took a hit due to the closure of stores during the pandemic. It reported a 12% drop in annual revenues to 2 trillion yen, or $19 billion, for the year ended August 31, 2020 and a 44% drop in its net profit to $853 million. Uniqlo shut nearly half of its 748 stores in China in January–reopening them in late April. In Japan, 311 of its 817 stores were shuttered in late March and reopened in early May.

Despite these store closures, the Japan Uniqlo business was a bright spot in an otherwise down year. It recorded a 2% increase in profits even as revenue rose 20% year on year in the June to August quarter. Japan Uniqlo sales were boosted by e-commerce sales which rose 29.3% for the fiscal year ended August.

“The spread of Covid-19 has spurred a change in values and encouraged us to scrutinize the way that we live,” Yanai noted in a November message featured on the company’s website.

“The meaning of clothes is also changing as we witness a strong shift away from clothes worn to beautify or emphasize the

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Breakingviews – Corona Capital: Planes, High fashion, Bill Ackman


MELBOURNE/LONDON/MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) – Corona Capital is a column updated throughout the day by Breakingviews columnists around the world with short, sharp pandemic-related insights.


– Qantas

– Norwegian Air

– Fashion

– Pershing Square Holdings

TAKE WING. Qantas Airways is offering some hope to shareholders and fellow airlines. The $7.7 billion Australian carrier said on Thursday that reopened local borders would help it utilise 68% of its domestic capacity this month, up from 20% earlier in the year. What’s more, boss Alan Joyce expects his company to break even at the underlying EBITDA level in the first half through December.

Such developments will make it the envy of many peers, some of which are still raising capital to cope with the pandemic. Qantas has its hurdles, though. Revenue this financial year stands to shrink by $8 billion compared to pre-Covid times. And although it has retained its investment-grade credit rating, net debt has swollen by a quarter to $4.4 billion. Joyce also expects international travel to be grounded until at least June. All things considered, though, he is on a comparatively better trajectory. (By Jeffrey Goldfarb)

FLYING ON FUMES. Like the pilot of a doomed aircraft frantically tapping the fuel gauge, Norwegian Air Shuttle may finally have run out of financial gas. The once high-flying transatlantic budget carrier, now worth just $140 million, hopes to keep airborne by swapping another chunk of debt for equity and raising $450 million by selling new shares. More state aid might be needed beyond the $292 million injected in May.

It’s hard to see creditors or the government signing up. Oslo has already said it won’t be writing any more cheques. And Norwegian’s current shareholders are the creditors, mainly leasing firms, who agreed a $4.3 billion debt-equity swap six months ago. Asking them to wipe themselves out in return for almost worthless shares and another cash call doesn’t sound like fun. An asset fire-sale will only give creditors a fraction of what they are owed. But it’s better than clambering aboard a flying money pit. (By Ed Cropley)

PANDEMIC SLOG. The China factor won’t immediately save the luxury sector from its pandemic misery. Frantic domestic buying by Middle Kingdom shoppers has put a patch on sliding revenue at heavyweights such as LVMH and Kering, third-quarter results showed. Chinese travelling – a source of retail spending – has already recovered domestically. Yet a global recuperation will take time, McKinsey’s annual report on the state of fashion shows. International tourism could remain subdued until 2024 after a likely 80% contraction this year, the report says.

Chinese bling shopping will continue to boom in 2021 and could be up to 30% higher than in 2019. But global luxury sales will still be between $40 billion and $80 billion below pre-pandemic levels next year, says McKinsey. A complete global recovery could come as late as the fourth quarter of 2022, with Europe not returning to 2019 levels until 2023. The severity of the virus hit

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Brooklyn Beckham launching fashion career?

Brooklyn Beckham standing next to a fence

© Bang Showbiz
Brooklyn Beckham

Brooklyn Beckham is launching a fashion career.

The 21-year-old photographer – who is the son of David and Victoria Beckham – is keen to move in front of the camera and has signed up to be represented by Robert Ferrell, who has previously managed the careers of the likes of Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer, and insiders think it’s only a matter of time before he lands some major campaigns.

A source told The Sun newspaper’s Bizarre column: “Brooklyn has a recognisable face now and is in high demand in the fashion world, especially as he’s the son of David and Victoria.

“He has got one of the industry’s leading names to help build him up and bag him lucrative deals.

“It’s a promising move.”

Brooklyn made a name for himself as a photographer when he was just 18.

However, his book ‘What I See’ – which was released in 2017 – was subjected to ridicule over its blurred photographs and bizarre images such as a branch, which was captioned “sparrow that flew off just as I was getting the camera out”.

As well as his career aspirations, Brooklyn is also busy planning his wedding to Nicola Peltz, and recently gushed about how “lucky” he feels to have her as his partner.

Sharing a picture of himself placing a kiss on Nicola’s cheek, he wrote on his Instagram Story: “My gorgeous girl [heart emoji] I am the luckiest person on this planet to have you by my side [heart emoji] I love u (sic)”

And in October, Brooklyn marked his one-year anniversary with Nicola and said he “can’t wait” to “start a family” with the actress.

He wrote on Instagram: “happy 1 year anniversary baby. I’m the luckiest person to have you by my side x I can not wait to grow old with you and start a family with you. love you so much. (sic)”

Nicola, 25, also took to Instagram to post her own tribute, in which she called herself the “luckiest girl in the world”.

She wrote: “happy anniversary to the love of my life. i am the luckiest girl in the world to get to be by your side through it all. you have the most beautiful heart i’ve ever known and anyone in your life is lucky to be in it. i promise to always take care of you. i love you more everyday. (sic)”

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The rock star of retail: how Topshop changed the face of fashion | Life and style

“What’s this I’m reading in the paper? It’s a load of absolute shit, that’s what it is. What’s the matter with you? Are you stupid or what? I’ve never read so much rubbish in my life.”

It was February 2010, and I was at my desk in the Guardian office. Philip Green didn’t need to introduce himself. His habit of bellowing down the phone was unmistakable, and I had just written an article about how I was falling out of love with Topshop after a decade being in thrall to its shop floor. Green never did take kindly to criticism of the golden child of his Arcadia empire.

Of the thousands of businesses that have been brought to their knees by the pandemic, Topshop is the most high-profile scalp; Arcadia Group collapsed into administration on Monday. In its prime, it was the most glamorous store the British high street has ever had. From late 1990 until a few years ago, it was the rock star of retail. Its dresses regularly featured on the pages of Vogue. Every Saturday, the 90,000 sq feet of its flagship store on Oxford Circus were packed with shoppers high on catwalk-adjacent clothes at accessible prices. When Beyoncé flew into London, the store opened an hour early so that she and her team could shop privately on their way to rehearsals. At London Fashion Week, where the brand staged a bi-annual show from 2005 until 2018, the Topshop front row regularly outshone designer labels with the glossiest celebrities, the sharpest new trends, the most copious champagne. At those catwalk shows, Green would position himself in the place of honour, with Anna Wintour on one side and Kate Moss on the other. He was the uncontested king of the high street.

The story of Topshop’s glory years – and of its fall – is closely tied to Green, but the story of its rise belongs to someone else. Topshop’s ascendancy was a phenomenon under the stewardship of Jane Shepherdson, several years before Green arrived. As brand director, Shepherdson created at Topshop the kind of brand that had never before existed. Until then, high street fashion had tended to fall into two generational camps. There were sensible skirts-and-blouses for grownups, and then there was “youth” fashion – basic denim, brightly coloured T-shirts, generically skimpy party dresses, cheap rip-offs of catwalk silhouettes. Topshop changed this, thanks to Shepherdson’s unerring taste and her eye for the best fashion school graduate talent with which to fill the design studio. Topshop offered high-fashion sophistication at a high street price. In 2006, Paolo Roversi shot a Topshop advertising campaign between shooting covers for Italian Vogue.

Jane Shepherdson.
Jane Shepherdson. Photograph: Sophia Evans/The Observer

Fashion is never just about clothes, and Topshop on a Saturday in the noughties was a playground. The democratisation of style that it represented felt like a progressive and cheering development, and the loud music and video screens lent the stores a festival mood. There were on-floor stylists and walk-up nail bars.

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Naomi Osaka Discusses Her Love of Fashion and New Bag Collection With Strathberry

Naomi Osaka is fiercely passionate when she’s on the tennis court. Not just about the game, but about her beliefs. At the U.S. Open this year she wore masks emblazoned with the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, and George Floyd, all Black victims of police violence. She understands that fashion is a communication tool, but she also sees it as an outlet for creative self-expression. In fact, she’s been sketching her own designs with her sister since they were little kids and now, after creating a capsule line for the Japanese label ADEAM, she’s designed a new accessories collaboration. 

Today Osaka and the Scottish accessories label Strathberry are unveiling a limited-edition collection of five bag styles and two wallets. The minimalist, sculptural designs come in subtle hues and pops of color, and feature Strathberry’s signature metal bar hardware as well as a leather wrapped handle, which nods to the grip on a tennis racket. To mark the collaboration and further support Osaka’s causes, Strathberry will be making a donation to her recently launched organization Play Academy, which helps change the lives of young girls through sport. 

Photo: AB+DM Studio/Styled by Law Roach 

“I want to really empower women to claim their moment every time they step out with one of these bags on their shoulder,” says Osaka, who notes that the bags were designed to be “unique, versatile, and fun.” Strathberry co-founder Leeanne Hundleby echoes Osaka’s intentions: “Naomi is the embodiment of a role model who has inspired young men and women everywhere with her unrelenting drive, confidence, and voice.”

In addition to winning tennis championships and fighting for social justice, Osaka hopes to pursue other projects within the fashion industry. “Fashion and design are such creative outlets for me and it’s become my favorite way to express myself, which is why it’s such a liberating experience when I collaborate with brands,” she says. “Mixing and matching and finding what works together is so fun and cool. I love to push the limits.”

Photo: AB+DM Studio/Styled by Law Roach 

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