Wednesday, November 30, 2016

SJP To Open First Shop

She may be one of New York City's most famous residents - not to mention champions - but Sarah Jessica Parker has chosen to open the first standalone shop for her eponymous footwear label in Washington DC, the designer and actress has revealed.

"Opening a standalone store has long been a dream we have been working towards and we feel truly privileged to be doing so with the expertise, guidance and support of our brilliant partners at MGM Resorts,” Parker said in a press release. “It’s been very exciting to have been involved in all steps of the process, from on-site construction visits to the actual layout and design of our boutique. I'm honoured to be included in this massive undertaking and I'm very much looking forward to celebrating in December. Because perhaps then I will believe it's real."

"Today I reveal every detail of our long held secret! After many trips on @amtrak to DC, on-site construction visits, meetings on design and curating a very special collection we are opening our first standalone @sjpcollection store inside the brand new @mgmnationalharbor. The big launch is on December 8th and I'm counting down the hours, minutes and seconds until we officially open the doors. Because perhaps then I will actually believe it's real. Follow @sjpcollection to learn more over the coming weeks and months. X, Sj"

While the interior decoration of the shop has been kept under wraps, Parker shared image of a recent visit she made to the site with her Instagram followers yesterday, telling her three million followers that the doors will open on December 8th.

Samantha Cameron Launches Fashion Label

Samantha Cameron is launching her first fashion label, we can reveal, called Cefinn. The first pictures of the collection - which launches for spring/summer 2017 - can be seen exclusively in January Vogue, available on news stands Monday, December 5. The collection, which will be priced between £100 and £300, will comprise 40 pieces and will be available early next year from Net-A-Porter, Selfridges and its own-name website,

“I felt that there was a lot of American and French brands out there that fit that bracket of designer contemporary with the right price point and the right styling, but there aren’t that many British brands which fill that space,” Cameron - formerly creative director at Smythson, where she still holds a consultancy role - told us of her inspiration to start the label, which is named after the initials of her children. Although she revealed that she resisted the urge to design the collection with herself in mind.

“Well obviously you’re thinking about yourself, but at the same time it can’t be all about yourself because that would be pointless," she explained, adding: "I’ve spent a lot of time trying stuff on my friends.”

Rumours have been circulating about the fashion label since before Cameron's departure from 10 Downing Street this June. The former prime minister's wife, who has long been a champion of British fashion as well as an ambassador for the British Fashion Council, has waited until now to reveal any details about her next venture. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

First Look: Pirelli's 2017 Calendar Girls

Pirelli has revealed the first images from its 2017 calendar - shot this year by Peter Lindberg - of Robin Wright, Julianne Moore, Uma Thurman and Nicole Kidman. The actresses' images have all the hallmarks of Lindberg's work - stripped back, natural and beautiful - and continue in a similar portraiture vein to last year's calendar, which was photographed by Annie Lebowitz.

Lindberg chose to give the work the title "Emotional" to emphasise how the idea behind his photos was “to create a calendar not around perfect bodies, but on sensitivity and emotion, stripping down to the very soul of the sitters, who thus become more nude than naked,” said the brand today. It marks the third time that he has shot the famous compilation, having been responsible for the 1996 and 2002 editions.

Joining the four stars who were revealed today are Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Rooney Mara, Helen Mirren, Lupita Nyong’o, Charlotte Rampling, Lea Seydoux, Alicia Vikander, Kate Winslet, Zhang Ziyi and Anastasia Ignatova, professor of Political Theory at the Moscow State University of International Relations. The subjects were shot this year, between May and June in locations including Berlin, Los Angeles, New York, London and the beach at Le Touquet, France.

“My aim was to portray women in a different way and I did it by calling in actresses who’ve played an important role in my life, getting as close as possible to them to take my photos," explained Lindbergh. "As an artist, I feel I’m responsible for freeing women from the idea of eternal youth and perfection. The ideal of perfect beauty promoted by society is something that simply can’t be attained.”

Who's In And Who's Out At Victoria's Secret?

The Victoria’s Secret show will, as we predicted, be missing two of its most prominent figures tomorrow, as Angels Candice Swanepoel and Behati Prinsloo confirm that they will sit this one out. The twosome told their instagram followers this weekend that they wouldn’t travel to Paris with the rest of the Victoria’s Secret line-up after all.

The African duo, who made their debut together in 2007, both became mothers for the first time within weeks of one another this year - Prinsloo and husband Adam Levine welcoming their daughter, Dusty Rose, in September, and Swanepoel sharing the news of the arrival of her son, Anacã, with fiancé Hermann Nicoli in October. The show would have been the tenth Victoria’s Secret outing for both models, but both confirmed that they will be back on the catwalk for next year’s show.

“To the girls and crew, good luck in Paris, me and Dusty Rose will be cheering,” Prinsloo said. “Love you all, have fun in Paris and see you next year!” Meanwhile Swanepoel echoed her sentiments a few hours later: “Good luck in Paris beautiful ladies! So sad to be missing this show! No doubt it will be magical. So hard for me to disappoint the people that always root for me, I wish I was there making you all proud. Girls, enjoy the moments together, cant wait to see the show and can't wait for 2017!”

Prinsloo and Swaneopel aren’t the only two Angels missing from the line-up, two of the newest Angels – announced in April 2015 – won’t be putting on their wings for a second show. Kate Grigorieva and Jac Jagaciak aren’t included in the brand’s Angel line-up on its official website, although Grigorieva is set to walk regardless.

The presence of two of the most experienced Angels will surely be missed by those making their debut – an unusually large group this year with 18 rookies taking to the catwalk for the first time. In their absence, the rest of the Angels were on hand to give advice to the new starters.

“Take a breath and try to enjoy the moment,” Josephine Skriver said, while Romee Strijd advised them to “really embrace” the experience, despite their nerves.

So who can we expect to see on the catwalk this year if not the four missing Angels? The full list of the models walking in the Victoria’s Secret show 2016 is below:


Alessandra Ambrosio
Adriana Lima
Lily Aldridge
Elsa Hosk
Jasmine Tookes
Martha Hunt
Stella Maxwell
Taylor Hill
Sara Sampaio
Lais Ribeiro
Josephine Skriver
Romee Strijd


Leomie Anderson
Maria Borges
Daniela Braga
Cindy Bruna
Lily Donaldson
Barbara Fialho
Kelly Gale
Izabel Goulart
Kate Grigorieva
Gigi Hadid
Sui He
Rachel Hilbert
Valery Kaufman
Flavia Lucini
Bridget Malcolm
Kendall Jenner
Joan Smalls
Sanne Vloet
Liu Wen
Devon Windsor
Ming Xi


Maggie Laine
Luma Grothe
Lameka Fox
Georgia Fowler
Grace Elizabeth
Bella Hadid
Xiao Wen Ju
Keke Lindgard
Lais Oliveira
Herieth Paul
Brooke Perry
Jourdana Phillips
Camille Rowe
Zuri Tibby
Megan Williams
Irina Shayk
Alanna Arrington

Designers Dig Into Archives For Charity Sale

Vestaire Collective´s annual charity Christmas sale is taking on a different spin this year. Rather than have celebrities donate an exclusive item from their wardrobe to be sold for a worthy cause on the luxury e-commerce site, the brand has asked a group of esteemed fashion designers to select a piece from their archive to donate to the sale.Vestiaire Collective Reveals Resale Stats

Christopher Kane, Zac Posen, Chloé, Paul Smith and Nicholas Kirkwood are among the designers taking part in the e-commerce event which will satisfy on two sartorial counts: Number one, customers will get a chance to buy a piece of fashion history they missed first time (the very premise of Vestiaire Collective) and know that all proceeds will go to the designer’s charity of choice including Save the Children, Women for Women International and The Royal Marsden. The items are available as of today.

Designer: Christopher Kane - Charity: Women for Women.

“This is the perfect every day clutch bag, the love heart seems so simple and pure, almost child-like, but powerful and graphic" - Christopher Kane.

Designer: Chloe - Charity: Women For Women.

“The ultimate day-to-evening Chloé dress. This botanical print is one of my favourites from the autumn/winter 2015 collection. Women For Women is one of the most inspiring charities, bringing to our attention stories of women in conflict zones around the world. Their incredible work changes women’s lives every day” - Clare Waight Keller.

Designer: Temperley London - Charity: Women for Women.

"I have chosen this iconic piece as it embodies the bohemian effortless spirit of Temperley London. It showcases intricate craftsmanship and attention to detail which is synonymous with the brand. It is one of my favourite styles from the Temperley archive" - Alice Temperley.

Designer: Nicholas Kirkwood - Charity: Battersea Dogs' and Cats' Home.

"The Hepworth Sandal was inspired by the organic forms and modernist lines of sculptress Barbara Hepworth, she has always had a big influence on my work and this is one of my favourite styles" - Nicholas Kirkwood.

Designer: Sonia Rykiel - Charity: Women For Women.

"Beauty will always be striped" - Sonia Rykiel Maison.

Designer: Bionda Castana - Charity: Royal Marsden.

"Lana is our take on the classic single sole pump and is reflective of our love of architecture and art. It was the shoe that really got us on the shoe map, hence why I have such love for it. It is not plain yet works in the same capacity as a plain pump would with added cool. Easily worn with any outfit and eye catching, yet subtle signature geometric panelling make for an easy addition to anyones wardrobe. It’s available in every colour of the rainbow, but black is black!” - Natalia Barbieri.

Designer: Charlotte Olympia - Charity: Women for Women.

"These signature Charlotte Olympia shoes definitely sum up my motto of 'the higher the heel, the better you feel!’" - Charlotte Dellal.

Designer: Ghurka - Charity: Women For Women.

“We chose the Stash because it is so timeless and part of our heritage – the fact that we have a “shoe” compartment is quite special for today’s shoe addicts. We had no idea how modern this was when it was made back in the Seventies. The full panel outside zip compartment means your iPad, phone, and other essentials are easily obtained outside the bag” - Kathy Formby, creative director.

Designer: House of Dagmar - Charity: Women For Women.

"For this dress I wanted a bohemian approach to contemporary flamboyance. The eclectic combination of a kaftan inspired shape with cuts and layers of different textures define the dress” - Kristina Tjäder, creative director.

Designer: Shrimps - Charity: Child Bereavement Charity UK.

"The Bobbin coat is a very Shrimps coat; I love the name, its shape, the all over stripes, and the deep bottle green colour. This style was our hero coat for AW15” - Hannah Weiland, creative director.

Designer: Tome - Charity: Freedom for All.

"This piece is a classic and signature for us – it embodies our aesthetic, ideals, and taste levels and was made with the confident and independent Tome woman in mind who feels great while wearing it” - Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin.

Designer: Avelon - Charity: KiKa.

"Avelon is casual couture; this dress is an iconic piece that symbolises this. For this handmade dress couture elements were used such as draping and the sculptural appliqué but all executed in a casual way by the use of jersey and felt. With the sale of this dress I’d like to support KiKa. KiKa is a Dutch foundation that helps fund child cancer research” - Avelon Maison.

Designer: Ganni - Charity: Danish Refugee Council.

“I wore this dress at The Elle Style Awards in 2014. We won the category Brand of the Year that evening, it really meant a lot to me, because it signified a milestone in our efforts with Ganni. Also there is something really fun and festive about sequins. It’s the perfect party dress” - Ditte Reffstrup, creative director.

Designer: Zac Posen - Charity: Save The Children.

“The gown is classic glamour and a signature style to the house. It’s a gown that works with many body types and makes any woman feel like they’re ready for that red-carpet moment” - Zac Posen.

Designer: Isa Arfen - Charity: Italian Red Cross.

"It is such a pleasure to donate this silk-cotton dress to Vestiaire Collective for their Christmas Charity Initiative. With its off-the-shoulder knotted neckline and decadent ruffles, I think it perfectly encapsulates the essence of the Isa Arfen aesthetics: feminine, sophisticated, a little eccentric but always relaxed. I hope the new owner will enjoy wearing it as much as I enjoyed creating it!" - Serafina Sama, creative director.

Designer: Rosetta Getty - Charity: Women for Women.

"I design with women in mind, their needs and their daily lives and how clothing can speak to those needs. The Tie Front Wrap Coat embodies the virtues of day to evening dressing that are a key part of my brand DNA” - Rosetta Getty.

Designer: Kenzo - Charity: Blue Marine Foundation.

"We wanted to use the Mini Kali as an accessory that represents our arrival at Kenzo. A meeting of West Coast ease and Parisian refinement. Coming from California, the Blue Marine Foundation is close to our hearts. Around 90 per cent of global fish stocks are fully or over-exploited and around 90 per cent of large fish are gone. The Blue Marine Foundation assists in educating the worlds fishermen and in protecting marine life through the creation of large scale marine reserves. If we don’t act now, we’ll be in dire straits in 20 years’ time, with much fish reserves depleted. Help us help the Blue Marine Foundation!" - Carol Lim and Humberto Leon.

Designer: Paul Smith - Charity: Action Against Hunger.

“I’m famous for my tailoring and so hopefully this classic two-button suit from my women’s collection will help raise money for a very important cause” - Paul Smith.

Calvin Klein Opts For Co-Ed Shows

A day after Bottega Veneta announced that it would be amalgamating its womenswear and menswear collections into one show, Calvin Klein has revealed that it intends to do the same come February. The show is already a hot ticket on the New York Fashion Week schedule for next season, given that it is chief creative officer Raf Simons's first for the house. It will now herald not only a new aesthetic for the house, but a new structure also.

The show - which will also feature accessories - is slated to take place on February 10th at 10am, reports WWD. Moving forward, the combined show will take the usual womenswear slot on the ready-to-wear schedules in February and September in the traditional format of autumn/winter and spring/summer respectively. There is no suggestion at this stage that the label will follow in the footsteps of other brands and adopt a see-now, buy-now strategy.

In his new position at the American brand, Simons is in charge of not only the runway edit, Calvin Klein Collection, but also Calvin Klein Platinum, Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans, Calvin Klein Underwear and Calvin Klein Home brands. The designer won't be entirely absent from the menswear shows however - he intends to show his eponymous menswear label, Raf Simons, during New York: Mens for the first time on February 1 st.

Bottega Veneta Moves To Co-Ed Shows

Bottega Veneta has announced that it will combine its menswear and womenswear ready-to-wear shows moving forward. The amalgamation will happen as of February at the brand’s Milan Fashion Week autumn/winter 2017 womenswear show - thereafter the brand will show at the womenswear fashion weeks in February and September.

The announcement comes as many brands look to diversify their seasonality and show offerings. Fellow Italian brand DSquared2 announced in September that it was also opting to show co-ed collections, but in its January and June menswear slots rather than its February and September womenswear slots, a strategy that Vetements revealed it would be adopting come January 2017. Other brands, such as Burberry, announced that they too would combine their menswear and womenswear collections, but in a see-now, buy-now capacity (a model being embraced by an increasing number of high-profile brands including Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren).

By choosing to combine its collections in its womenswear slot, rather than a month earlier (a move that many have pointed out gives product longer on the shop floor), Bottega Veneta has indicated that it is focused on matters other than immediacy. Creative director Tomas Maier told us in September, as the brand celebrated its 50th anniversary, that the house "remains committed to a timing of presentation and launch that gives production the time necessary to create a sophisticated handcrafted collection that conveys a dream even before it hits the boutiques."

"This decision represents a natural evolution following the combined spring/summer 2017 fashion show, which was held in September 2016 at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan and presented both women’s and men’s collections in celebration of Tomas Maier’s 15th anniversary as creative director of Bottega Veneta and the 50th anniversary of the house since its foundation in Vicenza, in the Veneto region of Italy," read a statement from the brand this morning. "The Bottega Veneta universe is built on both genders. As a consequence, showing both women and men together is an organic move that follows the evolution of Tomas Maier’s creative vision. The house remains, in any case, committed to a presentation timing and production launch that allows the period necessary to create a sophisticated handcrafted collection that conveys a dream even before it hits the boutiques."

The fashion house's move to co-ed shows is its first big announcement since it appointed its new CEO, Claus-Dietrich Lahrs, in September. “Lahrs's outstanding experience and extensive knowledge of the luxury market will be crucial in the management of the exceptional maison that Bottega Veneta is,” François-Henri Pinault - chairman and CEO of Kering, which owns the Italian fashion house - said at the time.

LCF Reveals UN Project Winners

London College of Fashion has revealed the winners of its UN Orange Label Project this morning, an initiative that was set up in collaboration with the UN Trust Fund to raise awareness about the importance of ending violence against women.

One of a number of activities that have been arranged to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the UN Trust Fund To End Violence Against Women, LCF's Orange Label Project was designed to create a positive way to engage young audiences with the issue. Fashion students from institutions across the globe took on the brief, which was to produce a piece of work that communicated the message "No to violence against women", in categories including beauty, journalism, design, photography, film and illustration. The only stipulations were that entries had to include the colour orange and "exemplify and personify anti-violence" messages.

"Something that we feel very strongly about at the college, and something I have always tried to instigate in my time here, is that fashion is more than just the clothes that we wear and can be used as a force for change," Frances Corner, head of LCF and pro-vice chancellor of UAL, told us. "In this way, we want to use fashion to raise awareness of violence against women and girls as a global pandemic, and to challenge the narratives currently in existence in the fashion industry. What impressed me the most about the student competition was the positivity of the entries. The idea was to celebrate 20 years of the UN Trust Fund, so it wasn’t designed to highlight individual stories, or use shock tactics. The students took an ideal and made it come alive, they illustrated a world of equality where their subjects were truly empowered."

"At LCF we have 85 per cent female students who are going out as young graduates into the industry, and if we can work with them at this stage to make them aware of this problem then we can make a long-term change. And it’s not just about the women, it’s about the men too – so sharing the project globally maximises its reach."

See the winning entries, each of which was awarded £500 and the opportunity to be shown on the LCF website and

Stuart Vevers: The Future's Bright

"I'm terrible at looking back, I'm so focused on looking forward!" Stuart Vevers laughs, as he reclines on a sumptuous sofa in the new Coach flagship on London's Regent Street - the brand for which he has been creative director since 2013 - which opened its doors in the same week as its Fifth Avenue counterpart in New York City. "I find it hard to congratulate myself."

If Vevers can't congratulate himself, someone should. The Yorkshireman, who now resides full time in NYC, has transformed the aesthetic of the American fashion house from “heritage” to “happening” since he took over the top job, adding a whimsical vein to all of his collections, and using words such as "spontaneous", "fun", and "innovation" to express the direction he wants the brand to take. The result? Critical acclaim and a whole new generation of fans - no more so than in the UK where Coach’s reputation as a desirable luxury label is growing.

"A lot of people are still discovering Coach in the UK - we’ve not been a part of peoples’ lives like people who have grown up with it in America," he says. "Along with our store on Fifth Avenue, this is our biggest store in the world – we’ve been busy! This is the fullest expression of the brand, where you have access to the full offer of the runway collections, both men’s and women's. There’s a lot of touches that I introduced that were about making you smile. At its heart, Coach is a very inclusive brand so I wanted it to be inviting and warm and friendly."

With a massive fluorescent pink dinosaur (Rexy The Coach Dino) residing in the flagship's windows, friendly is certainly the first impression customers will get when they walk through the doors. That is before they discover all the other playful elements of the store, such as a monogramming service that, in addition to the usual initials, offers symbols such as unicorns and the large wall that can be moved around "that was inspired by New York dry cleaners", according to Vevers.

"I guess it’s another opportunity for me to say, 'This is a new day at Coach,'" he continues. "When I first joined, I used our history as a touch stone so it was for me to discover the things that would be believable at Coach. I felt it was important to be bold and look forward and explore what the next generation want from luxury and fashion."

Back to looking forward again - which for the designer means gearing up for his first co-ed show in December, when he will show his autumn.winter 2017 menswear and pre-autumn/winter 2017 women's ready-to-wear together on the runway.

"I'm really excited about our show in December," he smiles. "I want to continue to challenge the preconceptions about luxury. We’re in a position to do something different and offer a fresh take at Coach and I’m really excited that a sneaker or a sweatshirt or a backpack can be luxury pieces today. The idea that luxury is about formality or something that’s perfect – that doesn’t feel relevant. I'm happy that Coach is grounded in the reality of what people want to wear. It’s not a fantasy jet-set brand, it’s a reality. That’s what I’m looking forward to developing in 2017."

When the future looks as interesting as Vevers explains, who wouldn't prefer to look forward than back?

The Angel Line-Up: Who's Missing?

With fewer than six days to go before the Victoria's Secret show hits Paris, the countdown to the annual extravaganza is well and truly on. While our Instagram feeds are filling up with models confirming that they will be walking, the brand has hinted that two of its most famous faces might be missing from the line-up this year.

Behati Prinsloo and Candice Swanepoel - who were given their wings in 2009 and 2010 respectively - are not included in the Angels listed on the fashion show section of the Victoria's Secret website, which could provide the answer to much speculation as to whether the pair will take to the runway just a couple of months after they both became first-time mothers.

Prinsloo and husband Adam Levine welcomed their daughter, Dusty Rose, in September, while Swanepoel announced the birth of her son, Anacã, with fiancé Hermann Nicoli in mid October.

The pair, who revealed their pregnancies via Instagram within days of each other earlier this year, are two of the lingerie label's most high-profile stars. When the news broke of their imminent arrivals, the brand's chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, suggested that they planned to be back to work in time for the show. The executive, who oversees the show, posted a picture of the models on social media captioned: "I am so happy for these two amazing beauties and mums to be! See you at the fashion show Angels!"

Current Angels Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Lily Aldridge, Elsa Hosk, Jasmine Tookes, Josephine Skriver, Lais Ribeiro, Martha Hunt, Romee Strijd, Sara Sampaio, Stella Maxwell and Taylor Hill are all listed in the line-up for this year's catwalk show, which is to be held in the French capital's famous Grand Palais venue next Wednesday. While Prinsloo and Swanepoel are missing - as are Kate Grigorieva and Jac Jagaciak - we can't help but wonder whether they will give us an angel delight with a surprise appearance on the night.Victoria's Secret Confirms Lady Gaga.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Kate Backs Homeless Christmas Appeal

Kate Moss has thrown her support behind Centrepoint's Young and Homeless Helpline Christmas Appeal, praising the charity for the invaluable work that it does helping the capital's "hidden homeless".

"It is disturbing to think that in 2016 young people are still forced to sleep rough," she told the Evening Standard. "Centrepoint's work is invaluable in helping the most vulnerable put a roof over their head, somewhere they can feel safe and warm. It provides both physical and emotional support, teaching these young adults the life skills they need to live independently."

According to official statistics, the number of under-25-year-olds living on the street in London has tripled to 830 in the last five years. Moss urged people to give generously to the organisation's Christmas appeal which is raising money to provide a free helpline assisting vulnerable youths to get support over issues including bullying, sexual abuse and drug addition.

Other stars also backed the campaign, including Stephen Fry, who said, "It may be silly and typically human to think so hard about young homeless people only at Christmas, But it's a start, After all, the misery and loneliness is thrown into its sharpest relief at the coldest time of year when most of us are lucky enough to be with those we love, warm under a sheltering roof. So let's do all we can to help the unlucky ones this year."

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Urban Outfitters Settles Lawsuit With Navajo Nation

Urban Outfitters has resolved its five-year legal battle with the Navajo Nation.

The settlement, which was signed by a federal judge last week, states that all claims related to the case have been reconciled, according to New Mexico newspaper the Farmington Daily Times. While terms of the agreement between the clothing company and the Native American group will remain confidential, a press release from the Navajo Nation office of the president and vice president revealed that they have plans to collaborate on an American Indian jewellery collection.

The Navajo Nation filed a lawsuit against Urban Outfitters in 2012, after the American brand released a range of items - including clothing and accessories - labeled as "Navajo" and featuring designs said to be signature to the group, accusing it of the cultural appropriation of its name and aesthetic.

"We believe in protecting our Nation, our artisans, designs, prayers, and way of life," Navajo Nation's president, Russell Begaye, said in a statement. "We expect that any company considering the use of the Navajo name, or our designs or motifs, will ask us for our permission."

Of settling the case, Azeez Hayne, general counsel for Urban Outfitters Inc., said that the brand was pleased to have reached an agreement.

"As a company, Urban Outfitters has long been inspired by the style of Navajo and other American Indian artists and looks forward to the opportunity to work with them on future collaborations," he said. “We take the rights of artists and designers seriously, both in protecting our own and in respecting the rights of others."

Ralph Lauren To Be Honoured For Outstanding Achievement

Ralph Lauren will receive the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Fashion Awards two weeks today, the BFC announced this afternoon.

The New York-based designer, who founded his eponymous label in 1967, is to be honoured "for his invaluable contribution to the fashion industry" during the ceremony at London's Royal Albert Hall. Of giving the accolade to Lauren, whose designs have been frequent favourites amongst the fashion industry and celebrity names, BFC chairman Natalie Massenet said: “Ralph Lauren is an exemplary designer and businessman. He has helped to define an era in both American and global fashion with his singular vision; I know that most of us would say he has inspired us immeasurably."

"He has built an outstanding legacy and I look forward to celebrating him for years to come,” she added.

In receiving the Outstanding Achievement Award, the designer - who is also frequently celebrated for his philanthropic endeavours - follows in the footsteps of recent recipients Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Wintour, Terry and Tricia Jones, and Manolo Blahnik.

Suno Closes Down

Acclaimed American fashion label Suno is closing down, its founder Max Osterweis has confirmed.

"After eight extraordinary years, we have decided to close this chapter and let this resort collection be our last delivery," Osterweis, who acted as CEO for the brand, told the BoF. "We have been humbled by the incredible support that we have had from the moment we launched."

Osterweis founded the label in 2008, bringing on board Parsons School of Design graduate Erin Beatty as designer. Pitched as a "luxury lifestyle brand with a conscience", Suno has enjoyed considerable success in the eight years it has been in operations, including being a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist in 2011 and 2012; winning the CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear Ethical Production in 2013; and being a finalist for the LVMH Young Fashion Designers Prize in 2014. Its collections, which were designed in New York and made by local artisans in countries where the brand sourced fabrics from (including Romania, Italy and Kenya), always aimed to keep the emphasis on social responsibility and were seen on Michelle Obama, Christy Turlington, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift to name a few.

The brand - which raised suspicion when it came off the NYFW schedule this season and didn't replace its vice president of wholesale and merchandising, Mary Song, who left in August - is said to have struggled to find investment to move forward.

"It's been a wild and wonderful journey and we would like to extend our deepest thanks to everyone who has been there along the way," concluded Osterweis.

Vera Wang Swaps New York For Paris

Vera Wang will skip her slot on the New York Fashion Week roster in February, instead opting to present her autumn/winter 2017 collection in a film. Furthermore, rather than reveal it during the New York shows, she will release it on the first day of Paris Fashion Week - the same day that she is set to receive the Légion d'Honneur in the French capital.

The film will be "a bit of an ode to Paris”, she promises, but she is yet to choose a director (though she is considering Gordon von Steiner, with whom she has worked previously), reports WWD.

Whilst she wanted to pay tribute to Paris in return, Wang admitted that a show in the French capital would not have been possible as her company "lacks the infrastructure to support such a trans-Atlantic event". The film's concept, which is still in the pipeline, will provide the basis for the collection. As for whether or not she would make a return to show in her native New York in the future, the designer revealed that she hasn't decided yet.

“Probably we will, but maybe in a very different format,” she said, before disclosing some concerns that she has about the schedule. “Part of the frustrating thing for me in New York, the calendar is so full now that it’s insane to try to get models and hair and makeup. It’s a battle royale for everybody - stylists, model agencies - everybody is just crammed in. The other part that has troubled me — not anything against the CFDA, because I have supported it - but there aren’t that many locations available. That’s a limitation when you’re trying to express a point of view, or you have a certain kind of girl in your brain, or guy in your brain. That is the biggest limitation for me, for the moment, until Diane von Furstenberg is finished with the High Line and all of that. I can’t say that hasn’t been challenging for me. Not all of us can take the Armory in order to create a world.”

The news comes several days after it was confirmed that another big name on the usual NYFW schedule will be missing come February - Hugo Boss revealed last week that its Boss womenswear line, helmed by Jason Wu, won't be showing next season as a result of the brand taking "strategic steps to orient its creation, marketing and communication activities more pointedly towards menswear".

Vogue Fashion Fund Reveals New Format

The BFC has today announced a shake up to the format of the BFC / Vogue Fashion Fund for next year, in order to focus on helping even more up-and-coming designers with growing and developing their businesses.

In 2017, the £200,000 financial reward - which is used to provide vital infrastructure to build on the successful applicant's next stage of their business - will be shared between up to three recipients, rather than given to a single winner, "in recognition of the increasing pool of deserving talent" and to "enable the fund to benefit multiple designers at a pivotal stage in the growth of their brand’s development". The winning designers and brands will receive the BFC's mentoring programme as well, including access to potential investors and expert advice from fashion industry members.

In line with the new format, the application and award process for next year has been revised "to embrace the impact that hiring experienced talent has had on previous winners", recognising the importance of bringing new knowledge into companies. The grant is intended to go towards a full-time or consultant team member to advise on areas such as accountancy, merchandising, business strategy, international growth, retail and e-commerce. The BFC said this morning that the impact of the new format will be assessed and the panel will decide whether or not to continue with this revised model or revert to the former one in due course.

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by the Fashion Fund judging committee, which is chaired by Vogue editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman and comprised of key figures in the fashion community: the British Fashion Council's Caroline Rush; Gemma Metheringham of Label; Ian Lewis of Harrys of London Limited; Browns's Joan Burstein; Lisa Armstrong from The Daily Telegraph; Mary Homer, from Topshop; British Fashion Council ambassador Samantha Cameron; Sarah Manley of Burberry and Susanne Tide-Frater from Farfetch.

Some of the biggest names in the British fashion industry have been previous recipients of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, including Erdem, Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Nicholas Kirkwood, Peter Pilotto and Mary Katrantzou and, this year's winner, Sophia Webster.

Of receiving this year's fund, Webster said: “The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund is such an important and well-regarded award within the industry, and was a big accomplishment for my brand. Winning the fund this year was an incredible way to be recognised, and has
also given me the opportunity to grow my business and my team.”

DVF CEO Resigns

Diane Von Furstenberg Paolo Riva has resigned from the company with immediate effect, reports the BoF. The decision, which is said to have been made by Riva, comes 19 months after he was appointed as the fashion house's first-ever chief executive officer in April 2015.

"I would like to thank Paolo for his contribution to DVF. Our business strategy and Jonathan Saunders's vision for the brand remain in place," said founder and chairman Diane von Furstenberg, referring to her recently appointed chief creative officer. "I am very excited about our future."

Riva joined the house from Tory Burch, where he was vice president of apparel and visual merchandising. During his time at the brand, it was reported that its annual revenue for 2015 was estimated at $500 million and Saunders - who shuttered his eponymous London-based label late last year - was brought on to succeed Von Furstenberg in the design stakes. His first collection, which was unveiled during New York Fashion Week in September, was praised by editors and buyers alike, heralding a new beginning for the esteemed American house. At this stage, Riva's next move is unknown.

Tom: It Was Love At First Sight

Tom Ford has revealed that it was a classic case of love at first sight when he met his husband, Richard Buckley, with whom he is about to celebrate his 30th anniversary.

"It was literally one of those things. It was literally love at first sight," he told Jess Cagle in his eponymous interview series, reports People. "The first time I can remember seeing his eyes it freaked me out. I really could almost not look at him. There was something in his eyes that said, 'Literally, the rest of your life.' It was wonderful, but very scary."

Ford first met fashion journalist Buckley when the pair attended a fashion show held by a mutual friend on New Year's Eve in 1986, and - as he recalled - it only took an elevator ride for his feelings to be confirmed.

"Our eyes locked and within a month we were living together and we have been together ever since," he smiled. "I am an intuitive person - but also a rational person - and we were in an elevator and we went down about 10 floors and Richard was patting his eyes and talking a lot. And I remember just sort of standing back and looking him up and down – taking him in – and by the time that elevator landed on the ground floor I was like, ‘You’re the one; that’s it; Click! Sold'."

Three decades down the line, the couple - who have a four-year-old son, Alexander John Buckley Ford - have found the secret to relationship longevity, according to the designer.

"First of all, you have to respect each other. If the person you are with is someone you respect who you believe has a great heart and a great soul – as good a heart and soul as you will ever find – don’t ever leave them, because you won’t ever find anyone better," he said. "So even if you have an argument or a fight or there are moments – even years – that can be tough (I don’t mean extended periods of years, but you know we all go through moments in life ), stick it out, work at it - as long as it is someone you respect and admire and you are kindred spirits - because you won’t find a better one. Hold on."

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Boss Not Showing At NYFW

As a part of its report restructuring, Hugo Boss has confirmed that its Boss womenswear line - headed up by Jason Wu - won't be showing at New York Fashion Week in February.

The decision is a result of the brand taking "strategic steps to orient its creation, marketing and communication activities more pointedly towards menswear" in the hope of returning the company to growth by 2018.

The brand were keen to point out that despite not showing a ready-to-wear collection at the American leg of the shows next year, its collaboration with Wu will continue and remains "extremely important".

“Our womenswear is, and will remain, a key component of our medium-term growth strategy, and the creative input offered by Jason Wu remains extremely important to us," said Ingo Wilts, chief brand officer for Hugo Boss. "We value his work very highly. However, it is essential that we achieve a better balance between our menswear, which has traditionally been so pivotal for us, and our womenswear."

Wilts also revealed that the brand would be showing Boss menswear collections on schedule from next season.

The news comes amid reports that the brand is raising prices in Europe, but dropping them in Asia in a bid to raise revenue and draw a clear distinction between its two brands: Hugo and Boss. Boss will focus on upper premium business wear, while Hugo will target younger consumers with casualwear. It will be discontinuing the Boss Orange and Boss Green labels, Hugo Boss Clarifies CEO Comments.

"By further developing our strategy we want to steer Hugo Boss back toward sustainable growth," CEO Mark Lahrs told Sky News. "We are sharpening our presentation and focusing on our customers' needs more consistently. In Boss and Hugo we have two strong brands with their own identity, which appeal to different target groups."

Meet H&M's Design Award Winner

Central Saint Martin´s  graduate Richard Quinn was awarded with the annual H&M Design Award in London yesterday, granting him €50,000, a year's mentorship, and the chance to develop pieces from his winning collection to be sold in the high-street store.

“We all fell in love with Richard. He has a clear vision for his brand, and a real wow factor in his collections. Richard is deeply creative, with a very holistic view of the environment, and he’s a worthy winner of the H&M Design Award 2017,” said Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s creative advisor.

Johansson was joined on the jury by Imran Amed, editor-in-chief of Business of Fashion, Pernille Teisbaek, founder and creative director of Social Zoo, Zanita Whittington, creative director of Azalle and Zanita Studio, Yasmin Sewell, fashion director of, Hannah Jinkins, winner of the H&M Design Award 2016 and Margareta van den Bosch, creative advisor to H&M.

The judges were most impressed with 26-year-old Quinn's fabrics, which he prints himself using ethical processes in his studio in east London, where he plans to open a creative space to become an inspiring centre for other young designers in the capital.

"It means so much to win the H&M Design Award," said Quinn. "I want to create my own collection, as well as offer my generation a creative hub, supporting real craft in London."

Quinn beat seven other finalists to the top spot. Constance Blackaller, Yu Li Song, Alex Huang, Amir Marc, Max Luo, YuTyng Chiu and Chen Peng were all highly commended and were each awarded €5,000.

Franca Honoured With Fashion Award

Franca Sozzani will be awarded the Swarovski Fashion Award For Positive Change at this year's Fashion Awards, set to take place on December 5 at the Royal Albert Hall.

The newly created award "recognises individuals who promote the welfare of others by the generous donation of their resources in order to achieve change and positive impact to good causes", according to the British Fashion Council this morning.The Fashion Awards 2016: The Nominees

The Italian Vogue editor-in-chief has been chosen as its first recipient as a result of "her commitment to diversity and for utilising her position and influence to positively impact the wider world", in her role as global ambassador against hunger for the UN World Food Program; her work with Convivo to eradicate AIDS; and her work with the European Institute of Oncology where she is committed to diagnosing and preventing oncological disease.

“Words cannot express the huge deal of admiration and respect I have for Franca and her work," said BFC chairman Natalie Massenet. "She exemplifies those qualities this award has been created to honour, and her tireless commitment to the causes she cares so passionately about is a great example to us all. The positive impact she has had on the fashion and global communities will be felt for generations to come."

PETA Award Winners 2016

From Stella McCartney to Topshop, PETA has revealed the brands and designers that it is recognising for their animal-friendly achievements this year.

Topshop, Hobbs, Warehouse, Primark, and Oasis were amongst the brands that committed to banning all down feathers from their collections in 2016, after PETA released an exposé into the down industry – in which birds are live-plucked for their feathers.

Biggest Luxury Fashion Moment

Armani Group Drops Fur

The Italian fashion house announced in March that it was going fur-free, saying, "Technological progress made over the years allows us to have valid alternatives at our disposition that render the use of cruel practices unnecessary."

Designer of the Year

Stella McCartney

Celebrating the British designer's commitment to animal-friendly and sustainable luxury fashion - and her winter 2016 #StellaCares campaign which featured the slogan "No leathers, feathers or fur" - PETA praised McCartney for her "continued use of her prominent position to speak out against cruelty to animals".

Best Newcomer

Rombaut Mats

A new favourite in the industry, Rombaut's unisex footwear line is created with the use of new material innovations out of stone, tree bark, coconuts, and other natural fibres.

Innovation Award


Using kapok, a 100 per cent natural seed fibre, Flocus has developed an alternative to down which is insulating, lightweight, and water-repellent - and expected to make headway in the industry in the coming year.

Best Collaboration

Amélie Pichard X Pamela Anderson

French fashion designer Amélie Pichard joined forces with Pamela Anderson this year to create a 100 per cent vegan shoe collection - highlights of which included Malibu lucite heels and metallic vegan leathers - with the mutual message that "sustainability is sexy".

Most Progressive Luxury Retailer


The famous London department store added a policy this year of not using exotic skins to its firm no-fur stance. PETA praised the store for "leading the way for luxury retailers to implement their own compassionate guidelines, in line with consumers' growing demand for luxurious animal-friendly shopping".

Biggest Fashion Blunder

Harvey Nichols

PETA criticised the department store for "failing again this year to reinstate its fur-free policy".

Best Animal-Friendly Accessories

Melie Bianco

The label is known for its vegan leather handbags crafted from animal and eco-friendly natural materials.

Best Faux-Fur Brand

Ruby + Ed

The luxury faux-fur brand caught attention at London Fashion Week in September as Alexandra Shulman sat front row in a Team Vogue jacket.

Best Cruelty-Free Shoes

Bourgeois Boheme

Taking a stand against cruelty to animals, Bourgeois Boheme's British-inspired collections are artisan-made in Portugal from eco-friendly Italian vegan leathers.

Best Vegan Exotic-Skin Collection

Denise Roobol

Featuring vegan microfibre leather in embossed faux-crocodile and faux-ostrich skins, Denise Roobol's minimalist aesthetic has made her one of the most exciting rising stars in sustainable fashion.

Best Wool-Free Brand


Featuring innovative, high-tech, sustainable textiles - including recycled cotton to replace wool - Vaute's Aran sweater was quick to sell out last winter.

Kensington Palace Releases Details Of Diana Exhibition

Kensington Palace  has released more details about what we can expect from its special exhibition celebrating the style of Princess Diana next year, Diana: Her Fashion Story.

"The exhibition will bring together an extraordinary collection of garments, ranging from the glamorous evening gowns worn on engagements in the Eighties, to the chic Catherine Walker suits that made up Diana’s working wardrobe in the Nineties," read a press release this morning. "The Princess’s relationship with her favourite designers will also be explored through a display of some of their original fashion sketches, created for her during the design process."

Highlights from the show are said to include the pink Emanuel blouse Diana wore for her engagement portrait by Lord Snowdon in 1981 and the Victor Edelstein velvet gown which she wore at the White House when she famously danced with John Travolta.

The royal residence, which was the Princess's London home for 15 years, will also see the gardens transformed, as an additional element of the exhibition, which will mark 20 years since her tragic death. The temporary White Garden will feature "flowers and foliage inspired by memories of the Princess’s life, image and style", including tulips, narcisii, forget-me-nots, English white roses, ornamental grasses, Cosmos daisies and "billows of graceful Gaura".

"Diana, Princess of Wales, was one of the most photographed women in the world, and every fashion choice she made was closely scrutinised. Our exhibition explores the story of a young woman who had to quickly learn the rules of royal and diplomatic dressing, who in the process put the spotlight on the British fashion industry and designers.," said Eleri Lynn, curator of the exhibition. "We see her growing in confidence throughout her life, increasingly taking control of how she was represented, and intelligently communicating through her clothes. This is a story many women around the world can relate to, and we hope many visitors will join us next year, to get a closer look at some of Diana’s most iconic outfits, on display in her former home."

Diana: Her Fashion Story opens February 24th 2017.

Ralph & Russo Reveal The Secret To Their Success

What is the link between Angelina Jolie's damehood, Beyoncé's Mrs Carter world tour and Cheryl's 2014 nuptials? They were all dressed for the occasion by London-based couture label Ralph & Russo, of course. It's not just the stars that are fans of the brand - which, incidentally, is the only British label on the Paris Couture Week schedule - though. At last night's Walpole British Luxury Awards, Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo picked up the Outstanding Achievement Award for their eponymous fashion house, which the Australian couple founded in 2007. We spoke to the design duo about the secret to a successful working relationship, befriending the world's most famous women and why clients just keep coming back for more.

Huge congratulations on your win, what does it mean to you to receive the Outstanding Achievement Award from Walpole?

Tamara: It’s an incredible honour, we are so grateful to be acknowledged for our contribution to the industry and to represent Britain in driving the future of luxury fashion forward. We’re so incredibly proud of what we have achieved and to be setting an example for the future generation within luxury fashion.

How important are accolades to you in your careers?

Michael: It’s always a huge privilege to be recognised for your work and accolades have certainly played a part in raising our global awareness; but they have also been important not only for Tamara and myself, but for our team. Each achievement instills a real sense of pride in each and every member, inspiring them to push forward, innovate and pursue new ideas.

What do you think sets Ralph & Russo apart from other luxury brands?

Tamara: We believe personal interaction with our clients and the experience we provide for them is an integral part of our brand, but what really sets us apart is the level of quality and craftsmanship that is applied to each element of the business. Our clients are never one-time buyers, they buy across all of our product categories and are delivered not just a product, but a lifestyle option where impeccable quality is paramount.

How do you define luxury?

Tamara: By quality and experience. Luxury is for the individual that wants to invest in excellence, and just as craftsmanship plays a key role within luxury, so does experience; the client should feel at the absolute forefront of the brand’s world.

What do you think the secret is to a successful working relationship?

Michael: Communication, understanding and ultimately, teamwork. Tamara and I are very lucky in that our personalities and strengths really complement each other. Whilst Tamara leads on the creative side with her natural flair, I lead on the business strategy, allowing business and design to understand each other and work together.

You have dressed some of the most famous women in the world, what does the Ralph & Russo woman embody?

Michael: The Ralph & Russo woman has a clear understanding of her own sense of style. She embodies strength, elegance and femininity; she is the empowered woman of today.

How important is it to you to have a good relationship with people that you are dressing?

Tamara: Incredibly important. We love having such personal relationships with our clients; our interaction with them is never left at the maison door, we dine together, attend events with them and holiday like family. Holding a close relationship with your client is great for the design process too because you are able to fully understand their needs, personality and unique style.
Who would you love to dress that you haven't yet?

Michael: We’ve dressed some incredible women thus far and there is a plethora of women that we would love to dress. If we’d had the opportunity to dress Lauren Bacall, we think she would have looked amazing in Ralph & Russo.

What is the biggest luxury in your lives?

Tamara: (Laughs) Going on holiday!

What do you love most about what you do?

Tamara: I love the creativity and the ever-changing element of fashion - it is always evolving and demanding new ideas. Equally, seeing your designs come to life when they hit the runway or drop in store and bring happiness to women worldwide - whether on a daily basis or on their wedding day - is a truly special feeling.

Who Inspired Stella's Debut Menswear Line?

At a star-studded party last night to launch her debut menswear line - alongside a presentation of her spring 2017 womenswear collection - Stella McCartney made her mark (literally, her name glittered in big, bold lettering in every room) on a venue very familiar to her family - Abbey Road Studios. We caught up with the designer ahead of the night to discuss the motivations and inspirations behind her latest venture.

Who or what was the inspiration behind your first menswear collection?

There was so much inspiration behind the collection. I of course looked to the men in my life, my husband, my father, my friends. I also thought of great men of the world, people who have had an impact, like artists and musicians. We really drew inspiration from London as well, in particular it’s musical history; we wanted that feeling and spirit.

What do you love about the way the men in your life wear clothes?

I really admire honesty in wearing clothes, whether it be a man or a woman, and I always notice that quality in the men in my life. But I don’t really feel that as a house we will approach that honesty and that spirit differently for men than we do women. I think the most important thing in wearing clothes is being yourself, being effortless, being true to yourself and not trying to be anyone else for the sake of fashion; not compromising who you are and your beliefs for style. I love that my husband has a more controlled side to how he wears clothes, but then he can also be more casual and sporty, and I find that that way of having a juxtaposition is something that I really use in both my womenswear and my menswear.

What menswear staples do you regularly buy/wear/borrow?

I trained at Saville Row and tailoring is something that has always been in the DNA of our brand.

Why is now the right time for the brand to introduce the category?

I don’t really think there is ever a “right time” to launch anything. It’s something we’d been talking about for a long time and something I really wanted to do, and I felt like as a brand we were ready to take on that challenge. I’m very happy with where we are with the womenswear and I felt like it was time for the Stella woman to have a complement; the Stella man.

Why did you decide to throw a fabulous event rather than show at menswear fashion week?

As a house we really don’t take ourselves too seriously. We’re not approaching this in a conventional manner; we don’t want to do it in the same way as everyone else. We’re starting something new and we wanted to do it in a new way, because this is like nothing we’ve ever done before.

What is your favourite piece in the collection?

I would have to say that my favourite piece is the silk shirt with the two swallows on it. It’s very similar to a shirt that my dad used to own and I absolutely loved when I was growing up. I did the exact blouse in womenswear as well because when I was younger I actually thought it was my mum’s, but when I realised it was my dad’s I felt like I just had to include it in the menswear. It’s a very nostalgic piece for me. I am also very enthusiastic about the non-leather sneakers. They are, of course, a sustainably sourced vegan material, and the shoes have turned out so beautifully. I don’t find that an emphasis on sustainability is evident in men’s fashion, so it was crucial to me to include that in my collection and bring that part of me into the realm of men’s fashion.

How does the menswear marry with your womenswear?

I think the two complement each other very well. I always try to have some humour in my designs, and a versatility in all of the pieces. I want someone of any age and from any walk of life to be able to come to me and find something that suits them, and that is something I strongly believe in for both the menswear and womenswear.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

LCF Enlists Carmen Dell'Orefice

With a career spanning 70 years in the fashion industry, Carmen Dell'Orefice is an inspired choice to be guest of honour at London College of Fashion’s fourth Fashion Matters Gala tonight, an event that has been established by the esteemed institution to encourage and enable aspiring fashion students on a long and prosperous career in the industry.

The 85-year-old supermodel has plenty to draw on from her experience working with greats, notably Norman Parkinson, and laying claim to her first-ever British Vogue appearance in 1946, and has lost none of the passion that she poured into her lengthy career.

“It’s of most importance to me to keep connected to the younger generation that is coming along, observing the world, interpreting how they want to describe what they see, and advising their peer group on what to say by what they’re wearing,” she explained as we met for tea in Claridge’s this week to discuss her involvement with tonight’s gala. “People lack imagination a lot of the time as they are busy doing a nine-til-five job. In the arts, you suffer for your craft, but I admire anyone who has been born with that passion. If I was going to envy anything in life – and I don’t envy much – is that this place is available to encourage real talent and support it. The arts are what carries the world forward.”

The gala – which takes the form of a silent auction cum creative soiree before turning into a celebratory dinner, giving students, past and present, and invited guests the chance to see work close-up and connect with one another - was established by head of college professor Frances Corner in 2013. It has become an invaluable element of the year-long Fashion Matters campaign, raising money to provide the opportunity to students to pursue their education at the College when they might not be otherwise able to. By raising these funds (various other events throughout the year also raise money leading up to the big night), the college can offer scholarships, bursaries and awards to the designers, pattern cutters, creative directors, journalists of the future. Last year, it raised £85,000 on the night alone, and was able to fund 50 students’ courses.

“London has a lot of positive elements but obviously it’s a really expensive city to study in,” Corner - who is also pro-vice chancellor of University of the Arts London - explained to us. “There are lots of areas of the fashion world - illustration, designing, business - that need expensive resources, so the gala is about asking large companies and institutes to give back and support students regardless of where they come from or what their background is. We have a number of scholarships for students from families who have never been to university and don’t have much money, and travel bursaries because for some students the opportunity to study abroad is prohibitive but essential. It also offers students the financial security to go out and spend a year in the industry as well as live and explore.”

Illustrator David Downton, who will be on hand tonight to accompany Dell'Orefice, puts it well when he compares the training of fashion students to that of athletes.

“If you think of how many gazzillions of gold medals we won in the Olympics, we were able to win those because the athletes could train and train and they were given the money to do that exclusively,” he said, referring to the Lottery funded Olympians. “In the times that we live in, creativity is a currency and it’s worth more than the pound or the euro.”

Another advantage of opening up the college to a diverse range of students from different backgrounds is the stimuli for collaboration it presents. The college actively encourages students to work together, Corner explains, since "fashion is a team sport" and best understood from day one. Also, by encouraging more untapped talent to study one of the many diverse courses the college has on offer, it helps to build and solidify the skill set on offer in the British fashion industry, something which there is a heavy focus on post Brexit.

“What I say to all the young people who have found a little creative fire in them already is that they’re not just designing a garment, it’s design in a broader fashion. It’s about making people love themselves," said Dell'Orefice. "I say to young artists that they are the luckiest people in the world to have their passion. When you find a society, like the LCF which is such a supportive society, they are just so lucky to have arrived in the right environment.”

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Meet Melania Trump

She is about to become America's first lady, following her husband Donald Trump's presidential victory in the US election, but how much do we know about Melania Trump? Here are some introductory facts and figures about the woman stepping into Michelle Obama's shoes.

Her Childhood

Melania Knauss was born on April 26, 1970, in Novo Mesto in southeastern Slovenia which was then a part of Yugoslavia. Her father, Viktor, managed car dealerships and her mother, Amalija, was a pattern maker. She studied at the University of Ljubljana for one year before leaving to pursue her modelling ambitions, with five languages under her belt: Slovenian, Serbian, English, French and German.

Her Modelling Career

In 1988 she signed with a modelling agency in Milan, moving to the Italian city four years later in 1992 to model full-time after coming runner up in a Slovenian Look of the Year modelling contest. After moving to New York in 1996, she was signed to a number of campaigns and appeared in numerous fashion shoots. She has since appeared on the covers of American Vogue Bulgaria, Ocean Drive, GQ, New York Magazine, Vanity Fair Italia, Allure, and InStyle Weddings; in 2000, she was featured as a bikini model in the 2000 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

Meeting Donald Trump

After relocating to the United States full time, she met Trump in 1998. She is said to have refused to give him her number, taking his instead. “As if I give him my number, I’m just one of the women he calls,” she recollected afterwards. Their first date was at Moomba in New York. He proposed to her in 2004 and they married a year later at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Palm Beach estate.

Becoming Mrs Trump

On January 22, 2005, she became Trump’s third wife and stepmother to his four eldest children – Donald Junior, Ivanka, Eric and Tiffany. For the nuptials, which were reported to have cost $1 million, she wore a John Galliano for Christian Dior Couture wedding gown. The dress, embellished with 1,500 crystals and comprising a 13ft train, took 550 hours to complete. In March 2006, she gave birth to their only son, Barron William Trump, who she calls Mini Donald. He has been raised bi-lingual and is fluent in his mother’s native Slovenian.

The Presidential Campaign

Over the course of the US presidential campaign, Melania made sure to be at her husband’s side throughout. She wore Gucci and Roland Mouret to the televised debates, and Emilia Wickstead and Roksanda to recent dates on the campaign trail. She won plaudits for her style, however a speech she made during the Republican Convention in July elicited accusations of plagiarism when it was compared to a very similar speech made by Michelle Obama at the 2008 Democratic Convention.

Meet The First Lady

Melania is the second first lady to be born outside the United States (the first being Louisa Adams, wife of John Quincy, who was president from 1825 to 1829), and the third first lady to have worked as a model (in addition to Betty Ford and Pat Nixon). Prior to the election, she said that she imagined her role as first lady to be “very traditional… like Jackie Kennedy or Betty Ford”, and recently pledged to spend her time at the White House focusing on anti-bullying campaigns.

Trump Trivia

She starred in Zoolander in 2001, playing herself alongside her husband at the VH1 Fashion Awards; she launched a jewellery line with QVC in February 2010 which sold out in 45 minutes; her favourite television program is How to Get Away With Murder; she has served as a goodwill ambassador to the American Red Cross; she is said to be notoriously house proud; ironically, she appeared in a TV advert in 1993 for a Slovenian fashion label that cast her as the first female president of the USA driving Air Force One, doing her make-up in the presidential cavalcade, and signing a pro-immigration document.

How Bella Is Preparing For Her Victoria's Secret Debut

In just over three weeks, Bella Hadid will make her Victoria's Secret debut, but the model has revealed that she has been preparing for her runway appearance for a while.

"I’ve been eating hard protein every day, and working out for three hours every day. It’s crazy but I think that you know if you set your mind to something I think you can succeed,” she told People during her fitting for the lingerie label's annual extravaganza. She also acknowledged her weight loss, saying that it had been "accidental" and that, to prepare for the show, she has been training with Rob Piela at Gotham Gym - a go-to for many of the Victoria's Secret models, including Hadid's sister, Gigi.

However, while she acknowledged that her body is often scrutinised as part of her job, Hadid was quick to shut down the critics.

“My weight fluctuates so much,” she said. “I really didn’t mean to lose weight. Like I want boobs. I want my ass back. But it’s not my fault. My weight fluctuates and so does everybody’s and I think that if people are going to judge, that’s the worst you can possibly do because everybody is different.”

The 20-year-old model also disclosed that she, like many of her peers, has insecurities about her body - specifically that she wishes her "ass was bigger”.

“I think every single person in the world has insecurities," Hadid reiterated. "It’s crazy because I think that when other people look at all of the VS models or all of the girls who are walking, they’re like, ‘They’re not human. They don’t have any insecurities.’ But I think every single girl who’s going to be walking probably has an insecurity.”

M&S Closures Confirmed

Marks & Spencer has confirmed this morning that it is to close 30 of its UK clothing and homewares stores and all of its wholly-owned international stores.

The closures are a part of a bid to create a “simpler business”, according to CEO Steve Rowe who was brought on board earlier this year, reports WWD. The 53 overseas stores in question include 10 in China, seven in France (the Champs-Élysées flagship is also expected to be on the list) and all of its stores in Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia.

The news comes as the retailer announced a 91 per cent decline in first-quarter profits. The cost of the closures is estimated to be £150 to £200 million, but in the long run it is expected to save the company £45 million in annual losses. The company revealed, however, that as a part of its five-year plan, the number of stores in total would actually increase, as the company plans to focus its attention on food and roll out 200 more M&S Food shops around the UK.

Rowe, who confirmed that a consultation period would begin with 2,100 employees in the overseas locations, remained positive about the move, saying, “These are tough decisions, but vital to building a future M&S that is simpler, more relevant, multi-channel and focused on delivering sustainable returns.”

He also reassured the press that despite a weaker pound following Brexit, he does not have plans to increase pricing, instead the company will absorb the cost.

"We've obviously got currency pressures that have come onto us recently but we intend to mitigate those through better sourcing, by better volumes with our manufacturers and our intention is that we won't have to pass those price rises onto the consumer in the New Year," he told the BBC.

CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Winners Named

On the eve of a historic election, another vote took place in the US last night - the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund 2016. And, at the award ceremony's 13th annual gala, Laura Vassar and Kristopher Brock of Brock Collection were named this year's recipients by keynote speaker Michael Kors.

The husband-and-wife design duo - who met while studying at Parsons School of Design in New York and founded their elegant womenswear label in 2013 - will receive the $400,000 prize, while this year's runners up, Stirling Barrett of Krewe du Optic and Adam Selman, will be awarded $150,000 each. The recipients will also benefit from a year of business mentorship from industry experts.

The decision was made by the fund's panel of judges, which includes CFDA president and CEO Steven Kolb, Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, Marcus Wainwright and Jenna Lyon. In being awarded the prize, Vassar and Brock follow the likes of Jonathan Simkhai, Aurora James of Brother Vellies and Rio Uribe of Gypsy sporty - who were last year's recipients - and previous winners such as Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School, Joseph Altuzarra, and Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler.

Bruce Weber To Be Honoured At Fashion Awards

Bruce Weber will be honoured with the prestigious Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at The Fashion Awards 2016 next month, the BFC has announced today.

“Bruce’s endurance is testament to his pure talent, his undeniable creativity and his singular warmth and generosity," chairman Natalie Massenet said of the American photographer being given the award at the ceremony in the Royal Albert Hall on December 5. "His expansive body of work in photography and film is iconic, and he himself is rightly an icon of the creative fashion community. He is one of the foremost photographers and creative talents of our age who has helped shape the fashion industry we know today and I have a great deal of admiration for him.”

Weber's longstanding career - which includes major fashion campaigns, several films, and numerous Vogue shoots (most recently of cover star Lily-Rose Depp for the December issue) - has earned him critical acclaim in the industry on a global scale. In receiving the honour at The Fashion Awards 2016 next month - the first since the BFC announced a shake-up to its usual format, opening up many of the categories to international nominees - Weber follows in the footsteps of last year's recipient Nick Knight, as well as previous winners Edward Enninful, Amanda Harlech and Louise Wilson.

Net-A-Porter Reveals Reformation Collaboration

Net - A - Porter and Reformation have collaborated on an exclusive party-season edit, marking the first time that the cult, sustainable American fashion label has been available to buy globally.

"Reformation is a purse-friendly brand with a conscience, which isn't normally something that goes hand in hand. Along with its fantastic desirable pieces, it has become one of the most interesting contemporary brands right now," Sarah Rutson, vice president of global buying at Net-A-Porter, told us about their decision to work with the LA-based label. "Their distribution is very limited, so we felt there was huge opportunity to bring them to the Net-A-Porter global customer. The price points are amazing so we think it will appeal to new customers, as well as our EIP clients."

If you didn't know already, EIP is an in-house term at Net-A-Porter for "Extremely Important People", and Reformation has a few of its own. Karlie Kloss, Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Hailey Baldwin are just a few of the brand's famous fans who have helped put it on the map since its inception in 2009. But celebrity endorsements aside, the main appeal with Reformation is its sustainable credentials. It makes all of its limited-edition collections using ethically sourced materials and sustainable processes and regularly posts informative mantras on its Instagram account with the aim to make these new practices as fashionable as the clothes they make, which right now are all about party season.

"Party dressing is very much part of Reformation’s DNA so it felt natural to work together on an exclusive capsule especially for Net-A-Porter customers," said Rutson. "We feel very confident that this is going to be an incredibly popular collection. We always know what is going to sell well and we always want our new brands to have successful seasons. It’s all about introducing something new that will have sustainable growth for the future."

Prices will range from £100 to £315. See the collection here ahead of it launching online at Net - A - this Friday, November 11th.

Lady Gaga To Play Donatella

Lady Gaga is to play her long-term friend Donatella Versace in the forthcoming American Crime Story drama which will focus on the murder of Versace's brother, Gianni, in 1997.

News of the project broke last month, shortly after the first instalment of Ryan Murphy's anthology, American Crime Story, The People v. O.J. Simpson, finished airing. Following the major success of the first program (for which the executive producing team all won Emmy Awards), the next two are said to have been fast-tracked. Before the Versace-focused drama for season three, season two will focus on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Gaga has already won plaudits for her acting. She starred in Murphy's American Horror Story series last year, which won her a Golden Globe, and has been chosen by Bradley Cooper to star in his remake of A Star Is Born. Before then, however, she is lined up to take to the stage at Victoria's Secret at the end of this month, and take the coveted headline spot at the 2017 Super Bowl.

The third series will be a 10-episode depiction of the events of July 15 1997, based on Maureen Orth’s book Vulgar Favours, reports Dazed, when the Italian fashion designer was shot dead on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion by Andrew Cunanan, who killed himself a week later.

Cara Addresses Victoria's Secret Controversy

Cara Delevingne has taken to Instagram to address tabloid claims that the Victoria's Secret casting panel labelled her as “bloated”, leaving her out of the line-up for the 2014 catwalk show.

The model-turned-actress, who walked for the lingerie brand in 2013, shared a letter sent to her by CMO Ed Razek, in which he called the tabloid article - published in The Sun this week - a "complete fabrication".

"Contrary to The Sun's claims, which they never bothered to fact check with me, Victoria's Secret made every effort to have you in the London show," he wrote to Delevingne. "The alleged casting, where supposedly disparaging remarks were made, never happened. There was NO casting. You had already been enthusiastically confirmed."

Razek went on to reiterate that the sole reason for Delevingne's absence from the show that year was that she was filming in the United States at the time, before extending an invite to her to join the model line-up for the 2016 show in Paris later this month - "No casting necessary."

Indicating that she feels no animosity towards Victoria's Secret regarding the claims, Delevingne captioned her Instagram post: "It's shameless to discuss women's bodies just to sell papers #bloated ❤️ @victoriassecret".

Richemont Removes CEO Role

Fashion´s famous revolving doors are not limited to creative directors right now - major changes on the executive side of fashion houses have been making headlines of late, and luxury conglomerate Richemont is currently in the spotlight.

The company has announced that chief executive officer, Richard Lepeu, and chief financial officer, Gary Saage, will both step down from their roles when they retire next year, while eight additional directors will also step down, reports Bloomberg. Richemont, which owns fashion houses including Chloé, Cartier, Piaget, Shanghai Tang and Alaia, recently announced a drop in profits of watches and leather goods, which is said to have prompted the shake-up.

“One individual cannot be held responsible, it’s unfair,” said chairman Johann Rupert, who revealed that moving forward the CEO position will be abolished. “We will never have a similar CEO again. Now it’s time for us to start looking at another generation."

The group isn't the only fashion company which has looked to restructure its managing board. This year, Burberry appointed Marco Gobbetti, formerly of Céline, as CEO to support Christopher Bailey in his role of chief creative officer and president, while former Versace CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris was appointed at Roberto Cavlli - prompting a well-publicised overhaul - leaving the vacant position at Versace for Jonathan Akeroyd - formerly of Alexander McQueen to fill.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Tommy Responds To Gigi Criticism

Tommy Hilfiger has clarified comments he made in a recent interview about Gigi Hadid, in which he said that a casting director for one of his shows had once said she didn't "fit in" with the others models due to her body shape.

“Gigi is truly the definition of a Tommy Girl," the designer wrote in a statement, reports The Cut. "Her magnetic personality is bright, confident and always optimistic. I’ve known her for many years, and am extremely proud to have her as the ambassador of my brand and as a collaborator of our collections. Any statement to the contrary is completely false. The headline from the interview with Yahoo was misleading and has since been corrected.”

In the interview with Yahoo Style, Hilfiger disclosed that the casting director for his New York Fashion Week show in February 2015 had said of Hadid, "She doesn’t really fit because you know she’s not quite as tall as the other girls, she’s not quite as thin.” He then revealed that this was the reason Hadid was dressed in a poncho - which became a bestseller for the brand - for her runway appearance. “It covered a lot of her body unfortunately, but it received millions of hits.”

“The casting people put Gigi in the poncho, and I was not happy," he reiterated to Page Six. "I was saying, ‘Don’t hide her body.’ Even though the poncho ended up being the best-selling piece, I was very unhappy. The suggestion that I thought she wasn’t thin enough upsets me to no end. Gigi is the epitome of perfection.”

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Newson Tapped For Fashion Award

Marc Newson has been tapped to design this year's Fashion Award trophy, the British Fashion Council announced this morning. The designer has worked in collaboration with Swarovski on the 15 statuettes, which have all been handcrafted at Swarovski’s headquarters in Wattens, Austria.

"We are thrilled to have worked with Marc Newson on the design of the trophies for the Fashion Awards, which we are excited to support this year," said Nadja Swarovski. "Marc's innovative crystal design concept is a fitting tribute to the global creative talent we are celebrating."

There are 15 awards in total this year, which will be handed out on December 5 at the Royal Albert Hall, the hexagonal design of which takes inspiration from crystal clusters and rock structures. The announcement confirms a busy month for Newson, who is also designing the Claridge's Christmas tree this year alongside Jony Ive, his colleague at Apple where he is designer for special projects.

"I was delighted to be asked to design this trophy," said Newson. "Swarovski crystal is a fantastic material to work with, and I am happy with the striking visual effect that has been created from the reflections of each individual trophy when set together. We could not have achieved this spectacular result with any other material. It is a pleasure to contribute to the evolution of the Fashion Awards and to celebrate such great talent with these trophies."

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

London To Host Anna Sui Retrospective

The Fashion and Textiles Museum has announced a major exhibit on the work of Anna Sui. The exhibition, entitled The World of Anna Sui, will open next May, and will be the first-ever retrospective of an American fashion designer to be held in the UK.

"I am completely thrilled," Sui told us ahead of the announcement this morning. "And I am very involved. I worked closely with curator Dennis Nothdruft on deciding which looks from my archive to include and I’m working on a book at the same time. Though not an official catalog of the show, the chapters will be arranged in the same way the mannequins will be grouped in the exhibit by theme."

Describing the mood of the exhibition as "optimistic, inspirational, fun, eclectic, celebratory", Sui is expecting the experience to be an emotional one, especially as her work has never been displayed on such a large scale. Featuring over 100 head-to-toe ensembles spanning in time from outfits worn by the Nineties Supers in her first catwalk show in 1991, to her recent Wild West-themed spring/summer 2017 collection, the exhibition will celebrate Sui's diverse reference points, her pre-occupation with print, and document her creative process. The timing is apt too. The designer has just celebrated a landmark anniversary and is in a reflective mood.

"I just celebrated my 20th anniversary in Japan, so that had gotten me to start thinking about my history. So for my spring/summer 2017 Americana collection, since I was going to have a big exhibition in the UK, I made a conscious effort to celebrate my roots."

"Anna Sui is one of the most important and influential American designers of the past twenty-five years," said Celia Joicey, head of the Fashion and Textile Museum. "We are delighted to be the first museum in the UK to offer a US fashion designer a retrospective exhibition. Sui is an inspirational woman whose designs embrace the history of American pop culture and popular art movements, and thereby offer a fascinating way to explore national identity through fashion and textiles."

The World of Anna Sui is at The Fashion and Textile Museum from May 26th to October 1st 2017.