Thursday, June 28, 2018

Asos Launches Sustainable Fashion Training Programme

A week on from the company’s pledge to ban cashmere, silk, down and feathers across its entire platform by the end of January 2019, Asos is launching an initiative to educate its designers on sustainability.

The pilot training programme on circular fashion in partnership with the London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF) is part of the 2020 Circular Fashion Commitments that Asos promised to achieve at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit last year. The course will explore end-to-end design techniques that consider the whole life cycle of a product, rather than simply creating new ones.

This month’s soft launch will see 15 members of Asos’s core design team complete a series of workshops, discussions and drop-in sessions, where they will explore concepts, case studies, and practical applications of circular design with experts from the CSF team. The pilot will then be refined and rolled out across all Asos design departments.

“With this pilot we’re making sure our designers have the knowledge and skills they need to put sustainability and circularity into practice,” Vanessa Spence, design director at Asos, commented today. “It’s a vital step on our journey to designing products with circularity in mind right from the start, which will ensure that they are made responsibly, remain in use for as long as possible once they’re sold, and don’t cause unnecessary waste at the end of their lives.”

Dilys Williams, director of the centre for sustainable fashion and professor of fashion design for sustainability at London College of Fashion, said: “It’s vitally important that dynamic and forward-thinking companies such as Asos innovate from a critically-informed perspective.”

Indeed, at this year’s Copenhagen Fashion Summit, Nicolaj Reffstrup, the CEO of Ganni, which is stocked by Asos, asserted that it’s up to big businesses to innovate and lead the way with industry best practices on traceability and transparency. As a “small to medium enterprise” or SME, “we don’t have the skills or capacity to create innovative solutions… we can’t produce manuals and work for them,” he stated.

“We need to paint a vision of what a circular economy can look like,” Ellen MacArthur, who launched the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to inspire a generation to re-think, re-design and build a positive future circular economy, added: “In a time of creativity and innovation, why would we ever turn anything into waste?” By educating the creators of its garments, Asos is changing the roots of its business - changes, that should, in time, influence the 140-plus brands it stocks on its global retail platform.

Tickets For The Fashion Awards 2018 Go On Sale

Pre-sale tickets for the Fashion Awards 2018 in partnership with Swarovski go on sale today, June 27, for customers of American Express, the official credit card of the Fashion Awards. The general sale starts on July 2nd on

Each £50 ticket includes a circle level seat at the Royal Albert Hall ceremony, which will take place on December 10. Box seats are also available for a more exclusive ticket package. Proceeds will go towards the British Fashion Council’s charitable initiatives, educational programmes, scholarships, and financial and mentoring schemes for emerging talent.

Though few details are known about this year’s event, nominees and winners will be voted for over the coming months by an international judging panel of over 2,000 key industry figures. As well as the nominees, the special recognition awards will be announced prior to the ceremony, in acknowledgement of the weight of the achievements they represent.

Last year’s Swarovski-crystal-studded event was hosted by Karlie Kloss and Jack Whitehall, with official red-carpet commentary by Derek Blasberg and Miss Piggy. As well as honouring past, present and future excellence within the international fashion industry – including Naomi Campbell’s moving tribute to her late "Papa", Azzedine Alaïa, and Maria Grazia Chiuri commendation of Franca Sozzani – the Fashion Awards supported the BFC’s pledge in 2016 to raise £10 million in 10 years to educate talented young people.

The Duchess Of Sussex's Prada Moment

Since Meghan Markle married Prince Harry and became the Duchess of Sussex, she has had the world’s gaze upon her. Every outfit for every outing is studied, as she slowly establishes her place in the royal family, and her personal style.

Last night, she joined her new husband at Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Young Leaders Awards, where young people from around the Commonwealth are honoured for their services to education and mental-health care. For the occasion, she wore a blush double-breasted Prada suit with an asymmetric skirt, a black Prada clutch and Aquazzura Deneuve pumps.

The decision to wear the Italian label is a shift away from the Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy pieces the Duchess has largely been favouring for formal occasions since her wedding day. She developed a close bond with the British designer over the months they collaborated together on her bespoke gown, and sees Waight Keller as a hand to hold as she defines herself the coming months.

The Prada two-piece is by no means adventurous in colour, but might suggest the Duchess is gaining the confidence to veer away from her seemingly strict cream palette. An under-the-radar appearance at the wedding of Prince Harry's cousin, Celia McCorquodale to George Woodhouse in Lincolnshire last week, also saw a sartorial departure. She wore a blue-and-white floral Oscar de la Renta maxi dress – a far cry from the neatly tailored persona she presents at state occasions.

Miuccia Prada is a key player in the fashion industry, so the Duchess’s choice sparks hope that she might continue to fly the flag for revolutionary designers who excite the fashion pack. The Duchess has dabbled with Prada bags before, and attended the brand’s Iconoclasts party in 2015, but this is her first Prada makeover as a member of the royal family. It might only be a blush suit, but she’s making strides in the right direction.

Audrey Hepburn’s "My Fair Lady" Blouse To Be Auctioned

The prototype for the Edwardian-style chiffon blouse worn by Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady will be auctioned on June 28 by Nate D Sanders Auctions in Los Angeles. The blouse is from Hepburn’s personal collection, and is thought to have been adapted for the screen by Cecil Beaton, who designed more than 1,000 garments for the 1964 film adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion.

The ivory silk stripe blouse with high ruffled neck, back buttons and cinched sleeves was created for Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl who takes speech lessons so that she may pass as a lady, to wear during the "Rain in Spain" and "I Could Have Danced All Night" scenes.

The blouse, which measures 13 inches across its shoulder seams and is indicative of Hepburn’s diminutive figure, was owned by a private collector, a Nate D Sanders Auctions spokesman told.

Beaton won the Oscar for Best Costume Design in 1964, one of eight the George Cukor-directed film took home at the 1965 Academy Awards. Prior to bringing Edwardian London to life in the silver screen version of My Fair Lady, he was enlisted by lyricist and librettist team Lerner and Loewe to create the stage attire for the musical. His skill as a photographer lent itself to the promotional portraits, sketches and production design for both the screen and stage romance.

Louis Vuitton Extends Unicef Partnership For A Third Year

Louis Vuitton will aid the work of Unicef for a third consecutive year through the sale of its silver Lockit bracelets in florescent colourways.

The bracelets, which retail for £175, £100 of which is donated to Unicef, have raised $5 million on behalf of Unicef since the 2016 launch. The funds have provided children in Syria and neighbouring countries with safe drinking water, food, sanitation facilities and medical care, along with clothing and blankets for the winter months. Unicef predicts that the partnership facilitated the life-saving provision of water to one and a half million children and their families in 2017.

The silver locket design is inspired by the tumbler lock invented by Georges Vuitton in 1890 to protect his clients’ belongings. The symbol of protection was chosen to signify the brand's promise to help children in urgent need.

“The idea of the #makeapromise campaign comes from children,” Michael Burke, chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, told Vogue ahead of the June 22 launch date. “When they make a promise, they mean it, and they seal it with a pinky promise. Children show us a simple way to change the world. It’s all about joining forces worldwide to raise funds and awareness for children. We believe in the word of mouth. Our goal is to reach as many people as possible and to make a real difference.”

The eye-catching bands, which come in yellow, orange, pink, blue and black, will be available to purchase on and in over 138 Louis Vuitton stores to back Burke’s mission to raise as much money as possible for the cause.

The announcement comes just days after creative director Virgil Abloh unveiled his debut collection for the house. Prior to the presentation, he told Sarah Mower that he wanted to set an example for the next generation: “I want a young generation to come in and know, hey, there’s someone here who’s listening, and speaking back to them.” He sealed this commitment by inviting 3,000 students to the open air spectacular in Paris.

To make a donation to Syrian children, visit

MPs Launch New Inquiry Into The Environmental Impact Of UK Fashion Industry

An inquiry has been launched by the House of Commons environmental audit committee to assess the impact of fast fashion in the UK. The investigation comes amidst growing concerns that the industry, which contributed £28.1 billion to national GDP in 2015, according to the British Fashion Council, is treating clothes as consumables, a harmful concept which has a lasting impact on society and the environment.

“Fashion shouldn’t cost the earth,” said Mary Creagh MP, chair of the committee, today. “But the way we design, make and discard clothes has a huge environmental impact. Producing clothes requires climate-changing emissions. Every time we put on a wash, thousands of plastic fibres wash down the drain into the oceans. We don’t know where or how to recycle end-of-life clothing.”

"Fashion shouldn’t cost the earth. But the way we design, make and discard clothes has a huge environmental impact" - @MaryCreaghMP. We have launched an inquiry into the sustainability of the fashion industry.

The fashion industry has become the second most polluting industry after the oil industry, with 87 percent of fashion landfilled or incinerated every year, according to data revealed at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit. When 53 million tonnes of clothes are produced every year with manufacturing techniques that use land and water, the extraction of fossil fuels, and the emission of toxic chemicals, this is a huge problem. An even bigger one when we consider that, despite the difficulties of the high street, we have doubled the amount of clothes we produce in the last 15 years.

Many brands and manufacturers have been making motions towards supply chain transparency, particularly in the aftermath of the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster, but there needs to be a standardised level of sustainability that all retailers have to adhere to, and a standardised language that customers understand. Key to the inquiry is getting consumers to acknowledge the necessity of an “end to end” fashion system or a “circular economy” – buzzwords which simply mean that garments are kept in use for longer and then made into new products at the end of their life span.

Sustainable pioneers, such as Stella McCartney, are paving the way, but also serving up constant reminders of the “appalling” fact that one percent of fashion on our planet is recycled. “It’s not a great place where we are at,” she said in May this year. “Honestly, it takes up more time in my company than creating product… [we’re] just being decent human beings and having a decent label practice, [but] it’s a big problem because there are very few people that are doing that.”

If parliament can help change our current "more is more" mindset to become more mindful, it's a step in the right direction towards protecting our planet and our future.

Playboi Carti, Steve Lacy And Several Musicians Walked Virgil Abloh's First Louis Vuitton Show

Music has always been a central part of Virgil Abloh's creative practice. He's been deejaying since he was a teenager, spinning at house parties around Chicago and its outskirts, and he just released his first original production in the form of a collaborative EP with Berlin-based producer Boys Noize earlier this year. He's delved further into both the worlds of music and fashion over the past few months - Louis Vuitton announced earlier this year that Abloh would be taking over as artistic director of its men's collections (replacing Kim Jones), and he just debuted his new Beats 1 radio show on Apple Music this past Monday. He even has the show’s setup, including turntables and a mic, installed at the LV headquarters in Paris.

Unsurprisingly, Abloh's first Louis Vuitton show, which took place yesterday at the Palais Royal, also found him incorporating this lifelong interest in music in the proceedings - artists like the internet's Steve Lacy, Dev Hynes, Kid Cudi, and Playboi Carti all walked the runway in the first Abloh-designed LV threads. Lacy donned a sheer white shirt and some rave-ready pants; Hynes walked in a subtly quilted off-white trench; Cudi wore a pale mint green hoodie; and Carti looked ready for a trip to the moon with his iridescent duffel bag and cellophane-esque poncho. And to top it all off, Abloh came out after the show to do the usual congratulatory walk down the runway and ended up sharing a tearful hug with his friend and frequent collaborator Kanye West. Abloh is clearly inspired by his multitasking musician friends, but with the unveiling of this new collection, it seems that the feeling is truly mutual.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

POPSICASE - The Ultimate iPhone Accessory

Welcome to the fashionable face of sustainable savoir-faire married with technology and trends. POPSICASE is the world´s first robust iPhone case to be fabricated uniquely from redundant fishing nets and abandoned aluminium that has been salvaged from around the Mediterranean coastline. From 2016, this top tech start-up has been the talk of land and sea thanks to its pioneering integrated handle which facilitates for a smooth and effective one handed operation making it an undisputable choice for the perfect selfie.

From the coasts of over 17 Mediterranean ports, POPSICASE waves new life into abandoned marine waste and fishing nets. Thanks to a completely sustainable manufacturing process, the nets are consequently shredded, melted and then moulded into a stylish, sustainable and sturdy material. They are then transferred over to the POPSICASE HQ and mould injected to create a final soft touch, slim-line and durable form. As well as re-processing the plastic, the POPSICASE complimentary aluminium fixtures and fittings are fashioned from recycled scrap metal, which acts as host for the tough, tenacious ergonomic handle which can be seamlessly presented and retracted within seconds.

Originally the brainchild of architect, sculptor and holistic designer Pablo Erlandsen, POPSICASE was invented as a personal response to a desire to achieve ´the perfect selfie´. After realising that today´s smartphone ranges demand two handed operations for stability, POPSICASE´s unique integral handle was engineered as an organic response to a universal inconvenience and the rest they say, is history.
¨ Everyone who has a smartphone will no doubt use it more than several times an hour, but if you also need a hand free for work or walking while you´re using it, then it´s indeed difficult to maintain a balanced and stable position. With this in mind the retractable, integral handle offers a perfect solution with ergonomic ease. Not only does POPSICASE address the issue of accessibility, it also fulfils our core environmental philosophy¨ – Maria Jose Pedragosa
Maria Jose continued, ¨as residents of mother earth, we realise that it is important to take special care of our environmental impacts and it is for this reason that we chose redundant fishing nets. They are easily accessible across the Mediterranean coast and are continually being renewed meaning that as a material, they already come with a story of their own.¨

Until recently, Catalonia´s nylon fishing nets were simply thrown onto the universal rubbish mountain where they were treated as general, unutilised waste, adding to our already catastrophic coastal contamination – thanks to the age of fast consumption and ´throw-away fashion´. Affiliations and relationships with groups such as the Fishermens´ Guild have allowed these nets to be consciously collected across all 17 coastal centres as they work towards a global charter of preventing pollution and reducing waste through POPSICASE and all its associated packaging’s.

To date, POPSICASE is internationally patented in over 34 countries, meaning that anyone anywhere can take advantage of the world´s safest selfie stick. From the bars of Bournemouth to the beaches of Brazil – posing for pictures and recording video´s is as easy as ´slide and guide´ with its seamless natural control. Plus, thanks to the rigidity of POPSICASE´s integral aluminium handle, a constant stability will ensure that your smartphone is always kept safe, whether you use one hand or two. Whatever your opinion on selfies and sustainability are, one thing´s for certain – POPSICASE will be sure to stick out as a market leader.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Edward, Naomi And Kate Collaborate With Adidas For London Pride

Fat Tony (real name Tony Marnach) might be best known for his adept skills on the decks, but, for his latest project, the DJ has dipped a toe in the fashion pool. In support of London Pride, he has brought together a roll-call of LGBTQ+ supporters to reimagine the Adidas Samba trainer.

Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, contributing editors Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, Elton John, Pharrell Williams, Marc Jacobs, David Beckham, Skin and Amanda Lepore were all given the theme “prouder” to makeover a pair of Sambas, the soccer shoes that were first released by the sporting brand in the 1950s.

“I have been involved in activities around London Pride in some shape or form since the late 1980s,” Manarch said of taking on the role of campaign curator. “I wanted to create something with Adidas that really spoke to where we are today by envisaging a new notion of pride as being one with no labels; and how we as a community alongside our allies can push things further still.”

Each creator’s shoes will go on display in a free exhibition at the HENI Gallery in Soho during London Pride Week from July 4 to 10. An eBay auction will also take place on July 3 to aid the work of the Albert Kennedy Trust, which provides safety and support to members of the LGBTQ+ community who are facing homelessness.

“In an age where so many freedoms have been won and LGBTQ+ culture can feel so prevalent, I wanted to work with Adidas to draw attention to the issues still facing LGBTQ+ youth in 2018,” Manarch said of the importance of the work done by the charity.

"A perfect world would be a world with no judgement," Moss told Vogue of why she agreed to participate in the "prouder" campaign. Enninful agreed: "My ingredient for a perfect world would be lots and lots of laughter. If everyone laughs, the world would be a better place."

The participants' call to support the LGBTQ+ community will be documented in a short film by Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio, with Knight commenting that “in these times, it is even more crucial to be original and to have pride in who you are and what you do.” The footage will be shown alongside a musical accompaniment and performance from a live Samba band during the London Pride parade, where Adidas will sponsor its first float. An invite-only after-party will be hosted at The Groucho Club in Soho, with Fat Tony taking a turn on the decks, of course.

Virgil Abloh Talks Louis Vuitton: “I Want A Young Generation To Know There’s Someone Listening”

Up at the Louis Vuitton men’s studio at the company’s headquarters at 2, Rue Pont Neuf yesterday there was pandemonium, a swirling organised chaos, going on around Virgil Abloh. The man of the moment on whom the eyeballs of the fashion world are glued – and, more importantly, those of the global millions of the boy fans who adulate him – was bounding genially around, 24 hours before the debut which has already been characterised as a seismic upheaval at the very centre of the fashion establishment. It’s not hard to appreciate that momentousness. This office building, where visitors must deposit their passports or ID cards before entry, has all the intimidating atmosphere of a French government department. It’s that grand, that powerful: The ministry of Louis Vuitton, where the first African-American, 37 years old, hailing from Rockford, Illinois, has taken over to direct the output of the storied luxury brand, for men.

As he greeted yet more friends, artists, musicians, and graphic designers, who were converging on the fitting – some will walk in the show – he passed through his office, pointing out decks and a mic, “We’ve got a radio station running out of here!” and then smiled, “Look at all my friends over here – males – they love style, they love luxury. They just want something they can believe in.”

Multi-tasker as he is – he’d just arrived back from his Off-White show, without a shadow of exhaustion about him – Abloh is conscious that his responsibility at Vuitton goes a good deal beyond just doing a great commercial job. He’s setting an example for a rising generation, too: “I’m here; I want to show that I’m just a figure with many more behind him. I’ve cracked open the door. I want to show it’s open, to meet people halfway.”

To that end, he has invited 3,000 students to the open air spectacular he’s planned, in a takeover of the gardens of the Palais Royal. On their seats, all guests will find a programme Abloh has thought through with the eye and brain of the graphic designer he is: “They will be able to identify who the models are, what they do. It’s about giving them an identity, about them no longer being anonymous bodies. There’s a map of where they live in the world, and where their parents came from. I thought that works, you know, with the idea of Louis Vuitton and travel. Bernard Arnault [Chairman and CEO of LVMH, Louis Vuitton’s parent company] got it immediately.”

It works on the level of much else, of course. Abloh is planning much more symbolism that will send his very visible, very people-friendly message of inclusion around the internet in nanoseconds as the audience takes their seats at 2pm Paris time. As he moved along the racks and checked over the trainers, he remarked, “Yeah, now men are buying trainers like women buy handbags.” (And, oh yes: His old school idea for these are going to cause earth tremors in sneakerhead land.) He also vocalised his feelings about the day he knew he was confirmed for the job, a condensed transcript of which follows: “For the whole day of the announcement there was this big outswell, this feeling of: It’s shocking! On the radio in Jamaica, they announced it. It was a big deal in America, it transcended. So I was like, wait, clothes are clothes. How can we add importance? Now it’s time to bring a message up with me.”

“Before, I’d already had, like, seven collections planned, but I took the plane from Chicago to Paris, and for six hours, I couldn’t sleep. Suddenly, I had this vision of all the anticipation on what’s going to happen at the show, of a bunch of people sitting with their arms crossed, going, ‘Show me what you got!’ So in three hours on that flight I re-drafted the whole collection. Obviously everyone was thinking I’m going to do steet wear. That’s not happening.

“I came up with this idea about white, but then, scientifically, the idea of white light hitting a prism, and then refracting into colour. I mean, that’s me – I’m Off-White! That’s my raisonne, why I’m here, but now I have the impact of the house. But it’s deeper than that. It’s race, it’s models, it’s the political eco-system. And practically, it’s fabric, fit. Can I cut a suit? Tailoring – how can I do that?”

“Laying a foundation, that’s what this season’s about. I want to speak to the generation presiding. But I also want a young generation to come in and know, hey, there’s someone here who’s listening, and speaking back to them.”

How Antoinette Poisson Came To Create Textiles For Gucci's Resort Collection

Alessandro Michele is a generous guy; not only does he present extensive, accessory-laden shows, most recently on a flame-bordered runway in Arles, France, but he also spreads the love by sharing his enthusiasms. In recent seasons he's enlisted the up-and-coming talent Coco Capitán and introduced the fashion flock to the graffiti writer known as GucciGhost. His latest find? À Paris chez Antoinette Poisson, a Parisian company formed in 2012 by a trio of entrepreneurial paper conservators: Julie Stordiau, Vincent Farelly and Jean-Baptiste Martin. The brand, which is much lauded in interior design circles, is named in honour of the Marquise de Pompadour, who the team describe as "Louis XV’s favourite, [a] patron of the arts and wallpaper enthusiast."

Antoinette Poisson's niche is the making of domino papers (papier dominoté), using artisanal techniques that date to the Age of Enlightenment, when these patterned sheets with their distinctive patterns - small geometrics or sinuous floral garlands - were all the rage. These motifs are printed on a single piece of paper using woodblocks and then hand-coloured using stencils. Their compact sheet size made dominoes ideal for use as trunk liners or endpapers, but their allure was too great to keep under covers, as it were, and they were adapted for use as (pre-roll) wallpapers. At the time, decorating with domino paper signalled not only the owner's taste, but also their wealth. Their production stopped with the advent of the 19th-century Industrial Revolution. Today, notes Stordiau, the block print, "is now a technique for the artist, not for industrial production."

Stordiau, Farelly, and Martin have embraced the challenges of artisanal creation, and almost all of their products - trays, boxes, fabrics, and wallpapers - are fabricated in their Parisian atelier using time-intensive 18th-Century techniques. Even the paper sheets they use are handcrafted in a mill that uses methods dating to that earlier, gilded age. The impetus to launch Antoinette Poisson came when the trio re-created a domino paper for a restoration project. The results were so marveLlous, that the team decided they "wanted to propose [this style] for current decoration." Their timing was fortuitous; wallpaper, says Stordiau, is enjoying a democratic resurgence. And as for the romantic Rococo style, well, that's constantly being revived. (For a fix, stop by Visitors to Versailles at the Met or rent Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette.)

Michele's certainly not immune to the charms of the Rococo, having included textiles that wouldn't have looked out of place in the Petit Trianon in past collections. Happening upon Antoinette Poisson's work at John Derian, Gucci's main man commissioned the trio to hand-paint the floor of the Gucci Wooster flagship and to create unique textiles for the Resort collection.

The AP team were, of course, aware of the Gucci renaissance man in part, says Stordiau, because "a lot of portraits of him have been taken in front of ancient wallpaper. He loves motifs as much as we do!" Their meeting fits the textbook definition of "match made in heaven" on several levels. "Designs of domino paper are strongly connected to history of Provençal textiles," explains Stordiau. More importantly, the four creatives look at the world through similar lenses. "We both draw our inspiration from history," the team replies when asked about such parallels. "We are not nostalgic, more grateful of what was created before." Yoking the flowery flourishes of 18th-Century patterns to rave culture was a bold move on Michele's part, and one that was embraced by Antoinette Poisson. "Rather than the pattern, it is the production that is connected to rave culture," Stordiau states. "We are working in opposition with the system to produce more and cheaper." Vive la révolution!

Rochas Names Federico Curradi Men’s Creative Director

Rochas menswear was put on hold after just two seasons when Béatrice Ferrant parted ways with the house in November 2017. Now, the Interparfums-owned brand has announced Italian designer Federico Curradi as the new creative director of its menswear division.

The appointment was not taken lightly, with Philippe Benacin, chairman and CEO of Interparfums SA, telling WWD in November that his organisation had “a brief that’s rather precise”. Curradi will not only be charged with reviving Rochas menswear, which prior to Ferrant had been subject to a 22-year hiatus, he will have to work closely with Onward Luxury Group. Interparfums revealed that it had inked a license with the Italian subsidiary of Japan's Onward Holding Co. Ltd, which already produces Rochas women’s ready-to-wear with creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua, at the end of last year.

“I am sure Rochas can find its own place in the menswear industry and Federico has the talent to bring Rochas to a next level,” Benacin commented on Curradi’s appointment and the relaunch, which is slated for January 2019.

Curradi, who was formerly head of men’s styling at Ermanno Scervino and later head of men’s collections at Roberto Cavalli, launched his own brand in January 2016 at Pitti Uomo. The designer, who lives in the Florentine countryside, is also creative director of outerwear specialist Peuterey. “It’s a real honour for me to accept the position as men’s creative director for Rochas,” he said of his new role. “The Parisian legacy and the brand’s natural yet sophisticated style are key sources of inspiration for me, and I will undoubtedly reference them as I write a new page in the brand’s history.”

Kate Spade New York To Donate $1 Million To Suicide Prevention And Mental Health

The Kate Spade New York Foundation will donate $1 million to suicide prevention and mental health awareness causes, following the death of the company co-founder on June 5 2018. The donations will begin with $250,000 to the Crisis Text Line, and the brand will match public donations up to the amount of $100,000 made to the Crisis Text line between June 20 to 29.

Kate Spade New York will also host a Global Mental Health Awareness Day for employees in corporate and regional offices, in what is the first instalment of a Wellness Programme that will be rolled out across the brand in the coming months. The objective is to raise awareness of mental health, call attention to warning signs, and encourage interventions and treatments for those in need, reports WWD.

The Crisis Text line provides free, 24/7 support for people in crisis via text. By texting 741741, a person can be connected to a trained crisis counsellor. Donations, meanwhile, can be made through, and during the time period.

Spade died in her apartment on June 5, at the age of 55. Her funeral is scheduled for June 21 at 3pm at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Redemptorist Church in Kansas City, where she was born, according to a spokesman at the Katy McGilley State Line Chapel.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

First Rihanna, Now Jay-Z: What Will The Rapper Bring To Puma?

On June 18, it was announced that Jay-Z will take up a creative director position for Puma and its revived basketball category. Not only will the rapper oversee the design direction of trainers and clothing, but he will also help Puma choose basketball players as brand ambassadors.

Unlike a number of his peers, Jay-Z has never been quick to call himself a fashion designer. Yes, he has his streetwear label Rocawear, which he started back in 1999, but he hasn’t been very involved in it creatively for several years. And sure, he’s tapped a handful of labels, like Dries Van Noten and Gucci, for his on stage appearances and new video, "Apeshit”, but he's not as affiliated with fashion as Kanye West et al.

Interest in trainer culture is at an all-time high thanks to labels Yeezy and Off-White's Virgil Abloh, who makes his debut at Louis Vuitton on Thursday. Jay-Z’s entrance into this space is also aptly timed. It’s not hard to imagine his purview extending beyond basketball before long, too. Rihanna’s ready-to-wear trajectory with Puma (she started out with only trainers, as well) could mean that we might soon see more from Jay-Z. An extended trainer offering, perhaps, or even a women’s line? Maybe a capsule with Ivy Park? Whatever comes of this, we’re ready to want it all.

Victoria Beckham Announces Paolo Riva As CEO

Paolo Riva has been named chief executive officer of Victoria Beckham Ltd. Riva will take up the post, which was left vacant by Zach Duane last year, from September 2018. He will work closely with Victoria Beckham, founder and creative director of VBL, and her board of directors, to “drive VBL’s strategic geographical and product expansion and help with the realisation of the company’s direct-to-consumer ambitions,” according to a company statement released today.

“I am thrilled to welcome Paolo to VBL," Beckham commented. "His arrival follows my partnership with NEO and the arrival of Ralph Toledano, who joined us this spring as chairman. He joins the team as we enter our second decade and his wealth of experience, drive and creativity will be fundamental in helping us continue our expansion as a global brand.”

Paolo, who has 16 years of leadership experience in the fashion industry, having worked with brands including Salvatore Ferragamo, Valentino, Tory Burch and, most recently, as CEO of DVF, added: “I am delighted to join VBL at this important time. The Victoria Beckham brand presents a unique and exciting opportunity – no one has been better than Victoria at embracing the digital revolution and using it to influence tastes by channelling her vision direct to consumers. I am looking forward to working with Victoria and her team as we continue to develop a pioneering consumer-led business.”

The announcement follows the news that the brand has acquired £30 million from growth equity firm Neo Investment Partners in exchange for a minority stake in VBL, and fashion industry veteran Ralph Toledano’s appointment as chairman of the company in March 2018, in what is shaping to be a landmark 10th anniversary year for the brand. In September, Beckham will join the London Fashion Week schedule for the first time, and will follow her spring/summer 2019 collection with a series of special pieces and activations celebrating her decade in the business.

John Lewis Buys Back Customers' Old Clothes

John Lewis is to buy back worn and unwanted clothing from its customers in a pilot incentive scheme that aims to reduce the fashion industry's impact on the planet.

Customers can sell old clothing back to the British high street giant using the social enterprise app Stuffstr. The mobile device will calculate the amount a seller will receive for their old items, and once they have amassed the amount of £50 or over, a courier will collect the pieces from their home. The customer will then receive a John Lewis e-gift card for the amount of the items sold.

“We felt Stuffstr offered a unique solution to this particular issue, which shows people the value of items they no longer wear, and encourages them to change their habits to buy high quality items which last a long time,” John Lewis sustainability manager, Martyn White, told Vogue of the pilot, which the retailer has been working on for months.

Items bought back will be resold, mended for resale or recycled into new products, with White ambitious about the latter option. “An unwanted item can be made into a new clothing item,” he said.

The clothing initiative follows John Lewis’s wider efforts to increase in-house sustainability. Last year, the brand took back more than 27,000 electrical products and 2,000 used sofas for upcycling, and recycled materials from 55,000 mattresses, according to The Guardian.

The initiative is the first of its kind to offer a financial incentive to customers who engage in an “end to end” fashion system, where garments are used for longer and then made into new products at the end of their first life cycle. M&S launched its schwopping scheme in 2012, and H&M and Zara have since introduced in-store recycling bins, but the industry needs to paint a clearer vision of what a circular economy looks like, and why it’s essential. Currently, 87 percent of fashion gets landfilled or incinerated, according to statistics revealed at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, a huge problem when we consider that we have doubled the amount of clothes we produce in the last 15 years.

For White, the fact that every single item of clothing, be it a sock or piece of underwear, has value is a no-brainer. “If it cannot be re-sold or mended and re-sold, it can be made into a new item,” he states. It’s our job as consumers to buy into this sustainable message.

Kris Van Assche Unveils First Berluti Campaign

Berluti is sitting out the current men’s spring/summer 2019 show season in order to give Kris Van Assche time to settle in to his role as artistic director. The Belgian designer has today, however, hinted at the direction in which he will steer the house by unveiling his first campaign.

Shot by Jamie Hawkesworth and styled by Mauricio Nardi, the black-and-white images feature three nude models posing with three iterations of Berluti’s Alessandro Oxford shoes hanging around their necks and shoulders. A new logo designed by M/M Paris, which features cropped lettering referencing a carving etched into a Berluti shoe tree from 1895, overlays each portrait.

“For this first campaign, I wanted to create an image rooted in the maison’s origins and emboss it with my vision… See you in January,” Van Ascche commented on the imagery, which precedes his first show in January 2019.

Antoine Arnault, chief executive officer of Berluti, added: “This campaign was thought of and art-directed by Kris. I relate to it because it speaks of who we are while holding a promise of more to come.”

The grand reveal just days before the Paris leg of the shows reminds the industry of the reset of Berluti following Van Assche’s arrival in April. But, unlike his industry counterparts who are similarly being tasked with reviving heritage brands – Kim Jones at Dior Homme and Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton – and are working against the clock to produce debut collections in time for the spring/summer 2019 presentations, Van Assche is working at his own pace.

The pared-back imagery suggests he will home in on accessories in his role as head of shoes, leather goods and ready-to-wear collections. The Alessandro shoe that he has chosen to highlight, which was conceived in 1985 and is constructed from a single piece of patinated Venezia leather or patinated alligator, shows that he is looking back to the formative codes of the house with fresh energy.

A focus on accessories will help broaden the brand's appeal beyond the languid, feminine aesthetic introduced by his predecessor, Haider Ackermann, to a wider audience, something that Van Assche is skilled at. During his 11-year tenure at Dior Homme, he recruited brand ambassadors such as A$AP Rocky, Boy George and Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan, and staged a series of shows in Asia to bolster the brand's global presence.

Diet Prada Has Been Sent By Joan Rivers To Keep Doing Her Work

Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler are hard to track down. This comes as no surprise, as the duo behind Diet Prada, the infamous Instagram account that calls out knockoffs and other injustices in the fashion industry, has built a reputation on anonymity. During the two years following the persona’s first post in December 2014, which called out Raf Simons's similar designs to Prada, Liu and Schuyler kept their identities a secret. In October 2017, The Fashion Law outed the pair, but they declined to comment, and continued to go about their routine of “ppl knocking each other off.” The LOLs kept coming, the followers kept growing (now 542,000 and counting) and what began as an outlet for office banter while working together at milliner Eugenia Kim turned into a responsibility to help instigate change in an industry with a dark underbelly.

“The time was going to come that we’d need to own it, eventually,” Schuyler told the Business of Fashion in May 2018, during Diet Prada’s official unmasking. Their quest for authority, and to establish themselves as two people with an opinion that matters, has granted Vogue an email interview with “DP” in between their day jobs and the industry events that their exposed identities now affords them.

“We weren't at the point then that we are now,” DP explains of playing down the hype around the account – an amalgam of two fashion addictions: Miuccia Prada and Diet Coke – a year ago. “Now that our work is having a real impact that's often positive, we're excited to own it.”

Acerbic commentary with a healthy dose of acronyms and exclamation marks seems to have become an effective formula to help whip fashion into shape. “We've already seen several retailers this year having to remove copied product, which gives us a huge sense of accomplishment,” DP shares. “We're definitely still doing it for the LOLs, but now there's an added element of trying to drive change.” Cult brands, such as Australian-based Daisy, get the biggest responses, because they established their businesses on Instagram, and garnered loyal fan bases while doing so.

An increased amount of followers has translated into a responsibility to use Diet Prada as a platform to talk about social issues, such as diversity, equality and cultural appropriation, that fashion often sweeps under the carpet. “It's a high-stakes industry when you look at the numbers, but it leads to a lot of repetition,” DP notes. “People need to look with their hearts more, and trust new ideas, new designers.”

Greater transparency within the industry, such as the model #MeToo movement, has aided their quest. “I think social media has been great in breaking down the fourth wall on the fashion industry,” DP continues. “We're seeing more from the inside than ever before and that's helping to spur change, whether that's fair treatment of models, contractors, employees, or appropriate use of inspiration.”

The pair is looking for ways to take on the project full time and support themselves, but it’s currently a labour of love supplemented by the small merch offering on and copywriting gigs. “It can be hard to collab with brands doing what we do,” DP muses of how to take the whip smart character they have created into the big league. “Who can say who is wholly original, or without fault. There have been a lot of projects that we were approached about that we didn’t want our name tied to, and ultimately rejected.”

Saying yes to Gucci in September 2017, however, paid off. “It was like a crazy dream,” DP recalls of the Instagram takeover during the spring/summer 2018 show. “From ideation to execution it came together very quickly. Before we knew it, we were backstage in Milan meeting Alessandro Michele. It really felt like everything was coming together then – we'd had the account for nearly three years and had just passed 30k followers, who were comprised of a good chunk of the fashion industry.”

Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, and contributing editors Naomi Campbell and Pat McGrath, are among the list of famous names populating DP’s followers, who each tune in for a daily dose of sartorial observations and takedowns. “Someone once said they thought Joan Rivers had sent us from hell to keep doing her work. It's the best compliment we've ever gotten,” DP shares. “Our sense of humour has a lot of parallels. Generally, it's more about keeping each other in check, so we're funny without being too vicious!”

They split the posts evenly, consulting each other via text, talking to their Dieters – “our unofficial street team” – and aiming to read all the DMs. “We have so many great conversations every day with people all over the world, it’s so cool.” For big posts, like red-carpet coverage and fashion weeks, they get together to collaborate, but they don’t punish themselves for having personal lives too. “If we're both busy, then, sorry, not so many stories!”

The detractors – Stefano Gabbana, in particular, is not afraid to retaliate in the comment section – don’t keep them awake at night. “Brands that are mad that they keep getting featured should take it as a wake-up call that they need to do better,” DP asserts. “Our content shows people you don't have to stomach all the BS the industry tries to feed us daily, but by presenting it with a dose of humour we keep it from being too heavy. We try to laugh [confrontation] off.”

Do they worry about a future where Instagram doesn’t have such social sway? “Instagram has become integrated into so many people's lives, we're going to be dealing with it for a long time. It also seems to act on user feedback really well,” DP notes. Besides, “there's always drama going on in the world of fashion and design,” and something to keep fuelling their feed. DP’s job is to keep securing the scoops, which shape it as a intelligent authority, and that can implement social activism both online and IRL.

Daniel Lee Appointed Creative Director Of Bottega Veneta

Bottega Veneta has announced the appointment of British designer Daniel Lee as the brand's new creative director. Most recently director of ready-to-wear design at Céline, Lee will join the company on July 1. He succeeds Tomas Maier who stepped down from the helm of the Italian label earlier this week, after 17 years as creative director.

Lee, 32, graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2011 and held roles at Maison Margiela, Balenciaga and Donna Karan prior to joining Céline in 2012. "I'm both honoured and excited to continue the legacy that has been created at Bottega Veneta over the last five decades," he said of the appointment. "Maintaining the ingrained codes of the house, craftsmanship, quality and sophistication, I look forward to evolving what has gone before, while contributing a new perspective and modernity."

François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Bottega Veneta's parent company Kering, welcomed Lee to the luxury conglomerate, saying, "The singularity of his vision inspired by a very personal creative approach convinced me that he was best able to open a new chapter in the history of the house. His work is characterised by great rigour, a mastery of studio expertise, a true passion for materials and an energy that I cannot wait to see take shape at the brand." 

Bottega Veneta CEO Claus Dietrich Lahrs added to the praise, noting that the designer "has a deep understanding of the house's current challenges, both in terms of creation and development." Although the label has recently reported a slowdown in growth, Lahrs expressed his hope that the appointment of the talented young designer will bring "a new and distinctive creative language that will continue building the house's success based on the ambitious foundations already developed over many years."

Tomas Maier Is Exiting Bottega Veneta After 17 Years

Tomas Maier is stepping down from his role as creative director at Bottega Veneta. Maier has been at the helm of the Italian label since 2001, when the brand was acquired by Gucci Group, now Kering, and he was personally appointed to the position by Tom Ford.

“It's largely due to Tomas’s high-level creative demands that Bottega Veneta became the house it is today,” said Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault in a statement. “He put it back on the luxury scene and made it an undisputed reference. With his creative vision, he magnificently showcased the expertise of the house’s artisans. I am deeply grateful to him and I personally thank him for the work he accomplished, and for the exceptional success he helped to achieve.”

Pinault’s sentiments are far from exaggeration. Bottega Veneta, founded in 1966, had struggled to keep up with the late-’90s fashion race, and after a short-lived revival at the hands of Katie Grand and Giles Deacon, the label was struggling. When Maier joined in 2001, he worked diligently on the brand’s signature accessories, waiting until 2005 to present a ready-to-wear collection. Once he did, his men’s and women’s shows became tentpoles of Milan Fashion Week for their cerebral, refined takes on contemporary trends. The brand combined its men’s and women’s collections into a single show for its spring/summer 2017 anniversary collection.

Beyond the house’s ready-to-wear and accessories, Maier was also instrumental in the opening of La Scuola della Pelleteria, in Vicenza in 2006. The trade school specializes in Bottega Veneta’s signature intrecciato woven leather technique.

Outside of his commitments at Bottega Veneta, Maier maintains an eponymous brand of womenswear, menswear, and eyewear (which is partially owned by Kering) and is famed in the fashion community for his eye for architecture and interior design. (The child of architects, Maier owns homes around the world, most notably in Palm Beach, New York, and on an island off the coast of Maine.) Prior to joining Bottega Veneta, Maier worked in design roles at Guy Laroche, Sonia Rykiel, Revillon, and Hermès.

Gucci Launches A Street Style Capsule Collection With Illustrator Isabella Cotier

Since the rise of Alessandro Michele some three years ago, street style has been an integral part of Gucci. Only, the Roman designer’s multi-faceted work isn’t rooted in the peacocks and posers you see outside fashion shows – even if that segment has now adopted his graphic aesthetic, too – but in authentic street style: the historical and contemporary characters of Italy and beyond, whom Michele grew up admiring in paintings and on the street. For his most recent capsule project, he called upon the young London-based illustrator Isabella Cotier in a meeting of likeminded everyday spectators. “I was working on a people-watching project in Florence, and he said, ‘Would you like to collaborate?’” Cotier recalled on Tuesday afternoon at the Gucci Garden in Florence where her illustrations now grace T-shirts and bags in the brilliant Gucci Garden gift shop, which opened last January.

“I grew up in Florence and lived here for 12 years, so I come back very often. I was in this café in Santo Spirito and I saw this little old lady with this massive fur coat and hat. I thought, she’s amazing! Then, she started dancing. My friends introduced me. Her name was Florin. She was an ex-ballerina,” Cotier reminisced, explaining the early beginnings of her project with Michele. “And so, I started collecting these Florentine characters from different places like Sant’Ambrogio Market. There are some serious characters.” In a series of illustrations that sit perfectly within Michele’s colourful Gucci-verse, Cotier drew the eccentric and flamboyant pensioners indigenous to Florence. 

“Some are exaggerated, some are real,” she noted, but you only have to venture a little off-piste in the Renaissance jungle that is Florence to discover these exotic creatures. “It’s so unique to Florence. They go out and they’re loose enough to feel like they’re not being observed. That’s what I really love: the lack of being self-conscious,” Cotier reflected. “These days, with social media and stuff, people are so aware of their identities and appearances. The older generation is like, ‘Why do you care?’”

Mirrored against the ambitious and often artificial street style scene that’s become an industry within fashion, Cotier’s collaboration with Gucci re-focuses the spotlight on those to whom self-expression is an unconscious and instinctive daily routine. As the illustrator said, “I think you can just tell so much when someone is wanting to be looked at and when someone isn’t wanting to be looked at; when someone isn’t asking to be admired. I think it’s to do with age and being free. They get up in the morning and think, ‘I wanna wear this hat because I wanna wear it,’ or, ‘I wanna go out with a banana beside my coffee because that’s what I feel like.’ Not: ‘Maybe this will get me photographed today.’”

Sam McKnight Is Auctioning Off His Wardrobe

Legendary hairstylist and Vogue contributing beauty editor Sam McKnight has an extensive collection of wigs, countless styling products and innumerable grips, elastics and slides, but did you know he has a vast personal fashion archive, too?

As McKnight’s career took off in the '80s and '90s through high-profile clients including Princess Diana and Kate Moss, and collaborations with major fashion houses, his wardrobe started to grow. Vivienne Westwood made made bespoke, eye-catching creations for him, and he bolstered his collection of tailoring with pieces designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier, Katherine Hamnett, Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford (who was then at the creative helm at Gucci) and Hedi Slimane (who was at Dior). “I was a happy fashion victim in the '80s and '90s and I loved it,” McKnight tells Vogue. “I am now a proud survivor.”

Accordingly, McKnight is auctioning off his much-loved leopard-print, striped, velvet and floral suits for charity. On June 18, he will host a “Passion for Fashion” sale at 249-253 Long Lane with all proceeds going to Beauty Banks, which provides hygiene and grooming products to food banks across the UK, and Cool Earth, which works to halt rainforest deforestation and its effect on climate change. A further auction will take place later in the year on October 8 2018.

“It felt like the time to let someone else enjoy them. And to recycle!” McKnight explains. “I’ve had them all packed in plastic and boxed up for 25 to 30 years. I doubt I’m ever going to fit into or wear them again and they are so beautiful and such iconic pieces.”

The pieces that will be the hardest to say goodbye to are a rose printed jacket – “it’s so now!” – and an Oxford stripe bondage suit, which had its last outing at Kate Moss’s 30th birthday extravaganza at Claridges. “Everyone loved it! So many people wanted to buy (or steal) it! I never took the jacket off the whole night.”

"I’m so lucky to have worked with some of the most creative and inspiring designers in the world, each one brilliant!" he adds. "With both charities, I know the money will go to exactly where it’s needed." Get an exclusive preview of the pieces on June 15, between 9-5pm, and June 17, between 11-4pm, before the bidding commences.

Why Stella McCartney's Old Bond Street Flagship Is Her Most Honest Project Yet

Inever thought that this day would come for me,” Stella McCartney tells Vogue while reclining on a pink Mario Bellini sofa on the first floor of her shiny new global flagship on Old Bond Street. “I think it’s quite rare to have a woman designer with her name on the door, and I’ve really gone the extra mile to tell the story of who we are at the house of Stella McCartney.”

Number 23 might be a grade II listed 18th-century building, but inside it’s a modern multi-sensory experience that explores the brand’s philosophy to reclaim, re-use and recycle. "Stella Rocks", an indoor rockery comprised of rocks sourced from the McCartney farm in Campbeltown and replanted moss and thyme, greets guests on the ground floor; office waste paper has been transformed into decorative papier-mâché panels on the first floor; pink fur-free fur material from previous collections lines the walls of the “Stellavator”; and the prized vintage furniture she has acquired over the years is given homes next to reclaimed timber plinths, silicone installations and foam speakers. It’s a textural feast, and that’s not even taking into account the ball pool and climbing wall (all white, very chic) in the children’s department.

Every single aspect has been keeping McCartney awake at night. “I care too much!” she laughs. “And you just end up thinking, “Am I really going to do a papier-mâché wall of all the shredded paper in the office? Does pink silicone really sit well on reclaimed Venetian wood? Am I really going to have meditation, in a changing room? I questioned every element of it a million times! But the only way I could create a shop was having that level of honesty. If I try to be a shop that I am not, then I am not sure it would work.”

If McCartney has done her job properly, customers won’t notice the clean air system that filters 95 percent of pollutants and harmful gases out of the environment. Or the biodegradable mannequins which are made using a bioplastic material composed of 72 percent sugar cane derivatives. “I don't want people to come and think, ‘Oh my god, this is an eco-store,’” she says of distancing herself from the hemp brush that sustainable fashion is so often tarred with. “It shouldn’t be noticed, because it should be a way of life! Every house should use recyclable and claimed materials. Every house should have sustainable mannequins, because, well, why not? That is how we should be moving forward, but at the moment, sadly, I am a lone ranger!"

The drawback of tackling this project alone, she discloses , is “not having an interior designer or an architect to say, 'No, Stella! Stop buying stuff! And think about where you're putting it.'” But that’s precisely what makes the 700 sq m space feel personal. “I love the emotion in this, I love the emotion in that!,” she says gesturing towards a fitting room, where the dulcet tones of Bob Roth, who taught her children how to meditate, can be heard, and the colourful ceramic gemstone fixtures inspired by her own childhood memories spent playing with pebble-dashed walls.

Indeed, there are so many tales to tell within the four floors (each connected by a spiral raw steel staircase and an original sound collage created by Paul McCartney, FYI) that she’s tempted to take up the role of tour guide. But, alas, 2018 is shaping up to be a busy enough year already. In March, McCartney bought back the 50 percent share of the label owned by Kering after a 17-year partnership with the French luxury conglomerate, and in May, she scored one of the biggest fashion commissions of the year: the Duchess of Sussex’s wedding reception gown.

“I would not for one moment pretend that we don't feel like this is a big, big moment for us,” she admits. “There is a lot of courage involved, and it’s not something anyone takes lightly.” A sentiment that is literally stitched into the building of 23 Old Bond Street, where the hand prints of Stella McCartney team members from around the world are embroidered onto the walls of a fitting room.

“We are living in the moment, but, really, we are at the start,” she muses. “It feels like we are at the beginning of something new, which is exciting.” For now, she must prep for an intimate opening party where her close friends will cut the ribbon, and put the final touches to her “Members and Non Members Only” room – a customisable layer hidden behind a concealed door on the second floor. Its first iteration will be a private atelier housing 23 lily-white and 23 onyx-black dresses inspired by the Duchess of Sussex’s history-making evening dress. Select Stella McCartney clients will be invited by personal email to view this capsule collection at number 23, because, like the myriad aspects in McCartney’s new home, it’s all been considered down to the letter.

Fashioning Frida: Inside The V&A's Frida Kahlo Retrospective

This is the first time a lot of these objects have left Mexico,” Circe Henestrosa tells Vogue of Frida Kahlo’s belongings, which, until 2004, had been locked away for 50 years. Upon the artist’s death in 1954, her muralist husband, Diego Rivera, shut her belongings in a room in their home – the Blue House on the outskirts of Mexico City – out of respect and understanding of how Kahlo's legacy would grow. It took four years for historians to catalogue the some 6,000 photographs, 12,000 documents and 300 items found. And now, many of these personal artefacts and clothes are housed in the V&A as part of its summer exhibition, Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up.

“It is the first time a museum has paired her dresses directly with her paintings, and established the really intimate relationship between the two. Her style is as integral to her myth as her art,” Henestrosa explains of the curation. From her Tehuana dresses and striking headpieces, to the corsets and prosthetics that masked her physical impairments, her entire being was an extension of her work.

The exhibition opens with an introduction to Kahlo’s early life with her German father and Mexican mother, and highlights two key events that defined her identity early on: her contraction of polio at the age of six, and her near-fatal accident at 18. The latter “marked the beginning of her career as an amazing artist, but also the real deterioration of her body,” acknowledges Henestrosa.

This sense of duality is the central theme of the retrospective, and directly alluded to by the "two Fridas" that seemingly greet guests at the end of the opening passage. As a German-Mexican citizen she felt her family’s roots were in Mexico, but her married life took her to America. Emotionally, there was a chasm between the charismatic “celebrity” that the cameras loved versus the loneliness she felt, and her artistic interpretation of herself juxtaposed with her true self. “I think she felt very torn,” co-curator Claire Wilcox notes, before Henestrosa adds: “It is her construction of identity through her ethnicity, her disability, her political beliefs and her art that makes her such a compelling and relevant icon today.”

A series of self-portraits of her father is shown early on to highlight his direct influence on her own style of self portraiture. The retrospective then opens into a room of curiosity cases and cabinets, which are housed in wooden structures mimicking beds. Kahlo’s sick bed functioned as both refuge and stage, as her mother secured a mirror onto the canopy, so that her daughter could draw her reflection. In lieu of her easel, the plaster of her immobilising corsets became her 3D canvas. “She would cover herself in life, but she would uncover herself in art,” Henestrosa says. Kahlo’s prosthetic leg with the embroidered and bell-embellished boot that she decorated “as if it were a second skin” is also on display amongst the cosmetics and accessories that populate the displays.

Kahlo’s relationship with fashion plays out alongside her political ideology during a time when the country was rediscovering its pre-Columbian roots. “When she first met Diego Rivera she was wearing communist red shirts, trousers and simple skirts,” Wilcox asserts. “The first image we see of her wearing a full-length dress is her wedding portrait... I think it was in the freedom of America [the couple married in 1929 and lived in the United States between 1930-1934] that meant she was able to craft her unique identity.”

Yet her distinctive wardrobe that bore no resemblance to her peers is entrenched in Tehuana. She was attracted to the way the extraordinary women in Oaxaca’s matriarchal societies dressed because, Wilcox says, “these were proud women who had a certain dignity.” Her dedication to channelling her Mexican heritage is shown through the wear on her clothing. Darns, cigarette burns and stains are present on the pieces, as well as paint and pigment splashes. Archive discoveries, such as a pre-Columbian jade beaded necklace with a tiny dab of green paint, where Kahlo had tried to meticulously match her artist’s materials to her necklace, have brought art historians and fashion historians together to try and uncover the symbolism behind her public persona.

The crescendo of colourful, joyful outfits that we see at the end of the exhibition is the amalgam of Tehuana fashion with pieces from Europe, American beauty products and vintage jewellery that were all utilised by Kahlo to draw the eye upwards and away from her leg brace. “Look at the sophistication of her construction,” Wilcox notes of her wardrobe. “In some ways, it has taken until the discovery of her belongings in 2004 for us to be able to unpick and understand the different components.”

Her performative identity – “she’d insist on dressing for her friends even when she was sick” – is made all the more powerful when we consider her as a spirited, liberated woman operating in a man's world. “Success didn't come to her in her lifetime, but she didn’t chase success through her painting,” Wilcox concludes. "She once said, 'I paint myself because I'm so often alone'. Yet, she was a somebody. In her lifetime she was regarded as a charismatic, unusual and incredibly fascinating creature.” One we are still getting to know now.

Rihanna Brings Savage X Fenty To London

Ilove seeing the reaction to Savage X Fenty in person, so having a pop-up shop is really exciting for me!” Rihanna tells Vogue exclusively of her decision to give her lingerie line a bricks-and-mortar presence in London. “I want women to feel great wearing lingerie. I want them to feel confident, sexy, flirty. But most of all, I want them to feel like themselves.”

The popstar and entrepreneur has chosen Shoreditch Studios for the location of her Fenty outpost, which will run from June 13-17. The shop will stock pieces from her core collection, "On the Reg" and the three other lines, playfully titled “U Cute”, “Damn” and "Black Widow" according to how Bad Gal you want to look and feel wearing the underwear. Many of the 90 pieces have already sold out due to high demand, but team Savage X is working hard to ensure healthy stock levels, so that London fans can purchase the femme-in-the-front, frisky-in-the-back bikini-cut knickers and marabou embellished jumpsuits aplenty during the five-day pop-up.

The inclusive sizing (bras are available from a 32A to 44DD, and lingerie, underwear and loungewear from XS to 3XL) that has been much praised in the media is also a priority for the store's launch.

“I approach everything with the same mentality," Rihanna told press upon the collection’s May 2018 launch date. "It has to be authentic, it has to be from me, my perspective. I’ve wanted to do a lingerie line for a long time, but it was important to me that it be done right.” Though details of the pop-up's interiors – and whether the Fenty founder will be serving customers herself – are being kept under wraps for now, there can be no doubt it will have Rihanna's stamp all over it.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Victoria Beckham Is Hosting An Old Masters Exhibition

The designer has chosen a clutch of masterpieces from a forthcoming Sotheby's sale to hang alongside her pre-fall 2018 collection in her Dover Street store.

A7ft-tall Damien Hirst heart, a clutch of Tracey Emin neons, several Julian Schnabel paintings – all make up the exquisitely curated private collection of contemporary art that Victoria Beckham has assembled with her husband David. But now, a departure: the designer is dipping her toe in the rich, precisely rendered waters of Old Masters.

This month, the Victoria Beckham Dover Street store will exhibit a collection of Old Masters paintings, in partnership with Sotheby’s – an interesting move for the auction house, which has never held an exhibition in a retail space. From June 22 until June 27 2018, masterpieces will be on show amongst the various vivid colour splashes – mint and burgundy, raspberry and teal, lemon and salmon – that make up Beckham’s pre-fall 2018 collection currently in store, in partnership with Mayfair Art Weekend.

“I always wanted my store to be an evolving space in which it was possible to showcase work from artists that I feel passionate about, so I am thrilled to partner with Sotheby’s on this project,” Beckham told Vogue. “It has been an absolute pleasure selecting the pieces and learning more about Old Masters while doing so.”

This is not the first time Beckham has exhibited artwork in her dramatic concrete and polished stainless-steel, 6,000sq ft store, itself designed by Farshid Moussavi, the co-founder of Foreign Office Architects and the architect behind the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland. In 2015 she commissioned the Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed to recreate Work No. 2497. Half the Air in a Given Space, his room of 37,000 white balloons, in her Dover Street store. In 2017 the jeweller and sculptor Emily Young’s work was also exhibited in the space.

“We cannot wait to present some of the top lots from our forthcoming Old Masters auction in Victoria’s fantastically sleek and beautiful space on Dover Street,” Chloe Stead, Sotheby’s Old Masters Paintings specialist, said. "It’s been so exciting collaborating with such an internationally respected and admired designer and taste-maker, and we’ve had fun working together to select paintings for the show.”

What masterpieces has Beckham picked – Cranach or Rubens? Ochtervelt or Turner? She’s keeping her selection a secret for now, and will unveil the chosen pieces at an exclusive dinner. “I can’t wait for everyone to see what we have chosen!” she says.

V&A Announces Mary Quant Exhibition With Call-Out To Uncover Lost Designs

The V&A is curating the first international retrospective of Mary Quant in almost 50 years. Slated for release in April 2019, the exhibition will explore the years between 1955 and 1975, when the Welsh designer and fashion icon injected life into the British high street through her subversive, graphic designs that embraced different forms of femininity and freed women from rules and regulations.

Mary Quant will bring together over 200 objects, the majority of which have never been on public display, and delve into the details of how Quant, who was awarded an OBE in 1966, democratised fashion and inspired a young generation.

“It was a wonderfully exciting time and despite the frenetic, hard work we had enormous fun,” Dame Mary Quant commented on her forward-thinking designs that were popularised by Jean Shrimpton, Pattie Boyd, Cilla Black and Twiggy. “We didn’t necessarily realise that what we were creating was pioneering, we were simply too busy relishing all the opportunities and embracing the results before rushing on to the next challenge!”

The garments and accessories, archive sketches, patterns, cosmetics, magazines, photographs, film and catwalk footage have been drawn from the V&A’s largest collection of Mary Quant garments in the world, the unprecedented access the museum was given to the designer’s personal archive, and loans that it will acquire from a public call-out. Pieces that the museum is looking for include rare and early one-off designs sold between 1955 and 1960 in Quant’s renowned Bazaar boutiques, dresses and blouses from 1964 and 1965 with Peter Pan collars, garments made using Mary Quant Butterick patterns, which launched in 1964, and made it possible for home dressmakers to make Quant’s designs, plus Mary Quant knitwear, swimwear and accessories.

“We want to hear from women who wore Mary’s radical designs and experienced the appeal of the Mary Quant brand at first-hand,” Jenny Lister, curator of Mary Quant, said in a statement. “To help us tell these incredible stories, we are asking people to check attics, cupboards, as well as family photo albums, for the chance to feature in our exhibition.”

Tickets for the exhibition, which will run from April 6 2019 to March 8 2020, will go on sale in autumn 2018. But, for now, the #WeWantQuant search is on. Email, or use the social media hashtag to share personal pieces that have made British street style the global influence it is today.

Olivier Rousteing Documentary Details Revealed

The documentary exploring the life of Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing is slated for release in early 2019.

Matt Tyrnauer and Matt Kapp, the production team behind the 2009 docudrama Valentino: Last Emperor, will finish shooting this summer. The distribution channel is yet to be confirmed.

The film will chart Rousteing’s childhood with his adoptive parents in Bordeaux to his path to fashion fame, including “some of the struggles encountered in getting to where I am, the work that has gone into it and the critiques,” the designer told WWD.

“It’s going to be a beautiful message, it’s going to be a big thing,” he continued, before acknowledging that an autobiographical film is unusual for a 32-year-old. “A documentary about my life when I’m only in my Thirties, it’s a bit like when I had to do the collaboration with H&M based on Balmain’s DNA when I’d only been at the house for like four and a half years. I’ve been at Balmain for eight years now, it’s not like Mr Valentino or Pierre Cardin, but that’s interesting as well because I feel sometimes that my life is like a [fashion paradox]; I feel misunderstood sometimes.”

"At the beginning I was the Balmain baby and now Balmain is my baby," he told Vogue in 2016 of how social media (he now has 4.9million Instagram followers and counting) has been integral to his rise. "It was important back then to use Instagram to invite people to discover who I am. I'm adopted, I came from an orphanage, and I wanted to show people that dreams can come true; to give a positive message and say that if you believe in yourself and you believe in a dream it can happen."

Expect Rousteing's #BalmainArmy - his age-defying fan-girl demographic of loyal followers and model friends - to be out in full force come release date.

Danse Lente Pops Up In Covent Garden

Danse Lente handbags are an Instagrammer’s favourite owing to their angular shapes and clean lines inspired by modern architecture. Now, for the first time since the brand’s inception, it will have its own bricks-and-mortar store to show its accessories in.

Danse Lente, which means “slow dance” in French, follows a string of shops (Aries, The Shop at the Bluebird) towards Covent Garden. Its month-long residence on Long Acre will welcome the curious crowds exploring the area’s major regeneration, but for founder Youngwon Kim, it was a natural choice to set up camp there. “I simply liked Covent Garden because of its historical significance and its warm ambience,” she told Vogue ahead of the June 8 launch.

The London-based designer, who works with craftsmen, tanners and metalsmiths in the capital, looked to Spain for interiors inspiration. “The décor is inspired by the dwelling of a Spanish sculptor called Xavier Corbero,” she explained. “Most of the artists that I admire are from the Mediterranean region, where the warm weather influences their work. The Danse Lente store décor is created in this line of thought.”

Success came quickly to the brand, which Kim launched two years after graduating from the London College of Fashion in 2013 with an MA in footwear. Her debut collection was pre-launched through Net-a-Porter, with Selfridges quickly following suit, and Moda Operandi, Le Bon Marche and Lane Crawford jumping on board after the success of the first line.

“There are definitely conflicts of running a business and staying creative at the same time,” Kim noted of her steep learning curve. Maintaining an accessible price point is a key priority, and each bag is a balancing act of “simplifying details without compromising the character of the design.”

When in doubt, she looks to Picasso, Brancusi, Memphis Group and Bauhaus – “They are visually very simple, but have a strong, timeless impact” – and the cities she travels to for light relief and inspiration. For now though, 25 Long Acre is holding her attention. Visit the pop-up before July 12 to see inside Kim's world for yourself.

Doublet Wins The 2018 LVMH Prize

Once a year, within the Frank Gehry-designed walls of the Louis Vuitton Foundation, a roster of young fashion designers introduce their brands to a dazzling panel of industry veterans in what appears a rather fabulous version of Dragons Den. This week, the likes of Charles Jeffrey and A-Cold-Wall*; Eckhaus Latta and Kwaidan Editionseach gave a 10-minute presentation to the creative luminaries of the LVMH conglomerate – and it’s hard to imagine a line-up more disarming than that which judged them: Karl Lagerfeld, Nicolas Ghesquière, Marc Jacobs, Clare Waight Keller, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Jonathan Anderson, Humberto Leon, Carol Lim, Sidney Toledano and the prize’s founder, Delphine Arnault.

Such an ominous endeavor can perhaps only be made more so by the introduction of a rigid language barrier – so, “it was a surprise to win!” remarked Japanese designer Masayuki Ino whose brand, Doublet, was awarded the grand prize of €300,000 alongside a year’s LVMH mentoring. The first non-European based designer to win the award, Ino’s innovative formats – he compacts his T-shirts into parcels so small that they can be packaged within ramen pots, requiring you simply add water to grow them to full size – earned him enthusiastic fans among the panel. “He has a novel way of approaching things, and he almost feels like a new Issey Miyake in the ways in which he treats fabrics and his clothes unfold,” explained Waight-Keller. “Even through the language barrier, he really manages to get his ideas, and his passion, across.”

“It felt new,” continued Jonathan Anderson. “In Japan, they have this amazing knowledge of textiles, and they want to try and do things that are novel – and Doublet felt new, it felt different. For me, what really sold it was seeing a clothing hanger which was actually a compressed shirt covered with a plastic garment bag. You could see that in the Met, and I wanted to buy it.”

While Doublet might be less established in Europe than his contemporaries – he only has one stockist in the UK, Dover Street Market – Ino is only just classified as a young designer by the LVMH standards: he is 39 years old (the cut-off is 40); his brand has been going for six years; and he previously worked for seven under Mihara Yasuhiro. His designs combine the staples of Japanese streetwear with the sort of remarkable fabrications only discovered with experience: one souvenir jacket he presented had been decorated with the best holographic tiger I’ve ever seen; the aforementioned slogan Tees expand with the addition of water (“Doublet say hungry?” they read in a crinkled font); a slogan embroidered upon an 80s-style polo wonderfully peeled away into a rainbow fringe.

They are funny, too; he describes his work as “fashion with a sense of humour,” which speaks aptly to the placement of an oversized holographic crocodile that riffs on the Japanese fascination with the Lacoste icon, or “your brand name here” emblazoned down the arm of a jumper in allusion to the endurance of logomania. Such meta references will likely become one of this era’s defining trends, and Masayuki speaks to the ever-expanding demand for ironically, self-aware fashion. That being said, “Masuyaki is original,” continued Arnault. “He hasn’t taken his ideas from someone else, or from the past, and his approach is very unique. I’m also very happy that someone from Japan has won the prize for the first time: the competition is totally international, and Japan is such an important country for fashion.”

Besides recognising Ino’s innovation, what the decision signified was a conscious choice to expand the Eurocentric confines of these sorts of prizes, alongside a new openness to streetwear as a luxury category (elsewhere, Supreme won a CFDA award this week and Virgil Abloh will show his first collection for Louis Vuitton later this month – it seems the penny has finally dropped). “I really didn’t expect to win,” smiled Ino. “So I don’t know what I will do with the money… but it is an honour to receive the award.”

Elsewhere in the competition, Korea-born, US-raised, London-based designer Rok Hwang was awarded a special prize consisting of €150,000 and a year’s mentorship for his discreet vision of female elegance. A former employee of Phoebe Philo, Hwang might be far earlier in his career than Ino – he has only created three collections for his brand Rokh – but shows remarkable promise with the other side of the luxury market. “My business is at a very early stage, so I’m going to focus on growing my team and building my foundations,” he said. “But also… continue with my day-to-day work.” As Ino proves: slow and steady wins…

Albert Watson Named The 2019 Pirelli Calendar Photographer

The 2019 Pirelli calendar has been shot by Albert Watson. The Scottish photographer announced the news via his Instagram account today.

Watson, whose photographs have appeared on over 100 Vogue covers worldwide, shot the calendar pictures this April between Miami and New York. Few other details are known, however Watson's vast portfolio of portraits, including Alfred Hitchcock, Steve Jobs, David Bowie and Kate Moss, made him a clear contender for the project.

76-year-old Watson, who has Max Factor to thank for his first test session in 1970, takes the baton from Tim Walker, who shot this year's Alice in Wonderland-themed calendar through his wondrous lens. With styling by Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful and set design by Shona Heath, the blockbuster cast, which features the likes of Adwoa Aboah as Tweedledee and Naomi Campbell and Sean Combs as The Royal Beheaders, celebrates inclusivity.

Walker’s high-voltage vision follows the unconventional path of the previous two calendars, which saw Pirelli move away from the soft-core calendar-girl aesthetic it had celebrated since 1964. 2016 saw Annie Leibovitz photograph a series of women celebrated for their accomplishments, rather than just their looks, and 2017’s Peter Lindbergh calendar made waves owing to its non-airbrushed, monochromatic portraits of make-up-free, clothed actresses.

The Rimowa X Off-White Collab Is About To Infiltrate Your Instagram

Since Alexandre Arnault took the helm of Rimowa in October 2016 alongside Dieter Morszeck – the grandson of Paul Morszeck, the brand’s founder – he has been spearheading a revamp of the brand with the stamina of someone running a start-up business. But, with two exceptions. The luggage label is 120 years old, and has the financial backing of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH. Arnault is using the latter to put Rimowa on the map with the next generation.

The millennial co-CEO is the brain behind Rimowa’s high-profile collaborations with Fendi, Anti Social Social Club, Supreme and, now, Off-White. If ever a ribbed aluminium suitcase could break the internet, Virgil Abloh was the man to put the wheels in motion.

Arnault teased the collaboration on his personal Instagram account in September 2017, but the transparent polycarbonate carry-on cases will make their official debut when they roll down the catwalk on June 20 at Off-White’s Paris menswear show.

The clear design accented with black handles, wheels and discreet labelling on the locks follows Abloh’s recent collaborations with Ikea and Nike, in which he invited fans to co-curate the design by keeping it see-through. The collaborative luggage also plays on the concept of privacy culture, and comprises Rimowa’s latest functionality updates, which have been pushed out in time for the German luggage brand’s 120th anniversary.

In April, Arnault told the Condé Nast International Luxury conference that "social networks have redefined the balance of desirability” and that "snapping and sharing images makes them valuable”. To maximise the collaboration's social media currency, select friends of the brands will be gifted personalised black aluminium cases emblazoned with the Off-White branding, “Personal Belongings”.

"A beautiful piece of luggage is the first accessory to any great experience, and it plays a fundamental role in the autobiography we write on Instagram,” Arnault continued. "The next generation is seeking a more intense life than the last one, so we must service this.” Prepare to see Abloh's stamp infiltrate your feed once more, as Arnault further establishes himself as LVMH's secret weapon.

What It Was Like To Work With Alexander McQueen

As the late Alexander McQueen’s story comes to light in documentary form, Voguespeaks to Sebastian Pons, a member of team McQueen, who gives a candid depiction of what it was like to work with the visionary during his most creative and turbulent days in the London, and Parisian, fashion scenes.

It took one year of conversations with directors Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui to convince Alexander Lee McQueen’s former assistant, Sebastian Pons, to participate in McQueen, the documentary exploring the late designer’s legacy.

“I wanted to make sure it was going to be a respectful project, and a good portrait of the real Lee, not the other Lee,” Pons tells Vogue shortly before the film’s June 8 release date. “I was worried because Lee was my friend, Lee was my colleague, Lee was a lot to me, and I still like to protect him.”

Though the scar left from the designer’s suicide in February 2010 is still open – “I felt it had almost healed but then [Bonhôte and Ettedgui] start digging” – the voice of McQueen inside Pons’s head convinced him to share his memories. “It was so hard, but Lee told me to be strong in life.”

The pair met at Central Saint Martins in 1992, when Pons was an undergraduate and McQueen was finishing his MA degree. “I remember talking to him in the canteen,” Pons recalls of the daily minutiae of college, and watching with wonder as McQueen created his final collection. Years later, McQueen came across Pons’s graduate portfolio and commissioned him to create prints for his Hunger collection. “I used the Saint Martins printers, because Lee didn't have the facilities – or the money.” In 1997, when Pons graduated from his own MA programme, he went straight to work with McQueen at Givenchy. “I finished school on Wednesday, and on the Friday, I was taking a plane to Paris.”

The home video footage of McQueen’s rag tag gang running riot in the house of Givenchy, while enjoying the perks of having a private driver and a fancy apartment, is the focus of some of the film’s brilliantly candid scenes. “Givenchy called us the 'trash gang', because we were wearing bleached, slashed jeans and rock’n’roll tees in a couture house, but we just thought ‘enough of the French!’” Pons laughs. “Eventually [the atelier staff] said, ‘OK, these guys are crazy, but they are doing some spectacular stuff.'”

Pons stayed in Paris for 18 months on McQueen’s mission to gather information. “He said to me, 'Sebastian, you have to look at everything, you have to suck everything in, you have to make a lot of contacts, and then bring all this information back to our McQueen,'" he recounts. During that time, McQueen taught him “to not to be afraid of the unknown, to not always fall into the comfort zone of what we know, and to make decisions quickly” - a resolve he carries with him to this day.

Back in London as a permanent fixture at the house of Alexander McQueen, “Lee pushed the team into the unknown and encouraged us to mix weird elements into everything,” but Pons’s life was dominated by his boss’s mood. “Lee didn't come to work every day,” he tries to explain. “There would be two weeks of nothing, then some days he would be at his creative peak. He had to be balanced, he had to be calm and relaxed in order to perform, because he was so emotional. So emotional! Everything affected him – especially love.”

“If Lee’s love life was good, his designs were good,” he continues. “But if his love life was dark, his collections were dark.” Pons and the rest of the design team waited until McQueen’s temperament was favourable to show him the designs they had been working on. “We knew when the good days were good, and the bad days were bad,” he sighs, but, as time went on, it was difficult for Pons to tread the line between employee and confidante.

In 2000, Pons left McQueen to pursue his own fashion career in New York. “It was bad, because it was like a divorce,” he explains. “I got upset, he got upset… we didn’t talk it through.” But when Pons picked up the phone to call him two-and-a-half years later, it was as though time had never passed. “I loved the wild side of him from the beginning, and he knew I was devoted to him,” Pons shares. “I could talk about the Dante sleeve, or that piece from Highland Rape… But if I thought a collection was crap, I told him it was crap.” The foundation of their relationship was always, he says, honesty.

When asked what he misses most about this brotherly bond, Pons falters. Eight years on, it is still his laughter. “I miss Lee – not Alexander McQueen – I miss Lee. I miss his laughter... to just be with him.”

It’s this devastatingly honest account of a man that misses his friend, and the similar stories from McQueen’s colleagues, family and acquaintances, that makes the film such a sensitive depiction of a true individual, one who gave so much to British fashion, and to the people surrounding him.

Kate Spade Has Died

Kate Spade, 55, has been found dead in her New York apartment in an apparent suicide, according to law enforcement officials.

Officials say the designer was found by housekeeping staff inside her Park Avenue home at around 10.20am on Tuesday, and that she had left a note. The officials were not authorised to give details of an investigation and spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, the Guardianreports.

“We are all devastated by today’s tragedy,” her family said in a statement to the New York Daily News. “We loved Kate dearly and will miss her terribly. We would ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time.”

“Kate was the most beautiful woman in the world. She was the kindest person I’ve ever known and my best friend for 35 years. My daughter and I are devastated by her loss, and can’t even begin to fathom life without her. We are deeply heartbroken and miss her already,” Andy Spade, her husband, added afterwards.

The brand also released a statement on social media, in which it said, "we honour all the beauty she brought into this world".

Spade founded her eponymous brand in 1993, and it quickly became known for its playful accessories, which, in turn, expanded into shoes, stationery, eyewear, babywear, fragrances, and bedlinen. In 2017 Spade sold the label to Coach for $2.4 billion. Upon signing the deal, Coach CEO Victor Luis, told Businesswire, “Kate Spade has a truly unique and differentiated brand positioning with a broad lifestyle assortment and strong awareness among consumers, especially millennials."

Kate Spade New York has an estimated 140 retail shops and outlet stores across the US and more than 175 shops internationally.