Friday, September 28, 2018

Unmasking The Private And Public Selves Of André Leon Talley

If you have booked cinema tickets to see The Gospel According to André, the Kate Novack documentary exploring the life of American Vogue’s former editor-at-large André Leon Talley, expect glimpses of his fabulously flamboyant high-fashion lifestyle. But also prepare for a quieter Talley, one who retreats to the quiet haven of his scenic home in White Plains. And a reflective character, who contemplates on his strict upbringing and how tireless fashion study enabled him to forge a path from North Carolina to the hubbub of New York City. “You can be aristocratic without having been born into an aristocratic family,” Talley tells the camera at one point.

The spotlights on his formative years when he was fresh out of college and interning with Diana Vreeland at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, working the social circles in The Factory and Studio 54, and then as a hungry Women’s Wear Daily editor at the international fashion weeks are brilliant and much too fleeting. To delve further into Talley’s commitment as a young African-American gay man to make it in an industry he had loved and learnt about from afar for so long, British Vogue got Talley on the phone.

First off, he’s chuffed with the film. “It is exceptional, emotional and very elegant,” he enthuses. “It’s validated who I am. When Edward Enninful became editor-in-chief British Vogue, he said so kindly, ‘you paved the way for all of us’. That is what the film means to me."

Talley, who will turn 70 on October 16, hopes the documentary has the potential to be used as a “learning tool for future generations in schools, universities, colleges and groups” in order to illustrate that fashion is open to everyone. Vogue, for him was his “escape universe” as a 13-year-old living with his church-going grandmother: “The images, the captions, the words from Vogue were the landscape of my mind.” So rich was his understanding that when he moved to New York in the early 1970s, he felt immediately at home. “It was exactly as I’d imagined and more, the people were larger than life,” he says name-checking Halston, Pat Cleveland, Carrie Donovan and Diana Ross among his first acquaintances. “I don’t know why they welcomed me, they just thought I had something to offer. I wasn’t turned away by anyone.”

The turning point for his career, he recalls, was when he met Andy Warhol through Vreeland, two mentors, who along with Anna Wintour, “opened the doors, no the floodgates” for him. He came across Warhol in October 1974 when walking down the street carrying a portfolio of clippings from his reports on the Rhode Island School of Design social scene. By December the same year, he had a job at The Factory, under the recommendation of Vreeland, who had been impressed with his mannequin-dressing skills at the Met.

“It was wonderful,” he remembers of working under Warhol. “It was like being in high school. We worked hard, it was a professional office, but it was also a social club. Everyone in the Warhol universe was equal, and it was all just a blast.”

By the time Studio 54 was transformed from theatre to nightclub by Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager in 1977, Talley was going out four nights a week. “It was a liberated society. Drag queens were equal to the socialites,” he says, giving shout outs to Grace Jones and Debbie Harry – just two of the icons he met during that time. “I danced until three or four in the morning, went to work at 8.30am, and put in a full day. When you’re young you do things like that.”

He plays down his rapid career trajectory as a fashion editor. “I just got up and went to work every day,” he says matter-of-factly. “I didn’t think about living the most glamorous life, I was just in the world I was meant to be in.” Whether it was his grandmother – "I could do no wrong in her eyes” - or Vreeland who gave him this self-assurance is unclear, but it is the latter whom he refers to time and time again, and who seemingly shaped his grandiose, flowery lexicon and being.

“She was extraordinary,” he says. “She was dramatic, passionate, exciting. She spoke like an author writing a chapter in a novel.” He credits her for teaching him how to really look at clothes through the eye of fine dressmakers, and rooting everything back to beauty, not opulence. When asked whether he feels that the celebrity-driven culture of today has diluted the craft and language that underlines the industry, he again refers to his mentor. “Mrs Vreeland would love it. Oh, she loved celebrities and celebrities loved her. She had Cher, Jack Nicholson, Diana Ross and Raquel Welch at her parties at the Met.” But despite the endless names he reels off in comparison – Kim Kardashian, Mariah Carey and Tiffany Haddish are all his “wonderful friends” – he admits that he is not driven by showbiz. “It’s just the world that you move in”.

His work and personal life have become segregated with age. But if ever the film presents a twang of loneliness behind the endless list of people he mixes with, he remains buoyant on the phone. “My public self and private self were one and the same when I was younger because I was always out on assignments,” he notes. “As one gets older, one realises the most important thing is that you cultivate your own little garden, your own world.” And so, nobody goes to Talley's house, his sanctuary.

It’s this prophetic sense of self he hopes he’ll be remembered for. “I hope people see something in me that’s special, unique and grounded in education and southern America,” he asserts. And though 70 is calling, he has no end goal apart from sharing his stories to urge minorities to dream big. “I think the fashion industry needs to be constantly aware of cultural change and a strong sense of inclusiveness,” he explains, before making it clear that he has never felt a struggle himself. Not even when a PR director once referred to him as “Queen Kong”. Why? Because he didn’t let it hurt him. And five decades on, with his childlike joy of fashion still brimming to the top, there’s the sense that you can’t say a bad word against his passion. If you do, he’s got countless names and stories to reel back at you in defence.

A First Look At Virgil Abloh's Off-White SS19 Collection

You hear him before you see him. From the moment we arrive at the Off-White studio in the north-east of Paris, Virgil Abloh is bursting with energy. Look away for one second and he's off, in a different corner of the room, talking to another set of people; iPhone forever in his hand, a smile and laugh never far from his face.

Split across two levels, the studio is a hive of activity: catering, hair and make-up on the mezzanine level; a makeshift photo studio, the busy atelier and fitting corner filling the warehouse-like space below. Tables run along the sides of the giant white room – one side piled with shoes, accessories on the other. Everywhere there are towering mood boards reclining against tables and rails, neatly titled "Track & Field" – note the ubiquitous Abloh quotation marks. Like the jazz playing in the background, it is an organised chaos; a hundred things happening at the same time with no seeming order but in perfect harmony.

It is the day before the Off-White show and final fittings are in full swing. Jourdan Dunn waits patiently; Bella Hadid and Kaia Gerber slip in silently, flurries of action following them the second the studio spots their presence; then the Olympians enter.

British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith and track and field star Katarina Johnson-Thompson take the scene in excitedly. Did they ever imagine they would walk at Paris Fashion Week? "That's the first time someone has actually said [it like] that," says Johnson-Thompson, still somewhat bewildered that this is in fact reality.

Joining them on the runway will be high jumpers Vashti Cunningham and Cecilia Yeung, 100m dash champion English Gardner, Colombia's Caterine Ibargüen, Belgium's Nafissatou Thiam and the French runner Rénelle Lamote. Together, they will sport Abloh's latest collaboration with Nike, his Nike Running and Nike Women debut. Of course, it is an evolution from previous projects. Last year saw him reimagine 10 models from the brand's sneaker archive, including the classic Air Jordan 1s, Air Max 90s and Air Force 1s. Earlier this year he dressed Serena Williams for the US Open. This time around he's focusing on the total look. "[I asked myself,] what can I add to something that is seemingly already perfect?" says the creative polymath.

Here, the American designer, DJ and music producer talks exclusively to Vogue about merging athletic apparel with fashion (not athleisure), championing women on a global scale and his fuss-free approach to balancing so many different projects at once.

"Essentially, it is femininity crashed against athletic apparel and sport. The juxtaposition is how you know something happened; that is the crash. There's textures, there's silhouettes. The shoes for example, I started with a very athletic shoe and crashed it into a very feminine high heel. Take the suiting: there's a biker short, but in tailoring. That's the crash in 3D. The end result is Off-White; it's a metaphor."

"Whenever I'm doing a collection, I'm inspired by the world around us. Not in a flowery way of 'I saw something out a car window', it is more [about] the social context of womenswear now, women in culture and how they are represented. I also noticed – at least in America, in my social circle – that an active lifestyle is becoming the norm. It is a lifestyle: be healthy, live healthy, eat healthy and work out. So workout apparel donning this name 'athleisure' to me was not fully embracing fashion as a united idea, so I wanted to merge this athletic apparel with fashion but in a way that it's organic."

"They are totally different. If you could combine the best of athletic wear – its performance, its fabrication, its sensibility – and bend that into fashion, what does performance apparel look like? Or what does fashion look like after it has [gone through] this thought process? That is where a lot of the fabrics and the silhouettes came from. It's 'Nike couture'."

"In my mind it was natural to have real athletes [in the show]. I do fashion to tell a narrative. In my mind, the muse is the athlete. These Olympic athletes, they train for a living, they live in workout clothes. So I wanted to see what these clothes look like on real women who actually do that. I think it can extend out to the girl who likes to work out and loves athletic wear."

"Working with Nike this time was more apparel-focused; it's more a total look than just focusing on the T-shirt. What I feel like I can add is the flair of relevancy or the lifestyle. Not so much the product itself, but why wear the product or how can the product be intriguing? What would make an athlete feel prideful? Or confident? Like they look their best? I believe that little extra element, which is above and beyond the product, can make someone perform even further - thereby achieving a better result."

"In a weird way, the key is not to think about it. I don't sit and think, 'Oh, I'm working a lot.' Every idea that comes to mind I execute or I look for outlets to put out ideas. I just do it."

Thursday, September 27, 2018

"We Were Just Boyfriend And Girlfriend Taking Pictures": Mario Sorrenti On Kate Moss

Poised in a deep slumber, her body laid out in the languid position of Sir Frederic Leighton’s Flaming June, the face of a teenage Kate Moss emerges from the white cotton sheets draped across her body. “I love the light in this photograph,” Mario Sorrenti tells me when I meet him at his west London hotel. “The composition, especially the composition, and the drapery – a theme that occurs a lot in Renaissance painting – that’s something I really like to use”. We have paused to look at a page of his new book mononymously titled Kate, which comprises 50 previously unpublished photographs of Moss, taken by Sorrenti (her boyfriend at the time) in the early 1990s.

The volume is an important piece of fashion history: it captures Moss – on the brink of supermodel stardom – enraptured by her first love and brimming with all the anticipation of a deer about to take a leap into the unknown or, in Moss’s case, the extraordinary. It was also a body of work that would cement Sorrenti‘s name into the masthead of fashion magazines and contracts with major brands, most notably the now iconic 1993 Calvin Klein Obsession campaign, starring Moss.

Sorrenti first met Moss on a photo shoot in London in 1991, but it wasn’t the high fashion scenario one might expect. “We were modelling together for the same commercial – I think it was something really cheesy like a hair product or Dentyne,” he recalls. “My heart just, like, stopped and I kind of clammed up. I was shy and didn’t have a lot to say. But she was very sweet and talkative.” By chance, the pair ran into each other at a party several weeks later and hung out all night, “walking into the early morning until we fell asleep on the grass in Hyde Park”. For the next two years, the pair were “inseparable”.

Moss was still living with her mother in Croydon, and the Neapolitan Sorrenti, who had grown up in New York from the age of 10 and relocated to London to pursue modelling, was staying with his agent. “We were really young, like kids, I was 19 and she was 17,” Sorrenti remembers. “We would crash out on people’s couches so we could be together, and I’m taking pictures all the time.”

“I was always very passionate about photography,” he continues, “studying and buying books on artists that were working in that medium and so on.” We turn to another page in the book where Moss’s unmistakable doe eyes, which have captivated the world via the lens of famous photographers for more than 25 years, peer out between the rails of a cast-iron gate. Two bare-chested boys with Mediterranean features (Sorrenti’s brother and his friend) stand at her side. “I call this my Paul Strand photo,” Sorrenti says with a smile, in reference to the American Modernist photographer who, along with Edward Weston and Dorothea Lange (also idols of Sorrenti’s) helped pioneer photography as an artform in the first half of the 20th century.

Throughout their relationship, Sorrenti says, “Kate, as a model, started to look at what she did differently because, I guess, she started to understand the passion behind photography. Slowly our knowledge of it grew together.” While the romance did not last (Moss has previously spoken about how his “obsession” with his work spilled over into their relationship), a close bond remained and the duo have continued to work and spend time together. “You know, it’s funny – a lot of people talk about Kate as my muse,” he says. “But really for us we were just boyfriend and girlfriend – and now friends – taking pictures.”

First A$AP Ferg, Now Tiffany & Co. Is Backing Britain's Young Artists

Tiffany & Co. is on a mission to flex its youth credentials. This year has already seen the American jewellery monolith recruit Elle Fanning and A$AP Ferg in a campaign that saw the latter remix "Moon River", and stage a guerrilla-style gig on the roof top of the company’s glossy New York flagship. Reader, there were Tiffany-blue traffic cones. With one stroke of marketing genius the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’smoment that will forever be associated with the brand was given a fresh update and put back on the agenda.

Its latest move will perhaps garner less air time on Instagram, but is no less important. The brand has invested in seven emerging artists and put financial clout behind them. Each recipient of the Studiomakers Prize, which is part of its ongoing partnership with the Outset Contemporary Art Fund, will receive rent-free studio space for a year and have the opportunity to display their works in the Tiffany & Co. Covent Garden boutique as part of a three-week exhibition.

The art school graduates – James Fuller, Mark Corfield-Moore, Miriam Naeh, Neung Wi Kim, Roy Efrat, Sofia Mitsola and Yasmine Robinson – encompass a variety of mediums from print and textiles to sculpture and jewellery design. The winning pieces will find a home amongst the personalisation stations, video screens and vending machines selling perfume, which have all been installed in the new “concept store” to speak to a new generation. “It has a uniquely interactive and innovative design with the focus on self-expression, making it the perfect location in which to showcase artworks by London’s finest graduates,” Richard Moore, Tiffany & Co. divisional vice president of store design and creative visual merchandising, said in a statement.

This might only be the second year the prize has been running, but art has long been a part of the brand narrative. Since its conception in 1837, it has supported the likes of Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg and kept its finger on the cultural pulse as well as establishing itself as a global destination for diamonds.

“Tiffany & Co. is marked by its long-standing tradition of excellence in art and design,” Candida Gertler OBE, co-founder and chairperson of the Outset Contemporary Art Fund, shared. “ Exhibiting in the new store means that the artists will, at such an early stage in their career, be challenged to step up to this level of perfection and create an exhibition fit for the world stage.”

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

What Does Michael Kors’s Power Move Mean For Versace – And Fashion?

Versace: the epitome of Italian glamour founded by a dynasty so famous its reputation precedes it. Michael Kors: an American brand also afforded household-name status, largely through the ubiquity of its affordably-priced handbags. At first glance, they appear to have little in common. But now, the latter has decided to change its fortune and forge its own path into a conglomerate-in-the-making, entitled Capri Holdings, and it's first real power move has been to snap up the former. Versace now sits under the umbrella of Capri Holdings.

If fashion editors have privately expressed surprise; for market-watchers, the transaction was largely expected. After acquiring Jimmy Choo in 2017 for $1.2 billion, John D. Idol, Michael Kors CEO, made it quite clear that another purchase was on the agenda. “Our focus is on international fashion luxury that are industry leaders,” he told press, upon closure of the deal. Versace, meanwhile, had been touted as an attractive proposition for a while, so Kors flexed its muscle and secured the house over competitor conglomerates. These include Tapestry Inc, which owns Coach and Kate Spade and is also vying to become a major US luxury group, and Kering, the European example Kors hopes to ape.

Upon the announcement of the $2.1 billion Versace acquisition on September 25, Idol recognised that it was “an important milestone for our group”. The Italian label has a heritage that adds unquantifiable value to the fledgling company, something that neither Michael Kors nor Jimmy Choo has been able to assimilate. Capri Holdings, on the flip side, has the financial clout to harness Versace’s credibility, bolstering the rest of the brands in its portfolio. Donatella Versace knows that her brand retains unique appeal. In the official press release pushed out when the deal broke, she stated: “I am proud that Versace remains very strong in both fashion and modern culture.” But what does the future actually hold for the new colleagues, and how will they work out a successful working relationship that’s mutually beneficial?

Versace's closing comment that her “passion has never been stronger” suggests that she will remain in full creative control of the collections, and while Capri Holdings is finding its feet as a parent company it would be wise to trust the creative director’s instinct over its own. Indeed, Idol "categorically rejected any suggestion that Ms. Versace would leave the brand after a face-saving amount of time had elapsed, or that another designer would be brought in," during an interview with the New York Times. To that end, Capri Holdings has pledged to build on Versace’s runway momentum. But it has also promised to expand accessories and footwear from 35 per cent to 60 per cent of brand revenues. Expect to see the supers and social-media stars who strut down its catwalk season after season carrying a lot more handbags in the future.

Donatella will have seen this coming – it’s no secret that accessories are the bread and butter of brands – and Versace will surely be pleased at the push Capri Holdings has pledged to give its e-commerce platforms and omni-channels. The promise of 100 new stores across US, European and Asian markets, however, raises questions about dilution. A brand store in every major airport around the globe does not a covetable label make, and could send mixed messages to customers who observed 42 Versace stores close in 2017.

Still, Capri Holdings, whose name is taken from the Italian isle off the Amalfi Coast, is aiming high. It expects that the acquisition of Versace will help grow Capri Holdings’s revenues to $8 billion in the long term, with $2 billion being generated by Versace. This is a heady jump from the revenue prediction of Jonathan Akeroyd, Versace's chief executive, who hoped for sales of more than €1 billion in 2018. Donatella might have declared that “creativity and innovation [will still be] at the core of all of Versace’s actions” but she will need to design accessories that garner cult status quickly. The pressure is on.

There’s also another reason why the merger made headlines. Versace was one of the few independent companies left in fashion – a last bastion for autonomy in an industry quickly becoming controlled by private equity endorsements. When Dries Van Noten sold a majority stake in his company to the Spanish conglomerate Puig earlier this year the industry had little time for the business move to resonate, because Missoni quickly submitted to a government-backed private equity fund injection shortly after. The fact that the ultimate indie label and a family-run legacy brand had been forced to accept the financial help of investors was a major industry wake-up call. Is it becoming impossible to thrive as an independent creative today?

Stella McCartney presents an interesting case study in response. Earlier this year, she bought back the 50 per cent stake Kering (then Gucci Group) acquired in her company in 2001 and took back total control of her business. As one of the few female leaders in the industry, she told press in May: “It would be rude not to”. And indeed, as one of the few pioneers in sustainable fashion, not having to answer to a parent company driving profits over textile innovation may work out neatly. McCartney’s ambition is certainly to be celebrated but a founder buying back a sizeable stake in their own business is not a headline one often sees in this industry.

Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Salvatore Ferragamo are still flying the flag for family-run companies, and, in London, Erdem is a healthy example of a designer steadfast in his independency. But who knows which company Capri Holdings will have its eyes on next?

It will take time for the group's influence on Versace to become evident, but with the world watching to see whether Capri Holdings will become a success story or not – shares in Michael Kors fell by eight per cent when rumours of the deal started circulating the day prior to the announcement – it will mean business. Versace might just have the glitz to keep Capri Holdings looking like a shiny new proposition against the monoliths, but only if its "iconic and unmistakable style" – as described by Donatella herself – is not quietened.

John Galliano Hails Gen Z As Maison Margiela Launches New Fragrance Mutiny

On Wednesday morning in Paris, John Galliano made a powerful statement at his Maison Margiela show, unveiling its new perfume Mutiny and a manifesto for a brave new generation.

Since he joined Maison Margiela three years ago, John Galliano has quietly and steadily been developing a new language for the house, drawing on its codes of anonymity and enigma. Today, he broke the silence in a co-ed spring/summer 2019 show that doubled as the launch of Mutiny – his first perfume for Maison Margiela – and verbalised the socio-political messages that have underpinned his every collection. "It started with the idea of mutiny. There were things that were happening around me in the world. There was a lot of unrest in Paris, and the women's march in America. It was the courage of standing up for what you believe in,” he said in a podcast about the fragrance released Wednesday morning, the third in the series The Memory of… with John Galliano, available on iTunes.

The title of these podcasts refers to one of the codes he's established at Maison Margiela, where garments can signify memories of other garments. Galliano illustrated that in Wednesday's collection, debuting a new technique in which he effectively cuts the motif of a jacket into a skirt, then styled it as a cape, and put it on a boy, who looked like a girl. No image could better demonstrate the nonconformist riot Galliano is staging in fashion, and beyond. "Everyone should be happy. Everyone should be who they want to be. It's your life. You shouldn't live someone else's life. And there are many who have lost so many years in their life because they can't be true to themselves, and it's not right. Everyone has the right to be who they want to be," Galliano said in a separate podcast about the collection.

Specifically, he wanted to highlight the evolution currently surrounding the acceptance of non-conformist gender roles, an ethos reflected in his choice of mutinists, the ambassadors for the fragrance, who appeared in videos screened at the show, reflecting on their personal societal mutinies. They included Teddy Quinlivan, Sasha Lane, Willow Smith, Hanne Gaby Odiele, Princess Nokia and Molly Bair; all of whom have battled with society's norms and restrictions on gender and body identities. Compelled by the millennial and Z generations to which they belong, Galliano has been engaging in conversations with the stagieres, who intern with him at Maison Margiela, trying to understand the way they see the world. He rejoices in the self-expressionist freedom of a generation he in many ways helped pave the way for.

As the emerging designers of London will tell you time and again, Galliano's shows for his eponymous label and under Dior over the past decades served as their biggest inspiration growing up: theatres of social defiance, political provocation, and the kind of creativity that could only come from a person to whom creating is the same as breathing. “Conversation, energy levels, their fearlessness,” he said if his stagieres. “Their being who they really are, I find really inspiring because for so long I couldn't be who I wanted to be. So I have the greatest admiration." He talked about growing up in South London in the 1970s, and about finding a creative sanctuary from societal norms at Central Saint Martins where he could finally be himself. "It meant so much for me to be accepted, to have friends. I wasn't brave enough. So of course I was hiding things and wasn't really being true to myself or being authentic. It took me a long time. That's why now when I see such self-expression it's a joy for me and I positively encourage it. It's your life," he paused. "Who wrote that book, who wrote the rules? I wasn't involved with it."

These are the values Galliano has condensed into Mutiny, the powerful tuberose-based essence of which filled the Grand Palais on Wednesday morning like a thick cloud of glamour. Galliano uses the word "parfum" as a metaphor for the core of creation. In that sense, Mutiny isn't some marketing roll-out, but a distillation of all the things his Maison stands for: the old ideals of an haute couture house (to which fragrances like these were key) blended with the mutiny of a new generation. "When they come to a house they want to know what the house stands for - rightly so - before they buy into it," Galliano said of the new generations. "All I can say is that everything we do here is based in truth: authentic. It comes from the heart. Creativity is our mutiny. Creativity is my mutiny."

Courregès Bids Adieu To Plastics With A Last Call Capsule Collection

Among all the shaking up that new Courregès artistic director Yolanda Zobel is doing at the iconic French house, one thing might be deemed unthinkable to some. Zobel has called time on its use of its groovy space-age vinyl that has slicked up everything from classic boxy jackets, miniskirts, and flat go-go boots. But, let's be honest, Zobel might have a point, because her objection is about its sustainability, or lack thereof, not its aesthetic qualities, of which she is still very much enamoured. "I have millions of meters of this amazing vinyl, and as it's the iconic fabric of the house, I cannot dismiss it – it's inspiring," she says. "I love the vinyl, its shine, but you can't say hi to the new without bye to the old."

So here's what Zobel has done. Launching on September 26 at a tiny pop-up next door to the house's Rue Francois boutique is a capsule called Fin de Plastique. It will be a mix of the existing autumn/winter 2018 pieces, as well as some pieces she revived from the archive, such as a small drawstring bag, sculptural collar and bow hairband, and all in that glossy synthetica. Every piece will be stamped with a number that indicates, in decreasing number, the reduction of the stockpile of vinyl which the house currently holds. (There will also be a few new sporty basics — hooded cagoules, track pants — as well as the house's classic skinny rib knits all with a colourful plastic bag print lettered with Fin or The Future is Behind You.)

The stamping on the vinyl looks pretty cool, a utilitarian flourish, but it also conveys an important message, calling time on materials and practices in fashion which are harmful and wasteful. And typical of the proactive, responsible way Zobel thinks, if you're going to make change, look to yourself first. "There's no better world coming, no future, if we don't take actions today," Zobel, who is committed to sourcing a sustainable and recycled version of the vinyl, says. "We are all responsible of doing that. I do that in my office, in my daily life, and also with my work."

Is Asos Forging Ahead As The Most Conscious High-Street Brand?

From the outside, it seems that Asos has two goals for 2018: to get inclusivity and sustainability at the forefront of its agenda. And again, from the outside, it seems to be hitting both of these targets. Of the former, it released a second collaboration with LGBTQ+ charity GLAAD, welcomed paralympian Chloe Ball-Hopkins into its design team for a special project and turned its cut-offs into sanitary pads for women in Africa. Of the latter, it pledged to ban the sale of mohair, silk, cashmere and feathers across its entire platform and launched a sustainable fashion training programme. Yes, these are all headline-grabbing promises, but it’s more than the majority of high-street brands are doing.

To enforce its commitment to ethical trading Asos will host a conference today, September 26, in London with its best-selling 90 brands. Levi's, Adidas, Nike and Puma will discuss worker rights, purchasing practices, transparency, circularity and raw materials with organisations such as Fashion Revolution, WGSN and the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre to establish industry-wide best practices.

“We believe the future of fashion is ever-changing, unpredictable but most of all incredibly exciting," Nick Beighton, Asos CEO, commented. “By working together, we believe we can deliver a systemic shift in the way our industry addresses key ethical trade and sustainability challenges and proactively design a future we all believe in.”

The event, entitled "The Future of Fashion: Transformation through Collaboration", follows the release of Asos’s second Modern Slavery Statement and its Modern Slavery event at the House of Lords, which identified and addressed human ethics concerns in the clothing sector. While 93 other brands also signed the 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment, Asos is thinking outside the box in order to turn its pledges relating to the treatment of humans and animals into actions. It has a long way to go to become a conscious platform for 140-plus brands who all follow their own business commandments, but it's making waves that will hopefully influence other high-street giants too.

Michael Kors Buys Versace For $2.1 Billion

Michael Kors has bought Versace for $2.1 billion as the American fashion brand moves closer to its goal of becoming a luxury fashion conglomerate to rival Kering and LVMH, and renames itself Capri Holdings to reflect its portfolio approach.

John D. Idol, Michael Kors CEO, has made no secret of the company’s mission to acquire brands to add to the Kors stable. After buying Jimmy Choo in 2017 for $1.2 billion, he told press: “We are creating a global luxury fashion group. Our focus is on international fashion luxury that are industry leaders.” Under the Kors umbrella, Versace will increase its accessories offering from 35 per cent to 60 per cent of revenues to secure a year-on-year profitability – a policy adopted by Michael Kors, itself. Capri Holdings will also up Versace's global retail footprint from approximately 200 to 300 stores and accelerate its e-commerce and omni-channel development to support this.

Idol today commented: "With the full resources of our group, we believe that Versace will grow to over $2 billion in revenues.” Jonathan Akeroyd, Versace chief executive, who will remain in the position after the deal, commented earlier this year that he expected the brand to achieve sales of more than €1 billion in 2018, up from €686 million in 2016, in comparison.

“This is a very exciting moment for Versace, Donatella said in an official statement. “It has been more than 20 years since I took over the company along with my brother Santo and daughter Allegra. I am proud that Versace remains very strong in both fashion and modern culture. Versace is not only synonymous with its iconic and unmistakable style, but with being inclusive and embracing of diversity, as well as empowering people to express themselves. Santo, Allegra and I recognise that this next step will allow Versace to reach its full potential. We are all very excited to join a group led by John Idol, whom I have always admired as a visionary as well as a strong and passionate leader. We believe that being part of this group is essential to Versace’s long-term success. My passion has never been stronger. This is the perfect time for our company, which puts creativity and innovation at the core of all of its actions, to grow.” The three Versace stake holders will become shareholders in Capri Holdings as a sign of their commitment to the new global luxury fashion group.

Though the agreement marks another one of the few remaining independent labels relinquishing control to a parent company (Missoni and Dries Van Noten also fell prey to the conglomerates in 2018), the family will still hold a minority stake and be involved in business decisions. Currently, Versace is run by Donatella Versace, who acts as creative director and will continue to do so in the new business proposition, and her brother Santo Versace, chairman, who own 20 per cent and 30 per cent of the company respectively. Private equity firm Blackstone owns 20 per cent of Versace, but it is not yet known whether it will sell its stake in the deal. Prior to today, the remaining portion was owned by Allegra Versace Beck, Donatella’s daughter and the niece of the house’s late founder,

The deal brings an end to the market’s pursuit of the brand. Tapestry Inc, which owns Coach and is also vying to build a luxury fashion group that dominates the US market, showed interest in purchasing Versace, as did Kering, Tiffany & Co. and PVH Corp., according to the Business of Fashion.

As the industry becomes increasingly dominated by power players with profit margins at the core of their businesses ahead of creativity, Donatella Versace's most recent collections seem all the more poignant. Her spring/summer 2019 showcase at Milan Fashion Week, where she took no interviews, saw an all-star cast of Versace women – spanning the supers' era to the faces of the social media generation – walk together as glamazons in a continuation of the spectacular she staged in homage to her brother one year ago. The symbolic handing of the baton from one generation to the next was evident; but more obvious was the fact that if Donatella is relinquishing her control of her brand, she's going out with a bang.

Behind The Scenes Of Jean Paul Gaultier's Fashion Freak Show

Jean Paul Gaultier hasn't been a fixture at Paris Fashion Week for a few years – but he's making his mark on the city again with a riotous theatre show at the legendary Folies Bergère. Vogue meets the designer as preparations for his unconventional spectacle take shape. Jean Paul Gaultier is a designer faced with the rare problem of having produced work so well known that it is often referenced or plagiarised unintentionally. From his torso-shaped perfume flasks to the corsets with cone-shaped cups, his trademarks have now entered a global visual language – a postmodern repertoire of sorts.

When asked about these accidental homages, he smiles. "Well, it's a compliment isn't it?" he says, as he welcomes Vogue into his headquarters in the heart of multicultural Strasbourg–Saint-Denis. His reaction perfectly sums up his vision: grounded, aware, yet lighthearted. A philosophy that is still at the core of everything he touches – including the preview he is about to give us of the costumes for his upcoming Fashion Freak Show – a raucous, autobiographical spectacle falling somewhere between a revue and a fashion show, opening to the public on 2 October at the legendary Folies Bergère. As we enter the industrial space, a shrill voice fills the room. "Jean Paul! Am I just a hanger to you?" The voice belongs to none other than runway model Anna Cleveland (daughter of the iconic Pat Cleveland), one of the members of his typically diverse cast. Theatrically, she emerges from behind a folding screen, clad in an electric-blue sequin evening dress with a trail so long, it comes with its own matching hanger, designed to be carried as part of the look. The pair burst out laughing. This is Gaultier in a nutshell: an unserious design, seriously well cut. "I've never been into solemn, church-like fashion, and I'm not going to start now… I want my shows to be met not with a tear of emotion, but a giggle or a smile."

It was 42 years ago that he sent a deep, unsettling rumble through the fashion world by crafting couture garments out of straw and bringing punk attitude to French chic – not to mention all the men in skirts and unabashed references to bondage. It was a provocation that shocked, but never seeked to upset, earning him his nickname as fashion's enfant terrible. "I always liked so-called freaks, people who stood out and were in fact just as beautiful – mixed aesthetics, harmonious clashes, and the idea of a bad boy seducing a duchess," he said, summing up a utopian vision that he brought not only to runways but also to music (such as Madonna's Blond Ambition tour) and films (he designed the costumes for Luc Besson's The Fifth Element). All of which he is carrying on to yet another stage: the Folies Bergère, the famous cabaret venue where Josephine Baker and Charlie Chaplin once starred alongside no end of titillating entertainers. Performing here has been a lifelong dream for Gaultier, and his own show promises to be every bit as unconventional as the venue's storied reputation.

The show unfolds as a retrospective of the designer's bygone decades: personal recollections, pop memories, love and friendships, articulated through re-envisioned, emblematic elements of his work. Childhood epiphanies and traumas feature too. His teddy bear – Gaultier’s first muse – will make an appearance (in a guise yet to be revealed): as a young boy, he once operated on the fluffy toy to add the conical breasts that would later come to enjoy icon status on Madonna's corsets. His old school teacher is also represented, in the form of classroom doodles of costumes that were seized and pinned to Gaultier's back to teach him a lesson (having the opposite effect on his classmates). Next in line: his wild youth in the 1970s at Le Palace and his discovery of punk chic in London; but also the late Francis Menuge, his boyfriend and business partner, who was instrumental in giving Gaultier the confidence and strategic advice necessary to launch his line (he died of AIDS in the 1990s). They all tell the tale of an epoch as much as they do his personal story.

And the narrative is carried out by the garments themselves. "Clothes have the power to trigger memories as much as real questions; they are central to this project." Reworked to be stage-friendly, comfortable and ultra-theatrical, his signatures – "les boudins" (rolls of fabric) used to accentuate the hips, shoulders and other parts of the body; sailor costumes; S&M touches; and of course gender-bending menswear – will all be there, louder than ever. "I've always liked the idea that, like in people, there could be a second life or reading on things, a sudden beauty," he says of his use of cans turned into bracelets, or dresses cut out of bin bags, all for a very pop-art vision, "like a child who hasn't yet been conditioned by social judgement, and sees no difference in things."

This boundless vision has marked his entire career: he repeatedly shocked highbrow Paris by devoting equal levels of excitement to working with Hermès as with Diet Coke; or by choosing unexpected women to walk for his shows, from Björk to French reality-TV star Nabilla Benattia. And the same can be said of his cast today, which comes in an array of shapes, sizes and skills: model Anna Cleveland; arthouse-cinema diva Rossy de Palma; Demi Mondaine, a singer Gaultier spotted on The Voice – not forgetting a coterie of strippers and contortionists.

Behind the scenes, Gaultier has been working hand in hand with director Tonie Marshall and Grammy-winning composer Nile Rodgers to produce true, indulgent entertainment. "That's what people want. I remember once being stopped, in the mid-Nineties, by a stranger in the street, who complimented me on one of my shows he had seen on TV. 'The décor! The lights! Amazing!' he said, and I thought: 'Aha, people just want to see a good show.'" And, like pop art, his show also raises questions about the society around it: the press premiere is due to take place in the midst of Paris Fashion Week, a schedule Gaultier's been absent from since closing down his ready-to-wear line in 2014. Could this be a message for the industry to slow down? This is certainly what Cleveland has done: despite being a ​permanent Fashion Week fixture in the past, she has refused all offers of work in order to fully dedicate herself to her role in the ensuing six months. "This is an extremely touching sign of friendship, which is rare," adds the couturier.

As for Cleveland, her role – as Josephine Baker – is especially poignant: "my great-aunt was in fact Josephine's Sunday-school teacher, and taught her to leave and try to make it as a performer... she always inspired me," she said, adding that she grew up with posters of the artist in her room. Today, "Jean-Paul is pushing for a kind of beauty that uplifts you and expands your horizon". A message about the power of visibility that the whole crew seem to agree on: "We are continuing what he [has] always strived for: turning differences into beauty and celebrating the individual," says Raphael Cioffi, a comedy writer known for his viral sketches on French TV, who wrote the performance's script. The show, a hybrid of genders and genres, "is true to original, irreverent fashion: creative, sincere and beyond anything, fun".

Jonathan Anderson Decodes Loewe's SS19 Campaign

The kiosks in Paris are receiving quite the fashion-forward face lift for the spring/summer 2019 shows. First Givenchy plastered logo stickers across the city inviting the public to its showcase, and now Loewe is taking Jonathan Anderson’s new-season campaign imagery to the pavements ahead of the September 28th show.

For Anderson the traditional model of releasing advertising campaigns closer to a collection’s sale date doesn’t work. He began unveiling his spring/summer 2019 vision for the Spanish house back in June during the menswear shows, and the upcoming Paris Fashion Week show and campaign preview marks a symbiotic continuation of the unveiling of his world at Loewe. But as one of fashion’s foremost intellectuals, Anderson also wants you to question what the entire image series even means.

“It’s about the idea of what is real – is the backdrop real, is the person real, is the idea of fashion real?” he tells Vogue over the phone from Paris. “It opens up the question of who we are and what we see ourselves as.” Cryptic? The three photographs are really quite brilliant.

The first Steven Meisel picture is rooted in the photographer’s self-portrait series, in which Meisel shoots models impersonating himself. In this spring/summer 2019 Loewe rendition, a behatted Nora Attal moonlights as Meisel in what Anderson refers to as “a psychological exercise”. “We wanted to get something about Steven’s iconography into the campaign,” he explains. “From the very beginning at Loewe I have had a very personal dialogue with Steven because I feel like this series is the bedrock of how we have articulated the brand.”

Having this sense of humour and irony in fashion is crucial for Anderson because, he says, it forces questioning. The second image shows three models posing in a port scene as a literal interpretation of the Spanish seaside references that thread through his designs. “It feels like a reality, but it’s actually completely fake,” he notes of the staged set-up. “There’s something quite amazing about building a world inside a studio and making it feel real. It harks back to the image that inspired me originally of kids on the beach in 1997 Italian Vogue by Steven. It’s the idea of something that’s hyper-realistic not being real. It’s important.”

The third visual is of the Gate Grid, a new black-and-white lattice handbag inspired by the Scottish artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh and due to arrive in stores mid-November. “Mackintosh is about individualism,” Anderson comments on the visionary he has referenced before at Loewe. “When I look at early interior shots of Mackintosh, and the idea of the white room that he proposed after the Victorian era, it was so shocking. Sometimes there has to be the element of the shocking for us to progress.”

A trio of images that encompasses references to the arts and crafts movement, the heritage of Loewe balanced with the spring/summer 2019 collection, and a heavy dose of irony – it has all the traits of a JW Anderson campaign. And, like his new collection, in which he reveals he has become “obsessed with silhouette”, can be digested as individual pieces or as a body of work.

“Fashion is about how we take ourselves out of reality, because then you can dream," he muses. "And when you dream you can project yourself forward.” There can be no doubt of the direction Anderson is propelling the brand. See his full spring/summer 2019 collection at 8.30am on September 28th.

Givenchy’s Former Head Designer Set To Revamp Joseph

Joseph has finally announced Louise Trotter’s successor as creative director: Susana Clayton. The designer will take up her role as the lead of womenswear and menswear on October 1 from the Paris-based studio. Her first collection presented to press and buyers will be autumn/winter 2019.

So, who is Clayton? Most recently, she served as head designer and then design director of womenswear at Givenchy. Before that, she held the position of senior designer at Chloé, and also has design director roles at Gap and Rag & Bone on her CV from a period living in New York.

"I feel excited and honoured to join Joseph as creative director,” Clayton commented of her new position in the contemporary luxury market. “I look forward to embracing the brand's origins and to realign it with [brand founder] Joseph Ettedgui's vision, creating a balance between fashion and a timeless wardrobe of luxury essentials."

The appointment coincides with the announcement of a new CEO. Barbara Campos will join Joseph on November 5 from Marni, where she was global wholesale director. She will replace Hirosuke Takagi, who will move into the position of chairman.

During Trotter's nine years at the British house, she was credited with expanding the blueprint of Ettedgui, who created a streamlined uniform of elevated basics for successful women. Clayton’s comment about "realigning" the brand, however, is bolstered by Campos’s note that the new head of design has “a clear vision" for the revamp. Will Joseph remain on the London Fashion Week schedule? Will the recent addition of sunglasses to the burgeoning accessories offering be nixed?

“Clayton has an impressive background in luxury fashion teamed with an excellent commercial understanding of the business,” Campos continued of her new colleague. Takagi also praised the joint wealth of experience that the duo would bring to Joseph’s new chapter.

The 2018 CNMI Green Carpet Challenge Award Winner Represents Fashion At Its Most Resourceful

Amidst the annual amfAR gala and after-show parties, Milan Fashion Week's nightlife is punctuated by a conscious proposition: The Green Carpet Fashion Awards.

During this year’s sustainable fashion celebration, Suzy Menkes was presented with the Visionary Award and Sinéad Burke was honoured for her support of industry diversity. Five young creatives, meanwhile, were on tenterhooks waiting to see whether they had won the Franca Sozzani Green Carpet Challenge Award for Best Emerging Designer after presenting an environmentally-friendly red-carpet look to a panel of judges, including Edward Enninful, Livia Firth and Natalie Kingham, in July.

It was Gilberto Calzolari who scooped up the top prize on the night for his striking dress crafted from jute coffee bags. Originally crafted in Brazil, Calzolari purchased the sacks from the Navigli market in Milan where they are sold to use as barriers to curb the flooding of canals, a growing concern due to climate change. In recognition for his work, Calzolari will receive a year-long mentorship programme from the Bicester Village Shopping Collection by Value Retail, the opportunity to present his work during Milan Fashion Week in February 2019, and retail space in Fidenza Village’s 2019 Creative Spot boutique, a pop-up showcasing up-and-coming design talent.

“Gilberto’s work was beautifully executed and could have been a great piece in any material,” Natalie Kingham, fashion and buying director at, told Vogue of his hessian fabrics that were also embellished with Swarovski's lead-free Advanced Elements crystals. “The story behind it added to its charm and beauty.”

To keep the topic of sustainability at the forefront of a growing conversation, the other four finalists – Teatum Jones, Davide Grillo, Wrad and Behno – will also continue to receive support from the parties involved in the CNMI Green Carpet Talent Competition. Each designer will have access to the Bicester Village Shopping Collection’s retail experts and the chance to show their designs in the Villages during 2019. The work of Sozzani, who was dedicated to supporting the next generation throughout her lifetime, continues in more resourceful ways than ever.

Hedi Slimane Reveals His First Celine Invite: A Bound Book Of Parisian Nightlife Haunts

Nightlife is central to Hedi Slimane's aesthetic vision. Throughout his career, he's created clothing for the after-dark set, from the slim rocker suits at Dior Homme to the minidresses and Le Smokings at Saint Laurent. At Celine, Slimane is likely to continue this party-going, soigné proposition. The invite for his first Celine show, which will be held at Paris's Place Vauban, is a bound book featuring photographs of 10 iconic Parisian haunts: Balajo, Bus Palladium, Chez Castel, Chez Jeannette, Chez Moune, Folies Pigalle, La Cigale, La Java, Le Rouge, and Pile ou Fac.

The black-and-white photos are taken by Slimane himself, showing off the decay and glamour of the clubs. They're not so unlike Slimane's photos from his 50th birthday party this summer, celebrated with friends at Paris's Le Palace, a club Slimane was a regular at starting in his teens. Between art history classes at Ecole du Louvre, Slimane would slip into Le Palace or Les Bains Douches, establishing his desire to work in fashion.

Should you be lucky enough to snag an invite to Slimane's debut — don't overlook the book. Not only is it beautifully made, but similar photo books he made at Saint Laurent are now reselling in the £3,000 range.

The Welcome Return Of The '90s Supermodels At Milan Fashion Week

We all know something funny happens when designers are preparing for fashion shows. No matter how many interviews they have given in the preceding months about their passion for dressing “real women” and the unparalleled joy it brings, seeing their clothes being worn by “empowered” females, come show time they inevitably revert to type. Led by teams of casting directors, they’re charmed by the lithe bodies and baby faces of lissom 17-year-olds.

How refreshing, then, that this season there are wrinkles on the runway. We’re talking delicate walnut lines on skin, as well as hips, thighs and proper breasts. In particular there is a vogue for the supermodels of the Nineties, the first-name-only faces that defined an era and made fashion feel like fabulous fun.

Versace, a supermodel factory as always, led the charge. Mariacarla Boscono, freshly strawberry after a turn on the Burberry catwalk last week, took to the catwalk with Liya Kebede, while Shalom Harlow closed the show in a halo of curls. At Salvatore Ferragamo, it was a similarly mature line-up, with Stella Tennant, Georgina Grenville, Karen Elson, Mariacarla Boscono, Carolyn Murphy, and Didier Vinson (this was co-ed, don’t forget) ensuring a sophisticated mood. Dolce & Gabbana, signalling a return to its classic roster of look-at-me tailoring, bombshell body-conscious dresses and tongue-in-cheek ball gowns, enlisted Carla Bruni and Eva Herzigova alongside other vintage headliners such as Isabella Rossellini and Monica Bellucci, to drive home the message: older, wiser, sexier.

Marni boasted Guinevere Van Seenus. Creative director Francesco Risso said backstage that he and Midland Casting chose the 41-year-old because “her energy perfectly reflects the soul of this collection that celebrates the beauty of bodies, and the intimacy in the connection that we should regain with our own bodies.” At Agnona, Simon Holloway tapped Tasha Tilberg and Amber Valletta. "When I started working in the 1990s, models like Amber and Tasha were a prominent force on the runway. I idolised them, I think we all did," he told Vogue. "These women have lived and loved and look all the better for it. This isn’t about some notion of nostalgia for me; it’s about portraying real women as part of a modern narrative. Of course they are still exceptionally beautiful models, but there is substance and gravitas there that renders clothing of value that much more believable.”

It’s worth pointing out that New York was similarly senior. Ralph Lauren took the opportunity of his 50th anniversary to welcome back Carolyn Murphy, Liisa Winkler and Caroline Winberg to the catwalk. For Riccardo Tisci’s Burberry debut in London, he enlisted Boscono and dyed her hair red. Elsewhere, credit must go to Versace, whose spring/summer 2017 collection was rounded off with a reunion of Gianni’s girls, Carla, Claudia, Naomi, Cindy and Helena, and to Dries Van Noten, who spent the majority of his autumn/winter 2017 show budget - his 100th fashion show - flying in a coterie of women synonymous with his seminal presentations. Casting director Piergiorgio Del Moro called up Kristina de Coninck, who had walked in Van Noten’s first show, to open; she was joined by Alek Wek, Guinevere Van Seenus, Esther de Jong and Tasha Tilberg.

Will Paris uphold the maturity? Guinevere Van Seenus, backstage at Marni, said she wasn’t sure whether she’d be heading to Paris or back home to New York: “I’m here for the ride. I could go home tomorrow, but who knows? Story of my life. Story of everyone’s life.”

After Harry Posed With A Piglet, Gucci Has Embraced A Full Noah's Ark Theme

It has been the week that Harry Styles posed with piglets and lambs for Gucci’s Cruise 2019 tailoring campaign, and now the Italian fashion house has taken the animal theme one step further. For the mainline Cruise 2019 collection Alessandro Michele has imagined his own Guccified version of Noah’s Ark.

The series of images, captured by Glen Luchford, depicts a rural community where animals and people co-exist in harmony, according to the brand. The notion of a “fantastical petting zoo” is touched upon as Gucci’s “farmer-punks” take tea surrounded by deer before constructing a giant wooden ark with racoons and monkeys watching on, and then leading the lamas and sheep to safety. If Styles had a well-groomed micro pig, the Cruise 2019 stars got a fully-grown whopper to play with. And they rode around Alessandro’s Ark on its back wearing zebra trousers and sequinned knits.

Before the campaign breaks across all media in October, there are myriad questions that the images and short film footage throw up. How did Gucci make the kangaroos and swans get along? Which breed of animal kicked up the biggest fuss during the dramatic rainfall? Was it at all ethical? But, one thing is for sure, the Cruise 2019 campaign shows that the vast pool of mythological ideas Michele plucks from is seemingly bottomless, and he has got us talking yet again.

Meet The Dominican Model Who Left Her Home Country For The First Time To Walk For Prada

When a model gets Ashley Brokaw’s stamp of approval, the industry sits up and listens. An exclusive booking of a new face at a Prada show, for which the Vogue contributing casting director selects the models, is the equivalent of a free pass down the industry hallway. When Brokaw books someone for Miuccia Prada, all other brands clamour to have them on their own catwalks the following season.

For spring/summer 2019, it was Licett Morillo who captured the attention of Brokaw, and consequently closed the Prada show and led the finale. The Dominican model has been on IMG Models’ books for just one month, after she was discovered by Nileny Dippton, a model academy in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic and one of the Caribbean's oldest cities. When she was scouted, Morillo was on her way to an English class that she had recently enrolled herself in after being made redundant from her job at a plastics factory. The agent immediately snapped some digitals and called Luis Domingo, IMG associate director of scouting, to tell him about the young woman Nileny Dippton believed had serious potential.

When Jeni Rose, senior vice president at IMG, saw Morillo, she knew the student was “something special… a face you haven’t quite seen before,” she tells Vogue. “She has a gorgeous, unique face and supreme elegance. She’s clever, calm, focused and easy going – a beginner that is keen to take it all on.”

“Beginner” is the optimum word. Morillo’s flight to Milan to walk the Prada show is the first time she has been on an airplane, the first time she has been out of her home country and the first time she has stayed in a hotel. “I don’t think Licett even realises what a major coup it is landing a Prada show on the first go,” Rose explains. “It’s sort of like winning an Oscar for your first film!”

"It says it all that Ashley took a chance on her," Rose continues. “This is Licett’s starting point, and it’s all so exciting for her.”

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Why You Need To Tune Into Chloé Radio

The radio was an ever-present voice in Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s household growing up. The Chloé designer, who took the creative helm of the brand in April 2017, has memories of her parents engaging her brother and younger self in conversations about what they had heard on Radio France that day. “Discussing current affairs and literature was what we did,” she tells Vogue.

Radio France is still a key medium Ramsay-Levi receives her news and social commentary through. Accordingly, she has used her platform as the head of a major French fashion house to pay homage to the broadcaster. On September 27th, she will stage Chloé’s spring/summer 2019 show at the Maison de la Radio, the headquarters of Radio France in Paris’ 16th arrondissement. This is the second time she has invited the industry’s great and good to the ring-shaped establishment to view her designs.

This time, however, the new collection follows the launch of Chloé Radio, a podcast inviting listeners into Ramsay-Levi's world and the Chloé women that populate it. “The Maison de la Radio is a beautiful cultural space, while also reflecting public culture of a very high standard,” Ramsay-Levi explains of the idea's conception. “This resonated [with] me and motivated me to consider a podcast from the voice of Chloé.”

The first in an ongoing Chloé Radio series sees French journalist Augustin Trapenard in conversation with six French women, who cross multiple generations. Over the 20-minute episodes, Clémence Poésy, Houda Benyamina, Ariane Labed, Isabelle Huppert, Leila Slimani, and Ramsay-Levi discuss life-defining moments and the meaning of femininity today.

“You can hear moments where they volunteer their vulnerabilities, but then you will also hear inspiring moments of inner strength,” Ramsay-Levi shares. “These women know themselves… which I think is very inspiring.” She also believes that each interviewee’s sense of self roots back to a comment made by Chloé founder Gaby Aghion in 1952 – “To all women, I always say, you must dare" – and thus that is why they are Chloé ambassadors.

Trapenard, who hosts a programme called Boomerang, was an obvious choice for Ramsay-Levi. “He has an intelligent, direct style of interviewing and a broad cultural background. No matter his guest, I always come away with new insights,” she notes. As well as tuning in to Trapenard every weekday at 9am, the podcasts La Fabrique de l’Histoire (The Fabric of History) and Les Chemins de la Philosophie (The Paths of Philosophy) are usually high on her listening agenda.

For now, she’ll be plugged into Chloé Radio and checking the comments as each episode airs on the Podcast app and as a video on IGTV from September 20 until show day. For a woman whose radio time is “vital”, this will undoubtedly cut through the static.

Adesuwa Aighewi: The Thoughtful Supermodel-In-The-Making Doing Things Her Own Way

Adesuwa Aighewi lives in a brownstone in Harlem that’s owned by a tough Puerto Rican landlord named Bun, who has a fatherly influence over her. She hates sport, finds podcasts too preachy, follows science and politics avidly and has her sights set on a major beauty deal.

But if that’s a brief summary of where Aighewi’s head is at now as she makes her way around the global fashion week circuit, the story of her career trajectory is not so sharply definable.

“Modelling was never something I wanted to do,” the African-American beauty of Chinese-Thai-Nigerian descent shares with Vogue. But the scouts, who contacted her both online and in person at Prince George’s County, Maryland, were persistent. “I’d never thought about the physical attributes of humans and what that entails because I was really focused on school,” she remembers. Aighewi finally relented to a test shoot in 2010 and slowly began to realise, “It’s my favourite thing to pose.”

A term off school followed after she found out that a modelling gig would cover the pay of an entire science internship at NASA. “I thought it would be a way to support myself while sorting out what I wanted to do with my life,” she explains. Maryland eventually became Los Angeles, and her Instagram follower count started creeping up, as brands, like Alexander Wang, Kenzo, Miu Miu and Vivienne Westwood, came sniffing around the striking young woman with dreadlocks.

Her hair, or rather the fact some agents deemed her dreads “too black” to secure her jobs, became the subject of a personal essay addressing the industry's diversity issues in The Guardian in 2017. Threaten Aighewi’s self-expression and the academic will eloquently fight back. “I can be whatever I want to be. I can be sexy or edgy or pass as a dude, it’s all fun to me,” she says. “I know who I am, and I don’t spend time wondering who other people are.”

Her pinch-me moments so far include eating sushi with Karl Lagerfield in his studio after shooting with the keen photographer and Naomi Campbell yelling her name across a party. “It’s very crazy that she knows me,” she giggles. But the 26-year-old has kept a safe distance over her 10-year career climb, and has chosen only to lean in and comment on the issues that matter to her, like representation and her roots. She recently outlined plans for a miniseries exploring African culture and values, something she personally grew to appreciate when her family moved from America back to Nigeria when she was young. Plans to unite young Africans through various other forums are also bubbling.

“I like the freedom and working with creative individuals,” she explains of what keeps her fighting to be a force for education and reform. “Everything should always change. Change is good," she states. “Now I see models being idolised for who they are, rather than just for their physical attributes.” More importantly, the industry, too, is recognising that this hasn't always been the case.

Aighewi's opinion of social media plays into this measured attitude. “I like that the people we idolise are accessible,” she comments. “But I don’t feel the need to up-keep followers or whatever it is some people do. I don’t have a brand, I just am.”

“Just Adesuwa” might not care what her 50,000 followers, her agents – when one told her to get breast impants to do Victoria’s Secret, she got her chest tattooed instead – or anyone else thinks about her. But she’ll never be complacent about what she believes in. “And to thy own self be true,” her Instagram handle reads. A powerful mantra and one that has thankfully captured the industry’s attention.

Hedi Slimane Reveals Debut Celine Show Venue

Hedi Slimane has revealed the location of his debut show for Celineon September 28th, the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris.

As per the previous teasers of what to expect from Slimane’s overhaul of the house, the designer took to Instagram to share the news. He captioned an image of the venue with the simple message: Show location Paris.

The industry was quick to recognise that the 7th arrondissement site, which houses monuments relating to the military history of France including Napoleon’s tomb, is one that Slimane shares his own history with. The Hôtel was the setting for his autumn/winter 2014 menswear show for Saint Laurent.

The venue choice is in keeping with Slimane’s recent behaviour as a Los Angeles-resident-turned-Francophile, who has been exalting the brand's heritage since his relocation to Paris. His first handbag for the house, the 16, which has so far featured on the arms of Lady Gaga and Angelina Jolie, was named after the brand’s headquarters on 16 Rue Vivienne.

With eight days to go, and the promise of two new bag styles to follow the 16, as well as the launch of an international online-shopping platform, can Slimane give anything else away? Stay tuned, we're on tenterhooks waiting.

Of Course M.I.A. is Already Wearing Riccardo Tisci’s First Burberry Collection

Riccardo Tisci may have only unveiled his Burberry debut days ago, but his celebrity admirers are already taking his looks onto the streets. Always one step ahead when it comes to her fashion choices, M.I.A. selected two key pieces from Tisci’s runway for the London premiere of her documentary, MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A., this evening. In an oversized trench covered in fawn print layered over a matching blouse with patches bearing deer portraits, she brought the urbane sensibility of Tisci’s collection to one of the biggest events of her career.

The documentary provides an intimate look at her artistic trajectory, personal life, politics, and meteoric rise within the world of pop music. Though she could have revisited one of her many iconic fashion moments with tonight’s look, her choice of the new Burberry made perfect sense. Tisci’s vision for the brand merges past and present to add a new verve to English classics – the perfect choice for an artist who continuously pushes the boundaries.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Autumn's Fash-Leisure Update Comes Straight From Serena Rees's Les Girls Les Boys

When Agent Provocateur founder Serena Rees launched Les Girls Les Boys a year ago, the underwear-meets-streetwear – or bed-to-street – brand was an interesting proposition. A far cry from the overtly sexual identity of the household lingerie label she started in 1994, her second venture was all about celebrating cross-cultural and generational identities within unfiltered, unpretentious products and branding.

One year on, and Rees’s mission to throw old-school ideas about intimates out the window is still going strong. For the autumn/winter 2018 campaign, she enlisted a series of street-cast individuals, gave them new-season lingerie, sweats and tees to layer, and then shot them on Polaroid film. The resulting bare-skinned, natural profile shots are a breath of fresh air. “It was very important to me to get a group of people I believed would hang out, complement each other, and feel real and true to the brand ethos.”

The product is heavily influenced by her 21-year-old daughter, Cora, and her friends, who congregate around the kitchen in the family’s Marylebone home. “Watching how they interact together and how they wear things has been really interesting for me,” Rees says. “They are creatures of comfort – they want to feel good but ultimately still look great.”

The colour palette – dark green, slate and a fabulous pink join the sweats family for AW18 and there are vintage-wash pieces to transport buyers back to the ’90s – also sets Les Girls Les Boys apart from competitor athleisure brands. And the cut. This season Rees is particularly thrilled about the vests. “They are perfection,” she enthuses. “Our customers know that the shape has to be spot on – the line is so important. And that attention to detail is apparent across the whole collection.”

As far as major fashion brands muscling in on the athleisure action goes, Rees is far from concerned. “I renamed [our offering] ‘fash-leisure' or 'fash-leisurewear’,” she explains. “For me, athleisure comes from functional sportswear, and quite often it’s not very fashionable at all. What we do has a cooler edge – the layering really helps with the concept.”

Did she mention that there are some “amazing big knickers" for autumn too? "All the girls have gone crazy about them." As well as understanding exactly how the twentysomething crowd surrounding her wants to dress – “layers to put on and layers to take off in our unpredictable weather” – Rees has thought of everything. Prices start at £20. All pieces are available at, and and from October.

Here’s How You Can Get A Seat At The Givenchy Show

On September 30th you could be watching Clare Waight Keller’s co-ed spring/summer 2019 Givenchy show amongst fashion's leading press and buyers. All that comes between you and a seat in the soon-to-be-confirmed location is a sticker.

Five thousand 4G Givenchy stickers have been placed around London and Paris. Once located on a lamppost, poster, dustbin (delete as appropriate), fans of the brand must photograph the house logo and upload it onto Instagram using the tag #GivenchyFamily. The best three posts will win tickets to the show, and be featured on the brand’s social media. Imagine the spike in followers!

The inclusive marketing scheme follows in the footsteps of a handful of designers who have opened up fashion showcases to the public. At Virgil Abloh’s debut menswear show for Louis Vuitton in June, local students lined the rainbow-hued runway. And on the last day of London Fashion Week, Richard Quinn made a statement on arts funding by inviting 100 uniformed school children to watch his spring/summer 2019 presentation. “Arts education has been fundamentally cut,” he announced before the show. “It’s not seen as an academic subject anymore. So now we’re trying to bring it to the forefront and show the next generation how they can actually get into the industry.”

Waight Keller’s open invitation might not seemingly be backed by social reform, but the gesture will likely receive a mass reaction owing to the publicity afforded her by the biggest fashion commission of 2018: the wedding gown Meghan Markle wore to enter the royal fold and become the Duchess of Sussex.

Stüssy's Fraser Avey On The Brand's Soho Store And Why There's No Competition In Streetwear

After setting up shop in the basement of Dover Street Market at the beginning of this year, Stüssy has opened a permanent bricks-and-mortar store in Soho. It is the first since its original London residence closed its doors in 2009, and, naturally, it’s just around the corner from its much-hyped counterparts Supreme and Palace. No doubt the southern California label, which established a cult following of surfers and skaters shortly after its inception in the late ’80s, will enjoy the same lines of loyal fans, who queue for hours to pocket the latest drops.

“Honestly we're a little late to the party for that area,” Fraser Avey, global brand director, tells Vogue upon the launch of 115 Wardour Street. “But it took us several years to find the right space for Stüssy – our other shops have had 20-plus years in the same space so we didn't want to rush it.”

If you’re not familiar with the story of the brand, Stüssy is the brainchild of Shawn Stüssy, a surfer who began screen-printing T-shirts and shorts to sell alongside the surfboards he was shaping for friends in Laguna Beach almost four decades ago. The graffiti-style Stüssy logo that is splashed across the brand’s products today is the same one he scrawled onto his handmade wares in the ’80s and early ’90s.

“What Stüssy started in the ’80s really changed the game for men’s clothing,” Fraser comments. “Before that guys were buying workwear and white tees from Sears or Dickies. There wasn't street fashion. I think people still care about Stüssy because we never got greedy or stopped trying.”

Indeed, there have been ups and downs for the brand. Shawn resigned as president in 1996, which caused sales to fall, but the company retained his signature as the logo and its most valuable asset. The years that followed saw a new umbrella of creatives grow the international fanbase of musicians, skaters, DJs and artists that had become integral to Shawn’s subculture – and Stüssy continued to resonate.

“We've got a good circle of people around us who keep things moving,” Fraser notes. “And we've always supported young brands built by the people around us – it's part of what makes this industry interesting.” Streetwear, for Stüssy, has never been about keeping up with young rivals, but building a multifaceted community where fashion is focused on more than the designers within it. “If you make good stuff everyone helps you, there's no competition. If you're someone who doesn't get it and tries to make money ripping off the space, well that's different.”

He has some concerns about the “new designers with a lot of energy in the space" though. “I think the market is a little quick to give them attention now – it almost takes away the period where they can work and establish a brand.” On the flip side, Fraser argues, an emerging designer can make sales quicker and actually afford a business". But, it will take time for the bright young things to get a Soho outpost – or a “Chapter, as Stüssy prefers to call it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Eva Chen Explains Instagram's New Shopping Features

It's no secret that mobile has changed the way that people shop,” Eva Chen tells Vogue upon the release of Instagram’s shiny new shopping channels. The platform has certainly facilitated window shopping in the past – 90 million people tap the shopping tag on Instagram a month – but, now, a designated “Explore” shopping channel and shoppable Stories will ensure that Instagram users proceed to purchase.

First up, “Explore”. Within this personalised “Topic”, users will be able to browse dedicated shopping posts from the brands they follow, and discover new labels they might like on a global scale. Secondly, Stories. Now, when users view behind-the-scenes Stories from brands, they will be able to tap on the product to learn more. With one third of the most-viewed Stories coming from businesses, this will allow a brand to give information about its products to customers in bite-sized Insta snippets.

“We've heard from the Instagram community that they want to be able to learn more about the products they discover on Instagram the moment that they are inspired by a post or Story,” Chen explains of why Instagram is so keen to help its users spend money. “People always ask me why I love working at Instagram – one of the reasons is that the team listens to feedback. I have worked here for three years and not a day goes by when someone doesn't ask me about shopping.”

It was the fur-lined Gucci loafer that sparked Chen’s thought process, as director of fashion partnerships at Instagram, initially. “I saw it on my feed, then a few months later – after it was everywhere on Instagram – I saw people wearing it,” she remembers. “With the latest updates we are helping complete the cycle from seeing something and being inspired to purchasing.”

Brands that do shopping well, according to Chen, are Strathberry, Danse Lente, Rixo and Burberry. But she encourages more to join the party by converting their accounts into business profiles, and, as always, she'll listen to community feedback so the visual-networking service can improve its experiences. It pays to have a self-described "overly enthusiastic shopper" in charge of our social shopping habits.

Tracee Ellis Ross Shut Down The Emmys In Valentino Couture

If the awards show red carpet is a sport, Tracee Ellis Ross is a professional marathoner. The actress never tires of a major fashion moment, delivering one impactful look after another – always distinctive, non-reductive and unabashedly glam. It's no surprise, then, that the actress proceeded to shut down the step and repeat at the 2018 Emmys last night in Los Angeles, this time choosing a powerful pink creation from Valentino Haute Couture.

For the big soirée, Ross wore an off-the-shoulder gown designed by creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli that was both full-skirted and full-sleeved, ballooning out to form a voluminous silhouette that was dramatic and runway-worthy. To give it some much-needed shape, the dress was cinched at the waist, making for a more flattering fit. (Though the long hemline concealed her matching fuchsia Tamara Mellon shoes, there wasn't much need for any statement accessories here.) The style first made its appearance at Valentino's autumn/winter 2018 Couture show in Paris – though it assumed an energetic life of its own when slipped on by Ross.

British Model Claudia Lavender Is Riccardo Tisci's New Burberry Girl

All eyes turned to London today as Riccardo Tisci presented his Burberry debut. While it's the clothes and accessories that will make the biggest impact for the business, other aspects will also contribute to what we understand to be Tisci's new vision for the house. One of the most important? The models cast.

Tisci's Burberry debut will be a landmark in the careers of many of the models that walked the show - Kendall Jenner, Freja Beha Erichsen, Fran Summers, Mariacarla Boscono, Jourdan Dunn - but for no one more than 20-year-old Claudia Lavender.

Leading the finale out, the British model made her first major catwalk appearance, as well as debuting a brand new blonde hair colour. Until now, she'd been a classic brunette English rose.

"I was a little nervous to embrace the change, but I’ve always wanted to try blonde," she told Vogue pre-show, post hair change. "The team at Josh Wood were great - they really put me at ease over it. I absolutely love the colour, it looks so natural and fresh I may actually keep it like this!"

Scouted when she moved to London by her mother agency, Scouting Firm, Claudia has since signed with Next with this being her first job. "It all started when I met Adam Hindle, the casting director. He was so lovely and we got on great. We had a chat about previous work and shows I’d done and he gave me a bit of background about the Burberry show and how it would take shape," she explained.

A meeting with Tisci followed shortly after. "He asked me a few questions about myself and that definitely helped me relax and break the tension before they asked to see my walk."

Lavender's moment in the spotlight comes partly owing to her alignment with Hindle and Tisci's new Burberry woman, but as she explained, its also her agents and her pre-show guiding that lead to that catwalk moment.

"I think everyone gets nervous - especially as this show is so huge, everyone feels the pressure to do well. But it’s exciting too. I'm just trying not to think about it and focus on other things… (like lunch!)," she laughed.

While modelling was something that Lavender fell into, it's clearly a profession that she's now keen to pursue, with a working relationship with Burberry at the forefront.

"I love Burberry as a brand (and what I've seen of their new direction) so hope this leads to working with them more so. I didn’t really have any expectations. So I’m just enjoying the madness of it all and following the lead of my agents."

Her approach to modelling and entering the fashion world is to keep a level head. "I try and stay positive about everything - what goes around comes around," she enthused. "I’m lucky I’ve always had great people around me that have guided me in the right direction, as I guess good advice is priceless."

Pringle Celebrates SS19 By Reviving Its In-House Magazine, The Bulletin

On the opening day of London Fashion Week, Pringle of Scotland's London HQ, set off a leafy square in Westminster, is a hive of activity. As the team prepares for the brand's spring/summer 2019presentation and finishing touches are applied to their latest collection of summer knits, an unassuming pile of pamphlets on a nearby table seems to be attracting the most inquisitive stares. With covers of pale blue and powdery pink, they are printed with sketches of Pringle's iconic Hawick mill, where many of its garments have been produced since the brand's inception, and emblazoned with the title "Pringle bulletin". These are some of the original copies of The Bulletin, Pringle's in-house magazine, first launched in March 1949 to publish company news, pass on messages from the chairman and report on the marriages and births of its employees. "It started out as a monthly publication," explains design director Fran Stringer. "In the '70s it became quarterly and eventually the company stopped producing them all together. But this season, we've decided to bring it back."

Stringer's relaunch of the magazine, which coincides with the release of Pringle's new collection, will celebrate the brand's friends and family just as the original publication had, albeit with a modern twist. In the place of '50s fashion show reports and adverts featuring Hollywood starlets in twinsets, there is a shoot with model of the moment Lili Sumner and an interview with Pringle's longtime head of knitwear Allan Godfrey. There are also lush photographs of the Scottish Highlands by frequent Pringle collaborator Harley Weir, whose landscape shots were previously printed onto celluloid knits for the brand's spring/summer 2018 collection. A spread by Oliver Hadlee Pearch entitled The Best Of British honours homegrown talent across a range of creative fields, with portraits of everyone from actress Vicky McClure and artist John Booth to singer-songwriter Ama Lou and Royal Ballet principal dancer Matthew Ball. Meanwhile, the latest collection, also photographed by Weir, is presented in a series of romantic images shot against the crumbling backdrop of Blackness Castle near Edinburgh.

"We wanted all the pictures to feel really personal," adds Stringer. "Everyone in this issue is a big part of the brand. We wanted to make something substantial, something tangible and quite similar to what we'd done all those years ago, but also look ahead to the future." But after a prolonged hiatus, why did now feel like the right time to revive The Bulletin?

"Pringle has so much history," replies Stringer. "We made twinsets for the Queen and golfing gear for Nick Faldo, but there are so many stories that our younger customers might not know or might not associate with us. We wanted to take a look back and bring those stories to the forefront." To that end, the magazine is interspersed with brief inserts from early issues of the publication. One features a pale pink Pringle twinset on the cover of Vogue in 1955, while another recounts a royal visit by Princess Margaret in 1952. There is even a note sent to the company from Clarence House on behalf of the dresser to the Queen Mother that simply reads, "new cardigan please".

References to the more recent past can also be found in Julie Greve's dreamy shoot How Green Was My Valley, in which four barefoot models traverse the Welsh countryside wearing cashmere jumpers and beaded cardigans taken from the Pringle archives of the '70s and '80s. These louche knits, with their muted colour palette and oversized silhouettes, formed the starting point for Stringer when it came to designing the brand's spring/summer 2019 collection. "I absolutely loved these pieces," she says, referring to the shoot as well as the expansive moodboard of vintage Pringle looks hung up in her office. "So we took elements from this and reinterpreted them for today."

In the new collection, a hypnotic floral print from a jumper made in the '70s is printed onto sleek ribbed tops and cropped sweaters made from soft Scottish lambswool. There are wispy pleated skirts, colour-clashing twinsets, checked coats and intarsia knits with patch-worked florals and clashing argyle. "We have to convince our customers that knitwear can be for the spring/summer season," adds Stringer. "So we've used the lightest materials to make pieces that are quite delicate."

The collection and the magazine are both love letters to Pringle's heritage, which Stringer is eager to preserve. "Our Hawick factory is on a riverbank and when there was a flood in the '80s it damaged part of the clothing archives," she laments. "We had to repair all of the pieces and have them cleaned. Some were lost so I'm always on the lookout for archive pieces. Recently I was in a charity shop in Fulham and I found an old Pringle twinset with beaded embroidery. I had to buy it! The flood even destroyed some of our original preserved copies of The Bulletin."

The surviving issues of the magazine will be on display as part of an exclusive exhibition alongside the preview of the new collection at London Fashion Week. Although Stringer originally envisioned the new issue of The Bulletinas a one-off project, she admits she is having second thoughts. "It's quite a big undertaking but seeing all the magazines together makes me want to create more. I'm starting to think that maybe it's something we could produce annually."

Beyond paying tribute to the brand, Stringer says her goal with The Bulletinis to celebrate the people who have been at the heart of it for the past few decades. Her favourite shoot in the new issue, entitled Made In Scotland, is a photo essay by William Scarborough that depicts the craftsmen and women who work in the Hawick factory. It shows them knitting diligently under harsh strip lighting or hunched over sewing machines beside a random assortment of mugs and peeling posters of George Michael. "When we go to visit Hawick, we look around and realise that it probably hasn't changed in 100 years. Allan Godfrey, our head of knitwear, really epitomises Pringle's legacy. He's been working for the company since he was 16 and he never left. At one point his whole family was employed by the factory, including his dad who'd been here for 50 years. When I'm looking for inspiration I don't have to look beyond this," she adds, gesturing at the magazines both old and new on the table before her. "Maybe one day I'll run out, but we still have 200 years of heritage to work through."

From One Direction Gigs To Instagram: How Model Scouting Has Changed

Sometimes I feel like people are shamed into doing the right thing – I wish it wasn’t that,” IMG Models senior vice president Jeni Rose tells Vogue of the journey the fashion industry has gone on to become increasingly diverse and respectful of the models working within it. “It’s also a bravery issue. It’s hard to be the first and people don’t feel like they have the power within the industry to initiate change.”

Since joining IMG in 1994, Rose has overseen the scouting and development division and international expansion, and been integral to every initiative implemented to ensure model wellbeing, including Model Prep, an educational speaker series discussing topics such as mental health, nutrition, self-defence and social security. “It’s a human business,” Rose explains of the weight IMG puts on taking care of its clients. “We know these kids, we’ve been in their houses, we know their parents – so we look at every model as somebody’s child.”

When the LVMH-Kering charter was implemented in 2017, IMG advised extensively on its contents, based on the robust process and infrastructure it put in place within its own company years ago. “We wrote stipulations, notguidelines, about what was expected of brands booking IMG models, and many design houses were surprised,” Rose recalls of the initial response it received back in 2011. “All the rules were taken from actual [codes of conduct] for working with minors – we just reminded people of those.”

With senior team members – “In stature not age, although it’s getting to be that too!” – that have all worked together for over two decades – “we can cross each other’s Ts and finish each other’s sentences” – IMG really does operate like a family business. As the company’s portfolio has expanded, the ways in which Rose finds models has changed, but what she looks for has stayed the same.

“Everyone used to go to boy-band concerts and stand outside,” she laughs. “Scouts were tripping over each other near One Direction gigs! Now we have to be creative.” She spent this summer going to “really off-beat stuff”, such as gaming conventions, sneaker launches and surfing festivals, and scrolling through her Instagram feed using IMG’s 2014-implemented scout account @WeLoveYourGenes and hashtag #WLYG. “It’s only four years old, but it’s really been the gift that keeps on giving for us,” she explains of the platform that allows any aspiring model to put themselves forward for consideration.

Rose knows when she has found a success story by a distinct feeling she gets. “You can’t choose what you think someone else would like, you have to go with your gut and select a person you believe is compelling,” she explains. “Scouting to a trend doesn’t make a lot of sense either, because those are the models working currently. The development of a model takes so long – up to six or seven years – so I usually have my eye on teenagers.” Trends, Rose also believes, come from the media trying to create a story, the same way a journalist might report on fashion commonalities, like an abundance of leopard print on the catwalk. “The whole thing that catapults a model is individuality, so to try to make a trend is counterproductive almost,” she believes.

Gender can also play a part in dictating how Rose might meet a new client. “Most male models stumble into the industry – not a lot of them set out for it,” she comments. “Young females recognise that it’s a business and understand that it’s really important to get it right from the start. They look back on the era of the supermodel and see that it’s a job, not a hobby.”

Indeed, Rose saw the likes of Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Tatjana Patitz build up from being total beginners. “I always had a knack for spotting girls with longevity,” she shares of flicking through 17 magazine and seeing the girls she liked in Vogue years down the line. “At that point it wasn’t easy because people didn’t know the names of most of the models. I had to figure out who they were on my own.”

Her fascination around models becoming “household names” has now become a deep respect for those who stand the test of time. “Most of the relevant models don’t go anywhere, it’s the facets of their career that are different,” she notes. “The model that Carolyn Murphy is today, for example, is not the model that she was when she was 16. And that is the genius of the girl and the genius of the management. It really has to be a partnership for models to succeed.”

She hopes that this not-so-rare breed of models with longevity will help introduce a market for classic sizing. “It’s our next frontier, because there’s a lot of models who have less opportunities after having children, and that needs to change.” She can’t predict why fashion takes so long to wake up to the elitist restrictions it has put on itself. “Once change happens it’s really quite swift and people get on board, but it takes someone banging the drum loudly.” Luckily, IMG started sounding the alarm a long time ago.