Sunday, March 31, 2019

What Will Serena Williams Wear To The Met Gala 2019?

Could tennis champion Serena Williams be the underdog on the Met Gala 2019 red carpet? As co-host of the fabulous fundraiser along with Lady Gaga, Harry Styles and Alessandro Michele, she will be rubbing shoulders with some big characters, whose grandiose senses of styles will only be accentuated by the night’s dress code: camp. Of course, Styles will be in Alessandro Michele’s Gucci. And Gaga will reprise something as headline-grabbing as her ode to Audrey Hepburn at the Oscars (complete with the same largest yellow diamond in the world), which will be shrouded in secrecy until the Big Reveal breaks the internet on the evening of May 6. But what of Williams? There are myriad avenues she could go down.

The racket record holder has a history of making sartorial statements on the court. When her black Nike catsuit, which made her feel like a “queen from Wakanda”, caused ripples with the French Tennis Federation, Williams graciously accepted the direction to “respect the game and the place” and turned up to her next match wearing her exclusive collection with Virgil Abloh. Tennis whites? She gave them Off-White. And Nike, who completed the holy trinity of sportwear collabs, posted a picture of Williams with the viral caption: “You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers.” Williams just did it.

The Grand Slam tie-up leads us to our next piece of evidence: the tutu-embellished tennis dress she designed with Abloh. The tulle flounce has parallels with her feminine red-carpet wear – and her wedding dress. She married Alexis Ohanian in November 2017 wearing a strapless McQueen gown with voluminous skirts and a cape, and then changed into a second feathered Versace minidress for the evening part of the Beauty And The Beast-themed reception. Anyone who chooses “Tale As Old As Time” as their first dance is fond of drama – therefore, we can presume Williams is pumped for the Met Gala 2019 theme.

Versace is a brand that she has often leaned on for bespoke commissions for off-court Williams. The last time she attended the Met celebration for the opening of the 2017 Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Betweenexhibition, Williams wore an emerald-green halter-neck gown enriched with beaded accents. It wasn’t a literal take on the conceptual theme of the night, but the pregnant star looked resplendent alongside her then-fiancé. No wonder she commissioned Atelier Versace to watch her friend Meghan Markle marry Prince Harry and become a princess in May the following year.

Williams, however, is not die-hard Donatella devotee. From 2010 to 2013, she wore a lot of Burberry and dabbled in Victoria Beckham. She has mixed household name brands, like Tom Ford, Armani and Ralph Lauren, into her wardrobe; embraced all-out glamour in Giambattista Valli, Vera Wang and Valentino; and championed under-the-radar labels, such as Catherine Malandrino and Torn by Ronny Kobo, too.

Her own label, Serena – a direct-to-consumer line of sportswear and evening wear that mirrors the two realms the public sees Williams exist in – also sheds light on her proclivity for fashion that says something. “I wanted to do something different,” she said upon the launch of Serena in 2018. “You know I love to be different.” Williams went on to say that having her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr, put her wardrobe into perspective. “I actually want to look better,” she added. “I want to always be stylish, so I have to make more of an effort because I have the baby.”

As she says in Nike’s “Dream Crazier” advert – which sees her metaphorically high-five female athletes for their accomplishments in the face of gender discrimination – “Show them what crazy can do.” Williams, as per own word, has won 23 grand slams, had a baby, and come back for more. No wonder she was asked to be a co-host – that kick-ass mentality is always welcome on the red carpet.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Jenna Coleman Gets Guccified In London

Jenna Coleman is an Emilia Wickstead woman. She’s one of Erdem’s ladies. A Dior belle, a Chloé femme. But last night, in London, she embraced a new look courtesy of Gucci. And she did not do things by halves.

For the Sloane Street store’s celebration of the Gucci Zumi bag – which is inspired by musician and jewellery designer Zumi Roscow – Coleman wore the brand’s signature floral suiting. With a mustard Zumi in her hand, there was no other word for it. The Cry star had been Guccified. The only evidence of the feminine flounces and ruffles that have become her signatures? A lace shirt with a statement collar and cuffs.

Coleman is enjoying a surge of media interest of late, owing to the airing of season three of ITV’s Victoria. Over the eight episodes of the royal drama, viewers will watch the monarch deal with government pressure to leave London for her own safety, amidst fears of revolution and unrest. In real life, Coleman is celebrating in the capital as she should.

Naomi Campbell & Victoria Beckham Shine A Spotlight On Fashion Trust Arabia

The London fashion crowd decamped to Doha this week. Naomi Campbell, Victoria Beckham and Jourdan Dunn attended the Fashion Trust Arabia Awards, and packed a generous dose of glamorous red-carpet wear that paid homage to a region known for its evening creations.

Campbell wore a ruffled yellow Valentino spring/summer 2019 couture gown from the same moving show in which she modelled the “Chocolat Dahlia” showstopper. It was business for Beckham, in contrast, as she opted for classic black tailoring with a touch of frivolity brought by a blouse with a flouncy neckline.

Fashion Trust Arabia is a non-profit organisation which supports designers in the Middle East and North Africa. It’s the only initiative of its kind operating in the Arab world and under the patronage of Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. The emerging talent scouted by FTA presented their collections to a panel of industry leaders, including Beckham, Dame Natalie Massenet and Pierpaolo Piccioli, who were looking for originality as well as a sense of commerciality.

“They have a somewhat romantic approach when designing their collections. The Middle East has always been famous for producing champion eveningwear designers who have dominated the red carpet,” co-chair Tania Fares told WWD of the 25 finalists, before adding that jewellery and accessories have also emerged as strong categories in the region.

Lebanese womenswear designer Salim Azzam and Beirut-based Roni Helou, who showed at London Fashion Week in February, scooped up the inaugural ready-to-wear prizes. Krikor Jabotian, also from Lebanon, was awarded the eveningwear accolade. And the Egyptian bag brand Sabry Marouf, Moroccan footwear label Zyne and Lebanese jewellery brand Mukhi Sisters were recognised for achievements in their respective fields. The winner of each category will receive mentorship from FTA’s executive committee, a prize of up to $200,000 (£154,000) tailored to each winner’s business plan, and the opportunity to be stocked on

“I met so many designers who knew about the British Fashion Council’s fashion trust and told me they wish something would bring the region together in that same way,” Fares told Business of Fashion. “There’s no fashion week, not much press – they don’t have exposure. Arab people might know of these designers, but no one knows about them in the West.” Thanks to this week's awards, they will they will have met a wealth of global fashion influencers to help them on their way.

Livia Firth And Alberta Ferretti Team Up To Tackle Fast Fashion

The Eco-Age and Green Carpet Challenge founder has collaborated with the Italian designer on a new sustainable collection, set to launch ahead of Earth Day on 22 April. Here, they call out fast fashion for falsely appropriating sustainable ideals, and share their thoughts on how we can all become more responsible consumers.

Livia Firth bristles a little at the word “conscious”. The Eco-Age creative director and Green Carpet Challenge founder has been championing sustainability in the fashion industry for over a decade, but she is wary of the buzzwords that come with the territory. “Fast fashion has appropriated those terms with all their conscious collections and sustainability drives,” she tells Vogue. “But if you look up sustainability in the dictionary, it’s about something that lasts. When you buy fast fashion on an impulse, it’s not sustainable because you know that you’re only going to wear it a couple of times.”

With Eco-Age’s latest designer collaboration, Firth hopes she has created something that will last: a capsule collection designed by Alberta Ferretti. It includes shimmery mini-skirts, organic cotton T-shirts and sweaters crafted from recycled cashmere, embroidered with the phrase “It’s a Wonderful World”. Ferretti named the collection “Love Me” – a direct appeal for us to care for our planet. “This collection is a cry for help,” the designer explains to Vogue. “One that the world is sending out to its inhabitants. Sustainability is not something you can ignore.”

The issue has long been close to Ferretti’s heart – she worked with Emma Watson on an eco-friendly capsule collection in 2011 – and she is keen to demonstrate how ethical practices can inform every step of the design process. On this occasion, the thread for the embroidery is Oeko-Tex certified, the garment label and paper price tags are recyclable, and even the packaging is compostable. “Everything was sourced carefully,” says Firth. “Alberta studied all aspects of the supply chain.”

Their new project is a product of their long-time friendship and Firth sees a certain symmetry in their journeys towards sustainability. “I’ve known Alberta for many years. She was one of the first big fashion houses to focus on sustainability. She started working on it in 2010 and that was the second year of the Green Carpet Challenge and Eco-Age. Back then, sustainability was seen as this big effort. I’ve always had a soft spot for her because she’s very committed. So when she approached us about doing something after Christmas last year, I said, let’s do it together.”

Ferretti’s motivation for reaching out was what she perceives as an imminent threat to our planet. “The urgency of the ecological problems all over the world compelled me to find a green path for my company,” she says. “I know the importance of safeguarding our natural resources and promoting the use of products that have the smallest environmental impact.” With this capsule collection, she hopes to show fellow designers that it is possible to create luxurious products without compromising your ideals. “Fashion is a great way to send a message. Everything we can do, every initiative, every signal, even the smallest thing, is important.”

Both women have been at the forefront of this movement, which has swept the fashion industry in the past few years, prompting the rise of upcycling, closed-loop processes, impact measurement and greater accountability. “Sustainability used to be a box to tick in a company’s corporate social responsibility report,” adds Firth. “But business leaders like François-Henri Pinault from Kering are very vocal about the fact that sustainability makes financial sense. It’s interesting to see how things are changing.”

Call-out culture has also accelerated this change. Firth cites the controversy surrounding the Spice Girls’ T-shirts created for British charity Comic Relief, which were produced in a Bangladeshi factory where workers earn the equivalent of 35p per hour, as one recent example. “There’s so much to lose if you get it wrong. Those T-shirts were raising money for women [and gender justice], but then you discover that they’re made using cheap labour. Today, things get out much more quickly and people are aware of the huge repercussions a story like that can have on a brand.”

But there have been extraordinary success stories too, including heritage houses that have worked with Eco-Age to improve their practices over time. “Last year, Chopard became the first-ever luxury jewellery brand to announce that there would be 100 percent ethical gold in its supply chain,” explains Firth. “It was a huge milestone and a perfect example of how a company can move towards sustainability.”

If the luxury sector is willing to change, will the high street follow? “There’s so much awareness now among consumers about the repercussions of fast fashion,” replies Firth. “The most important choice people can make is just to buy less. There’s been this voracious appetite for shopping, fed by the availability of super-cheap clothes and the fact that there’s pressure on women to always be seen in a different dress – not only on the red carpet, but also on social media. You read statistics that say 70 per cent of teenage girls are ashamed to be seen wearing the same thing twice on Instagram and you think, ‘What’s wrong?’ Fashion shouldn’t be disposable.”

While Firth is buoyed by the growth of alternative business models, especially vintage clothing and fashion rental sites, she is sceptical of some sustainability trends. “There are things that we know are bad, things that ignite huge debates: fur, plastic, microfibres. But even with things like vegan leather, sometimes those products are made with synthetic fibres. Does that make them better? When you have to put things on a scale then I think you really need to study the issue properly.”

She and Ferretti certainly have, and the designer insists that this collaboration is only the beginning of the work they will do together. “Fashion can inspire change and right now, we all need to use our businesses, platforms and voices to make better decisions,” says Ferretti. “This capsule showcases the work we’ve done so far, but we’ve already started working on expanding the collection with other items that will follow later this year. I have lots of ideas and would love to do something that supports endangered species.” Firth agrees that there is more to come. “When two like-minded women meet,” she says, “they rarely leave each other.”

Victoria Beckham Finds The Perfect Travel Accessories

As a fashion designer, entrepreneur, and mum on-the-go, Victoria Beckham knows plenty about packing. The superstar keeps her travel wardrobe minimal and chic, without sacrificing her love of accessories. Case in point: at the opening of the new Jean Nouvel-designed Qatar National Museum in Doha, Beckham arrived wearing key pieces from her pre-fall 2019 collection. In a gauzy white blouse and matching polka dot pants, Beckham was stylish, playing up the simplicity of her outfit with a series of statement add-ons. There was the gilded gold clutch, a pair of hot pink pumps, and a mini-flask chain necklace to bring the entire look together.

Beckham is known for keeping her outfits pared-back and elegant, and the use of metallic accessories added personality to an otherwise simple palette. The touches of gold and neon were playful and could have been paired with just about anything. For those who often live out of carry-on luggage, Beckham’s latest look provided a lesson in how to make every item you pack count.

Kate Moss Effortlessly Pulls Off This Tricky Outerwear Trend

At the autumn/winter 2019 shows, it was all about the cape coat. Designers zeroed in on the tricky item this season, serving up fresh new ways to wear the style most commonly seen during transitional months. There were the candy-coloured tweed capes hanging off the shoulders at Chanel. At Burberry, Riccardo Tisci showed wool capes that were striped and fringed, making them more of a statement piece. And at Celine, Hedi Slimane sent out a classic camel version that draped just below the knee. While the silhouettes were varied, the unified message was clear: it’s time to leave your sleeves at home.

Now, celebrities are catching onto the trend, too, though it took a supermodel to test-drive it properly. Kate Moss stepped out in London wearing a black leather cape, unbuttoned to reveal a chic white blouse underneath for that effortless model off-duty look courtesy of Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello. It had just the right amount of flair with discreet cargo pockets for a slight utilitarian feel. She paired it with streamlined black trousers and accessories, including black moto boots, a sleek black clutch and a sparkly bracelet.

While a rock'n'roll cape for going out may seem an unlikely choice, consider Moss’s take the ultimate inspiration for stepping into spring: because why wait until autumn to try something new?

Introducing The 2019 LVMH Prize Finalists

LVMH has announced the eight finalists for the 2019 edition of the LVMH Prize. The most diverse group of designers since the award’s inception six years ago, it includes young talents representing Israel, Nigeria and South Africa, all for the first time. “Each new edition brings its lot of firsts,” said Delphine Arnault, the executive vice president of Louis Vuitton and the founder of the prize. “It goes to show the reach of the prize on the one hand, and on the other, the reach of fashion, its ability to touch more and more people, thanks in part to the internet. It is truly a unifying dynamic. This year we received more than 1,700 applications, a record.”

If it’s a more diverse group than ever before, there is a unifying factor, and that is sustainability. “Most of [the finalists] have integrated upcycling in their sourcing strategy,” said Arnault. “First and foremost, [of course], we appraise the creativity of the candidates. Naturally, if it is combined with an ethical and environmental awareness at the service of creation, then so much the better.” She continued: “This was the case at Phipps, with Spencer Phipps’s fabric sourcing and his informed approach to the environment. Or for instance with Bethany Williams, who is committed to aiding minorities through her involvement in fashion.” (Williams has already been recognised for her efforts by the Duchess of Cornwall, who presented her with the second Queen Elizabeth II Award for Design in February.)

The winner of the LVMH Prize will be announced in June, after the jury meets with the finalists at the Fondation Louis Vuitton. It will be the first jury that Karl Lagerfeld, who died last month, will not be present for. New to the panel this year is Kris Van Assche, who was named Berluti’s artistic director last year. “I am delighted to welcome Kris,” said Arnault. “He devoted a lot of time to discussing with the semi-finalists during our Paris showroom. I am certain his tremendous experience in menswear will contribute something novel to our jury.”

ANREALAGE by Kunihiko Morinaga (Japanese designer, based in Tokyo)

Womenswear, showing in Paris.

BETHANY WILLIAMS by Bethany Williams (British designer, based in London)

Gender-neutral fashion, showing in London.

BODE by Emily Adams Bode (American designer, based in New York)

Menswear, showing in New York.

HED MAYNER by Hed Mayner (Israeli designer, based in Tel Aviv)

Gender-neutral fashion, showing in Paris.

KENNETH IZE by Kenneth Izedonmwen (Nigerian designer, based in Lagos)

Gender-neutral fashion, showing in Lagos.

PHIPPS by Spencer Phipps (American designer, based in Paris)

Gender-neutral fashion, showing in Paris.

STEFAN COOKE by Stefan Cooke & Jake Burt (British designers, based in London)

Menswear, showing in London.

THEBE MAGUGU by Thebe Magugu (South African designer, based in Johannesburg)

Womenswear, showing in Johannesburg.

Asos Is Back At The House Of Lords Again As It Tries To Stop Modern Slavery

Asos returns to the House of Lords today to co-host a Modern Slavery Forum with Baroness Lola Young, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion. Along with third party brands of the e-tailer, including River Island and New Look, and industry colleagues, such as M&S, the group will review the progress that has been made since last year, when the event outlined shared risks in the clothing sector.

A pledge will be signed by companies committed to taking active steps to eradicate modern slavery in their supply chains. In doing this, they will work collaboratively with others to develop tools and resources to raise awareness of risks; train employees about modern slavery risks within their businesses and supply chains; publish and continuously build on their Modern Slavery statements; and participate in an annual session to demonstrate changes that have been made. The aim is that brands watching from the sidelines will follow suit and join an arena which is putting competition aside for the sake of human rights.

In the last 12 months, Asos has, among other initiatives, co-delivered Modern Slavery workshops for third party brands in collaboration with Anti-Slavery International and launched an online training resource, produced in conjunction with the London College of Fashion, to help the labels it stocks meet modern slavery legislation requirements.

It has also used its platform to move the conversation forward within the sustainability sphere. Last year, Asos banned the sale of mohair, silk, cashmere and feathers across its entire platform, launched a sustainable fashion training programme and invited 90 of its best-selling brands to take part in an ethical trading conference to discuss purchasing practices, transparency and raw materials.

In the high-street arena, no other brand is making such efforts to show the myriad strands of ethics within the fashion industry. Yes, Asos has a long way to go to become a conscious platform, but it is taking responsibility to set an example for its 1,000-plus brands who all follow their own business commandments. While other labels release capsule collections claiming to be sustainable, Asos is bringing new conversations to the table. The test will be the strides it actually makes towards change.

An Exclusive Look At The Making Of The Chanel-Pharrell Capsule Collection

When Pharrell Williams debuted a bold yellow hoodie emblazoned with sparkly Chanel insignia in November, we knew his collaboration with the French house would shake up usual proceedings in the salon. Now, a film about the making of the collection and the campaign shared exclusively with Vogue reveals that Chanel-Pharrell is as vibrant and spirited as we expected.

With street art at the core of the capsule, the music maestro has taken the brand’s signature CC and N°5 logos and reimagined them as graffiti and embellished motifs. As well as unisex hoodies and Tees in a rainbow palette, there’s rhinestoned costume jewellery, terry towelling bucket hats, bum bags, trainers and logo-ed belts. It’s a street fashionista’s paradise, and an edit that has entry price points for all Chanel fans.

“Gabrielle Coco Chanel didn’t see partitions, and it’s interesting, because neither did the brand when it came to giving me a shot,” says Williams. “[Chanel] is not afraid of these things, just like [Gabrielle] wasn’t afraid. There doesn’t need to be boundaries as long as you can hold onto the heritage and continue to push it, like Karl always [did]. We don’t need walls, we need bridges.

The optimistic mood is echoed by models Alton Mason, Anok Yai, Adesuwa Aighewi and Soo Joo Park, who all enthuse about the heavy jewellery and loafers in the clip. “Pharrell has had a huge impact on popular culture and hip-hop culture,” smiles Mason in between takes of the futuristic campaign shots, which are inspired by the anime film Akira. “He is a genius. It's crazy to be working with him.”

The Chanel-Pharrell collection will be available exclusively in Seoul on March 28 at the opening of the new Chanel boutique, and then in certain Chanel shops around the world from April 4th.

Victoria Beckham Releases 11 Exclusive Dresses Inspired By Her Past

Victoria Beckham has successfully harnessed nostalgia to the benefit of her brand for years – you only had to be at her Spice Girls-themed YouTube launch party to see that Posh is the bandmate having the last laugh in the publicity stakes – but for her next project she’s not looking to her pop past, but internally to her brand. For spring/summer 2019, Beckham is introducing an 11-piece capsule collection of dresses using previous silhouettes as the blueprints. Consider it a megamix of the signatures beloved by her customers over the past decade – there’s something to spice up everyone’s life.

Landing on on March 22, the capsule edit, which is priced from £950 to £1,825, encompasses daywear through to occasionwear in fabrics that were all chosen foremost to flatter. Varying sleeve lengths make for styles that are good all year rounders, while hems range from asymmetric and fluid to sharp A-lines. The palette? A graphic ivory, black and tomato-red with a ’70s floral jacquard thrown in for a touch of whimsy.

"I delved into the archives in the run up to my brand’s 10-year anniversary, revisiting some of my favourite styles and reimagining them for the Victoria Beckham woman today," she tells Vogue exclusively. "The collection celebrates where my brand has come from and what we have achieved, and offers timeless dresses for all occasions that blend seamlessly into any wardrobe."

And there lies the reason that Beckham has been able to navigate the tricky transition from popstar to designer, while amassing a client list including the Duchess of Sussex and Amal Clooney: she has listened to her clients along the way.

Gucci Captures Florence Welch’s Bohemian Spirit For Latest Jewellery Campaign

Florence Welch is adored for her distinct bohemian wardrobe almost as much as she is for her music. Is it any wonder, then, that Gucci has captured her original spirit and sartorial offerings in the brand’s latest jewellery campaign. Set against the backdrop of an old-school wooden wagon, the musician and creative director Alessandro Michele have – once again – come together to showcase a collection that’s pure magic.

Photographed by Colin Dodgson, Welch reclines on colourful furnishings and decorative fabrics, surrounded by delicate trinkets and adorned in rings, bracelets and necklaces – all pieces from the Le Marché des Merveilles, Gucci Ouroboros, Gucci Flora and Dionysus fine jewellery collections and the house’s silver jewellery collection. Because if anyone knows how to stack rings and double-up necklaces with ease, it’s Welch.

As the brand’s jewellery ambassador and long-standing friend of the brand – the duo previously collaborated on Welch’s costumes for her tour in 2016 – Welch has always spoken of her natural affinity to the brand. “I haven't really been an ambassador for something before, and to be honest I don't think that it's something that I would have even considered had it not been for Alessandro,” Welch previously told Vogue. “What he is doing is so up my street that it feels so natural for us to be working together.”

A Tim Walker Exhibition Is Coming To The V&A

Following the incredible success of the Dior exhibition, this September the V&A opens Tim Walker: Wonderful Things, the third solo show of British fashion photographer and long-time Voguecollaborator, Tim Walker.

The Knightsbridge institution will pay tribute to his contribution to image-making through his wondrous imagination. Collaborators, from the set designers, stylists, make-up artists and models on his first Vogue shoot at the age of 25, to those on the 2018 Pirelli calendar in collaboration with Vogueeditor-in-chief Edward Enninful, will also be explored – including 10 brand new photographic projects, too.

“The beautiful and eclectic objects housed in the V&A have influenced Tim since the start of his career,” Susanna Brown, curator of Tim Walker: Wonderful Things at the V&A, told Vogue exclusively. “He has spent months exploring our collection and delving deep into the museum stores to gain inspiration for his new pictures, which will form the heart of the exhibition. It will celebrate the contributions of his many talented collaborators and muses too. This is a project we've been talking about for several years, and it's going to be a spectacular show.”

Though exact details of the works that will go on display are not known, British art director and collaborator Shona Heath will design the space to house the photographs, films, sets and installations. Expect some extraordinary viewing come September 2019. Tim Walker: Wonderful Things exhibition runs from September 21 until March 8 2020. Tickets go on sale June 13th 2019.

Irina Shayk Collaborates With Tod's On A Reinterpretion Of Its Iconic Bag

My life is in my bag,” says model Irina Shayk. “Sunglasses, a little candy – a splash of sugar to get you over the jetlag is the best way to fight it off! A charger, a little mirror on the back of your cell phone case so you can check how you look.” With such a considered list of essentials is it any wonder, then, that Tod’s has called upon the skills of Shayk for their latest project involving the redesign of the brand’s Iconic D bag.

“The first thing that I’ve always associated Tod’s with is a trusted timelessness,” says Shayk. Maybe that’s why the bag has a long-standing loyal fanbase – comprising of Julianne Moore, Cindy Crawford and Reese Witherspoon. “The D-Styling bag is a definite favourite and has made itself at home among my daily essential pieces,” explains Shayk. Now in its sixth redesign for the label’s spring/summer 2019 collection, the bag has kept its well-crafted curves (inspired by the wings of a butterfly) but now features an array of colours – from orange to yellow and brown – and patterns in handcrafted leathers that are ideal for spring dressing.

As every woman knows, a handbag holds a lot of important items. Which is why as part of the project the brand called upon the talents, of not only Shayk, but Chinese actor Maggie Jiang, Korean actor Eun-Chae Jung and Japanese model and actor Nana Eikura to share what’s really in their handbags. Watch below to see what items Tod’s brand ambassador Shayk carries around with her during fashion week season:

Raf Simons Collaborator Sterling Ruby To Launch Own Label

The fashion landscape might currently be lamenting a Raf Simons-shaped hole at Calvin Klein, but his long-time collaborator and muse Sterling Ruby is set to start his own brand. The artist, whose prints formed the base of many of Simons’s designs at Dior, his eponymous label and Calvin Klein, where the two recently worked on realising the designer’s popcorn-fuelled vision of America, will launch a unisex clothing and accessories line under the guise

“I’ve always been interested in the behavioural power that comes with clothing,” the artist said in a statement. “For years I have been privately exploring garments as a medium, as something that impacts the way one can think, feel and move. I couldn’t be more excited to finally put my clothing out into the world.”

The LA-based creative has drawn on 10 years of experimentation in the mediums of sculpture, textiles, photography, ceramics and backdrops to define the brand’s aesthetic, which we can predict will be considerably more commercial than his past solo fashion endeavours, such as a series of experimental garments for a 2016 London exhibition entitled Work Wear: Garment and Textile Archive 2008-2016.

So far, an Instagram post depicting abstract prints and a garment pattern are all we have to go off until the launch in June. But, as the industry shifts and major houses, including Calvin Klein, prioritise commercialism over creativity, it’s refreshing to see that artistry won’t be quashed in others. With S.R. STUDIO and Project Loud France – Rihanna's upcoming clothing venture under her Fenty brand umbrella – about to come to light, fashion's forecast already looks a little brighter.

The 2019 CFDA Awards Nominees And Honourees Are Here

The CFDA just announced its 2019 awards nominees on Instagram, and there are some new names in the mix. Womenswear perennial Marc Jacobs is on the list, as is menswear favourite Thom Browne, and Off-White’s Virgil Abloh made the cut not once, but twice. But all five of the emerging designer nominees are first-timers. That’s a positive development for American fashion, which has seen its mid-career designers drop off the fashion calendar. Not one of this year’s menswear nominees put on a show in New York this season, by the way. Maybe that should be a spring 2020 pre-requisite for this year’s winner?

This year’s honourees, so far at least, are all women and include Vogue’s Lynn Yaeger, who will receive the Media Award in honour of Eugenia Sheppard. Additional honourees will be announced in the coming weeks. Here is the full list of nominees and honourees for the 2019 CFDA Awards; the winners will be announced at the Brooklyn Museum on June 3.

Womenswear Designer of the Year

Brandon Maxwell
Marc Jacobs
Kate Mulleavy and Laura Mulleavy, Rodarte
Rosie Assoulin
Sander Lak, Sies Marjan

Menswear Designer of the Year

Mike Amiri, Amiri
Virgil Abloh, Off-White
Kerby Jean-Raymond, Pyer Moss
Rick Owens
Thom Browne, Thom Browne New York

Accessory Designer of the Year

Jennifer Fisher, Jennifer Fisher Jewelry
Virgil Abloh, Off-White
Tabitha Simmons
Telfar Clemens, Telfar
Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen, The Row

Emerging Designer of the Year

Emily Adams Bode, Bode
Beth Bugdaycay, Foundrae
Catherine Holstein, Khaite
Heron Preston
Sarah Staudinger and George Augusto, Staud

Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammeti International Award:

Sarah Burton, Alexander McQueen

Founder’s Award in Honour of Eleanor Lambert:

Carine Roitfeld

Media Award in Honour of Eugenia Sheppard:

Lynn Yaeger

Positive Change Award:

Eileen Fisher

Tom Ford Succeeds Diane Von Furstenberg As CFDA Chairman

The rumours that Tom Ford was in line to succeed Diane von Furstenberg as the chairman of the CFDA have proved true. Ford will be the 11th person to take up the position, which was called president until it was changed to chairman for von Furstenberg in 2015, in June 2019.

Ford will lead a board of some 19 people, including Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Ashley Olsen and von Furstenberg, who will remain invested in the future of American fashion despite stepping down from the helm after 13 years. Previous issues, including model welfare and diversity, will remain top of Ford’s agenda along with the pressing fact that New York Fashion Week needs restructuring and reinvigorating.

“Tom Ford’s vast experience and knowledge will be of great value to the CFDA and the membership in support of our mission to bring greater visibility and opportunity to American designers globally,” read a letter to CFDA members from Lisa Smilor, executive vice president of the CFDA.

As messages of congratulations populated Ford’s Twitter feed, it was a piece of fake news that the media picked up, however. A quote regarding Melania Trump – “I have no interest in dressing a glorified escort who steals speeches and has bad taste in men” – was traced back to Ford and the Twittersphere did not seem to care that it was unsubstantiated.

In reference to a fictitious statement attributed to Mr. Ford regarding First Lady Melania Trump: “This is an absolutely fabricated and completely fake quote that somehow went viral. Mr. Ford did not make this statement; it is completely false." - Tom Ford Spokeswoman

A spokesperson for Ford cut through the social gossip: “This is an absolutely fabricated and completely fake quote that somehow went viral,” the tweet read. “Mr Ford did not make this statement; it is completely false."

The statement was unsearchable, but before Donald Trump was elected as president, Ford had declared that he would not dress her nor Hillary Clinton. “The first lady and the president in the White House need to be wearing clothes made in America – mine are not – and clothes at a price point that most Americans can relate to and my clothes are too expensive,” the designer told WWD of his former comments made on The View, before admitting to once dressing Michelle Obama: “That was different.”

“I’ve never said anything derogatory about Melania,” Ford iterated. “I never would say anything derogatory. It’s so weird, isn’t it, in today’s world the way someone out of nowhere can just make up a random quote and start circulating it on the internet?”

The fake news phenomenon might be out of his influence as the newly crowned CFDA chairman, but how he will delve into pressing industry issues, such as sustainability, will prove interesting.

Model Nathan Westling Comes Out As Transgender

Today, through an interview with CNN Style, alongside the thoroughly modern medium of an Instagram post, 22-year-old model Nathan Westling announced that he is transgender. Having been notably absent from the runways since walking in the Louis Vuitton show last October, Nathan revealed that he has spent the last six months living in Los Angeles and undergoing hormone therapy to align his physical self with his innate identity.

"It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows in the beginning,” he explained to CNN. “My first two months of the transition were tough, and it wasn't until I started to see physical changes that aligned with ... my mental state that I finally woke up and (started) living. I'm happy. I can't even imagine going back to how I was before because it's just darkness."

By opening up about his transition and returning to the industry, Nathan will be joining a roll-call of openly transgender models that includes Lea T and Teddy Quinlivan, and proving that fashion can – and ought – be a space in which people are free to express their identities. The last Louis Vuitton show he walked in starred a number of trans, queer and non-binary models, and interrogations of gender are permeating collections across the globe.

While there is plenty more work to be done before equality is the new norm, both in fashion and beyond, Westling’s new headshots (photographed by Collier Schorr) and the outpouring of support on social media prove that he will be as hotly in demand as ever before – and rightly so.

Instagram Just Made It A Lot Easier To Shop On The App

Instagram has launched an online shopping feature that will allow users to easily buy products directly from the social media platform. In short: users will be able to shop with a single tap on their phone.

The feature, which launched on March 19 in the US, allows users to buy products from 20 different brands – including Burberry, Dior and Prada, as well as beauty brands KKW Beauty and NARS. The platform plans to roll out the new feature in “the coming months” as it attracts more brands to get on board. With the new checkout feature, shoppers will be able to select and pay for an item, all in one smooth process. “People no longer have to navigate to the browser when they want to buy,” the company said in a statement. “And with their protected payment information in one place, they can shop their favourite brands without needing to log in and enter their information multiple times.”

By keeping a note of individuals'payment details – shoppers can use Visa, Mastercard, American Express, PayPal and Discover – on profiles, people no longer need to navigate away from the app to make a purchase on a brand’s website. All brands will be charged a “selling fee” when a sale is made on the platform.

In recent months the platform has allowed brands to add tags to posts, making it easier for users to find out more information about certain products. More than 130 million users a month have been tapping on posts to look at the products – a considerable increase from 90 million last year. It looks like shopping on Instagram is a welcome addition.

Gucci Announces New Programme To Help Improve Diversity And Inclusivity

Gucci has announced the launch of Gucci Changemakers, a global programme and scholarship fund which aims to “create more opportunities for talented young people of diverse backgrounds”. The move comes after the brand received criticism for a balaclava jumper resembling blackface.

The multi-step action plan includes several components: the Changemakers Fund, a company-wide volunteering initiative, and a scholarship programme. “I believe in dialogue, building bridges and taking quick action,” said Marco Bizzarri, Gucci president and CEO. “This is why we started working immediately on the long-term infrastructure at Gucci to address our shortcomings. And now through our Changemakers programme, we will invest important resources to unify and strengthen our communities across North America, with a focus on programmes that will impact youth and the African-American community.”

The brand has also created a council – which is made up of familiar faces in the industry such as Cleo Wade, Dapper Dan and – to ensure transparency, accountability and the long-term impact of the programme. The $5 million (£3.7 million) fund will invest in community-based programmes, the scholarship programme will help a diverse pool of talent pursue careers in fashion, and the new volunteer initiative will give Gucci  as equality, the protection of the environment and education and support refugees. “I believe in the promise of the next generation, and through our scholarship fund we will also create more opportunities for talented young people of diverse backgrounds to gain access to careers in the fashion industry,” said Bizzarri of the programme.

Harlem couturier Dapper Dan, who’s been working closely with the brand to harness changes, took to Instagram to share the progress. “As a partner, I am proud to work with Gucci and other community leaders to help guide programmes that will create meaningful impact for the Black community and fashion as a whole,” said Dan in a statement. “It is imperative that we have a seat at the table to say how we should be represented and reimagined. Through our work together, Gucci is in a position to lead the overall industry toward becoming a better more inclusive one.”

Last month, Prada announced director and producer Ava DuVernay as a co-chair for the brand’s new Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council, which aims to “amplify voices of colour within the industry”. The Selma and A Wrinkle In Time director will share the role with artist and activist Theaster Gates. The pair has been tasked with assisting the brand with its “initiative to elevate voices of colour within the company and the fashion industry at-large.”

Would You Join The Bella And Gigi Hadid Book Club?

If you thought that all that models did in their spare time was upload selfies to social media, then think again. While the rest of us are panicking about the number of hours we spend glued to our smartphones, the likes of Bella and Gigi Hadid are finding the time to feed their brains the old fashioned way: they’re reading books.

Just last night, from what was presumably a first class cabin, Bella instagrammed her in-flight entertainment of choice: The Outsider, the latest novel from Stephen King. Hadid artfully showcased the fire-engine red hardback cover, complete with ominous silhouette of a man holding an unidentified object, alongside her hand which was clad in an appropriately creepy lime green glove. A cherry-print vintage Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami carry-on was pictured in the background alongside other travel essentials: Dior monogrammed pouch, bottled water, etc.

The model has been toting this 560-page book for a few weeks now: she used it to shield her face from the paparazzi while racing through Charles de Gaulle airport during Paris Fashion Week dressed in sweat pants and a hoodie. (After all, nothing says “No pictures please!” quite as succinctly as a well-thumbed horror story.) It seems her sister Gigi has slightly more intellectual tastes, however. She’s been seen carrying a copy of The Stranger by Albert Camus, a classic that has been on the must-read lists of philosophy nerds and French literature fiends for decades. Hadid was first seen flaunting a copy of the absurdist French novel, with its famous black and white graphic cover, en route to the Fendi show in Milan last month. It was just the right match for her fashion-forward suit, cut above the knee in the palest shade of yellow.

Granted, fashion’s love affair with literature is nothing new. Designer Olympia built her entire brand on the idea of book as girl’s best accessory. Her one-of-kind minaudieres pay homage to literary greats such as Gustave Flaubert and Jane Austen and were a street style sensation when they launched a decade ago. More recently, the magazine clutch has made a comeback with the likes Kendall Jenner swanning around town with the retro style. The novelty handbag was even resurrected on runway at Balenciaga for autumn/winter 2018. Still, as the Hadid sisters can attest, nothing is chicer than the real thing.

An Unconventional Biography Of Karl Lagerfeld Is In The Works

The autumn/winter 2019 show season was marked by the death of Karl Lagerfeld, one of the industry’s foremost creatives and tastemakers who helped carved out the landscape of fashion during his six decades in the business. A new book penned by William Middleton – who met the late designer in 1995 and wrote many articles about him – will explore how the German couturier became a cultural icon and a household name.

“I don’t think the history of Karl is the most interesting part,” Middleton, who wrote the proposal for the “unconventional biography” shortly after the death of Lagerfeld on February 19 and signed a contract with HarperCollins on March 7, told WWD. “There are some elements of his past that are interesting. But it’s really what he turned himself into that’s so fascinating. I didn’t want to do a normal biography.”

As opposed to previous literary works on Lagerfeld and Chanel, where he held the position of creative director for 34 years, Middleton’s 250-300 page book will take an episodic approach and focus on the “the most exciting moments of his life... the world around him and his fierce engagement with popular culture,” Middleton continued. “There was no one who was more connected to what was going on in art and film and architecture and design and so many elements of culture, and I think that really needs to be brought up.”

At the time of writing, Middleton had not reached out to Chanel for co-operation. The book is slated for release in 2021, whether or not he receives the company’s blessing, as Middleton feels buoyed up by his own relationship with the designer. “I said to him after spending some time together, it’s rare to see someone whose public image is so harsh, but in reality, is so much warmer,” the writer recalled. “He said, ‘Better that than the opposite, no?’”

When asked why Middleton’s proposal captured the attention of the publishing house, HarperCollins vice president and executive editor Sara Nelson acknowledged the fact that we can expect many more books paying homage to the designer in the future. “I just thought [Middleton's proposal] would be an interesting take,” she said. "I’m sure there will be more than several books on Lagerfeld, but this one appealed to me.”

A First Look Inside The Modern Brutalism Of Louis Vuitton’s New Store

Ever since 2004, Louis Vuitton has occupied a Grade II-listed Brutalist building in the middle of Sloane Street: the sort of space revered by those enamoured with post-war aesthetics, but not usually the rest. After all, cantilevered beneath an office block and nestled within imposing concrete surrounds is not necessarily where you’d expect to find a French maison renowned for its storied elegance - but, with the new renovation of its interior, this unlikely home has found a surprising relevance.

“People wanted us to move!” exclaims Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke, the day before its grand unveiling. “They said it’s ugly, that we need Victoriana or something. Let’s be honest, like Centre Point, like Beaubourg, this a building people love to hate.” Now, by hunting down its architectural plans and working with the surprising support of the local council (“a young guy - he’s with it and realised strict rules aren’t what’s necessary to save significant architecture”), Burke has pioneered a project to restore the building’s original '60s features and thus the purity of its aesthetic. “It’s been like restoring a painting, or excavating a Roman bust,” he reflects of exposing its concrete beams, remodelling its staircase and uncovering a long-concealed skylight. After all, “We’re all about authenticity, craft and origins,” he says. “If we didn’t protect our own origin, the little details, we wouldn’t still be here.”

The idea of interrogating recent history to create something entirely modern is equally harmonious with the two designers whose work now inhabits the space. Nicolas Ghesquière - whose most recent collection was incidentally staged aside a recreation of the Pompidou Centre’s controversial Beaubourg exterior, and paid homage to the eclectic tribes who surrounded it in the '80s - is renowned for his sci-fi femininity; Virgil Abloh’s vision, complete with its post-modern irony and digitally-savvy designs, is decidedly futuristic. “They each have one foot solidly embedded in the past and the other resolutely in the future. By doing that, they’re a step ahead, but of our time” says Burke. “It’s the same here.”

But, besides the magnetism of the storefront and the carefully-curated interior (some of the best Danish mid-century and '60s Italian furniture is dotted about the place and a giant curtain, created by textile manufacturers Sekers, who first inhabited this space, acts as a brilliantly attractive privacy divider on the top floor), there is another reason Louis Vuitton customers might be flocking to Sloane Street in the coming months: its wealth of customisation services. While the shopfit is the brand’s first foray into entirely bespoke store design, here it is also offering a preview of its Rare & Exceptional service, where clients can fit and customise certain ready-to-wear pieces to their personal proclivities, alongside a customisable trainer service. Titled Now Yours, variations on the brand’s Run Away style can be stamped or printed with initials, as well as designed in a selection of different colours, materials and finishes. That’s the sort of offering that certainly appeals to a modern audience obsessed with unique product and limited-edition pieces - but “for a century, all we did was bespoke,” explains Burke. “Nobody walked out the shop with a trunk; you went into a store, ordered and then came back six months later. We were born with that, and now we’re really coming back to it.”

In summation, in this light-drenched space, amidst the mid-century décor dotted with artworks by Georges Breuil and Roger Capron alongside the extraordinarily modern designs of Ghesquière and Abloh, everything comes together with a curious harmony - and nobody is more delighted about that than Burke. “I love it,” he grins. “This is exactly what I envisioned. It’s a rebirth. This building was an ugly duckling, it had been mistreated for all these years… and now it’s a swan.” You can’t put it better than that - and you can imagine that handbags will fly off the shelves.

Julie De Libran Exits Sonia Rykiel After Five Years As Artistic Director

Sonia Rykiel, a brand synonymous with Left Bank joie de vivre and stripes, celebrated its 50th anniversary in spectacular fashion last year. Bananarama were hired to perform at the autumn/winter 2018 show, and spring/summer 2019 coincided with the rechristening of a Paris street as Allée Sonia Rykiel in honour of the house founder, who died in 2016. The staging of that collection showcased the label’s close ties to the neighbourhood: de Libran’s son walked in the show, as did other children. In July, a one-off couture collection demonstrating what de Libran called the “savoir faire of Rykiel’s amazing atelier” was presented side-by-side with a limited edition series of sweaters created by friends of the label, many of whom the designer dressed during her nearly five years as artistic director at the company. The brand has always known how to throw a good party: For Rykiel’s 40th anniversary in 2008, a who’s who of international designers, from Karl Lagerfeld to Jean Paul Gaultier to Rodarte’s Mulleavy sisters, designed clothes in her honour.

De Libran hailed from Louis Vuitton, where one of her specialties was red-carpet dresses for celebrities. Sofia Coppola was subsequently a regular front-row sight at her Sonia Rykiel shows. The designer made a splash with her first collection for the house circa spring/summer 2015, booking the then runway newcomer Gigi Hadid for a show at the landmark Boulevard Saint Germain shop and updating Rykiel’s signature striped knits. Shortly thereafter, the store was remodelled with row upon row of well-stocked lacquer-red bookshelves – the St. Germain neighborhood is famously associated with French intellectuals and artists – and a New York renovation soon followed.

Recent shows have been set at Paris’s École des Beaux-Arts, but de Libran presented autumn/winter 2019 in a showroom earlier this month, an early indication, perhaps, of the recent news. Her final collection for the label is stocked with on-brand stripes, timely trouser suits, and innovative knits. “It’s not about fashion,” de Libran said, “it’s about the iconic values of the house.” Thanking de Libran for her service, a company press release stated: “Management is working on defining the future organisation of the studio to carry on the development of the brand based on her creative strength and know-how.” Whatever Julie de Libran’s next moves are, we’ll be watching closely.

A First Look Inside Balenciaga's New London Store

Balenciaga is about to open the doors to its shiny new shopping mecca on Sloane Street, and, to build hype, Vogue has been granted exclusive access to the space a day early. In typical offbeat style, it’s not shop assistants that will meet customers upon entrance, but two hyper-real mannequins moonlighting as models Eliza Douglas and Takato Harashima.

The first floor has been conceived to look like a display case with bright lighting courtesy of ceiling panel lamps and floor-to-ceiling windows. Interiors-wise, it’s as industrial as you’d expect from the brand. Minimal grey furniture, metal shelves and a system of conveyor rails upon which the collections will be hung contrast against aqua-green carpet. Downstairs it's the same story, but with burnt orange floors helping to create an “atmosphere of public space in a private setting”.

The London outpost is the latest in Balenciaga’s “worldwide architecture project” and expresses “Demna Gvasalia’s interest in the look and feel of diverse retail environments”, according to the brand. As the creative director told Vogue fashion critic Anders Christian Madsen after the autumn/winter 2019 show, in which he sent Balenciaga carrier bags and quilted handbags that resembled grocery shopping nets down the runway: “Balenciaga is for people who actually love fashion and go shopping. That’s what I do.” For a designer who loves the thrill of retail as much as his customer, the Sloane Street outpost must have been a joy to design. Expect the bags – particularly the 30 iterations of the Shopping Tote XXS with the word London stamped underneath Balenciaga's logo – to fly off those conveyor rails.

Met Gala 2019: Everything You Need To Know

The Costume Institute Gala at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art is the biggest event on the fashion fundraising calendar. Founded by publicist Eleanor Lambert, the benefit was first held in 1948 to encourage donations from New York's high society. In its modern incarnation, the most famous faces from the realms of fashion, film, music and art come together to raise money for the Met's Costume Institute and celebrate the grand opening of its latest exhibition. The night is centred on the theme of the new exhibition, with previous themes encompassing everything from Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, to Manus x Machina, Punk: Chaos to Couture and China: Through the Looking Glass. This year's exhibition theme is Camp: Notes On Fashion.

Since 1995, the event has been chaired by US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who enlists public figures to serve as her co-chairs. Past hosts have included Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Amal Clooney and Rihanna. The Met Gala 2019, which marks the event's 71th anniversary, will be co-chaired by Lady Gaga, Alessandro Michele, Harry Styles and Serena Williams.
When is the Met Gala 2019?

What is the Met Gala?

The Met Gala takes place on the first Monday of May, which this year falls on May 6. Red-carpet coverage normally begins at 7pm local time, when team Vogue will begin reporting on all the outfit details.

Where will the Met Gala 2019 take place?

The Met Gala always takes place in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The night begins with a cocktail hour, in which guests walk the red carpet and explore the new exhibition, before sitting down to dinner and the evening's performances. The odds are on Lady Gaga and Harry Styles, this year's co-chairs, to take to the stage.

What is the Met Gala 2019 theme?

Andrew Bolton, curator of the Costume Institute, has framed the exhibition around Susan Sontag’s seminal 1964 essay Notes on "Camp", which posited different ways in which the concept could be construed. Bolton told Hamish Bowles that he found Sontag’s writings so timely with what is going on culturally and politically that, “[he] felt it would have a lot of cultural resonance.” Read Bowles's full musings on what the Met Gala 2019 theme.

What Will Lady Gaga Wear To The Met Gala 2019?

Featuring some 200 fine art and fashion objects, the contents of the exhibition will trace the origins of the subject from the 17th century, specifically the court of Versailles, to the present day. "Basically, we go from sun kings to drag queens,” American Vogue editor Anna Wintour said at a press conference in February. A preview of the Johnny Dufort-lensed catalogue indicates that looks from Moschino’s spring/summer 2017 collection, Gucci’s autumn/winter 2016 offering and Off-White’s pre-fall 2018 edit will feature within the walls of the Met. That Marjan Pejoski swan dress will sit in the display cases alongside a fabulous Schiaparelli flamingo ensemble. And there are myriad Jeremy Scott – “the king of camp” – pieces to add character to the proceedings.

Speaking at the February press summit, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele said: “This is a very important moment because we will collaborate on the creation of this fantastic exhibition that has a DNA that is related to my work, working to the expression of human nature... Camp is a beautiful word.” Michele also paid tribute to Karl Lagerfeld, adding, “I would like to seize this opportunity to thank Karl, who is no longer with us, who has been a great representative of fashion, and who had a great love for life and this kind of work.”

What will everyone wear to the Met Gala 2019?

“Camp: Notes on Fashion” is a fitting theme for the annual Met Gala, which itself is usually a stage for camp costumes, writes Vogue contributor Osman Ahmed in his exploration of the proposition. From Gucci, which is sponsoring the exhibition, to Valentino, Schiaparelli and even Demna Gvasalia’s Internet-fuelled camp fashion.

Victoria Beckham’s Latest Reebok Trainers Are For The Whole Family

Victoria Beckham still remembers the cool kids in school wearing Reebok classics, and so, when it came to conceiving the trainers in her capsule collection for the sportswear giant, inclusivity was at the core of the development process. “It was important to me to design a unisex trainer,” she tells Vogue exclusively of the new Bolton Lo shoes, which drop on March 15. “When I was growing up, I always wanted to wear the same trainers as the boys, so I created something my whole family could wear!”

Upon the launch of her spring/summer 2019 collection, her youngest son, 13-year-old Cruz, told his mother he wanted a pair of the kicks she had designed. “This is a kid who logs on every Thursday morning to see what Supreme products have dropped,” she laughed at the time. “He knows about trainer exclusives all around the world and he likes mine!” What does the sneaker head think of her latest launch? “My kids have a great sense of style and I trust their opinion, especially in sportswear,” she says of putting the Bolton Lo to her brood. “I thought, ‘I’d love to design [another] trainer that they’d want to wear’ – and they do!”

The style builds on the technical prowess the designer built while working with the Reebok design team and the knowledge she accrued after road-testing every product during her two-hour daily exercise sessions. “I wanted to design a trainer that looked good but that was also functional,” she explains. “The Bolton Lo mixes the relaxed attitude of streetwear with the practical performance of sportswear. The minimal design and bold colour scheme stay true to my fashion brand.”

Trainer enthusiasts might recognise the silhouette and moniker as a mirror of the Bolton running shoe that Reebok launched in the ’90s. After it caught Beckham's attention in the archives, she decided to modernise the trainer with an engineered knit upper, reflective taping and multiple lace options. The original overlays give it that ’90s authenticity that she still thinks about, however.

“Every time I go into a product category, it’s because I want that thing in my life,” Beckham noted after the collaboration first came to light. Expect to see the Bolton Lo on the fitness enthusiast and indeed the whole family soon.

V&A To Extend Christian Dior Exhibition Run

From Princess Margaret’s 21st birthday gown to the thousands of paper roses blooming in the garden-themed chamber, the mood of Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams is decidedly British. The exhibition is a reconfiguration of the 2017 Paris show, Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve, at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, with a different thematic journey, 60 per cent new content and an original installation celebrating the country a 21-year-old from Normandy fell in love with upon his first visit to perfect his English.

“The relationship between Monsieur Dior and British culture is fascinating,” the current creative director of Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri, tells Vogue during a preview. “He came here because he wanted to be free – it’s the same story of many. Britain is a place that is strongly about freedom and this comes across in its fashion. I’m lucky to have this important legacy to move the brand forward.”

Led by fashion and textiles curator Oriole Cullen and set designer Nathalie Crinière, Designer of Dreams is the first fashion exhibition to be staged in the V&A's new Amanda Levete-designed galleries, and the largest of its kind at the museum since Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty in 2015. From the recreation of the Avenue Montaigne Dior boutique façade that welcomes visitors, to the temple de l'Amour in Versailles in the "Historicism" section and the expansive ballroom at the exhibition’s close – which features a seven-minute reel of shooting stars and golden glitter rain on the ceiling and walls – this is the V&A in its full glossy regalia.

The first rooms – “The New Look” (a focus on Dior’s famed Bar suit); “The Dior Line” (the designer’s 10 defining looks from his 1947 and 1957 tenure at the house) and “Dior in Britain” (the romance Dior embraced because it made business sense) – look at the clients who embodied Christian Dior’s time as creative director. There’s a sequin-encrusted, Hollywood-esque spring/summer ’50 gown worn by Margot Fonteyn that represented Dior’s experimental phase in the ’40s; the Nonette (Little Nun) suit Dior created for house model Jean Dawnay, who was dismayed that the tailoring did not suggest a more cosmopolitan version of herself; the blood-red silk organza dress novelist Emma Tennant selected for a debutante look that would rock the boat of society conventions; and, of course, the princess-appropriate creation Margaret wore in her 21st birthday portrait.

The off-white gown with straw, raffia and mother of pearl embellishments is displayed next to the Cecil Beaton photograph in order to show the difference between the real version and Beaton’s artistic interpretation. “[Beaton] wanted a very strong, striking image, so he played around with the colours,” Cullen explains during the walk-through. “It's interesting because the Swiss technique of using straw complements the golden colour of the dress, but it’s not something you would normally associate with the royal family.”

The narrative of the exhibition then moves away from Christian Dior’s lifetime and on to the themes that inspired him, as Cullen starts to bring in the artistic directors who succeeded him: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Chiuri. The sumptuous “Travels” section looks at the idea of cultural appreciation and what it means today; “The Garden” room is a sensory delight with paper wisteria, clematis, lily of the valley and Princess Margaret-roses cascading from the ceiling; and “Diorama” is a curiosity closet of colour-coded accessories, trinkets and 123 magazine covers from 1947 to the present day. Look out for the vial of fake Dior blood (the brand did a line of film make-up in the ’60s and ’70s) and the bottle of Bobby perfume (a special gift for loyal customers shaped in the form of Dior’s beloved dog, Bobby).

And then, to “The Ballroom”: the all-out unabashed celebration of the glamour of Dior and the fantasy that’s contained within a ballroom (or today’s equivalent). Displayed within the last section are the liquid-gold numbers Charlize Theron wore in the J’adore fragrance adverts during her 20 years as brand ambassador; the first dress Galliano designed at the helm of the house for Diana, Princess of Wales to wear in 1996; and other extravagant Galliano creations that took six people to mount and are a testament to the strength of the models that wore them.

“When you see fashion presented like this, you can reflect on it in a different way,” says Chiuri. “Fashion is not an image, it’s an experience, and the exhibition is a beautiful experience.” The glorious finale seems fitting considering the designer’s own mission at Dior. “I hope to speak about all the women around the world in a contemporary way,” she surmises. “We’re all different, we all have different styles, but Dior is a place where all women can find a place.”

A No-Deal Brexit Could Cause The UK Luxury Industry To Lose £6.8 Billion

Research commissioned by Walpole, a body for the UK luxury industry, has asserted that up to a fifth of British luxury exports equating to a value of £6.8 billion would be at risk if the United Kingdom left the European Union without a deal on March 29th.

"British luxury businesses are committed to staying in Britain, but we are losing patience with the government taking us to the knife edge of no-deal," said Helen Brocklebank, chief executive of Walpole. “The cost to the UK economy in lost exports from British luxury will be nearly £7 billion and we believe that money should be used to strengthen the country not diminish it. We urge the government categorically to rule out no-deal exit."

The research was commissioned on behalf of the 250 luxury brands that Walpole represents – including Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Harrods and Net-a-Porter – out of concern that Britain's post-Brexit future looks ever muddied as Theresa May struggles to strike a deal.

The biggest financial damages will be a result of tariff changes as 80 per cent of Britain's luxury goods go overseas, with Europe its largest market, according to the research. This is backed up by designer and campaigner Katharine Hamnett. “Seventy-five per cent of our components in fashion are imported, so, after Brexit, they would all become more expensive,” she told Vogue of the threat to the previously fluid trading relationship. “We don’t yet know what import and export tariffs would be imposed, but there will be costs, thus making us less competitive. Delays in shipments would increase, which is terminal for fashion as it is such a time-related business with little flexibility for late delivery. This could cause punitive penalties that would hit the industry financially.”

Indeed, as lawmakers prepare to vote on another revised deal, it is the uncertainty underlining the future that makes the fashion industry so vulnerable. Fashion critic Sarah Mower expanded on the issues that are causing British designers sleepless nights, and international labels to get frustrated at the lack of answers available: “Most of the British fashion talent we have are small, medium and emerging companies,” Mower told Vogueafter May's historic parliamentary defeat in January. “Just the idea of having to deal with the massive complications of extra form-filling, delays in shipping, the stopping of the easy flow of goods and people in and out of Paris, as well as other European locations such as Italy, Portugal and Romania, where fabric is bought and clothes are manufactured, is enough to threaten the closing down of an entire sector of the UK’s £32 billion fashion industry.”

If May’s deal is defeated today, there will be a vote on March 13 regarding whether to leave the EU without a deal on March 29. If lawmakers reject this, a vote on March 14 will discuss delaying Brexit again. As Mower iterated: "We are facing a national emergency; the politicians have failed to show they have concern to protect jobs in fashion or any other UK industry." Walpole's stats only bolster what the industry has feared all along.

Gucci To Present Its Cruise 2020 Collection In Rome

After shooting Gucci’s pre-fall 2019 collection in the archaeological parks of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Selinunte, Alessandro Micheleis continuing to share his interest in the ancient world by holding the brand’s cruise 2020 show in Rome’s Capitoline Museums.

His resort collection will be presented amidst the ancient Roman statues and artefacts in the Capitoline Hill site on May 28. The brand will also donate to the restoration project of the Tarpeian Rock at the top of the Capitoline Hill over the next few years, as the company said the site was “reminiscent of [Michele’s] childhood.” This is not the first time the house has given back to the landmark sites that have become former Gucci show sets. After its 2018 cruise show at the Palatina Gallery overlooking Florence’s Boboli Gardens, Gucci donated $2.1 million to support the restoration of the cultural space.

With Dior set to showcase its cruise 2020 collection in Marrakech on April 29, Prada to stage its cruise show in New York on May 2, Chanel to follow in Paris on May 3, and Louis Vuitton to present in New York on May 8 (two days after the Met Gala 2019), spring is set to be a busy time for the international fashion pack, as the intense industry show cycle shows no sign of letting up for the brands peddling it.

Gucci’s shows, which have previously been held at the Promenade Des Alyscamps in Arles, the cloisters of Westminster Abbey in London and the Palatine Gallery at Pitti Palace in Florence, are always an unique and educational marriage of art, history and fashion, however. Expect the Capitoline Museums' collections of medieval and Renaissance art and the view of the Roman Forum to provide much Instagram fodder come May 28th.

Dior Scores The Highest Media Impact Value At PFW Over Chanel

The total Media Impact Value of Paris Fashion Week was $129 million (£98.5 million), and the engagement was 42.2 million, according to the data crunched by Launchmetrics. But what were the scores on the doors for the brands and which influencers won the shows?

The highest number of relevant media placements on all channels (online, social, print) inclusive of paid, owned and earned mediums and generated a MIV of $17.4 million (£13.3 million). Its 10,700 articles and social media posts had an engagement of 6.6 million. This was bolstered by its 78 owned media posts, which earned it a MIV of $7.1 million (£5.4 million) and an engagement of 4.2 million. Naturally, the noise around the V&A exhibition Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams gave the brand an increased audience to reach to begin with.

Second in line was Chanel. The house had 26,100 posts published about it, generating a MIV of $11.2 million (£8.5 million) and 3.8 million engagement. Ten thousand posts were written about Chanel’s late creative director Karl Lagerfeld, which had an engagement of 475,500. Off-White, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Chloé, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Givenchy and Stella McCartney followed in the MIV leaderboard.

In the influencer market, the top Instagram was posted by Jessica Jung for Hermès. Her front row selfie with the simple comment “Gorgeous show” and an emoji of an orange earned the brand a MIV of $407,000 (£311,000) and an engagement of 347,000 likes.

Chiara Ferragni was crowned the number one influencer of Paris Fashion Week. The entrepreneur, who enjoyed an increased profile last year owing to the publicity around her wedding, earned a MIV of $716,000 (£547,000) and an engagement of 583,000 from two posts.

Metrics aside, the numbers essentially prove that the costly show productions put on by household-name brands pay dividends. And the pictures of the extravagantly decorated Musée Rodin (where the Dior show was set) or the Grand Palais (Chanel) that filtered down your Instagram feeds are worth more than the second it takes you to swipe by them. The formula behind the fanfare is one that is hard for smaller brands with lower budgets to tap into, however. Next season, we can expect that the list of brands rounding up the top spots will largely be the same.

The Queen Just Posted On Instagram For The First Time

Ariana Grande may have replaced Selena Gomez as Instagram's unofficial queen, but the pop sensation now has some competition from actual royalty.

The Queen herself just posted on Instagram for the first time, to coincide with a royal visit to the Science Museum in London on Thursday. Her Majesty made her social media debut as she officially announced its summer exhibition, Top Secret, and unveiled a new space for visitors, called the Smith Centre.

The Queen, who wore her signature colour pop coat and hat combo for the visit, shared a snap of a letter written by computer pioneer Charles Babbage to her great-great-grandfather Prince Albert in 1843, along with a lengthy caption detailing how she'd browsed the museum's archive, and learned about children's computer coding initiatives.

"It seems fitting to me that I publish this Instagram post, at the Science Museum which has long championed technology, innovation and inspired the next generation of inventors," she wrote. The Queen signed off her post Elizabeth R, but did not, much to our disappointment, include any crown emojis.

The royal family has ramped up its social media presence in recent years, with the Kensington Palace Instagram account – which shares snippets from official engagements carried out by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – proving especially popular.

Could a personal account for Her Majesty be next? Something tells us Grande's virtual crown is safe for now.

Calvin Klein To Close Ready-To-Wear Business

After Raf Simons’s departure as chief creative officer in December, Calvin Klein announced plans to relaunch the 205W39NYC collection business under a new name, design approach and creative direction. This master plan has not materialised, however, and the brand, which is still without an artistic lead to shape its identity, announced on March 6 that it will not be continuing its luxury collections.

Michelle Kessler-Sanders, president of Calvin Klein 205W39NYC, will be leaving the company in June after closing down that segment of the business. Fifty employees in the New York office and 50 in the Milan office were let go, and the Italian hub is set to close. Steve Shiffman, chief executive officer of Calvin Klein Inc, will remain in his position and will oversee the changes.

The decision to disengage with the international fashion collection cycle and the costly catwalk shows that come with it certainly has financial merit, but where does that leave the actual product? The brand’s most profitable categories are underwear and denim, which are produced by third party licensing partners. Its aforementioned plan to “[offer] an unexpected mix of influences and [move] at an accelerated pace” is also yet to materialise, although it could likely tap into the model of fellow PVH-owned brand Tommy Hilfiger, which has enjoyed financial success and a raise in profile thanks to see-now, buy-now collaborations with Gigi Hadid and, most recently, Zendaya.

The halo effect, where a brand has multiple strands all influenced by the creative figure at the heart of the brand, did not work for Calvin Klein under Raf Simons. The designer's high-fashion vision, which often riffed thematically on the chasm between the American dream and the American nightmare, alienated the average Calvin Klein customer, who quite probably never fully grasped the meaning of the "205W39NYC" label. Nowhere was this more obvious than in the Calvin Klein stores. In January, the company announced that it would be closing its New York flagship at 654 Madison Avenue, which housed a floor-to-ceiling installation by artist Sterling Ruby showcasing Simons's work.

As the quest for a new Calvin Klein leader continues, it remains unclear what Simons's successor will actually be in charge of designing - if, indeed, it requires a traditional creative director at all.

Barbie Unveils Adwoa Aboah As Latest “Shero” To Mark Doll’s 60th Anniversary

It’s not every day that your status as an inspirational role model is celebrated by becoming a Barbie, but for model Adwoa Aboah the dream is now a reality. To mark the doll’s 60th anniversary on International Women's Day (March 8), Aboah has been unveiled as a “Shero” doll along with 20 other incredible women – from journalists to cycling champions – who actively inspire the next generation. In a bid to close the Dream Gap (when girls start to limit themselves from age five due to their gender), the brand is now focusing on diversity and inclusivity. “I want to help close the Dream Gap, so that girls don’t have to question if they are smart or brave, and have no limits placed on their capabilities by society,” said Aboah.

Aboah, a Vogue contributing editor, has been honoured in part due to Gurls Talk – an online community Aboah founded for women to discuss issues such as mental health, education and relationships in 2015. “I’m passionate about encouraging girls to be anything they want to be, and I’m honoured to be a Barbie Shero,” said Aboah. “I believe by working together we can encourage girls to find their authentic voices and that we can have an impact on the world for the next generation of girls. Through my work with Gurls Talk and partnership with Barbie, I hope we can inspire girls to try to change the world around them, through acts big or small.”

Aboah selected a sentimental outfit for her doll: a Halpern dress, Stephen Jones turban and Christian Louboutin platform sandals – a replica of the ensemble she wore to accept her Model of the Year accolade at the Fashion Awards 2017. “I love that Barbie offers so much choice now, but to see my own doll that has my freckled skin, skin colour, shaved head and my tattoos is so meaningful to me,” said Aboah.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Cara Delevingne And Penélope Cruz Model Karl Lagerfeld's Last Chanel Designs In Paris

Kristen Stewart, Janelle Monáe, Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer joined fashion’s great and good on the morning of March 5 to mark the legacy of Karl Lagerfeld at the Chanel autumn/winter 2019 show. The presentation was prefaced by a moment of silence for the late German couturier – who died on February 19 after devoting his life to the craft – within the "metamorphosis" imagined by himself and his successor Virginie Viard in the Grand Palais. The venue, which has been the setting for some of the designer’s most fantastical creations and a keyhole to his imagination, was decked out to look like a winter wonderland or "Chalet Gardenia" – all log cabins (complete with smoking chimneys) surrounded by snow-capped mountains.

Amidst the models cast for the landmark moment were Cara Delevingne, who was made a brand ambassador in 2015 at the age of 19, Kaia Gerber, who collaborated with Lagerfeld via his eponymous label in 2018, and Penélope Cruz, who was officially brought into the fold last year, too. Her premiere turn on the Chanel runway, wearing what the brand described as a "snow-ball skirt", would have been lightyears away from the first catwalk show she attended as a fan of the brand in 1999.

It was Delevingne who made the first exit and led the final procession down the makeshift catwalk in the peaceful mountain village. Instead of forming a uniform straight line, the women strode arm in arm, embracing the tears as they metaphorically waved goodbye to the iconic designer and his tenure at Chanel, which the show notes described as "eternal and constantly renewed, identifiable and yet different every time".

But, as David Bowie's "Heroes" faded out and the industry filtered out of the fantasy snowscape into the real world and on to the last shows of Paris Fashion Week, it was a poignant reminder of Lagerfeld's impact on the industry as a whole. As the invitations decreed, "the beat goes on..."

Why Oprah Winfrey Was At Stella McCartney's AW19 Show

Stella McCartney and Oprah Winfrey have been acquaintances for some time. “I f*cking worship her!” the designer told Vogue of dressing the media icon for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding in May 2018. Winfrey, it transpired, had come to McCartney with a piece of her knitwear and asked her to make something similar. “That’s what we do at the house of Stella McCartney, we design clothes that women choose to wear, as opposed to letting the clothes wear them,” McCartney added of the personal commission.

And so, when it came to pledging support for McCartney's latest philanthropic project, her friend was happy to oblige. Sitting front row at the Stella McCartney autumn/winter 2019 show next to Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, Karlie Kloss and McCartney's husband Alasdhair Willis, Winfrey spread thes message of McCartney's “There She Grows” campaign. The newly launched social media initiative strives to protect the Leuser Ecosystem, an area of tropical rain forest in Sumatra, Indonesia, by asking people to dedicate a tree and a message to someone, and then nominating another person to do the same. Funds are channelled into the non-profit organisation Canopy, which protects endangered forests, and the Stella McCartney Cares Foundation, which aims to support aid efforts around the ecosystem.

McCartney kicked off proceedings by dedicating a tree to her mother Linda and nominating Gwyneth Paltrow to spread the message last week. The #thereshegrows page on Instagram was soon populated with videos from Drew Barrymore, Selma Blair, Pink, Justin Timberlake and Kris Jenner as the campaign gathered pace.

“Our planet needs us, we need it, and we can have a bit of fun in the process,” McCartney told WWD of the project, before going on to describe her autumn/winter 2019 show as the culmination of her charity drive and “sustainable fashion to celebrate one voice and one love.” Winfrey, one of the most powerful people on the planet, couldn't have been a wiser appointment as ambassador – but the question is, who will she nominate?

Karl Lagerfeld Has The Last Word On Chanel’s New Podcast

Karl Lagerfeld's legacy looms large over the fashion industry, with designers offering homages this season and his final Chanelcollection to be presented on Tuesday March 5 at the Grand Palais. But, there is still more Lagerfeld wisdom to come. The brand most closely associated with the polyglot designer has released a new podcast featuring one of Lagerfeld’s final interviews.

To launch Chanel’s latest 3.55 podcast series, the French fashion house is debuting an interview between Monocle’s editor in chief, Tyler Brûlé, and Lagerfeld. The interview centres on the importance of Chanel’s many métiers and its savoir faire, and was recorded at the Mercer Hotel in New York before Chanel’s Métiers d’Art show, which was presented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in December 2018. In the 45-minute conversation, Lagerfeld extolls his beliefs on craftsmanship, fashion and his work, telling Brûlé, “My job is to propose a fantasy.”

The two continue to discuss the wide breadth of Lagerfeld’s interests, politics to prêt-à-porter, with the designer firmly rebutting the idea that he is obliged to keep the Chanel machine moving. “I hate the expression you have to deliver for,” Lagerfeld says. “I’m delighted to do it.”

Givenchy's Front Row Might Be Fashion Week's Most Unexpected Yet

All it took was Gal Gadot, Sam Smith and Rebel Wilson to blow the Paris Fashion Week front row scene wide open. Clad in their monochrome Givenchy best to take in creative director Clare Waight Keller’s autumn/winter 2019 collection, the trio were a breath of fresh air for press and buyers now entering their fifth consecutive week of international presentations.

It’s also a reassuring sign that Waight Keller, who famously designed the wedding dress of Meghan Markle – the people’s princess – outwardly practices the same inclusive codes as the client who turned the Birmingham-born designer into a household-name couturier. The Duchess of Sussex presented her with the Womenswear Designer of the Year accolade at the Fashion Awards 2018, but alas, she is about to go on maternity leave after her last royal tour around Morocco. It is is not unfounded to think that Meghan might sit on the sidelines at a Givenchy show sooner or later, however. The Queen graced London Fashion Week with her presence a year ago to present Richard Quinn with the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design.

The Tommy Hilfiger show, which showed the designer's spring/summer 2019 collaboration with Zendaya, was also a starry climax of the autumn/winter 2019 show season. Indeed, the Spiderman actor had big shoes to fill. After the fanfare previous collaborator Gigi Hadid generated for the brand, Zendaya called in the big guns: Grace Jones.

While the “Pull Up to the Bumper” performer lent the stage her mighty voice and moves (no hula hoops, sadly), 58 other black models, aged 18 to 70, and including Beverly Johnson, Veronica Webb, Beverly Peele and Pat Cleveland, walked the runway. With Janelle Monáe, Yara Shahidi and Luka Sabbat cheering from the FROW, it was a grand hurrah as a show season marked by sadness after the death of Karl Lagerfeld and uncertainty owing to the political landscape of Europe comes to a close.

Meet The Somali Model Breaking Runway Boundaries In Paris

It was midway through Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week when Ugbad Abdi realised her life was about to change forever. The 18-year-old rising star was prepared to make her fashion debut when she was flown from Iowa, where she had recently graduated high school, to the French capital to walk Pierpaolo Piccioli’s Valentino spring/summer 2019 extravaganza; what she didn’t plan for was coming face-to-face with one of her idols.

“I almost fainted because I didn’t know Naomi [Campbell] was even in the show, let alone right behind me!” shared Abdi, who spotted the supermodel on the line-up during rehearsals. “It was the biggest surprise because I wasn’t even thinking about who would be in the show, because I didn’t even think I’d be a part of it.”

Despite her overwhelming excitement, Abdi maintained her composure on the runway, gliding through Place Vendôme in one of Piccioli’s voluminous gowns with the poise of a seasoned pro. She was a natural alongside veterans like Campbell and Alek Wek, and her Valentino moment captured the attention of casting directors around the world.

Just months later, she was on hand at a majority of this season’s big shows - Burberry, Fendi, Lanvin, Simone Rocha, among them - becoming one of autumn/winter 2019’s break-outs.

Currently making waves in Paris, Abdi is still getting used to the pace of her new career. “The [biggest] challenge would be beating jet lag,” she says. “But I’m travelling to places I never thought I’d go to from a young age and experiencing different cultures.”

Like many emerging models, Abdi was discovered on Instagram. Though friends and acquaintances had encouraged her to pursue modelling since she was a preteen, Abdi wanted to wait and intended to finish school in Des Moines and then take a gap year to test the fashion waters in New York. When she received a direct message from Next Models scout Lacey Hevern two months after graduation, it felt like destiny. “It was the biggest shock because I never thought it would happen so fast,” she recalls.

Within months, Abdi was kick-starting the season by opening Marc Jacobs’s proportion-focused autumn collection in New York. “It still hasn’t hit me,” she says. “I almost started crying [backstage] because that was my first time walking for Marc Jacobs and to be opening the show was a huge deal for me.”

Born in Somalia during its civil war, Abdi spent her formative years in a Kenyan refugee camp, where she was raised until the age of nine, before moving with her family to Des Moines. Living in the camp had a profound effect on her relationship with her tight-knit family. “I never felt like I was missing anything from my life. We had friends, family, food, and a shelter and that was all to be grateful for,” she says, recalling days spent playing traditional games with relatives and other children in the camp. Moving to the United States only strengthened the bond between her and her siblings, whom she considers her biggest supporters. “I call my family after shows to tell them about it, and almost every time I start to cry,” she says. “Tears of joy because this has been my dream and it [still] feels like I’m dreaming.”

Victoria Beckham Is Planning A Version Of The Queen's Speech For Her Fans

Perhaps Victoria Beckham got a taste for tongue-in-cheek videos when filming that original short with British Vogue for her brand's 10th anniversary. Perchance Derek Blasberg, YouTube fashion and beauty director, simply brings out the playful side of the popstar-turned-designer. Whatever the cause, Beckham has launched another YouTube clip giving an insight into her world – or, rather, that of her audacious alter-ego. The one that only comes out in front of the camera, specifically under the direction of Isaac Lock – the man who shot Vogueeditor-in-chief Edward Enninful in cameo, too.

This time around, Beckham has been musing over how to engage with her far and wide audience, in addition to the beauty tutorials that will no doubt soon include her own-brand make-up and skincare. Her natural conclusion? The VB equivalent of the Queen’s speech, because “it’s very popular”. Hers will air not on Christmas Day, but in March, and be “much, much longer”. No preamble, however, will be required.

“When Victoria was flushing out concepts for her channel, my eyes lit up at the 'In The Chair' concept," Blasberg tells Vogue prior to the air date. "I could watch Victoria get ready all day – she’s funny, she’s self-deprecating, she’s witty, she’s just so much fun. This series is a great example of what Victoria's new YouTube channel is all about, and we can’t wait for more!”

The highlight of the video is undoubtedly Beckham taking Lock’s advice to end the broadcast with a call to action. “Smash that bell,” she pouts at the screen. “Make that bell call them daddy.” Beckham, however, maintains that it is underlined by "serious" content. "I’m so excited to be able to share a behind-the-scenes look at how we brought my autumn/winter 2019 collection to life, and all the hard work that goes into creating a show," she explains via email. "As a team we have had a lot of conversations about what my YouTube channel should look like... Clearly it won’t be an hour-long monologue to the nation!"