CFDA Announces NYFW Changes in Order to Fashion a More Compelling Week
It is hardly a secret that New York Fashion Week has routinely been less of a draw than the bigger ticket weeks in Europe. As a result, editors, buyers, and influencers have often skipped the first few days of the bi-annual NYFW's in February and September, descending on New York in time for the biggest events, such as Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, Alexander Wang, Oscar de la Renta, and Marc Jacobs (who has customarily shown on the last day of the week) - just to name a few. And designers – when inevitablyestablished enough – skipped out on NYC to show elsewhere (namely, Paris).
The Council of Fashion Designers of America ("CFDA"), the official scheduling body for NYFW, wants to change this and seemingly attempt to position NYFW in a more compelling light not only to draw the crowd it wants (to support the designers that fall under its umbrella) but to keep those designers here.
As reported by WWD on Tuesday, changes are afoot. Not only will the official week be a day shorter – six days as opposed to seven – the CFDA has secured some stunning bookends for the week. For Spring 2018, new opening acts include Calvin Klein and Tom Ford, who will kick off day one of NYFW and Marc Jacobs will close the week.
These tweaks are likely an attempt to get the desired industry individuals to New York to take in all of the shows (Calvin Klein under the helm of Raf Simons is the most highly-watched among the fashion elite, after all) and to stay for them. It is in the CFDA's interest as the organizer of the week and the governing body of its American design talent members to secure buyers and editorial interest in collections that come down the runway.
Mark Beckham, the CFDA’s vice president of marketing, who oversees the calendar, said feedback from international press and retailers was that the eight-day schedule was becoming too long and costly. So, it is safe to say that at least part of the newly-announced changes are aimed at remedying that.
Additionally, there is the very real practice of designers outgrowing New York Fashion Week, so to speak, or abandoning it for a season or two, which does not bode well for the CFDA’s calendar and the esteem of the week.
Proenza Schouler and Rodarte are the latest to up-and-leave New York in favor of Paris, and they are hardly the first. American designer Thom Browne, who is based in New York, also shows his menswear collection in Paris. Phillip Lim – who shows his womenswear collection in New York – chose to begin showing his menswear collection in Paris in 2011. Rick Owens, the California-born designer, completely relocated his business to Paris in 2003, just under ten years after he launched it. Recently-folded Hood by Air also opted out of New York in favor of Paris several seasons ago.
There are also the one or two-off season switches. The Olsens have taken to Paris to show their label, The Row, in the past, ultimately returning to New York. Tommy Hilfiger and Rebecca Minkoff recently took their shows to Los Angeles and according to WWD, "weren’t guaranteeing a return to New York."
It seems that practical/business-oriented concerns are uniform grounds for most of the designers that have decamped to New York’s French counterpart thus far. Practically speaking, for many designers, showing in Paris generates far greater visibility for their brands in terms of the international fashion press, as well as the world’s most sought-after buyers. And this is certainly part of the equation for New Yorkers that make the move.
As for whether the CFDA’s newly revamped NYFW will help to dissuade some designers from opting out of a domestic fashion week is yet to be seen. And the question always remains: Which brands will be next to go?
Melania Trump Hosts White House Easter Egg Roll Wearing Pink Herve Pierre
First Lady Melania Trump was thinking pink for this year's White House Easter Egg Roll, which she hosted with President Donald Trump on Monday morning.
Melania stepped out in a pale pink sleeveless dress with a cinched waist and flowy chiffon maxi skirt. Surprisingly, the FLOTUS paired her look (a bit bridesmaid-esque if you ask us) with pointy flats instead of her signature sky-high Christian Louboutin stilettos. The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that the pale pink double layer organza dress was made by Herve Pierre, the same designer who created her inaugural ball look.
The day before, Melania wore a belted white dress — also sleeveless — to attend a church service in Palm Beach, Florida with her husband, son Barron Trump and stepdaughter Tiffany Trump.
Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, opted for a similar pastel-hued, long-sleeve, v-neck dress edged in silver metallic around the neckline and waist, and kept her heels.
The infamous "Make American Great Again" hats made an appearance at the annual event, with several kids pairing the hard-to-miss red baseball caps with furry bunny ears.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer also played a role, not as the Easter Bunny like he did during George W. Bush's presidency, but instead reading the children's book How To Catch The Easter Bunny on the South Lawn. At least we'll always have Melissa McCarthy's Spicer skit on Saturday Night Live to remind us what could have been — again.
Puma’s Forever21 Lawsuit Could Be Bad News for You—and Puma
Imagine the drama, when America’s favorite athleisure brand filed a lawsuit against America’s favorite trend shop. This is exactly what happened when Puma began the process of suing Forever 21. After claiming that the retail chain sold dupes of the Rihanna X Puma fur slider sandals, Creeper platform shoe and bow slider sandals, Puma is suing the fast fashion retailer over copyrights, patents and trade dress. But Forever 21 isn’t the only franchise catching heat from Puma; Topshop was also thrown in the mix, after Puma placed a preliminary injunction on the company, ending all manufacturing and sales on Topshop’s bow slide slippers.
“In an attempt to ride the coattails of Puma’s substantial investment in and success with the Fenty Shoes, [Forever 21] is using the Fenty Trade Dress to offer for sale, distribute, market, and/or sell competing shoes that are confusingly similar to the Fenty Shoes,” Puma’s infringement suit claimed.
This isn’t the first time Forever 21 has ran into trouble for allegedly copying celebrity designs. Just this year alone, multiple news outlets have accused Forever 21 of copying Kanye West’s Life of Pablo merch. The year prior, the brand was called out for copying the rapper’s Yeezy Season 3 collection.
It’s no shocker that celebrities and the brands they partner with consider these knockoffs to be bad for business. On the surface it appears that knockoffs cut into profits, but a closer look will leave you wondering if the stigma is well called for. Is it actually possible for counterfeits to boost the sale of the real thing?
This concept was tested, and disputed, in an article on Atlantic’s site, which referenced a study conducted by University of British Columbia business professor, Yi Qian. In China, fake brand-names are made to look incredibly close to the original, even down to the stitching. Yet replicas and dupes still do not have a huge impact on the earnings of the original product.
“When knockoff versions of high-end footwear started popping up in China, Qian saw that sales of the authentic products increased by more than 60 percent—in part because people were made aware that the authentic brand is desirable enough to emulate,” the story pointed out.
Cutting off the production of dupes might actually have the reverse intended effect: dimming the buzz surrounding the product. It could be argued that stores like Forever 21, H&M and Zara are what keep trends afloat. Often times, the colors and designs you see in store verify the trends of the season and this sort of symbiotic relationship often serves the interest of pricier brands like Puma. Puma’s action to remove Fenty dupes from the market could potentially minimize customer interest and hype.
Luxury e-commerce company Farfetch announced Wednesday that it has partnered with Gucci on a 90-minute delivery service. That's right, you can now order a range of Gucci ready-to-wear, bags and accessories and have it delivered directly to your door in just an hour and 30 minutes from the time your order is placed.
The service can be accessed via the Farfetch website and app, and each order is neatly packaged directly from select Gucci stores across four continents in 10 cities, including London, New York, Dubai, Los Angeles, Madrid, Miami, Milan, Paris, Sao Paulo and Tokyo. Each order is then collected by Farfetch couriers and delivered to respective customers.
To get a better sense of the process, Farfetch has created a video starring street style maven Tamu Mcpherson in Milan, actress Yuko Araki in Tokyo and model Laura Love in L.A., who all solve their respective "fashion emergencies" with the service.
Farfetch was founded by Portuguese entrepreneur Jose Neves in 2007 as an integrated online marketplace that supports independent boutiques, both established and emerging designers, in the e-commerce sector. The company doesn't carry its own stock, but instead connects consumers to products from more than 500 boutiques. It's currently valued at more than $1 billion.
Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet recently joined Farfetch as a nonexecutive co-chairman, and said she looked forward to "further realising FARFETCH’s potential, developing its global brand and strengthening its fashion industry partnerships." Perhaps she had a hand in developing this Gucci deal?
Gucci, under creative director Alessandro Michele's reign, continues to be parent company Kering's golden child. The Italian luxury label's sales rose 21 percent in the fourth quarter. The fashion house's latest partnership seems to follow its goal of courting millennials, from its memes campaign to its #24HourAce Snapchat project. Millennials are all about that same-day service, after all.
Our friends over at GQ published an interesting article on the “bitter battle” between Nike and adidas in September 2015. Matthew Shaer writes, “For decades it’s looked like no company could ever topple Nike, the $86 billion global sneaker juggernaut. But just across town from ultra-secretive Nike HQ in Oregon, adidas has suddenly mounted a full-scale arms race, poaching designers, signing superstar endorsements, and unveiling space-age technology in an attempt to dethrone the king.”
With such a bitter rivalry in mind, it is interesting to consider the legal battles between the two brands.
Denis Dekovic, Marc Dolce and Mark Miner
Let us start off with the $10 million lawsuit that almost everyone knows about: the one which Nike in late 2014 against its three top-level designers who jumped ship to adidas, allegedly taking with them a “treasure trove” of confidential information.
According to Nike’s complaint, which was filed in December 2014 in the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for the County of Multnomah, Denis Dekovic, Marc Dolce and Mark Miner violated their non-compete agreements with Nike, which prohibited them from working for a competitor for a year after leaving Nike's employ.
Moreover, Nike alleges that the three men stole millions of dollars in confidential information (think: confidential design and business documents, including drawings for unreleased shoes made for one of Nike’s sponsored athletes) when they had their work computers copied and took that info with them to adidas, where they were allegedly recruited to set up a copycat of Nike's design studio.
Nike further contended that the designers began plotting their departure in April 2013, pitching their studio plan (one that Nike claims is merely a knockoff of its existing design studio, the Innovation Kitchen) to adidas and subsequently bringing adidas information about Nike's plans for the next several years in connection with its running, sportswear and soccer divisions. Adidas reportedly loved the studio idea so much that its execs offered the designers lucrative employment contracts to jump ship from Nike.
Unsurprisingly, that lawsuit “was resolved through a confidential settlement” outside of court in June 2015 and as of March 2016, Marc Dolce, Denis Dekovic and Mark Miner began their tenures at adidas. While the suit was not directly filed against adidas, the German sportswear giant reportedly promised to pay the three designers’ legal fees if Nike sued and so, it was heavily involved. Nike claimed that adidas knew of the non-compete agreements and promised to pay for any legal fallout.
All the while, Nike and adidas were in court in connection with a number of other cases.
Battle Over the Knitted Shoes
For instance, there is the ongoing legal drama surrounding both brands’ knitted footwear designs. Leading up to the London Olympics in 2012, Nike and adidas released their first knitted running shoes: the Flyknit for Nike and the Primeknit for adidas. Nike announced the debut of its shoe in February 2012. Adidas unveiled its knitted footwear the following July, hailing the product as "a first-of-its-kind running shoe."
The adidas debut was swiftly followed by a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Nike in a District Court in Nuremberg, Germany, in which Nike sought to prohibit adidas from making and selling the Primeknit in Germany for the duration of the litigation and depending on the outcome of the case, permanently thereafter. (Nike spokeswoman Mary Remuzzi said the case was filed in and limited to Germany because it's the only place where adidas was making and distributing the Primeknit at the time).
In August 2012, the court granted Nike's injunction, ordering that adidas halt the sale and production of its knitted sneaker. In return, adidas moved to challenge the validity of Nike's European patent a few months later.
While it appeared, given the court's granting of Nike's injunction, that the case was initially looking quite favorable for Nike, the court ended up ruling in adidas’s favor on the grounds that the technology involved in making both the shoe's knitted upper has been around since the 1940s (thereby failing to meet the novelty element required for patentability). As a result, the injunction was set aside, Nike's patent was deemed invalid, and adidas is free to manufacture shoes bearing the knitted elements. But it does not end there, of course.
Since then, both Nike and adidas have started selling their respective knitted footwear in the U.S. and adidas filed to challenge the validity of Nike's patent in late 2012, in an attempt to prevent Nike from filing suit in order to stop adidas from selling the shoe. Adidas is arguing that Nike's patent is invalid based on another party's patent application from 1991, which discloses a process for creating uppers that are cut from a web of textile material and then shaped and connected to a sole - thereby, making Nike's patent obvious (non-obviousness is an necessary element in order to achieve patentability).
That case is still ongoing. Most recently: adidas filed an array of petitions for inter partes review (a proceeding to invalidate an already-issued patent) with the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board in April 2016.
And there is more. There is the 2005 case that Nike filed against adidas in a federal court in Oregon, seeking a declaration from the Court that its use of two stripes in apparel designs does not infringe or dilute adidas's Three-Stripe Mark. (This type of action is called a declaratory judgment). It turns out, Nike was prompted to file this action on the heels of adidas filing lawsuits against Nike in Germany and the Netherlands in connection with Nike's use of two stripes on apparel. On January 20, 2005, a German court entered judgment in favor of adidas and ruled that apparel sold by Nike in Germany incorporating two stripes infringed adidas's Three-Stripe Mark.
A year later, in 2006, Nike filed suit against adidas in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas citing patent infringement – in connection with a patent for footwear with a lateral stabilizing sole (read: elements of Nike's SHOX cushioning technology). According to Nike’s complaint, the SHOX technology took 16 years to develop, as well as considerable financial investment to bring to the market, and is protected by at least 19 separate patents.
Upon filing suit, Nike spokesman, Vada Manager told press: "SHOX was the next evolution in our footwear technology since Nike Air, which debuted in 1979, so for us it's a major core technology. Despite Nike's patent protection, adidas has built shoes that use Nike's technology.” Eric Spunk, a vice president of global footwear at Nike, also released a statement, saying: “It is deeply frustrating and inappropriate when companies borrow or refashion such technologies as their own without making similar investments.”
Meanwhile, legal outlets noted the significance of the mounting legal rivalry between the two sportswear giants, writing: Nike’s “move signals that IP will play a big part in the companies' mounting battle for market share in the quickly-consolidating industry.” That case was dismissed in 2007.
In short, as these two fight for market share in the U.S., in particular, their battle is inevitably spilling over into court. And even with Kanye West in its camp, Nike is still firmly holding its primary position. As GQ stated in its article: Nike is “not only the most popular sneaker manufacturer but the single most valuable apparel brand in the world. Nike has 57,000 employees and a market cap north of $86 billion. And in these halcyon days of sneaker culture—the once humble sneaker having become the focal point of personal style—Nike has a heritage that consumers respect and that its competitors can't buy” – even by way of lawsuits.
Document Journal Celebrates 5 Years With an Intimate Dinner of Fashion Legends
An early spring chill couldn’t put a damper on Document Journal’s five-year fete at The Terrace at Gramercy Park Hotel. The event was packed with fashion icons out to celebrate the cultural magazine’s fifth anniversary with Prosecco and intimate conversations along the terrace’s lengthy dinner table. At one end, you could find Raf Simons deep in conversation with Grace Coddington; another hosted Freja Beha Erichsen and Saskia de Brauw as well as Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson and Grace Hartzel.
Document’s editor in chief, Nick Vogelson, held court at the center table, reflecting on the magazine’s new 550-page issue featuring covers by Inez and Vinoodh, Mario Sorrenti, Willy Vanderperre, Terry Richardson, Richard Bush, and Colin Dodgson. “What we wanted to accomplish was something that felt very timeless. Each issue, we set out to do something that feels both new and like something you haven’t seen before, but also acknowledges the past,” he said. This issue in particular bridges the future/past dilemma with the first editorial of Simons’s Calvin Klein collection; conversations with Toni Morrison, Ashton Sanders, and Steve Reich; and an in-depth piece by Fulbright fellow Ruth Ben-Ghiat about creativity in Weimar Germany. “What’s exciting for me is looking through so many different genres, whether it’s future research on artificial intelligence or how we consume media culture, and figuring out how they address fashion,” continued Vogelson. “I do firmly believe that Document is not just a fashion book. Half the magazine is fashion, but first and foremost I think of it as a cultural book.”
After petite desserts and a touch more Prosecco, the group moved downstairs to the Rose Bar, where they toasted, danced, and partied into the twilight hours. Not bad for a Wednesday.
Fast Fashion Brands Go to Great Lengths to Emulate High Fashion Ones
In line with the notion that fashion is far more about the brands than the individual garments and accessories, themselves, these days, it makes a lot of sense that fast fashion retailers have taken to copying more than just runway looks and are bringing in larger brand elements, as well. Consider Spanish fast fashion brand, Zara. In addition to consistent attempts to recreate Céline garments for a tiny fraction of the price, it is hardly a coincidence that an array of its ad campaigns mirror the look and feel of Céline campaigns, right down to the models.
Here are a few examples: For F/W 2011, Céline’s ad campaign consisted of models mixed with foliage, such as palm leaves and oversized aloe plants. Skip forward to S/S 2014, which saw Zara doing something very similar, albeit in black and white. Again, for F/W 2015, Zara’s campaign seemed to mirror another Céline aesthetic – particularly with its minimalist, dual-image set up, with one image focused on the model and her garment and the other more specifically on a bag.
There is also the use of the same or at the very least, similar-looking models. On the heels of Céline casting new face Karly Loyce for its F/W 2015 ad campaign (and then its S/S 2016 campaign), Zara welcomed Loyce to its roster of models. That’s just one example. Fellow Spanish fast fashion brand, Mango, has also made use of this tactic, tapping Céline girl Mathilde Brok Brandi for a recent Céline-inspired campaign, and Chloe campaign model Antonina Petkovic-lookalike, Steffy Argelich, for one of its Chloe-esque lookbooks.
As evidenced when comparing Zara’s ad campaigns with the high fashion ones it is emulating, it is worth noting that the similarities are not line-for-line, and even if they were, they would not be protectable by law, as the law, at least in the U.S., does not provide protection for ideas (such as the idea of staging models among plants in an ad campaign) or general aesthetics. No, these are not outrageously literal similarities, nor are they illegal.
However, they are similarities, nonetheless, and they are utilized – by Zara or Mango (see Mango's most recent take on Gucci below) or Forever 21 or [insert fast fashion brand name here] – for a very specific purpose: To bolster the already significant similarities between the garments and accessories it offers to those of Céline
More specifically, though, fast fashion brands insert these arguably small similarities for the purpose of getting consumers to make a connection between Céline and Zara, aside from just its cheap knockoffs. Or between Chloe’s campaigns and Mango’s S/S 2016 lookbook. Or Mango’s recent Céline-like lookbook, which featured models in Céline-like garments (and creative director Phoebe Philo’s shoe of choice, the adidas Stan Smith) posed against an orange wall not unlike Céline’s S/S 2016 runway show, which was staged against its own orange background. Or Zara’s recent Gucci-inspired campaign, complete with go-to Gucci model, Peyton Knight, and metallic block-heeled mules and very Gucci-esque loafers.
But the similarities utilized in order to get consumers to make an association between a high fashion brand and a fast fashion one for the purpose of selling stuff do not stop there. Fast fashion brands are also particularly good at getting consumers to associate their brands with high fashion ones by way of styling, design details, and/or color to achieve the same overall look and feel of the original designer pieces in the mind of the fashion-minded consumer without technically infringing the design house it is channeling by copying a logo or print or design patent-protected staple.
You may recall the salmon/maroon and maroon and black pairings of the floral-printed garments that Zara offered for S/S 2014, which were meant to look quite a bit like the floral garments that made up Prada's S/S 2014 menswear and Resort 2014 womenswear collections (without directly replicating the print, which would amount to copyright infringement, as original prints and patterns are subject to copyright protection). The same is true for the sports jersey-style ribbing, which appears in the aforementioned Prada collections. And don’t forget Zara’s take on Raf Simons’ S/S 2014 Dior collection with the very similar color palette and block lettering badges.
Or most recently, Zara's take on Demna Gvasalia's Balenciaga Fall/Winter 2016 collection - with the standout red parka - complete with Lotta Volkova for Balencciaga-esque styling and paired with a similar-looking houndstooth look for effect. The same can be said for the pairing of the camel-colored trench coat and athletic zip up a la Burberry Fall 2016 (that was a stand out look for Burberry that season, as it was modeled by Chinese boy-bander Chris Wu). And if you're really good, you'll notice the red, white, and blue color palette to the zip ups, which is like to bring Gosha Rubchinskiy's Spring 2017 FILA references to mind, which will, in turn, strengthen the Gvasalia reference (as Rubchinskiy is closely tied to Vestments) or remind you of the Russian Olympics tracksuits, which will still likely bring Gosha Rubchinskiy to mind.
In this way, Zara and its fellow fast fashion retailers are freakishly good at infusing particular details into a garment or accessory to get you to think of the high fashion one.
When taken together, it is difficult not to notice the truly great lengths to which fast fashion brands are going to plant a high fashion seed in our minds in connection with their own brands’ garments and accessories, and an almost completely – if not completely – legal manner. And judging by Zara’s recent revenue reports and the sheer number of fans it has that reside in the fashion industry, itself, these little tricks certainly do not seem to be hurting their cause.
Petra Collins Captures Her Family in This New Exhibition
After picking up a camera at age 15, Petra Collins established her career photographing for Rookie and designing graphic T-shirts for American Apparel. Though the 24-year-old artist is best known for her portraits of teenage girlhood and fashion spreads , her latest exhibition turns the lens away from models and celebrities to her own family.
“This is probably one of the most personal shows I’ve ever done,” Collins told the Cut. Titled “Pacifier,” the show opens April 29 at the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival in Toronto, Collins’s hometown. “It’s this mix of my family from all over the world and how it’s connected and disconnected, and then using that to sort of tell my life story,” she explained. Collins photographed her sister and father in Toronto and traveled to Hungary, where her mother lived during the country’s communist regime before fleeing to Canada as a refugee, and shot her mother and sister there along with her cousins. The photographs are more intimate than her previous projects, often shot up close.
Collins said she believes using art to tell a personal story is now more important than ever. “When you see stories about women that aren’t being told by women, it can make you feel like you don’t exist,” she said. “I think it’s important for not just me but women of color, trans women, and people who are marginalized to be telling stories of themselves. It’s important for us to be behind the lens.”
JW Anderson is joining forces with Uniqlo.
The Japanese fast fashion retailer announced Wednesday that it has partnered with the buzzy designer Jonathan Anderson on a British heritage-inspired collaboration that will offer styles for men and women, available this fall.
"Collaborations are incredibly important in design. When I think of Uniqlo, I think of things that are perfectly made, that people have spent a lot of time considering; it’s a difficult job, and I think Uniqlo do it very well," Anderson, who also designs for Spanish luxury label Loewe, said in a statement. "Working with Uniqlo is probably the most incredible template of democracy in fashion, and it’s nice that my design can be accessible to anyone, on all different levels."
The designer, who's based in London, follows in the footsteps of former Uniqlo collaborators Carine Roitfeld, Christophe Lemaire and Jil Sander.
"The British Isles constitute a treasure house of such apparel, with duffle coats and fisherman's sweaters being just two examples. In partnering with JW Anderson, one of Britain's most innovative and creative brands, we will tap into traditions while pursuing progress in designs and fabrics, to craft styles that are enduringly appealing," said Yuki Katsuta, senior vp fast retailing and head of research and design at UNIQLO.
Anderson established the JW Anderson brand in 2008 and has been honored with a number of awards for his innovative designs, including both Menswear and Womenswear Designer of the Year at the 2015 British Fashion Awards, the first time any brand has won both categories. His famous fans include ASAP Rocky, who collaborated with the designer last year, Selena Gomez, Alexa Chung and Kate Bosworth. The designer is also the creative director of Loewe.
Next up, Anderson will make his Italian debut at Pitti Uomo, an international menswear trade event, and show his men's spring 2018 collection in Florence on June 14.
As United Airlines bars passengers wearing leggings, let's note the dos and don'ts for wearing this controversial clothing item
United Airlines made headlines for all the wrong reasons over the weekend, after they barred two girls from boarding a plane because they were wearing leggings.
Twitter users accused the company of "policing" women's clothing and, as such, a discussion has kicked off about the right and wrong ways to wear this clearly divisive item of clothing.
The sartorial issues to navigate when wearing leggings seem to be the 'spray on' effect (an often unflattering look that can be even trickier to pull off if the fabric is thin and goes see-through) plus the trousers' association with sportswear, which, for United, made them too casual to comply with their dress code.
We have Los Angeles to thank for the fact it is now deemed socially acceptable to wear leggings outside the gym. Our glossy neighbours across the pond think nothing of hitting an early spin class and then heading straight to a morning meeting (via a green juice bar, natch). Later they might meet friends at a bar, still wearing the same leg-hugging lycra.
If you thought the gym wear as daywear trend only applied to this Soulcycle set, and Kendall and Gigi’s glossy model posse, you were wrong. A growing number of UK women are realising the potential of lycra outside the gym.
Women are increasingly time poor so being able to transition activewear into a daytime look is important for our customers lifestyle, whether running to an informal meeting or catching up with friends for coffee," explains Matches Fashion buying director Natalie Kingham.
Women are not just wearing the tired joggers they have had for years, but actively buying into ‘athleisure’, as they would any other fashion trend. Net-a-Porter retail fashion director Lisa Aiken reports that the e-tailer has seen a rise in popularity of leggings over past seasons, and thus the team has increased the buy of activewear brands such as Live The Process, The Upside, Nike and Adidas by Stella McCartney. Matches, meanwhile, continues to up its stock of contemporary brands, such as Laain and LNDR, that embrace athleticism in their collections.
In the late 70s, the Fiorucci store on New York’s Lexington Avenue was regularly referred to as the “daytime Studio 54”, partly for its clientele, which included Keith Haring, Calvin Klein and a young Marc Jacobs, as well as for the presence of Andy Warhol who, at one point, had his office in the shop. A 16-year-old Madonna played her first gig there. Photographer Maripol was the store manager. At the Milan store, meanwhile, Haring was charged with painting the walls. It’s this spirit of good times and DayGlo creative energy that Stephen and Janie Schaffer – the new owners of the brand – want to get back to with their relaunch. “What we are trying to do is create the Fiorucci of the future,” says Stephen.
As the British retail veterans who founded 80s underwear chain Knickerbox, you wouldn’t necessarily guess that the Schaffers would be behind the relaunch of this Italian brand, loved by the cool crowd in the US in the 70s and 80s. But Stephen Schaffer has long been a fan. “Elio Fiorucci was the first person to have created what are today our concept/lifestyle stores, and we know it,” he says. “As a young retailer, Fiorucci inspired everyone. People would perform, people would be seen, people would hang out …”
Indeed. Fiorucci was founded in 1967, so celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. It became known for a kind of cheeky disco-friendly sexiness – with its high-waisted jeans, shiny platforms and cherry prints on knitwear, as well as endless variations of the Fiorucci logo, some created by names including Memphis’s Alessandro Mendini and i-D’s Terry Jones. If it wasn’t cheap, it was certainly desirable: novelist Douglas Coupland has said that visiting the colourful shop – where he bought the only thing he could afford, a postcard – meant he “stopped caring about school”.
Fiorucci has remained important in the pop culture universe for half a century: from the dancefloor – it’s mentioned in a lyric in Sister’s Sledge’s He’s the Greatest Dancer (“Halston, Gucci, Fiorucci / He looks like a still, that man is dressed to kill”); to the art world – Mark Leckey made a short film about British nightlife called Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore; to your wardrobe – designers including Jacobs often reference the label, looking back to its 80s heyday.
Schaffer thinks it works for now because of the optimism. “The complete obsession with playfulness and disco and fun,” he says. “When you look at the news you think: ‘God, we need it’ … There’s a desire for escapism.” Elio collaborated with Disney on jeans, financed Basquiat film Downtown 81, sponsored parties at Studio 54 and worked with Pacha in Ibiza. He famously created stretch denim – and made jeans fashionable – after a trip to the White Isle in the late 70s. “He watched all the girls walk out the club in the morning with their jeans on and they walked into the water,” says Schaffer. “He thought: ‘Look how amazing they look when they’re wet.’ He went to Dupont and said: ‘Let’s put Lycra into denim.’” Perhaps Elio’s genius came from taking that spirit and turning it into product. People might not have gone to the all-night party, but they could wear the jeans.
Elio’s Fiorucci went into administration in 1989. The Schaffers acquired the brand – which had previously been owned by Japanese denim brand Edwin, and had a relaunch in the late 90s – at the end of 2015, weeks before Elio died.
“We inherited this incredible graphic archive and there were the keys to a warehouse in Milan with 10,000 garments,” says Schaffer. For the relaunch of the brand, about of 3,000 pairs of jeans will be for sale, along with new designs, like a reworking of the high-waisted jeans Fiorucci became known for (£165), denim jackets with “Fiorucci Angels” written on the back (£265), and T-shirts with the angels (£55) – a logo that the label became famous for. Each piece will come with a Fiorucci Panini sticker, a cult item well-known to fans of the brand.
This capsule collection went on sale at Barney’s in New York earlier this year. This week it will launch with a pop-up at Selfridges in London, and a 4,000-square-ft Soho store will open in London in September – complete with a basement club.
Drew Barrymore on How Being a Mom Has Changed Her Shoe Game
Actress and entrepreneur Drew Barrymore has a new gig. This spring, she is the acting brand ambassador for Crocs’s new global marketing campaign, “Come As You Are,” which celebrates the uniqueness of individuals and inspires everyone to be comfortable in their own shoes.
According to Terence Reilly, chief marketing officer for Crocs, “Drew’s style is very relatable to the Crocs consumer, so, of course, not only is she featured in our ‘Classic’ clog — the shoe just listed as a 2017 trend to watch by Vogue — but she also introduces new and unexpected styles to consumers across the globe, including our exciting spring/summer collection.”
Here, Barrymore talks about her love affair with Crocs, her footwear faves and why comfort is important to her.
On partnering with the label: “First of all, I love the term. I know what a ‘croc’ is. It is a happy word. The shoes are associated with something optimistic, and the campaign is called ‘Come As You Are.’ It goes back to being optimistic. You might have to fight to retain it, but optimism is wonderful and crucial to life. I felt like I could contribute because I like joy. I also love the shoes. I like the design element, the art of making something.”
On her own style: “I know I can’t wear anything I don’t feel good in. I love a comfortable pant — I am wearing jeans from the Gap right now. As you grow up, your style evolves and changes. [My wardrobe] can never be too serious, and there’s always a pattern or [something] vintage in there as well.”
On brand preferences: “I was drooling over Anna Sui’s runway show. You can see so much fashion on Instagram now. I love Club Monaco. For shoes, I like Fiorentini+Baker. I also like the rubber sandals you buy in Hawaiian supermarkets.”
On the importance of comfort: “I don’t know how Carrie Bradshaw walked around New York in heels all the time [in ‘Sex and the City’]. That was pretty unrealistic. I wouldn’t last three blocks in heels in New York. The majority of my time now is spent in a comfort shoe. It has to be wearable for long periods of time. I am a mom, so I am on my feet all the time. I could not stuff my foot into a Christian Louboutin at this point in my life.”
On shopping habits: “I am not a big online shopper. I mostly go to stores and shop at a lot of vintage flea markets.”