Victoria’s Secret’s Fall from Grace

Image courtesy of gotceleb.com

Tragedy comes in many forms. And when an iconic fashion brand stumbles, making critical brand and marketing mistakes that bewilder consumers, causing them to question brand identity and integrity, there should be a clarion call for disdain and regret.The drama around Victoria’s Secret’s innumerable brand hiccups are not necessarily fodder for tragedy in the mode of Shakespearian classics—no Lady Macbeth “out damned spot.” However, Victoria’s Secret’s fall from grace is of epic proportion, considering that for over three decades Victoria’s Secret was the go-to lingerie brand for female consumers.

Image courtesy of bellazon.com

Though there has been a lot to cringe about in recent years, Victoria’s Secret is still the largest retailer of women’s lingerie in the US. Founded in 1977 in San Francisco by Roy Raymond, and his wife, Gaye Raymond as a response to badly packaged, unflattering American women’s lingerie, Raymond selected the moniker Victoria for his fledgling company in homage to the refinement of the Victorian Era. “Secret” referred to what was encased in the undergarments.In its first year, Victoria’s Secret grossed $500,000 in sales. Roy Raymond quickly established a niche for his brand in a market where female consumers usually bought undergarments in packages of threes with nightgowns and robes being dowdy or cheaply made. Only specialty brand’s like Frederick’s of Hollywood sold sexy lingerie to a very limited consumer base, mostly through catalog sales.

Image courtesy of vox.com

Roy Raymond early on established four Victoria Secret stores in the Northern California area. By 1982, the company was grossing over $7 million dollars in annual sales with 55% of sales coming from catalog sales.In 1983, Roy Raymond sold Victoria’s Secret to Leslie Wexner, creator of Limited Stores Inc. for $1 million dollars. Wexner transitioned Victoria’s Secret’s merchandise to more mainstream underwear that was packaged in a glamorous, but tasteful way. By 1986, Victoria’s Secret was the only national chain of lingerie stores and was stealing market share from department stores with over 100 stores nationally.

Images courtesy of huffingtonpost.com, youtube.com, and etonline.com, respectively

By the late 80s, the brand ventured into the fragrance industry. And by the early 90s, Victoria’s Secret began using supermodels to promote its products, culminating in an annual extravagant runway show. The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show began airing on primetime American television in 1995, streaming the show online in 1999. While viewership of the Victoria’s Fashion has grown from an initial viewership of 1.5 million viewers to 9.7 million viewers at its peak in 2013, in recent years viewership had declined as female consumers have moved from seeing sexy supermodels as aspirational figures. “ Women don’t want to be viewed as stereotypical sexy supermodels buying lingerie to impress men,” explained retail analyst Paul Lejeuz.Additionally, in the past five years Victoria’s Secret has been the subject of a laundry list of industry scandals. From the revelation that Victoria’s Secret was employing prison inmates in the US to produce product, to negative comments about plus-size and transgender models, to the lack of people of color working on production crews for their annual runway show, Victoria’s Secret’s decline in retail sales, as well as having major competition from such brands as Kiki de Montparnesse, Yandy, Aerie, ThirdLove, Lively, Journelle, and several others.

Prison labor scandal

Coinciding with Labor Day in the US, several US prison communities engaged in a continued national strike by refusing to work or eat. (The strike actually began on August 21 and ramped up on Labor Day.) This prison strike highlighted that prison labor is being used to make goods and services that consumers use daily, and that prison labor is paid as little as one dollar a day or less. In 2004, it was estimated that prison labor produced more than $2 billion dollars worth of commodities, according to a September 3, 2018 article on cbsnews.com.

Victoria’s Secret is one of the said companies that used prison labor to create their product. It had been discovered that Victoria’s Secret since 1995 has been purchasing some of their more casual lingerie from a company called Third Generation. A 2015 article in the Washington Post revealed that Third Generation employed 35 inmates in at the Leath Correctional Facility in Greenwood, South Carolina to make casual lingerie and other clothing products.

Third Generation’s president explained that they turned to prison labor because “[they] could not find enough qualified industrial sewers in rural South Carolina, and the prison labor solved a real problem for us in that respect.” Victoria’s Secret has since stopped using Third Generation as a subcontractor to make its’ casual lingerie.

There have been other recent scandals that Victoria’s Secret has worked hard to qualm. And many of these scandals have come on the heels of the company’s declining retail sales.

Image of Adriana Lima’s last walk courtesy of etonline.com

Victoria’s Secret’s tokenismIt was recently discovered that Victoria’s Secret uses very few people of color as production staff for their annual runway show. Though the brand for several seasons has increased the amount of models of color on the runway, backstage is almost lily white. (And many of the production jobs are union jobs that pay very well.) Is the inclusion of more of models of color on the runway just window dressing? Some fashion insiders chorus that tokenism is the order of the day at Victoria’s Secret while others contend that the brand is no guiltier than similar brands of its ilk.

No place for trans models

In an interview with Vogue magazine in November, Victoria’s Secret’s Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek was asked if the company felt “the need to address the way the market is shifting,” featuring plus-size and transgender models. Though Razek stated that the brand had “… looked at putting a plus-size model in the show …” Razek continued that he would not consider including a transgender model in the annual runway show.

Later, Razek apologized for his comments; “My remarks regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show came across as insensitive. I apologize. To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show,” as reported in the Washington Post.

Bella Hadid and Halsey by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Razek’s remarks caused lots of clapback from consumers and celebrities. Halsey who performed at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret show taped on November 8, posted on Instagram and Twitter after the national telecast on December 2, “I have adored the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show since I was young. Performing this year alongside other amazing artists and hard-working models/friends was supposed to be the best night of my year. However, after I filmed the performance, some comments were made regarding the show that I simply cannot ignore.” “ As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have no tolerance for a lack of inclusivity. Especially not one motivated by stereotype,” Halsey continued. Halsey ended by stating, “ And complete and total acceptance is the ‘fantasy’ that I support.”Plummeting stock and viewership

The New York Times recently detailed that while Victoria’s Secret is still the top lingerie brand in the US, its sales have declined significantly with stock dropping 41 percent. According to the New York Times, in a Wells Fargo 2018 survey 68 percent said they like Victoria’s Secret less than they used to.

Adding to declining sales and failing stock prices, viewership for the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show dipped to 3.7 million viewers compared to 5.37 million in 2017. Washington Post’s Robin Givhan commented that, “the show was too boring to be reviewed.”

Fall 2018 campaign image courtesy of twitter.com

What’s next?Though many Victoria’s Secret models still contend that they are a part of a sisterhood and that when they walk in the show “they are being sexy for ourselves and for who we want to be, not because a man says who have to be …,” it is very apparent female consumer’s taste has evolved past Victoria’s Secret’s brand DNA. If the brand wants to align itself with consumers changing tastes, the brand has to reposition itself in the market, evolving past its current design aesthetic and brand awareness.

Oh, how the mighty has fallen!! Can Victoria’s Secret forge a new direction? Only time will tell!!

—William S. Gooch

Wednesday Sample Sales: Week of November 26, 2018

Fashion Reverie seeks to keep its loyal readers informed of great samples sales. Just remember, product disappears quickly, so it is important to get there early.

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

BRAND: Cinzia Holiday Sample SaleWHEN: 11/28 and 11/29; Wednesday (9:30am–6pm, doors close at 5:45pm),

Thursday (9:30pm–5pm, doors close at 4:45pm)

WHY: Women’s fall/winter coats at a discount. Two days only. New merchandise. Assorted sizes available at extra low prices. CASH ONLY. All sales final.

WHERE: 30 Central Park South Penthouse

Image courtesy of Lela Rose

 

BRAND:  Lela Rose Fall 2018 Sample Sale

WHEN: 11/28–11/30; Wed. (8am–8pm), Thurs. (9am–7pm), Fri. (9am–3pm)

WHY: Up to 75% off Pre-Fall and Fall 2018 merchandis

 WHERE: 260 West 36th Street, 2nd Floor

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

 

BRANDHELLESY Sample Sale

WHEN: 11/29–11/30; Thursday (9am–7pm), Friday (9am–5pm)

WHY: Prices up to 90% off retail at the HELLESSY Sample Sale. Tons of pieces from resort 2019, spring 2018, and the Archives at amazing prices. Fall 2018 will also be available at 40%–50% off.

WHERE: 270 Lafayette Street, Suite 610

 

Image courtesy of neimanmarcus.com

BRAND: Eileen Fischer Sample Sale

WHEN: 12/01–12/02; Saturday (10am–6pm), Sunday (11am–6pm)

WHY: Samples of current Resort/Holiday merchandise ranging in price from $49–$299. Sizes range extra small to medium; other sale merchandise in a full size range, starting at 40% off.

WHERE: 314 East 9th Street, bet. 1st and 2nd Avenue

Image courtesy of HANRO

 

BRAND: HANRO Holiday Sample Sale

WHEN: 12/03–12/06; Monday (3pm–7pm), Tues.–Wed. (8am–6pm), Thursday (8am–2pm)

WHY: 75% off of retail of luxurious loungewear, sleepwear and underpinnings for men and women. RSVP required

WHERE: 358 Fifth Avenue, 6th floor

—Staff

Fashion News Alert: Cyber Monday 2018 Breaks Records, Amy Schumer’s Fashion Line, Glamour’s Last Print Issue, and Condé Nast Merges Brands

We are all aware of the struggles of print magazine publishing. Condé Nast has decided to solve this, if temporarily, by merging its international titles. “Operating as one global company will only help us realize our ambition to deliver the highest quality journalism, experiences and value to our audiences, advertisers and partners,” Condé Nast said in a statement.

With this new merger, Bob Sauerberg, CEO of Condé Nast, will be exiting the company after someone is found to replace Sauerberg in the newly created position of global chief executive. Sauerberg had been with the Condé Nast since 2006 and CEO since 2016.

Condé Nast’s portfolio includes Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, The New Yorker and GQ; while Condé Nast International produces such esteemed publications as British Vogue, British GQ, Love Magazine, Tatler and Wired, among others.

Image courtesy of wwd.com

Amy expands

Comedian/Actress Amy Schumer is using her name recognition to go beyond the entertainment industry. Schumer announced recently that she is launching her own fashion line with costume designer Leesa Evans for Saks Off Fifth.

Schumer’s ‘Le Cloud’ collection will contain 23 ready-to-wear wardrobe essentials, such as tops, pants, skirts, a jumpsuit and outerwear, designed for women of all shapes and sizes; offering a range of comfortable, wearable separates in neutral shades and in sizes from a 0 or XS to a 20 or XXL.

“We are making beautiful, comfortable and wearable clothing that is accessible to real women,” she said added in a statement. “A Le Cloud customer will feel confident and powerful when wearing these pieces. We take our product seriously, but not ourselves.”

Le Cloud will be available in Saks Off Fifth flagship store on 57th Street in NYC and online, as well as Beverly Connection stores in Los Angeles on December 13. Price points range from $38 to $248.

Image courtesy of nytimes.com

Bye, bye Glamour, well kind of

According to The New York Times, Glamour magazine is cancelling its print editions, transitioning completely to a digital presence. Glamour’s last print edition landed on newsstands on November 27.

Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times commented that this last issue, “should have been bigger … When you are holding something in your hands that is the last of its kind, you feel it ought to be more … special. A collectible. Something worthy of a time capsule, or a memory box.”

The last issue of Glamour is a small, reduced issue of less than 100 pages with Amber Heard on the cover, a Meghan Markle article, and other articles of lesser note. Glamour is the latest Condé Nast publication that has struggled of late and is going the route of only a digital presence. (Self, Lucky, Details, and Brides magazines have all fallen by the wayside.)

Glamour launched in 1943 as a fashion and beauty magazine “for the girl with a job.”

Image courtesy of webtechpreneur.com

Cyber Monday shopping bonanza

Cyber Monday 2018 has turned out to be the largest online shopping day of all time in the US. Cyber Monday 2018 increased online sales by 19.8% in 2018 compared to last season, breaking records of 7.9 billion.

Online sales conducted on smart phones contributed to 43.6 of websites visited with many consumers conducting purchases through their smart phones and tablets. “Sales coming from smartphones hit an all-time high of $2 billion and we saw a significant spike in the buy online, pickup in-store trend,” explained John Copeland, head of Marketing and Customer Insights at Adobe, as reported on fashionnetwork.com.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion Tea with Kristopher: Month of November 2018

Photo courtesy of bellabouttown.com

Fashion Reverie hopes everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving! And just because our staff was off celebrating Turkey Day doesn’t mean Fashion Reverie forgot about inside fashion truths. Get ready for your cup to ‘runneth over’ as Fashion Reverie serves you a nice hot cup of fashion zest to go with your leftover pumpkin pie.Elderberry Tea

A certain top designer who is creative director of a major fashion brand has churned out some less than stellar recent collections, and these lackluster fashion designs is causing consternation and disappointment to the holding company. The brand’s third quarter results were less than promising for a brand considered a darling of the fashion industry. He better turn this around by Fashion Week, or he’ll find himself out of a job.

Green Tea 

A top fashion company has been caught underpaying their production staff. For a company whose senior executives are known for making easy six-figure salaries, this revelation was quite shocking. With the overtime hours these employees are working, they are allegedly making less than minimum wage.

Photo courtesy of windsor.com

Black TeaAnother top fashion brand, whose televised runway show is one of the toughest to get into every year, has been called out for the lack of diversity in its production staff. Apparently, hardly any people of color can be seen working behind the scenes of this billion-dollar company. We may have a black man at the helm of British Vogue, but fashion still has a lot of work to do in diversifying itself.

Ginseng Tea

A longstanding fashion PR firm has made an impressive comeback by acquiring a large slate of international clients. Business is brighter than ever at this New York–based company, and they are picking up new accounts by the month. It might be hard times for fashion, but everything’s coming up roses in their front and backyards.

—Kristopher Fraser

Editors’ Pick: El Vaquero Boots

Traditionally, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of taking out the heavy coats, thick sweaters, and weather-ready footwear. As temperatures drop throughout the US, and chilly winds cause consumers to layer garments against crisp, wintry chills.

With this change in temperature and the swapping of lighter clothes for heavier garments, appropriate fashionable footwear should be a consideration. Booties have been all the rage for several seasons and you cannot walk out of your door without seeing a variety of bootie styles. Still, if you want to rock booties this season, why not don a style that will make you stand out among even the fashionable set?

For fall/winter 2018 El Vaquero boots will cause heads to turn and set you apart from the plethora of bootie footwear lovers. A line of custom women’s boots and footwear made with artisanal flair from revered Tuscany traditions of shoemaking. The designs have drawn many celebrity fans including Adriana Lima, Madonna, Heidi Klum, and Beyoncé.    

El Vaquero boots guarantee quality of materials, attention to details and research of new ideas that brings excellent results, admired around the world. Above all, comfort reigns. The complete ease, basic characteristic of our boots, is the achievement of years of research on materials and careful attention to the design of the shoe. El Vaquero is much more than a simple boot. It’s the set of creativity, care and professionalism of artisans that put heart and soul into their work every day for more than 40 years.

Photos courtesy of Mannfolk PR

Each pair is conceived from the foundational last and is then precisely crafted from materials that undergo a meticulous tanning process that introduces a vintage appearance to the leather and renders shading variations during the custom dip-dye coloring. The natural treatments utilized in the process are a testament to the brand’s abiding respect for people and nature. The resulting finely made Italian leathers and other high-quality materials such as calf suede, python prints, and shearling provide the shoes incomparable durability and comfort. Founder and designer Valerio Giuntoli works closely with son and company CEO Nicholas Giuntoli in creating the El Vaquero look for independent women who celebrate style with an unconventional attitude.The 80s Native American moccasin style has evolved and now reflects the modern woman who is a soul explorer, a travel passionate and pure wanderlust. Every experience enriches her style, making it unique and sophisticated. Her look is a combination of thousand of trips, with a few, firmed principles: respect for nature and love of art. This makes her a modern bohemian, a bit “rebel gypsy” and ‘retrò hippie’, perfect ambassador for our brand.

For more information go to elvaquero.it.

—Staff

Fashion Flashback: Barbara Karinska

Image courtesy of flickr.com

As we move into Nutcracker season, Fashion Reverie looks back at costume designer Barbara Karinska, known for creating iconic stage costumes for the New York City Ballet, the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and Hollywood films of the 1940s and 1950s.

Born Varvara Andreevna Jmoudsky in Krakhov, Ukraine to a successful textile family, Barbara Karinska as a child was exposed to the arts and a wealth of beautiful Ukrainian embroidery; however, she opted not to follow in her father’s footsteps, studying law at the University of Kharkov. After her first husband, industrialist Alexander Moissenko died in 1909, Karinska married Nicholas Karinsky, a successful lawyer whose law practice was in Moscow, prompting Karinska and her children from her previous marriage to move to Moscow in 1916. Karinska also practiced law during this time in addition to hosting salon nights in the family’s spacious apartment after nights of theater and ballet.

Karinska’s salon became very popular and she began exhibiting her paintings of ballet scenes in a Moscow exhibit  with her painting gaining critical and financial success. After Czar Nicholas abdicated in 1917, Karinska’s husband was appointed Attorney General and Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals of the District of St. Petersburg. After the Bolshevik Revolution, Karinska’s husband became a marked man by the Red forces, causing him to flee to Russia, eventually settling in New York City.

After her husband escaped to the US, Karinska maintained a successful embroidery school in Russia during the reign of Lenin. After Lenin’s death and the Stalinists began to come to power, Karinska escaped Russia with the family jewels hidden in her daughter’s chapeau.

Marlene Dietrich in “Kismet” and Alicia Markova in “The Nutcracker”

First settling in Paris, Karinska after exhausting the family fortune found work creating costumes for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. This is where Karinska first worked with George Balanchine. Karinska quickly became a sought-after costume designer for in Paris, collaborating with Jean Cocteau, Berard, Derain, Cassandre, Balthus, Miro, Balanchine and others.After moving to London, Karinska began a long collaborative relationship with Cecil Beaton while costuming ballet, cinema, and musical revues. She also began experimenting with new fabrics and materials never before used in theatre.

Karinska with Lincoln Kirstein image courtesy of pinterest.com and Gypsy Rose Lee image courtesy of Louise Dahl-Wolfe

Karinska finally settled in New York City in 1939 before World War II broke out in Europe, reconnecting with Balanchine who had founded the School of American in New York City. Karinska immediately began costuming with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Comfortably settled in New York City, Karinska established her company KARINSKA Stage and Art Inc. where Karinska created costumes for film, stage, theater, ballet, and Sonja Henie’s ice shows.Karinska along with Dorothy Jeakins won an Oscar for the 1948 “Joan of Arc” and was nominated for an Oscar for “Hans Christian Anderson.” Other Hollywood films include “The Pirate,” and “Blue Skies.”

Karinska costumes for the New York City Ballet’s courtesy of pinterest.com

Perhaps, Karinska was important contribution to stage costumes was her ‘powder puff’ tutu. Before Karinska, tutus traditionally looked like pie plates and in ballets that had a large female corps de ballet these pie plate tutus inhibited large-scale movement with female dancers’ tutus bobbing up and down after the dancing had stopped. Karinska came up with the shorter tutu skirt composed of six or seven layers of gathered net, each layer a half inch longer than the preceding layer. The layers were tacked together for a fluffier, looser appearance.Karinska’s ‘powder puff’ tutu was first used in Balanchine’s “Symphony in C,” and became popular in Balanchine’s 1954 “Nutcracker.” “ I attribute to [Karinska] fifty percent of the success of my ballets to those that she dressed,” explained Balanchine. The ‘powder puff’ tutu prototype is now commonly used in most ballet companies around the world.

Karinska’s costumes for George Balanchine’s “Jewels”

Karinska collaborated with Balanchine in over 75 ballets. The last ballet costumes that Karinska designed for the New York City Ballet were the costumes used in Balanchine’s 1977 “Vienna Waltzes.”Barbara Karinska died in 1983, months after Balanchine’s death. In 1999 she was posthumously inducted into the National Museum of Dance’s Mr. & Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame.

—William S. Gooch

Wednesday Sample Sale: Week of November 19, 2018

Fashion Reverie seeks to keep its loyal readers informed of great samples sales. Just remember, product disappears quickly, so it is important to get there early.

Image courtesy of iconiclife.com

BRAND: Zang Toi Sample SaleWHEN: 11/24 and 11/26; Saturday and Monday (11am–5pm)

WHY: Up to 70% off on runway samples

WHERE: Zang Toi Boutique, 1046 Lexington Avenue

Image courtesy of shopify.com

 

BRAND: Chaser Brand Sample Sale

WHEN: 11/26–11/30; Mon.–Fri. (10am–5pm)

WHY: Women’s and men’s clothing at a discount 

WHERE: 231 West 39th Street, Suite 924

Image courtesy of Ramy Brook

BRAND: Ramy Brook Sample Sale

WHEN: 11/26–11/30; Mon.–Fri. (10am–6pm)

WHY: Shop beautiful dresses, pants, tops, skirts, separates and more, starting at 50%

WHERE:  231 West 39th Street, Suite 1113

Image courtesy of fashionista.com

 

BRAND: Zadig & Voltaire Sample Sale

WHEN: 11/26–12/02; Tues. (9am–8pm), Wed.–Thurs. (10am–7pm), Fri.–Sat. (10am–8pm), Sunday (10am–5pm)

WHY: 260 5th Avenue, between 28th & 29th Streets

WHERE 241 West 37th Street, Suite 604

—Staff

 

 

 

Weekend Fashion News Alert: Ralph Lauren to be Knighted, GAP to Close More Stores, Cardi B’s Alleged Fashion Theft, and Amazon Strikes

Image courtesy of atlantablackstar.com

Hip-hop artist Cardi B’s fashion line, which is sold on Fashion Nova, is doing very well. The collection launched on Fashion Nova on November 14 and has already sold out most of the garments. However, pop artist Ashanti’s sister Kenashia Douglas has accused Cardi B on Instagram of stealing her fashion designs. Douglas had coincidentally shared a throwback image of a garment from her fashion line when it came to her attention that Cardi B had an image of a very similar garment from her fashion line on Fashion Nova. “Peep how the universe works. I was planning to put this pic up as a throwback Thursday today because I’m tired of it,” wrote Douglas on Instagram. “I posted it last year, as a creative things get old and annoying fast. And I peeped people, certain designers I’ve worked with even try to run with the design and make it their own…”

Though several people who are fans of Douglas’ line have commented on Instagram that Douglas’ garments look to be better made than Cardi B, Douglas has not talked about any legal action against Cardi B. Douglas is taking the design rip off as a compliment.

Image courtesy of harpersbazaar.com

Sir Ralph

It is now official; Ralph Lauren will be knighted by as an honorary commander knight of the British Empire. Lauren will be the first American designer to receive this honor.

This honor comes on the heels of the 79-year-old Lauren celebrating the 50th anniversary of his eponymous fashion brand. “In his storied career in fashion, business and philanthropy, [Ralph] Lauren has played a key role in forging transatlantic cultural and economic connections,” said Antony Philipson, British consul general to New York, in a press release.

Ralph Lauren will be present be presented with the British knighthood during a ceremony in 2019.

Image courtesy of Gap

Continued struggles for Gap

There are more struggles for American apparel group Gap Inc. On Tuesday there was an urgent call by CEO Art Peck to close of hundreds of stores.

There are hundreds of other stores that likely don’t fit our vision for the future of Gap brand specialty store, whether in terms of profitability, customer experience, traffic trends, importantly the ROD structure and/or near and long-term relevance to the brand,” Peck said in a fashionnetwork.com.

“There likely will be a cash cost to exit many of these stores, which we will attempt to minimize with appropriate sequencing. But I plan to exit those that do not fit the future vision quickly. I’m going to move thoughtfully, but aggressively.”

This announcement encompasses 775 Gap store closings globally with some flagship store closings in major cities. Gap Inc. has been have market struggles for some time with a very weak quarterly performance.

Image courtesy of cnet.com

Amazon’s Black Friday strike

Black Friday/Cyber Monday is a big day for Amazon. What may have been a bigger day for the mega online retail giant were the strikes at Amazon logistic centers in Germany and Spain on Friday with workers walking off the job.

Germany had 620 workers striking, demanding higher pay and labor contracts that guarantee healthier working conditions. Germany’s Verdi services union called for the strike for 24 hours starting on Black Friday.

We are entering the end of year spurt, the most stressful time for employees,” said Verdi representative Mechthild Middeke in a fashionnetwork.com article. “Especially on a day like Black Friday, employees should be the central focus.”

Eighty to 90% of Amazon workers at Spain’s biggest warehouse, San Fernando de Henares, also went on strike on Friday. Spanish workers’ strike went into Saturday.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion Reverie’s 2018 Winter Wonderland Coats

Baby, it is cold outside! Not to worry though, Fashion Reverie has some great selections to keep you looking fashionable this winter season. Don’t let a little snowfall keep you from looking your best. Who says you can’t have fashion and function?

Image courtesy of bloomingdales.com

Mackage Kay Lavish Fur Trim Down CoatPrepare for those arctic temperatures in luxury with a fur trim. This Mackage coat is water-repellent, water-resistant and breathable, having all the essential functions for snow and sleet. For the leather lovers, this coat also features a leather-trim zip-front closure and two leather-trimmed slit side pockets.

Image courtesy of Ulla Johnson

Ulla Johnson Cosme JacketThis lace patchwork shearling jacket comes with fur-lined pockets and a printed voil lining. It’s all about the details with this luxurious piece for winter, and it’s a beautiful way to do white after Labor Day. Patchwork isn’t just for quilts anymore, darling. It’s the perfect addition to a winter outerwear piece.

Image courtesy of Christian Cowan

Christian Cowan NY Loves Me CoatCFDA/Vogue nominee Christian Cowan did his love letter to New York fashion style. This beautiful black and white fur number from his fall/winter 2018 collection combines both a minimalist approach to color with a high fashion aesthetic. If you want to make a bold statement with neutral tones this winter, look no further than this coat.

Image courtesy of nordstrom.com

Badgley Mischka Double-Face Wool Blend Wrap Front CoatFor the woman who has a more corporate style, but still wants to be fashionable, this is the coat for you. It is classic in the most sophisticated way, and has a silhouette that still says fashionista. It’s an attention getter from the moment you get on the elevator to your office.

Image courtesy of nordstrom.com

Madewell Bergen Cocoon CoatThis Italian melton wool-blend coat will turn up the heat this winter. It’s cut roomy enough for layering, and a cocoon closet has become a standard staple in a woman’s winter wardrobe. Set the city on fire in this awesome number.

Image courtesy of net-a-porter.com

Monse Layered Wool-Blend CoatSometimes it’s best to let your fashion dictate your layering needs for you. Such a feat is accomplished with this mixed-media number from Monse. If you have a predilection for a good checkered pattern, this is your fashion calling.

Photo courtesy of neimanmarcus.com

Kate Spade New York Novelty Wool Brushed Leopard CoatAnimal prints aren’t just for spring and summer. Be the spice of winter in this leopard print piece from Kate Spade done in its finest novelty brushed wool. This A-line coat is also flattering for women with a variety of body types, and honors the playfulness of Kate Spade’s heritage.

—Kristopher Fraser

Celebrity Fashion Sightings: Week of November 12, 2018

Thanksgiving is early this year, but that has not slowed down the amount of celebrity fashion sightings. This week’s Celebrity Fashion Sightings includes great fashion from the 2018 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 10th Annual Governors Awards, Spotify’s Secret Genius Awards, the 52nd Annual Country Music Awards, and the 2018 Latin Grammy Awards.

Photos courtesy of D’Orazio and Associates

Since the release of her book Becoming, Michelle Obama has been everywhere. From recent covers of Essence and ELLE magazine the former First Lady demonstrates that since leaving the White House her glamour and style has not diminished.On her book tour stop in Chicago, Michelle Obama looked really chic and glamorous in a Sally Lapointe off-the-shoulder white sequined top and high-waist white pants. Michelle Obama set her off look with a beautiful Roberto Bravo diamond ring.

Images courtesy of leosigh.com and D’Orazio and Associates

Since the release of “A Star Is Born,” Lady Gaga seems to be on almost every red carpet. Gaga stole the show on the red carpet at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 10th Annual Governor’s Awards in Hollywood in a Valentino voluminous black gown. She is beautifully accessorized in Harry Kotlar diamond cluster earrings.

Images courtesy of nydailynews.com and D’Orazio and Associates

Since her marriage and birth of her child, Kelly Rowland is beaming more than ever. At the Spotify Secret Genius Awards in Los Angeles, Kelly Rowland showed that marriage and a child has not dulled her style by donning a black ruffled Azzi and Osta jumpsuit with Stella Luna shoes and Narcisa Pheres carved jade and diamond earrings.

Images courtesy of D’Orazio and Associates

Though Carrie Underwood is expecting another child and the baby bump is getting larger, she is still shining on the red carpet. At the 52nd Country Music Awards, Carrie Underwood looked fantastic in a Uel Camilo gown and an Anabela Chan pink sapphire. Now, who wore it best, Carrie Underwood or the model? Fashion Reverie thinks it’s a toss up!!

Images courtesy of D’Orazio and Associates

Speaking of the 2018 CMA’s and Uel Camilo, Country singer Jennifer Nettles was on the red carpet shining and sparkling in an Uel Camilo gown and a Djula diamond ring. Jennifer definitely wore this better than the model!

Images courtesy of Getty Images and D’Orazio and Associates

“Black Panther’s” Lupita Nyong’o blew everyone away on the red carpet of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 10th Annual Governors Awards in a layered white fringe Tom Ford gown with plunging V-neck. With her hair pulled back, everyone could see the beautiful Anabela Chan diamond earrings.

Images courtesy of Getty Images and D’Orazio and Associates

Rosalia was a big winner at the 2018 Latin Grammys, winning two Latin Grammy Awards for Best Alternative Song and Best Urban/Fusion Performance. Rosalia’s fashion choice on the red carpet that took place in Las Vegas was an interesting risk. Talk about dress of many colors. Perhaps, her choice of the multi-colored Versace cocktail dress was a good choice for Las Vegas. That said; the Maxior emerald diamond earrings were a good choice.

What happens in Vegas; stays in Vegas. The same thing could be said for Rosalia’s fashion choice!!

Images courtesy of Preface PR

One of the big parties of the month was hip-hop artist Tyga’s birthday party. The West Hollywood party at Delilah’s was complete with lots of strippers, weed and alcohol. “Assassination Nation’s” Bella Thorne looked like she fit right in black leather leggings and beaded black baseball jacket with pink MSGM 2018 Tractor Boots.

Images courtesy of D’Orazio and Associates

Gwen Stefani wore a Yvan Tufenkjian diamond choker, and diamond rings from Harry Kotlar and Marli New York while performing in a Reem Acra gown for her performance at Disneyland.

Images courtesy of D’Orazio and Associates

Wearing a Dundas dress and Le Vian diamond hoop earrings, Kendall Jenner was out celebrating her cover of Chaos SixtyNine in London.—Staff

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