Fashion News Alert: Margot Robbie Fronts Chanel’s New Fragrance, Forever 21 Prepares for Bankruptcy, Lord & Taylor Sold, and Goodbye Isabel Toledo

Image courtesy of

Margot Robbie has a new job. She is the face of Chanel’s new fragrance ‘Gabrielle Chanel Essence.’

Chanel has released the advertising campaign for the new fragrance with Margot Robbie in a long, white floating gown with gold and white veils swirling around her. The white and gold in the ad campaign reference the notes of the fragrance.

Images for the campaign were photographed by famed photographer Nick Knight. Knight also directed the campaign’s video with Beyoncé’s song “Halo” in the background.

Gabrielle Chanel Essence is based on four flowers that Coco Chanel loved, jasmine, ylang ylang, tuberose, and orange flower. The fragrance is now available online or through authorized vendors.

Image courtesy of

The $100 million-dollar deal

Hudson’s Bay Co. announced on Wednesday that the financially strapped mega retail store, Lord & Taylor, will be sold to Le Tote, a seven-year old clothing rental company start-up. The price of the acquisition is a mere $100 million dollars with $25 million to come in a promissory note to be paid over two years. In addition, Hudson’s Bay Co. will get a 25% stake in Lord & Taylor with two board members on the board of Le Tote.

Le Tote will manage and keep 38 Lord & Taylor stores open, closing five locations. According to Hudson’s Bay Co. CEO Helene Foulkes, the deal brings together “fashion rental subscriptions with traditional retail.”

Le Tote, based in San Francisco, and founded in 2012, offers monthly boxes of apparel items that users can purchase or return after use. Le Tote is backed by Lerer Hippeau, Azure Capital, and Simon Ventures.

Image courtesy of

Another one is about to bite the dust

As reported by Bloomberg this past Wednesday, Forever 21 Inc. is preparing for a possible bankruptcy filing. The clothing retail giant has been experiencing dwindling cash reserves and a slew of unprofitable stores for some time.

Founded in 1984, Forever 21 established itself has a fashion chain store that sold fashionable clothing at low prices, mainly for a consumer base of 18 to 35-year-old shoppers. In recent years, Forever 21 has seen its consumer base dwindle and the store chain in now making a last-ditch effort to restructure its debt so that a bankruptcy filing will not be necessary.

Forever 21 currently has 600 stores in the US with additional stores in Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

Image courtesy of

Adios Isabel

Cuban-born fashion designer Isabel Toledo has passed away. The 59-year old independent designer died of breast cancer in a New York City hospital on Sunday.

Toledo moved to West New York, New Jersey as a teenager from Cuba. She studied at Parsons School of Design and Fashion Institute of Technology with her first collection in 1985 picked up by Fiorucci and Bergdorf Goodman.

“I really love the technique of sewing more than anything else … the seamstress is the one who knows fashion from the inside,” she said in a 1989 interview as reported in “That’s the art form really, not fashion design, but the technique of how it’s done.”

For several years, Isabel Toledo was creative director for Anne Klein; created accessories for Payless ShoeSource; and collaborated with MAC Cosmetics, the latter project launched in 2005. And with her husband and collaborator Reuben Toledo received the 2005 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award and were also bestowed the Otis Critics’ award. She was also honored with the 2008 Couture Council of the Museum of FIT’s Award for Artistry of Fashion.

Perhaps, Isabel Toledo most shining moment was when she dressed First Lady Michelle Obama in a lemongrass yellow wool lace shirtdress with matching overcoat for President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009. Minutes after watching the new First Lady in her outfit, Toledo told CNN: “We’re levitating—we really are.”

Isabel Toledo is survived by her husband Ruben and her two sisters, Mary Santos and Anna Bertha Izquierdo.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Naomi Campbell’s Charitable Controversy, Anna Wintour’s New Title, and Changes to New York Fashion Week: The Shows Calendar, and Christy Brinkley Joins DWS Cast

Image courtesy of Dave Benett/Getty Images

Fashion Reverie frequently does stories on Naomi Campbell. And it not because we are Naomi fans, well, we are, it’s because she is always making headline news.

This week Naomi Campbell’s charitable and philanthropic work came under criticism. Though her heart is in the right place, London’s Daily Mail has cited that Campbell is often seen in the company of less-than stellar wealthy folks.

Campbell has been slated to receive an award for the British Fashion Council for all of her charitable over the years. This award has caused some controversy because Campbell has been seen being festive and frolicky in the company of Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged madam pimp Ghislaine Maxwell. In fact, Campbell was known to fly on Epstein’s private jet. Campbell has also been seen in the company of Harvey Weinstein, former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, and glock gun magnate Gaston Gluck.

Campbell has clapped back at the Daily Mail by releasing a response on youtube, defending her charitable work and claiming that the Daily Mail has not given her an opportunity to respond. “For me it’s a distorted piece of journalism,” she said. “And I do love great journalism, but this is a direct character assassination.”

Image courtesy of

Anna expands

Condé Nast keeps piling on the titles for Anna Wintour. Not only is Wintour Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue, a few years ago she was named Condé Nast artistic director.

Condé Nast announced a few days ago that Wintour will oversee Vogue International. She will also advise executives on global content opportunities.

This new position comes on the heels of lots of changes at Condé Nast. With the advent of Roger Lynch as the new CEO of Condé Nast, replacing Bob Sauerberg, Condé Nast is seeking to increase their declining revenue and redefine Condé Nast in the 21st century.

Lynch detailed that top priorities [have] been to define our organizational structure so that we can take full advantage of our unique growth opportunities and exceptional content around the world.”

“I’m confident that our new global structure will better enable us to collaborate across teams and markets and, ultimately, deliver unparalleled experiences for our consumers and clients,” he added in a article.

Image courtesy of by WWD/Shutterstock

NYFWS spring 2020 update

IMG-WME and the CFDA released the complete fashion calendar on Monday. Contrary to the dictates of incoming CFDA president Tom Ford and lots of press releases to the media, New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS) spring 2020 season will not be reduced from eight days to five days. According to the recently released updated calendar, NYFWS will span the usual 8-day cycle.

Additionally, many of the designers that did not appear on the Fashion Calendar’s preliminary list—as reported on Fashion Reverie—are now showing during NYFWS spring 2020 season. That includes Tadashi Shoji, Libertine, Elie Tahari, Michael Costello, and many others.

What is interesting about this NYFWS spring 2020 season is the number of designers that have chosen to show off-site, that is not showing at Spring Studios or Pier 59. And though The Shed at Hudson Yards was intended as a new venue for NYFWS, there are next to no fashion designers/brands showing at The Shed. This is probably due Hudson Yards co-owner Steve Ross’ fundraising activities for Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential bid. Prabal Gurung and Rag & Bone declined show their collections at The Shed because Ross’ affiliation with Trump.

Image courtesy of

Christie shakes her groove thang

Dancing with the Stars” (DWS) has announced its cast for season 28. That cast includes supermodel Christie Brinkley.

“I’m so excited! I think it’s going to be so fun,” Brinkley, 65, said before adding, “I literally don’t know how to dance. Seriously, it’s true … I really don’t have the moves. So, I’m really excited to learn with the pros. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me.”

“I think whoever I get has his work cut out for him,” she continued. “I think they need to give me a really good one because I need a lot of work … All of the dancers on the show are incredible, really amazing.”

DWS season 28 airs on September 16.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Kendall Jenner’s Top Ranking, Coach and Givenchy Controversy, and Naomi Campbell’s New Calvin Klein Campaign, and Rag & Bone and Prabal Gurung Pull Out of Hudson Yards

Images courtesy of

More and more fashion designers are pulling themselves out of Hudson Yards for New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS) spring 2020 season. Add Prabal Gurung and the Rag & Bone to the growing list of exiting designers. Rag & Bone has not revealed where they will show their spring 2020 show.

In a statement Prabal Gurung, who pulled out of Hudson Yards on August 7, stated “I was previously in conversation with Hudson Yards’ The Vessel as the venue for my brand’s upcoming 10-year show during NYFW. When I heard about this fundraiser, I chose to pull my participation.”

Like Prabal Gurung, Rag & Bone has decided not to present their spring 2020 collection at The Shed, Hudson Yards’ cultural space. In protest of the fundraiser for Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign hosted by Stephen Ross in The Hamptons last weekend, Rag & Bone has pulled out of showing at Hudson Yards. Stephen Ross is the primary owner of Hudson Yards. Ross’ company, The Related Companies, owns Hudson Yards, Equinox, and Soul Cycle. Ross’ affiliation with Trump’s 2020 presidential bid has prompted protests and boycotts of Ross’ companies.

The August 9 Hamptons fundraiser raised $12 million for Trump’s 2020 presidential bid. Tickets went for $100,000 or $250,000 for a roundtable, lunch, and photo with Donald Trump.

Image courtesy of

Naomi’s new gig

As ubiquitous as Naomi Campbell’s fashion career has been, it is surprising to learn that she has never had a campaign for Calvin Klein. Well, that is about to change.

Naomi Campbell has been unveiled as one of the new faces for Calvin Klein’s fall 2019 underwear campaign. Other celebs and top models for the fall 2019 underwear campaign include Bella Hadid, Odell Beckham, DJ Diplo, musician Beth Ditto, actor Jacob Elordi, and Asian pop star Lay Zhang, and others.

“Who would have thought I’d be saying this after 33 years. Proud to be in #MYCALVINS,” Campbell wrote on Instagram.

Image courtesy of

Givenchy and Coach misstep

Givenchy and Coach are in hot water over identifying Hong Kong and Taiwan as countries, violating China’s sovereignty over the Taiwan and Hong Kong. The items in questions are tee shirts from both brands that identified Taiwan and Hong Kong as countries. Taiwan and Hong Kong should be now identified as Chinese territories.

Some Chinese brand ambassadors, because of Coach and Givenchy’s inaccuracies, have declined to continue to represent said fashion houses. Chinese supermodel Liu Wen has severed her endorsement deal with Coach.

“I apologize to everyone for the damage that I have caused as a result of my less-careful choice of brand!” she said in a Weibo post that was ‘liked’ hundreds of thousands of times. “I love my motherland, and I steadfastly safeguard China’s sovereignty.”

“We also reviewed our assortment to ensure compliance and have strengthened our internal product development process to avoid the occurrence of a similar issue in the future,” Coach detailed in a statement, as reported in “Coach respects and supports China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Chinese boy band idol Jackson Yee has severed ties with Givenchy for a similar incident. Givenchy has not responded.

Image courtesy of

Kendall Jenner’s social media proliferation

How important is social media in advancing your modeling career? If you speak with supermodel Kendall Jenner social media is still very important.

Currently, Kendall Jenner ranks at the top of the heap of models with followers on social media. Kendall Jenner has a total following of 159 million followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter combined. Kendall regularly walks in the shows of Alexander Wang, Versace, Fendi, and Moschino.

Following a distant second is Gigi Hadid with just 62 million followers. And in third place is Cara Delevigne. Rounding out the top ten is (4) Chrissy Teigen: close to 37 million followers; (5) Emily Ratajkowski: more than 31 million followers; (6) Tyra Banks: more than 30 million followers; (7) Bella Hadid: more than 26 million followers; (8) Gisele Bündchen: more than 26 million followers; (9) Miranda Kerr: more than 25 million followers ; and(10) Hailey Bieber: more than 21 million followers.

William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Barney’s Bankruptcy, Victoria’s Secret’s First Transgender Model, and the 2020 Pirelli Calendar Conjures up Shakespeare’s Juliet


Image courtesy of Getty Images

Barneys New York, Inc has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on this past Tuesday.  The luxury department store chain is up for sale and filed for bankruptcy due to soaring rents and a decline in sales. The rent in its flagship Manhattan store increased from $16 million to $30 million.

Barneys will close stores in Chicago, Seattle, and Las Vegas, along with five smaller stores and seven Barneys Warehouse locations. The Madison Avenue store in NYC and four flagship stores will remain open. “Barneys New York Board and management team have taken decisive action by entering into a court-supervised process, which will provide the company the necessary tools to conduct a sale process, review our current leases and optimize our operations,” said Daniella Vitale, chief executive officer.

According to The New York Times, Barneys is currently looking for a buyer and there are several parties, that are not retailers, that have expressed interest. Barneys has listed $100 million to $500 million in liabilities and assets which was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Image courtesy of

Valentino Sampaio has a new gig

Amidst a decline in sales and growing criticism of the brand, Victoria’s Secret has hired its first transgender model.  Brazilian transgender model Valentina Sampaio has signed a contract with Victoria’s Secret, confirmed her model management company Premier Model Management. Valentina Sampaio has appeared on the covers of Vogue Paris, Vogue Brasil, and Elle Mexico,

Victoria’s Secret has experienced a dramatic decline in sales as consumers have opted for less-expensive lingerie from retail competitors.  Also, the brand has come under intensive scrutiny due to comments from parent company’s L Brands’ marketing chief Ed Razek who stated that he would not hire plus size or transgender models for Victoria’s Secret’s annual, televised runway show. Razek announced his retirement from L Brands in an undated email to staff earlier this week.

“There are few with Ed’s passion and talent in this industry,” L Brands’ chief executive Les Wexner said in an accompanying note, as reported in “But I have faith in our incredible teams, talent and product, and I look forward to the future as we grow and change.”

Image courtesy of

Backstage at the 2020 Pirelli calendar

Italian tire company, Pirelli, has released behind-the-scene images of its annual fashion calendar. Nine actressesEmma Watson, Kristen Stewart, Claire Foy, Mia Goth, Indya Moore, and Yara Shahidi, singers Chris Lee and Rosalia, and artist Stella Roversiportray a diverse, modern version of Shakespeare’s Juliet.

The ‘Looking for Juliet” 2020 Pirelli calendar was photographed by Italian fashion photographer Paolo Reversi.  “I am still searching for my Juliet and I will be searching all my life. Because Juliet is a dream,” said the photographer in a statement.

The Pirelli calendar has been published since the 1960s.  Peter Lindbergh, Bruce Weber, Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz, Mario Sorrenti, Karl Lagerfeld, and duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, among many other photographers have photographed the iconic, annual calendar.

William S. Gooch



Fashion News Alert: Meghan Markle’s Fashion Line, Ferrari Disassociates with Philipp Plein, and Pyer Moss’ New Gig

Image courtesy of

When Philipp Plein is not making news with hip-hop-inspired fashion collections, he is making headlines with controversy and outrageous behavior. Earlier in 2019, Plein created a buzz by being hustled out of a million dollars by a Kanye West wannabee. There has also been controversy with Plein using a hip-hop band for his winter 2019 collection that used the N-word several times during their performance. Additionally, Plein made headlines by threatening to sue a fashion editor for a bad review of his fall 2019 collection.

This time around, the controversy centers around Plein posting an image on Instagram of his $800 sneakers on the hood of his green $350,000 812 Superfast Ferrari. Ferrari claims that Plein posted the Instagram image for promotion of his brand, contending that the Plein brand, “tarnishes the reputation of Ferrari.”

Additionally, Ferrari sent a restraining letter to Plein demanding that he remove the said image from his Instagram post. According to, Ferrari states that Plein’s Instagram post aligns Ferrari “with a lifestyle [that is] totally inconsistent with [its] brand perception, in connection with performers making sexual innuendos and using Ferrari’s cars as props in a manner which is per se distasteful.”

Plein has responded by threatening legal action against the luxury car brand, stating that, “I can’t even put in words how disappointed and disgusted I am.” Plein claims that he has bought four Ferraris over a ten-year period.

Image courtesy of

Meghan Markle’s foray into fashion

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, has branched into fashion. First, she has been assigned a guest editor position for the September issue of British Vogue, and additionally Markle is working on a fashion collaboration with Misha Nonoo, Mark & Spencer, Jigsaw, and John Lewis & Partners on a workwear series of suitable interview apparel for women.  This collaboration will benefit Markle’s royal patronage, Smart Works. Smart Works assist women who are re-entering the job market with suitable interview clothing and interview coaching sessions.

“When you walk into a Smart Works space, you’re met with racks of clothing and an array of bags and shoes,” the Duchess reportedly writes in the digital issue of British Vogue, as detailed in “Sometimes, however, it can be a potpourri of mismatched sizes and colours, not always the right stylistic choices or range of sizes. To help with this, I asked Marks & Spencer, John Lewis & Partners, Jigsaw and my friend, the designer Misha Nonoo, if they were willing to design a capsule collection of more classic options for a workwear wardrobe.”

For each workwear garment that is purchased from these collaborations, one garment will be donated to Smart Works. The fashion line will be released later in the year.

Image courtesy of

Kerby Jean-Raymond and Reebok

Pyer Moss’ creative director Kerby Jean-Raymond has created a new fashion line for Reebok. With major competition from Puma, Nike and other global sportswear brands, Reebok has been struggling of late to gain market traction. Reebok is hoping that this collaboration with Jean-Raymond will help revitalize the brand. Jean-Raymond will serve as creative director for a new division of Reebok, Reebok Studies.

Pyer Moss came to prominence in the New York fashion market in late 2015 during New York Fashion: The Shows spring 2016 season. Often the brand’s collection depicts and draw inspiration from African American culture, taking on at times a political slant.

Though Adidas acquired Reebok in 2005, the sportswear brand continues to struggle. Shares of Reebok fell by 3.05 percent in 2018.

William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Will Project Runway Bite the Dust?, Sonia Rykiel Liquidates, Donna Karan Is Back, and NYFW: The Shows Spring 2020 Preliminary Schedule

PROJECT RUNWAY — Season:17 — Pictured: (l-r) Brandon Maxwell, Karlie Kloss, Christian Siriano, Nina Garcia, Elaine Welteroth — (Photo by: Miller Mobley/Bravo)

In case you were not aware, “Project Runway” season 17 had the lowest rating of all the previous seasons.  Even with the addition of Christian Siriano and Karlie Kloss as the hosts, the show received no 2019 Emmy nominations, a first in 15 years. “Karlie is a delight, but without Heidi [Klum] and Tim [Gunn], it just changed the dynamic of everything,” says an insider.

Karlie only has another year on her two-year contract and with the show’s low ratings, it is up in the air if she will return. Remember, Karlie is a supermodel and her busy schedule keeps her working all the time.

Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn left their hosting jobs at “Project Runway” to launch their Amazon show “Making the Cut” with Naomi Campbell, Nicole Richie, Carine Roitfeld, and Joseph Altuzarra. “Project Runway” was revamped by a move from the Lifetime channel back to Bravo with new hosts Karlie Kloss and Christian Siriano and new judges Elaine Welteroth, and Brandon Maxwell.

When asked for a comment on the state of “Project Runway,” a Bravo spokesperson detailed that there is, “no truth” the show will discontinue. “Ratings were strong and grew week after week, and there continues to be major support for the show from the network. We are excited about the next season, which is currently in production, and for many more after that.”

Image courtesy of

Bye, bye Sonia

The French fashion house, Sonia Rykiel, is folding. After having difficulty finding a buyer, a French commercial court is liquidating the company. Head designer Julie de Libran left the company in March and the company went into receivership in April.

Established in the late 1960s, Sonia Rykiel was known as the “Queen of Knits,” making it fashionable for Parisian women to be seen in less formal styles of dress. Her “Poor Boy” sweater was made popular by film icon Audrey Hepburn.

Sonia Rykiel died from Parkinson’s Disease in 2016 at the age of 86. Five years before her death, her company was acquired by First Heritage Brands. Victor and William Fung, the Hong Kong billionaires that backed the acquisition, pumped millions of dollars into Sonia Rykiel, but the company continued to lose money.

With there being only one lone bidder for the iconic French fashion house, a commercial court judge rejected the lone bidder, forcing the company to liquidate its assets.  Additionally, the company’s archives, intellectual property, and its six stores across France and Monaco will all be sold.

Image courtesy of

Donna Karan teams up with Kenneth Cole

Just when we thought Donna Karan was done with fashion and putting her efforts into designing her urban furniture collection, Urban Zen, Karan puts her foot back into the fashion pool. Karan has teamed up with Kenneth Cole to design a limited-edition, 10-piece shoe collection that sheds light on Haitian artisans.

“We’re bringing Haiti’s rich artisan culture right to your soles,” Cole announced via Instagram, unveiling the collection on Instagram. While Karan wrote: “Kenneth and I share our heart and soul with Haiti and now Soles.”

Local workshop owner Pascale Théard Créations has brought this collaboration to life by bringing Haitian leather-making traditions combined with Kenneth Cole’s comfortable soles. The shoes will also feature such details as fringing, embroidery and braided straps.

“Hopefully it becomes an ongoing sustainable business,” Cole told Vogue, as detailed in  We’re making these in very limited quantities to start. We want them to be a vehicle for telling the story of this community.”

Image courtesy of

A reduced NYFWS

The CFDA has released its preliminary calendar for New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS) spring 2020 season. And it is slim pickings.

Incoming CFDA Board Chairman Tom Ford has reduced NYFWS from eight days to six days. “We listened to feedback from both the domestic and the global fashion industry to tighten and strengthen the Official New York Fashion Week schedule,” said Steven Kolb, President and CEO of the CFDA. “I am excited for the strong September lineup which will continue to showcase and celebrate the creativity and diversity of American fashion.”

The 75-plus designers that will be showing is a major reduction from the 400-plus fashion designers/brands that would present during NYFWS ten years ago. Missing this season from the roster is the large amount of Asian emerging brands that had become a mainstay of NYFWS. Also missing from the lineup is Monique Lhuillier, John Varvatos, Nanette Lepore, Zang Toi, Tadashi Shoji, Public School, Tracey Reese, Milly, Thakoon, Philip Plein, and many others.

Back on the roster for the spring 2020 season is Vera Wang and Tommy Hilfiger after a few year’s absence. Hilfiger will present his ‘TommyNow’ fashion explosion at the famed Apollo Theater on September 8. Marc Jacobs will close NYFWS on September 11.

New York Fashion Week: The Shows runs from September 6 through September 11.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Matt Dillon’s New Job, Kate Moss Collaborates with Zadig & Voltaire and Norma Kamali Unveils Skincare Line

Image courtesy of

Menswear Italian Brioni has a new actor as the face of their winter 2020 Tailoring Legends campaign. Matt Dillon will appear in the brand’s winter 2020 campaign in black and white images photographed by Gregory Harris. As the face of Brioni’s fall 2020 campaign, the 55-year old Dillon is succeeded by Samuel L. Jackson, Pierce Brosnan, and Anthony Hopkins.

Founded in Rome in 1945, Brioni has been worn by such iconic actors as Clark Gable, Henry Fonda, John Wayne, and Gary Cooper. Brioni suits have been worn by Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan in several Bond films. Since 2002, Brioni has been owned by Kering, the French luxury group.

Image courtesy of

Kate Moss’ new gig

Zadig & Voltaire has a new muse, supermodel Kate Moss. Kate Moss will collaborate with the French apparel brand on its new rock n’ roll fall 2019 campaign.

Moss will not just be the face of the brand’s fall 2019 campaign but will also collaborate with Zadig & Voltaire’s creative director Cecilia Bönström on bags, shoes, and possibly apparel.

Zadig & Voltaire has ramped up their retail presence with 199 stores in France and 260 stores globally. The brand has recently opened new location in Nice and Porto.

Image courtesy of

Norma Kamali expands

If being an icon in the fashion industry is not enough, Norma Kamali adds to her long list of accomplishments by unveiling a new direction in her career by releasing a skincare line. As reported by Vogue, Normalife: The Skinline, includes a skincare collection spanning cleanser dubbed ‘Clean,’ an exfoliator titled ‘Smooth,’ a color enhancer called ‘Glow’ and a moisturizer, ‘Soft.’

“I am sharing everything I do, everything I use and all the information I have gathered in the last 40 years!” the designer promises. “Normalife is democratic inclusive for men and women of all ages, skin color and types!!,” explained Kamili in an Instagram post. The skinline was first developed as I was approaching 50 and I decided makeup was not working on my skin anymore and that if I showed my bare skin it would be a better alternative but it had to look good,” continues Kamali on the NormaLife site.

Normalife can be used by both sexes and contains natural and understandable ingredients, such as charcoal, ground olive pits and fermented sugar beets. The line is free of parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrances, and preservatives. Normalife launches this week.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Zendaya and Lancome, Gigi Hadid’s New Gig, Alber Elbaz Is Back, and Kenzo’s New Creative Director

Image courtesy of

For those who’ve wondered were Alber Elbaz would end up after his departure from Lanvin four years ago, wonder no more. Elbaz has created a capsule collection of Italian brand Tod’s. Entitled, “Happy Moments,” the capsule collection is inspired the turbulent four years of Elbaz’s life after being fired from Lanvin.

“It’s been a while. Four years. Some happy moments and some not so happy moments. But that’s life,” added Elbaz in a article. For different reasons … All we do is make everyone else happy, but we are not. We are the second skin of the world and we lose our own skin,” continued Elbaz.

This shoe capsule collection has moccasins and of course, sneakers with ergonomic soles. “Given the traffic at shows, maybe sneakers are the new cars. All I wanted to do was change the soles at Tod’snot the soul of Tod’s,” quipped Elbaz.

Image courtesy of

Gigi smells good

Supermodel Gigi Hadid can add Michael Kors’ fragrance Wanderlust to her impressive list of modeling jobs. Today, Michael Kors announced that Gigi Hadid would be the new face of the Wanderlust fragrance.

Wanderlust contains a bouquet of almond milk accord, Italian bergamot, Sicilian mandarin, and pink pepper, followed by dianthus, jasmine grandiflorum absolute, jasmine sambac absolute, heliotrope fragrances. This bouquet is set off by dry notes of sandalwood Sri Lanka, cashmeran wood, and benzoin siam.

The summer 2019 Wanderlust fragrance campaign was photographed in Turks and Caicos by Inez & Vinoodh.

Image courtesy of

Zendaya’s new job

Speaking of smelling good, Zendaya has been slated to be the brand ambassador for Lancome’s new fragrance. Lancome’s ‘Idôle’ was created to appeal to millennials.

We are excited to be able to create a fragrance for a new generation of women questioning the status quo, breaking free from tradition and re-defining the meaning of success,” added Françoise Lehmann, Lancôme Global Brand President. “Collective and beneficial for all women, this new confidence is inciting them to raise the bar a little higher every time.”

“Idôle is a perfume that has meaning,” Zendaya says. “I like the fact that it’s fresh and light. I am very particular about perfumes, and Idôle smells absolutely beautiful and I love it.”

This new Lancome fragrance contains sustainably sourced Isparta Rose Petal Essence from Turkey made exclusively for the brand. It also features notes of bergamot, accords of pear, India Jasmine Grandiflorum, and a new ‘clean and glow’ accord. It will be presented in a slender bottle that measures just 15mm in thickness. Idôle goes on sale globally on August 22.

Image coutesy of

Kenzo has a new creative director

All rumors about the new creative director of Kenzo have been confirmed. LVMH, which owns Kenzo, has announced that Felipe Oliveira Baptista is the new creative director of Kenzo. Baptista was the former creative director for Lacoste, serving in that post for eight years before departing in 2018.

Baptista will join Kenzo in the beginning of this month, debuting his first fall 2021 collections for Kenzo in Paris in early 2020. “His contemporary, innovative creative vision and his extremely comprehensive design approach will enable the label to deploy its potential while respecting its unique heritage,” said Sylvie Colin, general manager of Kenzo.

The 44-year-old Baptista is a native of the island of Azores, and a fashion design graduate of London’s Kingston University. Baptista began his fashion career with Max Mara and later working at Cerruti and Christophe Lemaire. Baptista is credited with rejuvenating Lacoste, making it a go-to brand for young consumers.

William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Ralph Lauren Knighted, the Bolshoi Ballet Celebrates Coco Chanel, and Paris Bids Farewell to Karl Lagerfeld

Photo courtesy of

On Wednesday, Ralph Lauren received an honorary knighthood from the United Kingdom. Lauren is now an Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Because he is not a British citizen, he cannot be deemed Sir Ralph Lauren. Still, Ralph Lauren has received an honor that few will ever receive.

Ralph Lauren is the first American to become an honorary knight. The insignia was signed off by Queen Elizabeth, but he received it from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.

Additionally, Lauren was awarded the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal, “[honoring] his lifetime contributions as a great American and his leadership role in the preservation of the Star-Spangled Banner.”

Photo courtesy of

Coco Chanel in tights

Bolshoi Ballet’s prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova will star in a new ballet that celebrates Coco Chanel’s love of Russia. The one-act ballet, “Gabrielle Chanel” is choreographed by Yuri Possokhov and will feature 85 costumes using Chanel designs.

She loved Russian ballet, Russians and Russia,” Zakharova said. “She helped Russian aristocrats who were forced to flee Russia. She loved Russian models.” 

It will be a celebration of friendship between ballet and fashion,” Zakharova told reporters ahead of the performance, as reported in “But this will not be a fashion show, it will be a genuine spectacle.”

“Gabrielle Chanel” will feature Coco Chanel opening her first boutique, her love affair with Boy Capel and her relationship with the Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. “Gabrielle Chanel” opens on Saturday in Moscow.

Photo courtesy of thefashionspot

Final Farewell

At Grand Palais, Paris bid farewell to fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld with a tribute that featured readings and performances from Helen Mirren, Tilda Swinton, Cara Delevingne, Pharrell Williams, Fanny Ardant and Lang Lang. This memorial of sorts was paired with videos of Karl Lagerfeld, accompanied by witty sayings and Lagerfeld-isms that, though sometimes funny, bordered on sassy, comeback snips.

This tribute also gave some renowned fashion designers the opportunity to pay their respects to the late, great Lagerfeld. Silvia Venturini Fendi, Stella McCartney, Alber Elbaz, Haider Ackermann, Valentino, along with Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, all flew in for the occasion.

This “Karl Forever: A Celebration” was also attended by Princess Caroline, Charlotte Casiraghi, Carole Bouquet, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Claudia Schiffer, all seated in the front row. The opening video featured Anna Wintour who praised Karl for succeeding “not just as a designer, but also as a linguist, photographer, interior decorator, film maker and philanthropist. He was the original multi-tasker, a man who did everything at once … It is his human presence that we all mourn and celebrate.”

The tribute closed with Pharrell Williams performing, calling everyone to stand as a video montage of Lagerfeld taking bows at the brands he helmed—Chanel, Fendi, and Karl Lagerfeld—played behind Pharrell. Final farewell, Karl!!

William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Taylor Swift Collaborates with Stella McCartney, Carolina Herrera Accused of Cultural Appropriation, and Virgil Abloh’s Museum Exhibition

Image courtesy of

Though Virgil Abloh’s fashion transcendency has been brief, he is already making a global impact on the fashion industry. In 2013 Abloh founded the fashion brand Off-White and in 2018 Abloh became the men’s creative director of Louis Vuitton. Additionally, Abloh has collaborated with Nike and scores of celebrities, including Serena Williams and Kanye West.

With this including accumulation of accomplishments in a short seven years, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago has debuted an exhibition of Virgil Abloh’s work. The exhibition opened on June 10 and will run through September 22.

The Virgil Abloh presentation offers “an in-depth look at defining highlights of Abloh’s career including a program of cross-disciplinary offerings that will mirror the artist’s range of interests across music, fashion, architecture, and design,” details a Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

There is a Virgil Abloh pop-up store, Church & State, attached to the exhibition. The Church & State pop-up will offer visitors a retrospective of best-selling Off-White product and new, exclusive collections inspired by the exhibition.

Image courtesy of

Carolina Herrera’s Mexican controversy

All fashion brands are inspired by and reference motifs, ideas, and design elements from a variety of cultural influences and countries. That said; when is this injection of cultural influences cultural appropriation or a respectful homage.

This dilemma has come into question, once again, with Carolina Herrera’s resort 2020 collection when creative director Wes Gordon drew inspiration from Mexico’s rich indigenous cultures.  Founder Carolina Herrera is a Venezuelan native and always injects Latin culture into her collections. But this time around things may be different.

In a press release from the Puig Group which owns Carolina Herrera, “Carolina Herrera’s [r]esort 2020 collection takes on the playful and colorful mood of a Latin holiday, from a sunrise in Tulum, the waves in José Ignacio and dancing in Buenos Aires to the colors of Cartagena.”

Hmm, that explanation was good enough. The Mexican government has accused Wes Gordon of misappropriating Mexico’s indigenous cultures in Carolina Herrera’s 2020 resort collection. Mexico’s Secretary of Culture Alejandra Frausto sent a letter to the brand, requesting “an explanation for the use of designs and embroidery belonging to native peoples.”

The artisanal design in question is a long white dress with animal and floral embroidery, which Frausto said come from the community of Tenango de Doria in Hidalgo. “In these embroideries is the history of the community itself, and each element has a personal, family and community meaning,” says Frausto in the letter, as reported in  Frausto continues, “It is a principle of ethical consideration that forces us to draw attention to an issue that can’t be ignored any longer: we must promote inclusion and make those who are invisible visible.”

Wes Gordon has responded by explaining that the collection has, “an undeniable Mexican presence”. “It’s something that jumps out at you and I always intended it to be something latent as a way of showing my love for this country and for all the incredible work I’ve seen there.” Gordon continues, “My admiration for the artisanal work has only grown as I have travelled to Mexico over the years. With this new collection, I have tried to highlight the importance of this magnificent cultural heritage.”

Still, is this paying homage or cultural appropriation. Let the people decide!!

Image courtesy of

Swift and McCartney pair up

Taylor Swift and Stella McCartney are teaming up for a new clothing line linked to Swift’s latest album, “Lover.” The “Lover” album is set to release on August 23 with the clothing line hitting the market around the same time.

On an Instagram live video Taylor Swift detailed, “[Stella McCartney] been a friend for a really long time and also just a woman that I respect so much. I respect what she creates, how she creates it. There’s so much whimsy and imagination and romance to the clothing that she designs. I’ve worn a lot of her stuff recently, and she’s heard the new album, and this new collaboration is inspired by the album.”

There will be other product linked to the “Lover” album the clothing collaboration between Swift and McCartney. Most of the product is in the vein of tradition product that goes alongside product linked to music albums; however, the McCartney/Swift clothing will be more luxury fashion.

William S. Gooch

Copyright © 2012-2019 | Fashion Reverie Publications, LLC - All Rights Reserved