Fashion News Alert: Rita Ora’s New Gig, Kelly Rowland Collaborates with Fabletics, Simon Spurr’s New Job, and Chico’s to Close Stores

Image courtesy of dailyfrontrow.com

Simon Spurr has been named the global director of 7 For All Mankind. Spurr will be based in Los Angeles and his duties will include leading the brand’s global teams in “[bridging] 7 For All Mankind’s heritage as a premium denim brand with a new, modern approach across classifications,” detailed in a press release.“[Spurr] brings the perfect balance of relevant experience, entrepreneurial spirit, and fashion vision to lead 7 For All Mankind® into its third decade,” said Tim Baxter, Delta Galil Premium Brands chief executive officer in a fashionnetwork.com article. “Importantly, Simon also has a strong, directional perspective on how we can modernize the brand and position it for accelerated growth while sustaining our legacy as a premium denim brand.”

Spurr’s new role at 7 For All Mankind will coincide with the brand’s 20th Anniversary. Spurr’s debut collection for the brand will launch in spring 2020.

Image courtesy of Fabletics

Kelly Rowland loves the 90’s

Kate Hudson’s activewear line, Fabletics, has a new collaboration. Pop star Kelly Rowland is the newest celebrity collaborator with Hudson’s popular activewear line.

This winter 2019 capsule collection, inspired by 90s nostalgia, is Rowland’s first activewear collaboration. The capsule collection pays homage to Rowland’s time with Destiny’s Child in the 90s and that style is reflected in the capsule collection’s range of hue of soft mauve, light bronze, black cherry and wine violet with sexy athletic detail finishes.

“[The capsule collection] truly celebrates every woman and every beautiful curve,” Rowland said of the line. “In my collection, I feel ready to take on anything that may come my way, all while looking and feeling great.” Rowland further explains that the capsule collection is “about versatility, movement, being comfortable and feeling confident,” according to the pop star. 

The capsule collection includes seven outfits with items ranging from sports bras, tops and leggings, as well as a bodysuit and hoodie, while the highlight pieces of the collection include a reversible bomber jacket. The capsule collection is now on sale online and in retail stores.

Image courtesy of wwd.com

Rita Ora expands into footwear

British popstar Rita Ora has a new job. Ora is collaborating with Giuseppe Zanotti for a footwear collection dubbed ‘GZxRita Ora.’ GZxRita Ora line will contain flats, high-heeled styles, including slides, sandals, mules and peep-toe boots with a chunky Cuban Link chain feature on the heel, according to fashionnetwork.com.

Zanotti has a history of collaborating with celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Gigi Hadid, and Rihanna. GZxRita Ora is launching on January 24 and will be priced between $795 and $2,495.

Image courtesy of AL.com

Chico’s plans to shutter brick and mortars

LA–based Chico’s has announced plans to close 250 stores over three years to focus on its digital platform. According to a press release Chico’s restructuring “will allow the company to take advantage of its lease expiration cadence, while improving profitability and return on invested capital.”

“Our focus is on implementing those initiatives that drive the greatest levels of growth and profitability of our business,” said Shelley Broader, Chico’s CEO and president. “This includes continued improvement in each of our differentiated brands, increased flexibility and efficiency across our organization, and fully leveraging the capabilities of our robust omnichannel platform.” 

To boost its digital presence, Chico’s is partnering with QVC, Amazon, and Shoprunner. Following Chico’s store closings announcement, the company’s stock rose 1.9% in premarket trading.

—William S. Gooch
 

 

Fashion News Alert: Lady Gaga’s Beauty Line, Additional Sexual Allegations against Bruce Weber, Michael B. Jordan’s New Gig, and Blake Nordstrom Transitions

Image courtesy of tmz.com

Right before the holidays, male model Jason Boyce amended his sexual misconduct allegation against famed fashion photographer Bruce Weber by adding that Weber also violated Trafficking Victims Protection laws. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act, amended in 2000, defines a trafficking victim as someone who is induced to perform labor or a commercial sex act through force, fraud or coercion.

Weber’s legal team opposed this new allegation against Weber in court on Wednesday. “The proposed amendment isn’t based on anything new at all,” said Jayne Weintraub, Weber’s lawyer in a recent wwd.com article. “The plaintiff is attempting to publicly accuse and shame [Bruce] Weber in the press and on social media. And the point of that was to force a quick settlement and that failed. So this amendment or trying to move to amend is plaintiff’s Plan B, radically mounting pressure through scandalous contrived allegations. But what we will do is to continue to make filing with evidence, not talk.”

Michael B. Jordan for the Coach Spring 2019 ad Campaign. Image courtesy of wwd.com

Michael B. Jordan expands his audience
Everyone knows Michael B. Jordan from “Black Panther” and “Creed II.” Well, consumers are about to see Michael B. Jordan in a new light.

Jordan will be the new face of Coach’s menswear spring 2019 campaign. Jordan will also front the brand’s men’s fragrance collection.

“He has been a true supporter of Coach so it felt like a really natural step to collaborate more closely and create a partnership we can take to the next level,” explained Coach Creative Director Stuart Vevers.

“I’ve been a fan of Coach for a long time and truly respect their inclusive and optimistic values,” Jordan said in a statement. “I’m honored to be a part of Stuart’s vision and creative process.”

The campaign was photographed by Craig McDean on the outskirts of Los Angeles at an abandoned carnival with Jordon donned in series of color blocked shearling jacket, a blue leather moto and a patchwork leather MA-1 jacket.

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Gaga beauty
Fashion tongues are wagging that Lady Gaga is about to launch a beauty line. Lady Gaga has filed an application for the brand name “Haus Beauty” with The United States Patent and Trademark Office.

According to an article on fashionnetwork.com, the application listed the possible product categories for the trademark as: “Cosmetics; cosmetic compacts; make-up; foundations; cheek colors; eyebrow colors; lipstick, lip gloss, lip gloss palette, non-medicated lip care preparations, lip cream, lip tints, lip liners; eyeliners, eyeliner pencils, liquid eyeliners and eyeshadow.” It also mentioned multiple products under “fragrances and perfumery,” several skincare solutions such as “facial cleansers” and “skin toners,” body care items such as “body oils,” “body powders” and “body exfoliants,” and more.

Gaga has also established the “Haus Beauty” website. That said; the website does not indicate when Gaga’s beauty line will launch.

Image courtesy of Erika Schultz/The Seattle Times via AP

Bye, bye Blake
After a long battle with lymphoma, Blake Nordstrom passed away on Wednesday. Named president of Nordstrom in 2000, Blake Nordstrom turned over the reins to his brothers, Erik and Peter, in 2015 as he battled his illness.

It was not publicly known that Blake was suffering from lymphoma until the company released a statement a little over a month ago. Blake was given a positive diagnosis in December with treatment including chemotherapy and reduced traveling schedule.

“Executive leadership of Nordstrom will continue under co-presidents Pete and Erik Nordstrom. We appreciate your respect for the privacy of the family during this difficult time,” said a Nordstrom spokesperson in the company’s statement.

“My heart goes out to the Nordstrom family and everyone at the company during this difficult time,” commented Nordstrom chairman of the board Brad Smith in the company’s statement. “Everyone who worked with Blake knew of his passion and deep commitment to employees, customers and the communities we serve. We are fortunate to have continued leadership from co-presidents Pete and Erik Nordstrom.”

Blake Nordstrom was the great-grandson of company founder, John Nordstrom. Blake Nordstrom was 58 years old.
—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Raf Simons Exits Calvin Klein, Naomi Campbell’s New Gig, and the Strong 2018 Holiday Season

Image courtesy of fashionista.com

Naomi Campbell’s fashion career does not appear to be losing any steam. Campbell’s three-decade plus fashion career adds another notch in its proverbial belt with Campbell’s new beauty campaign for NARS Cosmetics.Interestingly, in spite of Campbell’s market saturation, this is her first beauty campaign. Campbell will be featured in the brand’s spring 2019 campaign. NARS founder Francois Nars took a recent picture of Campbell, showing her flawless skin and posted the image on social media.

Image courtesy of telegraph.co.uk

Bye, bye Raf

Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons is leaving his post at Calvin Klein. “Both parties have amicably decided to part ways after Calvin Klein, Inc. decided on a new brand direction which differs from Simons’ creative vision,” the company said in a statement on last Friday.

Simons’ tenure at the helm of Calvin Klein was less than three years. Simons came to Calvin Klein after being at Dior for four years. Simon’s title of chief creative officer at Calvin Klein seemingly gave him tremendous power to revitalize the American brand. In reality, Simons was brought in to boost declining retail sales of the higher priced Calvin Klein lines.

Several fashion insiders contend that Simons’ design aesthetic did not bole well at Calvin Klein. “Doing heroin chic might have worked at his own house; but it was not right to be connected with an American sportswear brand,” commented a senior executive within the PVH group.

Though Simons’ departure date has not be confirmed, according to the New York Times, Simons will leave Calvin Klein within the next six months. Raf Simons replaced Fransico Costa who helmed the brand’s women’s wear line for 13 years.

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

2018 holiday season shopalooza

The holiday 2018 season was the strongest shopping season in the past six years, according to a Mastercard report as reported on fashionnetwork.com. US holiday shopping in 2018 peaked at over $850 billion, an increase of 5.1% over the 2017 holiday season.

The 5.1 percent sales growth included in-store and online sales between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24. The National Retail Federation had forecast U.S. holiday retail sales to rise between 4.3 percent and 4.8 percent in November and December.

The retail industry contributes this spark in holiday sales to early discounts and a robust economy. “From shopping aisles to online carts, consumer confidence translated into holiday cheer for retail,” said Steve Sadove, senior adviser for Mastercard.

Though the US is dealing with a government shutdown and a schizophrenic stock market, consumers continued to shop aggressively. “I don’t see that (volatility in the markets and Government shutdown) as having any impact … but I am cautiously optimistic for the consumer going into 2019,” said Sadove.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Prada Apologizes, NYFW Preliminary Schedule Announced, Staffers Exit W Magazine, and Oribe Canales Transitions

Image courtesy of adage.com

Last week Prada was involved in a racial slur when the brand manufactured and sold key chains with racially insensitive trinkets of brown monkeys with large lips. These “Otto Toto” key chains were a part of Prada’s “Pradamalia” collection. The key chains of monkeys in “blackface” were displayed in major displays in Prada stores.Because of the social, cultural, and political outcry against Prada’s “blackface” monkeys, Prada has apologized for the racially insensitive product. Prada issued an apology last Friday on Twitter that it would remove the “fantasy charms” of “imaginary creatures” from stores and displays, and also stated that the “blackface” monkeys were not “intended to have any reference to the real world and certainly not blackface.”

“The Pradamalia are fantasy charms composed of elements of the Prada oeuvre. They are intended to have any reference to the real world and certainly not blackface,” the post on Twitter continued. In the past Prada has been called out for its lack of diversity, particularly models of color, in their runway shows and campaigns.

Image courtesy of forbes.com

CFDA announces NYFW fall 2019 roster

The CFDA has released the preliminary calendar for the New York Fashion Week (NYFW) women’s and men’s shows for the fall 2019 season. NYFW, beginning with the men’s shows, runs from February 3 through February 13.

Tom Ford is returning to the men’s calendar this season, joined by NYFW: Men’s (NYFWM) first-timers South Africa’s Lukhanyo Mdingi, Los Angeles’ No Sesso and Keenkee, based in New York and South Korea. Todd Snyder, Robert Geller, Joseph Abboud, Linder, and N. Hoolywood are NYFW’s regulars that again will show in NYC for the fall 2019 season. And Pamella Roland, The Blonds, Nicole Miller, Rag and Bone, Phillip Lim, Jeremy Scott, Alice + Olivia, Sally LaPointe, Christian Siriano, Diane Von Furstenberg, Oscar de la Renta, LaQuan Smith, Prabal Gurung, Michael Kors, Badgley Mischka, and others will show at NYFW: The Shows fall 2019 season.

That said; Ralph Lauren is returning to the NYFWS roster after showing for the last couple of seasons in Bedford, New York and in Central Park. Bibhu Mohapatra, Proenza Schouler also return to the roster this season. Absent for NYFW for the fall 2019 season will be Tommy Hilfiger, Vera Wang, Rodarte, John Varvatos, DKNY, Monique Lhuillier, Escada, Victoria Beckham, and Public School, and others.

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

W magazine’s staffers jump ship

While W magazine looks for investment dollars and new owners, staffers continue to leave the publication. Earlier this year it was announced that Condè Nast would be looking for buyers for W, Golf, and Brides magazines. Condè Nast is looking to sell W magazine for $8 million.

WWD has reported that there are up to 15 “potential suitors” for the W magazine. While Condè Nast is fielding offers, W magazine’s staffers are deserting the ship. Jewelry editor Gabriella de Givenchy, executive digital director Sarah de Leon, senior market editor Sam Walker, and fashion director Rickie de Sole have all left W magazine.

Image courtesy of biowikis.com

Adios Oribe

Celebrity hairstylist Oribe Canales has passed away. After rising to fame as a top celebrity hairstylist Oribe Canales launched a line of styling products.

The Cuban-immigrant started his prestigious career after he moved to NYC and began working for legendary stylist Garren at his salon at the Plaza Hotel. Canales quickly was demand for editorial shoot and runways shows, working with famed photographers Richard Avedon, Stephen Meisel, and Annie Lieboovitz; makeup artists Francois Nars and Kevyn Aucoin, and fashion designers Gianni Versace and Marc Jacobs.

Canales opened his own salon on Manhattan’s Upper Westside in 1987 and launched his eponymous hairstyling products in 2008. Canales’s celebrity clients included Naomi Campbell, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson, Veronica Webb, Linda Evangelista, Meghan Markle, Cindy Crawford, and Christy Turlington.

Canales died from cardiac arrest in a Miami. He had been in NYC for cancer treatment. Oribe Canales was 62 years old.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alerts: Alice + Olivia Sues Betsy Johnson, Covergirl’s collection for Women of Color, Virgil Abloh’s New Gig, And H&M Sri Lankan Factory Workers’ Protest

Image courtesy of pagesix.com

Alice + Olivia is suing Betsy Johnson over the use of Starface, an Alice + Olivia doodle of oversized sunglasses and lips that are designed to resemble Alice + Olivia founder Stacey Bendet. Attorneys for Alice + Olivia asked Betsy Johnson, now owned by Steve Madden, asked Betsy Johnson to cease and desist after Alice + Olivia noticed the copyright infringement in February 2018. The infringement was supposedly settled in March of 2018. However, the Alice + Oliva became aware for further infringement when the Starface doddle popped up on a new version of a Betsy Johnson handbag that had used previously with Starface.“The only difference between [Alice + Olivia’s] proprietary Starface design and the defendants’ new infringing product is that the defendants changed the shape of the glasses from circles to hearts,” the lawsuit reads. “Minor changes to the defendants’ product (such as changing round glasses to heart shape) do not negate a likelihood of confusion.”

Image courtesy of bustle.com

Covergirl is in the brown again

Covergirl has launched a new makeup line for women of color. Covergirl’s new makeup line for women of color, ‘Full Spectrum Collection,’ is an extensive series spanning foundation, primer, eyes shadows, lipsticks and more. This new collection was created with for women with darker skin tones. According to a post on hellogiggles.com, “[Covergirl understands that inclusivity goes far beyond shade ranges, Full Spectrum was developed with the unique shade and skin needs of multicultural women in mind.”

The Spectrum Collection is now sold at Ulta Beauty and retails between $6.92 and $13.49. The Spectrum Collection includes sumptuous purple lipsticks, eyeshadows ranging from teal and lime green to metallic gold, and creamy blusher in sunset shades. 

Image courtesy of wwd.com

Another gig for Virgil

Virgil Abloh, the current wunderkind of fashion, has a new job. If creative director of Off-White and Louis Vuitton’s menswear was not enough, he now has a new job with an unlikely company, Evian.

Abloh has been called upon to make the mineral water brand’s creative process more sustainable. As a creative advisor Abloh will also be involved in the development of new products for Evian.

The new venture will begin in the first two months of 2019 with the first project of a series of projects launching in January and February. You go, Virgil!!

Image courtesy of fashionnetwork.com

Sri Lankan workers protest H&M

There is a growing movement in South Asia of factory workers demanding a safer work environment and living wages. On November 27, garment workers in Sri Lanka organized a protest against working conditions and living wages in H&M factories.

H&M has over 235 factories in India and Sri Lanka. The Guardian reported in June that garment workers in factories that supply H&M clothing in Sri Lanka and India had experienced physical abuse for not meeting targets.

“We are dedicated to contribute to positive long-term development for the people working in the textile industry in our sourcing markets,” explained Thérèse Sundberg from H&M’s press and communications department as told to Reuters. Sunderberg said that this issue is an “industry wide problem.”

The Dabindu Collective organized the recent Sri Lankan protest. The Dabindu Collection was founded in 1984 “[t]o organize and empower women workers to create an environment, which will help them, win and safeguard their rights, acquire the respect of society and facilitate their participation in development processes.”

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Being Naomi, VS Runway Show’s Low Ratings, Versace Shows in New York, Marc Jacobs New Diffusion Line

Versace pre-fall 2019 image courtesy of elle.com

For several decades, there was hope that Versace would present a runway show in New York City. Well, that day finally arrived with the iconic brand recently presenting their pre-fall 2019 collection at the New York Stock Exchange on Trinity Place on what would have been Gianni Versace’s 72nd birthday.The pre-fall 2019 collection was a glance back at the brand’s iconic collections from 1994, fall 1991, spring 1992, spring 1997, and J-Lo’s year 2000 iconic white gown with plunging décolletage. All the great looks from these history-making collections were infused with a youthful modernity.

Super models Amber Valleta, Candice Swanepoel, Hailey Baldwin, Kaia Gerber, Gigi Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski walked in the show. This show almost marked the first show since Michael Kors’ holding company acquired Versace.

“I wanted to pay homage to this incredible city, bringing the sartorial heritage of Milan and fusing it with the energy of New York,” Donatella said in an official statement. “This collection is the result of this.”

Image courtesy of celebmafia.com

Another Naomi project

Supermodel Naomi Campbell has a new Youtube channel. “Being Naomi” shares Campbell’s experiences walking in top designers runway shows, her activism, her entrepreneurism, and her experiences working with other top models.

“I want to share it with women across the world, and especially women and young women in Africa,” Campbell tells the camera in her debut video, introducing her latest project. “I want to see the next generation use the things that I’ve said.” In an Instagram clip sharing the news with her 6 million followers, she says: “It’s amazing that I have the opportunity to tell you my story, show you who I really am, and inform you about the issues that are close to my heart.”

Marc jacobs spring 2019 image courtesy of patternindy.com

Marc Jacobs keeps trying

Since the demise of Marc by Marc Jacobs, fans of the brand have eagerly anticipated a new fashion line from Marc Jacobs. Well, that time has arrived.

The Marc Jacobs collection, named after the designer’s personal Instagram handle, will launch for pre-fall 2019 and is currently being shown to buyers. According to marieclaire.com, this diffusion line will be more affordable than Jacobs’ Marc by Marc Jacobs which was very pricey. This new diffusion line comes at a key moment in the brand’s trajectory with sales on the decline and rumors that Marc Jacobs could be exiting his eponymous brand.

There is very little information about this new diffusion line except that there will be accessories, rugby-striped sweaters, and wide-leg pants. The look book was styled by Lotta Volkova and photographed by Hugo Scott.

Image courtesy of heavy.com

The all-time low of the Victoria’s Secret show

Victoria’s Secret’s struggles continue. Not only is the lingerie brand struggling with sales, their annual televised runway show had the lowest ratings on record with the televised show on December 2 garnishing 3.7 million viewers compared to 5.37 million viewers in 2017. At the spectacular show’s peak in 2011, viewership teetered around 10.3 million.

The Victoria’s Secret runway show moved back to ABC after being telecast on CBS for several years. Top models Winnie Harlow, Gigi and Bella Hadid, and Kendall Jenner walked in the show with Adriana Lima walking in the show for the last time. Performers included Shawn Mendes, Halsey, and Rita Ora, among others. Still, with all that talent, Washington Post’s Robin Givhan commented that the show was too boring to even be reviewed.

—William S. Gooch

 

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

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 News Alert: Proenza Schuler Buyback, Victoria’s Secret Controversy, Lush x Rupaul, and MTV’s Sneaker Collection

Photo courtesy of vanityfair.com

There was lots of controversial buzz around Victoria’s Secret last week when the brand’s CMO Ed Razek said in an interview with Vogue that Victoria’s Secret would not be interested in using transgender models in their annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.There was lots of clapback on social media and recently Razek offered an apology to diverse communities and the transgender community. “My remark 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. We’ve had transgender models come to castings … And like many others, they didn’t make it … But, it was never about gender. I admire and respect their journey to embrace who they really are,” said Razek in a press release.

Photos courtesy of fashionista.com

Proenza Schouler ownership

Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, founders and designers of Proenza Schouler have bought back Proenza Schouler from Castanea Partners, with the help on new private investors. With this change in ownership, several employees have stepped down or have been let go. Both the CFO and CEO are leaving the company.

“We are thrilled to embark on this new very exciting chapter of Proenza Schouler and are delighted about the team of industry leaders we have assembled who, together with us, will help drive the business to it full potential,” explained Hernandez and McCollough in a statement. This injection of new cash will enable the brand to fund and expand the company’s secondary line, PSWL, globally. Hernandez and McCollough founded Proenza Schouler in 2002; both knew each other while they were students at Parsons School of Design.

Photo courtesy of fashionnetwork.com

Dragalicious Xmas

With the start of the holiday season starting in a little over of week, Lush is launching a holiday beauty campaign with three contestants from “Rupaul’s Drag Race.” This very glamorous holiday ‘Merry Dragmas’ campaign will feature Kim Chi, Shea Coulee, and Detox, with Kim Chi kicking off the holiday campaign.

Each of the stars has selected a favorite Lush product to promote, with the trio choosing ‘Sleepy Shower Gel,’ the ‘Shoot for the Stars Bath Bomb,’ and the ‘Candy Cane Reusable Bubble Bar.’ Lush is known for its plant-based skincare essentials and beautiful bath bombs.

Photo courtesy of gotstyle.com

MTV x Christopher Bates

MTV is launching a limited-edition sneaker with Canadian menswear designer Christopher Bates. This high-end sneaker collection offers three unisex styles available in both men’s and women’s sizing: The Noctem Hightop (black), The Argentum Hightop (silver) and The Aurum Lowtop (gold). According to fashionnetwork.com, the collection was designed in Milan and produced in Italy where the designer is now based, feature metal stud detailing along the toe and heel, and hints of red for a contemporary look combined with a touch of 90’s nostalgia. 

“They’ve got a bit of a rock ‘n’ roll, edgy vibe, of course, from the MTV side, but the more Italian design and manufacturing aesthetic from my side,” said Bates of the sneaker collection. The limited collection is producing only 75 sneakers per style with the MTV’s logo and Bates’ signature kiss motif.

The high-top styles are available for $396 Canadian dollars, with the low-top version retails for $360 Canadian dollars. The MTV x Christopher Bates sneaker collection is exclusively available at christopherbates.com and at Canadian retailer GotStyle. 

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Adriana Lima’s Last Walk, Wrangler and “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and Marc Jacobs Relaunches Grunge

Image courtesy of eveningstandard.co.uk

After 19 years appearing in Victoria’s Secret runway shows, supermodel Adriana Lima is retiring her angel wings. For the upcoming Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show to be telecast on ABC on December 2, Adriana Lima will walk in her last runway show for the global lingerie brand.“Dear Victoria, [t]hank you for showing e the world, sharing your secrets, and most importantly not just giving me wings but teaching me to fly,” said Lima in an Instagram post. Lima shed her tear as she walked in her last Victoria’s Secret show. The show was tapped on November 8 in New York City.

Image courtesy of fashionunited.com

Wrangler conjures up Freddie Mercury

On the heels of the Queen biographical film “Bohemian Rhapsody,” denim brand Wrangler has launched a Bohemian Rhapsody capsule collection. The collection features tee shirts, jeans, and jackets adorned with Queen lyrics from hit songs like “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Price points range from $39 to $159 and made in collaboration with music lifestyle brand Lyric Culture.

“Since 1947 we’ve partnered with legendary recording artists, supported music festivals and events all around, and for us we view both music and our brand as a connector,” Jenni Broyles, vice president and general manager of Wrangler Modern Lifestyle said in an interview with Billboard. “We’ve been on the likes of George Strait and Garth Brooks, but we’ve also been on the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Lady Gaga.”

The Wrangler/Bohemian Rhapsody capsule collection is drawing from the fact that Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury wore a pair of the brand’s jeans during Queen’s Live Aid performance in 1985. The capsule collection is now available exclusively on Wrangler’s website.

Image courtesy of elle.com

Marc looks back

Most folks don’t realize that at one time Marc Jacobs was the creative director of Perry Ellis. Back in 1993, Jacobs created an iconic grunge collection for Perry Ellis.

Jacobs is revisiting that iconic 1993 grunge collection with a revamped version of 26 looks. The revisited collection will feature Nirvana-inspired t-shirts, fruit-printed dresses and tops, as well as coats, pants, and matching sets in neons, pastels, stripes and plaid galore. The Redux Grunge lookbook will feature the children of models who originally walked in the 1993 grunge show—Lily McMenamy and Coco Gordon Moore, as well as top models Slick Woods and Gigi Hadid.

Price points range from $95 to $1200. The looks from Redux Grunge are available for pre-order now on the Marc Jacobs e-commerce site.

—William S. Gooch

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