Fashion News Alert: Karl Lagerfeld Transitions, Kim K Slams Fashion Nova, Nicki Minaj’s New Fragrance, and Prada’s Diversity Council

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It has now become quite common for fashion brands to talk about diversity and inclusion. Unfortunately, most of the conversation around diversity and inclusion comes across as lip service, never translating into real hires in the fashion industry that embrace a wider spectrum of racial groups.With the wave of racially insensitive fashion product that has recently flooded the market, Prada has decided to launch its own Diversity Inclusion Council. This all comes on the heels of the brand’s “monkey key chains” that some consumers felt were a blackface parody.

“Prada is committed to cultivating, recruiting and retaining diverse talent to contribute to all departments of the company,” said Miuccia Prada, Chief Executive Officer and Lead Creative Director at Prada, in a statement posted in “In addition to amplifying voices of color within the industry we will help ensure that the fashion world is reflective of the world in which we live, and we are thrilled to be working with long-time collaborators, Ava DuVernay and Theaster Gates, on this important initiative. We look forward to working with the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council to help us grow not only as a company but also as individuals.”

Prada’s Diversity Council will work to increase diversity and inclusion by recruiting people of color for apprenticeships and internships. The Diversity Council will work alongside Prada Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department that focuses on community investment, sustainability, scientific research, and culture.

Still, it is questionable if Prada Group’s Diversity Inclusion is more than cosmetic posturing. The brand until less than a decade ago rarely had any black models walking in their runway shows. And more importantly why reach out to noted people of color who work outside of the fashion industry to be on its diversity council. There is a plethora of esteemed fashion industry people of color who could to this council a lot of good!!

Hmm, time will tell!!

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Nicki’s new scent

Launching a film, a television series or a record album in contingent with a fashion product now seems to be the order of the day. That said; pop sensation Nicki Minaj is following suit. With the release of her album “Queen,” Nicki Minaj is debuting ‘Queen’ eau de parfum.

I’m so excited to be launching a new fragrance for my fans,” Minaj said in a statement. “It’s a special scent fit for a Queen, and for all the Queens in their lives.”

‘Queen’ eau de parfum features top notes of Asian Pear and Bergamot, a heart of Heliotrope and base notes of Tonka Bean, Praline and Musk for a smooth finish. The parfum vial resembles Minaj’s head and torso with a gem-encrusted headpiece that can be detached and worn as a bracelet.

This is not Nicki Minaj’s first dip in the fragrance and beauty pool. Previously Nicki Minaj collaborated with Elizabeth Arden with scents that included the floral “Pink Friday,” a fruity signature fragrance dubbed “The Pinkprint” and a bold, berry blend titled “Minajesty.”

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Counterfeit Kim

Kim Kardashian has accused online fashion retailer Fashion Nova for copying a vintage black cocktail gown with extreme bust cutouts from Thierry Mugler’s 1998 archives. Twenty-four hours after Kim K wore the gown to the Hollywood Beauty Awards on February 17, Fashion Nova produced a similar gown, priced at $50.

Kim K called out the fast fashion online retailer for its duplication, also inciting that this had happened to her husband, Kanye West in the past. (Fashion Nova has copied Kim K garments in the past—in particular, a pink Yeezy dress she wore to her sister, Kylie Jenner’s, 21st birthday party.)

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Kim K might have released an image of the gown in question to Fashion Nova days before she wore the gown to the Hollywood Beauty Awards. (We all know that fast fashion brand like Zara and Fashion Nova can reproduce a garment very quickly, but mass-producing in 24 hours is science fiction.)  

Additionally, fashion pundits contend that Kanye West’s collaborative shoes with Adidas, Yeezy Boots, looked like sneakers that appeared in Rick Owens’ runway shoes a couple of seasons prior to Yeezy Boots debut. So, Kim K what are you complaining about?

Was this just another publicity stunt for the Kardashian clan? Hmm, maybe.

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Au voir Karl

Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld has passed away. Karl Lagerfeld died on Tuesday in Paris. Rumors had circulated since January 2019 that Lagerfeld was ill. Lagerfeld did not make an appearance at Chanel’s couture show in late January.

Lagerfeld took the helm at Chanel in 1983, transforming the iconic fashion house into a global power. At the time of his death Lagerfeld also was creative director of Fendi, acquiring the position in 1965.

As one of the most prolific fashion designers of the 20th and 21st centuries, Lagerfeld, even into his 80s, was known to create 14 collections a year. Though many fashion pundits referred to Lagerfeld as a ‘styliste,’ a designer that repurposes existing looks, rather than creating original silhouettes in the vein of Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Zhandra Rhodes, Norma Kamali and the incomparable Coco Chanel, Lagerfeld singlehandedly transformed Chanel to a 4 billion dollar a year luxury brand.

Recognizable in dark shades, white powdered hair, lots of silver rings on both hands, fingerless gloves and excessively drinking Diet Coke, Lagerfeld was known for his many cutting quips. “Chanel is an institution, and you have to treat an institution like a whore—and then you get something out of her.”

One of the last of iconic fashion designers of his ilk and generation—Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Sonia Rykiel, and Azzedine Alaia—Karl Lagerfeld will be missed for his genius, his wit, eccentricity, and his prodigious talent.

—William S. Gooch

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