“Fashion Reverie Talks” Season 2, Episode 4

Episode 4 is “Fashion Reverie Talks” fall 2021 Shopping episode. True to our format, we start each episode with our Fashion News Alerts. Co-hosts Carl Ayers, Cicily Daniels, and Tijana Ibrahimovic give voice to Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing’s admission of burn injuries suffered as the result of a home fire. There was also a discussion of Nordstrom’s collaboration with Dr. Marten’s, evidenced in a Dr. Marten pop-up shop inside of Nordstrom. Lastly, the co-hosts spoke to Ryan Gosling becoming a brand ambassador for TAG HEUER.

Tijana Ibrahimovic examined great fall 2021 ladies’ coats with associate editor Phoebe Howard that run the gamut of fall 2021 coats from the fashion disruptor Vivienne Westwood to plus-size brand Eloquii to the more traditional Burberry. Co-host Cicily Daniels also has an engaging conversation with co-host Carl Ayers about his fall 2021 Styleout which includes the fall 2021 trends of cutouts, soft leather, and midi skirts.

 This episode ends with a round table between the co-hosts as they break down fall 2021 fashion collaborations between Stella McCartney and Adidas, Target’s collaboration with Victor Glemaud, Sandy Liang, Nili Lotan, and Rachel Comey, and the iconic Iris Apfel and H&M. We always keep our viewers informed of the all the great movings and shakings in the fashion industry. All done with humor, charm, and interesting perspectives.


Weekend Fashion News Alert: Scarlett Johansson’s Beauty Brand, Skims Connects to US Olympic Team, and Kylie Cosmetics Relaunches

Image courtesy of people.com

Kim Kardashian keeps expanding her empire.  Kardashian’s her undergarment/loungewear/shapewear brand Skims has been named the official undergarment and pajama brand for the US Olympic team and the US Paralympic team for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

When Kim launched her Skims in 2018, few predicted that this brand would achieve the market saturation that has been achieved. Valued at 1.6 million dollars, Skims has become one of the go-to brands for consumers that are looking for undergarments that not only support the body but also has a shaping component.

For the US Olympic team, Skims has created an assortment of bralettes, tee shirts, briefs, tank tops, leggings, socks, and more—each of which flaunt a United States flag emblem and Olympic rings. And Kardashian has tapped current Olympians Alex Morgan, Scout Bassett, Haley Anderson, A’ja Wilson, and Dalilah Muhammad to model the Tokyo Olympic collections. This new collection is available for consumers at skims.com.

Image courtesy of newbeauty.com

Scarlett Johansson tips into the skincare pool

Scarlett Johansson is the latest celebrity to dip into the beauty brand pool.  Though there is no name for the beauty brand, the launch date is in early 2022. The skincare beauty brand will be backed by Najafi Companies—the same private investment beauty firm behind Tracee Ellis Ross’ Pattern—as well as Moon Oral Care, Johansson will chair the skincare line.

Johansson will be assisted in this endeavor by fashion executive Kate Foster, who has previously worked with Juicy Couture and Victoria’s Secret Beauty. With her co-founder Kate Foster and Najfi Companies, Johansson will operate independently, maintaining her creative input and vision.

Johansson has previously served as a brand ambassador for L’Oréal Paris and Dolce & Gabbana. There is currently no information on the types of product that will be included in Johansson’s beauty brand.

Image courtesy of allure.com

Kylie Cosmetics goes vegan

Kylie Cosmetics is relaunching as a clean, vegan brand with new formulas. American beauty conglomerate Coty, Inc announced this change in direction for Kylie Cosmetics on this past Thursday. Coty, Inc bought a majority share in Kylie Cosmetics in November 2019.

“We are excited about the relaunch of Kylie Cosmetics with a reformulated range that is really at the forefront of everything Gen Z wants,” said Sue Y. Nabi, Coty’s CEO, as reported in fashionnetwork.com. “Kylie Cosmetics is followed by many millions of people across the world. Our new online platform, along with selected retailers, allows consumers to buy their whole beauty routine in one space, from the cleanser to the moisturizer, the highlighter, or the lip color.”

“I’m so proud to relaunch Kylie Cosmetics with all new formulas that are clean and vegan,” said Kylie Jenner. “Innovation has come far in the past few years. When creating this line, it was so important to me to commit to using clean ingredients across the board, but to never sacrifice performance. My new lip kit has 8-hour wear and is so comfortable on the lips, and all my new formulas are amazing. I’m excited for everyone to try the new products.”

The updated formulas have been created without the use of animal oils, parabens, or gluten, along with a long list of over 1,600 other potentially harmful and irritating ingredients. There will also be a new packaging, as well as a new way to shop Kylie Cosmetics.

The relaunched Kylie Cosmetics will be available to consumers on July 15 through a new direct-to-consumer website, as well as such stores as Harrods and Selfridges in the UK, Douglas in Europe, and Mecca in Australia. The brand will be available in the US in Ulta Beauty stores in August 2021.

—William S. Gooch

Editor’s Picks: Shades for the 2021 Summer Season, the Ideal Statement Piece for Your Face

Image courtesy of Instagram

Sunglasses are the face’s statement piece. Anna Wintour, the fashion industry’s queen of sunglasses, is a perfect example of how an accessory can come to function as much more than a simple utilitarian accessory. In a 2019 interview with Insider magazine, she brazenly stated that her iconic thick shades are “incredibly useful because you avoid people knowing what you’re thinking about.” Her sunglasses quite literally accessorize the mystique surrounding her elite status and camouflage her emotions under thick plastic layers (would Anna Wintour wear plastic?) Sunglasses act as a statement but also often make a statement about a person in their fashioning as a representation of anonymity, status, emotion, and individuality. It is then no surprise that shades have been the muse for countless songs, most notably in Corey Hart’s “I Wear My Sunglasses at Night,” with the title showcasing the accessories’ use for everything but shielding the sun. Below are Fashion Reverie’s editor picks for shades that are much more than functional!

The Celebrity Status Shades

Image courtesy of @vogueeyewear on Instagram

“You got designer shades just to hide your face and you wear ’em around like you’re cooler than me, and you never say hey or remember my name, and it’s probably cause you think you’re cooler than me” —”Cooler Than Me,” Mike Posner

Celebrities are known to use sunglasses to conceal their identity while out in public. Their status paired with shades gives a look of mystique, prestige, and attempted anonymity. It is then appropriate that celebrities have been tied to particular shades or styles since they are seen wearing them quite often. Here are Fashion Reverie’s celebrity favorites picks!

Image courtesy of Crap Eyewear


Crap Eyewear x Emma Chamberlain The Prima Donna $89

Image courtesy of Oliver Peoples


Oliver Peoples O’Malley Sun $511

Image courtesy of Farfetch


Vogue Eyewear Gigi Hadid Capsule Low Frame Sunglasses $70


The “Seeing the World through Rose-Colored Glasses” Shades lyrics

Image courtesy of Nicole Nodland

“I put ’em on to keep it positive. Don’t mean to tell you how to feel. But I’m a firm believer in the power of the plastic. Positive plastic in my pink sunglasses” —”Pink Sunglasses,” Miranda Lambert

With the US adjusting back to normalcy, many are enthusiastic about the summer that we seemed to have lost last year. With masks gone and the summer sun moving in, many would like to see the world through rose-colored glasses. Fashion Reverie has curated a list of shades that will help to put this summer in a positive, rosy light!

FENDI $250

Image courtesy of sunglass hut

GUCCI Chain Square Embellished Sunglasses $513

Image courtesy of Moda Operandi

The MVMNT Biz The DRIP Sunglasses $14.99

Image courtesy of Etsy

Celebrity Favorite Highlight: Lana Del Rey

Music artist Lana Del Rey has been known to wear a variety of heart-shaped sunglasses over the years and even included a lyrical nod to her love for them in her 2012 song “Diet Mountain Dew. Heart-shaped sunglasses were most popular around 2015 and are now making a resurgence in more avant-garde shapes. Below is Fashion Reverie’s top 2021 Lana Del Rey-esque pick!

Saint Laurent Loulou Heart Sunglasses $420

Image courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue

The “Feeling Brand New” Shades

Image courtesy of @oliviarodrigo on Depop

“I feel like new sunglasses, like a brand new pair of jeans, I feel like taking chances, I feel a lot like seventeen. I feel like windows rolled down, new city, streets, and cabs” —”Brand New,” Ben Rector

Sunglasses often transform a look, and many are wanting to experiment with new (and riskier) shapes and colors this season. These picks are for those who are feeling like they want to switch up their style and try something new and exciting!

Remo Tulliani POWER $165

Image courtesy of Remo Tulliani

Don’t be Shady Theo Circle Sunglasses $30.98

Image courtesy of Don’t be Shady

Celebrity Favorite Highlight: Kaia Gerber

Image courtesy of @lexxola on Instagram

American model and actress Kaia Gerber is coming for Anna Wintour’s title as sunglass queen. Unlike Wintour, she does not necessarily have a signature look, rather she tries a wide variety of styles, shapes, and colors. Gerber, like many other GenZ-ers, is obsessed with Lexxola glasses, which is a unisex brand that became extremely popular on TikTok. Below is Fashion Reverie’s favorite Lexxola pick!

Image courtesy of Lexxola

Lexxola Damien $267.54

—Tessa Swantek



Kpop Artists’ Duality Exemplifies a Current Juxtaposition of Fashion and Music

Image courtesy of koreanfashiononline.com

Bright colors explode across the screen as fantastic and intricate dances perfectly meld with the honey tones of the singer’s voices. The eye is pulled from one amazing scene to the next, each more stimulating than the last. K-pop is enthusiasm personified and its huge following over the past few years is a testament to that. “A maximalist dreamland full of color” is how Maria Sherman for NPR describes K-pop, or Korean pop, in its aesthetic focus and high-powered performances. K-pop is a genre unlike any other as it reflects Korean culture. as well as influences from other cultures that fuse into an art form that is far from being solely about music. Sherman writes that “K-pop is music that is stuffed but never bloated; music that is fun and meant to elicit joy when listened to and seen (K-pop is designed to be enjoyed visually as much, if not more, than it is meant to be heard) with performances and music videos that double as art films.” K-pop groups even have a designated “visual” who exemplifies Korean cultural beauty standards, which is problematic, but demonstrates the visual focus of K-pop. The importance of aesthetics in the music genre translates to the fashion realm as well with many K-pop group members also doubling as fashion influencers and models.

Image courtesy of Instagram

The colorful vision of the music video set is easily transferred into the pearls, rhinestones, and intricate patterns of the artists’ outfits. Blackpink, one of the most popular K-pop girl groups with international fame and recognition, are often symbols of modern K-pop fashion with many others trying to emulate their style. In their music video for their single “How You Like That,” members Rosé, Lisa, Jennie, and Jisoo don high fashion luxury pieces from Chanel, Marine Serre, Alexander McQueen, AREA, and Dior among many other brands. Apart from being sonically appealing, the video is so aesthetically appealing that it practically replicates a high fashion runway show. The styling is filled to the brim without running over with stacked jewelry, rhinestone hairpieces, body chains, and metallic boots.

Image courtesy of Instagram

Fashion choices in K-pop music videos are based on K-pop’s identity as a genre and a visual culture rather than trends. In NCT U’s “Make a Wish,” Taeyong, leader and group visual, sets the tone for the fashion in the video as he appears in swinging pearl stacked chains, a Gucci jacket over top a yellow silk button down paired with sparkle trousers. Members hang from intricate chandeliers and look just as, if not more, beautiful than the diamonds dripping from the ceiling. While members in K-pop videos are often wearing designer pieces, the looks are fresh, exciting, and distinct mirroring the music genre.

Image courtesy of ezuphotomobile.com

While K-pop is often synonymous with maximalism, sonically and visually, artists are also well-known for their minimalist style that more closely reflects South Korean street and ready-to-wear fashion. This style is often seen in airport photos and more casual settings. In a Vogue 2021 Seoul Fashion Week street style rundown, it is noted that many are opting for “darker, pared back looks” with photos depicting black tailored blazers, leather boots, oversized trousers, sweatpants paired with leather jackets, lace-up combat boots. and white sneakers. K-pop idols wear these types of looks which exemplify their personal style that is seemingly effortless and chic, emphasizing body proportions which play a major role in South Korean beauty standards.

K-pop idols’ images are extremely malleable with this being one of the trademarks of the music genre. Music videos often showcase maximalist fashion while street style images capture a minimalist appeal. Before a new “era” for a K-pop group, fans often look for signs of new hair colors that would indicate the filming of a new music video. Due to the artists’ duality, it is no surprise that many K-pop idols have become the face of many luxury fashion brands showcasing ready-to-wear pieces as well as haute couture pieces. 

Images courtesy of Instagram

Every member of Blackpink fills the role of brand ambassador for a particular luxury fashion brand; Jennie is the face of Chanel often dubbed “human Chanel,” and went viral when seated next to Anna Wintour for Chanel’s Summer 2020 Paris rooftop presentation; Lisa is Celine’s global ambassador; Jisoo acts as Dior’s global ambassador, and Rosé acts as YSL’s global ambassador. EXO and SuperM’s Kai is Gucci’s first-ever Korean global ambassador with the brand even creating a capsule collection with him as the muse.

K-pop artists are muses to their fans as well which is one of the many reasons why we are seeing the “Korean wave” sweeping the globe with influences in skincare, makeup, fashion, television, and of course music.  One look at the #kpopfashion tag on TikTok shows a variety of fans in chains, leather, pleated skirts, and intricate layers and accessories. This is just one of the many demonstrations of K-pop’s influence and unique style that has captured the attention of a global audience that is willing and ready to be taken on a kaleidoscopic journey of excitement through music and fashion.

—Tessa Swantek

Thalé Blanc’s Spring 2021 Dream Collection

Thalé Blanc was a bright example of which the film that introduced the collection actually added richness and a depth of understanding about the clothes shown. Better still, designer Deborah Sawaf appeared and narrated, explaining what inspired her. The film was shot in her home, making the collection all the more personal.

Prior to New York Fashion Week (NYFW), Sawaf spoke to Fashion Reverie about how she believes women are looking to add to their existing collections and want to be able to buy the pieces they see at a show right away, not six months from viewing them.  Now, she says, “is a time to dream a little … Don’t be afraid to dream, even though it might sound silly and naïve… and have some courage to take a leap.” 

Wardrobe wise, “dreaming a little bit” translates to a continuation of her best-selling Boston coat, which also comes in a shorter car-length. The spring version comes in a whimsical camouflage print with a chartreuse bottom. Certain to become wardrobe basics are a pair of khaki gaucho pants and an easy sleeveless dark denim dress both trimmed in white fringe. There’s also her signature open-sleeve top with grommet detailing that can be worn with shorts or longer pants, depending on the occasion and the temperature outside. The tops appeal to her LA-Euro customers who appreciate the Valentino “rock stud” vibe. The khaki drawstring top is an elegant take on the classic windbreaker and can be dressed up or down. Sawaf is not one to be dictated by trends, but she showed her spin on fuchsia, one of 2021’s colors. Her version was a jumpsuit with sexy slits up to the knee.

Sawaf started in the fashion business by designing luxury handbags for Gianfranco Ferré, and Roberto Cavalli. Today, her made in Italy bags continue to be an important part of the overall collection and are listed as individual looks. The designer continues to update her best-selling scalloped “Audrey” bag, that’s large enough for being out and about all-day, as we will be in the coming months. The new bags come in pretty shell pink and cream colors embellished with studs for a little rock n’ roll edge as well as in crocodile and flashy metallics. The Swarovski crystal and resin jewelry dress-up the core pieces she proposes for spring.

Images courtesy of VERY NEW YORK

Thalé Blanc continues to be available in season, following the lead of the Paris couture calendar.

—Vivian Kelly

“Bling Empire’s” Cherie Chan Talks About Life, Motherhood, and of course, Fashion

Image courtesy of Netflix

Netflix’s “Bling Empire” has quickly become one of the streaming platform’s most popular series. When the showed debuted last month, it was a welcome escape from politics upheaval and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Bling Empire” is described as a real-life version of the box office hit film “Crazy Rich Asians,” following the lives of some of Los Angeles’ wealthiest Asian and Asian American socialites. One of the most endearing stars of the show is Cherie Chan, an heiress to a denim and textile company, who spent the series showing us the value of good dressing while pregnant. Chan was pregnant with her second child for most of the series filming, but that didn’t stop her from bedazzling herself with Louis Vuitton, Giambattista Valli, and Chanel. The businesswoman, who has her own tequila company, Religion Tequila, took a few moments out of her busy schedule to discuss one of her favorite topics with Fashion Reverie: clothes!

Fashion Reverie: When did you first find your love of fashion?

Cherie Chan: I discovered my love for Chanel when I was really young. I went on a trip to Paris with my whole family when I was 7 years old, and we shut down the Chanel boutique for 8 hours. We went in when the sun was out and left when it was nighttime. At first, I was complaining because I wanted to go outside, eat, and get roasted chestnuts. Then I started discovering what an amazing place the store was. There were all the Chanel dresses and handbags. The people who work at Chanel make it feel even more special. Even as a little girl, I loved the Chanel packaging with the camellia flowers and the ribbon.

FR: Did you love playing dress up as a little girl?

Cherie Chan: I did! I really loved dressing up. My mom never wanted me to dress up too much because she was from the generation where people wanted to make money, but they didn’t want to show their wealth. Back then, you only really dressed up for special events. People would buy things and that would live in the back of their closet. My mother had vintage Chanel handbags that look brand new that she barely used. To me, those are treasures meant to be passed on to my children.

FR: Your family comes from the denim and textile industry. What did that teach you about the value of good dressing?

Cherie Chan: It taught me a lot. When I was very young, I was in our factories trying to learn how to sew things by watching the factory workers and my parents. I used to help my parents’ compile the fabrics, and it was so much fun and a great bonding experience with them. I will always have those memories.

FR: How did you get cast on ”Bling Empire”?

Cherie Chan: It was through a friend referral, and I wasn’t even aware it was a casting. I thought we were just going to hang out.

FR: How did you curate your wardrobe specifically for the show?

Cherie Chan: I was just being myself. This is how I dress normally. I was pregnant most of the show, and then I had post-baby body, so I didn’t look exactly the way I wanted to during filming. I wore a lot of empire waistline pieces. I also wore a lot of baby doll dresses, and I had some Dior A-line skirts that went over my belly. It was all about being comfortable, but still fashionable. I was always wearing slides because they come off so easily.

I was in between being pregnant and taking care of my mom, so I did have a few maternity pants that I could pair with a sweater on days I was visiting my mother in the hospital. I still remember going to the hospital and the nurses telling me how cute my outfits and shoes were, which really brightened up both my day and my mom’s. Even though my mother was very sick, she still loved her favorite Chanel No. 5 perfume, and we would spray her hospital room with it, so it smelled like Chanel No. 5 when people walked in. She was going through so much with the cancer and she went through so much before she died. It was amazing and crazy to say how fashion still helped her toward the end.

FR: Everyone on the show had different approaches to fashion. Was there a process with “Bling Empire’s” production team to make sure all the cast members had their own unique style?

Cherie Chan: No, the team just trusted that we had great style. The only things we got told were nothing too sparkly, so there were no sequins allowed, which was tough for me because I love things that sparkle. One of my favorite looks of the season was by one of my favorite designers, Magda Butrym, that I paired with a pearl tiara.

FR: Were you nervous about getting portrayed in a negative light given the way reality television shows are sometimes edited?

Cherie Chan: Not at all, I was just being myself. Some of my parties didn’t make the cut. but that’s OK.

FR: As a former musician, how did that help you learn to market your image in terms of style and presentation?

Cherie Chan: I think my experience in Japan definitely affected my fashion sense. I choose stuff that’s more feminine, elegant, and classy. Prior to Japan, I was more laid back with my style. I used to wear Chrome Hearts. I’ve always like dressing up and being a princess, but after Japan, I fell more in love with elegant and classic styles. After being pregnant, I fell in love with empire waistlines and baby doll dresses because they fit my body the best.

FR: How would say your image has changed from your days doing music in Japan to your current days on “Bling Empire”?

Cherie Chan: I think it’s changed so much. Back when I was a musician, I was very simple with what I wore, even though I had designer things. Back then in Japan, people did not wear designer things with logos on them. You saw Chanel buttons and tweeds, but no logos. It wasn’t until recently that you started seeing logoed merchandise from Fendi, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel being worn in Japan. Back in those days, people would have Dior tee shirts, but they wouldn’t even say Dior on them.

FR: Do you have any style inspirations or icons you look up to?

Cherie Chan: I’m a huge fan of fashion blogger Nicole Warne, formerly @garypeppergirl on Instagram. Her style is so nice. I’m also a huge fan of model Irene Kim, known as @ireneisgood on Instagram.

FR: Who are some of your favorite designers?

Cherie Chan: I absolutely love Chanel ever since I had my daughter because they have great mommy and me styles, because we love to match.

FR: Are there any current designers that excite you that you haven’t added to your wardrobe yet?

Cherie Chan: I love seeing what new designers are on H. Lorenzo’s website. I recently got some Marine Serre shirts. I think she’s such a talented designer, and I love her jackets. I love Simone Rocha. Her pieces are so elegant, and she had this Moncler collaboration with this skirt I am dying to get my hands on. I also love this New York-based brand called Area.

FR: What are you hopes for season 2 of the show, and what other projects are you and your husband, Jessey, working on?

Cherie Chan:
We are not sure about doing season 2, yet. Jessey and I are so busy with the babies. And my husband and I are extremely focused with our company Religion Tequila and our IT company BresaTech, which we founded 2017.

Religion Tequila originally started as a hobby project for Jessey because of his passion for tequila. BresaTech is more of a legacy company which we see as something we leave for our kids. Jessey’s interest in the technology space also came at a young age. He sees the sustainability of this industry in the foreseeable future.

Images courtesy of Cherie Chan

FR: A good outfit isn’t complete without … ? Fill in the blank.

Cherie Chan: A good pair of shoes and a good handbag. In terms of shoes, I’ve really been loving Mach & Mach and Amina Muaddi. I’m a huge fan of Sophia Webster. When I was younger, my mother always told me for a classic shoe, go to Roger Vivier. Aside from the classic flats and heels, Roger Vivier also has amazing sneakers. They are comfortable, they sparkle, and they slide on and off just like a pair of slides.

“Bling Empire” premiered on January 15 on Netflix. The first season is now streaming.

 —Kristopher Fraser

“Fashion Reverie Talks” Episode 11

In this “Fashion Reverie Talks” episode 11, the first episode of 2021, we look at fashion designers/brands to look for in 2021, the controversy around Vogue US’ February cover of Vice President Kamala Harris, fashion models’ sexual allegations against Alexander Wang, Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy’s divorce proceedings and very thought-provoking interview with “Project Runway” alum SUEDE. Additionally, we have an intriguing interview, conducted by Cicily Daniels, with Fashion Reverie Associate Editor Cameron Grey Rose’s “2021 Oscar Predictions.”

As in previous episodes, this episode is co-hosted by Carl Ayers, Cicily Daniels, and Tijana Ibrahimovic. As a team, they bring great wit, charm and lots of details of what is going on in the fashion industry. Pay close attention to Tijana’s interview with SUEDE. She unveils some interesting, perhaps, never heard stories about “Project Runway” in this outstanding interview!!


Fashion News Alert: Kamala Harris Vogue Cover Controversy, Alexander Wang Scandal Continues, Simone Rocha x H&M Collaboration, and Mary-Kate Olsen Reached Divorce Settlement

Image courtesy of the philadelphiainquirer.com

You would think just getting on the cover of Vogue magazine would be enough. Well, apparently it was not enough for some critics when Vice-President elect Kamala Harris appeared on the 2021 February issue of Vogue US.

When the 2021 February issue of Vogue US leaked out before newsstand date, there was much wagging of tongues and wringing of hands of the image VP elect Harris in her signature Converse sneaks, a white tee shirt, black stretch pants and distressed leather jacket. Many pundits felt this look was way too casual and relaxed for the in-coming Vice President of United States. Harris’ victory as the first African American and South Asian woman to be elected to the esteemed office of Vice President of the US is groundbreaking and history making.

That said; many folks felt this leaked cover was way beneath the office of the Vice President. Harris’ team confirmed that they thought Vogue would feature a different cover image—Harris posing in a light blue suit against a gold background, which they had approved—for some reason Vogue went with a different cover image.

In defense of the leaked cover image Vogue Editor-in-chief Anna Wintour explained to The New York Times, “When the two images arrived at Vogue, all of us felt very, very strongly that the less formal portrait of the Vice President-elect really reflected the moment that we were living in.”  Wintour continued, “We are in the midst … of the most appalling pandemic that is taking lives by the minute, and we felt to reflect this tragic moment in global history, a much less formal picture, something that was very, very accessible, and approachable, and really reflected the hallmark of the Biden-Harris campaign …”

Wintour further explained that Harris chose the clothing in the leaked cover image and felt that the selection reflected the Harris felt that the cover image was “joyful and optimistic.” Wintour added that “[she could not] imagine that there’s anyone that really is going to find this cover anything but that, and positive,” she said. “(It’s) an image of a woman in control of her life who’s going to bring us … the leadership, that we so need. And to me, it’s just a very important, but positive, statement about women, and women in power.”

Former American Vogue Editor-at-Large Andre Leon Talley agreed with Wintour’s choice to use the more relaxed image of Kamala Harris for the cover. “(Harris’) work uniform with her ubiquitous Converse sneakers is aspirational. I predict it’s going to set a trend for all young women all over the world, are going to dress like Kamala Harris,” he wrote. “Knitting controversy is utterly ridiculous.”

Image courtesy of H&M

Simone Rocha x H&M

While COVID-19 have slowed down many fashion collaborations, one such scheduled fashion collaboration is forging right ahead. Simone Rocha, a London Fashion Week regular presenter, and mega retail brand H&M are going ahead with their planned collaboration.

The Simone Rocha x H&M collection is scheduled to launch on March 11. The pieces in the collaboration will include signature womenswear, alongside menswear and kids’ wear. According to H&M’s Creative Advisor Anne-Sofie Johansson, as reported in fashionnetwork.com, “It will be “the first time that Rocha has offered a wardrobe for the entire family.”

Each clothing category will include a full wardrobe including special occasion wear, such as tulle dresses and tailoring, alongside knits, shirting, outerwear and casual tee shirts. There are also accessories, including Rocha’s signature sparkling jewelry and pearl-embellished footwear. Johansson reveals that in this collaboration “[Rocha] celebrates her personal inter-ethnic heritage and the myriad inspirations which have defined the growth of her label, from the traditions and crafts of Hong Kong through to the greats of art history.”

Image courtesy of dailymail.couk

More sexual assault allegations for Alexander Wang

Fashion Reverie first reported on the Alexander Wang alleged sexual assault story two weeks ago. Well, since that time more sexual assault victims have come forward.

In addition to the original sexual assault claims by male model Owen Mooney which out in mid-December, it has recently been revealed that Wang allegedly sexually molested other male victims, women and trans women at New York City nightclubs and afterhours spots.

There are also allegations that Wang groped the genitals of some victims after giving them MDMA, a date rape drug, without their knowledge. Wang is a known intense partier, using party lingo, “WANGOVER” and “PARTY ANIMAL” on headbands in his spring 2018 collection.

The model advocacy group, Model Alliance is standing in solidarity with Wang’s alleged victims. And famed attorney Lisa Bloom has offered her services to Wang’s alleged victims.

Alexander Wang has denied the allegations and could not be reached for comment.

Image courtesy of people.com

Mary-Kate retains wealth

Mary-Kate Olsen, part of the design duo with sister Ashley behind fashion brand The Row, has reached a divorce deal with husband Olivier Sarkozy. It has been reported that because of Olsen’s ironclad prenuptial agreement, Olsen’s $250 million net worth is safe.

Mary-Kate Olsen is 34 and Olivier Sarkozy, who is the half-brother of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, is 51 years of age. French banker Olivier Sarkozy is worth $60 million.

Mary-Kate Olsen and her twin sister Ashley came to fame as child actors on the hit sitcom “Full House.” Their fashion empire which is comprised The Row is valued at $1 billion dollars.

The divorce deal between Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy was reached in the Manhattan supreme court this past Wednesday. Their next hearing is on January 25, 2021.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion Flashback: Kenzo Takada

Image courtesy of rochebobois.com

Before Kenzo Takada, luxury fashion was mostly about French, Italian, British, and a few American luxury brands. Kenzo Takada changes all that, bringing a much-needed exuberance to Paris fashion, evidenced in his bold prints and floral designs. Kenzo’s East meets West design aesthetic set a standard for fashion brands looking to the Far East for inspiration and helped stimulate European designers’ taste for Asian design fusion aesthetics.

KENZO campaigns

Born in Himeji, near the city of Osaka, Japan, Kenzo came to Paris in 1965 to have a career in fashion, hardly speaking a word of English. In order to survive in this brave new world, Kenzo sold sketches to fashion houses. He later struck out on his own and opened a small boutique, Jungle Jap, with garments that were inspired by his Japanese heritage.

“I decorated the shop myself with little money,” Takada told the South China Morning Post newspaper recently, in what was one of his last media interviews. “One of the first paintings I saw in Paris and fell in love with was a jungle painting … and that was the inspiration for the shop.”

Images courtesy of pinterest.com, wwd.com, and wallstreetjournal.com

“His native Japan remained [the] source of inspiration for every collection he did. He kept the use of vibrant colours and volumes present at all times,” said Circe Henestrosa, head of the school of fashion at Singapore’s Lasalle College of the Arts.

“I think he was ahead of his time and was one of the first designers to experiment with the idea of genderless fashion. He would never conform to the stereotypical idea of masculine and feminine fashion,” said  Henestrosa.

Referring to his initial fashion line as Jungle Jap, was as a pejorative and later Kenzo gave his fashion line the eponymous first name KENZO. “I knew it had a pejorative meaning, “Kenzo told the New York Times in a 1972 interview. “But I thought if I did something good, I would change the meaning.”

KENZO in the 1980s

Kenzo later became a very popular ready-to-wear line in Paris with a menswear spinoff in 1983, and later fragrances, eyewear, and a jeans line. At the height the brand’s popularity, Kenzo sold the company to LVMH in the 1990s. “The hardest year of my life was 1990, when my life partner Xavier died and my business partner had a stroke,” he told SCMP. “That’s why I sold the company to LVMH [in 1993]. I felt I couldn’t do it on my own.”

Kenzo retired from his company in 1999; however, he continued to design costumes for operas. His clothing brand Kenzo had a terrific collaboration with fast fashion mega clothing company H&M in 2016, selling out the entire KENZO x H&M collection within days.

Image courtesy of japanforward.com

“What I am most proud of is I opened the roads for much younger people from around the world,” Kenzo said in a WWD article, “who probably think they can be a hit in fashion in Paris or London. They can come and try to do that.”

Kenzo died from complications due to COVID-19 on October 4, five days after his eponymous brand showed in Paris. Kenzo Takada was 81 years old.

—William S. Gooch

A Significant Operational Shift Comes to New York Fashion Week

Image of Dior Haute Couture Fall 2020 courtesy of eveningstandard.com

New York Fashion Week (NYFW)  is one of the crown jewels of fashion events, and the kickoff to the grand tour for runway shows in New York, London, Milan, and Paris. However, for the past few years, NYFW has lost its luster. The days of the glamour and star-studded moments of Bryant Park and Lincoln Center is a thing of the past. Still, the passing of the old guard and the traditional way of having fashion shows facilitates room for  a new generation of editors, designers, stylists, and fashion industry professionals.

With the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world, it is imperative that  the fashion industry completely rethinks its way of doing business. The efficiency and constant motion of the fashion calendar has been one of the things called into question. And with the recent financial toll enacted on the fashion and retail industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this upcoming NYFW is expected to be shadow of what it once was.

NYFW has been shortened to just three days from September 14 to September 16, with most participating designers showing their collections digitally. A number of major fashion brands have already pulled out–Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch, and Ralph Lauren, just to name a few. While this reduction is reason for concern, independent designers might finally have their chance to shine.

Image courtesy of meikmagazine.com

Fern Mallis, the founder of 7th on Six Productions, which put New York Fashion Week on the map for consumers, explains, “People are getting a little oversaturated with digital shows and presentations, but there’s certainly an interest level, and people are still anxious to see what will be coming next season. Digital fashion shows are an easy way to equalize the playing field between new and independent designers and big-name brands. Independent designers now have more opportunities to stand out.”

Mallis also believes that this is the time for independent designers to “grab the brass ring.” Independent designers also need to analyze their sales strategy.  “Independent designers can’t wait for Barneys to come in and buy the clothes anymore,” Mallis said. “Neiman Marcus is bankrupt, and the other department stores including Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Saks all have low foot traffic. Right now stores can’t be counted on for buys like they used to.”

Mallis also believes that independent designers aren’t losing anything by not having a physical show. The recent Louis Vuitton spring 2021 Men’s show in Shanghai proved that shows with a strong digital presence can sell clothes. After showing the collection to a small in-person audience in China, Louis Vuitton also gained major traction by promoting and broadcasting the runway show on China’s various social media channels, which led to an uptick in sales across East Asian countries . “Designers have a chance to do something digital or go home,” Mallis said. “Digital now allows the opportunity for people to be very creative, and designers can really show you who they are and talk about their collections.”

(Image courtesy of Tolga Akmen / AFP

Many of Mallis’ colleagues share the sentiment that it’s time for fashion shows to evolve. Aliza Licht, a fashion industry veteran and host of the “Leave Your Mark” podcast, said, “I really don’t believe in the traditional runway format anymore. What really impressed me last year was the lookbook Rodarte produced for their collection featuring the actresses from “Mad Men,” like January Jones. It was so beautifully produced, and the casting was so smart and press worthy. You needed nothing but to run those images on Instagram for a successful campaign. I found the Rodarte approach much more effective than the digital runway format. Featuring noteworthy campaign stars, beautiful sets, and making it shareable on social media is better for trying to go viral.”

In the past, independent fashion designers have often struggled with fashion show attendance as the major members of the press and buyers, especially from Europe, would come to NYFW for just a three-day cluster of the top-tier American designers. Digital fashion weeks can help even out the playing field now that smaller designers/brands don’t have to compete for Fashion Week attendees.

Licht believes that even in a post-pandemic world, shows will by mostly digital and physical shows will return to the old school days where the industry took a more salon-style approach to collections. “We’ve been in lockdown a long time, and retail has suffered,” Licht said. “Shows in a post-pandemic world could potentially be a lot more intimate and showroom-style where things will have a more couture mentality. [Physical] shows need to be made for actual industry people who need to see them, and they can be for a widespread and more general audience thanks to digital options. [It is] likely people will make fashion shows more like what they used to be back in the day.”

Fashion industry professionals who work on the production of runway shows have also been reevaluating the current fashion cycle. Gloria Johnson, a fashion stylist who has styled runway shows during NYFW, says that while she thinks that digital fashion weeks won’t be the same, it’s important to keep people safe. “Shows are going to be a lot smaller, and [designers] are going to be a lot more selective and over the top,” Johnson said. She also says that stylists will become more necessary for independent designers because, “They will need to hire stylists to add a different perspective of their collection. [Shows] will look and feel more like digital lookbooks.”

Image courtesy of Reuters UK

Despite the need to adapt, Johnson also says that by not having physical shows designers are losing out on seeing the genuine reactions of audiences. The models, and seeing the clothes in person will be lost with much of the creative energy dissipating.

While the world continues to adjust to this new normal, the fashion industry must continue to find ways to be forward thinking, its survival is on the table.  For the independent designers who have been able to weather the economic COVID-19 storm, a digital version of New York Fashion Week could be their chance to shine. Fashion’s new world order is coming, and everyone will have to get on board, or get left behind.

Kristopher Fraser

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