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

Fashion News Alert: Andrew Cuomo Comments of NYFW, Jennifer Lopez’s New Beauty Brand, and Under Armour Delays Sneaker Launch

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Jennifer Lopez’s empire continues to expand. J Lo recently hinted on her social media that her own beauty line is in the works and will soon be unveiled.

J Lo is no stranger to the world of beauty, having had several fragrances in the past—her fragrance ‘Glow” launched in 2002. J Lo is now primed to take on the beauty market. In 2018 Lopez collaborated Inglot Cosmetics for a 70-piece makeup collection.

On her Instagram account, Lopez announced, “Sunset glow…#JLoBeauty coming soon.” No other details about the beauty line is known at this time.

Image courtesy of therealdeal.com

Cuomo gives nod to NYFW

Unless you are living under rock, you must be aware that the COVID-19 pandemic is changing life as we know it, even the fashion industry. The upcoming New York Fashion Week (NYFW) spring 2021 season will be a digital fashion week. And though many fashion pundits expressed the need to cancel the upcoming NYFW, IMG and the CFDA has decided to go on with the event.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently commented on the upcoming NYFW in The Cut. “New York City is the fashion capital of the world and New York Fashion Week celebrates the ingenuity of this city, and our unmatched creative talent. The pandemic is far from over, but we’re proud to support event organizer IMG in moving forward with NYFW, in adherence with strict state public health guidance.”

That said, though NYFW will be a digital fashion week, there will be a few outdoor fashion presentations. However, these outdoor presentations must follow COVID-19 guidelines. There can be no more than 50 people gathered at these presentations at any one time, face coverings are mandatory, social distancing is non-negotiable, and tests and health screenings, such as temperature checks, will also be required for attendees, models, and staff. 

Image courtesy of footwearnews.com

Police shooting delays Under Armour sneaker launch

Under Armour has delayed the launch of its new sneaker collaboration with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The cause of the delay is the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black resident of Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

“Out of respect for Jacob Blake & his family we’ll postpone our @projectrock @underarmour PR3 launch today,” Johnson tweeted. “Unbelievable we’re here again. Shot 7xs. In the back. In front of his kids. There’s no progress without humanity.”

Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha, Wisconsin police while his three children watched from inside Blake’s car. He is now paralyzed from the waist down.

Blake’s shooting has caused widespread protests in Kenosha and around the US. In protest of Blake’s shooting, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and Major League Soccer refused to play their respective sports on Wednesday. “We support all of those in sport who are currently demanding societal change across the United States and the globe,” Under Armour said in a statement, as reported on fashionnetwork.com.

Johnson has been collaborating with Under Armour since 2016.

—William S. Gooch

The Resurgence of Minimalism in Fashion

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All trends come and go, and some are more cyclical than others. The1950s ushered in poodle skirts, the 1980s reintroduced big shoulder pads, and capri pants had another big moment in the early 2000s. Some trends become wardrobe staples (remember, denim was a trend once), and some are just here for a momentdoes anyone miss twin set cardigan sweaters?

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, an economic downturn, and consumers dramatically cutting back on spending, minimalism is expected to make a comeback. In the context of fashion, minimalism focuses on the form and fabric of the clothing, stripping garments down to their most necessary elements. A minimalist aesthetic features clean lines and silhouettes and is very approachable. Merchandise can include anything from a classic midi skirt to a traditional loafer.

The fashion runways from this past February were filled with plenty of prints, patterns, and colors, but minimalism is still expected to have its moment. During periods of economic decline, designers tend to be conservative with what they create as they are driven to produce pieces that will sell easily and keep their businesses afloat.

Image courtesy of WWD

Less risks are taken, more neutral colors, and monochromatic schemes are used, and design silhouettes are less experimental. In 2007, with the US economy stalling, the runways of New York became more conventional and provided a sea of neutrals. Everywhere you turned, there was a variation on the little black dress.

But that was 2007, the current trend of minimalism began well before the COVID-19 pandemic. At Milan and Paris Fashion Week, street style stars opted for understated shapes and muted colors, choosing a classic expression of fashion rather than creating statement looks. Since 2019, global economies appeared to be heading toward recession, so rather than splurge on pieces that would only be worn once or for a special occasion, fashionistas are taking a more timeless approach to fashion and purchasing things that will outlast trends.

Minimalist designers are also becoming the talk of the town. Brooklyn-based designer Peter Do, who is known for his use of neutral colors and clean profiles, has found himself among top retail stockists at Bergdorf Goodman, Net-a-Porter, and Moda Operandi. Square-toed shoes, silhouetted sweaters, and jumpsuits are poised to shine. With many people still taking the stay-at-home approach to life and work, sweatpants, tank tops, loose-fitting hoodies, and understated athleisure pieces are becoming go-to fashion items.

Image courtesy of peterdo.net

The era of camping it up has been put aside, but minimalism is taking a different turn than before. Lauren Milligan, senior fashion features editor of e-commerce site matchesfashion.com, saw this coming in a world pre-quarantine. In a 2019 blog post on the website, Milligan said that, “We are firmly in the grip of a renewed fervor for the clean, crisp comfort of minimalism — but not as we know it.”

Minimalistic pieces have become more elevated. This isn’t your grandmother’s slim fit turtleneck and matchstick pant. During Phoebe Philo’s tenure as creative director of Celine, she furthered the concept of luxury minimalism with her black trousers and roll-neck shirts. Philo became the voice that would define minimalism for an entire generation of fashion lovers.

In 2010, Philo created a collection for Celine that would define the minimalist aesthetic for the entire decade. The collection was characterized by her super-clean approach to neutrals, the advent of wooden platform shoes, and she did what some thought impossible: made the bodysuit fashionable. You have Phoebe Philo to thank for an entire generation of girls who made a bodysuit and jeans their club uniform.

One of Philo’s most notable collections was her spring 2014 collection, which put the spotlight on asymmetrical plissé skirts, proving that minimalism is about more than just approachable color and fit, it’s about fabrication too. This skirt could be characterized as “the skirt that launched 1000 imitations”, because it would quickly trickle down to the fast-fashion brands like Zara. It was the must-have piece for every fashion girl with an office job in New York City.

Image courtesy of a-cold-wall.com

It is important to understand that minimalistic fashion goes beyond being a trend; it is an entire aesthetic that can be adopted at any time. Whether it’s an important meeting at the office or dressing for a homegoing, consumers regularly take the minimalist approach to their attire. “I never think of minimalism as a trend,” British Vogue deputy editor Sarah Harris was quoted saying to MatchesFashion. “If anything, it’s anti-trend, because it’s an approach to dressing that will forever be in style. Personally, I’ve long favored a more minimal approach to dressing. Partly because I’m so surrounded by fashion at work that I like to have a blank canvas when it comes to what I wear, but also largely due to the way I shop and view clothes; when I buy something, I want it to last longer than a season, whereas prints are so specific to a single season.”

Many industry professionals debunk the idea that minimalism is trending at all. Janna Jatyri, founder of trend forecasting agency Trendstop, contends that, “Minimalism isn’t trending any more at the moment than it was previously. There are a lot of what we call ‘fake trends’ touted as real trends, but the problem with following them is that consumers won’t buy them.”

Jatyri continues explaining that, “Comfort and ease will be important factors to consumers going forward.” In regard to logomania, which was a trend that re-emerged along with the era of maximalism in the past decade, Jatyri explains, “Following events like the climate change and Black Lives Matter protests, consumers will care more about the values and meaning brands provide. Logos without meaning will not be interesting to them.”

While Jatyri doesn’t think aesthetics will be getting any more minimalist than they have in the past, she does see designers scaling down their collections. “Designers and brands will need incredibly strong validation of future consumer wants and needs to create products consumers will continue to buy,” she stated. “[Trends will be defined by] less but better fashion—items that are better for the planet and more profitable because they are hyper curated to offer exactly what consumers will want.”

Image courtesy of thebusinessoffashion.com

Fashion forecasting agency Ftrend also sees consumer tastes moving in a different direction entirely. “Minimalism will not be back into market for now and next season, instead there will be a huge demand for home based, hand-made intricate design direction,” a spokesperson for Ftrend noted.

Despite the comments from trend forecasting agencies, some designers have already gone the minimalist route. Jacquemus recently released a very minimalist collection exclusive with Ssense that was all neutral-colored athleisure and loungewear with very clean silhouettes. 1017 Alyx 9SM also delivered their anti-racist action tee shirt, in black and white colorways, with a small “Anti-Racist Action” flag logo. Phoebe Philo is expected to launch her own sustainability focused line, and if its DNA is anything like that of her tenure at Celine, chic minimalism is to be expected.

While there’s argument as to whether or not minimalism is trending, the maximalist approach to fashion that characterized the last decade appears to be on pause . In a post-pandemic world, designers will be reassessing their approach to both business and design. With more people working from home, and making a statement that is political rather than sartorial, expect designers to scale back on the size of collections and how much they are willing to push the envelope with their creations. It’s a different horizon for fashion, one that might involve more head-to-toe neutrals, simple silhouettes, and monochrome color schemes.

Kristopher Fraser

Fashion News Alert: Paris Fashion Week Is On, Kanye West Partners with The Gap, Lisa Rinna and the ‘Karens,’ and Macy’s Cuts Jobs

Image courtesy of theindependent.co.uk

It was announced on Wednesday that Paris Fashion Week’s spring 2021 season will go ahead as planned. This announcement by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode makes Paris the first European fashion capital to hold its fashion week as planned since the COVID-19 pandemic.

As many fashion weeks around the world are turning to virtual presentations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a surprise that Paris has decided to go along with their spring 2021 fashion week. That said; the French Haute Couture and Fashion Federation has planned Paris Fashion Week for September 26 through October 6 and “comply with the recommendations of the authorities” when it comes to the novel coronavirus.

This upcoming Paris Fashion Week will be a welcomed retreat for those fashionistas who have been starved of fashion for the last four months. However, it is doubtful that many fashionistas and industry professionals will be attending the Paris Fashion Week spring 2021 season. The European Union is looking put a ban and all US travelers because of the high COVID-19 infections in the US.

Image courtesy of qvc.com

‘Karens’ threaten Lisa Rinna

In these times of social injustice and police brutality protest in which people of color—African Americans in particular—are demanding justice and equity, if you are not familiar with the term ‘Karen,” perhaps, you should be. This pejorative term refers to a middle-aged white woman who has a sense of entitlement and uses her white privilege to get what she wants.

The term became more well known when African American birdwatcher/activist journalist Christian Cooper was reported to NYC police for allegedly harassing Amy Cooper, a Canadian-born white woman, for not having her dog on a lease in a lease-required part of Central Park. Though this incident happened over a month ago, ‘Karen’ incidents continue to make front-page news.

Recently, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Lisa Rinna called out ‘Karens’ who she alleges are calling for his dismissal from “QVC” for her political views on social media. Lisa Rinna sells her fashion line, The Lisa Rinna Collection, on “QVC.”

“I am sad to report It would now seem I can’t use my platform to inform or question or say how I feel politically because the Karen’s have bombarded QVC begging them to fire me and saying they will no longer buy my clothes. It is a shame that I must be muzzled in order to support my family but that is just what it is. Remember you know how I feel. Use your voice and Vote,” she wrote on her Instagram Story.

Rinna has been outspoken of several political issue on her social media platforms. In recent social posts, Rinna has backed the recent Supreme Court ruling prohibiting discrimination against LGBT workers in the workplace and has called for mothers to support police brutality and social injustice protests.

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Macy’s Layoffs

Macy’s Inc. announced today that there will be a layoff of 3,900 employees in corporate and management positions in the US. Macy’s expects to save about $365 million in fiscal 2020 and about $630 million every year as a result of the layoffs. In the first quarter of 2020, Macy’s has experienced nearly 1 billion dollars in operating losses.

“Expect more layoffs akin to Macy’s to be announced in the coming months,” said Matt Fox, founder of Ithaca Wealth Management in New York, as reported in fashionnetwork.com. “Retailers that were struggling before the pandemic hit will re-evaluate their operations and cut jobs out of necessity to stay afloat until the economy recovers.”

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

Kanye’s Kingdom

Kanye West never strays too far away from the fashion fold. It was recently announced that West will be a part of the biggest fashion collaboration of 2021, if not the decade. West will be collaborated with Gap to produce a special Yeezy line. This upcoming collaboration with Gap will contain “elevated, modern basics” for women, men, and kids at an accessible price point.

“We are excited to welcome Kanye back to the Gap family as a creative visionary, building on the aesthetic and success of his YEEZY brand and together defining a next-level retail partnership,” said Mark Breitbard, global head of Gap Brand in a recent statement, as reported in fashionweekdaily.com.

This Gap collaboration will prove to a big boon for Gap Inc. In recent years, Gap Inc. has struggled financially, recently laying off 10% of its corporate work staff.

—William S. Gooch

Club Quarantine, The Hottest Summer 2020 Party

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As the globe adjusts to a new reality, the summer music festival season is officially canceled. In its place, the world has been invited to the biggest party on the planet, virtually. The COVID-19 pandemic has given birth to a new type of party, born on social media. “A new temporary way to bond with fans until a return to normal,” says Billboard Magazine. Who knew the power of music and dance could bring people together in times of need? It brings hope as an expressive relief to change the world. With venues and bars shut down from coast to coast, Fashion Reverie helps you jam out to all the hottest live streams and virtual parties during the coronavirus crisis. Without a cover charge, dress code, or drink minimum, feel free to tune in to the ultimate social-distancing dance party.

“I’m excited to see what artists will do following this pandemic,” stated Khyran Shank, a Los Angeles-based artist. It’s safe to say this current pandemic is pushing for not only change in society, but pushing our creativity as well. Integration is nothing new to the fashion world, constantly blurring lines with industry crossovers and brand collaborations. As fashion presentations have started to take place on digital platforms, we recall past fashion shows that utilized influencers, social media, and celebrity guest appearances to their advantage for promoting their seasonal collections. One might ask, how can the fashion industry continue to push the status quo while paving the way for new beginnings during trying times?

Image courtesy of bt.com

Increasing popularity by breaking the internet, social media platforms give brands access to millions of active users worldwide. Finding creative ways to engage their fan base, fashion brands are prioritizing engagement over sales as an extension of their brand personality and voice. In a branded opportunity for retailers, fashion houses are partnering with music streaming services as a way to remind listeners of in-store experiences. Companies, such as H&M, Forever 21, and Starbucks are shifting social media strategies, using musical platforms to offer more of a lifestyle approach to their marketing.

As one of the favorite music streaming platforms and social networks, Spotify is slowly becoming the music hub for fashion accounts. “People don’t just listen to Spotify, they live it,” says Spotify. As brands have become more receptive to the growing influence of social media, technology, and digital apps, the fashion industry has become hyper-connected with new audiences. Dominated by millennial consumers, Spotify speaks to a magnitude of the fashion-conscious target audience. In collaboration with brands such as H&M, Pull&Bear, and Victoria Secret, companies identify Spotify as a promotional tool for a content strategy to reach and engage with their community.

Image courtesy of wnycstudios.com

Other platforms have gotten in on the action as well. Making stay-at-home a little more bearable, Mashable notes “Instagram has announced a series of features. Co-watching allows users to view Instagram posts together with their friends over video chat. Yes, a watch party for Instagram posts.” Whether you’re working from home, seeking daily motivation, or taking a mental break, many creatives such as designer Timo Weiland, Louis Vuitton menswear artistic director Virgil Abloh, entrepreneur Hannah Bronfman, and even Ellen DeGeneres are hosting weekly breakout sessions on Instagram Live. Stuck indoors, live-streaming digital parties promotes social distancing while eliminating the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus and endangering anyone’s health. Described by Refinery 29 as “the creative genius responsible for the international experience that is Club Quarantine,” DJ D-Nice told The New York Times,“Musically we found a way to use tech to unite people, that’s a beautiful thing.”

Be sure to head to The Roots’ YouTube channel on Saturday, June 27 for The Roots Picnic 2020. In its 13th year, the concert is partnering with Michelle Obama to urge voters to use their voices at the ballots this year. Performers include The Roots, H.E.R., Roddy Ricch, Lil Baby, G Herbo and many others. The event will also feature appearances by the former first lady, Janelle Monae, Kerry Washington, Tom Hanks, and more. The Picnic will be streamed here

Also, tune in on July 4th, as PBS will livestream “A Capitol Fourth” at 8 p.m EST, hosted by John Stamos and Vanessa Williams, and featuring performances by Patti LaBelle, John Fogerty, Renée Fleming, The Temptations, Yolanda Adams, and more.

Fashion Reverie’s Curated List of Who’s Who to Follow on Spotify:

Chanel

Marc Jacobs Mixtape Mondays

Alexander McQueen

Reebok

Victoria’s Secret

Glossier

Prada

Kenzo

D-Nice’s Homeschool Playlist on Spotify

Questlove

Jean Touitou

Telfar

Pyer Moss

Paris Fashion Week

—Courtney Wilkins

Fashion News Alert: Anna Wintour Apologizes, Samira Nasr’s New Gig, and Joan Smalls Raises her Voice

Images courtesy of intheknow.com

The global protests are facilitating some interesting shifts. One of the most surprising shifts that these protests have caused is giving an impetus for an apology from Anna Wintour to her black staffers at Vogue.

Known to be an ice queen of sorts, no one in fashion industry ever expected Wintour to apology for anything. However, the global protests have softened Wintour’s heart, prompting a moment of reflection and regret.

“I want to start by acknowledging your feelings and expressing my empathy towards what so many of you are going through: sadness, hurt, and anger too,” Wintour wrote. “I want to say this especially to the Black members of our team—I can only imagine what these days have been like. But I also know that the hurt, and violence, and injustice we’re seeing and talking about have been around for a long time. Recognizing it and doing something about it is overdue,” explained Wintour in a Page Six article.

“We have made mistakes too, publishing images or stories that have been hurtful or intolerant. I take full responsibility for those mistakes,” Wintour continued. “It can’t be easy to be a Black employee at Vogue, and there are too few of you. I know that it is not enough to say we will do better, but we will—and please know that I value your voices and responses as we move forward. I am listening and would like to hear your feedback and your advice if you would like to share either.”

Wintour ended by stating that Condé Nast is working to support social justice organizations. At this time, no social organizations or civil rights organizations have been named.

Image courtesy of thecut.com

Finally, Harper’s Bazaar

Well, it’s about time!! Harper’s Bazaar has its first black editor-in-chief. We all know the continued global protests to stop police brutality and racial inequality has sparked some shakeups in the fashion industry—Anna Wintour apologizing for not being racially sensitive; the Virgil Abloh persistent clap backs, and French luxury brands contributing to the NAACP and other black organizations.

Whether Harper’s Bazaar’s appointment of a black woman, Samira Nasr, to the editor-in-chief position is the direct result of the protests is yet to be determined. However, Nasr has more than enough experience and is highly qualified. Nasr’s most recent position was Executive Editor of Vanity Fair. Prior to Vanity Fair, she was fashio, Nan director at Elle for five years. Additionally, she has a master’s in journalism from New York University.

“Fashion and BAZAAR are synonymous,” Nasr said in a statement, as reported in dailyfrontrow.com. “It is a tremendous privilege to be entrusted with moving this legacy brand into a new era—one that is colorful, inclusive and celebrates the beauty of fashion on every platform—while carrying on the tradition of innovative art direction and great style that the BAZAAR audience loves so much. The most beautiful part of working in magazines is the teamwork and creating a community. I can’t wait to get started.”

Nasr will begin her new role as Harper’s Bazaar’s editor-in-chief on July 6.

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Joan speaks out

In an industry where fashion models are expected to be seen and not heard, due to global racial injustice and police brutality protests, many fashion models are joining with protesters and raising their collective voices. Supermodel Joan Smalls adds her name to the list.

Smalls recorded a five-minute video and released the following statement on Instagram. “The recent and long-standing acts against the black community have been saddening, frustrating and unacceptable. I feel these same emotions when I think about how my industry, the fashion world, is responding. It is time for this industry to do more than post a black square and say they’ll “Do Better!” It’s time for us to see the change starting from the ground up. Give us a seat at the table, include us, give us a chance, because we are worthy, talented and unique. There have been so many times where I’ve had to face issues against my race within this industry because I was their token black girl. The campaigns and editorials I had to share while my counterparts got to achieve that on their own. Or that my hair was an issue or that I made a show or campaign too ethnic, the list goes on and on. This industry that I love has profited from us but has never considered us equal. This. Stops. Now. It’s time for the fashion industry to stand up and show their solidarity. Time for you all to give back to these communities and cultures which you draw so much inspiration from. I do want to thank those that did see me for me and gave me a chance. Those that helped me fight my way to where I am today. Thank you, thank you for doing what you knew to be right versus what others said should be done. You will help us be the leaders of change. In saying all of this, I also pledge to donate 50% of my salary for the remainder of 2020 to Black Lives Matter organizations. I know I can’t just talk about change; I [must] be a force for it. I encourage and will continue to encourage brands within this industry to do the same and give back. Let’s all be the change we want and need to see. These battles are long from over but together we’re stronger and together we can accomplish what is needed.”

Power to the People. Resist, resist, resist!!

—William S. Gooch

2020 Flirty, Fun Prom Dresses for Your Virtual Prom

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It’s a sad month for high school seniors who have spent years looking forward to their high school proms. Rather than sit around and mope about how they didn’t get the proper farewell to their high school years, high school seniors have gotten resourceful and started hosting virtual proms with their friends and classmates.

Though many young ladies are sequestered in their homes with virtual home-schooling, some young ladies are getting prom dresses for virtual prom parties. Most states have begun partial re-openings, but larger gatherings, such as prom, still aren’t permitted. For those of you with virtual proms planned, Fashion Reverie has curated some great prom dresses for you.

And something special is these uncertain times, on Saturday May 16, Teen Vogue will be hosting a virtual prom. Leading up to this historic event, Teen Vogue will be helping you prep for their virtual prom by featuring daily prom-centric content of DIY tips, styling tips, makeup tutorials, and dance prep. Teen Vogue’s special guest on May 16 include Becky G, Stormy Reid, Ava Max, Lily Collins, Madeleine Petsch, Chloe x Hallie, JoJo, and more. The evening will also include DJ sets, interactive choreography, and custom thematic backdrops.

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Jovani Beaded Metallic Spaghetti-Strap Mermaid Dress $559

This dress is fun, flirty, and flattering for a night at the Zoom prom. This shiny and new spaghetti strap gown gives the mermaid silhouette a fine metallic finish. It has that one-night-only feel worthy of prom.

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Betsy & Adam Plus Size Sequined-Lace Ruched Gown $169

For the curvy girls, have your virtual prom in baby blue. This ruched gown well accentuates a curvier figure.

Image courtesy of peachesboutique.com

Sherri Hill A-Line Tulle Dress $698

Give them tulle, tulle, and more tulle! For those looking for a high-low feel (literally), this dress has you covered, except for your legs. The sweeping train also makes for a dramatic effect.

Image courtesy of bloomingdales.com

Eliza J Sleeveless Cascading Ruffle Gown $112.80

This sleeveless cascading gown is a beautiful blush color for those girls who love their fabric details. Be the blushing virtual prom girl in blush pink.

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ML Monique Lhuillier One-Shoulder Metallic Dress $297

Monique Lhuillier had dressed lots of celebrities on the red carpet, now let Monique Lhuillier dress you for prom. The ML Monique Lhuillier diffusion line offers affordable dresses for those who want celebrity style on a budget. Let prom be your chance to feel what it’s like to dress like an Oscar nominee.

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Bronx and Banco Aubrey Polka-Dot Halter Neck Party Dress $152

The party doesn’t start until you go live in this polka-dot party dress. While short dresses can be considered risky for prom, with virtual proms what better time to keep your prom dress short and flirty. Keep it pretty in polka dots.

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Mac Duggal Velvet Trim Strapless Ball Gown $334.80

Be the bell of the ball in this ball gown. Just because prom is virtual doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have your fairytale moment. It’s like playing a fairytale princess in the comfort of your own home.

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Norma Kamali Leopard Print Strapless Ruched Midi Dress $294

It’s a jungle out there. Let your fashion sense roar in this leopard print dress from Norma Kamali. The ruched, body-conscious silhouette can also flatter all body types.

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Terani Couture Crystal Bodice Short Sleeve Jersey Gown $292.80

If you weren’t planning on going heavy on the jewelry accessories, you can always bejewel your bodice. This dress is for the girl who likes the glitz and glam. If you want to make a statement, cover yourself in crystal.

Image courtesy of dillards.com

Aidan Mattox Off-The-Shoulder Sweetheart Neck Puff Sleeve Front Slip Scallop Hem Column Gown $440

It is all about the details with this prom dress. Off-the-shoulder bodice, puff sleeves, a scalloped hemline; it’s element upon element to be a dress worth talking about. The jacquard texture also just adds to statement-making status of this dress.

—Kristopher Fraser

Fashion Reverie’s Mother’s 2020 Day Gift Guide at Every Price Point

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Mother’s Day 2020 is going to be a, hmm, interesting one. Quarantine because of COVID-19 is still in place. As much as someone wants to give their Mom a big hug on this day, doing so could put your parents at great risk. Mother’s Day will have to be remote this year. But, don’t let social distancing ruin the day for you. Fashion Reverie has curated a list of fun gifts all of which can be ordered via mail. We’ve included links are included.

Make sure to check delivery dates. The US Postal Service has been hit hard by the pandemic and is being notoriously slow; but better late than never. 

We also understand that the pandemic has created some real economic hardships. The fashion industry has been hit particularly hard. Even if you can’t afford to go all out this year, you’ll find something on this list that is fun and won’t hit the wallet too hard. Always remember what your mother taught you. It truly is the thought that counts!

Images courtesy of Nobis

Luxury Gifts

Nobis Jackets

Want to make sure when we can all go outside again your Mom looks good? Why not warm her heart by purchasing her a wonderfully chic and practical outerwear from Nobis? She’ll be looking fabulous in these jackets with their versatility and sturdy construction for years to come. 

Ranger Ladies Shirt Jacket marries great protection with breathability in this comfortable jacket that believe or not, is machine washable. It’s perfect for spring hikes. 

The Poppy Trench is a sleek, traditional trench coat with a classic silhouette that’s always in vogue. 

Image courtesyof jonnyelwyn.com

Masterclass

The movies, libraries, community centers are all closed. Is your Mom going stir crazy sitting around the house? Masterclass is an extraordinary online learning community with instructions from titans in the industry. Learn filmmaking from Martin Scorsese or how to dress in drag from Rupaul or how to cook from Gordon Ramsey! There are dozens of classes. Some gift packages have a 2 for 1 deal, so you might be able to get a class for yourself, as well. 

Images courtesy of Conges Jewelry

Conges Fine Jewelry

Do you want to get your mother something completely unique and will connect her to the earth? Conges is a jewelry company that believes in the power of nature. Their natural stones and crystals are mined directly from the planet and each stone has a unique background, color and story. Everything is ethically sourced. Your gift from Conges will literally be one of a kind. Use the use code STAYHOME25 for 25% off sitewide.

Mid-Price Range Options

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Ballerina Herbal Slippers

One of the annoyances of getting older is your circulation isn’t what it used to be. We’ve all noticed as our parents age they will crank up the heat even on warm spring days.  These luxurious slippers are perfect for relaxing and can be popped into the microwave (no longer than 30 seconds) on toasty days to warm up cold toes. The flax seed will both retain heat and mold to feet for the ultimate in comfort. Additionally, the lavender will release a relaxing scent. 

Image courtesy of sleepingsilk.com

Celestial Silk Pillowcase

Does your mother ever accuse you of wasting money on a gift for her? She won’t be able to make that accusation when you give her a Celestial Silk Pillowcase. The dense silk means no wrinkles on her face from sleeping on her side. It also keeps hair from getting tangled and won’t absorb facial creams. Some fabric draws moisture from the skin while sleeping. It is both luxurious and just plain practical!

Image courtesy of pearlstory.com

Pearl Story

Pearl jewelry is such a Mother’s Day staple, but once again, the big challenges we are facing this year in light of the COVID-19 epidemic means saving a few dollars whenever we can. Pearl Story features some beautiful pearl jewelry ranging from classic to edgy at extremely reasonable prices.  Thirty percent taken off bestsellers and Mother’s Day sets at checkout.

Budget Gifts

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Savvy Infusion Water Bottle

Is your mother trying to stay healthy and active? She will appreciate this practical and inexpensive gift of an infusion water bottle.  This is an amazing water bottle with a reserve that can be filled with fruits, herbs whatever you want to flavor your water. It’s a perfect way to stay hydrated. 

Image courtesy of Finders Key Purse

Finders Key Purse 

One of the awful side effects of COVID-19 is that so many people have lost their jobs. Finding work is a struggle for anyone who can’t work from home. As a result, many people are unwilling to spend any money on gifts right now. But you want to show your mother you care! Finders Key Purse (say it out loud) are an ingenious practical invention that retails for less than $10!  Attach your keys to the ring that hooks onto the inside of your purse, a decorative ordinary looking brooch sits outside. Your mother will never have to dig her purse for her keys ever again. Dozens of styles are available, so you can easily find something that speaks to your family on a personal level. 

Image courtesy of Masque Bar

Masque Bar

What mother doesn’t love a day at a spa? Yes, sadly due to world events all the spas are closed and won’t be opening anytime soon. Why not offer Mom an economical way to bring the spa to her home? Masque Bar has a mask to suit any skin’s need and at three pack for $9.99 you can get several packs to hold Mom over until the salon opens again!!

-Cameron Grey Rose

Fashion News Alert: Gigi Hadid’s Bundle of Joy, J. Crew Prepares for Bankruptcy, and Andre Leon Talley’s Tell-All Book Release Date Moved Up

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Well, the rumors are true, Supermodel Gigi Hadid is expecting a child with boyfriend Zayn Malik. She confirmed the news today on a recorded interview on “The Tonight Show.” TMZ had revealed on April 28 that Hadid was 20 weeks pregnant.

“Thank you so much!” she said, as reported on elle.com. “Obviously, you know, we wish we could’ve announced it on our own terms, but we’re very excited and happy and grateful for everyone’s well wishes and support so …”

“I’m trying [to be present for every part of it],” she continued. “Especially during this time, it’s a nice silver lining to be able to be home and together and really experience it.”

In February of this year, Gigi Hadid spoke about starting a family and her career in fashion with i-D magazine. “I think that as I get older … well one day I’ll start a family and I don’t know if I will always be modeling. I love the creative side of fashion, it’s so fulfilling. The people I work with make me so happy, I’m so lucky to be around them. But who knows? Maybe I’ll take up full time cooking!”

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 The Chiffon Trenches gets an early release date

The release date for Andre Leon Talley’s memoir The Chiffon Trenches has moved from September 2020 to May 19, 2020. After the Daily Mail published some hot passages from the memoir, Random House, the publisher of The Chiffon Trenches, decided to move the release to May 19, due to popular demand.

On Wednesday Talley wrote on Instagram, “I went into the deepest core of my being; my memory is intact. It is a deeply personal story of my life well lived within the world of fashion in all of its most glamorous and cutthroat moments.”

Early reviews of the The Chiffon Trenches detail that Andre Leon Talley spills a lot of insider information about the goings on at Conde Nast and racism within the fashion industry. Talley also contends that his relationship with Anna Wintour soured over time due to his weight challenges, his age, and Wintour feeling that Talley was out of touch with what was cool and on-trend. Wintour told The New York Times the she “wishes Andre only the best.”

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Problems for J. Crew

CNBC has reported that the privately held J. Crew may file for bankruptcy as early as this weekend. J. Crew needs to secure $400 million in financing to fund operations in bankruptcy. J. Crew is one of many high-profile retail chains that is on the verge of bankruptcy due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Wall Street Journal, as of February 2020, J. Crew had over 1.7 billion dollars in debt. J. Crew has been struggling under a heavy debt load for some time.

In 2020 J. Crew attempted to lessen its debt by leveraging a 2020 IPO of its popular Madewell brand. However, in March the IPO did not go through.

Crew currently has 182 stores, 140 Madewell stores, and 170 J. Crew Factory stores as of the beginning of March.

William S. Gooch

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