Amanda Gorman’s Vogue Cover, Lena Dunham Collaborates with 11 Honore, and Armani Looks for a Partner

Image courtesy of cnn.com

Amanda Gorman is getting lots of traction in the fashion industry. Early this year she was signed to IMG Models and now she is gracing the cover of US Vogue’s May 2021 issue.

Always breaking records and knocking down barriers, Gorman’s cover makes the first time a poet is on the cover of US Vogue. This National Poet Laureate was styled for the cover and inside story by Gabriela Karefa-Johnson and photographed by Annie Leibovitz.

“What a joy to do this cover while wearing a piece designed by groundbreaking Black designer @virgilabloh that honors my heritage,” she said, as reported in fashionweekdaily.com. “It was a dream to be photographed by the indomitable @annieleibovitz & styled by @gabriellak_j who literally would carry me on her back & forth between set. Wow, my hands are shaking with love. This is called the Rise of Amanda Gorman, but it is truly for all of you, both named and unseen, who lift me up.”

Gorman is interviewed in the May issue of US Vogue by New Yorker writer Doreen St. Felix, and talks about growing up in Los Angeles, being a twin, and her trajectory toward national fame.

Amanda Gorman has 3 million followers on Instagram and has been offered millions of dollars in endorsement deals. Gorman explains that she carefully considers if the endorsements align with her values before she finds out the dollar amounts so that she is not induced by the huge amounts of money she’s being offered.

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Armani’s future

Giorgio Armani has said that his brand would always remain independent. But wagging fashion tongues are implying that Armani may be changing his mind.

In a recent interview in Vogue, Armani hinted that brand independence “is not so strictly necessary” and that “one could think of a liaison with an important Italian company,” that is not a part of the fashion industry. In the interview, Armani detailed that a partnership with a French company is not in the works, not a partnership with Kering or LVMH.

The potential partnerships that are being considered are Exor, the holding company owned by the Agnelli family, and possibly other Italian investors. Exor owns a 24% stake in footwear brand, Christian Louboutin, as well as recently acquiring Shang Xia, a Chinese luxury group. In 2019, the Giorgio Armani Group achieved revenues of 2.16 billion euros.

Besides a partnership with a holding company, there is the question of succession. Giorgio Armani is 86 years of age and has established a foundation in 2016 to prepare for his succession. The foundation was formed to transfer shares for the Giorgio Armani Group to the foundation. Though Giorgio Armani has no spouse or children, he hopes to “pass down much of the business to his family,” as reported in Vogue.

Image courtesy of pagesix.com

Lena and 11 Honoré 

Collaborations are still ruling the day in the fashion industry. The latest fashion collaborative effort involves actress/writer/director Lena Dunham teaming with luxury plus-size retailer 11 Honoré for an exclusive collection.

This collaboration is the brand’s first collaboration since its launch in 2017. “This collaboration with 11 Honoré was about wanting to cultivate a space where the question of whether a plus body will be embraced by the clothes is a non-issue, and the clothes are not demanding that a plus woman hide,” said Dunham, in a collection pre-launch post on Instagram. 

The five-piece capsule collection launched on April 6 with Dunham collaboratively designing the collection with in-house fashion designer Danielle Williams Eke. The collection comes in sizes 12 through 26 with price points ranging from $98 to $298.

The collection includes a navy pinstriped blazer and miniskirt, a printed dress, a shirt and a mock-neck tank. The collection became available of April 6.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alerts: Maybelline Has a New Spokesperson, Nike Files Lawsuit Against Lil Nas X, and Willy Chavarria’s New Gig

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K-Pop bands are all the rage. They are currently in such demand that mega beauty brand Maybelline New York has enlisted K-Pop brand ITZY as the brand’s newest spokesmodels. This makes ITZY the first musical group to ever represent Maybelline New York.

“We have always admired the Maybelline brand and are so excited to be able to contribute our creativity, positivity, and energy to their global community,” said ITZY, as reported in fashionweekdaily.com. “It’s a huge opportunity to bring new sides of ourselves to our fans and to remind the world that being confident and bold is in all of us.”

ITZY has been around since 2019 with their debut single “Dalla Dalla” peaking at #2 on Billboard’s YouTube chart and #1 on iTunes’ song chart in twelve regions. Their next album ”Guess Who” is out on April 30. 

“I have been watching ITZY’s inspiring rise and was drawn to how dynamic they are both as a group and individuals,” says Trisha Ayyagari, global brand president, Maybelline New York. “ITZY champions self-love, individuality, and self-expression to their fans and global community. Their energy is powerful, and I am so excited to bring these voices to Maybelline!”

For spring 2021 ITZY will be in Maybelline New York campaigns of Hypersharp Liner, Ultimatte Lipstick, and SuperStay Foundations campaigns in Asia. Maybelline is the number one cosmetic brand in 120 countries.

Backstage at Willy Chavarria Men’s Spring 2019 image courtesy of thesourcinghournal.com

Calvin and Chavarria

Willy Chavarria has a new job. PVH Corp., the holding company that holds controlling interest in Calvin Klein, announced on Wednesday that Chavarria has been appointed Senior Vice President of design for Calvin Klein North America and Global Essentials apparel men’s lines.

Chavarria has been employed at Calvin Klein since February, and in his new position he is responsible for leading the conceptual vision and design of seasonal collections for the Calvin Klein North America Apparel and Global Essentials Men’s lines. And this new appointment aligns with Calvin Klein redirecting its brand to appeal to the taste and styles of a new generation,

Willy Chavarria launched his eponymous brand in 2015 and has collaborated with Kanye West, Hummel, Dickies, and K-Swiss. Additionally, Chavarria has designed for West’s Yeezy brand, American Eagle Outfitters, Ralph Lauren, Voler, and Dickies Construct.

Image courtesy of hypebeast.com

Shoe trouble of Lil Nas X

Nike is suing Lil Nas X for trademark infringement of its Swoosh logo. This trademark infringement is based on Lil Nas X’s “Satan Shoes,” which are inspired by his “Call Me By Your Name” music video.

The $1,018 sneakers are modeled after Nike’s Air Max 97s. The “Satan Shoes” allegedly contained one drop of human blood in the midsole and printed with the biblical verse Luke 10:18, which refers to Satan’s fall from grace.

The “Satan Shoes” were created by MSCHF and reportedly sold out minutes after their release. There were only 666 items of the customized sneaker.

MSCHF’s lawyers declared “Satan Shoes” were “not typical sneakers, but rather individually-numbered works of art.” According to MSCHF, the “Satan Shoes” follow the MSCHF’s 2019 “Jesus Shoes,” modeled on the same Nike shoe as the “Satan Shoes.”

A Brooklyn District judge has ruled a temporary restraining order on the manufacture and sale of the “Satan Shoes.”

You look good man. I will be in DC April 15-18. You will love the way I eat ass and fuck bubble ass long and hard. You will not be disappointed!!

You look good man. I will be in DC April 15-18. You will love the way I eat ass and fuck bubble ass long and hard. You will not be disappointed!

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Neiman Marcus Get Refinanced, Margherita Leaves Missoni, and some British Designers Support a Fur Ban

Image courtesy of Missoni

There are changes afoot at Missoni. Margherita Maccapani Missoni, daughter of Angela Missoni has stepped down as creative director of M Missoni, the brand that targets a younger Missoni consumer.

The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected Missoni, so some shuffling of the brand’s management team is necessary for survival. Margherita Maccapani Missoni took helm of M Missoni in 2018.

“In response to the reduction and evolution of consumption in the fashion sector caused by the pandemic, the company is carrying out an internal reorganisation of the design and communications departments, in order to boost the natural synergies and quality attributes in our collections’ design,” said the CEO Livio Proli in a communiqué, as reported in fashionnetwork.com.

Though Margherita is leaving M Missoni, the brand will continue under the direction of an international team. Though Margherita came to M Missoni in 2018 she had served in other capacities at Missoni. She began her new job at M Missoni after the youthful brand was bought back from a licensing company.

Image courtesy of multichannelmerchant.com

Refinancing help for Neiman Marcus

Mega retail giant Neiman Marcus has found some much-needed financing. Well, to be more exact some refinancing, and refinancing once again.

In May 11, 2020, Neiman Marcus filed for Chapter 11, coming out of bankruptcy in September of the same year. The Chapter 11 bankruptcy eliminates 4.4 billion of the $5 billion in debt, as well as $200 million in annual interest payments.

Since coming out of bankruptcy proceedings, Neiman Marcus has struggled, paying heavy interest payments of its $1 billion debt. However, according to WWD, Neiman Marcus believes that its reorganization “provides ample liquidity and flexibility to respond quickly to evolving trends.”

“We will continue to be highly leveraged following the consummation of the transactions, and as a result, a significant amount of our cash flow will be used to pay interest and principal on our outstanding indebtedness, and we may not generate sufficient cash flow from operations, or have future borrowings available under our asset-based revolving credit facility, to enable us to repay our indebtedness, including the notes, or to fund our other liquidity needs,” explained the retailer.

Neiman Marcus also continues to struggle because of the lack of tourism from other countries to the US because of the current health pandemic. Additionally, many top fashion designers may option for a concession relationship with Neiman Marcus as opposed to current wholesale relationship.

Image courtesy of livekindly.com

A furless Britain

If you live in the UK, it may be harder to purchase fur garments. Stella McCarthy, Vivienne Westwood, and Erdem Moralioglu are lobbying to ban fun in the UK.

The Natural Fibers Alliance (NFA), an environmental justice organization based in the UK believe that a ban on fur would hurt the environment. “Synthetic clothing is one of the top global polluters of waterways. Researchers estimate that synthetic fabrics alone are responsible for up to 35 percent of microplastic pollution in our oceans; synthetic clothing ‘sheds’ microparticles when cleaned. Natural fibers, in contrast, are a sustainable and renewable resource,” stated the NFA in a press release, as reported in fashionunited.com.

Though Westwood, McCarthy, and Moralioglu had taken a solid stance against fur, many other British fashion designers don’t support their stance. Yves Salomon states, “the biggest issue facing the planet today is plastic, which I think is far more important than the debate over fur.”

William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Alexi McCammond Resigns, Brandon Maxwell Pivots to Walmart, and Goodbye Elsa Peretti

Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Politicon 

Alexi McCammond has resigned.  McCammond stepped down without starting her new role as Editor-in-chief at Teen Vogue on March 24.

Due to calls for her resignation, based on some racist Asian and homophobic tweets made while McCammond was a college student. McCammond tweeted earlier this week why she was stepping down. “Hey there: I’ve decided to part ways with Condé Nast,” the tweet began.

“I should not have tweeted what I did,” McCammond continues in the statement, as reported in fashionweekdaily.com,“ and I have taken full responsibility for that. I look at my work and growth in the years since and have redoubled my commitment to growing in the years to come as both a person and as a professional.” McCammond further wishes the best to the Teen Vogue team, before sharing her hopes to “re-join the ranks of tireless journalists who are shining light on the issues that matter every single day.”

Editors, journalists, and fashion industry professionals’ response to McCammond’s resignation, for the most part, has been positive. Condé Nast has not responded or announced a replacement.

Image courtesy of vogue.com

Walmart ups its game

Walmart is attempting to give its clothing brands a remake. Walmart private brands Scoop and Free Assembly are getting a makeover.

Noted ready-to-wear fashion designer Brandon Maxwell will collaborate with the mega retail store and serve as creative director of Walmart’s private labels Scoop and Free Assembly. As creative director of Free Assembly and Scoop, Maxwell will be responsible for the seasonal collection of Scoop and Free Assembly’s men’s, women’s, children, and accessories. Maxwell will also participate in brand strategies, production, fabric sourcing, marketing, and campaigns.

“Working with Walmart has long been a dream of mine. Like many people across the country who live in a small town, Walmart was the destination for everything where I grew up in Texas, including clothing,” said the designer in a release, as reported in fashionnetwork.com. “This partnership allows me to bring the experience and joy of fashion to countless people who live in small towns across the country. Everyone deserves to have access to well-designed clothing at an accessible price point.”

Brandon Maxwell currently produces a line of face masks that are sold exclusively at Walmart.

Image courtesy of town&country.com

Ciao Elsa

Famed jewelry designer Elsa Peretti has died.  Known for her long-time affiliation with Tiffany & Co. and Halston, Peretti was the recipient of the 1971 Coty Award and worked with Tiffany’s as a jewelry designer for almost 50 years.

Born in Florence, Italy. Peretti came from a wealthy, distinguished Italian family. Educated in Switzerland and Rome, Peretti started her modeling career in Europe in the mid-1960s. After being invited to the US by the Wilhelmina Modeling Agency in 1968, Peretti later came to work for Halston as a fashion model.

In the 1970s, Peretti became a mainstay at New York City’s famed Studio 54. According to Halston, “Elsa had style: she made the dress she was modeling her own.”

In 1969, Peretti began designing jewelry for a small coterie of fashion designers in New York City. Peretti first hit as a jewelry designer was a two-inch bud vase made of sterling-silver, worn on a leather thong. This jewelry design was first worn by a model in Giorgio Sant’ Angelo’s fashion show. Peretti started designing jewelry for Halston in 1971.

In 1974, Peretti had her own jewelry boutique in Bloomingdales and in that same year Peretti signed a contract for Tiffany & Co. By 1979, Peretti was one of Tiffany & Co. main designers. Over her lifetime, Peretti designed more than 30 collections for Tiffany & Co.

Elsa Peretti died in Spain on March 18, 2021. She was 80 years of age.

William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Alexander Wang Claps Back, Incoming Teen Vogue EIC’s Racist Tweets, Misty Copeland and Under Armour Are No More, and DVF Eliminates Rental Service

Image courtesy of New York Times

A lot of fashion industry professionals are disturbed by recently released tweets from incoming Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Alexi McCammond. This series of racist tweets  were posted in 2011 and deleted in 2019. However, these racist tweets have resurfaced and were documented in a Crossing Broad article. The racial tweets began to circulate on social media more recently in light of the #StopAsianHate movement, which grew from recent racist attacks against Asian Americans.

Last Friday, Condé Nast announced that McCammond has been hired as Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue. Many industry professionals—Prabal Gurung, Thessaly LaForce, Diana Tsui, Sally Holmes, BryanBoy, Kahlana Barfield Brown, and others—have expressed concern about McCammond’s appointment, reposting Diana Tsui’s tweets about McCammond’s appointment on their own social media platforms. Tsui in her tweets questioned why Teen Vogue, a publication known for its diversity, would hire someone with known anti-Asian sentiments, as expressed in her 2011 tweets.

Comments on Tsui and Diet Prada’s tweets continue to question McCammond’s appointment and are calling for additional apologies to the Asian American community by McCammond.

Tina Craig of bagsnob.com comments, “Who we were as teens may not reflect who we are today, but it’s her response to critics (now, as an adult) that has caused concern. And if she is to helm one of the most widely read teen magazines in the world, she needs to lead by example: Apologize and acknowledge the blatantly racist tweets, not dismiss them as merely being ‘insensitive.”

McCammond has made her social media accounts private and Teen Vogue nor Condé Nast has commented publicly.

Image courtesy of underarmour.com

Bye, bye Misty

Ballerina Misty Copeland will no longer be a brand ambassador for Under Armour. Under Armour has ended their relationship.

American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland served as a brand ambassador for Under Armour for the past six years, starring in commercials and videos for the athleticwear brand. In 2018 Copeland even had her own signature apparel line. And in 2017, Copeland was a part of one of several ambassadors featured in Under Armour’s “Unlike Any” campaign, which celebrated the achievements of women athletes without considering gender comparisons.

“We’ve watched her career take off and witnessed what an inspiration she is as a world-class athlete, setting an example for women—and all athletes—around the world striving to achieve their goals,” Under Armour said in an email statement. “We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished together during our partnership, and incredibly grateful to Misty for helping us evolve beyond traditional sports and into new arenas. We wish Misty the very best and look forward to seeing what else she will accomplish, both professionally and personally.”

This end of contract with Copeland is one in a string of contracts that the Baltimore-based athletic brand has cancelled in the past few months. Under Armour in February cancelled its $280 million, 15-year contract with UCLA, which it signed in 2016. Under Armour also cancelled its on-field licensing contract with the NFL in February.

Image courtesy of Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang speaks, finally

Alexander Wang is back in the news. Wang has finally issued a statement about his sexual misconduct allegations.

Since the model’s allegations came out in November 2020, Wang has remained mostly silent. Recently, the 37-year-old designer released an apology on his Instagram page.

In the apology, Wang expresses regret at any harm he may caused to the models and supports the rights of the models who have come forward. He also contends that moving forward “he will do better.”

In response to the 11 models’ allegations that Wang demonstrated sexually inappropriate behavior, Wang released a statement in January stating that the allegations were “baseless and grotesquely false accusations.” 

The New York Times reports that Wang has hired two attorneys, Eric M. George and Andrew B. Brettler, to represent him.  And until mid-February comments on the brand’s social media accounts had been disabled.

 The 11 male models that have accused Wang of sexual misconduct are being represented by Civil Rights Attorney Lisa Bloom. Since these sexual allegations surfaced, Wang has been mostly absent from the public eye. He has been quietly running his namesake fashion brand.

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DVF Link is eliminated

Like many fashion brands, Diane von Furstenberg (DVF) is attempting to re-organize her brand because of the COVID-19 pandemic had established DVF Link online rental subscription service. This new offering from DVF was launched February of 2020 and was an attempt into the tap into the growing popularity of fashion rental platforms. DVF Link was implemented by forming a partnership with management company CaaStle.

“While DVF is an advocate of the subscription model and truly valued our partnership with CaaStle, we deactivated DVF Link as part of the strategy to streamline our operation. Our goal is to focus on the management of intellectual properties and launch of a new dvf.com,” explained a company spokesperson.
 
“As we evolve DVF from a traditional retail operation to a digital business, we are prioritizing our resources. The new DVF will feature a tighter edit of products via a new ecommerce platform and a global community of InCharge women,” added the DVF spokesperson, referencing the title of the female leadership-focused podcast hosted by the house’s eponymous founder, as reported in fashionnetwork.com.

William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Andre Leon Talley’s Saga Continues, Gigi and Bella Hadid Return to the Runway, and Diet Prada Claps Back at D & G

Image courtesy of newyorktimes.com

Andre Leon Talley’s housing issues continue. Last week, we reported that Talley was in danger of being evicted from the 11-room Victorian home that he has lived in for over 15 years. Talley contends that he entered a gentleman’s agreement in 2004 with former Manolo Blahnik CEO George Malkemus and his partner Anthony Yurgaitis that he would occupy the 1.5 million home, located in White Plains, New York, making monthly payments until he could pay off the cost of the home. Talley gave Malkemus and Yugaitis a $120, 000 down payment on the home.

Malkemus and Yurgaitis sued Talley in court in November 2020 for lack of payment, totaling over half a million dollars. Talley countersued in February contending that he has paid over $1 million dollars plus over $200, 000 in repairs.

As reported on Page Six, Malkemus has recently filed a counterclaim in New York Supreme Court. “Despite making periodic rent payments through the years, Plaintiff fell drastically behind, failing not only to pay the $6,333.33 per month rent, but also failing to pay the real estate taxes and insurance,” explains Malkemus.

Fashion designer Akeem Smith recently launched a GoFundMe page to help Talley with his back payments. Though thankful for the GoFundMe account effort, Talley has refused help.

Image courtesy of cnn.com

The D & G controversy continues

Is Dolce & Gabbana’s (D & G) defamation suit against Diet Prada violate freedom of speech? Well, that depends on whom you talk to.

In 2019 Dolce & Gabbana claimed that Diet Prada had started a smear campaign against the brand. This smear campaign used the D & G racist Asian 2018 ad campaign and alleged racist remarks Mr. Gabbana to further insult and demonize D & G.

D & G contend that Diet Prada’s smear campaign consisted of “serious and repeated defamatory conduct” aimed at damaging the Italian brand and costing it 3 million euro in damages. As a result of this smear campaign, D & G contend that certain celebrities—Cardi B and Kim Kardashian no longer want to be associated with the brand and the Chinese government canceled their elaborate runway show, as well as various brand partnerships never materializing.

After mediation between D & G and Diet Prada, D & G filed a lawsuit in Milan two years ago. Today, counsel for Diet Prada issued a formal, lengthy response—47-page answer—to the D & G lawsuit. One wonders why Diet Prada’s legal team thought it was necessary to publish such a long response. That said, Diet Prada has launched a GoFundMe page to cover its legal costs.

Image courtesy of vogue.com

Gigi and Bella strut again

Gigi and Bella Hadid are back on the runway. And they are back on the runway of one of the biggest shows of the season, the fall 2021 Versace show. Top models Irina Shayk, Precious Lee, and Vittoria Ceretti joined Gigi and Bella on the Versace fall 2021 runway show. This is Gigi’s first runway show since having her baby.

Donatella Versace presented her fall 2021 collection outside of traditional Milan Fashion Week dates.  The runway show was in the shape of maze the mirrored the iconic Versace La Greco house logo.

“I have realized that this is the future, the new way of communicating collections,” the designer said, as reported in fashionweekdaily.com. “Models are like actors, they bring the designs to life, just like when a performer portrays a character.” “During the filming of this show, I saw how important it is to give the models time to ‘feel’ the clothes they wear on the runway,” Donatella Versace added.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Andre Leon Talley’s Housing Challenges, Jay Z Sells to LVMH, Megan Thee Stallion’s Harper’s Bazaar Cover, and Kris Jenner to Launch Beauty Brand

Image courtesy of thenewyorktimes.com

Though Andre Leon Talley scored a hit with his second biography” Chiffon Trenches” in 2020, the flamboyant former creative director of Vogue US is now battling to stay in his home. Talley his resided at his current address, a historic 11-room colonial home with extensive gardens located in White Plains, NY since 2004.

Andre Leon Talley’s current residence was bought by George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis for just over $1 million dollars in 2004. In the same year, Talley had to leave his former home due to mold and entered into a gentleman’s agreement that he would purchase the White Plains property from Yurgaitis and Malkemus, with a down payment of $120,000 dollars, paying off the remainder of costs over time.

According to Talley’s lawsuit against said owners as reported on pagesix.com, “The parties agreed that Talley would exclusively own, occupy and care for the home. It was agreed and always understood that Talley would, over time, ‘pay off’ the balance of the purchase price paid by the defendants at which point title would then formally be transferred to Talley.”

“In the meantime, the defendants would hold title for the beneficial ownership of Talley.” Yurgaitis and Malkemus contend that Talley owes over half a million dollars in back payment due to the fact that Talley’s monthly payments have been sporadic due to fluctuating income.

Talley contends that Malkemus and Yurgaitis want to sell the house at an enormous profit and that is why they are atempting to evict him. Though Talley has been residing at the house based a gentleman’s agreement, he has nothing in writing to support his continued occupancy.

Image courtesy of harpersbazaar.com

There is no stopping Megan Thee Stallion

Megan Thee Stallion really knows how to bring sexy to a magazine cover. For the March edition of Harper’s Bazaar, Megan dons a Chanel swimsuit, belt, and cape. She adds to this look with Bulgari earrings.

Inside the March issue, Megan Thee Stallion talks about the values of working hard, ignoring public scrutiny. She also talks about what the future holds for her after her new album drops later this year.

This has been a banner year for Megan. She strutted and sashayed at the American Music Awards, put the word out on “NPR’s Tiny Desk,” and spoke about the rights of sistas on “Saturday Night Live.” But, perhaps, a bigger accomplishment is Megan finishing her last semester at Texas Southern.  “I cannot wait. I’m going to have the biggest graduation party,” exclaims Megan.

Speaking of sexy fashion, in the inside editorial Megan flaunts Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, and Valentino. Talk about the hottie of hotties!! The March issue is available on newsstands March 2.

Image courtesy of glamtush.com

More money for Kris Jenner

“And a child shall lead them” Or so, the biblical scripture goes.

In Kris Jenner’s experience, is taking a cue from her two children Kim and Kylie. Both leading her into the beauty industry.

Kris Jenner has registered trademarks for “Kris Jenner Beauty,” “Kris Jenner Skin” and “Kris Jenner Skincare,” according to E! News. The registered trademarks will cover products including cosmetics, skincare, nail care products, false eyelashes, hair care products, fragrances and more.

And if Kim and Kyle’s beauty companies are any indication of how successful Kris Jenner will be, watch out. Kim’s beauty companies were valued at $1 billion as of June 2020, and Kyle Jenner’s beauty brands were valued at 1.2 billion in 2019.

Image courtesy of worldwine&whisky.com

LVMH goes back to its roots

For those of us in the fashion industry, we always think of (LVMH) Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy as a fashion holding company. However, the megabrand got its start with spirits. And with the fashion industry currently in a state of flux, LVMH is going back to its roots.

That said, LVMH has agreed to buy 50 percent of Armand de Brignac, the champagne brand owned by rapper icon Jay Z. The purchase being made through LVMH’s drink division, Moet Hennessy, includes distribution and a partnership with Jay Z. The sum of the purchase has not been disclosed.

Jay Z in a statement said, “it is a partnership that has felt familiar the entire time.” Jay Z added that “the sheer power of the Moet Hennessy global distribution framework, its unparalleled portfolio strength and its long-established track record of excellence in developing luxury brands will give Armand de Brignac the commercial power it needs to grow and flourish even further.”

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Century 21 Stages a Comeback, Ella Emhoff Makes NYFW Runway Debut, and Valentino Sued for Back Rent

Image courtesy of cnn.com

Being in the right place at the right time could work wonders for a career, particularly if you happened to be related to the Vice President Kamala Harris and you are wearing a very stylish Miu Miu coat at the 46th Presidential Inauguration. Also having a huge social media following helps.

Ella Emhoff, VP Harris’ stepdaughter, has been signed to IMG Models and for New York Fashion Week appeared in the Proenza Schouler fall 2021 runway show. All this happened just three weeks after the presidential inauguration.

For fall 2021 Proenza Schouler produced a knitwear-heavy collection with an emphasis on comfort and practicality. “A return to a form of dressing that emphasizes ease and practicality without ever abandoning a sense of luxury and sensual, tactile pleasure,” explained the design duo in show notes.

This new direction for co-creators Jack McCullough and Lazaro Hernandez demonstrates that these co-creators can pivot easily to what consumers are currently in the market for. Other designers/brands should take note!!

Image courtesy of thenewyorktimes.com

Century 21 returns

For those who are pining away that the Century 21 stores are no more, put away your salty tears. Century21 stores are returning, but it will make its comeback in South Korea, opening a store in Busan this year, a new nine-story, 100,000 square-foot store, in fact. There are plans for a return of Century 21 stores to New York City, but not for a while.

“We believe a New York City flagship is important,” Raymond Gindi told WWD. “It could be on 34th Street or in Times Square. But we are not working on that now. I don’t think the U.S. is ready for it.”

The Gindi family launched Century 21 stores in 1961 and with a silent partner has brought back Century 21’s intellectual property after the retail chain filed for bankruptcy in 2020. In 2020, Century 21 closed its 13 stores in New York City, New Jersey, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

Image courtesy of springutlaw.com

Valentino sued

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fashion is experiencing some very strange occurrences. Who would have thought that an iconic brand like Valentino would be sued for not paying rent?

Well, it has happened. Valentino SpA is being sued for breaking the lease on its flagship Fifth Avenue store. The landlord of the flagship store contends that the Valentino SpA broke the lease and left the store in disrepair. This lawsuit follows a January 27th dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Valentino SpA seeking to void the 16-year lease on its flagship store on Fifth Avenue.

According the landlord of the flagship store, Valentino SpA owes rent through 2029, as well as $12.9 million in repairs to the store. “The building owner tried to work with Valentino during the pandemic with the understanding that these are difficult times,” the landlord’s lawyer Robert Cyruli said, as reported in fashionnetwork.com. “We look forward to presenting our case for damages in court.”

Valentino SpA is seeking to appeal the January 27th court decision made by Justice Andrew Borrok of the Manhattan Supreme Court.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Fenty Goes on Hiatus, Tommy Hilfiger Collabs with Pose’s Indya Moore, and Fern Mallis’ New Project

Image courtesy of SurfaceMag

When Rihanna forged a relationship with LVMH, there was a nod of approval throughout the fashion industry. Rihanna’s clothing brand Fenty was launched with holding company partner LVMH in 2019. This was fashion brand that was owned by black person that was in LVMH coterie of fashion brands.

With LVMH as the holding company, Fenty was able to secure$115 million in Series B funding. The funding gave Fenty the ability to launch Fenty Beauty, Fenty Skin, and Savage x Fenty (Rihanna’s lingerie brand.) In other words, 2019 was a very busy year for Rihanna.

Though all this funding has been great for Rihanna’s beauty and lingerie brands, 2020 was not a good year for the clothing brand. This downturn has caused LVMH to put the Fenty clothing line on hold, “pending better conditions” in a statement, according to Footwear News, as reported in fashionweekdaily.com.

The cause of the halt on the clothing line has not been confirmed, but what is known is that the Fenty clothing line has been experiencing very low sales; perhaps, due to the high price points. Which comes as a bit of shock in that from the initial launch, the Fenty clothing line had become a top of many conversations among fashion industry professionals.

Because of the clothing line has been put on hold does not mean Fenty clothing may not experience a resurgence. The Fenty spinoff brands still have the go-ahead from LVMH and word on the street is that Rihanna is strategizing how to reinvigorate Fenty clothing.

Image courtesy of Paper Magazine

Hilfiger tries to bridge the gap

Tommy Hilfiger has announced capsule collections with Indya Moore, star of “Pose,” and streetwear designer Romeo Hunte. Romeo Hunte has long been mentored by Hilfiger.

These upcoming capsule collections are the result of Tommy Hilfiger’s partnership with People’s Place Program. According a Tommy Hilfiger press release, People’s Place Program is Hilfiger’s three-pillared platform with an initial minimum commitment of $5 million in annual funding for the next three years, that will seek to advance the representation of black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) within the fashion and creative industries. Centering around Partnerships, Career Access and Industry Leadership, the program seeks to achieve consistent, long-term change.

“We are determined to continue putting real action behind our words,” Avery Baker, president and chief brand officer, Tommy Hilfiger Global added, as reported in fashionweekdaily.com. “Equity and inclusion cannot be achieved through short-term recognition; we have to bring them to the forefront every day.”

The People’s Place Program will also be working with Harlem Fashion Row (HFR) to sponsor their 3rd Annual Digital Fashion Summit, taking place on February 18, 2021. Additionally, People’s Place Program will work with The Fashion and Race Database (FRD), to fund and support a new research study called “The Unsung History of American. Sportswear” to uncover overlooked influences from Black American culture on signature Tommy Hilfiger styles.

Image courtesy of thefashionspot.com

Another Fern Mallis project

Fern Mallis never lets any grass grow under her feet. She always stays busy with new projects.

If you didn’t get the opportunity to attend any of Fern Mallis’ conversations with fashion icons at New York City’s 92Y, don’t fret, there is still hope. Fern has launched “Fashion Icons: The Archive,” a dedicated channel that features her chats with some of the most important names in the fashion industry.

“This has been a dream of mine to share these interviews digitally, for many years,” Mallis says. “People are always asking me if they could watch replays of these conversations. I always hear from people who are sorry to have missed them live at 92Y, after the fact. And in many cases, people missed them because they were sold-out!”

Fern has interviewed over 50 fashion industry professionals in her interview chats at the 92Y. Fern has interviewed  everyone from Donna Karan and Vera Wang to Ralph Rucci, Calvin Klein, and Tom Ford to John Varvatos, Thom Browne, Christian Siriano, and many others.

—William S. Gooch

 

 

Fashion News Alert: New York Fashion Week Calendar Gets a Name Change, Black Lives Matter Italian Fashion Collective Opens Milan Fashion Week, and Gigi Hadid Is Back

Image courtesy of rediffmail.com

Milan Fashion Week is finally stepping up to the plate when it comes diversity and inclusion. Milan Fashion Week will open with five black designers from the Black Lives Matter Italian Fashion Collective opening Milan Fashion Week. This is not the first time the collective has shown at Milan Fashion Week. The collective showed in September 2020, but at the end of Milan Fashion Week.

“It’s extraordinary, it’s a very strong signal the Italian Fashion Chamber is broadcasting. It will be us setting the tone,” said to AFP [to] Michelle Ngonmo, co-founder of the collective alongside designers Stella Jean and Edward Buchanan, as reported in fashionnetwork.com. However, “it took quite a fight” before the collective was able to “overcome the CNMI’s hesitation in facilitating our access to the [Milan] Fashion Week. Now, Italian Fashion Chamber (CNMI) is willing to listen to us,” added Ngonmo.

The same five black designers will show at Milan Fashion Week in February as showed in September 2020, Joy Ijeoma Meribe from Cameroon, with her Modaf Designs label; Karim Daoudi from Morocco; Nigeria-born Claudia Gisèle Ntsama, with her Gisfab label; Fabiola Manirakiza from Burundi, founder of the Frida-Kiza label; and from Senegal, Pape Mocodou Fall, a.k.a. Mokodu, as his label is known. 

Nogonmo explained that there are over 450 designers of African descent in Italy, many of whom show their collections in London, Paris, and Beijing because the discrimination they experience in Italy.  “For five years, we crashed against a wall of silence when we knocked on the CNMI’s door, but now we are an integral part of [the Chamber], without losing our identity,” Ngonmo explained. “Ours are made-in-Italy labels, we manufacture in Italy, not in Africa.”

Image courtesy of vogue.com

Gigi returns

Supermodel Gigi Hadid is back!! After a child with her partner Zayn Malik six months ago, Gigi is back gracing the March issue of Vogue US.

“I know that I’m not as small as I was before, but I also am a very realistic thinker,” said Gigi Hadid in an interview Chloe Malle for the March issue of Vogue. “ I straight up was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll shoot a Vogue cover, but I’m obviously not going to be a size 0,’ nor do I, at this point, feel like I need to be back to that. I also think it’s a blessing of this time in fashion that anyone who says that I have to be that, can suck it.”

Gigi was styled by Gabriella Karefa-Johnson and photographed by Ethan James Green for her recent Vogue cover. For the cover, Gigi is attired in a white and red floral Prada coat. Gigi dons the likes of Proenza Schouler, Alexander McQueen, Versace, and more for her spread in the March issue.

Image courtesy of popsugar.com

A name change can make all the difference

The New York Fashion Week (NYFW) calendar, under the auspices of Tom Ford, has a new name. For those who don’t know, NYFW was founded in 1944 by the great fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert. (NYFW was called Press Week in 1944.) Later, Press Week acquired the name New York Fashion Week and the calendar that announced all the fashion brands/designer that were officially showing at NYFW had the same name, the New York Fashion Week calendar.

All that has now changed. To adapt to changes in the market and some changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the CFDA has changed the name of the calendar to the American Collections Calendar.  Instead of covering only New York events, it will encompass all American designers, regardless of location or collection release date.

The Fashion Calendar was invented by Ruth Finley in the 1940s. Finley owned it for 80 years until she sold the calendar to the CFDA right before she died in 2014. In September 1993, Finley published the first official fashion calendar grid which included most New York fashion events, as well as fashion events around the world.

In recent years fashion industry professionals have complained the calendar is too crowded and outdated with many key American designers taking their names off the NYFW calendar, choosing to show in Europe and Asia instead. Ford and the CFDA hopes that the new name of the NYFW calendar will lure some top American designers back to NYFW and new changes to the calendar will provide more access to other American designers and brands.

—William S. Gooch

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