Fashion News Alert: Pat McGrath Named Dame of the British Empire, Karl Lagerfeld’s New Tell-All, Stella Tennant’s Cause of Death Confirmed, and Macy’s to Close More Stores

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After 25 years in the fashion industry, British make-up artist Pat McGrath is finally getting more of the recognition she deserves. Queen Elizabeth II has named Pat McGrath, D.B.E. Dame of the British Empire for services to the Fashion and Beauty industry and Diversity. That’s right, you can now call Pat McGrath, Dame Pat McGrath.

“I am beyond humbled that I have been awarded a Damehood in the Queen’s New Year 2021 Honours List as a D.B.E–Dame of the British Empire for Services to the Fashion and Beauty Industry and Diversity,” said Dame McGrath in a release. “I am truly delighted and humbled to be given this wonderful honour. My mother’s obsession with beauty and fashion ignited my passion for this amazing industry and I feel blessed to have the privilege of working with some of the most extraordinary people throughout my career.”

This award makes Pat McGrath the first make-up artist to be named a Dame of the British Empire. McGrath is regarded by many fashion industry professionals as being one of the most influential figures in fashion beauty.

McGrath established herself as a make-up artist to be reckoned with by designing some of the avant-garde make-up looks for John Galliano’s runway shows, as well as runway shows of Miuccia Prada, Alexander McQueen, and Marc Jacobs. But it was Edward Enninful that helped kickstart McGrath’s career by making her the beauty director of i-D magazine. In 2015, McGrath launched her beauty line McGrath Labs and as of 2018 was valued at $1 billion.

Congrats, Pat. You really deserve it!

Image courtesy of DNA Models

Cause of Stella Tennant’s death confirmed

Scottish supermodel Stella Tennant passed away on December 23. At the time of her death, there was no confirmation on the cause of death.

That has all changed. In a statement published in the Telegraph, it was confirmed that Tennant suffered had mental health challenges, and her death has been ruled as a suicide.

Her family said, as reported in fashionweekdaily.com, “We have been humbled by the outpouring of messages of sympathy and support since Stella died. She was a beautiful soul, adored by a close family and good friends, a sensitive and talented woman whose creativity, intelligence and humor touched so many.”

“Stella had been unwell for some time,” the article on fashionweekdaily.com continued. “So, it is a matter of our deepest sorrow and despair that she felt unable to go on, despite the love of those closest to her. In grieving Stella’s loss, her family renews a heartfelt request that respect for their privacy should continue.”

Stella Tennant’s ascent as a fashion model was meteoric. Stella was photographed by iconic photographer Steven Meisel early in her career. Stella modeled for French, British, and Italian Vogue as well as Harper’s Bazaar. Also, early in her career, Stella Tennant became the face of Chanel with an exclusive contract. She also appeared in campaigns for Calvin Klein, Alexander McQueen, Hermes, Versace, and Burberry.

Stella Tennant is survived by her husband French photographer David Lasnet and her four children. Stella Tennant was 50 years old.

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Lagerfeld tell-all

Fashion industry professionals and consumers are anxiously anticipating the new Karl Lagerfeld tell-all penned by his longtime bodyguard and personal assistant Sébastien Jondeau. This book will explore the close relationship between Lagerfeld and Jondeau.

Lagerfeld met Jondeau when he was 15 years old with Jondeau modeling in Chanel campaigns and walking in Chanel runway shows. Jondeau trained had a kickboxer, so, his transition to Lagerfeld’s bodyguard was an obvious career transition.

Jondeau in a 2015 interview with Harper’s Bazaar, as reported in fashionweekdaily.com, stated, “I’ve worked for Karl for more than 16 years, since I was 23, but I’ve known him since I was 15. My stepfather ran an 18th-century furniture business that I worked for sometimes, and Karl was a big collector. I was always asking Karl questions. He knows everything, and he was so much cooler than I was. I wasn’t stupid, but I was curious. I came from a place in life where you don’t really know that much. I did silly, bad things when I was young; I have so many stories. I became close with Karl because I was funnier than the other guys. I did my job, but I asked questions, and he liked that.”

Ça Va, Cher Karl? (translation: How are you, dear Karl?) will be out in Europe on January 27.

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More store closings for Macy’s

Macy’s is closing more stores. On Wednesday, it was revealed that Macy’s will close 37 locations which includes one Bloomingdale’s store and 36 namesake stores. Nine Macy’s stores have already closed this week with the rest to go into liquidation over the next 8 to 12 weeks.

A Macy’s spokesperson recently talked about “rightsizing their store fleet.” Which aligns with Macy’s redirecting resources to online and mobile capabilities.

“To that end, we announced several store closures today that align to the guidance we provided in February 2020,” the company explained. “These closures bring us closer to achieving the right mix of mall-based stores,” explains a Macy’s representative.

In October 2020, Macy’s reported a $91 million loss in the third quarter. For that same third quarter, Macy’s revenue was $4 billion, down from $5.1 billion in the prior-year period.

—William S. Gooch

Weekend Fashion News Alert: Alexander Wang’s Sexual Assault Allegations, Travis Scott’s New Sneaks, and Au Revoir Pierre Cardin

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There are more sexual molestations charges in the fashion industry. This time the charges are directed toward Alexander Wang.

In December, male model Owen Mooney posted two videos on Tik Tok that alleged that he was touched inappropriately and against his will by a famous fashion designer. Mooney claims that designer was Alexander Wang.

Mooney’s admission opened the floodgate of other male models and trans models who claim that Wang of either sexually assaulting or harassing them. Wang denies these charges.

In response to these allegations, Wang issued a statement to fashionista.com. ” Over the last few days, I have been on the receiving end of baseless and grotesquely false accusations. These claims have been wrongfully amplified by social media accounts infamous for posting defamatory material from undisclosed and/or anonymous sources with zero evidence or any fact-checking whatsoever,” explained Wang. 

“Seeing these lies about me being perpetuated as truths has been infuriating. I have never engaged in the atrocious behavior described and would never conduct myself in the manner that’s been alleged,” Wang continued. “I intend to get to the bottom of this and hold accountable whoever is responsible for originating these claims and viciously spreading them online.”

Time will tell. Fashion Reverie will continue to follow this story!!

Image courtesy of modernnotoreity.com

Travis Scott’s new Air Jordans

There is no doubt that Hip Hop artist Travis Scott’s collaboration with Nike has been successful. If you are not convinced, try purchasing Scott’ latest Air Jordan collaboration sneakers. They go for almost $2,000. (We checked online.) Sneakers priced way above their original retail price is a true sign of popularity.

Anyway, with the popularity of this collaboration, it was only a matter of time before a new pair of Travis Scott’s Air Jordan’s would hit the market. And that could be sooner than you anticipated!!

Travis was recently spotted flaunting an unreleased pair of Air Jordan Lows. The images were released online this weekend.

These could be the best Travis Scott Air Jordans yet!!  The sneaks in question are decorated with white and blue panels, that look like Nike’s popular “Obsidian” Air Jordan 1 Retro colorway. Branding hits include Scott’s signature reverse Swoosh on the lateral side in white, as well as Wings embroidered on the heels.

Image courtesy of dw.com

Au Revoir Pierre

Fashion icon Pierre Cardin has passed away. Most consumers thought this icon fashion designer had already passed away. That said; according to French magazine Challenges, Cardin’s fashion empire is worth 525 million euros, with hundreds of licensing deals still active.

Pierre Cardin become a critically acclaimed figure in fashion in the early 60s, making headlines with his “bubble” dress and garments that had a futuristic projection. Cardin was one of the first designers that adopting business licensing for his accessories and for product outside of the fashion industry. Cardin was often quoted as saying, “I do fashion. It is my drug.”

Cardin became known for staging extraordinary fashion shows—in the Gobi Desert, on board an aircraft carrier in Tianjin, China; on Moscow’s Red Square with over 200,000 spectators—a first in Russia; inside Rome’s prestigious Villa Medici; and at the White Palace royal residence in Belgrade, Serbia. 

Cardin continued to independently own his eponymous brand, mostly financed by his licensing deals. However, by the year 2000, Cardin only sporadically showcased his fashion collection in fashion shows. In 2019, the Brooklyn Museum produced a retrospective of his work.

Pierre Cardin died at the at a hospital in Neuilly, France on December 29. He was 98 years of age.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: NYC Loses Many Chain Stores in 2020, the FHCM Releases Paris Couture Show List, and Goodbye Stella Tennant

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The COVID-19 pandemic may not hinder the Paris Haute Couture shows from happening. The Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM) has released the calendar for the Paris Haute Couture shows.

Because of the ensuing health pandemic, the FHCM has not confirmed if the haute couture shows will be in the format of runway, presentations or online. The format depends on the French health pandemic lockdown rules. That said; the FHCM, which is the French fashion governing body, has listed 32 shows on the haute couture calendar.

This calendar includes haute couture collections from such esteemed brands as Dior, Giorgio Armani Prive, Chanel, Schiaparelli, and Valentino, with Alber Elbaz debuting his new fashion brand AZ Factory. Kim Jones will debut his first haute couture collection for Fendi, and Chitose Abe will debut his first haute couture collection for Jean-Paul Gaultier as a guest designer.

The Haute Couture shows will take place in Paris from January 25 through January 28.

Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)

NYC retail hit hard by health pandemic

2020 has been a very tough year for the retail market, particularly in New York City. According to the Center for an Urban Future (CUF) over 1,000 stores have been shuttered by retail chains. These closings are mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Manhattan saw the most store closings in 2020 of the five boroughs, closing 520 stores. There was a total of 1,057 closings in Manhattan and the boroughs.

As reported in fashionnetwork.com, both clothing and accessories stores and beauty destinations have closed 22% of their locations in New York over the last twelve months. The only other retail store category that outpaced clothing and accessories when it come to closures were vitamin and food supplement shops.

BCBG Max Azria has closed all of it six NYC stores, as did tween retail store, Justice. New York & Co. has shuttered all its 17 NYC stores. Brooklyn Industries, Lucky Brands, and Motherhood Maternity have followed suit.

CUF’s annual State of the Chains report is based on a tally of chain retailer store locations across New York City, broken down by retailer, borough and zip code.

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Stella Tennant farewell

A few days before Christmas day, on December 23,  British Supermodel Stella Tennant suddenly passed away at her home in Duns, Scotland. According to a Scotland police spokesperson, “Officers were called to an address in Duns around 11.30 a.m. on Tuesday, December 22, following the sudden death of a 50-year-old woman. Her next of kin have been made aware. There are no suspicious circumstances and a report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.”

According to fashionnetwork.com, Stella Tennant’s family confirmed her death by stating, “Stella was a wonderful woman and an inspiration to us all. She will be greatly missed. Her family ask for their privacy to be respected. Arrangements for a memorial service will be announced at a later date.”

Stella Tennant burst unto the fashion scene in the early 90s with iconic fashion photographer Steven Meisel shooting Tennant for the cover of Italian Vogue. Later Tennant acquired an exclusive contract from Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel. Additionally, Tennant appeared in numerous campaigns for Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, Burberry, Hermes, and Chanel.

Tennant was a distant cousin of Princess Diana and grand-daughter of Andrew Cavendish, the 11th Duke of Devonshire. Tennant is survived by her husband, French photographer David Lasnet and her four children.

William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Anna Wintour’s New Job, French Model Agent Jean-Marc Brunel Detained, American Vogue’s January Cover

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Does Anna Wintour need another job? Well, apparently Condé Nast thinks so.

At Condé Nast, Wintour already holds several titles—editor-in-chief of Vogue US, artistic director and global content advisor, as well as chief content officer. A heavy load indeed, but it appears that Wintour is up to the task as she has acquired more duties.

In addition to all these titles and responsibilities, Wintour will take on the role of global editorial director of Vogue. Wintour’s expanded responsibilities come on the heels of Condé Nast’s efforts to overhaul its publishing empire and organize itself for the digital age. All these efforts coincide with Condé Nast’s attempts to stay profitable, resulting in the company merging Condé Nast and Condé Nast International in 2018.

As with most companies, the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt the publishing giant’s finances. The pandemic forced Condé Nast to lay off and furlough hundreds of workers.

By unifying editorial teams, Condé Nast will be able to create the best version of each global story and customize each story for individual markets. This global consolidation includes promoting Edward Enninful to European global editorial director, which includes the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain Vogue publications, Simone Marchetti to global editorial director of Vanity Fair, and Will Welch as global editorial director of GQ.

Image courtesy of vogue.com

Diversity rules in Vogue US’ January issue

Anna Wintour is not the only one feeling Condé Nast’s expansiveness. The January issue of Vogue US is expanding to include a plus-size model on its cover.

Paloma Elsesser will grace the cover of Vogue US’ January cover. The size 14 IMG model was photographed by Annie Liebovitz and styled in a Michael Kors dress by Gabriella Karefa-Johnson. This is the first time a black woman has styled a cover for Vogue US.

“When a size 14 person like myself says no to doing a show, they may not put anyone larger in that show—therefore that sample doesn’t go into the editorial season; other girls my size don’t get shot in looks that aren’t lingerie or a jacket; there’s a whole cycle happening,” says Elsesser, as reported in  fashionweekly.com. “My participation isn’t just about me.”

Pat McGrath, Elsesser’s mentor, had some great things to say about the plus-size model.  “There’s something cinematic about Paloma. She’s a modern Dorothy Dandridge or Lena Horne or Rita Hayworth. Her face, her body, and her mind are beautiful—and she has a wonderful personality brimming with fun and joy.”

And this first cover styling by a black stylist did not go unnoticed. Gabriella Karefa-Johnson commented on this incredible opportunity, “This is a dream I didn’t know if I’d realize and I’m just so proud of myself, and proud of @palomija, and proud of @iam_thechong, and proud of @okjanelle, and happy for the little black girls who can go to the newsstand and buy the world’s most powerful fashion magazine and see themselves on the cover and in the creative team that brought it to life. This is the first Vogue cover styled by a black woman. This is my first Vogue cover. It was shot by Annie Leibovitz and that’s just about the wildest thing I’ve ever heard.”

Image courtesy of OK! Magazine

Jean-Luc Brunel detained

The Jeffrey Epstein chronicles continue. Though Epstein committed suicide in prison in August of 2019, the scandal around his sexual assault and rape cases continue.

Top French model agent Jean-Luc Brunel has been detained in Paris on accusations of sex crimes which include rape, human trafficking, and sexual assault of minors. He was detained on Wednesday at Charles de Gaulle airport on his way to Senegal. Brunel was an ex-associate of Jeffrey Epstein and has been linked to Epstein web of sexual violence and rape.

Brunel was accused in American courts for procuring young girls for Epstein’s sexual abuse. “The victims have long awaited the arrest of Jean-Luc Brunel. They welcome his detention with relief and with confidence in the legal process,” said lawyer Anne-Claire Lejeune, who represents several victims, as reported in fashionnetwork.com. “This is huge news. I am crying with joy,” said Thysia Huisman, a former Dutch model who says she was “drugged and raped” by Brunel at the age of 18.

Brunel’s detention at the Charles de Gaulle airport ends of scrutiny about Brunel whereabouts. Although Brunel’s lawyers in 2019 denied Brunel association or involvement with Epstein sex crimes, Brunel was never available for questioning.

Jean-Luc Brunel was the founder of the famed Karin Models.

—William S. Gooch

 

 

Fashion News Alert: Elie Saab Partners with Amazon, LL Cool J’s Fashion Collab, and Dolly Parton’s Beauty Brand

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Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna are not the only celebrities entering the beauty industry. Move over J Lo, and RiRi, and enter Dolly Parton.

Now, you may wonder why Dolly Parton had not launched a beauty brand before, in that she is always ‘dolled up’ from head to toe. Well, better late than never. Dolly’s beauty brand in partnership with Edge Beauty will come to market in the spring of 2021.

Fragrance has always played a major role in my life—I wear my own combination of scents every day,” Parton said in a statement, as reported in fashionweekdaily.com. “Developing my own brand and scent with Edge Beauty has been an amazing experience, and I am looking forward to becoming a big part of the fragrance community.”

Parton’s beauty brand is considered a luxury brand available at various price point. Edge Beauty plans to place Dolly Parton’s beauty brand in drugstores, retailers and television shopping networks. (Extra note: Dolly Parton is on the cover of Marie Claire’s 2020 holiday edition.)

Image courtesy of wwd.com

Elie Saab expands to Amazon

Is Amazon looking for world domination? Apparently so!! Elie Saab is the latest luxury brand that will partner with Amazon and start selling on Amazon’s Luxury Stores.

Amazon debuted their Luxury Store in September and since that time this initiative has included Oscar de la Renta, Roland Mouret, La Perla, Clé de Peau, and Altuzarra. This initiative launched with an exclusive offer from Oscar de la Renta and a video with supermodel Cara Delevinge sensuously preening and primping in floral appliqués, crystal embellishments and snippets of the brand’s society-hostess style.

“Joining forces with Amazon is a step forward in Elie Saab’s business strategy to strengthen its existence in the US market through a new widespread e-commerce presence, while also reaching a new generation of luxury shoppers. Amazon has been a key partner in reinforcing our digital strategy to meet our customers’ expectations when shopping for luxury,” enthused the couture house’s CEO Elie Saab Junior, as reported in fashionnetwork.com.

The current collection will be available in the Amazon app and eligible US Prime members by invitation only.

Image courtesy of highsnobiery.com

LL Cool J’s Rock The Bell’s second drop

Earlier in 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic actor/rapper LL Cool J launched his vintage Rock The Bells fashion line. Rock The Bells pays homage to 90s hip hop fashion. Rock the Bells is inspired LL Cool J’s 1985 hit song by the same name. The fashion line includes tee shirts, hoodies and jackets that celebrate the heritage of hip hop. Each garment is inspired by the four pillars of hip-hop: break dancing, DJs, MCs, and graffiti.

That said; LL Cool J has expanded Rock The Bells to include a collaboration with Atlanta-based artist and designer Alexander John called “The Chain Collection.” The limited-edition collection is in honor of the late George Floyd with a portion of the proceeds donated to the Black Lives Matter movement and LL’s Jump & Ball Foundation.

“The Chain Collection is designed to bring a spotlight back to where streetwear all began,” explained Alexander-John in a press release sent to The Glow Up. “Spray cans dripped and draped in Cuban links serve as a visual for luxury lifestyle while also paying homage to graffiti art deriving from hip hop culture. This collection offers today’s streetwear enthusiasts an opportunity to support a collection designed with meaning and purpose. This is a Black story, this is a true story, this is the culture … we Rock The Bells.”

“[T]he Rock the Bells platform is really just a work in progress; we’re going to take it to another level. Doing a collection like this, working with a young, talented designer who has insight into the culture and understands what we’re trying to do—that’s what this is about … It’s nice to take a young Black designer and say, ‘I’m in a position, I have a platform and you can go out there and shine,’” explained LL Cool J in a recent interview with WWD.

This second drop from the brand includes tee shirts, a hoodie, jogger pants, plus a varsity jacket and duffle bag in collaboration with Roots, all sporting a red, black and green color story (and ranging from $75 to $495). “The Chain Collection” will be available on December 9.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Jenna Lyons’ New Gig, Zadig & Voltaire Collaborate with L.A. Dance Project, and Goodbye Tony Hsieh

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Jennie Lyons has a new job.  And it is not the sort of job that you might think Jenna Lyons would get.

Since leaving her post of President of J. Crew in 2017, Lyons has been waiting and anticipating a new opportunity. “I remember when I left, I was scared and all my friends and co-workers were like, ‘Don’t worry, the phone is going to ring off the hook,’ and it just didn’t,” she told Page Six.

“And then all of a sudden, I didn’t have anything on my agenda, and no one was calling, and no one was getting me lunch, and no one was inviting me anywhere and I was like, ‘Whoa,’” Lyons continued. “It felt like the bottom dropped out. I had to really come to terms with the fact that I was not invited to anything because I was Jenna Lyons. I was invited to things because I was the president of J. Crew. It’s actually a good reckoning and a really healthy thing to go through.”

But that is all over with now. Lyons has a new show on HBO MAX‘s, “Stylish with Jenna Lyons” which follows Lyons and her team as they work on fashion projects and fashion makeovers with her new company, Lyons L.A.D.  Additionally, young fashion hopefuls will compete to be a part of Lyons’ fashion squad.

Lyons said the show “actually feels real, as opposed to a lot of other reality shows.” Lyons adds, “it’s not scripted” and, “We didn’t have producers telling us what to do.”

Image courtesy of Zadig & Voltaire

Zadig & Voltaire’s arts initiative

If you don’t remember Benjamin Millepied, then you should. He was the choreographer of “Black Swan,” starring his wife Natalie Portman, the former director of the Paris Opera Ballet, and a former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet.

Well, Millepied is now the artistic director of L.A. Dance Project. And L.A. Dance Project has launched its first collaboration with Zadig & Voltaire. This collaboration is a part of an initiative by Zadig & Voltaire in their support of the arts.

“Benjamin has had a long relationship with [artistic director] Cecilia Bonstrom; they’ve done collaborations in Kyoto and Paris. I wanted to get involved, so I joined the board. It’s been a tough time for them as they can’t engage in live performances with all the restrictions, which is how they raise money. We’ve raised a good amount of money through social media collaborations and the T-shirt we designed for them,” as reported in fashionweekdaily.com.

The collaboration is available online now. The 17-piece collection includes joggers, leg warmers, and sweaters, and ranges in price between $98 to $428.

Image courtesy of theguardian.com

Goodbye, Tony

Another high-ranking fashion industry professional bites the dust. This time it is Tony Hsieh, former CEO of Zappos. Hsieh succumbed to injuries sustained from a house fire at his New London, CT home on November 18.

Tony Hsieh retired from Zappos in 2019 after starting what was then called ShoeSite.com in 1999. The company was sold to Amazon in 2009 for $1.2 billion. Hsieh stayed on with Zappos as chief executive until this past August.

“Tony’s kindness and generosity touched the lives of everyone around him and forever brightened the world,” a DTP Companies statement said. “Delivering happiness was always his mantra, so instead of mourning his transition, we ask you to join us in celebrating his life.” 

“The world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being,” the online shoe retailer said in a tribute post on social media. “His spirit will forever be a part of Zappos.”

Tony Hsieh died at Bridgeport Hospital in Connecticut. He was 46 years of age.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Top Model Halima Aden Quits the Runway, Kenzo and Kansai Yamamoto Collaborate, and Nobis and Basketball Star Serge Ibaka Collaborate on New Collection

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Top model Halima Aden has been an inspiration; particularly as one of the few Muslim models that has gained international success while wearing her hijab. In an industry that has traditionally embraced mostly white models and models that come from backgrounds where they don’t visually wear their religious convictions and beliefs, Halima Aden not only breathes fresh air into the fashion industry but is also breaking down barriers and restraints.

That said; Aden has faced a lot of criticisms and backlash in the fashion industry for refusing not to take off her hijab on runways and during photoshoots. And there have been situations where Aden had been asked to wear clothing that went against her religious beliefs, or where photographers used interesting ways to photograph here where her hijab was not shown.

All this controversy and pressure has forced Aden to abandon fashion runways, as she announced this decision on Wednesday. Aden is not walking completely away from fashion but is laying down strict guidelines of conditions she will work under.

“If my hijab can’t be this visible—I’m not showing up,” she wrote under a photo of her in a full unadorned hijab that covered her chest and shoulders. Under another photo, showing her full hijab, scarf and covered chest and shoulders, she wrote, “This is the standard moving forward if you want to work with me. Come correct or don’t come at all. Nothing less, nothing more, as reported on cnn.com.”

“These spaces were always predominantly white,” she added. “So, you are already at a disadvantage for simply being YOU in a workplace that never considered someone of your background. We can’t give up, but it’s good to remain mindful.”

Image courtesy of wwd.com

Kenzo and Kansai Yamamoto, united in death

Sadly, two powerful and groundbreaking Japanese fashion powerhouses, Kenzo Takada and Kansai Yamamoto died earlier this year. Kansai Yamamoto in July and Kenzo Takada in October. Still, their legacy lives on. And particularly in this new collaborative effort launched by the house of Kenzo.

The new collection combines the prints and aesthetics of both legendary designers. The collection will center mostly of Yamamoto’s animal obsession and Kenzo’s predilection for nature prints which produces a collection of punk-inspired garments with feline artworks by Kansai Yamamoto.

“When I joined Kenzo in July 2019, I immediately started thinking about artists, designers and creatives with whom I wanted to collaborate. One of the first ideas I had was a collaboration between Kenzo and Kansai Yamamoto. Although their body of works are very different, the links and common traits between the two are manifold,” explained Kenzo’s creative director, Felipe Oliveira Baptista, as reported in a fashionnetwork.com article.

“What really convinced me to start this idea was their common charge of joy, intuition and freedom. What a wonderful idea to start a dialogue between these two pioneers and fashion punks. Their energy and bite have remained intact, against the backdrop of Movida, the Spanish cultural movement of the early 1980s,” added Oliveira Baptista, who received the blessing of both designers as he met them both in 2019.

There are 30 womenswear pieces and 24 men’s garments in this collection, accompanied by 22 accessories. Prices from 105 euros to 1, 050 euros.

Image courtesy of 360magazine.com

Serge Ibaka and Nobis pair up

If you are not familiar with Canadian basketball star Serge Ibaka, you should be. Ibaka is an NBA champion and is a master blocker for the Toronto Naptors. Ibaka is also very quickly becoming style icon.

Ibaka has been seen at many major brand fashion shows—Hermes, Kenzo, Thom Browne, and Balmain—and sets the front row afire at Paris Fashion Week with his unique fashion sensibility. (Remember, we wore a kilt with a suit to Thom Browne’s Paris Fashion Week show.)  So, it is no surprise that Canadian outwear brand Nobis would choose Ibaka as a collaborator for their new outerwear collection.

“I’m thrilled to collaborate with Nobis on my first fashion collection. Nobis is very simple and chic, which made me really fall in love with the brand, making them the perfect partner,” says the multi-lingual Ibaka, as reported in fashionnetwork.com. “Getting dressed to me is an art, and I wanted to express myself through this collection and share it with my fans.”

This capsule collection collaboration is genderless and includes nine limited-edition garments, ranging from a bomber jacket, parka, and anorak to vests, hats, and scarves. Prices range from $60 to $995 and each piece is home-launderable. 

“We couldn’t be prouder to take our partnership with Serge Ibaka, one of our Global Brand Ambassadors, to the next level with the release of this collaborative collection. Serge represents the best of professional sport and international fashion and we are absolutely delighted to be working together in bringing his vision of Nobis x Ibaka to life,” added Nobis co-founder and vice-president Robin Yates.

The Nobis/Serge Ibaka limited-edition capsule collection will be available online and in stores at the end of this month.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Megan Thee Stallion’s Collaboration, Alber Elbaz Reveals New Fashion Brand, Harlem Fashion Row and Banana Republic Partner with Charles Harbison, and J Lo’s New Beauty Line

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Collaborations are still the order of the day in the fashion industry. And though we are in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, fashion collaborations continue to bring warranted attention to the fashion industry.

The latest fashion collaboration is between Megan Thee Stallion and fast-fashion brand, Fashion Nova. For those who might not be aware, Megan Thee Stallion is an African American rapper who rose to fame when her music collaborations with Beyoncé and Cardi B reached number one on Billboard’s Top 100.

The Fashion Nova X Megan Thee Stallion collection is inspired by a western motif and is designed to make customers feel “like they are on a wild Western Moto Speed Chase.” The collection contains 106 pieces, containing premium denim, luxe corset bodysuits and tops with matching pants, as well as dresses and plush outerwear with sizes ranging from junior to plus size.

“This collection was inspired by Megan’s unwavering confidence, fearless style, and infectious personality,” said Fashion Nova CEO and founder Richard Saghian, as reported on fashionnetwork.com. “Every piece was meticulously designed with exceptional fabrics in a variety of looks and prints to make our customer stand out and feel empowered and we are excited to finally bring our creative collaboration with her to life for everyone to experience.”

“Designing this line with Fashion Nova has been a labor of love,” added Megan. ”Not only am I able to bring my signature look to all the hotties out there, but I was able to create sexy and beautiful clothing that fit bodies of all shapes, sizes, and heights. If you’re a tall girl like me, finding clothes that have savage style has never been easy, until now.”

Fashion Nova X Megan Thee Stallion is available exclusively at fashionnova.com with prices ranging from $24.99 to $199.99.

Image courtesy of thecut.com

J Lo expands

Jennifer Lopez continues to expand her empire. The super-hyphenated diva, singer-actress-dance-entrepreneur-style icon has announced that her beauty line JLO Beauty will be unveiled in the first month of 2021. JLO Beauty is a fulfillment of Lopez’s 30-year dream of producing her own beauty line.

Lopez has collaborated with her beauty brands in the past; however, JLO Beauty is completely Jennifer Lopez’s beauty products. Before the launch of Lopez’s 25th fragrance, WWD valued Lopez’s fragrance franchise at $2 billion dollars.

JLO Beauty will be available in January 2021. However, followers can get early pre-holiday access by signing up for alerts.

Image courtesy of lofficielitalia.com

Alber Elbaz’s new venture

For those who were fans of Alber Elbaz, since his departure from the iconic French fashion house Lanvin, there has been much speculation of where Elbaz would end of next after leaving Lanvin in 2015.

Well, we know have some answers. At Vogue’s Forces of Fashion digital conference, Alber Elbaz revealed what’s next for him.

“I love the people of fashion,” said Elbaz when asked why he ultimately decided to return to design. “After a few years of being on vacation, I realized how much I don’t enjoy vacation. I always feel good in studios. I feel good making things. It was a time for me to do a comeback and to give back everything that I learned through the years.” 

In October of 2020, Elbaz’s signed a deal with Richemont. With the investors connected to Richemont, Elbaz will launch his new brand AZ Factory. Elbaz was inspired how some fashion showrooms and factories during the early outbreak of the COVID-19 virus adjusted to immediately start producing PPE for hospitals, healthcare workers and consumers.

“There is something about ‘factory’ that I always love,” Elbaz explained regarding the brand name, noting that he loves to go to the factories he works with because there’s an honesty and humbleness to them. “Our world today is divided into producers and consumers. So, we are on the producers’ side. We’re also producing ideas and thoughts and solutions.” 

Alber Elbaz has set AZ Factory accounts on social media and revealed the company’s logo. However, that is all that has been revealed about the upcoming brand.

Image courtesy of dailyfrontrow.com

Charles Harbison shines through

For those who are fans of Charles Harbison, there is some exciting developments in the works. The North Carolina-native launched his eponymous brand, HARBISON, in 2013 and saw his garments on the likes of former First Lady Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, and Solange Knowles. HARBISON’s gender fluid collections with a strong emphasis on architectural silhouettes and use of bold colors.

Though HARBISON has been on hiatus for the last few years, Charles Harbison has continued his fashion journey. This collaboration with Harlem Fashion Row and Banana Republic will put Charles Harbison back on the fashion map and make his fans very happy.

“Banana Republic and I share sensibilities that are rooted in great American design, and I have a deeply rooted connection to the amazing equity work of Harlem’s Fashion Row. I wanted to fuse those ideas with a playful sense of color and line, which I’ve been navigating aesthetically as of late. It really felt organic. And always, all things lead back to my central inspiration: the women of my life,” explained Charles Harbison.

This collaboration came about when Banana Republic teamed up with Harlem Fashion Row to launch the BIPOC-focused sustainable design competition. Charles Harbison won the competition which facilitated Harbison’s collaboration with Banana Republic and Harlem Fashion Row.

 Charles Harbison adds, “over the past few months we’ve seen a number of big brands trying to find their place in the country’s conversation about racial justice and equity, and the efforts that have felt more authentic are those that leverage a brand’s existing strengths. Banana Republic has always been devoted to making great American fashion, and their partnership with HFR has provided a platform for me to further contribute to what ‘great American fashion’ means.”

The Banana Republic, Charles Harbison, and Harlem Fashion Row collaboration will debut in September 2021. The collection will focus on natural dyes, organic materials, and limited use of water during the production process.

William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: JCPenny Rescued, Diane von Furstenberg Teams Up with H&M, and Chanel Increases Prices, Yet Again

Image courtesy of retailtouchpoints.com

Earlier this week a US judge approved a deal that would keep JCPenny (JCP) out of bankruptcy proceedings. This new deal will halt JCP from closing of its stores and keep thousands of its workers employed.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas approved the deal for the 118-year-old distressed megastore. This deal is expected save J.C. Penny Co. Inc. 60, 000 jobs.

As reported on fashionnetwork.com, The transaction contains multiple parts. Lenders led by H/2 Capital Partners will forgive $1 billion in debt in exchange for 160 properties and six distribution centers. Mall operators Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners will acquire the company’s slimmed-down retail operations for $1.75 billion (1.33 billion pounds) in cash and debt.

JCP was launched in 1902 by James Cash Penny in the state of Wyoming. The company went public in 1929. Over several decades JCP stores could be found in every state, with most states having several stores.

Image courtesy of fashionnerwork.com

DVF collaborates

Despite increasing COVID-19 infection rates, H&M is still on board with collaborations. Their latest collaboration includes one of the most esteemed designers in the fashion industry, Diane von Furstenberg. But instead of von Furstenberg collaborating on clothing, the creator of the wrap dress will collaborate with H&M on home furnishings.

“I’m thrilled to be collaborating with H&M Home, especially since I have such a passion for interiors,” DVF said in a recent press release. “The home is both a relaxing and empowering place where you can really ‘own’ a look or feel. With this collaboration, I want people to take charge of their home decor. The only rule I have is that your home should reflect who you are. The main point is to create a space that you’re incredibly comfortable in and is a true expression of your personality.”

This is the first time H&M Home has collaborated with a fashion designer. The Diane von Furstenberg and H&M Home collaboration will be available in 2021.

Image courtesy of dailymail.couk

Chanel price gorging

French luxury fashion house, Chanel, has announced in an increase in prices for the second time this year. In a response to a Reuters inquiry, the luxury explained, “the consequence of recent significant exchange rate fluctuations between the euro and certain local currencies.” Chanel continued, “the consequence of recent significant exchange rate fluctuations between the euro and certain local currencies.”

In May, Chanel increased prices on handbags and other small leather goods from 5% to 17% worldwide. And in October there was another 5% increased in Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea, and Great Britain.

Though these increased have been credited to a spending slowdown due to the COVID-19 lockdowns and pandemic, some analysts that prices have an increase of 30% in Asian countries compared to European countries and the US. This disparity in prices increase is difficult to explain in that the US and Europe has seen more COVID-19 infections and death than most Asian countries.

William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alerts: Kanye West Concedes Election, Karlie Kloss’ Pregnancy, and Nike’s Layoffs

Image courtesy of newyorkmagazine.com

Kanye West, who run on an independent ticket, conceded his bid for the US presidency on Twitter late Tuesday night. So, that means no Kanye in the White House!!

According to deadline.com, Kanye received 60,000 votes. Kanye West’s name appeared on ballots in 12 states, garnering the most votes, 10,188 votes, in Tennessee.

Here’s how he did in other states, according to the Associated Press, as reported in fashionweekdaily.com.

Arkansas: 4,040
Colorado: 6,127
Idaho: 3,092
Iowa: 3,197
Kentucky: 6,259
Louisiana: 4,894
Minnesota: 7,654
Mississippi: 3,117
Oklahoma: 5,590
Tennessee: 10,195
Utah: 4,311
Vermont: 1,255

West aims to run in 2024. With his huge following on Twitter, 30 million+, Kanye West is assuming he will have some traction if he starts campaigning early enough.

Karlie Kloss and husband at 2019 Met Gala (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/FilmMagic)

Karlie Kloss expects a little visitor

Continuing to observe fashion as it is related to politics, Supermodel Karlie Kloss is married to Joshua Kushner, Jared Kushner’s brother, recently announced that she is with child.  Jared Kushner is senior advisor to President Donald Trump. Karlie Kloss has been married to Joshua Kushner for two years.

“Karlie is overjoyed to be expecting her first child in 2021,” a source said, as reported in fashionweekdaily.com. “She will be the most amazing mother.”

Karlie Kloss, who has converted to Judaism, is part of a group of investors that are aiming to bring W magazine back. W magazine’s editor-in-chief Sara Moonves will work with Kloss and other investors to drive strategy and growth.

Image courtesy of footwearnews.com

Nike aims to cut staff

This past Tuesday, Nike revealed that they will be laying off 700 employees from their Portland, Oregon headquarters by the beginning of 2021. The upcoming layoffs are a part of a company restructuring plan announced in July 2020.

What is surprising about these cuts is that Nike is not experiencing a downturn in revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, Nike’s earning for the third quarter of 2020 was $1.5 billion, compared to the $1.4 billion in earnings of the 2019 third quarter.

Nike’s restructuring process will refocus the business’ operations around online direct-to-consumer sales. As of May 2020, Nike employed 75,400 workers.

William S. Gooch

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