Fashion News Alert: FIT Opens Social Justice Center, Demna Gvasalia Drops His Last Name, and Calvin Klein’s Pete Davidson



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you think of one-name celebrities, who comes to mind? Prince, Cher, Madonna, Aretha, RuPaul, Kanye, and there are several others. However, when it comes to fashion, what single names come to mind? Lagerfeld, Halston, Valentino, Kenzo, see not many. Demna Gvasalia is out to the change that.

As creative director of Balenciaga, Demna Gvasalia has decided to drop his last name. “From now on, Demna uses only his first name, distinguishing an artist title from a birth name and therefore separating creative work from personal life,” an accompanying release proclaims. “In all press going forward, he chooses to be referred to simply as Demna.” 

Setting himself apart from other fashion designers Is not new for Demna. If you notice his current collections for Balenciaga, Demna merges the design aesthetics of 90s grunge and rave. And recently released fall 2022 collection demonstrates that a minimalist perspective that combines the elements of 90s rave and grunge can have a consumer appeal to customers who were born in the 2000s.

This name drop will not such an odd thing for Demna Gvasalia since most people call Demna by his first name anyway. By only using his first name, perhaps, Demna is creating a place for himself in an industry where one name recognition, if collections are successful, can cement a designer’s status in that pantheon of one-name fashion legends.

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FIT embraces BIPOC

Fashion is not usually associated with social justice; however, the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is about to change all of that. On Wednesday, FIT announced the launch of the Social Justice Center (SJC) at FIT, a first-of-its-kind higher education initiative, supported by founding partners PVH Corp., Capri Holdings Limited, and Tapestry. Other fashion brands that have pledged support include Carolina Herrera, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Saks, Target, and The Fragrance Foundation. Fashion conglomerate G-III Apparel Group had donated a gift to the SJC Scholarship Fund, which already has reached more than $1.5 million in contributions. 

These fashion holding companies have pledged $1 million dollars to help create SJC. SJC will focus on creating opportunities and accelerate social equity within the creative industries for the Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) community. The first-of-its-kind initiative will provide mentorship, education, and career support.

“A powerful and much overdue dialogue was sparked last year around diversity and inclusion, which led to a sobering realization that there was much work to do within the creative industries and at FIT as well. Since then, we have been building a strong foundation for the Social Justice Center at FIT,” said FIT president, Joyce F. Brown, as reported in  

“I am grateful for the early support from PVH, Capri Holdings, Tapestry, G-III Apparel Group, and FIT’s other charter partners. They have demonstrated a formidable commitment to these efforts, and I am confident that the center is poised to effect meaningful change.”

The SJC at FIT will establish scholarships for scholarships for middle school, high school, and college students and provide pathways to internships, mentorships, and apprenticeships provided by SJC partners to BIPOC professionals.

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Pete and Calvin

We’ve all heard of celebrities collaborating with fashion brands. The list is long and extensive. Now there seems to be a new development. Celebs are now taking over the Instagram accounts of fashion brands.

What you say? Yeah, it’s happening!!

Calvin Klein, the renown American sportswear brand has given “Saturday Night Live’s” Pete Davidson full access to its Instagram account which has 21.5 million followers. Davidson will be joined by Machine Gun Kelly in this endeavor. The two recently stripped down to their Calvin Klein skivvies on Instagram Live.

This celeb takeover came with no prior announcement. And it is not clear if this takeover is not a part of a campaign promotion.

This is not the first out-of-the-box marketing move by Calvin Klein to bring attention to it products. Last month, the brand staged a 35-minute shoppable spectacular streamed on Amazon Live and the Amazon Music Twitch channel. Headlined by rapper and platinum artist, Saweetie, and featuring emcee, Symone, winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, the show included live musical and dance performances, Saweetie’s holiday gifting advice and live Q&A sessions with fans.

—William S. Gooch

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