Online shopping in the past few years has arguably become the most accessible way for consumers to update their wardrobes and keep up with fashion trends. In quarantine, the desire to online shop is heightened by the fact that it’s something tangible and exciting to look forward to - for those who are stuck at home, shopping becomes not only a hobby, but the delivery is actually exciting. Content creators in particular have been focused on updating their social media accounts at home, and are often ordering new outfits for photoshoots. Moreover, online shopping is every introvert’s dream: as our world becomes more digital, and our needs can be met more quickly and efficiently if we don’t leave the house, the pull for ordering clothes online is indisputable.
Luxury brands have definitely been stepping up to the plate in terms of encouraging consumers to order their products online in the last few years. One thing I’ve noticed as a consumer is the tendency of luxury brands to be elusive and creative on social media, rather than outwardly marketing their products. Gucci is an excellent example of this, as their Instagram revolves around creative photoshoots and editorial-style pictures, without the option to buy the clothes highlighted in the picture. However, their website is tailor made for online shopping. This seems to be the model for various high-end brands, as they draw in consumers with creativity and seal the deal with online accessibility.
They understand their brands are more compelling when they don’t attempt to convince consumers to buy their products - they nonchalantly tease their audience with glimpses into the world of high fashion, daring them to shop online.
When online shopping was first introduced, there was a tendency to assume that consumers would gravitate solely towards low end-middle end products. This makes sense: without actually trying something on, feeling fabric or textiles in your hand, or analyzing how an article holds your body, it can be difficult to commit to an expensive purchase. Luxury brands have adapted to this by adding style guides to each article, adding details on how the product should fit, and sometimes having the option to book an online consultation to ensure you receive your perfect fit. If dissatisfied, customers can also often return their purchase for free.
As our cultural psyche accepts online shopping as the norm, luxury brands have been consistently stepping up and making the experience easier for consumers. I’m excited to see how high-end brands, led by people of colour in particular, innovate and contribute to the development of the online shopping experience.
In respect to a constant change in fashion trends and the decline in clothing prices, customers can be inclined to change their wardrobe more frequently with updated season trends and accessories. However, because of this there is an increase in production of different fabrics, non-recyclable or renewable resources and an increased disposal rate for these items. As of 2019 85% of all textiles are disposed of each year according to business insider. Though people are starting to recognize this change and lead towards more sustainable brands or ways to purchase clothing. Sustainable fashion is partially about making clothes, shoes and other accessories in a natural, environmentally and affordable way, however it is also about how it is used which leads to individual approaches and behavior. Fast fashion has become the most accessible and affordable ways to buy new clothes and popular trends, however the fast fashion industry has a large impact on our planet in negative ways. Currently the fashion industry is the second-largest consumer of water worldwide. To produce a single cotton shirt 700 gallons of water are needed, that’s enough water for eight cups a day for three and a half years for a single person. In 2019 the UN launched the Alliance for Sustainable Fashion to help limit the amount of waste each year as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable fashion has become more popular over the last couple of years, yet most people realize that being environmentally friendly can also be very expensive, however that is not the case with all sustainable brands. Some brands have been making affordable sustainable clothes their mission. Brands like H&M have switched to focus on sustainability and other brands like Pact, Glasson’s, Boody and Reformation Jeans are leaders in affordable sustainability. Many brands have started making the switch to a more sustainable future. I think it’s important for us the consumers to think the next time we want to purchase the new seasons trend and ask ourselves if there’s a sustainable alternative. Willow K.
The 1995 film clueless influenced so many fashion trends in the 90s and still now 25 years later designers use some touches of Cher, Dionne, and Tai. Clueless’ costumes themselves make it clear why it’s grown into a generational cult classic for so many. The costume designer did a wonderful job of picking up on the current trends in young adult fashion. But the designers real impact was in how she understood those trends and by making the costumes of the film so prominent, she actually invented new trends. So many of the outfits in this film are still fashionable and popular 20 years later. It’s very hard for a costume designer to elevate current trends, create new trends and simultaneously make an iconic cinematic wardrobe. Plaid suits is still a trend in 2020, and Kangol the brand of hat that Dionne wore in the film just did a huge collab with H&M and Stussy. In addition to Clueless’ fashion impact, the recent show euphoria has been making an impact of the beauty world and red carpets. Euphoria is known for their colorful and extreme eye makeup and “influenced a new makeup language” and “a way of transcending mainstream archetypes and stereotypes and embracing a more fluid, boundary-pushing mode of self-expression” says the creator of the show. Makeup brands like NYX have increased their marketing of Euphoria-inspired looks and shows fans how they can recreate some iconic looks them. The outfits in Euphoria are presented as street syle and how teenager today would dress and they hit the nail on the head. Everyone loved the outfits, especially Jules and Maddy's usual styles. The outfit for the character Jules created based on how to make the balance between her innocence and sexuality. For Maddy’s character her outfits show her character development with her clothing and makeup choices. In the early episodes, she wear simple makeup and outfits her, but as pieces of her relationship with her boyfriend, Nate fall apart and become toxic her clothing shifts to a more powerful and unusual outfits. You never know how much impact a show or film can have an impact on fashion until it truly starts to change the way people dress and wear makeup. By Willow K.
The unique and significant style that rap and hip hop culture carries with it did not happen or become popular in mainstream fashion by accident. On the contrary, it came from a very specific place, created by a very specific person. Despite its tumultuous past, the style that rap culture holds and is famous for, and the proper knock-off would not be a thing without the struggles and triumphs of a certain Daniel Day, or better known as Dapper Dan. Harlem born and raised, Day did not grow up in the light of luxury. Day was often caught shoplifting and breaking into clothing and jewelry shops, and even got caught up in gang activities ang gambling; this latter activity alone earned him the name of Dapper Dan, the name he is known and celebrated by today, as he was a big winner in craps on the street. As many rowdy teenagers do, however, Dapper Dan grew up, went on to finish high school, and enroll in a program sponsored by Columbia University and the Urban League, a program that certainly opened doors for Dapper Dan; it allowed him to travel to Africa for the first time, and after going once, Dapper Dan returned in 1974 with a vision. He met with tailors and seamstresses and after making his thoughts reality through these artisans, with Africa’s influence, he decided he wanted to open a clothing store. In 1982, Dapper Dan’s Boutique, a 24/7 fashion scene, was born. Although Day’s influence has spanned generations, his 24/7 emporium energy originally appealed and sold to drug dealers and hustlers. What began as Day simply wanting to flip clothing turned into him wanting to also sell fur, but because he was Black, very few furriers would sell to him, and thus this business venture proved challenging for Day. Despite it all, Day was slowly and quietly becoming one of the more notable and perhaps controversial figures in cultural and fashion history, because, low and behold, Day broke into the fur business, as well. Despite Day making his fur venture a reality, the fashion world was still cruel to Black people. So, because he was not able to make deals with the companies who supplied what he wanted to sell, he created what he wanted to sell himself. Day visited Gucci stores, took their garment bags, and fashioned the designer logos from the bags themselves on pieces and materials bought for pennies from warehouse sales. Most importantly, his pieces were put together almost entirely by Aftican tailors. Despite using a singular logo of one brand, Day created entirely new designs, and did not refashion old or already seen designs, creating a whole new genre and vibe of clothing, geared toward the celebration of Black people and culture. Many would think that Day’s designs would be less than his “original” rivals, such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, or MCM, to name a few, however, the time and work and effort put into his pieces put forth prices that were nothing to sneer at. And, while Day designed custom pieces and combinations for Harlem’s local dealers and clientele, when these customers travelled, photos of them made their way around the world, and thus, so did the news and awareness of Day’s
designs and stores. Not long after, athletes like Walter Berry and Mark Jackson as well as Mike Tyson were in Day’s looks, and following the athletes came the musicians; notably Salt-N-Pepa and Bobby Brown to KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane and Eric B & Rakim were all interested in customs designed by the Dapper Dan. In addition to Day’s designs gaining popularity alone from celebrities wearing them, the clothing’s wackiness and outward difference from anything else ever before made them something to watch and take note of. Day paved the way for the still-current trend of “logo mania,” a monumental marriage between logos and the prestige that comes along with them, and the growing prestige as the amount of logos grows, at that. Day’s designs were different also in the way that they were made a bit larger, and they were also reversible, often revealing a whole other set of logos on the inside. These baggy, “hood glamorous” cuts caught on for a generation of Black-owned brands like Sean John, and FUBU, notably. Despite his early success, Day ran into issues when many lawsuits against him arose due to his usage of many luxury brand logos. Specifically, in 1992, Fendi raided his boutique, forcing Dapper Dan to close his doors. From that moment, Dapper Dan, and his store and influence were more or less quiet. But, close to 20 years later, Dapper Dan was back, and in the strangest way: Gucci’s 2017 resort show seemed to “knock off” a Dapper Dan design; a balloon- sleeved mink bomber similar to Dapper Dan’s piece with the Louis Vuitton logo was featured, except for it had the Gucci logo instead. As voices began to buzz, before anyone could truly accuse Gucci of knocking off the king of logomania, Gucci and Dapper Dan collaborated on a capsule collection; almost relaunching logomania, but in mainstream media and fashion. And, in 2018, Dapper Dan and Gucci opened an invite-only atelier in Harlem, bringing his life’s work and inspirations full circle. Dapper Dan, although perhaps less conventional than other designers, screamed individuality and industriousness. Dapper Dan’s style and creativity is incredible, and specifically notable in the fact that as a Black man and a Black man im fashion, instead of going with the grain, Dapper Dan did what he knew and did not look back; creating both pieces and a legacy that will forever be unparalleled. Emily G
“Girlfriends”, the Epitome of Iconic 90’s Fashion, is Coming Back
The iconic ‘90s show Girlfriends is coming back to Netflix, along with classics like Moesha and Sister Sister. These shows will be placed in Netflix’s new category, Strong Black Leads, which is likely a response to the Black Lives Matter Movement. These shows deeply impacted and reflected the culture of the time, along with actually providing representation on screen of nuanced Black characters. Fans are excited about sinking into the nostalgia and vibes of ‘90s and early 2000s hit shows.
One of the most exciting aspects of the show to analyze is the incredible fashion — and seeing the characters drip in confidence while wearing their outfits.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, A Different World, and Girlfriends were all pioneers of iconic ‘90s and early 2000’s looks, though the current obsession with recreating these fashion trends is arguably centred around white representation.
On every social media app, we see influencers sporting oversized crew necks with biker shorts, patterned crop tops and 90s mom jeans — Black sitcoms were the hub of these trends, but are rarely revered in the same way the fashion of Friends or Sex and the City are.
Moreover, these shows actually portrayed the idea that Black families and women in particular could be successful, stylish, and lead characters on T.V. shows rather than token best friends. This new ideology was reflected in the fashion of the characters, and the looks have remained iconic until today.
The costume designer of the first season Girlfriends, Stacy L. Beverly, also costumed the first season of Black-ish. She wanted, and arguably still wants, to accurately represent young Black women on stage in a compelling manner. An interesting aspect of this accuracy was recycling clothes and outfits in new ways, the same way most young women do in the real world.
"The giving away and exchanging of items like we do in real life was very intentional. We would take basic items and restyle them—pair them with a jacket the next time or different bottoms. Also, our budget was not very big in comparison to other shows so we had to make the most out of it,” Beverly said.
With undeniable style and characters that inherently feel real, Girlfriends will give us a glimpse into raw ‘90s fashion in a time where every lookbook is inspired by this era. Alysha Mohamed
Since Alessandro Michele was appointed as the creative director of Gucci, a revolution of gender began. Fans of Gucci have noticed a palpable change in the way clothes are marketed and fashion shows are designed; there is fluidity, unisex garments, and non-binary looks that seem elevated beyond typical perceptions of sex or gender. This is definitely in line with the work and history of Alessandro Michele, who has been reimagining and redefining menswear for years. His version of masculinity is one of embracing traditionally feminine fashion and glamour to create a new aesthetic for the ideal modern man.
Gucci recently launched a new “genderless” shopping initiative, Gucci MX, featuring a variety of gender-neutral models. According to the website, this new collection is meant to “deconstruct preconceived binaries and question how these concepts relate to our bodies.” The sizing for the new collection is also gender neutral, and the brand also announced they would be taking a seasonless approach in the future - opting for a permanent shift in the world of fashion after COVID-19.
However, Michele has never framed his attempt to dismantle gender norms as a political statement. “They call me the ruler of gender fluidity, but to me, I was just pulling out beauty. Conventionally beautiful people have always confused me,” he stated.
Gucci MX, spearheaded by Michele’s creative vision, may indicate a broader understanding in the world of high fashion of gender and inclusivity. Though the creative director may not be attempting to make a political statement, the undertones are clear - beauty does not have to be categorized into specific compartments in order for it to be appreciated. Gucci has set an example for groundbreaking gender fluid fashion that is not only inclusive, but incredibly fashionable. Moving forward, other brands may react to Alessandro Michele’s willingness to promote inclusivity through the lens of beauty and aestheticism, rather than politics. Alysha Mohamed
Saweetie aka the baby hair princess is taking the fashion industry by storm. I love seeing her outfit choices. She had the best looks during New York and Milan fashion week this year. Saweetie is educated, talented and fly! She knows how to use her platform to get attention from high publications such as Vogue, GQ, Paper magazine, and Maxim. She is known for her two top charting singles “My type” and most recently “Tap in” Sweetie's stylist Bryon Javar.
Has dressed her in the most mesmerizing pieces. Saweetie is one of those versatile rappers that makes sure her presence is known in fashion. She recently had a collaboration with Pretty Little Thing, a London based retailer known for fast fashion. Her influence on fashion is something I hope to see more of. Sweetie's appearance at both fashion weeks left everyone in awe. She was seen at front row shows of Moschino, Prada, Fenty, and Bergdorf Goodman.
Saweetie has proved to everyone that rappers do not need to be confined to the music industry. With the right stylist and platform fashion can quickly become a great tool to bring attention to their music. She slowly became a fashion icon and I am so here for it! Her style is an icy combination of streetwear and high fashion. She doesn't just wear an outfit because it looks cute. She looks for craftsmanship, history on designers, and the type of material being used.
Saweetie inspires me to be successful, finish my college education, and to have the dopest outfit in the room. I love looking at her outfit choices for when I am putting pieces together. I cant wait to see what her next move in fashion is going to be. Sarah Fontanges
Dior’s miniature couture dresses look dim compared to Valentinos latest debut. Although the doll-size garments were a cute collectable, Valentino’s dramatic, oversized couture pieces in his latest video have shocked the fashion world.
Not only were the gowns beautifully designed, their elongated hems created a visually appealing performance. The 16-look collection was filmed in front of a small audience in Rome’s Cinecittà Studios. Designer Pierpaolo Piccioli worked with cinematographer Nick Knight to create the elaborate film which streamed live on Valentino’s website this week.
The models were stationed in circ-de-soiel style, on top tall ladders or swinging from a metal ring. The dreamy white gowns perfectly contrasted to the black background creating a dream-like elegance. Piccioli titled the film, “Of Grace and Light.” Both the title and the works themselves highlighted the struggles fashion faced during the pandemic.
“I didn’t want to feel the limitations. Couture is made for emotions, dreams,” he said. “It was super-emotional for us all to be here together to win this challenge. A moment I will never forget,” Piccioli told Vogue Runway.
The garments themselves were full of grace and light and the full skirts looked like a waterfall as they cascaded off the models. Piccioli said in a statement that the added length were to, “radicalized as to flaunt the manual dexterity that went into making them.”
Although the colors were cohesive, each dress had its own unique character. One ballgown was covered in ruffled organza, another long-sleeve and turtleneck gown made of only gold sequins. Seeing the movement of the dresses in an acrobatic performance allowed viewers to see the gowns move in a way that ordinary runway shows couldn’t provide.
“Fashion is the land of dreams, it is the land of emotions. That for me the aim of fashion,” says Piccioli in the video. “To deliver dreams, deliver beauty, deliver grace, and deliver hope also.” By Staci Soslowitz
As couture fashion week ends, the arrival of Fall campaigns begins. This year, however, designers are getting increasingly creative when it comes to their marketing strategies for their new collections. For Prada, their Fall 2020 campaign was a collaborative effort with international auctioneer company, Sotheby's.
Their team campaign was created in response to the pandemics financial turmoil globally, as an actual fundraiser auction will take place on October 2nd. Items from Prada’s newest collection, as well as props, invitations, and exclusive photos will be auctioned off. A percentage of the proceeds will go toward UNESCO, which benefits educational opportunities for students in vulnerable populations across the world.
The campaign, titled, “Tools of Change” is inspired by the idea to initiate positive change, the brand stated. ““Fashion has a duty not only to reflect its times, but to help shape them,” the statement read.
Not many brands have had such charitable focuses with their campaigns, which make’s Prada’s truly stand out from the competition. With the challenge of creating a stand-out campaign during the pandemic, brands are forced to truly think out-of-the-box.
The advertisements feature 30 models backstage at the Fall 20 show back in February, as well as some of the items that will be auctioned off. Some of the notable pieces include a fringe jacket, worn by supermodel Gigi Hadid, a painted wood centerpiece, and more.
Being able to access statement pieces from the show, as well as benefiting a charitable donation is reminiscent of the state of the fashion industry. The press release discusses this idea further by stating that the auction and campaign “creates a memory of a precise moment not only within fashion, but in history – a memory that asserts usefulness and purpose in the present. A memory that can give back, to help the future."
As designers across the globe prepare for what the future of fashion month will look like, the CDFA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) unveiled their plans for New York Fashion Week in September. Following IMG’s announcement last week about the condensed week schedule, the CFDA announced yesterday their innovation for September, called Runway360.
The interactive digital platform will provide designer’s a outlet to drive sales, showcase their designs, and provide consumer activations. Each designer is given the ability to customize their page for whichever digital mediums they choose to provide, including video, augmented or virtual reality, e-commerce extensions, consumer shopping features, and social media integrations. They can also provide live-streams, press conferences, and press kits. The CFDA calls this idea a, “one-stop-shop” for all things fashion week.
Although the platform will launch in cohesion with New York Fashion Week in September, the site will remain throughout seasons, which will truly change the American fashion industry as we know it. Having this platform could seriously lessen the importance of having the coveted front-row seat at a designers show. Who cares who’s in the best seat at the show when everyone can have all they need in the palm of their hands, which could save publications millions in expenses.
The CFDA stated that the page was created to, “support designers and further its mission of strengthening the impact of American fashion in the global economy.”
With all the capabilities designed by New York-based multidisciplinary design studio DE-YAN and e-commerce expert NuOrder, designers have everything they need at their fingertips. This, the CFDA hopes, will help both established emerging designers. According to Vogue, NuOrder is providing the service for free to BIPOC designers.
“This transformational time in fashion requires innovative business tools,” said Steven Kolb, President and CEO of the CFDA. “The digital platform will help designers faced with short term needs caused by COVID-19 and support future market weeks including live fashion shows.”
In the midst of two grandiose global events, the Coronavirus and the Black Lives Matter movement, many industries are searching for ways they can help those in need; supporting causes that matter to them. The fashion industry is no different. Although the virus has spread rapidly and tragically around the whole world, one of the first and hardest hit countries was Italy. In an effort to support the country where fashion and culture runs deep, Net-a-Porter is launching a new project along benefitting the Italian Red Cross. Net-a-Porter will feature many capsule collections from Italian designers that are featured on the site; 20% of sales of said collection will go directly to charity, which does not seem like too much in the grand scheme of things. As well as it is that companies, like Net-a-Porter are creating projects to provide aid in what is going on in the world right now, it begs the question: do fashion companies really want to help, or are they just trying to clear their name in a time where companies and whom and what they support is being closely monitored? Stemming off Italy’s notoriety for all things fabulously and historically chic and fashionable, Net- a-Porter is aiming to shed light on certain Italian brands and designers, like Aquazzura, Giuliva Heritage, Blazé Milano, Gianvito Rossi, Rosantica, Golden Goose, René Caovilla, Bea Bongiasca, Of Rare Origin and Tods, all of whom have created a special capsule collection especially for the campaign, entitled “The Italian Collective.” Although at first glance Net-a-Porter’s project seems like a win-win for everyone, that is, you can shop some of the best and coolest designers while making somewhat of a difference, is it enough? Net-a-Porter’s last documented revenue worth in 2016 was 1.871 billion, so at a time like the one the world is currently facing, does it not seem like Net-a-Porter could spare to donate more than 20% of sales of incredibly expensive, high-quality and couture items? And, following all the hype for the campaign and the project to partner with the Italian Red Cross, it was almost disappointing to see how little they will inevitably be donating and supporting, versus what it seems like they could feasibly do and donate. The world is facing a situation unlike anything it has seen in the recent past. It is time for companies to turn away from profit and self-promotion and time for them to truly use the magnitude that they have in the world of fashion, and in the world in general to make a larger statement than simply that their brand is good because they are “helping,” but in reality, self- promoting in the process. Any donation and funds are good, however it is time for fashion companies, like Net-a-Porter, to use their magnitude and standing in the economy to make a proper, selfless difference. By: Emily Goldberg