Saturday, May 31, 2014

It's 2014: Racism still in the Fashion World?

Model Anais Mali: African-American model told ‘one black girl is enough’ 

It's suprises me that its 2014 and it's still happening with Racism and a lack of diversity in the fashion world have been an ongoing concern – and now, the industry is under even more criticism after another model has shared her troubling experience.
Anais Mali, an up-and-coming super model from the South of France recently talked to fashion reporter   about some of the racism she experienced overseas.
“This is Paris — black girls don’t work here,” she said the agencies told her. “France is very racist, you don’t see a lot of powerful black people in France—it’s starting but it’s slow-moving.”
Mali moved to New York City at 18 years old and was later signed by Wilhelmina Models. She then went on to star in major high-fashion ads, including David Yurman’s Fall 2013 campaign.
“I feel like the industry is trying to focus more on diversity, but there’s still a long way to go.   
In Milan, you don’t really see black girls on the runway — it’s sad,” Anais said. “You hear things like, ‘We already have Jourdan [Dunn], one black girl is enough.’ I’m getting good work, I’m happy, but I want to see more black girls.”

Friday, May 30, 2014

Frida Giannini: the New Tom Ford of Gucci?


Creative Director of Gucci
Frida Giannini’s unique talent and distinctive contemporary vision, which combines the values of traditional artisanal skills with the very latest developments in fashion technology, have underpinned her rise as the creative force behind one of the world’s most celebrated fashion Houses. 
Born in Rome in 1972 into a creative household – her father was an architect and her mother a professor of art history – Giannini studied fashion design at Rome’s Fashion Academy before apprenticing in a small ready-to-wear company. In 1997, she was hired by Fendi, where she worked as a ready-to-wear designer for three seasons before being named designer for Fendi leather goods.

In September 2002, she joined Gucci as Handbag Design Director. Two years later, she was appointed to a newly created post, Creative Director of Accessories, where she assumed unprecedented control of the design of bags, shoes, luggage, small leather goods, silks, fine jewellery, gifts, watches and eyewear.
 Giannini flourished in this expanded role, and brought a powerful new perspective to Gucci’s accessories collections. Using the Gucci archive for inspiration, she transformed House classics such as the Flora scarf pattern into novel and hugely successful designs.
She says now that her first visit to the archive was one of the most significant revelations in her career, and over the years she has adapted and redefined many iconic Gucci designs and motifs – from the use of bamboo to the development of equestrian iconography, and from reinterpreting the look of the famous horsebit loafer to modernizing the equally celebrated Jackie bag.
In 2005, Giannini was named Creative Director of Gucci women’s ready-to-wear, while retaining her responsibility for all accessories, and shortly thereafter she took over menswear as well – thus becoming sole Creative Director of the label.
 Giannini accepted this significant responsibility with aplomb, quickly establishing her individual stamp on the House. Her design approach and focused management style are informed by sharp confidence and decisiveness, as well as her uniquely feminine and distinctly Italian point of view.
The combination of her skills has proven to be a powerful asset for Gucci, as is witnessed by her consistent ability to design collections that not only influence global fashion trends, but also are highly successful at retail. 
A new design oeuvre for Gucci has emerged, one that juxtaposes the House’s rich and inimitable past and its expertise in luxury craftsmanship, with a present-day jet-set lifestyle and a pulsating sense of confidence, sensuality, and glamour. This aesthetic has become Giannini’s trademark. 
Giannini has also been instrumental in repositioning the universe of Gucci beyond design, bringing a truly 21st-century spirit to bear. Not only has she developed the architectural and interior environments for Gucci’s store concept – paving the way for the House’s contemporary look in its boutiques across the world – she also conceived the Gucci Museo, a destination in the House’s birthplace, Florence, that opened during Gucci’s 90th anniversary in 2011 and fulfilled her desire to narrate the evolution behind the House’s icons.
 Additionally, she is responsible for the creative direction of all advertising campaigns and has worked with such illustrious directors as David Lynch, Frank Miller, Chris Cunningham and Nicolas Winding Refn. 
Under Giannini’s guidance, Gucci has strengthened its roots in Hollywood and fostered its longstanding relationship with cinema. In 2006, Gucci began a partnership with Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation, an organisation created to protect and preserve motion picture history, and committed to funding the restoration of at least one film every year. 
In collaboration with the Venice International Film Festival, the Gucci Award for Women in Cinema made its debut in 2010 with the aim of spotlighting the unique contributions that women make to the film industry in a wide range of disciplines. Most recently, Gucci partnered with the Biennale di Venezia on the Biennale College – Cinema, a program aimed at promoting new talents and offering them the opportunity to work closely with well-known professionals in order to make micro-budget films. 
Cognisant of film’s power to bring greater awareness and understanding to critical subjects from around the world, the House established the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, now in its seventh year, which provides production and finishing finances, year-round support and guidance to domestic and international documentary filmmakers with feature-length films highlighting and humanising critical issues of social significance from around the world. 
 Gucci annually presents the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Art Film Gala, which honours film alongside fine art and deepens Gucci’s longstanding commitment to the preservation and celebration of the arts.
Giannini’s broadening profile has also allowed for increased activity for Gucci in the area of social responsibility, a personal commitment that the designer has turned into a passion for the company. She is on the Board of Directors of The Kering Foundation, which combats violence against women and promotes their empowerment.
 Now in its ninth year, the partnership that Giannini established for Gucci with UNICEF has raised over 18 million US dollars to date. It was Giannini’s work with UNICEF that became the inspiration for her ambitious CHIME FOR CHANGE campaign for girls’ and women’s rights, which she co-founded in 2013 with Salma Hayek Pinault and BeyoncĂ© Knowles-Carter.
 Through its crowd-funding partner Catapult, to date CHIME FOR CHANGE has raised over 5 million US dollars, fully funding 310 projects in nearly 80 countries through 101 non-profit partners. 


the House of Gucci

The House of Gucci started when founder Guccio Gucci opened a leather-goods workshop and store in Florence in 1921. By the sixties and seventies, Gucci was one of the world’s premier luxury-goods brands, with loyalists like Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Jackie O keeping its cachet elevated.
 But in the late seventies, family in-fighting and unsound business decisions set things back considerably, and it wasn't until American designer Tom Ford came onboard in 1990 that the luxury brand transformed again into a contemporary power player, solidifying Gucci as a billion-dollar empire of interlocking Gs.
 Along with CEO Domenico De Sole, Ford turned the house around in a relatively short time. His breakout collection was fall 1995, with brightly colored fitted blazers over new-disco satin shirts and hip-huggers changing the way fashion looked overnight and establishing him as an international tastemaker—and master of the "sex sells" approach to high design. 

In 1999, the fashion world was riveted by the battle royale that erupted when French luxury group LVMH tried to acquire Gucci. However, rival PPR triumphed, created the Gucci Group, and acquired Yves Saint Laurent (which Ford designed for a few years), Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, and more. 
But as Ford’s contract ended, he and De Sole battled with PPR’s executives, and both left in April 2004. Replacing him wasn’t easy; Alessandra Fachinetti quit after two seasons and was replaced by in-house accessories designer Frida Giannini, who runs both menswear and womenswear.   
She’s fared well so far; her collections have enjoyed commercial success, although she has yet to shake up the sartorial climate on a Ford-esque scale. 

Mens' Shows baring more Skin than clothes!

Get a reverse tan in Versace's man shrug.  

Guy Trebay can say whatever he wants about  Spring Trends for 2015, we're too blinded by the shiny romance-novel flesh of all these under dressed male models to notice the safari suits and socks with mandals.               
The attire this go-round is notably skimpier even by menswear standards: You've got weenie bikinis in Bottega Venta , bear-daddy fetish gear from Armani and barely there shirts from Jean Paul Gaultier.
Let's just hope real dudes don't read this as a call to action; the last thing anyone needs is their dad showing up to work in a Speedo and combat boots. Skin is in tribute to the shirtless, pantsless heroes of the French and Italian runways.
A galaxy-print panty/cami set at Vivienne Westwood. 

Dsquared2 pulled a few banana hammocks out of its arsenal ...

 The conservative capelet really offsets the see-through mesh undies at Jean Paul Gaultier.
Including this cheery, stripey number, which would look just fab on an Olympic swimmer but probably terrifying on anybody else.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cavalli turns it back on Celebrity Endorsements!

Italian designer Roberto Cavalli poses before the start of his Spring/Summer collection during Milan Fashion Week....  
 Roberto Cavalli wants the world of fashion to turn its back on celebrity endorsements, and likes to use Instagram to stay in touch with his customers, the flamboyant Italian designer said at Milan fashion week .

Speaking before unveiling a womens autumn-winter collection for his youth-focused Just Cavalli line, the designer said he gave his clothes to famous people, but refused to engage a celebrity to promote his brand – a role known as a testimonial.

“I want fashion to be different from the way it is today, less linked to publicity, less tied to all those stars,” Cavalli said backstage before his show at Milan’s Arco della Pace monument.
Fashion and luxury brands have long allied themselves with celebrities to get media and consumer attention.
Recently, fashion house Versace chose Lady Gaga to appear in its campaigns, while down jacket maker Moncler featured U.S. rapper Pharrell Williams in adverts for its sunglasses.
“I don’t have testimonials. If they want pieces they call me and I give them willingly – and I don’t make them pay.”
But Cavalli admitted he was pleased when celebrities wore his clothes.
“I received a beautiful photo of Jennifer Lopez wearing Cavalli. I wasn’t expecting it!” he beamed.

Prada next in line with D&G on Tax Evasion?

In the end, popular opinion wasn’t enough to save Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, the designers behind the highly lucrative fashion label Dolce & Gabbana. Despite pleas on social media and protests from fans, an Italian appeals court has upheld the decision reached last year in a lower court which found the pair guilty of tax evasion. 
The criminal charges followed a stiff €343.3 million fine ordered payable as restitution last spring. At trial, a Milan tax court had ruled in favor of Italy’s tax authority, Agenzia delle Entrate, finding that Dolce and Gabbana had engaged in a “conduct of abuse with the only goal of obtaining a fiscal advantage.”
The pair was next in a line of Italian designers facing scrutiny over their financial transactions, including Roberto Cavalli (eventually cleared) and Valentino (fined). Earlier this year, Prada joined the trend when tax authorities targeted Miuccia Prada and her husband, Prada chief executive Patrizio Bertelli, on charges of tax evasion. Italy is thought to forfeit an estimated US$150 billion a year in unpaid taxes, the third highest rate in Western Europe.

Speculation about Dolce and Gabbana’s tax maneuvering stretches back nearly ten years to 2004. At that time, Dolce & Gabbana sold their business to a Luxembourg-based holding company called Gado Srl. Dolce and Gabbana control Gado and not coincidentally, Luxembourg is a popular spot for holding companies due to its banking industry and tax friendly status. Italian tax authorities suspected that the duo undervalued the company for purposes of the sale in order to avoid paying tax on the transaction.

Both designers are facing 18 months in jail but there may still be legal maneuvering to come as the next and final stop is an appeal to Italy’s Supreme Court.