Thursday, May 14, 2015

Passion Pays: World's Top 15 Retail Billionaires

Dior, owned by Bernard Arnault Secret Garden Ad Starring Rihanna photographed by Steven Klein

This month’s Passion Pays is the topic that started the series see the inaugural post here, and I’m excited to bring the list back another year! This post showcases the wealthiest in the retail business (excluding grocery) from fashion brands to conglomerates to e-commerce retailers. From families to individuals these are the people who have amassed the most amount of personal wealth from following their passion. Is there anyone you’re surprised to see on the list, any brand or person you thought would’ve made the cut? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Inspirations: The Influence of Chinese Culture on the Fashion Industry

Photographed by Chen Man

"Love it or hate it, what we wear is a huge part of how we communicate with the world. And the messages clothes send are bigger than just the 'hipness' of the latest fashion. Garments and accessories have always been a key part of how humans show respect for one another, how sexuality and gender are established, and how values and traditions are honored. Not least of all, clothes are central to personal aesthetics and individuality." - a Brooklyn housewife, in Clotheslines, by Roberta Cantwell, 1981
I love research and fashion. There are so many reasons behind why things in fashion are the way they are and how they got there and it’s so interesting to peel back these layers of the industry’s history. Lately, this past week especially, the Far East has played a major role in the fashion industry. The week started with two major fashion events first the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala whose theme this year was China Through the Looking Glass, an introspective on how Chinese culture has permeated American fashion. Then Karl Lagerfeld showed his Chanel Resort 2016 collection in Seoul, South Korea, using many unique Korean motifs to marry Parisian and Korean fashion in one collection. The fashion industry has a long history with the Far East, China especially, from manufacturing to retail to showmanship and today’s post journeys through the origins this relationship.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Italian Fashion: The History of Missoni

Spring 2009 Missoni Ad photographed by Steven Meisel

"Our philosophy since we went into business has been that a piece of clothing should be like a work of art. It should not be bought for a special occasion or because it's in fashion, but because a woman likes it…and feels she could wear it forever."- Rosita Missoni, New York Post, 1978

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Origins: The Giorgio Armani Story

Giorgio Armani 40th Anniversary Fashion Show
To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.” – Giorgio Armani

The Armani brand is not a fantasy world; it is not an expression of escape from reality but rather a message to live the richest life at home, on vacation, at work, and in leisure. Luxury and the perception of luxury is the common thread that is woven throughout all of the Armani brands. From the Armani PrivĂ© couture collections to the Armani Exchange contemporary line and the Armani Casa home collections there is a belief in looking your best and being comfortable that resonates through the breadth of the Armani assortment. Giorgio Armani started his company in 1975 when he was 40 years old and has spent the last 40 years creating an empire that has amassed him a personal wealth of just under $8 billion. This is his story…

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Wonderful World of Luxury

Kate Moss photographed by Tim Walker U.S. Vogue April 2012

I love luxury fashion. To me it is the very best type of fashion, and if I could afford it it’d be the only type I’d buy. I am most excited by the expensive, exclusive, beautiful, and rare items in fashion and I have my reasons. First and foremost is convenience. I am not a bargain shopper in the least bit, and I admire those who have the patience to sift through racks and racks of clothing to find hidden gems. But that’s just not me; I prefer the convenience and ease of shopping in full price luxury retail stores.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Inspirations: Finding Balance between Quality, Heritage, and Commercialism in Fashion

Nimue Smit in Prada and Lanvin photographed by Sebastian Kim for Numero Magazine

I am a fashion buyer so I completely understand that fashion is a business, and gratefully so because than otherwise I wouldn’t have a career. But unlike many other businesses yet similar to art, music, and other creative trades there is emotion, history, and authenticity that depending on how well those things are leveraged can contribute to the success or failure of a brand and of the industry. In a perfect world you would have a perfect balance of commercial appeal, inspiration, history, and quality in fashion products and companies. However, in today’s economy the origins, artisanship, and beauty of fashion is largely ignored or quickly gushed over and then just as quickly forgotten. The speed of production and creation of disposable fashion garments and experiences has taken the place of quality and appreciation in fashion.

As mentioned in my last post, I attended a talk with fashion writer Dana Thomas, who reminisced about the heyday of designers such as John Galliano and Alexander McQueen who put their life stories and fantasies in their garments. This past Thursday, Alber Elbaz, creative director of Lanvin, gave a speech at the Condè Nast Luxury Conference in Florence, Italy where he stated, “We should celebrate tradition and heritage, and the job of a designer today should be a combination of yesterday and tomorrow.” This says to me that clearly the industry is missing the passion and heritage that in the past defined the work of fashion designers. It’s also clear these ideas are still in demand in the industry but they need to be reintroduced in a way that compliments the benefits that technology offers to the new generation of consumers.

In this post I’d like to focus on a few designers I feel will lead the next generation into a new era in a way that finds the perfect balance between the old and the new. This is not even close to being a comprehensive list, but it paints the picture of the designers who well represent the artistry and heritage of fashion in very contemporary and relatable ways.