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Posts Tagged: "Dolce & Gabbana"

MENSWEAR 2023 SHOWS: THE MOST COLORFUL EVER

Looks from Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2023 Runway Show. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

One thing was for sure during Men’s Fashion Week 2023 – Color is KING. The shows were back on and better then ever! In response to a lighting up of Covid restrictions, designers reacted in a splash of color in their collections.

The spring 2023 season was full of groundbreaking moments, from a celebration of Ann Demeulemeester at Pitti Uomo in Florence,  to JW Anderson’s much-anticipated debut at Milan Fashion Week.

A look from JW Anderson’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

LONDON

The Menswear Spring 2023 season began in London and ran from June 11-13th. The three-day event was a combination of both physical and digital events happening throughout the city. London is famous for showcasing new designers and this season they didn’t disappoint. Most of the designers are part of the BFC’s Newgen funding program and included Labrum London, Robyn Lynch, Marie Lueder, Ahluwalia and Martine Rose.

 

FLORENCE 

A look from Brunello Cucinelli’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

The fashion crowd then jetted off to Florence for Pitti Uomo, which ran from June 14-17th. The historic fashion fair returned to all its glory after having to scale down the past few seasons due to the global pandemic. The venue was filled to capacity with brands ranging from Brunello Cucinelli to Herno.

A video of Prada’s Spring 2023 Menswear Show. (Video Courtesy of YouTube)

MILAN

Milan Fashion Week for Menswear ran from June 17 – 21st with a pre-pandemic worthy schedule showcasing the best Italian brands. This season, both Versace and Moschino showed their menswear collections for the first time in several years. Many of the luxury houses presented as well, such as Prada, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, and Dolce & Gabbana, to name a few.

But the real highlight of Milan’s Fashion Week was Jonathan Anderson bringing his eponymous London-based brand JW Anderson to the city for one season only – delayed from January due to Covid, and he provided ‘a real party’ for attendees, the first in a series of shows planned to take the brand global.

A look from Comme des Garçons Homme Plus’ Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

PARIS

There was no holding back Paris Fashion Week and their menswear shows ran from June 21-26th with a jam packed schedule. The city’s historical landmarks  provided the backdrop for brands from Dior to Louis Vuitton, as well as fashion favorites such as Rick Owens, Givenchy, Loewe, Comme des Garçons, and Junya Watanabe. After much anticipation, Marine Serre made her menswear debut, with Lourdes Leon (Madonna’s daughter), closing the show.

A look from Marine Serre’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

MEANWHILE…

While June was a whirlwind of shows and events for the menswear industry in Europe, but back on the other side of the pond, Marc Jacobs was wreaking havoc as he presented his Fall 2022 women’s show on June 27th at The New York Public Library. Amidst all the chaos in the world today – war, COVID, political unrest, the rolling back of women’s rights in the U.S. –  Marc Jacob’s collection said it all – we are simply – OVER THE TOP!

Looks from Marc Jacobs’ Fall 2022 Runway Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Here are some of the hottest menswear trends for Spring 2023:

GO FOR BAROQUE

Rich patterns, luxurious fabrics and intricate needlework are worthy of any member of the French royal court in its heyday, but for spring 2021, the 17th century lavish style gets a 21-century update.

A look from Versace’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Celine’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Antonio Marras’ Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Marine Serre’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A FORMAL AFFAIR

Forget the office. The classic black suit gets a modern makeover with a cool rock-star edge.

A look from Givenchy’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Celine’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Rick Owens’ Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Prada’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

JEAN SPIRIT

Head to toe denim was all over the spring 2023 runways as designers offered a modern take on the classic Canadian tuxedo look.

A look from Prada’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Givenchy’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Craig Green’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dsquared2’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

BRIEF ENCOUNTERS

Bottoms up! All matter of shorts rocked the runways this spring 2023 season. From Prada’s leather version to Thom Browne’s short suits, one things for sure, its time to hit the stair master.

A look from Thom Browne’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Rick Owens’ Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Prada’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Hermès’ Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Etro’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dior Men’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Celine’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

IN FULL BLOOM

Florals for spring, groundbreaking….. Delicate print florals were found all over the men’s spring collections. From Louis Vuitton’s elegant dress and blazer version to Etro’s sporty jacket and shorts, these blossoming motifs will make you smile.

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Etro’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Loewe’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dsquared2’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Antonio Marras’ Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dries Van Noten’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

THINK PINK

With all the excitement over the Barbie movie which will feature Ryan Gosling playing Ken, it’s no wonder the color pink was all over the spring 2023 menswear collections. From Dior’s dusty pink suit to Rick Owens’ vibrant blazer, these soft shades are all the rage.

A look from Marine Serre’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Rick Owens’ Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dior Men’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Versace’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Zegna’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Craig Green’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

LOGO MANIA

The nineties aesthetic is going strong, as designers are reinterpreting their favorite trends from the decade. One of the biggest trends, logo mania. Designers branded their logos on everything from jackets and pants to hats and bags.

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Givenchy’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Kenzo’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Versace’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

ABOUT FACE

Covid-19 had us all in a number of lockdowns, but now, we are beginning to emerge back into the world and putting our best face forward, literally, designers were inspired by statues, paintings, and portraits of interesting faces. These looks are conversation pieces and will have you standing out in any crowd.

A look from Dior Men’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from JW Anderson’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from KidSuper’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Moschino’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Yohji Yamamoto’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Versace’s Spring 2023 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

So tell us, what is your favorite trend from the Men’s Spring 2023 shows?

 

WELCOME TO THE FIRST METAVERSE FASHION WEEK – DIGITAL FASHION HAS ARRIVED

An Imitation of Christ look for Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Spring 2022 Fashion Month may have ended last month, but runway shows continued. Where you ask? Welcome to Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW)!

For the past three years UoF has been reporting on the importance of the 3D design software and the concept of the Metaverse and its potential within the fashion industry. And so, at last, we finally got to watch the first major fashion industry-backed Metaverse fashion week, Thursday, March 24th to Sunday, March 27th. And just like that, fashion history was made.

Where was Metaverse Fashion Week Held?

Decentraland, a 3D virtual world browser-based platform, hosted the first Metaverse Fashion Week, with more than 60 luxury and digital brands presenting. (I wonder if the CFDA be adding  MVFW to the fashion calendar?).

Several innovative, early adopter fashion brands, and even some established brands, virtually presented their Spring 2022 collections in different “neighborhoods” or “districts” on Decentraland’s platform within their newly created ‘Fashion District’. The four-day event was packed with fun events that included digital fashion shows (which took place on three virtual runways), after parties, and even shopping events. Some merch was offered for sale as ‘wearables’, while others were offered as collectibles that were later uploaded to NFT marketplaces like OpenSea.

Before the event launched, Giovanna Graziosi Casimiro, head of Metaverse Fashion Week, told WWD, “I think people will be amazed, because our team has been working so much to really achieve unique spaces in 3D and unique shops for the stores.” The team created a broad range of activities, with multiple simultaneous events. Casimiro added, “But they will be planned in a way that people have a chance to see all of them.” There will be plenty of after parties. The idea is that we bring people to see the events, but they can stay inside the platform and see a great performer and DJs. It’s going to be really fun.”

Inside the Metaverse Fashion Week runway arena. (Photo Credit: WWD)

The MVFW team anticipated a large number of new visitors joining the metaverse for the first time, so Decentraland offered instructions on their website to help first time visitors enter as guests. They also helped newcomers set up their digital wallets to shop, but visiting and touring the venues was free and open to all.

The opening installment began with Selfridges’ Decentraland venue on Wednesday, March 23rd, which was followed by four days of runway shows, brand activations, interactive experiences and countless shopping experiences across multiple digital storefronts which showcased wearable looks on avatars, NFTs, artworks and more.

Brands participating included Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce & Gabbana, Elie Saab, Nicholas Kirkwood, Perry Ellis, Imitation of Christ, Estée Lauder, Etro and many more, with several setting up shop in digital stores where guests could teleport, browse, and of course, shop.

In the Luxury Fashion District, Decentraland’s newest district, visitors were able to attend fashion shows and shop for luxury items in the metaverse. The Luxury Fashion District, which was sponsored by UNXD, a curated marketplace for the best of digital culture, and Vogue Arabia, was where many brands made their Web3 debut, such as Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, Elie Saab, Imitation of Christ, Dundas, Nicholas Kirkwood x White Rabbit, Faith Tribe, and Guo Pei.

Tommy Hilfiger remarked, “When I founded my namesake brand in 1985, I never imagined I’d see a time when fashion weeks would be held in a 3D, fully virtual world. As we further explore the Metaverse and all it has to offer, I’m inspired by the power of digital technology and the opportunities it presents to engage with communities in fascinating, relevant ways.”

The Rarible District hosted a temporary space with pop-up shops that included Placebo Digital Fashion House, The Fabricant, Fred Segal, Perry Ellis, Artisant in collaboration with Puma, Miss J Collection by Crypto Couture, NFT artist Marcomatic and more.

According to sourcingjournal.com, “Mango’s development in the metaverse environment is yet another example of the company’s innovative character and its strategy based on constant innovation,” said Jordi Álex, Mango’s director of technology, data, privacy and security. “We have created a specific team dedicated to the development of digital content, where new professionals will be joining in the coming months, in order to develop new projects in the future that will allow us to add the virtual environment to the digital and physical environments in our channel ecosystem.”

Oh, and if you are interested in owning property in the metaverse, (yes, you CAN buy property there and will need a realtor) you could go to the virtual real estate marketplace Parcel x Metaparty Community Precinct.  The Community Precinct offered a multilevel experience with mini-games, chill-out floor, and fashion show experience that highlighted Decentraland’s wearables designer community. Meanwhile, the MetaTokyo community launched a museum, Space by MetaTokyo, plus its own wearable collection through the Decentraland marketplace. DRESSX, was virtual store inside Metajuku, another shopping district.

Boson Protocol’s metaverse marketplace hosted more than a dozen brands that were selling NFTs tied to exclusive, real-world luxury products. Modeled after Paris’ Avenue Montaigne, this boulevard of metaverse stores featured brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Hogan tomWeb3-first brands like Cider, IKKS, Deadfellaz, 8sian, The Rebels by House of Kalinkin, Christine Massarany, Anrealage, Wildfangz by Fang Gang, Wonder and more.

At Threedium Plaza, brands ranging from DKNY to Phygicode by Wyldflwr showcased their 3D creations in the plaza. Here, shops featured 3D wearable pieces, but also went beyond fashion with fun experiences including General Motors’ latest electric vehicles.

Interior view of Cash Labs’s mixed media art gallery. (Photo Credit: WWD)

The Meta Funaverse

Metaverse Fashion Week also hosted plenty of fun parties, such as #FashionFridays a pre-party show that got fashion week off to a festive start on TwitterSpaces. Luxury fashion house Dolce & Gabbana held the first after-show party, while Hogan + Exclusible held a soiree on Saturday. And the parties and festivities kept going on and on.

A few other captivating projects took place, such as The Vogu x Hype and Sophia the Robot’s look at the future of A.I. fashion, Imitation of Christ’s installation and performance, and a luxury eyewear store by Garrett Leight, with exclusive frames and wearables for your avatar.

The Philipp Plein show at Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week. (Photo Credit: Martino Carrera)

Metaverse’s Early Adopters

German fashion designer Philipp Plein took the metaverse by storm. Viewers attending his event were provided the full fashion show experience with a runway show held in his own $1.4 million Decentraland estate, an afterparty with real-life DJs, and a see-now- buy-now collection, which was available as limited-run NFTs on Decentraland’s marketplace. His show took place on Thursday night at the Plein Plaza central square surrounded by Plein-branded skyscrapers. The runway was a metallic skull-shaped animatronic that opened its mouth revealing avatar models in the designer’s latest creations. The collection was named Pleinverse $eason 1 and was developed by Crypto King$, the nickname behind Plein and digital artist Antoni Tudisco, who spearheaded the label’s metaverse activities. The label also hosted an afterparty, with the Australian DJ duo Miriam and Olivia Nervo who were pumping up the music.

Italian luxury house Dolce & Gabbana held one of the most realistic metaverse fashion shows. Guests had to “teleport” to the location, and that’s only if they managed to understand how to do it. The experience was not unlike finding the right show address down the winding streets of Milan, Paris, London, or New York, with the exception of being stuck in traffic. As for the show, the label featured cat-faced avatar models emerge from two giant lotus-like structures dominating the two sides of the runway. Just like a IRL show, there was strobe lighting, upbeat music and charming digital clothing. Case in point, a LED-lit broad-shouldered mini frock. As for showgoers, attendance was disappointing, and they were not your typical fashion insiders. Some avatars jumped onto the runway while the show was going on, while other attendees typed in the chat box so they really did not pay attention to the models. While it was a fun experience, Dolce & Gabbana’s regular clients were missing from the scene.

Imitation of Christ. (Photo Credit: WWD)

The Imitation of Christ store was an ode to punk-rock fashion, as well as an antiwar statement. There were signs aimed at Putin to stop his war, as well as support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian flag. On the first floor, mannequins were dressed in streetwear looks, such as hoodies, catsuits, kilts, and fashionable combat boots. Meanwhile, on the second floor, you could find the label’s signature couture-like designs.

Scenes from Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Guo Pei, the Asian designer best known for her luxurious, couture-like pieces, had a boutique on Luxury Street. There you could find a digital version of the designers exquisite creations, but unfortunately, the digital version did not compare to the magnificent embroidery of the real-life version.

Meanwhile, for Selfridges, the goal was to offer a “fusion of fashion and art,” Jeannie Lee, head of buying for Selfridges, told WWD.“We currently have launched a project called ‘Universe,’ based on a collaboration with Paco Rabanne and [Victor] Vasarely,” she said. “He used the prints of it from the artwork, and we were so inspired that we decided to build a physical installation featuring artwork from the Fondation, then also wearable pieces from Paco Rabanne’s archives, from the 1966 collection called the ’12 Unwearable Dresses,’ and everything is on display like a museum-grade, temperature-controlled [exhibit] in Selfridges.”

Selfridges’ Decentraland venue, which opened Wednesday, evokes its real-world Birmingham, England, location. (Photo Credit: WWD)

In the future, Selfridges does plan to release NFTs, but at this point the store was used to create a visual experience and to celebrate fashion and art.

The Etro “Liquid Paisley” fashion show at Metaverse Fashion Week. (Photo Credit: Martino Carrera)

Etro also held a virtual runway show and pop-up shop in the Luxury Fashion District. The brand’s digital collection launched the Liquid Paisley pattern, “a contemporary take on one of the house’s most iconic codes, in a vibrant palette of fresh and joyful shades, with a gender-fluid approach driven by Etro’s open and inclusive vision. A collection without gender boundaries in a fashion show that will be accessible to everyone,” Veronica Etro, creative director of the women’s collection, said in a statement to WWD. Customers will be able to buy Etro’s ready-to-wear and accessories, as well as customize their avatars with collection items.

In a recent interview with Luis Fernandez of @LUISFERN5 Creative Design Agency, published on the CFDA website, Fernandez was quite bullish on the future of the metaverse for fashion, especially the experiential ‘Store of the Future”.

As we enter this new digital universe, the opportunities are endless. It will take the creative and entrepreneurial minds of those of us in the fashion industry to push the boundaries and to be on the cutting edge of how to marry the ‘real’ world with the ‘tech’ world. Let’s face it, no one ever thought that online fashion education would ever be a ‘thing’ when University of Fashion burst onto to scene in 2008, right? Meanwhile…. We are now madly working on lessons for our subscribers on how to design in 3D. So stay tuned!

Tell us, are you as exited about the metaverse as we are? Will you use the Metaverse to build your brand?

WELCOME TO THE FASHIONVERSE – METAVERSE

- - Technology

Gucci in the virtual game Roblox. Photo (Credit: Vogue Business)

Faithful followers of our blog know that at University of Fashion we love, love. love the history of things. In fact, our founder, Francesca Sterlacci, co-wrote the book, Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. So we thought before we talk about how the Metaverse is poised to revolutionize the fashion industry, we’d take a look back at the thing we love to hate and yet can’t do without…the Internet.

Did you know that January 1, 1983 is considered the official birthday of the Internet, and that it wasn’t until August 6, 1991 that the World Wide Web went live to the world?

Now, more than ever, we rely on technology. With the click of a button, we order our groceries, hold business meetings, learn fashion design online (thanks UoF) and purchase everything from underwear to luxury clothes…even cars! We are so completely hooked on our electronic devices that to be without them even for a day, it’s like the world has come to an end! And now, thanks to the pandemic, we have become even more reliant. Is that even possible?

Through the internet, we maintain social relationships, communicate with family and friends and interact via Facebook®, Instagram® and all of the other social media platforms, incessantly. The Internet has also expanded our vocabulary. We all ‘surf’ the web, use google as a verb, and learned a slew of new acronyms like HTTP, HTTPS HTML, FTP, WWW, and more.

Well buckle your seat belts folks….here comes the metaverse, (with it the fashionverse) and a new set of vocab terms like avatar, blockchain, cryptocurrency, NFTs, burning NFTs, AR, VR, and Web 3.0.

What is the Metaverse, you ask?

When Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s name change to ‘Meta’ in October 2021, tech giants like Google and Microsoft started investing heavily in it, portending the next big tech revolution. The metaverse, now in its beginning stages, is a digital experience that will evolve into something that blurs the lines between the digital and physical world.

According to Michelle Cortese, a virtual and augmented reality designer, artist and author, the metaverse is essentially, “a spectral layer on top of our existence. It is represented by avatar interactions, and constructed experiences, ultimately altering how we interact online, how crypto is adopted, how brands advertise, all while offering a hyper-real alternative world for people to coexist in. The concept that was beloved by tech enthusiasts, a desire for a decentralized virtual world and a place that is aligned with the physical world, has now penetrated the mainstream landscape. Virtual experiences have spiked dramatically with millions of people indulging hours upon hours as digital avatars into virtual social spaces such as Fortnite and Roblox or digital NFTs and cryptocurrencies.”

Michelle Cortese depicts the stages of the Web and the advancements we have endured to reach Web 3.0 more clearly. “When we say ‘Web 3.0’ we refer to the three stages of the Internet: [1] the desktop computer dial-up of the 1990s; [2] the socially-driven mobile Internet of the 2000s and 2010s; and [3] the “Embodied Internet” or Metaverse – this next generation of the Internet anticipates that people will interface with the web in a more embodied, virtual way.”

All sounds like a sci-fi movie right? But advanced technology is making this possible. Using a combination of technologies and incorporating virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), users can actually “live” inside a digital universe. In the metaverse, users are part of the action.

What does this mean for the fashion industry?

Think of the possibilities for brands to reach potential customers in the metaverse. The fashion industry is already evolving in this advanced digital world and the pandemic offered many in lockdown mode the opportunity to explore the gaming world, a perfect intro into the ‘virtual world’. In the metaverse, the user can shop in digital stores and there is even a “try before you buy” feature where the user can take a 360-degree look at an item. They can zoom in and examine all the details of that piece of clothing before they make a purchase.

Consumers now have the ability to virtually try on products by dragging one or more items onto photos of themselves. So the metaverse is literally bringing the fitting room into your home and can offer the consumer the same experience as walking into a brick-and-mortar store.

The metaverse is therefore quickly transforming the fashion industry. Luxury house Balenciaga is at the forefront of the shift into the digital world. The house (known to embrace virtual apparel) announced plans to introduce a business unit specifically committed to exploring opportunities in the metaverse.

Fortnite x Balenciaga, 2021. (Photo Credit: Epic Games)

Balenciaga presented its Fall 2021 collection through a gaming app and famously partnered with the video game Fortnite to create a number of “skins” for the game’s characters. At this point, most of the fashion world’s investments in the metaverse have been through video game skins (cosmetics that customize characters), reports Business of Fashion. These developments provide a peek of what fashion in the metaverse could look like.

According to Business of Fashion, digital environments are increasingly transforming from transaction-focused consumer spaces, to multi-dimensional worlds that foster collaboration and creativity. Naturally, fashion is expected to be key player in this coming era.

The metaverse is a virtual reality that redefines how we use technology, integrating both digital and physical worlds. And it’s not some faraway reality, we’re already there. Nowhere is the crossroads of fashion and metaverse more evident than in the current explosion of fashion related NFTs.

Adidas Originals is jumping into the metaverse. The brand’s entry arrives as part of a partnership with Bored Ape Yacht Club. (Photo Credit: Adidas)

So, what exactly are NFTs?

The simplest way to explain NFTs or “non-fungible tokens” are that they are cryptographic tokens which are stored in a blockchain. These cryptographic tokens allow someone to buy, sell, or trade, ‘real’ items such as artwork or real estate. NFTs are especially suitable when they tokenize items that are collectible and unique. In the fashion industry, NFTs now bring a new level of exclusiveness and an opportunity to turn digital designs and collections into an extremely limited, valuable, luxurious, and unique collector pieces. And labels from luxury to activewear are getting into NFTs.

Burberry releases NFT collection in Mythical Games’ Blanks Block Party. (Photo Credit: Burberry)

Burberry, for example, partnered with Mythical Games to launch an NFT collection in their flagship title, Blankos Block Party. Working with Mythical Games’ Blankos Block Party, Blanko the shark, can be purchased, upgraded, and sold in-game, the brand moved into the digital space after the success of its own game, B Bounce, which launched in 2019.

Dolce & Gabbana, the Italian fashion luxury house, launched its own collection of NFTs on the Polygon (CRYPTO: MATIC) blockchain last August of 2021. Named Collezione Genesi. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana personally designed a 9-piece, one-of-a-kind collection exclusively for UNXD. Collezione Genesi³ that featured hand-made, museum-grade items across Alta Moda (women), Alta Sartoria (men), and Alta Gioielleria (high jewelry). It is digital couture!

UK department store Selfridges has begun selling NFTs and digital fashion in its Oxford Street store in London, bringing digital goods to real-life shopping and broadening their accessibility in fashion. Combining the virtual and physical worlds, Selfridges has a pop-up that will showcase artwork by Victor Vasarely and new physical pieces from the designer label Paco Rabanne inspired by Vasarely’s work. The NFTs, can be purchased via an in-store digital screen using a traditional credit card, and will include digital versions of the first dresses designed by Paco Rabanne.

The Sefridge’s NFT project ca;;ed Universe. (Photo Credit: Vogue Business)

Approximately 1,800 NFTs are dropping between 28 January and 12 March, with prices ranging between £2,000 ($2,709.27) to over £100,000 ($135,456.30); select Paco Rabanne NFTs will be sold with their physical counterparts, and the digital versions can be worn in several virtual platforms. Some items will be adaptations of 1960s archival designs that were never produced. Funds raised will go to the Fondation Vasarely Museum in Aix-en-Provence, the artist’s archive that houses and restores works.

Even Barbie is getting in on the act! Barbie is making a splash into the digital art world as everyone’s favorite doll, dressed in head-to-toe Balmain. The two brands are collaborating with a ready-to-wear collection, an accessories line and a series of NFTs. Executives from both companies say the NFT launch is a historic moment for fashion, tech and toys.

From a nostalgic 1990s Barbie logo to a Barbie pink Pantone, Barbie’s signature color dominates the clothing collection and NFT trio. (Photo Credit: Balmain)

Txampi Diz, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Balmain, is betting on the future of NFTs as a powerful customer engagement tool for high-fashion brands. “I believe it is going to completely change the fashion industry, and it will have the same impact as when social media first started or when the internet first launched,” he says in an interview with Forbes.

“It’s a milestone, it’s the first NFT presentation that the Barbie brand has ever made,” says Richard Dickson, Mattel president and Chief Operating Officer (COO) in an interview with Forbes.

Three one-of-a-kind Balmain x Barbie NFTs are currently up for auction via mintNFT, a new marketplace for NFTs that focus on creative collaborations. James Sun, founder and CEO of mintNFT, says such NFT partnerships redefine the meaning of brand ownership for customers, as it symbolizes a purchase into the company’s ethos. “What’s so beautiful is they’re not just purchasing an NFT, they’re saying, I want to be part of this brand on the blockchain . . . It’s very philosophical.”

Looks from Nigo’s first limited-edition capsule collection for Kenzo.(Photo Credit: Kenzo)

Kenzo just dropped its first limited-edition capsule collection under the house’s new artistic director Nigo, and will feature floral graphic sweatshirts, long-sleeve T-shirts, a jersey cardigan, and nylon jacket. Along with the limited-edition collection, Kenzo released a limited edition of 100 NFTs, each drop will be complemented by a collection of NFTs that unlock exclusive access into the world of Kenzo.

Gucci and Superplastic introduce a three part NFT drop Supergucci. (Photo Credit: Gucci)

Each day, more and more labels are joining the metaverse and offering NFTs. Supergucci is a collaboration between the Italian fashion house Gucci and Superplastic. The “ultra-limited” series, Supergucci consists of a multi-pronged approach to be released in three parts. The first drop was on February 1st, and included ten different limited NFTs that paid homage to Gucci’s storied archives with signature prints, icons, and motifs, all revamped to to incorporate the imagination of Superplastic’s synthetic celebrities and artists. In this instance, they are Janky & Guggimon; virtual “humans” created by Superplastic that have already gained a strong social media following. The launch is also accompanied by ceramic sculptures handmade in Italy and co-designed by Gucci and Superplastic.

“Our collaboration with Superplastic dates back to 2020 when we launched the Gucci Sneaker Garage project in occasion of which we dressed Superplastic’s virtual characters with the Gucci Virtual 25 sneakers,” the brand states. “This project therefore represents the natural development of our relationship with this partner that allows us to experiment with Gucci’s codes through new forms of creativity.”

Supergucci allows the metaverse to come into play, too, where users will accompany Janky & Guggimon to the Gucci Vault, an online concept store created from the vision of Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele. The Vault will also be releasing restored, reconditioned vintage Gucci pieces in tribute of their latest juncture; works hand-picked by Michele and archivists of the House. There will be two more surprise drops coming soon.

Artist Mason Rothschild created the MetaBirkin. (Photo Credit: MetaBirkin)

A “Baby Birkin” NFT, which was an animation of a baby growing in a Hermès Birkin bag, just sold in a Basic.Space auction for the equivalent amount of $23,500. Although this is where it can get tricky, Hermés, who owns the trademark for the Birkin bag, was not involved in the issue of the NFT and has send out a cease-and-desist letter to the creator of the NFT. Recently, Hermès filed the lawsuit in New York’s Southern District Court claiming trademark infringement and dilution. Hermès claims the artist, Mason Rothchild, was ripping off Hermès’ famous Birkin trademark by adding the generic prefix “meta” and calling the NFT “Metabirkin.”

The psychology of NFTs 

Fashion houses are creating a new world of engagement with a digital experience for its users in the metaverse. Unforgettable items can boost customer loyalty. Consumers may capture, exchange, and appreciate one-off experiences and exclusive moments in time, which is something that all these corporations could use to establish a permanent connection with their clients.

We are living through and witnessing another digital revolution. NFTs and the metaverse are opening up new worlds of economic opportunity and risk. The fashion industry is at the forefront of many of these new developments. As we embark on these exciting new possibilities, some companies are a bit hesitant to rush into the metaverse.

Louis Vuitton gets into gaming with Louis The Game Video Game. (Photo Credit: LVMH)

For example, Bernard Arnault, the chairman and CEO of luxury conglomerate LVMH, has stated that is in no rush to charge into the metaverse. The brands under the LVMH label are performing well in the real world as the company reported record full-year revenues and profits for 2021. Arnault stated to WWD, that while he was curious to explore the opportunities of the hotly hyped digital environment, he was also wary of a repeat of the dot-com bubble (LVMH was, after all, a major investor in the ill-fated Boo.com in the late ’90s).

“Let me start by saying that it’s a purely virtual world and until now, we are in the real world and we sell real products. To be sure, it’s compelling, it’s interesting, it can even be quite fun. We have to see what are the applications of this metaverse and these NFTs,” Aunault said in a videoconference with analysts and reporters. “If it’s well done, it can probably have a positive impact on brands’ activities. But we’re not interested in selling virtual sneakers for 10 euros,” the LVMH chairman and chief executive officer added. “In conclusion, I would just say, beware of bubbles. I remember this from the early days of the internet, at the beginning of the 2000s,” Arnault continued, noting there are a multitude of companies building the metaverse. “There were a bunch of would-be Facebooks back then, and in the end, only one of them worked out. So let’s be cautious.”

Buyer beware – what it means that some brands are ‘burning’ NFTs

To give you an idea of just how complex the NFT world is and why you must really study the particular NFT before you buy it (says our founder’s son who has been investing in NFTs), here’s what you need to know about “burning” NFTs and “creating scarcity”.  According to Maghan McDowell of Vogue Business, “A key feature of blockchains and NFTs is that they can’t be changed, replicated or deleted, allowing for authenticity, ownership and scarcity. So, what happens if a luxury brand — many of whom are now experimenting with NFTs — wants to change or eliminate an NFT they’ve put on the market? They can burn it. Burning NFTs, which are tokens stored on a blockchain, is the process of permanently removing a token from circulation. This can be done to eliminate unsold or problematic inventory from an NFT drop, or it can be used to engage collectors and fans through “upgrades” that replace an original NFT with something else.”

According to Vogue Business, “For fashion and beauty brands, burning NFTs could offer a way to manipulate scarcity, and therefore price. It could also lead to more intriguing NFT projects, in which consumers must weigh risk and reward by burning an NFT in exchange for something else. These scenarios, among others, are already playing out among artists and gaming startups, paving the way for fashion. Already, Adidas is using a burn mechanism to change the state of its NFTs when NFT owners make a purchase. Apparel brand Champion recently partnered with Daz 3D’s NFT collection, Non-Fungible People, and will use burning to enable peoples’ profile picture NFTs to digitally dress in Champion gear, while Unisocks invites NFT owners to burn them in exchange for physical products.

As we all watch and explore the metaverse/fashionverse, the possibilities are endless and so are the pitfalls, so ‘buyer beware’.  

Did you know that UoF has been covering the digital revolution for years? Check out our past blog posts on the topic:

The Future of Textiles – Digital Realm

Gaming & Fashion: Two Aspirational Worlds of Experiences Combine

If you’re interested in exploring a career in this new age technology, check out University of the Creative Arts digital fashion MA program

 

So tell us, is your head spinning right about now? Will you promote your brand in the metaverse?

MENSWEAR FALL 2022 COLLECTIONS: FLORENCE – MILAN – PARIS

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

Looks from Dries Van Noten’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Two years later and our lives are still topsy-turvy as we all try to navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic. New Year’s Eve festivities were put on hold as the Omicron variant spread so quickly throughout the world. The new variant also had a major impact on menswear fashion week for the fall 2022 season, from Pitti Uomo in Florence to Paris.

Pitti Uomo/Florence 

Pitti Uomo kicked off the fall 2022 menswear season January 11th through the 13th. The menswear extravaganza took place in Florence, Italy, which this season’s theme was centered around ‘Reflections’. Unfortunately, due to the rise in Omicron-positive cases, many brands cancelled their presentations, including Brunello Cucinelli and guest brand Ann Demeulemeester. However, Italian luxury brand Kiton, known for hand-made Neapolitan tailored suits,  presented their casual line KTN for the first time at Pitti Uomo. Also, high-end sportswear line Paul & Shark presented and re-enforced their commitment to sustainability.

Milan

The fashion set comprised of buyers, editors, and influencers then hopped from Florence to the Milan for that city’s fashion week, which ran from January 15th to the 17th. Once again, due to Omnicron, a number of designers and brands cancelled their physical presentations and events, including Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani, Gucci and MSGM. JW Anderson, who was scheduled to present its first menswear show in Italy, also cancelled. But the city still had plenty of excitement with labels such as Fendi, Prada, Ermenegildo Zegna and Dolce & Gabbana, throwing caution to the wind, opted for live runway shows.

Jeff Goldblum in a look from Prada’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit; Vogue Runway)

Although Milan Fashion Week was short, it was still inspiring and impactful. Some of the highlights included Prada’s runway which was packed with some of Hollywood’s legendary stars, including Twin Peaks’ Kyle MacLachlan, Jurassic Park’s Jeff Goldblum, Moonlight’s Ashton Sanders and Sex Education’s Otis Butterfield. While Prada focused on the dapper gentleman, Dolce & Gabbana appealed to Gen-Z fans, with a lively performance from Machine Gun Kelly, dressed fittingly in a sequin suit from the label.

At Fendi, Silvia Fenturini Fendi was fascinated by notions of classicism. The Roman house presented a ‘treasure trove of future heirlooms’ that riffed on the elegance and sophistication of old-world silhouettes. The label is also dabbling on gender-bending looks as the luxury house featured boundary-defying feminine silhouettes to its fall 2022 show. Love the idea of sharing your wardrobe with your boyfriend/husband? This is the brand for you!

A look from Fendi’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Paris

France eased their Covid restrictions just days before Paris Fashion Week’s Menswear shows, which ran from January 18th to the 23rd. Only a handful of designers (approximately 17) staged live runway presentation – including Rick Owens, Dior Homme, and Loewe. The remaining brands were a mix of digital streams and physical presentations.

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

The highlight of the week?  Thursday Jan. 20th, when Louis Vuitton presented the late Virgil Abloh’s final collection for the house; Virgil Abloh passed away on November 28, 2021, at the age of 41, after a private two-year battle with cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare cancer. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. It was the best tribute EVER.

Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2022 Menswear Show. Courtesy of FF Channel on YouTube.

A portrait of Nigo, the newly appointed artistic director of Maison Kenzo. (Photo Credit: Kenzo)

Menswear buyers, press, and influencers were over-the-moon about streetwear visionary Nigo’s first collection as artistic director for the Japanese label Kenzo. It was a star-studded event that had more Instagram followers than you could imagine.

Meanwhile, at Dior Men, Creative Director Kim Jones paid tribute to the founder of the house in celebration of Christian Dior’s 75th anniversary.

Dior’s Fall 2022 Menswear Show. Courtesy of Dior Channel on YouTube.

Here’s a round-up of some of the biggest trends in Menswear for Fall 2022:

FLOWER POWER

It’s a garden party delight as designers opted for pretty floral motifs for fall 2022. From Louis Vuitton’s tapestry-inspired coat and pants to Erdem’s slim-cut pantsuit. These delicate prints add joie de vivre to the cold winter ahead.

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Erdems’ Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Prada’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Etro’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Acne Studios’ Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dior Men’s Fall 2022 Menswear Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

GENDER NEUTRAL

Designers continue to break thru the confines of gender norms this season as they offer plenty of skirts and dresses that can be worn no matter your gender.

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Comme des Garçons Homme Plus’ Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from JW Anderson’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Rick Owns’ Fall 2022 Menswear Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Moschino’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

LEATHER REPORT & THE BOLD SHOULDER

Chic leather coats were all over the fall 2022 runways as they ran the gamut from a Matrix-esque version at Dolce & Gabbana to a belted, Seventies-inspired style at Prada. And the focus was on the big and bold shoulder.

A look from Prada’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dior Men’s Fall 2022 Menswear Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Rhude’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Y Project’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

IN LIVING COLOR

Bright neon hues ruled the runways as the oversaturated tones made there way on everything from cozy knits to terrific outerwear.

A look from Vetements’ Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Prada’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Moschino’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from JW Anderson’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Hermès’ Fall 2022 Menswear Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

SUPER SIZE ME

Baggy looks are still going strong in the menswear market, and for fall 2022, designers are opting for oversized looks that still maintain remarkable tailoring guaranteeing that proportions are still sharp and clean.

A look from Zegna’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Vetements’ Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Bianca Saunders’ Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Yohji Yamamoto’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Fendi’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Jil Sander’s Fall 2022 Menswear Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

GET SHORTY

Often a summertime staple, shorts made a splash on the runways this fall 2022 season. From MSMG’s sporty quilted version to Fendi’s dapper suit look, one things for sure, next winter men will be showcasing their legs more than ever.

A look from Fendi’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Comme des Garçons Homme Plus’ Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from MSGM’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Isabel Marant’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Etro’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Loewe’s Fall 2022 Menswear Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

WELL SUITED

We may all be heading back to the office soon, but rather than your typical menswear suit, designers are opting for tailored looks in a range of bold and happy colors.

A look from Etro’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Bianca Saunders’ Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

LOSS OF A FASHION TRAILBLAZER

But the biggest fashion news that came out between the Milan and Paris shows was the passing of André Leon Talley on January 18, 2022. The larger-than-life former Vogue editor, who was only 73, passed away of a heart attack. Talley was a legend in the fashion world and broke down barriers for homosexual black men in the industry. Talley was a gentleman of grand pronouncements, over-the-top capes, and friends in design studios from New York to Paris—Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Diane von Furstenberg, Karl Lagerfeld, and many more. When the news of his death broke, many of his friends in fashion and beyond took to social media to express their grief, and a theme emerged. The “pharaoh of fabulosity,” as a Vogue staffer once dubbed Talley, was also the industry’s biggest champion and booster, the first editor backstage, quick with encouraging advice or a course correction. His enthusiasm was prodigious.

André Leon Talley at home in White Plains, N.Y., in 2017. (Photo Credit: Ike Edeani for The New York Times)

It was no secret within the fashion industry that Anna Wintour and André Leon Talley had a falling out. In his book, The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir, Tally wrote of Wintour, “She is not capable of simple human kindness. I would love for her to say something human and sincere.” When she replaced Talley with YouTube personality Lisa Zoshy as host at the 2018 Met Gala, he remarked “it felt like I was thrown under the bus. It hurt”. And yet in an industry where you can be ‘cast-out’ as quickly as you are ‘cast-in’, Wintour recently wrote:

The loss of André is felt by so many of us today: the designers he enthusiastically cheered on every season, and who loved him for it; the generations he inspired to work in the industry, seeing a figure who broke boundaries while never forgetting where he started from; those who knew fashion, and Vogue, simply because of him; and, not forgetting, the multitude of colleagues over the years who were consistently buoyed by every new discovery of André’s, which he would discuss loudly, and volubly—no one could make people more excited about the most seemingly insignificant fashion details than him. Even his stream of colorful faxes and emails were a highly anticipated event, something we all looked forward to.

“Yet it’s the loss of André as my colleague and friend that I think of now; it’s immeasurable. He was magnificent and erudite and wickedly funny—mercurial, too. Like many decades-long relationships, there were complicated moments, but all I want to remember today, all I care about, is the brilliant and compassionate man who was a generous and loving friend to me and to my family for many, many years, and who we will all miss so much.”

With news of the passing of yet another fashion icon, Thierry Mugler, tell us, who influences you the most as an aspiring fashion designer?

LA BELLA VITA: MILAN SPRING 2022 SHOWS

- - Fashion Shows

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Fashion month has been a whirlwind of excitement as Milan Fashion Week wraps up before it heads over to its final stretch in Paris. While New York and London had a good balance between live shows and digital presentations, the runways in Milan were almost back to pre-pandemic levels. MFW, which kicked off on September 24th and ended on the 27th, was a jam-packed calendar consisting 173 shows that were a combination of physical event presentations, parties and 42 that were IRL shows.

A look from Antonio Marras’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Milan always delivers: craftsmanship, modern sophistication and polished elegance. Italian designers have a unique point of view and a refined hand that sets them apart from the rest.

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

THE BIG DESIGNER SWAP

The two most anticipated shows during Milan Fashion Week had to be Fendi and Prada. It was the first time a new project was unveiled: A Designer Swap!

Donatella Versace designed a Fendi collection and Kim Jones (Fendi’s artistic director) created a Versace collection. A PR stunt for sure, but one that worked!

At Prada, the brand presented two simultaneous shows, one at home in Milan and the other at Shanghai’s Bund One. At the Fondazione Prada in Milan, large LED screens surrounded the runway, and streamed the live feeds so guests could see different models marching by in the same looks.

A video of Prada’s Spring 2022 collection. Video courtesy of Prada on YouTube.

Rihanna also hosted her third volume for Savage x Fenty, her fierce lingerie line, and was one of the most hyped shows of the season. Fun fact: did you know Rihanna’s full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty?

Other noteworthy shows were TOD’S, Max Mara, Jil Sander, MM6 Maison Margiela and Versace. However, powerhouses Bottega Veneta and Gucci were notably missing. Gucci will head to Los Angeles to present its next collection on Nov. 2, coinciding with the LACMA Art+Film Gala taking place on Nov. 6, for which the fashion house is the founding and presenting sponsor.

In conjunction with the runway shows, the MFW calendar included a succession of not-to-be-missed events. For starters, “The Way We Are”, an exhibition devoted to Emporio Armani in celebration of brand’s 40-year anniversary. The exhibit opened on September 23rd at Armani/Silos, a fashion art space in Milan dedicated to Armani style. The jewelry brand Pomellato, held an exclusive cocktail party that kicked off Milan Fashion Week, and Versace closed out the week with a private dinner at Mysterious Baths to celebrate Italian designer Chiara Boni’s 50-year career, of course this was by invitation only. And there were plenty of festivities in between, case in point, Gucci’s day-long celebration (on September 25th) of its new Gucci Vault (online concept store featuring refurbished vintage Gucci pieces and collections by young designers), which was a far from a low-key return to MFW. Long envisioned by Alessandro Michele, Vault is the new online concept store created by Gucci, dedicated to the endless pursuit of wonders and beautiful things. Part time machine, part archive, part library, part laboratory – the identity of Vault is in continuous evolution.

Here is a link to the site: Edition 01 – VAULT Gucci

Milan Fashion Week also embraced emerging talent as the city hosted The World of Vogue Talents and the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana’s CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards, both events celebrated promising, new designers and those who have taken extra steps to curb their impact on the planet.

A look from Del Core’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Here are a few of the hottest trends to come out of Milan Fashion Week:

FRINGE BENEFITS

Life is full of many splendored ‘strings’ as the spring 2022 runways were filled with a myriad of fabulous fringe. From crafty crochet fringe tops to latter day flappers, one thing’s for sure, fringe is in!

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Alberta Ferretti’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from No. 21’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Etro’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway.)

A look from Tod’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Salvatore Ferragamo’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Versace’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

EASY STREET

Ciao, sculptured structure. Tailoring took a more relaxed turn, with a focus on effortless suits in an array of colors. Perfect transitional looks to go back to the office in.

A look from Jil Sander’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Antonio Marras’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Emporio Armani’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Etro’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Versace’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

OAT COUTURE

The world has been shut down for over 18 months now, and now that vaccinations are underway, it’s time to start your adventure. Designers are showing safari-inspired looks in neutral shades that would look just as good on a desert getaway as they would on city streets.

A look from Emporio Armani’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Blumarine’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Loro Piana’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Brunello Cucinelli’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Zanini’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

PALE FIRE

Will dainty hues ever go out of style for spring? Not this season, thanks to an Easter basket’s worth of pretty pastels.

A look from Prada’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Emporio Armani’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Max Mara’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Jil Sander’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Vivetta’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Sportmax’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

CALL OF THE WILD

Animal prints ruled the runways as Italian designers worked the mammal motif in everything from statement-making toppers to effortless maxi skirts.

A look from Roberto Cavalli’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Jil Sander’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Antonio Marras’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Salvatore Ferragamo’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

TOUGH GIRL

Leather ruled the Italian runways as designers worked the material into everything from sexy dresses to cool outerwear and everything in between.

A look from Versace’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Prada’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Missoni’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Tod’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

GEOMETRY CLASS

Designers are getting graphic as geometric patterns and prints are making a splash this spring season.

A look from Missoni’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Colville’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Charles Jeffrey Loverboy’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Tod’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

JEANOLOGY

Y2K fashion has made a major comeback thanks to TikTok. For spring 2022, Italian designers are keeping the trend alive with sexy, low-slung denim. It’s time to start working those abs again.

A look from Blumarine’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Etro’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Missoni’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

GET SHORTY

Legs for days! Mini skirts and dresses have made a comeback as designers are baring it all on the runways for spring 2022.

A look from Prada’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Missoni’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Blumarine’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Versace’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

So tell us, what trends are inspiring you? And if you didn’t know that Versace and Fendi swapped designers this season, would you have been able to see a difference?

 

POST PANDEMIC DRESSING: TIME TO DITCH THE SWEATS AND GET DRESSED UP AGAIN

- - Trends

A spring 2021 look from Prada. (Photo Credit: Prada)

I don’t know about you, but has the past year and a half been mostly a blur? Or more accurately a time warp? You know, the phenomenon that changes the flow of time by speeding it up or making it run more slowly, that physicists have known about for over 100 years?

Well, thanks to the rollout of highly effective vaccines, things are finally starting to look up. As of the writing of this blog, 299 million vaccine doses have been given and 137 million people in the U.S. have been vaccinated, that’s roughly 41.9% of our population. As vaccines are slowly being distributed around the world, we have new hope that, in time, this global pandemic will be behind us.

Take a walk-through New York City and you will notice that the streets are beginning to get packed again. Museums are opening (with advanced ticket purchases), customers are onsite shopping, restaurants and bars (both indoor and outdoor) are drawing crowds and people are cautiously stepping out of their cocoons.

As we make our way back into the world and begin to live our lives again, some of us are asking…”is there a new dress code”? Well, judging from fashion influencers, designers, and celebrity Instagram feeds, summer 2021’s biggest trend is “joy dressing!” This translates into happy, boisterous, colorful, over-the-top looks that are the antithesis of what we’ve been wearing for the past year and a half…sweats and pjs.

A spring 2021 look from Halpern. (Photo Credit: Halpern)

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner, a Washington, D.C clinical psychologist stated that we humans use clothing to mark significant events. Making it through a global pandemic is one of those events for sure. And as U.S. cities reopen, friends reunite and the world becomes a smidgen less terrifying, women are reaching for exuberant outfits. This year will represent rebirth, and our fashion choices will reflect that.

“We’ve spent the past year in sweatpants, consumed by uncertainty,” said Miami clinical psychologist Dr. Christina Ferrari to the Wall Street Journal. “You’re going to see a lot of people overcompensating for what they couldn’t wear” during lockdown.

According to Libby Page, senior fashion-market editor at luxury e-commerce platform Net-a-Porter, “During the pandemic’s darkest days, customers were buying a sea of very neutral tones and loungewear,” she said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. What she’s witnessing lately is the sale of spirited prints, swishy tiered skirts and jubilant ruffles, as well as very bright, bold, colorful dresses by brands like Zimmermann. Below is a video of Zimmerman’s spring 2021 show.

“With such unbridled style, women are responding to a traumatic year,” said Dr. Baumgartner. “When you face your mortality, it’s like you get a second chance. You’re able to take more risks.… You’re more willing to fully live.” Another factor: We’re craving human interaction. Dr. Baumgartner states, “Exciting fashion elates the wearer but also delights viewers. We see our joy reflected in their eyes, [which] reinforces our joy.”

JOYFUL FASHION HAS ALWAYS COME OUT OF HISTORIES DARKEST DAYS

A Life Magazine cover from the 1920s. (Photo Credit: Fashion History Timeline)

Historically, fashion has always progressed after a devastating, worldwide event. For example, the Roaring Twenties came after the destruction and despair of World War I. It was a decade of economic growth and prosperity with a unique cultural edge that swept major cities throughout the United States and Europe. During the decadence and opulence of the Roaring ‘20s, the ‘flapper’ look redefined the modern dress code for women. Fringe, beads, sequins, dropped waists, short dresses, uncovered shoulders, The Great Gatsby, the Charleston, all contributed to the spirit of the Roaring Twenties. It was a modern revolution that broke from tradition and was a sharp contrast to the conventional, fussy frills that woman once wore.

Christian Dior’s New Look 1947. (Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar)

Another great example of a fashion revolution came after World War II. Christian Dior, the rising star of the Parisian Haute Couture, introduced the “New Look” in 1947, featuring ultra-femininity and opulence in women’s fashion. Hour glass silhouettes, rounded shoulders, cinched waists, full skirts were all a sharp contrast after years of military looks, sartorial restrictions and life-essential shortages. Dior offered not merely a new look, but a new outlook.

POST-PANDEMIC FASHION

“People are reevaluating what they want to wear, maybe for the first time ever since they were kids,” states Fashion Psychology Institute founder Dr. Dawnn Karen, who also serves as a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Last March, Dr. Karen released a book, Dress Your Best Life. Referring to the pandemic, she writes, “They don’t have all these Draconian measures and rules to follow, except to wear a mask. People are thinking, ‘Okay, well, what do I want to wear, if I could wear anything I want?'”

Spring 2021 looks from Bottega Veneta. (Photo Credit: The New York Times)

Ms. Karen has established a theory what she calls ‘dresser-uppers’. These consumers search for ‘mood-enhancement dress’, that is to  say they dress to optimize a mood. Where dressing was once tied to overarching cultural norms (case in point, the exaggerated femininity of the New Look by Dior), we now dress for ‘mood-illustration’ and ‘mood-enhancement’ representing personal satisfaction — nothing more, nothing less.

With this in mind, and out of Covid’s post-traumatic stress effect, we are seeing a rise in individualized sartorial choices. Consumers are once again embracing the joy of fashion and are wearing the clothes they want to wear. And there’s plenty to choose from.

 

JOYFUL TRENDS FOR SUMMER 2021

GET STRAPPY

It’s time to do the floss this season. Strappy bands wrap around the midriff for a sexy update to the crop top.

A spring 2021 look from Stella Jean. (Photo Credit: Stella Jean)

 

A spring 2021 look from Christopher Esber. (Photo Credit: Chistopher Esber)

 

A Spring 2021 look from Michael Kors. (Photo Credit: Michael Kors)

 

A spring 2021 look from Jacquemus. (Photo Credit: Jacquemus)

 

A spring 2021 look from Altuzarra. (Photo Credit: Altuzarra)

IT’S A SWEEP

Romance is in the air as floor-sweeping gowns ruled the spring runways, whether sheer or printed, these floating maxi dresses are the perfect way to make a splash this summer.

A spring 2021 look from Valentino. (Photo Credit: Valentino)

 

A spring 2021 look from Dolce & Gabanna. (Photo Credit: Dolce & Gabanna)

 

A spring 2021 look from Alberta Ferretti. (Photo Credit: Alberta Ferretti)

 

A spring 2021 look from Etro. (Photo Credit: Etro)

 

A spring 2021 look from Dior. (Photo Credit: Dior)

LOOSE-FIT

After so many (too many?) years of skinny jeans, it’s finally time to cut loose this spring. Designers are offering baggy trousers that are oversized and yet oh-so-chic.

A spring 2021 look from Louis Vuitton. (Photo Credit: Louis Vuitton)

 

A spring 2021 look from Schiaparelli. (Photo Credit: Schiaparelli)

 

A spring 2021 look from Chanel. (Photo Credit: Chanel)

 

A spring 2021 look from DSquared. (Photo Credit: DSquared)

 

A spring 2021 look from The Row. (Photo Credit: The Row)

GLAM-SQUAD

Just like when a butterfly emerges from its chrysalis, we’re all eager to get out. Some of us will even want to dance the night away. Whether inspired by the Halston film, with so many scenes of Studio 54, this new crop of sparkly numbers is there for the taking.

A spring 2021 look from Elie Saab. (Photo Credit: Elie Saab)

A spring 2021 look from Gucci. (Photo Credit: Gucci)

 

A spring 2021 look from Loewe. (Photo Credit: Loewe)

 

A spring 2021 look from Balmain. (Photo Credit: Balmain)

 

A spring 2021 look from Celine. (Photo Credit: Celine)

 

CUT-IT-OUT

This season’s strategic cut-outs worked their way into gowns, sheath dresses and slippery silks, spicing up conservative looks thanks to peekaboo glimpses of skin.

A spring 2021 look from Givenchy. (Photo Credit: Givenchy)

 

A spring 2021 look from Maximilian. (Photo Credit: Maximilian)

 

A spring 2021 look from Kenzo. (Photo Credit: Kenzo)

 

A spring 2021 look from Gabriela Hearst. (Photo Credit: Gabriela Hearst)

 

A spring 2021 look from Roksanda. (Photo Credit: Roksanda)

 

INNERWEAR AS OUTERWEAR

While we all lived in loungewear this past year, designers are embracing the innerwear as outerwear trend with body sculpting corsets that can be dressed up or paired down.

A spring 2021 look from Moschino . (Photo Credit: Moschino)

 

Spring 2021 looks from Bethany Williams. (Photo Credit: Bethany Williams)

 

A spring 2021 look from David Koma. (Photo Credit: David Koma)

 

A spring 2021 look from Christopher John Rogers. (Photo Credit: Christopher John Rogers)

 

A spring 2021 look from Alexander McQueen. (Photo Credit: Alexander McQueen)

So tell us, are you ready to embrace the joyful aesthetic of spring 2021?

How Millennial Culture Is Driving the Luxury Kidswear Market: Welcome to the age of the mini-me

- - Childrenswear
Jason and Amanda Harvey with their twins at the Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2017 show (Photo courtesy of designer)

Supermodel Amanda Harvey and husband Jason with their twins at the Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2017 show (Photo courtesy of designer)

Thanks to millennial culture and an addiction for posting every move they make across several social media platforms, the rise of influencers and celebrity dressing has brought high end fashion to the masses. These fashionistas save every penny to be able to purchase the latest Gucci sneaker or Balenciaga hoodie. Staying ahead of the fashion flock has become a job in itself, as fashion darlings post their OOTD (outfit of the day) looks on Instagram and Snapchat. But now, having the latest “It” bag or shoe is not enough. For those wanting to ‘break’ the internet, the new ‘must-have’ accessory is a child. And as if that weren’t enough, you need to dress them in the same outfit as you!  Your own personal ‘mini-me.’

Kim Kardashian and North West in matching Vetements dresses  (Photo courtesy of Getty)

Kim Kardashian and North West in matching Vetements dresses (Photo courtesy of Getty)

With the help of celeb parents such as Beyoncé/Kay Z and Kim Kardashian/Kanye West, the tiny doppelgänger trend is growing in popularity. Fashionable parents everywhere are posting  their matchy-matchy looks all over social media. But this growing trend straddles that fine line between fashionably cute and obnoxious. And worse, it’s the blatant exploitation of children in order to increase social media likes and build a bigger brand for monetary gain. In 2015 Anna Wintour (according to Radar Online on Feb. 23, 2015) staged a fashion intervention with Kim, advising her  to swap her daughter North’s (a toddler at the time) dreary wardrobe for pastels.  The Vogue editrix couldn’t understand why KKW dressed her in all black. In fact, Winter thought it inappropriate for children to be dressed in dark colors at all.

Kim Kadashian, North West, Kanye West and Anna Wintour during Fashion week in 2015 , (Photo courtesy of  AP)

Kim Kadashian, North West, Kanye West and Anna Wintour during Fashion week in 2015 , (Photo courtesy of AP)

While many agree with Wintour, that children should look like children, there is no denying that the designer childrenwear business is rapidly growing. A report by Global Industry Analysts, entitled Children’s Wear: A Global Strategic Business Report, predicts that the childrenswear market will be worth $291 billion (US) by the end of 2020. The report cited the increasing number of luxury labels catering to this segment as a key growth driver. High-end labels such as Gucci, Givenchy, Balenciaga, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Stella McCartney and Christian Dior are cashing in on the children’s market, driven in part by what the report describes as the “growing exposure of children to media and the ensuing rise in materialism.”

Beyoncé and Blue Ivy in matching Gucci  Source @beyonce

Beyoncé and Blue Ivy in matching Gucci Source @beyonce

North West (daughter of Kim/Kanye) and Blue Ivy Carter (daughter of Beyoncé/Jay Z) have become key players in the mini-me trend, the pint-sized fashionistas and their moms wear matching designer looks often from labels such as Gucci, Vetements, and Balmain. It’s even rumored that Kim/Kanye’s son Saint is already wearing custom-made Lagerfeld. But it’s not only celebrity kids donning these pricy labels. The luxury childrenswear market is forecast to reach $6.6 billion in 2018, up by 3.8 percent year-on-year, according to Euromonitor, presenting ample growth opportunities as spending power increases and parents dish out upwards of $500 for a pair of miniature Gucci loafers to match their own.

@coco_pinkprincess  Source Instagram

@coco_pinkprincess Source Instagram

The growing popularity of the mini-me childrenswear trend is fueled by the allure of capturing that perfect Insta-moment. Fashionable Instagram kids are taking over and have a better sense of style than some adults.  There is an Instagram phenomenon for the under 10 set. Take Coco (@coco_pinkprincess), a child from Tokyo, with over 674,000 followers on Instagram, who is regularly dressed up in designer looks from Gucci, Moschino and Balenciaga. Or there’s Ivan (@thegoldenfly), who is the son of designer Natasha Zinko, who made his street style debut at Paris Fashion Week Feb. 2017. His profile reads “I dress to depress” and his street style game is on-point as he’s regularly photographed in Supreme, Comme des Garçons, and Vetements.

Designer Natasha Zinko Introduces Her Son Ivan to the Street Style Crew at Paris Fashion Week (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Designer Natasha Zinko Introduces Her Son Ivan to the Street Style Crew at Paris Fashion Week (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

According to an article that ran in BOF on Oct 14, 2017, “People want to dress up their children to keep them fresh. Social media is making it easier to show pictures of your children, and parents and fashion labels are taking this demographic more seriously,” says David Park, an illustrator at Complex magazine, who launched a graphic alphabet book titled ‘ABC’s for the Little G’s’ earlier this year. Dedicated to ‘all the sneakerhead parents in the world’, Park’s book teaches toddlers their ABC’s via sneaker graphics: A is for Airmax, G is for Gucci, Y is for Yeezy… The book emphasizes a shift in perception: childrenswear is now cool. The market is currently worth $1.4 billion, according to Euromonitor, and the value of childrenswear in the U.S. is estimated to grow 8 percent by 2021, to $34 million. Luxury brands from Oscar de la Renta to Dolce & Gabbana have long produced childrenswear, but the category is booming with launches from labels like Givenchy, Yeezy and Balenciaga, giving it an extra level of street cred.

Givenchy Debut of Kids Collection (Photo courtesy of Givenchy)

Givenchy Debut of Kids Collection (Photo courtesy of Givenchy)

Balenciaga Kids fall 2018 (Photo courtesy of Balenciaga)

Balenciaga Kids fall 2018 (Photo courtesy of Balenciaga)

The childrenswear market has become increasingly trend-oriented and at UoF, we are on top of the childrenswear trend as we offer an assortment if  childrenswear lessons on the  UoF website, ranging from drafting children’s pattern making slopers to how to draw children’s figures. Click of the link below to learn more about our childrenswear design lessons.

https://www.universityoffashion.com/disciplines/childrenswear/

Coolest Kids at Seoul Fashion Week spring 2018 (Photo courtesy of Buro 24/7)

Coolest Kids at Seoul Fashion Week spring 2018 (Photo courtesy of Buro 24/7)

 Do you find dressing a kid like a mini-me is cute or obnoxious?

 

 

And just in time for the holidays, UoF is offering some amazing savings

on a Yearly or Monthly subscription. 

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Menswear: A Trip Down Memory Lane

- - Fashion History, Menswear

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In fashion, we tend to overlook the menswear industry. It doesn’t change as much with the seasons and is all about the details, the fit and the fabrics. For some, it is not as interesting as the womenswear… until now. Menswear has been growing faster than womenswear and is expected to reach $33 billion by 2020. That’s why it is extremely important, as a designer or retailer, to learn about this segment of the industry.

The University of Fashion has recently launched its menswear discipline, so before checking out our lessons, how about taking a trip down memory lane to understand how the menswear industry has evolved?

Men’s fashion was initially functional in purpose. Paleolithic nomads used animal skins as protection from environmental conditions. The Ancient Egyptians provided the first signs that men’s clothing could made the leap from function to fashion. In this period, clothing and accessories began to serve as key symbols of rank and fortune.

Later on, the wealthiest men adopted tunics, and this trend continued with the toga in Ancient Greece and Rome, as well in the Middle Ages. During these periods, the essential item was the fabric, made of the finest materials.

Courtesy of Flickr and Chatirygirl

Courtesy of Flickr and Chatirygirl

Menswear Revolution

A big shift in menswear followed the American (1775-1783) and French (1789-1799) Revolutions, when fashion became understated and “undress” was the popular opposition to the abundant adornments that defined aristocracy. While men continued to wear the waistcoat, coat and breeches of the previous period for both full dress and undress, they were now made of the same fabric, signaling the birth of the three-piece suit. The early 1800s saw the final abandonment of lace, embroidery and other embellishment from serious men’s clothing and it became gauche to dress like an aristocrat.

In Britain, Beau Brummell, a trendsetter of the time, was credited with introducing and making the modern man’s suit and necktie fashionable. Savile Row, or “The Row” as it is commonly-termed, became the center of traditional bespoke tailoring. This trend led to trousers that are popular in menswear today and have been for the past 200 years. What Paris was to women’s fashion, London was to men’s. After the American Civil War (1861-1865), standardized sizing in men’s clothing introduced the concept of mass-production, with less individual tailoring, and the necktie was introduced by 1880.

Frock Coat (Courtesy of He spoke style)

Frock Coat (Courtesy of He spoke style)

Bea Brummel (Courtesy of He Spoke Style)

Bea Brummel (Courtesy of He Spoke Style)

 

The 1900s

During the 1900s, the United States took an even less formal approach to fashion when they introduced the ‘sportswear’ trend. With the invention of the automobile, American fashion landed in England and the dinner jacket, a more leisurely attire, became popular among the younger generations.

Another big American fashion influence at the time was jazz music. A new generation of men were rebelling against the traditions of their fathers and clothing inspired by the Jazz Age was born, consisting of tight-fitting suits. America became the center of the men’s fashion world and modern fashion was here to stay. Blazers became popular for summer wear, the tuxedo was the jacket of the night, and the Zoot suit was popular in the nightclubs of Harlem. The “gangster influence” in suits was also an important trend. Fashion for men became a display of their personality and environment.

 

Zoot Suits (Courtesy of Vintage dancer)

Zoot Suits (Courtesy of Vintage dancer)

Casual Menswear Emerges

By the late 1940s and early 1950s, beginning with the introduction of the Hawaiian shirt, California surfer culture emerged and is ever present in men’s fashion even today. Another 50s trend was the “preppy look,” consisting of clothes worn by men at prep and Ivy League schools, such as button-down shirts, golf shirts, chino pants, and loafers. Other trendsetters in the 1950s included Elvis Presley and the British Teddy Boys. The key to these new fashion trends was comfort with personality, each trend helping to define the ‘tribe’ or subcultures to which a man chose to belong.

The 60s & 70s

The 1960s brought Italian fashion to the forefront. Brands emerged that were able to compete with the bespoke tailors of Saville Row. Still relevant among that group initial group are Brioni, Nino Cerutti and Ermenegildo Zegna.

With the ‘British Invasion’ of the 60s came another important influence, Collarless, cylindrical suits created for the Beatles by Pierre Cardin and Douglas Millings were all the rage and helped usher in the ‘mod look’ and later the ‘psychedelic look.’

By the 1970s, ‘disco style,’ popularized by the movie “Saturday Night Fever” and ‘punk style’ from London, brought a new generation of menswear consumers into the marketplace. The concept of individuality and personality was fundamental to this period and continues today.

 

Princeton 1950’s (Courtesy of Google Life archives)

Princeton 1950’s (Courtesy of Google Life archives)

10 years of Beatles style (Courtesy of Mauro Amaral)

10 years of Beatles style (Courtesy of Mauro Amaral)

The 80s Impact

The 1980s became known as the ‘decade of excess,’ as Baby Boomers and Yuppies placed importance on ‘status’ and ‘luxury.’ In the movie American Gigolo, Giorgio Armani designed relaxed, yet elegant, deconstructed suits that epitomized the sexy, wealthy young man (played by Richard Gere), as the “playboy” of the time. This trend was in contrast to the emergence of streetwear looks associated with the ‘breakdance’ movement, which consisted of sneakers, shoes with thick, elaborately patterned laces and colorful nylon tracksuits.

 

The 90s Clean & Classic

As a backlash to 80s ‘bad taste,’ the 1990s represented the clean, pared down era, a time when menswear returned to beautifully tailored suits in classic colors, especially those from Helmut Lang, Ermenegildo Zegna, Hugo Boss, Nino Cerutti, Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren. The term “metrosexual” was coined by British journalist Mark Simpson as the trait of an urban male of any sexual orientation (usually heterosexual) who has a strong aesthetic sense and spends a great amount of time and money on his appearance and lifestyle. Italian suits were the basis for luxury and high-quality dressing. The Armani suit dressed the businessman throughout the decade until “business casual” took over in the mid-to-late 1990s. Other trends went in and out of fashion during this decade including the grunge look and a return to punk style, although this time known as ‘cyber punk’ and ‘hip-hop style,’ inspired by street culture. In an ironic move, the preppy look made a comeback in the late 90s, closely associated with the Tommy Hilfiger clothing line, which emulated the more expensive preppy look pioneered a decade earlier by Ralph Lauren.

Richard Gere in Armani from the movie American Gigolo (Courtesy of Classiq me)

Richard Gere in Armani from the movie American Gigolo (Courtesy of Classiq me)

 

Break Dancing (Courtesy Getty images)

Break Dancing (Courtesy Getty images)

New Millennium – A Look Back & Forward

The new millennium began with a retro influence, a mixture of the best elements of all previous fashion eras. Once the first major American corporation Alcoa sanctioned casual office attire in 1991, it wasn’t long before “casual Friday” was replaced with “casual everyday” as most companies loosened their dress code restrictions, with the exception of the legal and financial professions and those requiring uniforms.

In 2000, designer Hedi Slimane introduced the ‘ultra-skinny silhouette’ at Dior and mainstreamed them later at Saint Laurent – ushering in a seismic shift in the menswear industry.

In 2006, American designer Thom Browne burst onto the menswear stage with his ‘short length suits.’ Sports, performance apparel and the new athleisurewear category, continue to play a major role in men’s clothing.

As designers attempt to blur the lines between men and women’s fashion, such as J.W. Anderson and his ‘shared closet’ concept, the androgynous fashion movement continues to be explored.

With a booming economy bespoke tailoring is enjoying a comeback. New bespoke tailors are gaining popularity, with brands such as Ozwald Boateng (British-Ghanian descent) and Musika Frère (American), whose suits are offered in unusual colors and patterns, and whose client list includes, Jay Z, Michael B. Jordan, Stephen Curry, Kevin Hart and even Beyoncé.

In 2018, John Galiano introduced the world to ‘men’s couture’ with his Artisanal bias cut suits for Maison Margiela.

 

Hedi Slimane – Skinny jeans (Courtesy Dior Homme)

Hedi Slimane – Skinny jeans (Courtesy Dior Homme)

Today, the top designer menswear brands are truly an international set. Among the top 10 are:  Tom Ford (American), Gucci (Italian-Alessandro Michele), Neil Barrett (British), Thom Browne (American), DSquared2 (Canadians -Dean and Dan Caten), Dolce & Gabbana (Italian), Moncler (French), Louis Vuitton (French house-American designer Virgil Abloh), Prada (Italian) and Balmain (French-Olivier Rousteing).

Menswear has certainly evolved, from a rigid, controlled look, to one that is more casual, more personal and more connected to today’s lifestyle. Yes, menswear doesn’t change radically, but its evolution definitely shows that men are using fashion to express who they are now. Men who are freer to be themselves, men who are more comfortable in their own skin, and who are using fashion for self-expression, makes the future of menswear an exciting proposition.

Louis Vuitton by Virgil Abloh (Courtesy of Louis Vuitton)

Louis Vuitton by Virgil Abloh (Courtesy of Louis Vuitton)

Care to share who are your favorite menswear designer/designers of all time?