University of Fashion Blog

Posts Tagged: "Gypsy Sport"

L.A. FASHION WEEK: The West Coast Capital of Fashion

- - Fashion Shows

The Lighthouse ArtSpace previously housed immersive Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo exhibitions. (Photo Credit: LAFW)

What was once  considered the step-child of New York Fashion Week, L.A. Fashion Week is back on the map and fast becoming the Capital of West Coast fashion. On Thursday, Oct. 6th – Sunday, Oct. 9th the LAFW Spring 2023 shows were presented by N4XT Experiences in Hollywood.  With a reimagined version of itself, the four-day extravaganza was filled with traditional runway shows alongside more immersive experiences, including pop-ups, fireside chats, activations and master classes from designers and artists including Maxwell Osborne of AnOnlyChild, Rio Uribe of Gypsy Sport, Issa Rae, and Sami Miró of Sami Miro Vintage with Levi’s (for those in the know, the Sami Miró brand is the “It” vintage sustainable label with jeans going for $425).

The new addition of L.A. Fashion Week is now driven by the event agency N4XT Experiences, and its co-founder Ciarra Pardo, also president of Los Angeles Fashion Week Enterprises and former Creative Director of Fenty. Ciarra Pardo, stated in an interview with Fashion Network, “We really want to attract the younger crowd.”

LAFW has been undergoing a rebranding following its purchase by N4XT Experiences in January 2022. This October marks the second LAFW since the acquisition from Arthur Chipman, who trademarked the name in 2015. Historically, the LAFW has struggled to gain attention — as well as attendance — compared to the major fashion weeks. Smashbox Cosmetics and IMG attempted to remedy this for five years (without much success) and dissolved the partnership in 2008. In the past, LAFW lacked a clear organizer, and was notoriously disorganized with multiple organizations hosting different events. For the Spring 2023 season, N4XT Experiences was a clear showrunner, and sponsors included Mercedes Benz, Bolt and Delta Airlines.

Ciarra Pardo, co-founder of N4XT Experiences and President of LA Fashion Week Enterprises. (Photo Credit: Fashion Network)

Ciarra Pardo changed the LAFW narrative, citing learnings from her previous role as Fenty’s chief creative officer as key to informing her approach. It helps that eyes have been on LA as a fashion destination for global luxury brands. This past May, Dior showcased its menswear collection at Venice Beach in collaboration with Erl (an LA brand notably absent from the LAFW lineup). Also in May, Louis Vuitton took to La Jolla for its resort 2023 show. But Gucci arguably started the trend with its November 2021 “Love Parade” on Hollywood Boulevard.

“There is an energy in LA that was always looked over by the serious fashion calendar,” Pardo stated in an interview with Vogue. The city is a clean slate, Pardo explains on the draw of LA, in that it isn’t limited by tradition as key fashion month destinations might be in New York, London, Milan, and Paris. Pardo expects more LA mainstays to appear on LAFW lineups moving forward. “My hope is that this will become a destination for a lot of those brands who have sat out from the traditional way of doing things.”

Padro succeeded in her mission as lines stretched down the sidewalk on Sunset Boulevard outside the Lighthouse ArtSpace, where a majority of fashion events took place. The new venue had a large, vast room where images could be projected on the wall showing starry nights or fireworks at the finale of a show.

Many West Coast fashion insiders were pleased with the Hollywood spot and the assortment of events organized around L.A. Fashion Week. One event was a “Live Art Meets Luxury” talk with Donald Robertson, an artist who is also Senior Vice President and Creative Director for the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. The talk was moderated by Danielle Lauder, the great-granddaughter of Estée Lauder and a beauty adviser to N4XT Experiences. Robertson drew smudged images of models on a large canvas while answering questions from Lauder about his artistic process and being a creative disruptor.

Donald Robertson explains his creative process to Danielle Lauder and the audience. (Photo Credit: WWD)

The fashion shows were also inclusive of various communities. Rio Uribe, the designer and founder of Gypsy Sport, presented an edgy, gender-bending show with male models wearing dresses, voluptuous female models wearing skimpy dresses and Zoot suits that reminded the L.A. designer of his Latino heritage.

A Look from Gypsy Sport’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Gypsy Sport)

“We’re all about celebrating community. In Los Angeles, there is so much Latino and queer community, and I just wanted to give them a chance,” Uribe said in an interview with WWD. The designer moved his company back to Los Angeles from New York in 2019. Uribe said this L.A. Fashion Week felt different from others. He said there was more buzz about it. “Maybe it is the venue, but I felt more people were talking about it,” he said.

A look from the Gypsy Sport spring 2023 collection. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Revice Denim was awarded the annual MAFI Award (Moss Adams Fashion Innovation Award) for being an outstanding L.A. brand who epitomizes innovation. The sustainable denim brand uses deadstock, upcycled and organic cotton fabrics and its commitment to diversity in the workplace and domestic production is done primarily in downtown Los Angeles. “They produce beautiful vintage, iconic pieces, use sustainable fabrics and have a big commitment to a diverse workforce, which checked all the boxes for us,” said Martin Hughes, the apparel national practice leader for Moss Adams, a global accounting and consulting firm.

Revice Denim showed its spring 2023 collection using vintage looks seen over the years. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Maxwell Osborne, one of the former designers of the fashion brand Public School, created a new line known as AnOnlyChild. In his spring collection at LAFW he pushed out sustainable fashion with his chic and elegant designs.

A Look from Maxwell Osborne’s AnOnlyChild’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: AnOnlyChild)

Sami Miro Vintage presented her sustainable fashion collection in an intimate yet lively atmosphere during LAFW.

A Look from Sami Miro Vintage’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Nadja Sayej)

Jennifer Zuccarini, the founder and designer behind the intimate label Fleur du Mal, celebrated the brands ten-year anniversary during LAFW.

Fleur Du Mal celebrated their 10 year anniversary at LAFW. (Photo Credit: Sansho)

Overall, the four-day festivities were a strong demonstration of LA’s diverse fashion culture. Many up-and-coming designers and brands were featured, sustainable design was front and center and the fact that California still has domestic production manufacturing capabilities, primarily in downtown Los Angeles (unlike the East coast), it is definitely a place where upstart designers can flourish. Keep your eyes open for the West Coast to give NYFW a run for its money.

So tell us, are you considering your own fashion show? Maybe you should check out LAFW as an option?

STAYING SILENT IS OUT – FASHION ACTIVISM IS IN

Prabal Gurung created political statement T-shirts that were worn by social media influencers and street style stars during NY Fashion Week 2017.  From Left to right: Shea Marie, Caroline Vreeland , Bryanboy, Tina Craig, Irene Kim,  Aimee Song  and Chriselle Lim . (Photo Courtesy of Forbes.com)

The Men’s Spring 2020 shows have just wrapped up, and while the runways were filled with plenty of notable trends, such as soft suiting at Givenchy, gender bending at Comme des Garçons, nautical looks at Prada, and romantic prints at Louis Vuitton  – the one trend that has been gaining momentum is the “designer as activist.” Fashion activism is nothing new. In the 1930s the Keffiyeh became a symbol of political uprising and rebellion. In the 1960s, designers gave us peace symbol T-shirts in protest of the Vietnam war,  and mini-skirts, which became the symbol for women’s rights and sexual liberation. In 2017, Cosmopolitan listed 22 designers who used their runway shows to promote a particular cause or in protest of global injustice. From pussy hats to white bandanas with the hashtag #TiedTogether (a symbol of inclusivity and acceptance), according to designer Talbot Runhof, “If you have a platform to say something and you don’t, then shame on you.” In the age of social media and the internet, where opinions and messages are delivered in lightning speed, designers, actors and other influencers feel duty-bound and a certain responsibility to bring attention to the relationship between fashion, politics and social change.

Here are a few noteworthy designers who have shown more than just clothes on their runways, past & present.

OFF-WHITE

Virgil Abloh has developed a cult following with his collections for Off-White and the brand is worn by street style stars around the globe. For his men’s Spring 2020 show, Abloh focused on the negative effects of plastic and saving the environment. According to Abloh, “Plastic: once hailed as a miracle material, now condemned as a major pollutant — and possibly about to be considered a work of art.” The show’s invite was a clear plastic invitation with the words “plastic” printed on it.  Abloh believes plastic can be recycled and used to create something beautiful, such as art. Plastic even made its way in the collection with plastic rain gear and a hazmat suit.

As for the clothes, Abloh looks to street art for inspiration and tapped Futura, a contemporary of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, for the prints in this collection, case in point, a hand-painted white coat, top and pant look.To address his environmental concerns, Abloh featured an aquatic theme throughout the collection with shades of blue tie dye prints and amoeba-shaped appliqué motifs on knits.

The show ended with the models stomping through a beautiful field of white carnations that was created for the show. Abloh’s message was load and clear, we must protect our environment.

Virgil Abloh at his men’s Fall 2020 Off-White Collection. (Photo courtesy of theguardian.com)

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney has been one of the biggest advocates of the environment, a pioneer of sustainable fashion and an animal rights activist, since the creation of her namesake label in 2001.  McCartney Men’s 2020 collection was presented in a lush garden in Milan’s city center. According to Vogue.com, McCartney stated, “Let’s just forget fashion for a moment and savor all the natural beauty around us and talk about flowers!”

McCartney focused on playful tailoring, hand-printed silk shirts, ties and shorts with horse motifs, lightweight dusters and loose-fitting jumpsuits with satellite Earth prints and of course a collection that was fur free. McCartney kept the collection light and humorous, but her fight to save the earth is a serious one.

Stella McCartney’s Fall 2020 Men’s Collection. (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Pyer Moss

Herby Jean-Raymond launched his menswear label Pyer Moss in 2013 and followed up with a women’s collection shortly thereafter. In the few seasons Jean-Raymond has been presenting, the designer has quickly become known for his social activist stands. Most notably, he is inspired by the heritage of African-Americans, as well as social issues that this community faces today.

Pyer Moss Spring 2019. (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Dior

In July 2016 Dior announced that Maria Grazia Chiuri would be the first female creative director at Dior. Chiuri has been making political statements ever since.  T-shirts screen printed with “We Should All Be Feminists” and “Dio(R)evolution” were sold with proceeds going to Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation, which fights against injustice, inequality & poverty and promotes access to education.

Christian Dior Spring 2017 Collection. (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Women’s Rights

Fall 2017 was a big season for designers to speak out about social injustice. Attendees at Missoni’s Fall show each received pink pussy hats (madefamous by the Women’s March on Washington in January 2017). Guests proudly wore the hats, as did the models during the finale.

According to Angela Missoni, creative director for the label, their message for Fall 2017 was all about “femininity in our times, prepared to confront the conflicts and dilemmas of our contemporary society: the conditions, needs, and rights of all women and minorities.”

Missoni’s Fall 2017 Show. (Photo courtesy of DailyNation.com)

Rio Uribe, the designer behind Gypsy Sport, gave a passionate speech before his show which focused on homelessness and refugee tent cities. “I wanted to talk to you guys a little bit about my show,” he said from a mic backstage. “The Fall/Winter ’17 collection was inspired honestly by people who live on the street and just don’t have much fashion in their life or any of the luxuries that we take for granted. … I don’t want anyone who is gay, or Muslim, or disabled, or mentally ill, or a veteran, or a drug addict, or a runaway to have to live on the street just because someone’s not willing to give them a chance.”

Gypsy Sport Fall 2017 Show. (Photo courtesy of cosmopolitan.com)

Prabal Gurung created “The Future is Female” T-shirt for his Fall 2017 show. According to Gurung, “So to me feminism is not just a trending topic. It’s the only way I’ve known, even before I knew what [feminism] was.”

Bella Hadid sporting Prabal Gurung’s feminist T-shirt at his Spring 2017 show. (Photo courtesy of Forbes.com)

“All-inclusive” hit an all-time high in Fall 2017 as Christian Siriano enlisted models of all sizes to walk his runway show, from plus-size & petite to curvy, as well as plenty of racially diverse women. The 2008 Project Runway winner consistently speaks out against fashion magazines’ unrealistic body standards that are set by the modeling industry. He believes designers have the power to change this by adjusting their hiring process and sizing.

A plus sized model walks Christian Siriano’s show during his 2017 fashion show. (Photo courtesy of cosmopolitan.com)

During Tommy Hilfiger’s 2017 extravaganza in Venice Beach, models strutted down the runway wearing white bandanas as part of Business of Fashion’s #TiedTogether initiative. According to Business of Fashion founder and CEO Imran Amed, this campaign encouraged people to wear the colorless handkerchief “to make a clear statement in support of human unity and inclusiveness amidst growing uncertainty and a dangerous narrative peddling division.”

#TiedTogether Bandanas Hit Runway for First Time at Tommy Hilfiger. (Photo courtesy of Hollywoodreporter.com)

Also in 2017,  The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) partnered with Planned Parenthood to launch the “Fashion Stands With Planned Parenthood” campaign to raise awareness about women’s health care during New York Fashion Week.

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour sporting a Planned Parenthood badge. (Photo courtesy of 14urban.com)

At the New York Spring 2018 shows, a “Get out and Vote” message dominated in advance of the U.S. mid term elections.

Prabal Gurung walks the runway in a Vote T-shirt show during New York Fashion Week Spring 2018. (Photo courtesy of Glamour.com)

Going Fur Free

While Stella McCartney has been creating fur-free and leather-free clothes for years, many designers have now jumped on the bandwagon.

As of September 2018, Burberry announced that it would also be going fur-free, a big move ever since Riccardo Tisci became the creative director for the label. The brand will no longer be using rabbit, fox, mink, and Asiatic raccoon fur, though they will still feature angora, shearling, and leather.

Burberry goes fur free as of Sept. 2018. (Photo courtesy of teenvogue.com)

Shockingly, in March 2018, Donatella Versace announced that she would no longer be using fur in her collections. “Fur? I am out of that. I don’t want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn’t feel right,” she told 1843 magazine.

Versace goes fur free. (Photo courtesy of teenvogue.com)

In June 2017, protesters interrupted a live interview with Michael Kors at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, with signs that read “Michael Kors has blood on his hands.” This prompted Michael Kors to announce that his company would be going fur free as of December 2018.

Michael Kors goes fur free. (Photo courtesy of teenvogue.com)

In October 2017, Gucci announced it would be going fur-free as well. Alessandro Michele is opting for sustainable alternatives to create his “grandma-chic” vibe. Prada also added their name to the fur-free list as of 2020.

Gucci goes fur free. (Photo courtesy of teenvogue.com)

Following in the footsteps of San Francisco and Los Angeles, New York is now considering a ban on fur as well, however, there is a lot of push back. One of the oldest industries in New York City dating back to when Henry Hudson explored the region in 1609 and found French traders bartering for furs with Native Americans. New York became a thriving trading post of beaver and other skins that traveled through New York Harbor and to Europe. In fact, the official New York crest includes beavers, whose valuable pelts helped fuel the early fur trade. Stay tuned!

Designers with a History of Rocking the Boat

English fashion designer Katherine Hamnett is best known for her political T-shirts and ethical business philosophy. In 1983 she stated, “If you want to get the message out there, you should print it in giant letters on a T-shirt.” Celebrities such as George Michael (who was part of Wham at the time) wore one of her “Choose Life” tees in a music video for “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.” Roger Taylor of Queen, wore her “WORLDWIDE NUCLEAR BAN NOW” T-shirt during Queen’s historic appearance at the first edition of the Rock in Rio festival in Rio de Janeiro.

Political T-shirts by Katharine Hamnett. (Photo courtesy of lovewildlivefree.com)

Vivienne Westwood is another British fashion designer and businesswoman, who was largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashion into the mainstream. Westwood has retail shops worldwide and sells a variety of merchandise; some of it linked to her many political causes, such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, climate change and civil rights groups.

Vivienne Westwood Red Label SS14 fashion show. (Photo courtesy of Alan Davidson/The Picture Library LTD.)

In 2000, John Galliano created one of the most controversial fashion shows ever. For his Christian Dior Haute Couture collection, Galliano was inspired by the Paris homeless. As a master of shock value, his message rang loud and clear in a city of beauty and glamour. The show created such controversy that homeless activists picketed outside the Dior headquarters and riot police had to be called in to deal with the protesters. As a result, Dior’s flagship was closed for two hours and Galliano had to issue an apology statement,  “I never wanted to make a spectacle of misery.”

Christian Dior by John Galliano, spring/summer 2000 haute couture show. (Photo courtesy of newyorktimes.com)

Alexander McQueen’s inspiring showmanship is greatly missed, ever since his suicide on February 11, 2010. For the late designer’s Fall 2009 collection, McQueen took an environmental stance on the runway as his models dressed in fiercely tailored coats, boxy jackets and airy gazar dresses walked around a heap of trash. McQueen even referenced trash in some of his looks such as aluminum can accessories.  It was all so hauntingly beautiful.

Alexander McQueen’s  Fall 2009 ready-to-wear women’s collection during Paris Fashion Week. (Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol)

Karl Lagerfeld is another designer who is greatly missed for his theatrics. The late designer passed away on February 19, 2019 in Paris. For his Spring 2015 collection, Lagerfeld took a feminist stance and created a playful protest for woman’s equality. According to Vogue.com, “ Cara Delevingne and Caroline de Maigret had megaphones in hand as a parade of models including Kendall Jenner, Georgia May Jagger, Edie Campbell, Joan Smalls, and even Gisele Bündchen, brandished signs that read “History is Her Story,” “Feminism Not Masochism,” “We Can Match the Machos” and “Ladies First.” Even male model Baptiste Giabiconi waved a “He For She” banner, which just might be our favorite nod to Emma Watson’s global UN campaign yet. Perhaps the “Free Freedom” sign was a winking nod to Free the Nipple, the cause du jour for models like Delevingne, who opened the show and Kendall Jenner, who Instagrammed about it post show. “I’m Every Woman” blared from the speakers, and everyone danced in their seats.”

Chanel spring 2015 collection. (Photo courtesy of elle.com)

While some fashion critics predicted a worldwide boycott of Nike products after their controversial “Just Do It” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, they were proven wrong when the company reported a 10 percent jump in income. It turns out that millennials expect companies to take a position on social and political issues.

TELL US, HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO YOU THAT BRANDS TAKE A STAND ON SOCIAL, POLITICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ?