University of Fashion Blog

Posts Tagged: "Hermes"

Celebrating Women’s History Month: A Tribute to Fashion’s Inspiring Muses

Jean Paul Gaultier and his muse Madonna. (Photo Credit: Herb Ritts)

Happy Woman’s History Month! As we celebrate women and their innumerable accomplishments, UOF would like to pay tribute to the many fashionable women, throughout history, have inspired some of the most influential designers through the decades. Like they say…”behind every great man is a great woman”!

Givenchy and Hepburn go for a stroll together in Paris in an undated photo. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

In the world of fashion, the relationship between designers and their muses is a tale as old as time, a symbiotic dance of  inspiration, creativity and innovation. Throughout history, these duos have shaped the very essence of style, leaving an indelible mark on the fashion landscape. From the glamour of the Golden Age of Hollywood to the avant-garde runways of Paris, the bond between male designers and their muses has been a driving force behind some of the most iconic fashion moments. To prove it, we are dedicating this blog to some of these timeless partnerships and would like to hear from YOU as to others you may be in the ‘know’ about and want to share.

PAUL POIRET AND DENISE BOULET

“My wife is the inspiration for my creations, she is the expression of all my ideals,” Poiret said. Here is the designer with his wife Denise Boulet. (Photo Credit: Getty)

At the dawn of the 20th century, Paul Poiret revolutionized fashion with his bold designs and visionary approach. Central to his creative vision was his wife, Denise Boulet. Poiret’s muse and collaborator, Boulet embodied the spirit of his designs, infusing them with grace and elegance. Together, they pioneered the shift from restrictive corsets to flowing, avant-garde silhouettes, forever changing the course of fashion.

HUBERT DE GIVENCHY AND AUDREY HEPBURN

Hubert de Givenchy and his muse Audrey Hepburn in 1988. (Photo Credit: The New York Times)

In the enchanting world of couture, few partnerships have captured the imagination quite like that of Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn. Their collaboration began serendipitously when Hepburn, seeking a wardrobe for the film Sabrina,  crossed paths with Givenchy. The rest, as they say, is history. Hepburn became the epitome of chic sophistication, while Givenchy’s timeless designs adorned her with unparalleled elegance, creating an enduring legacy of style.

CHRISTIAN DIOR AND MIZA BRICARD

Christian Dior’s and his muse Mizza Bricard. (Photo Credit: MilkX TW)

In the aftermath of World War II, Christian Dior emerged as a beacon of hope, ushering in a new era of luxury and opulence with his iconic New Look. Central to his creative vision was Miza Bricard, his muse and confidante. With her impeccable taste and innate sense of style, Bricard inspired Dior to redefine femininity, thus shaping the fashion landscape for generations to come.

COCO CHANEL

Coco Chanel in her Paris apartment. (Photo Credit: Architectural Digest)

Not only male designers had muses. A fiercely independent Coco Chanel was her own muse, embodying the liberated spirit of the modern woman. Chanel’s timeless designs, from the iconic little black dress to the revolutionary Chanel suit, continues to resonate with women worldwide, a testament to her enduring legacy.

YVES SAINT LAURENT, BETTY CATROUX AND LOULOU DE LA FALAISE

Designer Yves Saint Laurent, Betty Catroux and Loulou de la Falaise. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Yves Saint Laurent’s illustrious career was defined by his close relationships with muses Betty Catroux and Loulou de la Falaise. With their androgynous allure and bohemian spirit, Catroux and de la Falaise inspired Saint Laurent to push the boundaries of fashion, creating groundbreaking designs that captured the zeitgeist of the era.

ROY HALSTON AND LIZA MINNELLI

Halston with his muse Liza Minnelli. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

In the dazzling world of Studio 54, Roy Halston reigned supreme, transforming American fashion with his minimalist yet glamorous aesthetic. At the heart of his creative vision was Liza Minnelli, the iconic entertainer whose charisma and allure captivated audiences worldwide. Together, they epitomized the hedonistic glamour of the ’70s, leaving an indelible mark on fashion history.

BOB MACKIE AND CHER

Bob Mackie and his muse Cher. (Photo Credit: Elle)

Few partnerships have ignited the imagination quite like that of Bob Mackie and Cher. With her fearless style and boundary-pushing creativity, Cher became Mackie’s muse, inspiring some of the most unforgettable looks in fashion history. From the infamous sheer gown at the 1974 Met Gala to the elaborate costumes of her concert tours, Mackie’s designs transformed Cher and secured this duo’s place in fashion history books.

AZZEDINE ALAÏA AND GRACE JONES

Azzedine Alaïa and his muse Grace Jones. (Photo Credit: L’Officiel)

Azzedine Alaïa and Grace Jones forged a legendary partnership defined by their shared passion for sexy, avant-garde design. Jones’s striking beauty and fearless attitude inspired Alaïa to create sculptural masterpieces that defied convention, blurring the lines between fashion and art.

RALPH AND RICKY LAUREN

Ralph Lauren with his wife and muse Ricky Lauren. (Photo Credit: Architectural Digest)

Ralph Lauren’s iconic brand epitomizes the American Dream, embodying a vision of timeless elegance and sophistication. Central to his creative vision is his wife, Ricky Lauren, whose impeccable taste and refined sensibility have shaped the brand’s aesthetic for decades, creating a legacy of enduring style and luxury.

MARC JACOBS AND SOFIA COPPOLA

Marc Jacobs and his muse Sofia Coppola. (Photo Credit: L’Officiel)

Another dynamic duo is Marc Jacobs and Sofia Coppola. This creative partnership is defined by their shared love of art, culture, and style. Coppola’s effortless chic and understated elegance inspired Jacobs to create designs that resonate with women of all ages, blurring the lines between fashion and culture.

GIANNI AND DONATELLA VERSACE

Gianni Versace and his muse Donatella Versace. (Photo Credit: Elle)

Gianni Versace’s bold, provocative designs epitomized the excess and glamour of the ’80s and ’90s. Central to his creative vision was his sister, Donatella, whose fierce style and unwavering support propelled the Versace brand to international acclaim, creating a legacy of bold, daring fashion that continues to captivate the world. When Gianni was murdered in 1997, Donatella took control of the Italian Luxury brand and kept her brother’s legacy alive.

HERMÈS AND JANE BIRKIN

Jane Birkin and her namesake bag created by Jean-Louis Dumas of Hermes. (Photo Credit: Wonderland)

The former chairman of Hermès, Jean-Louis Dumas met actress Jane Birkin in 1984 and witnessed the contents of Birkin’s carry-on bag fall out while on a flight.  In a 2015 interview with The Telegraph, Birkin recounted that Dumas, who was sitting next to Birkin, said, “you should have one with pockets.” Birkin replied, “The day Hermès make one with pockets I will have that”, and he said: “But I am Hermès and I will put pockets in for you.”  Shortly after the two collaborated, the Birkin was created, becoming one of the most covetable accessories in fashion history. It has been reinvented many times since it was first introduced to the public in the 1980s. The Hermès bag’s classic elements include two rolled handles, a flap top, a touret, a clochette, and four clou “feet” and is available in sizes, 20, 25, 30, 40, 42 and 50 centimeters, some featuring exotic crocodile skin paired with diamond-encrusted white gold hardware. Today, there’s a year’s long wait list with some vintage Birkin bags selling for up to $2 million. Now that’s one successful female muse collaboration!

Care to share your designer muse story?

 

EARTH DAY & HOW SUSTAINABLE, BIODEGRADABLE & COMPOSTABLE TEXTILES ARE CHANGING THE FACE OF FASHION

- - Sustainability

Chloé’s eco-chic spring 2022 show on the bank of the Seine in Paris. (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

Earth Day is right around the corner (Friday, April 22nd) and while many think that the fashion industry is not doing enough to reduce its carbon footprint, we’re here to say, we’re making progress. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day! If you are a faithful reader of UoF’s weekly blog then you know how dedicated we are, not only in keeping our readers up to date on the latest in sustainable fashion and textiles, but in teaching our students how to become ‘sustainable’ designers.

In fact, UoF has a whole series of lessons covering the topic: Introduction to Sustainable Design, Sustainable Materials for Fashion Design, Designing, Producing & Marketing a Sustainable Collection, Eco-Textiles, Creative Draping-Zero Waste Dress, Creative Draping-2D Draping, Creative Draping-Zero Puzzle Dress, Creative Draping-Silk Taffeta Dress, Creative Draping-Organza Blouse, Creative Draping-Cocoon Jacket, Eco Fashion Global Initiative, Sustainable Fashion Designer-Monisha Raja and Sustainable Fashion Designer-Kristen Luong. And we continue to add more!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 60 years since Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring (published September 27, 1962), warned us of the adverse environmental effects caused by the indiscriminate use of pesticides. James Hansen (considered the ‘father of global warming’), forty-three years ago created one of the world’s first climate models, nicknamed Model Zero that predicted what was to come. Earth Day, which began fifty-two years ago (April 22, 1970), is now an annual event in support of  environmental protection that today includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by EarthDay.org and reaches one billion people in more than 193 countries. The official Earth Day theme for 2022 is Invest In Our Planet.  As a scientist once told Rachel Carson, “We are walking in nature like an elephant in a china cabinet“.

 

Some Fashion Industry Facts & Solutions 

Here are some frightening numbers: Since the 2000s, fashion production has doubled and it will likely triple by 2050, according to the American Chemical Society. The production of polyester, which is a popular fabric used in fast fashion, as well as athleisurewear, has increased nine times the amount in the last 50 years. Fast fashion has made clothing so inexpensive that items are easily discarded after being worn only a few times. According to State Of The Planet, a journal published by Columbia Climate School, a survey found that 20 percent of clothing in the U.S. is never worn; in the UK, it is 50 percent. Online shopping, available day and night, has also made impulse buying and returning items easier.

According to McKinsey, the average consumer buys 60 percent more than they did in 2000 and keep it half as long. And in 2017, it was estimated that 41 percent of young women felt the need to wear something different whenever they left the house. In response, there are companies that send consumers a box of new clothes every month.

So, as we look to the future generation of fashion designers, keep in mind that being a sustainable brand may be the key to your success.

One of the most effective ways a designer can go green is to work with sustainable textiles. Did you know that the world produces over 50 million tons of textile waste per year? So, we’d like to share some of the most innovative textiles that will help you create beautiful clothes while reducing your carbon footprint, water, and chemical use.

As you read about these new textiles, you should know the difference between biodegradable and compostable. All compostable items are biodegradable, but not all biodegradable products are compostable. A notable difference between the two is that biodegradable products break down into a few natural elements, while compostable products leave behind a single organic material called humus.

So, is biodegradable more eco-friendly than compostable, you ask? No, a biodegradable product is not necessarily better for the environment than a compostable product. That’s because biodegradable products can still be made of chemical plastics whereas compostable products are typically made from plants.

Here’s a list of some of the latest materials that are prioritizing sustainability.

AIRCARBON

Nike is trying to incorporate more sustainable materials like Aircarbon into its collection. (Photo Credit: Nike)

AirCarbon is made by Huntington Beach-based, Newlight Technologies. They collaborated with Nike on a material that sucks carbon from the air. The secret to AirCarbon, a material that took 10 years into develop, is found in nature: methane-loving micro-organisms. AirCarbon is certified carbon-negative by SCS Global Services, resulting in a net reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere through production.

AIRMYCELIUM

AirMycelium is a mushroom root (mycelium) material from a New York-based innovation firm, Ecovative. The material has a production capacity of 100,000 pounds a year and over time is biodegradable — with its raw mycelium materials being at-home compostable in soil.

BIOFIBER

BioFiber is created solely from food crop residues and was developed by Agraloop Bio-Refinery. It is meant to replace high-quality knits and woven fabrics. Agraloop processes waste from various food and medicine crops including oilseed hemp/flax, CBD hemp, banana, and pineapple, while incentivizing the waste among communities in need. BioFiber is mixed with other natural staple fibers to produce a variety of ring-spun and open-end yarns.

BIOSTEEL

BioSteel is a biotechnologically produced high-performance version of spider silk, which made its debut in 2015. It is produced by German biotech company AMSilk and has been used especially in shoe upper material for Adidas’ Futurecraft Biofabric sneakers. Properties include being 15 percent lighter than conventional synthetics, as well as being completely biodegradable. BioSteel has been certified by the Hohenstein Institute and the SGS Institut Fresenius.

CIRCULOSE

H&M became the first brand to use Circulose – made from textile waste.  (Photo Credit: H&M)

Circulose is a patented fiber created by chemically processing 100 percent cotton fabric waste or other cellulosic textiles (like viscose). It is produced by Renewcell, a technology company founded in January 2012 by a group of cellulose researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Circulose significantly reduces the use of water and carbon footprint and is closed loop. H&M was the first to debut the Circulose material to consumers. As one of the biggest ‘fast fashion’ retailers, they are trying to do their part in reducing their carbon footprint.

In 2013, H&M launched a global garment collecting program and has a goal of having all products in stores made from recycled or sustainably sourced materials by 2030. H&M has tripled the amount of recycled materials used in its products from 5.8 percent to 17.9 percent with a goal of 30 percent by 2025.

H&M is launching a new line of sustainable tops, bottoms with adjustable waistbands and cuff, jackets, hats and blankets that can be composted once they are old and worn out. The 12-piece collection for newborns is made from organic cotton and launches in May 2022.

 

H&M launches a compostable 12-piece collection for newborns made from organic cotton in May 2022. (Photo credit: H&M)

DESSERTO

Karl Lagerfeld Collabs with Amber Valletta on a sustainable accessory collection using the material Desserto. (Photo Credit: Karl Lagerfeld)

Desserto is made of 40 percent organic cactus fiber, protein, pigments and 60 percent polyurethane. Backings are made with different fiber blends. Desserto, created by Adriano di Marti , is a leather replacement in handbags, footwear and apparel. Brands like Karl Lagerfeld, Fossil and H&M have used the material.

EVRNU

NuCycl™ a  regenerated fiber composed of  100% post-consumer waste using technology by Evernu® (Photo credit: Evernu.com)

Seattle-based Evrnu® is the firm behind NuCycl™, a regenerated fiber made from post-consumer clothing waste via its proprietary NuCycl technology. Garment waste is collected, sorted, and separated. The waste is then purified, shredded, and turned into a pulp. Extruded cellulose is made into a fiber that is finer than silk and stronger than cotton. The fiber is then spun into yarn, dyed and woven into fabric to be used to create recyclable textiles. Their mission is to create a circular economy for fashion. The fiber has been used by brands like Levi’s, Adidas and Stella McCartney.

FLOCUS

Flocus kapok fibers used for Frank and Oak’s outerwear. (Photo Credit: Frank and Oak)

Flocus is 100 percent biodegradable and 100 percent recyclable. The material is made from a yarn blend of fibers from the kapok tree. It is used for a wide range of fabrics and insulation materials being that it is lightweight, hypoallergenic and soft to the touch. Moisture management, temperature regulation and insect repellence are other qualities. The brand Frank and Oak uses Flocus for their outerwear.

PLNT  & FRUT

PLNT and FRUT – bio-based fibers made from agricultural waste using Pangaia technology (Photo credit: Pangaia.com)

Another alternative to cotton is a bio-based technology developed from agricultural waste by Pangaia Material Science Ltd. Their Plnt fiber, is a blend of 60% bamboo lyocell, 20% Himalaya nettle and 20% SeaCell lyocell. Their Frut fiber is a cocktail of 60% bamboo lyocell, 20% pineapple leaf fiber, and 20% banana leaf fiber. Pangaia also has their own direct-to-consumer line of clothing.

HEIQ

HeiQ innovative textile technologies include fabric offerings such as Eco Dry, Real Silk and Clean Tech, aiding the performance and sustainability of fabric manufacturing by substituting less eco-friendly chemicals. The Eco Dry process, for example, eliminates the need for fluorine and makes a water-repellant layer for footwear and clothing applications. It complies with EU REACH and ZDHC chemical protocols, as well as Oeko-Tex.

INNER METTLE MILK

Inner Mettle Milk is a 100-percent natural fabric produced by apparel company Inner Mettle. The IM Milk fabric is a biodegradable fabric made from a blend of surplus milk from the Italian agricultural-sector and 60 percent Lenzing-produced Tencel Micromodal. The fabric is manufactured in Italy and employed in Inner Mettle’s innerwear collection.

KOBA

Koba is a partially bio-based faux fur developed by DuPont and Ecopel of which Stella McCartney and Maison Atia are devoted fans. Because it is also recycled polyester, it is not biodegradable, but the companies tout recycling options at the material’s end of life.

MALAI

Malai is a bio-based material grown atop coconut water through fermentation, a leftover from the coconut industry in South India. The jelly is harvested and enhanced with natural fibers, gums and resins to create a more durable and flexible material. Although Malai is in its early stages, the leather alternative is biodegradable and compostable.

MIRUM

Patches made with Natural Fiber Welding’s Mirum leather substitute are included on Ralph Lauren’s Team USA parade apparel at the Tokyo Olympics. (Photo Credit: Ralph Lauren)

Mirum is a welded 100 percent natural, biodegradable plant-based leather alternative made by Natural Fiber Welding. The material comes from raw materials like cork, coconut, vegetable oil and natural rubber. With certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture BioPreferred program, the company also counts investments from brands like Allbirds and Ralph Lauren Corp. The material is never coated in polyurethane or PVC, and is fully biodegradable with 40 percent lower carbon impact, per the company’s assessments. In addition to having a low carbon footprint, Mirum requires no water during manufacturing and dyeing.

NATIVA

Nativa wool is a 100 percent traceable wool fiber launched by Chargeurs Luxury Materials, a leader in luxury combed wool. The firm’s blockchain technology records transactions in a digital tamper-proof and decentralized database. Finnish outdoor brand UphillSport switched to all Nativa wool in 2020.

ORANGE FIBER

A look from the Orange Fiber capsule collection by Salvatore Ferragamo. (Photo Credit: Salvatore Ferragamo)

Orange Fiber is a luxurious fabric made out of waste citrus juice byproducts. It makes use of the otherwise more than 700,000 tons of citrus juice byproducts that would normally end up as waste. The Italian company (which collaborated with Lenzing) was the winner of the H&M Global Change Award in 2015. Also, Salvatore Ferragamo launched a capsule collection with the Orange Fiber in 2017.

REISHI

Sylvania is a mycelium material developed by MycoWorks and Hermès. (Photo Credit: Hermès)

Reishi is a non-plastic, non-animal leather alternative from biotech startup MycoWorks. The material is grown rapidly from mycelium and agricultural byproducts in a carbon-negative process. Luxury house Hermès has partnered with the Reishi to work on its own material dubbed “Sylvania.”

REPREVE

Repreve is a yarn made from recycled plastic bottles by maker Unifi. Repreve, was confirmed to reduce global warming potential related to greenhouse gases by 21 percent compared to generic, mechanically recycled polyester and 42 percent compared to virgin polyester, according to technology firm Higg (a partner to the Sustainable Apparel Coalition).

SORONA

Sorona, created by DuPont, was created to be a corn-based alternative to spandex (with about 37 percent of the polymeric fibers being made of renewable plant-based ingredients). The material is known for comfort, stretch and recovery properties, but is entirely free of spandex. The North Face, Club Monaco, and Stella McCartney have released products with Sorona.

SPINNOVA

Apparel made form Spinnova’s new wood-based fiber. (Photo Credit: Spinnova)

Spinnova is a 100 percent natural, biodegradable and recyclable alternative to cotton made of wood and waste without the use of harmful chemicals. It is free of microplastics and harmful chemicals and uses 99 percent less water than cotton. The North Face and H&M are already partners, as is the world’s largest wood pulp producer Suzano.

TEXLOOP

Texloop RCOT is made with up of 50 percent Global Recycle Standard-certified recycled cotton, blended with other natural fibers, including Global Organic Textile Standard-certified organic cotton and Tencel Lyocell. Brands ranging from H&M to Lee have used the material to create more sustainable denim.

ZOA

Modern Meadow uses biotechnology in its Zoa Biofabricated Material. (Photo Credit: Modern Meadow)

Zoa is a bioengineered leather-like innovation from biotech firm Modern Meadow. Zoa is made from protein collagen produced through fermentation from yeast in a lab and can be easily combined with other materials to accommodate any shape or texture. Zoa is already partnering with luxury and consumer goods brands.

As every student and teacher of fashion design knows, it’s up to us to chose the materials that we will use for our designs and therefore, unless we all make a concerted effort to source these eco-friendly materials we are only contributing to the earth’s pollution. Sustainable and ethical fashion starts with the fabric!

Here’s a few links where you can find sustainable fabrics and yarns – Happy Eco-Designing

30 Sustainable Fabrics For The Most Eco Friendly Fashion

Birds of a Thread

My Green Closet

So tell us, what will you do to reduce your carbon footprint?

 

 

 

HOW THE FASHION INDUSTRY IS SUPPORTING UKRAINE AS WAR RAGES ON

ALL WE ARE SAYING IS GIVE PEACE A CHANCE…….

It was 1969, in room #1742 of Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel, that John Lennon wrote “Give Peace a Chance“.  The anti-war song, originally meant to be a “revolutionary” song for workers, has once again become the battlecry for our times. When on March 9th, a Ukrainian maternity and children’s hospital in Mariupol, southern Ukraine, was bombed we were all shocked to our core. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said the bombing was “proof of a genocide.” No one could disagree. As the world watches, in horror, the atrocities being inflicted by Putin on innocent civilians in Ukraine, the fashion industry is stepping up, not only by banding together in solidarity, but doing much more. Read on.

An injured pregnant woman leaves the damaged hospital with her belongings. (Photo Credit: AP)

President Zelenskyy and his people are fighting back, a true David & Goliath story come to life. Most of the world is rooting for Ukraine to win, but in war, no one ever truly wins as the death toll is growing daily. As of this writing, over two million people have fled Ukraine and families are being ripped apart as women, children, and the elderly are leaving their loved ones, homes, and all their possessions behind to find refugee throughout Europe and the U.S. Men and many women are staying behind to fight for their land, many untrained, as civilians are given guns and quickly trained to aim and shoot to protect themselves.

For now, the West is aiding Ukraine with weapons, money, and medical necessities. As of March 9th, the U.S. House of Representatives voted with a wide bipartisan majority to pass a ban on importing Russian oil, natural gas and coal into the United States. A move that can further cripple the Russian economy. The bill will also take steps to revisit Russia’s role in the World Trade Organization and reauthorize the Magnitsky Act to strengthen sanctions on Russia for human rights violations.

Protests against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are being held throughout Europe and the United States. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Fashion Industry Responds

When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022 in the middle of Milan Fashion Week, many designers and brands immediately began donating to various charities, as well as temporarily closing their stores throughout Russia.

Protest pictures during Milan Fall 2022 Fashion Week. (Photo Credit: Acielle Tanbetova)

Designers from Giorgio Armani to Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia (who was a child refugee himself as he fled his homeland of Georgia in 1993 at the age of twelve) have been speaking up against the conflict; and numerous international brands and luxury fashion groups, from LVMH and Kering to Prada, Hermès and H&M, announced they were temporarily stopping their commercial activities and shuttering their stores in Russia as a sign of protest against the war on Ukraine.

A man walks past a closed H&M store in a St. Petersburg, Russia, shopping center. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

“We are currently living through a war in the heart of Europe. We strongly condemn it and we are close to the population involved in this tremendous situation,” said Italy’s Camera della Moda in a statement to WWD on the fashion retail situation in Russia. They went on to say that “the temporary closure of the retail stores in Russia is not contemplated by the regulations on sanctions currently in force in Europe, it is a voluntary decision that has been made by many national and international brands that have a direct retail distribution organization. However, we recall that many brands sell their collections in Russia through distributors or dealers and therefore cannot, including from a contractual point of view, close the sales areas in the season, as they already delivered the spring/summer collection in the past few months.”

The statement underscored that the Camera’s “commitment today is aimed at being close to all those who are suffering and this is why we have joined the UNHCR at its side in fund-raising to support the refugees with concrete aid for the people and families forced to flee within the national boundaries or to neighboring countries.”

Protests in Milan against the Russian attack on Ukraine. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Global and wide-ranging sanctions on Russia are bound to drastically impact those brands and businesses with a retail footprint in in the country, but in the humanitarian aspect of the crisis it is vital to take a stand. To that end, the fashion industry has united and is stepping up its efforts during this time of crisis.

Here’s a roundup of the initiatives taken by the fashion industry thus far:

LVMH

LVMH, the world’s largest luxury conglomerate (owning brands such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, and Stella McCartney to name a few) donated €5 million ($5.4 million USD) to support the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) “to help the direct and indirect victims of this conflict.”

In addition, the company stands in solidarity with Ukraine and closed 124 of its stores in Russia. LVMH will still continue to pay its 3,500 employees in Russia.

LOUIS VUITTON

The French luxury powerhouse Louis Vuitton, made an immediate donation of €1 million ($1.09 million USD) to UNICEF, to provide aid for Ukrainian children and families.

“As millions of children and their families are facing immediate danger, the Maison, through the Louis Vuitton for UNICEF partnership, pledges to support UNICEF’s emergency response on the ground, responding swiftly to any emergencies by providing children and families in Ukraine with humanitarian aid including access to clean water, healthcare and education supplies, child protection services and psychosocial care,” the brand shared in a statement.

KERING

Kering, owner of Gucci and Saint Laurent among other brands, said on Instagram that it was making a “significant donation to the UNHCR, the United Nations Refugees Agency,” though it did not specify the amount.

GUCCI

Gucci enacted its global charity campaign Chime for Change and donated $500,000 to the UNHCR.

BALENCIAGA

The French label Balenciaga donated an undisclosed amount to the World Food Program (WFP), which launched an emergency operation to provide food assistance for people fleeing Ukraine and in neighboring countries.

CHANEL

The iconic French fashion house closed its stores in Russia and halted all e-commerce in the country. The brand also donated €2 million (about $2.18 million) to two relief organizations, CARE and UNHCR-UN Refugee Agency, which is “recognized for refugee support at the borders and for the specific care of families and children.”

In an Instagram post, the fashion house also announced that “Foundation Chanel will be working closely with its local partners to provide future critical support over the medium and long term to women and children impacted by this evolving situation.”

GIORGIO ARMANI

After showing its latest collection in Milan in silence, out of respect for the war in Ukraine, the Armani Group announced a donation of €500,000 (about $543,000) to UNHCR “for the assistance and protection of those who have been forced to flee the war in Ukraine.”

The company is also donating clothing essentials to refugees through the Italian nonprofit organization Comunità di Sant’Egidio, which already has a presence on the borders of Ukraine.

FASHION MODELS

Argentine model Mica Argañaraz, a regular presence on almost every major runway, posted on her Instagram story, “I have to say it feels very weird walking fashion shows knowing there’s a war happening in the same continent.” She noted that she would “be donating part of my earnings of this fashion week to help Ukrainian organizations” and called on fellow models to do the same. Supermodel sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid, Kaia Gerber, Vittoria Ceretti, Kiki Willems, Francesca Summers, and Aylah Peterson have also joined the movement and will donate part of their earnings to Ukraine.

L’OREAL PARIS

The cosmetic giant L’Oréal Paris, has teamed up with a number of local and international nonprofits (including UNHCR, Red Cross and UNICEF) to support the growing number of refugees, and people on the ground in Ukraine with a donation of €1 million ($1.09 million) through its L’Oréal Fund for Women.

“We have already made a donation of one million euros and have started to deliver hygiene products to NGOs in Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and in Ukraine itself,” a statement reads on the company’s corporate website. “We will donate 300,000 products over the coming weeks.”

The beauty brand continues: “We strongly condemn the invasion and war in Ukraine, which is causing so much suffering to the Ukrainian people. Our thoughts go out to our 326 Ukrainian employees, their families and the people of Ukraine whose lives have been changed so dramatically in the last eight days. Although some have managed to cross the border, the majority of our employees remain in the country in increasingly harsh circumstances. We are concerned about them and fear for their safety.”

HERMES

Hèrmes announced that it would “temporarily close our stores in Russia and pause all our commercial activities,” where they have three stores and 60 employees.

BURBERRY

Burberry has shut down its three stores in Russia. The British luxury house brand also donated an undisclosed amount to the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. It also said it would match any employee donations to charities supporting humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

VALENTINO

Italian luxury house Valentino donated €500,000 (about $543,000) to the UNHCR to provide immediate help to the Ukrainian refugees.

RALPH LAUREN

Given the urgency of the situation, the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation has made an immediate donation to @CARE.org, an organization working with partners to provide critical support and aid to Ukrainian families and is double-matching employee donations to CARE. In addition, it is partnering with its network of international charities to donate essential clothing that will be distributed throughout Ukraine as well as in bordering countries to reach refugees. The company has paused operations in Russia.

TORY BURCH

Tory Burch is supporting World Central Kitchen, which is on the ground in Poland feeding hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees. The company has made a donation and pledged to match any employee donations throughout the month of March.

COACH

Coach’s parent company’s Tapestry Foundation has donated to the United Nations Refugee Agency to provide safety and shelter to those who have been displaced.

MINIMALIST

Tamara Davydova is the fashion designer behind the brand MINIMALIST and was born, raised, and married in Kyiv, Ukraine. She founded the circular fashion brand MINIMALIST last year and is devastated by what’s currently happening in her homeland and affecting friends and family. She’s pledging 30% of the proceeds from sales of her collection to the Red Cross and UNICEF in Ukraine plus offering 10% off to customers using the code TOGETHER at checkout. The collection is available at minimalist.nyc.

ADIDAS

Athletic brand Adidas has suspended its long-term partnership with the Russian Football Union (RFU), the German sportswear company also announced it would be is donating €100,000 (about $108,700) as well as footwear and apparel to organizations helping children and refugees.

H&M

The fast-fashion retailer H&M has currently paused all sales in Russia and closed its 170 stores located throughout the country.

ASOS

Fast-fashion company ASOS said on Twitter that it would no longer be doing any retail out of Russia.

“We’ve been watching the shocking events in Ukraine in horror and disbelief. We’ve concluded it’s neither practical nor right to continue to trade in Russia & today have suspended sales there,” the brand wrote. “We’re supporting the humanitarian effort and our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine.”

MANGO

Mango has halted sales in Russia and donated €100,000 (about $108,700) to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

GANNI

Ganni, the Danish contemporary ready-to-wear fashion brand, donated 100.000 DKK (approx. $14,700) to the Danish Refugee Council, a nonprofit currently on the ground helping the crisis in Ukraine.

 

As governments around the world grapple with how to stop Putin’s war and the needless suffering, we will continue to keep an eye on how the fashion industry, and hopefully soon the music industry, is doing its part. At UoF we are donating to Ukrainian children through UNICEF USA.

Here’s a list of the organizations that the fashion industry is donating to:

International Committee of the Red Cross

United Nations Refugees Agency

Direct Relief

Mercy Corps

International Medical Corps

Save the Children

Unicef USA

So tell us, how are you helping to support Ukraine in these troubling times?

MEN’S FASHION WEEK SPRING 2022 – THE BIGGEST TRENDS FROM MILAN AND PARIS

A look from Walter Van Beirendonck’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Walter Van Beirendonck)

After a very tough year and a half, life is starting to get back to normal as more and more countries are distributing the various vaccines which have been proven to work. And so, the Euro Cup Championships had soccer enthusiasts in their stadiums (Italy one after a very tough game against England), Wimbledon had tennis fanatics in the stands, singers are performing live in stadiums packed with fans, Broadway shows are back on, and everything is starting to open-up at full capacity.

This is extremely exciting news for fashion insiders, as more and more shows can go live for the spring season. Milan and Paris just wrapped up the Men’s Spring 2022 collections, and there were plenty of in-real-life runway shows and presentations and let us not forget that with IRL shows comes great street style opportunities.

Riccardo Tisci finds himself at Burberry. (Photo Credit: Burberry)

The spring 2022 men’s collections were optimistic and joyful, the designers behind the labels demonstrated a renewed creative energy that was exciting to see. In Milan, designers approached the season with unrestrained enthusiasm fueled by dreams of happier days ahead. They struck the perfect balance between nostalgic and cutting edge. Designers in Paris also embraced a playful side in their collections, as they welcomed summer 2022 with lighthearted and cheeky collections. These joyful collections are the perfect way to re-enter the world post covid and bring some delight back into our lives.

BIGGEST TRENDS OUT OF MILAN

HOW TO WEAR A CARDIGAN

“It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood” and so Mr. Rogers sang in his beloved cardigan sweater. And the popular knit style is still going strong. For Spring 2022, the cardigan gains traction as they could be found all over the Milan runways, from Moschino’s varsity style to Missoni’s signature zig-zag motif. The cardigan is the perfect layering piece for all year round.

A look from Moschino’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Moschino)

A look from Jil Sander’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Jil Sander)

A look from Missoni’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Missoni)

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

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: MSGM)

TAILOR MADE

After a year and a half of working from home, the suit is making a major comeback this season. But forget the traditional business suit, for spring designers are offering the tailored classic in an array of bold colors to brighten your day.

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

A look from Etro’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo: Credit Etro)

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Fendi)

A look from Jil Sander’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Jil Sander)

A look from Moschino’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Moschino)

SHORT STORIES

Short shorts are not only for women, for spring designers offered heaps of micro shorts to show of those tone legs. There’s no limit to how short you can go.

A look from Prada’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Prada)

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Fendi)

A look from Ermenegildo Zegna’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Ermenegildo Zegna)

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: MSGM)

BLUE JEAN BABY

Double up on your denim, as the Canadian tuxedo trend has hit the pinnacle of fashion.

A look from Brioni’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Brioni)

A look from Diesel’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Diesel)

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Fendi)

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

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

MAXIMIST REVIVAL

The Milan runways were filled with humor. Designers had fun mixing and matching prints and patterns in an array of colors. The outcome, delightfully fun collection that will be sure to lift our spirits post-pandemic.

A look from Etro’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Etro)

A look from Giorgio Armani’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Giorgio Armani)

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: MSGM)

look from Missoni’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Missoni)

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

BIGGEST TRENDS OUT OF PARIS

SKIRTING THE ISSUE

Parisian designers are pushing the boundaries of gender norms by showing an abundance of men in skirts on the runway. These gender bending looks ranged from Kurt Cobain-inspired grunge vibes at Dries Van Noten to cool goth boy vibes at Yohji Yamamoto.

A look from Dries Van Noten’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Dries Van Noten)

A look from Yohji Yamamoto’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Yohji Yamamoto)

A look from Junya Watanabe’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Junya Watanabe)

A look from Comme des Garcons Homme Plus’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Comme des Garcons Homme Plus)

A look from Loewe’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Loewe)

RAIN ON ME

Rain, rain, go away…. Designers are fighting away the spring shower blues with these terrific raincoats. These practical outerwear looks are cool yet classic.

A look from Dries Van Noten’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Dries Van Noten)

A look from Dior Men’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Dior Men)

A look from Hermès’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Hermès)

A look from Undercover’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Undercover)

HOLY FASHION

Cut-it-out. Sexy, skin baring looks are a big trend in woman’s wear and now the creative cut-out pieces have hit the men’s runways in Paris.

A look from Burberry’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Burberry)

A look from Rick Owens’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Rick Owens)

A look from Y Project’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Y Project)

A look from Courreges’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Courreges)

A look from Loewe’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Loewe)

IN-VEST

The vest is making a major comeback for spring 2022 and they are anything but traditional, from Rick Owens’ galactic version to Isabel Marant’s bohemian floral motif, these trendy vests are a great way to add a dramatic flair to any look.

A look from Isabel Marant’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Isabel Marant)

A look from Acne Studio’s Spring 2022 Collection. (hoto Credit: Acne Studio)

A look from Rick Owens’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Rick Owens)

A look from Junya Watanabe’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Junya Watanabe)

A look from Courreges’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Courreges)

PRINTS CHARMING

Joie de vie filled the runways in Paris as designers opted for bold, head-to-toe printed ensembles.  From Louis Vuitton’s landscape motif suit to JW Anderson’s quirky strawberry leisure-look, these show-stopping outfits are the perfect way to re-enter the world post-pandemic.

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Louis Vuitton)

A look from Comme des Garcons Homme Plus’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Comme des Garcons Homme Plus)

A look from Lanvin’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Lanvin)

A look from JW Anderson’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: JW Anderson)

A look from Yohji Yamamoto’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Yohji Yamamoto)

Did you know our menswear lessons will give you a solid foundation so that you can draft any of these looks?

Buying Luxury Without Breaking The Bank

Buying Luxury Without Breaking The Bank

 

Bags from: Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel (Courtesy of  What Goes Around Comes Around)

Bags from: Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel (Courtesy of What Goes Around Comes Around)

Millennials are the future of luxury – from fashion and accessories to homes and cars – they are the target of every relevant brand. Millennials are free-thinking, they are an individualistic generation that are over 80 million strong.

According to WWD’s Think Tank segment published on April 25, 2016,  “By 2035, Millennials will have the potential to become the largest spending generation in history, according to the white paper, “Five Luxe Trends for 2015” by marketing expert Pam Danziger. Millennials’ influence will be felt by 2020 as the oldest Millennials (let’s call them “Millennial+”) are beginning to enter their peak earning years and will have disposable income for luxury experiences. We can expect this shift to continue as more Millennials become Millennial+.”

 

Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid  (Courtesy of Getty)

Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid (Courtesy of Getty)

Today, Kendall Jenner, Cara Delevingne, and Gigi Hadid are on top of the pop culture world; they are influential fashion icons and are featured in all the hottest runway shows and campaigns. These young women have influence over Millennials, and they are drawing them into luxury brands. So which brands are winning them over? How can they afford to splurge on such high end items?

Although luxury brands may not be so transparent when it comes to what is actually selling, thanks to the online resale market, shoppers can easily track what’s hot and what’s not (ref.: Drop Shipping Made Easy – Drop Ship Profitably With Drop Ship Lifestyle). No longer looked at with disdain, the pre-owned market is growing in both dollars and prevalence. According to the mid-year “State of Luxury Resale” report for The Real Real, one of the most popular resale sites, consumers have an insider glimpse into what people have been buying during the first half of the year.

Walk in Closet filled with designer shoes and bags (Courtesy of Pintrest)

Walk in Closet filled with designer shoes and bags (Courtesy of Pintrest)

Surprise, surprise! Gucci is the fourth best-selling brand on The Real Real (just behind Chanel, Hermès, and Louis Vuitton), riding its wave of success thanks to Alessandro Michele’s eclectic charm and the return of the logo mania trend. Gucci now has a 10 percent better sell-through rate than Céline; used loafers from the brand manage to sell for 80 percent of the original retail price. Footwear favorite Christian Louboutin ranks as the sixth best-selling brand on The Real Real, which makes sense because the site now says high-end shoes at the $500 range are selling faster than bags at the same price.

 

Gucci Spring 2016 (Courtesy of Purseblog.com)

Gucci Spring 2016 (Courtesy of Purseblog.com)

According to the resale site, the accessory of the year has been the backpack; selling 40 percent better than other handbag categories and have seen the largest growth resale value.

(Read post: Find biodegradable printed burlap bags at wholesale prices on the website of Custom Earth Promos)

Chanel spring 2014  (Courtesy of Spottedfashion.com)

Chanel spring 2014 (Courtesy of Spottedfashion.com)

 

Thanks to street-style darlings and Instagram stars, shoppers are splurging on Vetements, Saint Laurent, Self-Portrait, Rosie Assoulin, J.W. Anderson and Zimmerman, all of which saw triple-digit growth, because these young designers have such a strong and individual point of view. The Real Real’s buzziest new brands are Supreme and Off-White — their search rates surged a whopping 1,500 percent and 730 percent, respectively, over the last six months.

Chiara Ferragni in Vetements  (Courtesy of TheBlondSalad.com)

Chiara Ferragni in Vetements (Courtesy of TheBlondSalad.com)

Today’s millennials really understand value in a unique way from previous generations. According to Alexis Clarbour, director of pioneer luxury accessory consignment website Portero.com, her customers are now seeing beyond the original purchase and considering how the value of the item will hold up if they decide to resell it. They’re true luxury seekers — the average sale price on Portero, for example is $2,200, and its most popular brand is Hermès.

Portero Site Page

Portero Site Page

“For the same reason a consumer chooses to buy a certified pre-owned car, they also desire to purchase a certified pre-owned watch since it’s a smarter, more financially beneficial way of buying luxury,” said Hamilton Powell, founder of luxury vintage and pre-owned watch consignment site Crown & Caliber.

 

Vintage Rolex Watche (Courtesy of The Vintage Watch Company)

Vintage Rolex Watche (Courtesy of The Vintage Watch Company)

Consumers today are educated and thanks to the internet, research is at everyone’s fingertips; which may be one of the major factors for the growing resale business model. Customers can easily inform themselves about luxury products such as handbags, watches, shoes and clothes. Millennials search for a greater value for their dollar in the luxury marketplace.

While every brand from high end luxury to street brands are courting millennials, The Real Real states that in 2017, Gen Z — that is, ages 22 and younger — is the site’s fastest growing demographic, once again proving that when it comes to shopping, cool teens really know how to do it. Why buy luxury retail when you can buy it used for less?

 

Hermes Bags  (Courtesy of PurseBlog.com)

Hermes Bags (Courtesy of PurseBlog.com)

 

 

 

 

 

Most Fashionable Political Wives – Past and Present

Most Fashionable Political Wives – Past and Present

Kate Middleton's fashion inspiration is clearly her mother-in-law, the late Princess Diana (Photo courtesy of au.ibtimes.com)

Kate Middleton’s fashion inspiration is clearly her mother-in-law, the late Princess Diana (Photo courtesy of au.ibtimes.com)

Fashion is all around us, it’s at the tip of our fingertips with social media, blogs and fashion magazines, and in today’s society, everyone is a critic. We are constantly bombarded with images of celebrities, singers, reality television stars, artists and models on the pages of our favorite magazines, blogs and Instagram feeds. We remember their fashion choices – good and bad – and we judge them.

But today, more than ever, political wives are being critiqued, not only for their spouse’s political stance, but also for their fashion choices. Constantly in the public eye as they jet-set around the world, political spouses are expected to be intellectual, engaging, empathetic, strong, powerful, beautiful, and above all, be able to gain the trust of their people, all while fighting for causes that are close to their hearts.

Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy - two very chic first ladies in 2009 (photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy – two very chic first ladies in 2009 (photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Just like celebrities, political spouses are constantly on parade. They are criticized by the media and the public for their fashion choices and they are also judged as to whether or not they support U.S. talent.  Case in point, Nancy Reagan who wore Galanos at her husband’s inaugural ball, Barbara Bush wore Scassi, and let’s not forget those first ladies who came out in support of home-state talent like Laura Bush who wore a  local Texas designer, Michael Faircloth, and Hillary who wore Arkansas designer Sarah Phillips. Not since Jackie has fashion been so front and center, thanks to Michele Obama who wore Jason Wu to the inauguration and proceeded to elevate the profile of many young and up-and-coming designers. Heck, Michele even had the guts to make ‘off-the-rack’ J Crew cool and nearly crashed the internet when she decided to wear  bangs!

Here is a look at the world’s most fashion-savvy wives of political leaders worldwide, both past and present.

Jacqueline Kennedy

Jackie Kennedy wearing her signature pillbox hat in Paris, 1961 (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Jackie Kennedy wearing her signature pillbox hat in Paris, 1961 (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Jacqueline Kennedy was the epitome of chic and is still considered America’s most iconic first lady. Known for her impeccable fashion sense and  cosmopolitan lifestyle ‘Jackie’ captivated the American public both during and after her time in the White House. As one of the defining fashion trendsetters of the 1960s, women around the globe eagerly sought out the famous “Jackie look.” Department stores scrambled to produce affordable imitations of her sleek, classy dresses and hats. Nevertheless, her chic sensibility was often a point of contention. She was obsessed with pricey French couture and was criticized during the 1960 presidential campaign.  Once she became first lady, the Kennedy camp worried her taste for foreign clothing could make the family seem out of touch. To solve the problem she was paired with American-based designer Oleg Cassini. Cassini went on to design more than 300 of her most iconic outfits, and later dubbed himself the First Lady’s “Secretary of Style.”

In 1968 she married Aristotle Onassis and catapulted to fashion icon status worldwide wearing her signature oversized sunglasses, Gucci bags and printed headscarves.

Jacqueline passed away on May 19, 1994 in her Manhattan apartment in New York City.

 

Princess Diana

Princess Diana in Chicago wearing Versace, 1996 (Photo courtesy of Rex Features)

Princess Diana in Chicago wearing Versace, 1996 (Photo courtesy of Rex Features)

Diana, Princess of Wales, was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, who is the eldest child and heir apparent of Queen Elizabeth II. The royal was famously down-to-earth and brought a breath of fresh air to the House of Windsor. Diana married Prince Charles at St. Paul’s Cathedral in the summer of 1981. All eyes were on Diana, approximately 17 million viewers from around the world tuned in to watch the ceremony. Princess Diana was in the public eye for the whole of her life—everything from her fashion choices to her haircuts became an international fad. Two decades after her tragic death, in the summer of 1997, people are still enamored with the Princess of Wales.

‘Princess Di’ ascended to the pantheon of the best-dressed women in history and favored British-based fashion by Bruce Oldfield, Catherine Walker and Elizabeth Emanuel, who designed her famous wedding dress.  She attended Gianni Versace’s funeral in a Versace and  just a few short weeks later, the Princess met a tragic fate of her own. She will always be remembered not only as a fashion icon, but as a great humanitarian, often raising awareness for AIDS and the poverty in Africa.

 

Grace Kelly

Princess Grace Kelly in Philadelphia hiding her baby bump with the iconic Hermes Kelly Bag, 1956  (Photo courtesy of Rex Features)

Princess Grace Kelly in Philadelphia hiding her baby bump with the iconic Hermes Kelly Bag, 1956 (Photo courtesy of Rex Features)

Grace Patricia Kelly was a successful and beloved American actress who became Princess of Monaco after marrying Prince Rainier III, in April 1956. Their fairy-tale wedding took place in Monaco and it is estimated that the royal event was watched by over 30 million viewers on live television. The event was described by biographer Robert Lacey as “the first modern event to generate media overkill.” Grace’s wedding gown, which took six weeks and three dozen seamstresses to complete, was created by MGM’s Academy Award–winning designer, Helen Rose.

While pregnant with her daughter Caroline in 1956, Grace was frequently photographed clutching a  leather hand-bag manufactured by Hermès.  The now famous ‘Kelly Bag’ was often used by Grace as a shield to hide her baby bump from the paparazzi. Kelly was inaugurated into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1960, giving her fashion icon.

On September 13, 1982, Kelly was driving back to Monaco from her country home in Roc Agel when she had a stroke. As a result, she lost control of her car and drove off the steep, winding road and down mountainside with her daughter, Stéphanie. At the hospital doctors attempted to resuscitate Kelly but because of the extent of not only her brain injury but injuries to her thorax and a femur fracture, they were unable to save her life.

After her death, Kelly’s legacy as a fashion icon lived on. Modern designers, such as Tommy Hilfiger and Zac Posen, have cited her as a fashion inspiration. She was known for introducing the “fresh faced” look, one that involved bright skin and natural beauty with little makeup. She is remembered for her “college-girl” everyday fashion, defined by her pulled-together yet simple look.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama in Jason Wu for both Inauguration nights - left: 2009, right: 2013 (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Michelle Obama in Jason Wu for both Inauguration nights – left: 2009, right: 2013 (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is a highly educated, incredibly smart, and by many accounts as warm and gracious as she appears.  Michelle Obama is an American lawyer and writer who was First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. She is married to the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, and was the first African-American First Lady. Graduated from Harvard Law School, she was her husband’s mentor, and she seems to have a marriage based on equality and love. Michele works tirelessly for her causes, advocating for kid’s health and inspiring young women.

Obama has been compared to Jacqueline Kennedy due to her sense of style and has quickly become a fashion icon and champion of young American-based designers. Her style has been described as “fashion populist.” She had the bravado to mixed high-end designer clothes with less expensive pieces from J.Crew and Target. She became a fashion trendsetter, in particular favoring sleeveless dresses, including her first-term official portrait in a dress by Michael Kors, and her ball gowns designed by Jason Wu for both inaugurals.

Queen Rania of Jordan

Queen Rania of Jordan wearing evening separates in 2016(Photo courtesy of EW.com)

Queen Rania of Jordan wearing evening separates in 2016(Photo courtesy of EW.com)

Rania Al-Abdullah is the queen of Jordan. Since marrying the now King of Jordan, Abdullah bin Hussein, she has become known for her advocacy work related to education, health, community empowerment, youth, cross-cultural dialogue, and micro-finance. She is one of the most inspiring royals in the Arab region. Throughout her reign as queen (1999 to present), she has taken a stand for gender equality, education, and entrepreneurship to name a few.

Queen Rania is known not only for her humanitarian efforts in the Middle East, but also for her impeccable fashion sense through the years. She is just as comfortable and effortless in both Western attire as well as some pieces that echo more regional influences; Queen Rania can wear an elaborate bright sapphire-blue gown or bold red dress as easily as a simple and conservative black dress.

Her style seems to always be the center of attention; always on point and done right. There’s no doubt that Queen Rania of Jordan is one of the most stylish royals in the world.

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy in Dior coat in England, 2008 (Photo courtesy of Rex Features)

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy in Dior coat in England, 2008 (Photo courtesy of Rex Features)

 

The former supermodel caught the world’s attention as the wife of the President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008 and has been compared to Jackie O.

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is an Italian-French singer-songwriter and former model. In 2008, She married Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president and Co-Prince of Andorra. She held her role as First Lady of France from February 2008 to May 2012.

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy epitomizes French style, its timelessness and classic. It may evolve over the decades but never strays too far from its hallmarks. As a supermodel, singer, and France’s former First Lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy’s perspective on fashion is one of a kind. She tailors her fashion choices by occasion, when attending state dinners or political functions its Dior suits with kitten heels, but on tour, she opts for jeans and boho blouses. She’s become a front row fixture during Paris Fashion Week, nailing it perfectly, relying on a fail-safe combination of skintight black trousers, stilettos, and elegant jackets from the designers whose collections she’s favored.

Brigitte Marie-Claude Macron

Brigitte Macron in a sharp tailored blazer, 2017 (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Brigitte Macron in a sharp tailored blazer, 2017 (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Scandalous even for the French, Brigitte Marie-Claude Macron is the wife and former high school teacher of Emmanuel Macron, the current President of the French Republic.  At 64, she is 25 years his senior and epitomizes a new spin of French style which is at once soignée and glamorous.

Brigitte Marie-Claude Macron appears to look more like a former model than a former teacher and dresses accordingly. Images of the couple together during their recent years reveal her chic sense of style, opting for mini-length dresses, skinny jeans and luxe accessories.

Her elevated French style does not conform to the low maintenance, relaxed vibe of many Parisian “It girls” but rather Brigitte Marie-Claude Macron ops for more figure-flattering looks – looking sensual, sexy and ageless. She has panache and a cool attitude pairing her designer tailored blazers with skinny jeans and kitten heels. She is definitely a fashion icon in the making.

Kate Middleton

Princess Kate Middleton in an Alexander McQueen floral gown, 2017 (Photo courtesy of Harpersbazaar.com)

Princess Kate Middleton in an Alexander McQueen floral gown, 2017 (Photo courtesy of Harpersbazaar.com)

She’s a modern-day princess. Catherine Middleton is the young Duchess of Cambridge and wife of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. Kate Middleton emulates her mother-in-law’s style (Princess Diana) as well as her passion for charity work and love of her children.

Princess Kate has quickly become a fashion icon and has been placed on many “best dressed” lists. Her Alexander McQueen wedding gown catapulted her fashion status on the world stage. Princess Kate can effortlessly transition from wearing a glamourous gown to running around in skinny jeans and sharp blazers – she  nails the casual look every time.

In June 2016, she participated in her first magazine photo-shoot for Vogue’s centenary issue; she appeared on the cover of the magazine. While she wears many new designers, she has also worn dresses by Catherine Walker, who designed many of Princess Diana’s favorite evening gowns and day suits. She is also known for recycling her looks – making her a modest yet modern royal.

 

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau

Sophie Gregiore Trudeau in Canadian designer Tanya Taylor, 2016 (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Sophie Gregiore Trudeau in Canadian designer Tanya Taylor, 2016 (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau is a former television host with a passion for charity work, and is vocal about woman’s issues. She married Justine Trudeau in Montreal 2005 – a decade before he became Canada’s Prime Minister. The young couple has quickly become a stylish set in the political arena.

More often than not, one does not think of Canada as a fashionable country, often Canadian designers struggle to make their voices heard, but Sophie Grégoire Trudeau is changing the world’s perception on Canadian fashion.  She has made it her mission to expose the fashion talent in her country. While she has yet to earn the status of international style icon like Kate Middleton, Canada’s “first lady” has raised awareness at home for the fashion industry.

Fashion isn’t new territory for Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, She first started honing her fashion chops as a personal shopper at Holt Renfrew, and even helped design her own wedding gown. Today, she has made a point of wearing the designs of local brands, including Beaufille, Lucian Matis and Smythe at every opportunity.

Eva Perón – Evita

Eva Perón in 1947 (Photo courtesy of Huffpost.com)

Eva Perón in 1947 (Photo courtesy of Huffpost.com)

María Eva Duarte de Perón was an aspiring actress before becoming the wife of Argentine President Juan Perón and First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. She is usually referred to as Eva Perón or ‘Evita.’

Eva Perón broke gender rules in Argentina. As First Lady, she unofficially took over the Ministries of Health and Labor; she devoted a huge amount of time to meeting with poor Argentinians, visited hospitals and orphanages, and founded the Female Perónist Party, a political party comprised of female voters.

In 1947, Eva Perón traveled to Spain, Italy, France, and Switzerland. Dubbed the “Rainbow Tour,” Perón’s goodwill trip included meetings with Francisco Franco, Pope Pius XII, and Charles de Gaulle. Dressed impeccably in designer clothes, she gave money to poor children in Spain, visited the Palace of Versailles, and encountered protesters in Switzerland who threw stones and tomatoes at her. Some Europeans distrusted aspects of Juan Perón’s fascist rule and ties to Nazi war criminals, while others disapproved of what they viewed as her ostentatious “famewhoring.”

Eva Perón died of cervical cancer at the age of 33, on Saturday, July 26, 1952.

In July 2002, to commemorate 50 years since her death, Museo Evita (The Evita Museum) opened in Palermo, Buenos Aires. The museum features Eva Perón’s portraits and designer clothing—she famously wore Dior dresses, tailored suits, and eye-catching jewelry, especially after her return from Europe.

 Melania Trump 

All eyes are now on Melania Trump. For a designer, her model figure is the perfect canvas. She wore Ralph Lauren to her husband’s inauguration (a robin’s egg blue ensemble which was a very definite nod to Jackie) but some designers such as Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen, Christian Siriano and Sophie Theallet have declared that they will not dress her. Many feel that dressing her could generate enough negative publicity to seriously harm their brand as was the case for Lauren, when #BoycottRalphLauren trended across social media. Since the inauguration in January, Melania Trump has worn more foreign fashion brands for public appearances and events than American. During his inaugural address in January, President Donald Trump declared, “We will follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American.” Is Melania seeking revenge against the American design community by not wearing American or is she caught up in a political cross-fire? Let’s hear your thoughts?

Melania Trump caused controversy when wearing a Dolce & Gabbana coat that coast nearly $70K in Scilily, Italy in 2017 (Photo courtesy of AP/Domenico Stinellis)

Melania Trump caused controversy when wearing a Dolce & Gabbana coat that coast nearly $70K in Sicily, Italy in 2017 (Photo courtesy of AP/Domenico Stinellis)

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