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Posts Tagged: "Ralph Lauren"

ARE FASHION SHOWS STILL RELEVANT?

Louis Vuitton’s spring 2020 show. (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

As our industry grapples with the impact of fast fashion on our planet and explores circular fashion concepts, such as ‘fundamental redesign’ (the shift from a ‘take-make-waste’ model towards a ‘reuse-based’ model), while other more responsible brands move to put the health of our planet over profits, we must ask ourselves… are fashion shows still relevant?

Add to these concerns the reality that designers are expected to execute four collections a year (spring/summer, fall/winter, resort, and pre-fall) as well as produce an expensive fashion show twice a year. As the industry once again ponders whether the expense and the number of shows are necessary, especially in a digital, on-demand, eco-conscious environment, the fact remains that consumers are not spending as much money on clothing as they are on technology and vacations. So, is this pace and expense sustainable?  Let’s take a look. But first, let’s explore the origins of the fashion show.

History of the Fashion Show

According to Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry, written by our founder, Francesca Sterlacci and Joanne Arbuckle, the former Dean of the Fashion Institute Technology:

“The first fashion shows can be traced to Paris, beginning in the mid-1800s, with designers Charles Frederick Worth, Jeanne Paquin and Jean Patou. Worth was the first to design and display his own creations for women to choose from, via a “fashion show” on live models, four times a year.”House-of-Redfern---Galerie-de-vente---Paris-fashion-1910

 

Fashion models and society ladies at a designer salon circa 1910 (Photo credit: Glamourdaze.com)

The Paris salon show schedule would inevitably become the foundation for ‘fashion weeks’ in Milan, London, and New York. These cities became known as the “Big Four,” the largest and most important centers for fashion. In its early days, shows were solely for core customers, buyers and editors. The general public didn’t see the latest designer wares until they were available in stores some four to six months later. Even fashion magazines understood that the latest creations could not be unveiled in their editorial pages until they could actually be purchased by the consumer. A concept that has changed over time but may need to be revisited.

In 1943, New York fashion designers held ‘press weeks’ in fall and spring whereby editors and buyers would swarm to ritzy hotels to view the latest designer runway presentations.  For decades, this is how the system worked. Runway shows offered buyers and editors a chance to see designers’ collection, six months before they became available to the public. This helped buyers plan their “open-to-buy” and advertising budgets, and for editors to plan the trends that they would promote and feature in their editorial pages. Fun fact: American fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert was the first to create fashion shows as charitable events with her March of Dimes shows (1948-1960), that not only raised money but helped promote American fashion design.

Christian Dior Show in 1948 (Photo Courtesy of AP Photo)

 

The Fashion Calendar

With so many fashion shows to coordinate among the “Big Four,”  a schedule was needed to keep shows from overlapping. Enter Ruth Finley and her fashion calendar, known in the industry as the “Pink Bible.”  In existence since the 1950s, the Fashion Calendar still is the” fashion planner for all fashion runway shows and other related fashion events.  In 2014, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) acquired the Fashion Calendar. Today it has six hundred and fifty subscribers and available in digital format only. No serious designer would dare schedule their show without first consulting with Fashion Calendar.

Fashion Weeks: NYFW – LFW – MFW  & PFW

New York Fashion Week (NYFW), as we know it today, began in 1993. Fern Mallis, then executive director of the CFDA, took hold of fashion’s schedule and tried to centralize the shows so that buyers and editors were not shuffling all over the city.  “Organized shows put American designers on the map and changed the fashion landscape forever,” Mallis told Racked in 2015. “Before that, there were 50 shows in 50 locations. Everyone did their own thing without understanding what a nightmare it was to get from one show to the other.”

      “To dispel the myth that U.S. fashion designers were influenced by their European counterparts, in 1998, American designers decided to move their fashion show schedule ahead of Paris, London and Milan and instead of being the last show, they became the first. This has remained the schedule into the twenty-first century.” ~ Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry

Bryant Park, located in mid-town Manhattan, was home to NYFW for 16 years. It was the first time designers were offered the option to present their fashion show without the responsibility of having to produce a fashion show from scratch –  the space, lighting, sound, and security were all handled by a production firm (IMG). That’s not to say it was cheap. According to Forbes.com,  “In 2007, a show at Bryant Park cost at least $50,000 for designers, according to one estimate.” Bryant Park  heightened awareness of NYFW and the fashion game began to change. It also provided an opportunity for designers to invite celebrities to sit front row, next to editors and later led to the rise of fashion bloggers and influencers.

By 2010, and with nearly 300 scheduled shows, the fashion crowd outgrew Bryant Park. NYFW was then moved to Lincoln Center for several seasons, however, as we all know, fashion is fickle. Today NYFW shows are primarily held in spaces along the West Side Highway and at Manhattan’s Hudson Yards, where the spaces are larger and New York City traffic is less of an issue.

Bloggers & Influencers- From left: bloggers Bryanboy, Rumi Neely, Leandra Medine, Natalie Joos, Elin Kling &

Hanneli Mustaparta attend the Phillip Lim Spring 2014 fashion show in New York City. (Wendell Teodoro/WireImage, via Getty)

The Birth of the European Fashion Show Extravaganza

While U.S. designers mostly stayed faithful to the traditional runway show with models parading down a long narrow catwalk or in a passerelle or semi-circular format, their European counterparts favored the extravaganza. For example, Nino Cerutti’s used publicity stunts to self-promote, such as when he painted Lancia convertibles blue, then paraded them down the streets of Rome and onto the runway, where a starlet then broke a bottle of champagne on the hood. Designers Claude Montana and Thierry Mugler staged fashion show “extravaganzas” during the 1970s and 1980s that became media hypes, with fashion models often upstaging the clothes. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, designers John Galliano and Alexander McQueen continued to create some of the most spectacular shows, often with celebrity guests in attendance and sometimes even taking to the catwalk. Viktor & Rolf, Chanel, Rick Owens, Fendi and Ricardo Tisci at Givenchy transformed the fashion show experience for the new millennium by: creating avant-garde conceptual performances, adding plus size models and introducing technology, such as the Fendi show in 2015 that used drones to film and live stream the show.

Broken Fashion Show System

According to the Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry, “By 2015, designers, buyers, fashion journalists and fashion organizations, such as the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the British Fashion Council, began to examine the “broken” fashion system as it related to the overcrowded fashion show schedule, the excessive number of shows and the relevance of showing fashion that cannot be immediately purchased; since the traditional fashion show system features merchandise six months in advance of the selling season and live-streamed fashion shows are available to consumers where immediacy is key for consumers in a digital age. Burberry was the first to make the decision to change the model by; showing only two collections a year, combining their menswear and womenswear in the same show, featuring clothes in season and not six months ahead of the season, and making the merchandise for sale immediately afterwards. In 2016, recording artist Kanye West and Adidas made fashion history when, timed to the launch of West’s new album The Life of Pablo, they held the first ever consumer ticket-holder fashion show at Madison Square Garden with tickets for their Yeezy-Adidas show priced at $275 each.”

Today, shows are not only photographed for social media, but they are also live-streamed so anyone sitting at home in front of their computer can tune in. Fashion shows have now evolved into marketing spectacles directed towards a mass audience. Hundreds of thousands attend fashion week, but thanks to today’s digital world, millions of people live-stream fashion shows online. So the purpose of fashion week seems clear; capture the attention of as many people as possible; visibility leads to sales, right? Only to a degree.  Unfortunately, the equation is not so straightforward and for years the question of “is fashion week dying” has been an ongoing conversation among fashion insiders.

“In a world that has become increasingly immediate, the current way of showing a collection four months before it is available to consumers is an antiquated idea and one that no longer makes sense,” designer Tom Ford told WWD in 2016. “We have been living with a fashion calendar and system that is from another era.”

While some may believe the fashion week runway format is archaic, this system still exists, but has arguably lost step in a world where everything is instantly visible across various social media platforms. Today, designers and brands can bypass store partners and sell straight to their customers through their own websites. It has become routine for consumers to stream new products that fast fashion popularized and these forces have transformed the fashion industry.

Enter Instagram

One of the biggest game-changers for the industry has been Instagram. The popular social media platform creates a constant connection between brands and customers and has helped reshape the way brands communicate to potential customers. Designers even create Instagammable ‘moments’ during their runway shows.

Chanel transformed the Grand Palais into a beach scene during Paris Fashion Week in October 2018 (Photo courtesy of Reuters)

And yet, fashion shows and their organizers aren’t disappearing time soon, in actuality, the reverse is happening, as more cities around the world are staging their own fashion weeks including Shanghai, Seoul, and even Canada. Many prestigious designer houses have even opted to show full runway extravaganzas for their resort and pre-fall collections as well. Many brands, both large and small, are joining the fashion week cycle because of the prestige and exposure that comes with it.

But one must ask, is the exposure worth the price tag that goes along with producing a fashion show?

Of course, the answer varies by brand. In 2019, Christian Siriano provided a breakdown of his show cost for Vogue Business that reached up to $300,000. It included models, set design, lighting, sound, and all the elements needed to create a runway show. According to an interview in Vogue, Siriano stated, “I think when our investors go through the numbers, it’s really hard for them to see actual returns, obviously, there are ways to tell if a collection is more successful than another, but that doesn’t necessarily have to do with the show. It has more to do with the timing, or the fabrications we’re using or what’s happening with the seasons.”

Christian Siriano’s spring 2020 show. (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

While a six-figure tab will give you a basic fashion show format, there are those designers who go to the extreme during NYFW. In 2011, The New York Times reported that Marc Jacobs (following in the European show extravaganza tradition) spent $1 million to produce his show. While these grand spectacles are a tool to sell clothes, the buyers attending these shows do not buy their collections during the show, but rather sales take place during private showroom appointments. So is it all worth it?

Rachel Feinstein’s set for Marc Jacobs’ Fall 2012 show. (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

The reach and cost-effectiveness of having such a show is difficult to determine. Most brands look to Instagram as a tool to determine how many potential customers have viewed their runway videos and images.

To hype their show and encourage sales, some brands have tried to offer customers specific looks immediately after the show, both in their stores and on their website, in an attempt to translate the excitement of the runway moment. Others have opted to live stream their runway show so customers can view the show and then immediately shop the collection. A few designers – such as Gucci and Balenciaga- have taken to regularly dropping new items between shows.

So with a six-figure price tag, many young designers are conflicted and ask the question, “is a fashion show worth the cost?” Well for many, the answer is yes. A fashion show is a great marketing tool. It is a way to get customers to notice your exciting and creative work. For many luxury brands, a show is a marketing tool to sell cosmetics, perfume and accessories. These brands may actually lose money producing clothes, as Exane BNP Paribas and the fashion consultancy firm VR Fashion Luxury Expertise have noted. But runway shows and their creative clothing are valuable to the branding. “Today shows have nothing to do with clothes anymore,” Guram Gvasalia, the CEO of Vetements, told WWD after the brand reorganized the scheduling of its runway shows in 2017. “Most of the looks are not even produced and therefore never get to the shop floor. Shows are there merely to sell a dream and that, at the end of the day, will sell a perfume or a wallet in a duty-free store.”

For smaller labels, branding is also an important opportunity that can benefit their brand. Christian Siriano told Vogue Runway that his shows, which have been praised for his diversity in models, have attracted other business, such as a shoe partnership with Payless. Presenting during a major fashion week also adds credibility and legitimacy to a young label. It can help put their brand on radar of industry leaders. Stylists for example keep an eye on fashion week and pull clothes for photoshoots and celebrity events. A young designer can easily land in an editorial layout or on the red carpet on a major celebrity. Or, catch the eye of a savy store buyer who just might be willing to give them a break.

The fashion industry represents over $2.5 trillion dollars (according to a recent McKinsey report in 2018) and, on average, a 10 to 15 minute fashion show can cost anywhere from $200,000 to over $1 million. With these hefty price tags brands must think, “what is the return on investment?” Is the answer social influence? Is it celebrities and street-style stars wearing the collection? Well, according to data analytics provider Launchmetrics, the answer is more complex.

Launchmetrics’ new “Data on the Runway” report suggests the key is MIV or media impact value – an algorithm which measures the impact of media placements to derive a number for performance outcomes.

Take Ralph Lauren’s 50th year anniversary for example (spring 2019), Launchmetrics’ data analysts found that Ralph Lauren’s widely publicized anniversary show ranked first amongst the brands, with the highest MIV generated over the Fashion Weeks at $38 million.

The star-studded event included Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Robert De Niro, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, and Anna Wintour. Lauren also hosted an extravagant collection presentation and finished with a paparazzi-heavy post-show dinner party.

Left to right: Hillary Clinton, Ralph Lauren, and Anna Wintour. (Photo courtesy of Instagram@Ralph Lauren)

According to Launchmetrics, it is clear that influencers garnered enormous buzz for the brand (taking 46.2% of the pie), followed by Ralph Lauren’s owned media channels (at 29.7%).

Following Ralph Lauren, Launchmetrics estimated Coach ($27 million), Dior ($22.6 million) and Gucci ($19.4 million), followed closely behind and once again, Chiara Ferragni topped the charts as the top influencer voice.

Chiara Ferragani (known as The Blond Salad) led with $18.3 million in MIV; to put that into perspective, she nearly reached the same MIV as Versace ($18.7 million) did for their SS19 show — proving the continual power of influencer investments.

Influencer Chiara Ferragni (right) attends many shows over Fashion Month and is expected to boast $18.3 million in Media Impact Value – Zimbio.com

According to Forbes magazine, “social media actually proved imperative for fashion brands altogether; posts shared by celebrities and influencers represent an impressive 89% of buzz compared to online media’s 11%. Spring/Summer 19’s top-performing celebrity was Nicki Minaj, who generated a total of $11.3 million MIV over the season.”

Alison Bringé, CMO at Launchmetrics, said: “Today, fashion weeks are no longer industry events but are a platform to reach the digital savvy consumer, so brands need to think outside the box in order to transform their 15-minute event into something that lives on, beyond what happens on the runway. The case studies within the report shed light on how brands can generate buzz through activities such as using influencers to create 360° campaigns, changing their location to talk to new consumers and markets, or even by focusing on their own media to increase the share of wallet.”

While the ROI for having a runway show differs for every brand, one point is clear; a fashion show is the best way for a designer to communicate their creative vision. “For me, the show is the only moment when I can tell my story,” designer Dries Van Noten once told The Independent. “It’s the way I communicate my ideas to the world.”

Dries Van Noten’s men’s spring 2019 collection, inspired by the work of interiors designer Verner Panton (Photo courtesy of AP Photos)

“If I couldn’t do my shows, I wouldn’t want to be in fashion,” designer Thom Browne told author Booth Moore in her book, American Runway. “I look at my shows as my responsibility in the world of design to move design forward. I think they are such an amazing way of giving a more interesting context to fashion.”

Thom Brown’s spring 2020 show. (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

So in the end, we ask these questions: 1) Are fashion shows still relevant? 2) How do emerging designers afford the fashion show price tag? 3) Will the next generation of designers find an affordable alternative to the fashion show? 4) Will millennial & Gen Z designers find a way to disrupt the status quo and make the fashion show as obsolete as the floppy disk? 5) Will we soon be watching virtual 3D fashion shows with life-like avatars walking the runway?

Share your thoughts, we’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Marc my words, Jacobs was the best NYFW had to offer

I know I am late to this party, but I finally had the chance to see the Alexander McQueen documentary. If you’ve been under the same rock I have, check out the trailer here. Then, make sure to stream the full length version.

The reason I bring up the McQueen documentary is that it reminds me of a time when fashion shows told tales, the viewer was taken on a visceral journey, and when fashion felt like art, not necessarily commerce. As I sat down to write yet another NYFW review, I realized that I have been covering fashion weeks for over a decade. Whether as a wanna-be fashion student, actual fashion student, designer or blogger, I’ve clicked through countless slides, attended umpteen shows and shown my own collection at NYFW.

While I identify most with the “little guy/gal,” I have big expectations from well-established designers with financial resources and substantial backing. With very few exceptions (especially since Thom Browne packed up for Paris), I rarely see the likes of a McQueen-worthy vision on New York runways. So with McQueen as my guide, I’ve selected the most exhilarating, tale-telling collection (in my humble opinion, of course) by an established player in the NY fashion scene to cover this NYFW. And the honor goes to…none other than Marc Jacobs.

This is not to say that Ralph Lauren’s 50th anniversary collection or Raf Simons showing for Calvin Klein shouldn’t receive a mention, but three elements push Marc Jacobs S/S 2019 collection to the top.

A response to the cultural/societal/political landscape

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Trans Model Finn Buchanan Image: Vogue.com

Much like movies were an escape during the Great Depression, I think Marc Jacobs’ confectionary creations for S/S 2019 offered us a bit of an escape from negative news, a growing division between people and an impending and intense political cycle.  But just because Jacobs’ larger-than-life ensembles were bright, well-crafted eye candy, doesn’t mean there wasn’t a serious stance embedded in the fluff. Models of all races graced the inclusive Jacobs’ runway, as did trans models, Finn Buchanan and Dara Allen.

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Trans Model Dara Allen Image: Vogue.com

An inspired story

Sometimes I play a little game with myself, just to keep things interesting. I do my best to study a collection, feel the feels and then give my best stab at the designer’s inspiration before reading a word of a review. Marc Jacobs sited a 1960s Barbara Streisand as inspiration for S/S 2019, but a more detailed story played out in my head. So whether my story has anything to do with Jacobs original inspiration or not, the fact that his collection inspired such a tale means it was a collection that sparked imagination—a “Marc” of an exquisite collection.

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Image: Vogue.com

The 60s reference was clear in hair and makeup, but the volume and silhouettes were a far cry from the mini dresses popularized in the 60s. I imagined vivid scenes from the 1967 cult classic Valley of the Dolls in which three girls found their way into showbiz, became famous and depended on “uppers,” sleeping pills, and diet pills (which they called “dolls”) to sustain a life in Hollywood.

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The top hats, the ruffled collars, the oversized bows and rosettes felt doll-like and the voluminous cloud confections felt like “doll”-induced hazes in which the models were floating down the runway. And then there’s the pastel heavy color palette…call me “on dolls,” but I couldn’t help draw a few parallels.

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Images: Vogue.com

Artistry fulfilling both fantasy and function

Yes, the Pierrot collars may have been over the top, but look underneath. Jackets with the kind of purpose and wearability any power player would be proud to don. Pleats and wide leg trousers gave new meaning to “power suit.”

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Image: Vogue.com

Take away some of the styling and take a look at the phenomenal cut of Jacobs’ garments. The drape on the jacket below alone…

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As Vogue’s Nicole Phelps claims, and this blogger seconds, Marc Jacobs “is New York’s keeper of the fashion flame.” Bravo. Again, bravo.

Your turn. Which S/S NYFW collections inspired you? And more importantly, why? Comment below!

Happy Golden Anniversary: Ralph Lauren Celebrates 50 Years in Business

- - Fashion History
Portrait of Ralph Lauren (Courtesy of WWD)

Portrait of Ralph Lauren (Photo Courtesy of WWD)

Celebrating the big 5-0 in business is no easy feat for any company, let alone the fashion industry, where trends and styles come and go faster than the speed of light. So what is Ralph Lauren’s secret? Many young aspiring designers want to know the answer.

One key element to Ralph Lauren’s success is that he consistently stayed true to his vision. He was the first designer to create the concept of lifestyle dressing by tapping into Old English aristocracy and repackaging it ‘American-style.’ No matter what your social class, Lauren discovered a way to use fashion as a means of identify transformation and marketed that vision through carefully orchestrated advertising campaigns. Throughout the years, his brand has always been synonymous with American heritage, craftsmanship and an eye for detail in the very competitive and ever-changing world of fashion and lifestyle.

For the past 50 years, Ralph Lauren has been a key player in shaping American fashion, as we know it – his classic polo logo is known throughout the world – and can be found in a variety of closets from the preppy consumer to the hip hop crowd.

Ralph Lauren's classic polos (Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren)

Ralph Lauren’s classic polos (Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren)

“In an industry of hyperbole, Ralph Lauren is a genuine icon,” says Bridget Foley, executive editor of WWD. “He built his company into a global giant on a core belief in living well from the inside out, his designs are the stylistic manifestations of cultural codes of civility and respect.”

The accolades for Ralph Lauren’s major milestone have already begun. In June, at the CFDA Awards, he was the recipient of the first CFDA Members Salute by fellow American designers, including Thom Browne, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Jason Wu and Donna Karan, commemorating his incredible career. Last week, Rizzoli published a book in partnership with WWD, entitled “WWD: Fifty Years of Ralph Lauren,” a 192-page tome of five decades of stories, photos and illustrations from the publication’s archive. “Some people keep diaries of their daily lives,” said Ralph Lauren. “I never had to, because DNR and WWD have been looking over my shoulder since 1964.”

"WWD: Fifty Years of Ralph Lauren", Rizzoli New York, 2018 (Courtesy of WWD)

“WWD: Fifty Years of Ralph Lauren”, Rizzoli New York, 2018 (Courtesy of WWD)

 

"WWD: Fifty Years of Ralph Lauren", Rizzoli New York, 2018 (Courtesy of WWD)

“WWD: Fifty Years of Ralph Lauren”, Rizzoli New York, 2018 (Courtesy of WWD)

On September 7th, Ralph Lauren will host a fashion show and party to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his company at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park during New York Fashion Week. According to WWD, the event will benefit the Central Park Conservancy, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring and maintaining the beloved park. It will no doubt bring a jolt of much-needed glamour and optimism to New York Fashion Week.

Ralph Lauren Resort 2019 (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ralph Lauren Resort 2019 (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ralph Lauren's Menswear Spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ralph Lauren’s Menswear Spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

It’s therefore only fitting that the historic park serves as the venue for the Ralph Lauren’s 50th celebration (and was the venue for his 40th year anniversary celebration too).  Central Park  became the first public park in America when it was designed by the American architect Frederick Law Olmsted in 1857. Lauren’s love of history and preservation is what makes him so special.

For more on Ralph Lauren, here’s an excerpt from the Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry Second Edition, by Francesca Sterlacci (UoF Founder) and Joanne Arbuckle:

 

“Ralph Lauren is a native New Yorker born in 1939. The designer is best known for his ability to create lifestyle dressing. He was born Ralph Rueben Lifshitz, the son of Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe. As a young child, he exhibited a sense of style. Ralph and his brother could often be found thrift-shop hunting; it was here that Ralph discovered fashion as a means of identity transformation. Lauren began his design career with his 1967 tie collection, Polo, a division of Beau Brummel Company. The line was adopted by Bloomingdales. In 1968, Lauren and the name Polo joined forces with Norman Hilton, a men’s suit maker. Never timid to expand, Lauren created full lines of mens and women’s apparel. Possessing a keen sense of fashion marketing, Lauren understood the power of branding early in his career and his “polo player” logo is one of the most recognized logos throughout the world. Inspired by the colors of M&M candies, Lauren offered his famous polo shirts in the same vibrant colors. Today, a visitor to his New York headquarters on Madison Avenue will find bowls of mounded M&M candies, a nostalgic reminder of the company’s past. In the 1970s, when fashion was about flashiness and edge, Lauren was among the first to create a total image of classically-styled casual clothing. His inventive advertising campaigns featured the customer of his “creation,” the American blueblood and, by doing so, was the first to create a total “lifestyle image” as a means of re-creating oneself. In 1986, Lauren made retail history with the opening of his flagship retail store in the Rhinelander Mansion, an historical Madison Avenue mansion that exudes the projected lifestyle of the Ralph Lauren customer. In 2010, Lauren opened an additional location across the street from his flagship to house his womenswear and home collections.

While many consider Lauren more of a stylist than a designer, he has received numerous awards throughout this career beginning with Coty Awards in 1970, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, and 1984 and their Hall of Fame Award in 1981. His Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) awards include one in 1981 and their Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992. In 2016, Lauren was Women’s Wear Daily’s first recipient of the The John B. Fairchild Honor. Lauren is also credited with grooming many notable industry successes. Joseph Abboud and John Varvatos are two of the many menswear designers to train with the king of lifestyle design and merchandising. His former students credit him with an exceptional business sense, as well as a clear vision for the total design process through to the marketing strategy.

Ralph Lauren's Menswear Spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ralph Lauren’s Menswear Spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ralph Lauren Resort 2019 (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ralph Lauren Resort 2019 (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

His company went public in 1997, though he retained a majority of voting rights on the board. By 2013, the Ralph Lauren empire, which included a successful range of accessories, childrenswear, eyewear, fragrances, handbags, home products, jewelry, neckwear and watches, had reached annual sales of $16 billion. In 2014 Lauren launched a ready-to-wear line, Polo Ralph Lauren for Women, in conjunction with the opening of a 38,000 square foot Polo flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and by 2015, the Ralph Lauren Corporation consisted of Polo by Ralph Lauren, Chaps, RRL, Club Monaco, and RLX Ralph Lauren. These collections were available at more than 13,500 retail locations worldwide, including many upscale and mid-tier department stores, in 490 Ralph Lauren and Club Monaco retail stores worldwide, in 580 in-store shops and on 10 e-commerce sites. In 2015, after almost 50 years at the helm, Lauren stepped down as CEO of his company and passed the reins to Stefan Larsson, former head of Old Navy. Lauren stayed on as executive chairman and chief creative officer and continues designing: Polo Ralph Lauren, Purple Label for men and the Ralph Lauren Collection. Forbes magazine reported Lauren’s worth that same year to be nearly $6 billion. In 2016, The Wall Street Journal announced a 50 percent drop in the company’s stock, store closings and lay-offs followed.

After losing close friend Nina Hyde to breast cancer, fashion editor of The Washington Post, Lauren focused on raising money to help fight the disease. In 1989 he co-founded the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research at Georgetown University Medical Center. And, in 2003, with a $5 million donation from Lauren, in partnership with New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention was opened in Harlem, to help the area’s medically underserved African American and Latino population gain access to high quality cancer screening and treatments.

Ralph Lauren is also among the leaders in the wearable technology market. The company unveiled their Polo Tech Shirt at the U.S. Open in 2014, a shirt that reads biological and physical information via silver fibers acting as sensors, woven into the fabric, and connected to a “black box” chip that can be streamed to an iPhone, iwatch or iPod. The company also created a version of their “Ricky Bag” that comes with an LED light and a built-in phone charger. In 2015, Ralph Lauren utilized new technology to create smart dressing rooms, allowing for an interactive experience for his customers.”

Ralph Lauren's Ricky Bag with a chargeable USB cable and an internal LED light  (Photo courtesy of Inhabitat)

Ralph Lauren’s Ricky Bag with a chargeable USB cable and an internal LED light (Photo courtesy of Inhabitat)

So tell us, do you think Ralph Lauren is a true iconic American designer or just a genius at marketing? Let us know your thoughts.

The Americans have landed, or have they?

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For those of us New Yorkers who each day walk past the Lord & Taylor flagship on Fifth Avenue, we are already mourning the shuttering of this retail monument, scheduled for early 2019. While L & T may not have always been every fashionista’s ‘go-to’ destination for the most current fashion trends, this retailer has had a rich history of promoting American designers. Beginning in 1932, Dorothy Shaver (then L & T president), established a program known as the “American Look,” during a period in time when French fashion reigned supreme. This fashion visionary jumped at the chance to promote the work of American designers like Claire McCardell, Tina Lesser, Clare Potter, Vera Maxwell and Bonnie Cashin. It was a defining moment for American fashion designers and put American fashion on the world map. Oh, and by the way…Shaver was also one of the founders of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York!

Lord & Taylor                                                                                                                                                          (Courtesy University of Fashion)
Lord & Taylor (Courtesy University of Fashion)

Well, thankfully, another retailer has finally stepped up to the plate. As of this week and leading up to New York Fashion Week (Sept 6-14), Saks Fifth Avenue is showcasing the work of various American brands. Each of the American-based brands below were invited to create a window (and pay for their installation) that best represents that brand’s identity.

Although not all of the designers at these brands are American-born (Carolina Herrera, Philip Lim, Oscar de la Renta, Alexander Wang, Derek Lam, Jason Wu, Diane von Furstenberg, Naeem Khan and Tanya Taylor), the spotlight is on American-based fashion labels.

Other designers included are: Rosie Assoulin, Alice & Olivia, Coach, Eileen Fisher, Lafayette 148, Leila Rose, Milly, Rag & Bone, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Brandon Maxwell, Gabriela Hearst, Jonathan Simkhai, Monse and Proenza Schouler). While the windows are intended to celebrate American style, some brands chose to focus on things such as their heritage, or social justice and sustainability. Here’s a sampling:

Carolina Herrera window for Saks Fifth Avenue                                       (Courtesy WWD August 17, 2018)
Carolina Herrera window for Saks Fifth Avenue (Courtesy WWD August 17, 2018)

Carolina Herrera’s window is a take on her iconic eveningwear (white shirt and ball skirt). Whether intentional or not, Herrera’s choice of rainbow-colored mannequins against a rainbow background could easily be interpreted as a nod to the LGBTQ community.

Coach window for Saks Fifth Avenue                                                                                         (Courtesy WWD August 17, 2018)
Coach window for Saks Fifth Avenue (Courtesy WWD August 17, 2018)

Coach’s window paid homage to their company roots. Inspired by the suppleness of an old baseball glove, Miles Cahn founded Coach in 1941, in a New York City loft. Artisans hired by the Cahn family handcrafted soft leather into handbags and in 1962, hired American designer Bonnie Cashin, who pioneered the use of brass toggles on handbags and clothing. Coach’s window included ubiquitous New York phone booths and a shout-out to Dreamers, with a decal of an 8-Ball (as in disadvantage) with the words, “Calling All Dreamers.”

Eileen Fisher window at Saks Fifth Ave   (Courtesy University of Fashion)
Eileen Fisher window at Saks Fifth Ave (Courtesy University of Fashion)

Eileen Fisher is known as a pioneer of cotton grown without pesticides and a promoter of California’s Central Valley organic cotton growers since the late 1990s. This brand’s window was less about ‘selling product’ and more about an education in recycling. In 2009, Fisher initiated GREEN EILEEN, a “buy-back policy” whereby customers turn in their gently used Eileen Fisher products, in return for a store gift card. The brand either resells that item or, through their “third lifecycle initiative,” artists get the chance to upcycle these clothes into new designs. Her Saks window featured a recycled garment, a video showing the upcycling process and cages filled with clothes ready for recycling. Thanks Eileen, for thinking responsibility about a circular fashion cycle and less about sell, sell, sell.

Tanya Taylor window for Saks Fifth Avenue                                                                                         (Courtesy WWD August 17, 2018)
Tanya Taylor window for Saks Fifth Avenue (Courtesy WWD August 17, 2018)

The newest (and youngest designer) brand to get a Saks window is Canadian-born designer Tanya Taylor. After having studied finance at McGill University, taken a course at Central Saint Martins and then attended Parsons School of Design, Taylor launched her brand in 2012. In 2014, she became a finalist in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund competition. Her quirky fashion is a bit H & M-ish (without the low price tag).

The inclusion of Tanya Taylor, just begs the question…why are aren’t stores like Saks and other major retailers getting behind and supporting more American start-up designers?

Hundreds of American fashion designer entrepreneurs who graduate from fashion schools, or those who learn online at University of Fashion, could greatly benefit from the support that these high-profile windows provide. So…Saks (and other retailers)… if you are listening… and you really want to take on the role of promoting American design talent that Lord & Taylor started in 1932, then do your homework and start showcasing home grown talent who need it the most!

Let us know what you think. Should American retailers start a movement to promote more American fashion design start-ups?

A Designer Dilemma: Staying True to Your Brand as Trends Shift

- - Fashion Tips

 (Photo Courtesy of Refinery29)

In today’s digital age where news and trends are delivered at lightning speed, it is important for fashion designers to remember to stay true to their brand’s vision. With a plethora of influences out there, like Instagram, Pinterest, fashion vlogs and blogs, it’s hard for them not to succumb to current trends and create a plat du jour collection that may ultimately compromise their brand. Successful designers realize the importance of maintaining brand identity and staying connected with their customers’ expectations as trends shift.

But what should a designer do when their brand signature is not the trend of the moment?

Answer: Designers must adapt their signature style to the changing market, while not confusing their customer.

Here are a few designers who, throughout their successful career, have stayed true to themselves and their brand, while adapting to the ever-changing trend churn:

Miuccia Prada

Miuccia Prada surprises her clients season after season and yet one thing remains consistent; Prada always delivers a unique style that skillfully mixes intellectual purity, art, eccentric elegance and futuristic minimalism. Here are two examples of Prada’s love of art through the years.

Prada Spring 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prada Spring 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prada Spring 2008 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prada Spring 2008 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ralph Lauren

Although never one to follow trends, Ralph Lauren has built an empire on updating American classics that reflect elegance and sophistication. Here is a preppy nod to nautical chicness.

Ralph Lauren Spring 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ralph Lauren Spring 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ralph Lauren Spring 2006 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ralph Lauren Spring 2006 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Thom Browne

While his ‘shrunken’ grey suits put him on the map, Thom Browne is known for his avant-garde fashion and conceptual fashion shows. In an interview with BoF, designer Thom Browne told of his brand’s ‘conceptual-meets-commercial’ balancing act. Browne stated, “I just knew I needed to stay in business. I’m stubborn, but I’m not foolish. Fashion is a business. As conceptual as you want to be, you do have to make sure that you approach it as a business. There has to be a commercial element to what you do.” Here are some examples of his quirky take on men’s suits through the years.

Thom Brown Fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Thom Browne Fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Thom Brown Fall 2007 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Thom Browne Fall 2007 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Proenza Schouler

Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez have never abandoned their cool, artsy girl customer. At a Fashion at FIAF festival talk, moderated by Vogue’s Sally Singer, the duo stated, “If you do think you have the vision to set out on your own, confidence is key, especially since your designs or ideas might seem crazy and impractical to some. It’s always good to piss some people off. Our teachers at [Parsons] hated us,” Hernandez laughed. “They were like, you guys have to stop making clothes for art girls. Make some easy separates. We were like, What? No!”  That spirit has stayed with us to this day. You can’t cater to every single person. You have to do what makes you feel happy.” Here are Proenza Schoular’s fashion-forward girls.

Proenza Schoular Fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Proenza Schoular Fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Proenza Schoular Fall 2011 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Proenza Schoular Fall 2011 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Alexander Wang

No one has captured the M.O.D. (Model-off-Duty) look better than Alexander Wang. The eponymous label embodies a cool, slightly disheveled, utilitarian chic, downtown style that is favored by hipsters, rappers, ‘It girls’ and critics alike. Here are some Alexander Wang cool, downtown girls.

Alexander Wang Spring 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Alexander Wang Spring 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Alexander Wang Fall 2011 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Alexander Wang Fall 2011 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Chanel

Tweed, pearls and quilted bags have been among the ‘codes of the house’ at Chanel for decades. And yet, season after season, Karl Lagerfeld adds a youthful and fashion-forward twist to these iconic classics. Here are some signature Chanel looks through the years.

Chanel Spring 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Chanel Spring 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Chanel Spring 1994Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Chanel Spring 1994 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

So tell us, which designers do you think have best adapted their ‘signature’ to current fashion trends while still maintaining their brand’s identity?

 

Fall 2018 New York Fashion Week Round Up: The Eighties Are Back!

- - Fashion Shows
New York Fashion Week 2018 has ended and what a newsworthy season it was!

Prabal Gurung's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prabal Gurung’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

It seemed only fitting that the ’80s’ were ‘in the air’ this season as many of America’s designer icons who rose to fame in that era, have either sadly passed away (Oscar de la Renta, Geoffrey Beene), or are retiring (Calvin Klein, Donna Karan). On Monday, February 12th, it was Carolina Herrera who gave her final runway bow, lovingly surrounded by her atelier team. Venezuelan-born Herrera launched her fashion brand 37 years ago, catering to the ‘uptown ladies who lunch’ crowd. In true Herrera fashion, her final show was a colorful rendition of her signature looks – crisp white shirts paired with wide belted-ballgown skirts in a rainbow of colors. Just as her clientele has aged, so has that look. It will now be up to designer Wes Gordon (raised in Atlanta- graduated Central St. Martins 2009 – interned at Oscar de la Renta and Tom Ford) to breathe new life into the label. It was a very touching moment at the show when Gordon presented Herrera with a bouquet of red roses.

Carolina Herrera's final bow at her Fall 2018 show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Carolina Herrera’s final bow at her Fall 2018 show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Carolina Herrera's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Carolina Herrera’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

Oscar de la Renta's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Oscar de la Renta’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Technology, of course played a roll at NYFW, with models and everyone else using the KiraKira app to add eye-catching effects to their Insta and snaps. Thank goodness there was plenty of 80s sparkle and shine on the runway, as everyone played with the app, enhancing those Studio 54 disco ball looks!

 

The dramatic runway at Calvin Klein  (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

The dramatic runway at Calvin Klein (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Forget the classic fashion show venue and white runner format, this fall some designers put just as much thought and originality ‘on’ the runway, as they did ‘in’ the clothes that walked it. Raf Simons served up a masterful interpretation of Americana for Calvin Klein (his 3rd show for the brand) at the American Stock Exchange building, where 50,000 gallons of popcorn, yes…popcorn… lined the runway and sloped up the sides of barn wall facades that were erected inside the venue. Looks like Simons has upped the ante when it comes to the  ‘fashion show extravaganza.’

Stuart Vevers, the executive creative director at Coach 1941, constructed a hauntingly beautiful forest to present his wares, while Tory Burch forged a beautiful pink floral garden. These witty designers set the mood, creating a whimsical atmosphere even before the show started! Do you think designers need to go to such extremes to sell their clothes, or is this the new ‘norm’ in a world where social media buzz is a necessity?

Christian Siriano's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Christian Siriano’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

For years the fashion world has talked about diversity. Well, this season… finally… NY designers gave center stage to a beautifully diverse cast of models, including plus size models. Let’s give props and a major round of applause to Christian Siriano, Michael Kors, Prabal Gurung, Chromat, and Anna Sui who understand that not everyone is a size zero and six feet tall. This season marked the most number of full-figured models ever to walk the runway. With the average American woman wearing a size 14 and thus representing 19 percent of all retail sales, one wonders why it took brands so long? We hope that more designers become enlightened and get on board.

"METOO Movement

“METOO” Movement

Absent from NYFW was Georgina Chapman (the estranged wife of Harvey Weinstein and designer of the Marchesa label). A one-time favorite of Hollywood starlets, Chapman laid low this season, in fact, her clothes haven’t been worn by a celeb since the scandalous news broke that sparked the #MeToo movement (the day of Chapman’s bridal presentation in October). Will Hollywood and the fashion industry look past Chapman’s connection to Weinstein and give her another chance, just like they did with John Galliano (now thriving at Maison Margiela)?

Photographers Terry Richardson, Bruce Webber and Mario Testino have all been accused of sexual assault and harassment by both male and female models. All three photographers have denied any wrongdoing but in a rare show of solidarity many fashion brands and magazines have either ended, or are putting their relationships with these photographers on hold. Do you think the fashion industry breeds a culture of abuse? Is the long-overdue inclusion of plus size and ethnic models on the runway, as well as body-shaming practices, also forms of abuse? Don’t be afraid to share your story.

 

Drag kid Desmond modeling in Gypsy Sport's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Drag kid Desmond modeling in Gypsy Sport’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Other news on the runway included  gender diversity and fashion disruption. Desmond Nepoles, a 10-year old self-proclaimed ‘drag kid’ from Brooklyn, made his runway debut and stole the show at Gypsy Sport, Rio Uribe’s brand geared to forward-thinking, disenfranchised millennials. Nepoles, an advocate for LGBTQ youth, is launching the first ever drag house for individuals 20 and under, called Haus of Amazing. Alas… is there an Alexander McQueen in the making?

 

Ralph Lauren's spring 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ralph Lauren’s spring 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

On the totally other side of the spectrum, was the down-to-earth, classic ‘sail away’ show at Ralph Lauren, as he presented his spring 2018 buy-now-wear-now collection. Tradition is still alive and well!

Tom Ford's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Tom Ford’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

NYFW opened with a star-studded front row at Tom Ford, showing both men’s and woman’s looks – and let’s not forget those animal-printed boxers! The shows ended with an over-the-top visual feast at Marc Jacobs as he paid tribute to Yves Saint Laurent in all his fashion glory.

Marc Jacobs' fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Marc Jacobs’ fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Here is a round-up of some of the biggest trends of the season:

CALL OF THE WILD

Animal prints have always been a fashion favorite, but for fall, designers added a nostalgic 80s twist with neon-colored animal motifs.

 

Tom Fors's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Tom Ford’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Adam Selman's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Adam Selman’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Zadig & Voltaire's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Zadig & Voltaire’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jeremy Scott's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jeremy Scott’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

PRETTY IN PINK

Designers opted for a new shade of pink in a throwback to the Eighties, but this time, it’s all about magenta.

Oscar de la Renta's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Oscar de la Renta’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Alexander Wang's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Alexander Wang’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jason Wu's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jason Wu’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Milly's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Milly’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

 OFFICE PARTY

Business meets pleasure as designers offered sexy alternatives to the basic suit, adding asymmetrical necklines, under-cut boobs and super short hemlines. Provocative alternatives to a night out. These suits were  especially empowering for a new #TimesUp generation. Anyone remember the power-suits of the 1980s (Gaultier, Montana)?

Alexander Wang's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Alexander Wang’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Dion Lee's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Dion Lee’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Monse's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Monse’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Cushnie et Ochs's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Cushnie et Ochs’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

TIMELESS ROMANCE

Corsets and ruffles got a modern spin as designers were inspired by the Victorian era.

Brock Collection's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Brock Collection’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jonathan Simkhai's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jonathan Simkhai’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Coach 1941's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Coach 1941’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Anna Sui's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Anna Sui’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

WARM UP

With climate change a reality and as drastic shifts in weather patterns continue, designers have you covered…literally. To keep you warm and toasty, an assortment of puffers, both long and short were featured, along with neon-colored, quilted and plaid versions. Bring on the cold!

 

Tory Burch's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Tory Burch’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Pyer Moss's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Pyer Moss’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Juicy Couture's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Juicy Couture’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

3.1 Phillip Lim's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

3.1 Phillip Lim’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

The world of fashion and many other industries have become extremely competitive. Only the ones who are ready to struggle and honestly work hard can make it to the top in their respective fields. Check out the following post if you need any form of assistance on how to make a midlife career change.

Now that New York Fashion Week has

come to close, tell us, did you have a

favorite show? Michael Kors' fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Michael Kors’ fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fashion Circus Begins: Men’s Fall 2018 Collections Kick Off

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

 

Loewe Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Loewe)

Loewe Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Loewe)

The New Year has just begun and the fashion show hamster wheel is spinning faster than ever.  The Men’s Fall/Winter 2018 season kicked off in London where a number of New York editors missed the shows due to blizzard conditions. Then in was off to Florence for Pitti Uomo, a chic affair showcasing some of the most dandy and chicest menswear collections in Europe; meanwhile, Milan offered plenty of bold, cutting edge trends. Although both London and Milan have shortened their show schedules, there was still plenty of great fashion to see, including all the co-ed shows, which just may become runway’s future.

Paris is winding down, but the biggest news out of the fashion capital was the announcement that Kim Jones, the Men’s Artistic Director for Louis Vuitton since 2011, is leaving the company. Jones presented his final show for Louis Vuitton on Thursday and received a standing ovation as he walked side by side with supermodels Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss. Now that’s making an exit!

But now the guessing game begins, who will replace Jones and where will Jones end up next?

Naomi Campbell, Kim Jones and Kate Moss (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Naomi Campbell, Kim Jones and Kate Moss (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Although the season is still going strong, here are a few key menswear trends so far:

LOGOMANIA

Logo’s are back and better than ever. The logo craze was first reserved for accessories, but today, companies are branding their names on everything from intarsia knits to fur coats (hello Fendi).

Fendi Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Fendi Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Louis Vuitton Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Louis Vuitton Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Iceberg Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Iceberg)

Iceberg Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Iceberg)

Dolce & Gabbana Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Dolce & Gabbana Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prada Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prada Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Versace Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Versace Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

UTALITARIAN

It’s a throwback to the nineties, as utilitarian inspired looks ruled the runways from London to Paris.

Rick Owens Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Rick Owens Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Haider Ackermann Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Haider Ackermann Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Belstaff Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Belstaff)

Belstaff Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Belstaff)

Craig Green Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Craig Green Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Gosha Rubchinskiy Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Gosha Rubchinskiy Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prada Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prada Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

TAILOR MADE

Suit-Up. Sharp, tailored suits made their mark on the runway as the classic looks take a modern turn, complete with ties and all.

Giorgio Armani Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Giorgio Armani Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ermenegildo Zegna Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ermenegildo Zegna Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Brooks Brothers Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Brooks Brothers Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Kiton Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Kiton Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Neil Barrett Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Neil Barrett Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

GOOD SPORT

The athleisure trend is still going strong as streetwear inspired looks continue to take center stage.

Off-White Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Off-White Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

MSGM Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

MSGM Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Valentino Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Valentino Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Facetasm Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Facetasm Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Stella McCartney Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Stella McCartney)

Stella McCartney Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Stella McCartney)

 

FIT TO PRINT

Designers are playing mix-and-match this season as head to toe prints are making a splash.

Versace Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Versace Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Dolce & Gabbana Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Dolce & Gabbana Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Missoni Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Missoni)

Missoni Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Missoni)

Vivienne Westwood Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vivienne Westwood)

Vivienne Westwood Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vivienne Westwood)

Pringle of Scotland Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Pringle of Scotland)

Pringle of Scotland Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Pringle of Scotland)

 

BRAVE THE COLD

Terrific outerwear was all over the runway, but one of the key outerwear trends were shearling jackets that were effortless yet cozy.

Brunello Cucinelli Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Brunello Cucinelli)

Brunello Cucinelli Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Brunello Cucinelli)

Ralph Lauren Purple Label Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Ralph Lauren)

Ralph Lauren Purple Label Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Ralph Lauren)

Dsquared2 Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Dsquared2 Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Tods Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Tods)

Tods Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Tods)

Band of Outsiders Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Band of Outsiders)

Band of Outsiders Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Band of Outsiders)

 

 TELL US, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MENSWEAR TREND THIS SEASON?

NYFW Wrap-Up – Sex, American Pop Culture, Transparency & Annie Hall Revisited

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

New York Fashion Week 

Front Row at New York Fashion Week (Courtesy of AOL.Com)

Front Row at New York Fashion Week (Courtesy of AOL.Com)

Fashion Month is in full swing as New York kicked off the Spring 2018 show season with a bang. Of course, there was plenty of buzz before shows even started such as the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) cutting the NY calendar by a day, New York based designers showing in other cities, and the stress of where to show. Then lets add on the celebrity circus and street style stars in the mix and it’s been a entertaining week.

One of the biggest trends among the fashion crowd before shows even began was the blue ribbon. Fashionistas are pinning themselves to protest racism and hatred in the wake of this summer’s white power rally in Charlottesville, Va. The ribbons were created by the CFDA and the American Civil Liberties Union. In a statement released, Steven Kolb, president and CEO of CFDA, said “We want to be on the front line, not the sidelines, to boldly fight to protect our precious rights and freedoms, which has taken on a renewed urgency after the heart-wrenching events of Charlottesville.”

ACLU Fashion Week Pin (Courtesy of New York Post.com)

ACLU Fashion Week Pin (Courtesy of New York Post.com)

Bringing Sexy Back

 

Tom Ford's Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Tom Ford’s Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Tom Ford kicked off fashion week and it was the buzz of the season before it even started. His invitation was all the rage and was Instagramed by the fashion set – a bottle of his latest fragrance, Fucking Fabulous—as if we needed a reminder. Much of Tom Ford’s namesake label’s success has been with his menswear collections, so for spring, Ford took a nod from his menswear collection and showed impeccably tailored suits. His jackets were sexy and confident, with sharp lines and broad shoulders. In a throwback to his signature Gucci 90’s glam, Ford showed plenty of ruched net dresses that where oh so seductive – it’s clear, Tom Ford is back!

Helmut Lang's Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Helmut Lang’s Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

The Helmut Lang collection label is being revised again and the timing couldn’t be better, with so many young designers referencing the designer’s minimalistic aesthetic as a point of reference. The label’s designer in residence is none other than Hood By Air’s Shayne Oliver, so now Helmet Lang is sexier than it’s ever been. Oliver showed some streamline tailoring that was true to the houses’ heritage, but all with a fetish streak. The collection felt more like a Hood By Air show than a Helmut Lang collection. Oliver showed plenty of kink with asymmetric bras, daring peekaboo harnesses, rearless pants suspended from the waistband like garters, leather codpieces, and strappy BDSM gear. The collection left many Helmut Lang fans (all who remember his collections vividly) divided.

Narciso Rodriguez's Spring 2018 Collection (Courtesy of Narciso Rodriguez)

Narciso Rodriguez’s Spring 2018 Collection (Courtesy of Narciso Rodriguez)

This season Narciso Rodriguez opted out of a formal show and the celebrity circus it has become, instead he held private appointments to present his spring collection. Season after season Rodriguez is consistent chic yet sexy clothes that real women want to wear. His workmanship is impeccable and so important to see upclose rather than a runway. Sticking to his signature looks, Rodriguez showed slinky knit dresses in black and white with openwork stitches that show flashes of skin, a harness-top sheath with a sliver cutout, and an attenuated jumpsuit with a deep U-front.

Sporty Spice

Alexander Wang's Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Alexander Wang’s Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Athleisure and streetwear have been going strong now, but for spring the trend takes a more feminine twist. At Alexander Wang’s #WANGFEST, models rode around a party bus Saturday night around New York City’s busy streets. The first stop was Lafayette and Center Streets in Manhattan, the second was at Astor Place; both were open to the public. The press and retailers were invited to the last stop – a dead end in Bushwick, Brooklyn; which then led to #WANGFEST, his jumping after-party in a literal jumpy castle. Models were literally pouring off the bus in a runway format that was fun and energetic. As for the clothes, it’s what Wang does best, sporty with a sexy twist. These are real clothes for all the cool kids. Wang layered denim cut-offs over leather leggings and there were a lot of extra sleeves and jackets that were cut in half and worn as skirts. Wang is also continuing his collaboration with Adidas, with a zip-front jacket with the extra sleeves cinching the waist.

Rihanna at her Fenty x Puma's Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Rihanna at her Fenty x Puma’s Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Wang isn’t the only one to break the ties from traditional fashion shows, Rihanna gave her audience an adrenalin rush as she presented her Fenty x Puma show. The set was designed with pink sand mountains and a trio of motocross stuntmen performed mouth-dropping stunts. As for the clothes, they were sporty, fun, colorful and sexy all in one. Inspired by the X Games, there were a number of classic surf references thrown in for good measure – think biker shorts and scuba onesies. Rihanna showed modern interpretations of cheeky 1980s swim trends, case in point, the French-cut swimsuit. The entertainer also showed off her tomboy style with oversize motocross-inspired nylon track pants and anoraks that were a modern riff off the 90’s hip-hop trend.

Calvin Klein's Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Calvin Klein’s Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Meanwhile, at Calvin Klein, Raf Simmons continued his experimentation on American classics. For Spring, Raf was inspired by the contrast of the American Dream and American horror by invoking the magic of the movies; horror movies to be more specific as he played with Andy Warhol pop prints (specifically, Dennis Hopper circa Easy Rider and a 1971 Sandra Brant). His Hitchcock blondes wore rubber, and gauzy nightgowns reminiscent of Sissy Spacek in Carrie. Sticking to his American classics motif, Raf also showed plenty of cool denim, color blocked Western shirts, fringe dresses, 50’s inspired full skirted frocks and a nod to athletic with cool bungee cord details on nylon outerwear.

 

You’re So Transparent

Victoria Beckham's Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Victoria Beckham’s Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

This season is turning out to be a sheer sensation as designers are leaving very little to the imagination, but not in a vulgar way. For spring, they are embracing the transparency trend with soft, wispy fabrics delicately draped and overlaid showing just hints of skin in a romantic and feminine way. Speaking of femininity, Victoria Beckham showed off her softer side this season with sheer fabrics in soft colors proving that delicacy can in fact be strong. Case in point, Beckham’s first look: a soft yellow check shirt, which was slightly oversized and boxy, tucked into a dusty rose organza pencil skirt. Pure perfection!

 

Jason Wu's Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jason Wu’s Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jason Wu is known for his polished and elegant sensibility, and for spring he kept true to his DNA but in a slightly more casual way. But casual for Wu means a midriff-baring cutout on a striped cotton dress and laces suspended from a crinkled silk coat. For evening, Wu was inspired by Madame Grès and reinterpreted her innovative pleating techniques.  Wu also worked pleats onto sheer gowns staying right on trend.

Oscar de la Renta's Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Oscar de la Renta’s Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Meanwhile, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia’s sophomore collection for the Oscar de la Renta brand were met with mixed reviews. Inspired by Pop Art and letters Mr. De la Renta wrote, along with thank-you notes that the duo have received from today’s young starlets. Sure De la Renta’s name was all over the collection, but his aesthetic certainly was not. Can you image Mr. De la Rents putting frayed and faded denim, sheer dresses, bathing suits and logo print furs on the runway? There were a few breathtaking evening gowns that rang true to De la Renta’s style, such as the colorful dégradé tulle gowns. Still, Kim and Garcia are trying to find their footing in the house of Oscar de la Renta.

 

Annie Hall

Ralph Lauren's Fall 2017 Buy-Now-Wear-Now Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ralph Lauren’s Fall 2017 Buy-Now-Wear-Now Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Traditional menswear has always been in fashion, but for spring designers are incorporating tailored suits in beautiful menswear fabrics for a look that is smart yet oh so chic. Of course no one does this better than Ralph Lauren. In one of the most anticipated shows of the season he transported the fashionable front row set to his garage in upstate Bedford, New York.  His vintage car collection is most impressive with Porsches, Ferraris, Jaguars, McLarens, and a Bugatti. The cars were innovative and sleek, but his clothes oozed timeless chic. For his Fall, buy-now-wear-now collection, Lauren worked mixed tweeds, checks and plaids on bustier tops paired with relaxed trousers. For evening, Lauren kept it casual with a puffer jacket over a sparkly minislip and over-the-knee boots as well as dapper tuxedos.

Good-Bye New York

Marc Jacobs' Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Marc Jacobs’ Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

No designer is better fitted to close out New York fashion week than Marc Jacobs – you just never know what you’re going to get at a Marc show. This season it was silence, there was no whimsical sets built, no music, just the sound of 56 models walking only to the sounds of their shoes on the old wood planks of the Park Avenue Armory. The clothes were full of wit and humor. After being in business for 25 years, Jacob’s looks to his past collections for inspiration; his program notes called it a “reimagining of seasons past somewhere beyond the urban landscape of New York City.”

No music was needed to set a mood, the clothes themselves set a happy and joyful tone. There were giant, overscaled flowers; Crayola colors, tinsel trimmings, exaggerated shapes, and sequins, sequins, sequins. Jacobs’s idea was to return to the archives, passing old ideas and former hits through “exaggerated, decadent, and exotic” filters. Although some looks were trippy, overall, Jacob’s did what he does best, delivering a young and exciting line-up.

Marc Jacobs' Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Marc Jacobs’ Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Going On With NY Fashion Week?

What’s Going On With NY Fashion Week?

Michael Kors Fall 2017 Collection (Image courtesy of Vogue.com)

Michael Kors Fall 2017 Collection (Image courtesy of Vogue.com)

Labor Day weekend is upon us and that only means two things, summer is coming to an end and New York Fashion Week is literally around the corner.

Fashion is an industry that is rapidly changing and evolving, and now, New York Fashion Week is going through some major shake-ups. Last season, the NYFW calendar had a number of changes from several New York designers deciding to show in Los Angeles or Paris, to some designers leaving the schedule all together. Then let’s not even begin with all the confusion behind the see-now, buy-now schedules. Now the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has strategically condensed the calendar, will this be enough to entice American designers to stay in NY?

Alexander Wang Fall 2017 Collection (Image courtesy of Vogue.com)

Alexander Wang Fall 2017 Collection (Image courtesy of Vogue.com)

According to the new schedule, the Spring 2018 season will begin on Thursday, September 7 and end on Wednesday, September 13. The CFDA has shortened NYFW by one day – say goodbye to the second Thursday in the schedule. This will allow editors, bloggers and buyers a much needed gap day between New York and London shows – now they won’t have to miss the Marc Jacob’s show (he has closed out NYFW since 2014) Marc Jacobs will still be the closing act of NYFW, but he will now show on Wednesday evening at 6:00 PM. Kicking off the week will Calvin Klein and Tom Ford, with 10:00 AM and 7:00 PM shows, respectively.

Marc Jacobs Fall 2017 Collection (Image courtesy of Vogue.com)

Marc Jacobs Fall 2017 Collection (Image courtesy of Vogue.com)

Last season, two of New York’s most influential labels — Proenza Schouler and Rodarte — switched things up as they decided to head to the City of Lights to showcase their collections. A few others headed for sunny California (such as Tommy Hilfiger, Rachel Zoe and Rebecca Minkoff). Ahead of the Spring 2018 season, more NYFW regulars have announced their imminent departure.

Altuzarra is the latest to join the growing list of designers exiting the New York Fashion Week and is heading to Paris. “I was born and raised in Paris and the city holds a very deep personal significance for me. This has been a dream of mine since the very beginning and now the time feels right. I am honored to be invited by La Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode to show in my hometown of Paris,” said Joseph Altuzarra in a statement released by the brand.

Altuzarra Fall 2017 Collection (Image courtesy of Vogue.com)

Altuzarra Fall 2017 Collection (Image courtesy of Vogue.com)

Meanwhile, Tommy Hilfiger, who has built his empire on the Americana dream, is opting out of New York for the second season in a row and will debut his next collection with Gigi Hadid in London. Then, let’s not forget about brands like Opening Ceremony and Vetements who are veering away from traditional runway shows altogether.

Tommy Hilfiger and Gigi Hadid at the Fall 2016 show (Image courtesy of Forbes.com)

Tommy Hilfiger and Gigi Hadid at the Fall 2016 show (Image courtesy of Forbes.com)

Narciso Rodriguez decided to opt out of the traditional NYFW runway show altogether. According to WWD, the brand is skipping a formal show this September and instead hosting private showroom appointments on the first official day of the NYFW calendar (September 6). Rodriguez’s usual time slot on the calendar conflicts with Ralph Lauren’s plan to stage his show in Bedford, New York this season—though that reportedly has nothing to do with the designer’s cancellation

Narciso Rodriguez Fall 2017 Collection (Image courtesy of Vogue.com)

Narciso Rodriguez Fall 2017 Collection (Image courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ralph Lauren will really send the fashion crowd in a tizzy as he decided to show his collection upstate New York. According to WWD, Lauren will stage his Fall 2017 see-now, buy-now show at his private garage located in Bedford, New York on September 12th at 7 PM. The garage houses Lauren’s personal automobile collection, which will serve as the backdrop to the runway. Ralph Lauren owns one of the most expensive car collections in the world, his’s rare automobiles include Ferraris, Bugattis and Bentleys which date back to the ’20s and ’30s. For the first time the designer will show his Ralph Lauren Purple Label menswear collection along with his womenswear collection. The show will reportedly be followed by a private and oh so chic formal dinner. It’s sure to be the invite of the season.

Ralph Lauren Spring 2017 See Now Buy Now Collection (Image courtesy of Getty Image)

Ralph Lauren Spring 2017 See Now Buy Now Collection (Image courtesy of Getty Image)

And if all these changes were not enough, it was also announced last month that Skylight Clarkson Square would no longer be the primary show location starting in 2018. New York Fashion Week has struggled to find a stable home since its departure from Bryant Park in 2010. Lincoln Center hosted the affair for five years (ending in 2015) but the neighborhood complained about all noise, traffic and the circus of what NYFW had become. After Lincoln Center, shows had two primary locations: Skylight Clarkson Square and Skylight Moynihan Station—though many designers have opted to show at alternative venues instead.

Clarkson Street Venue (Image courtesy of Racked.com)

Clarkson Street Venue (Image courtesy of Racked.com)

“The official venue of New York Fashion Week is New York City. The Skylight properties will no longer be an event space, so for season six of NYFW: Men’s in January and New York Fashion Week in February, there will no longer be a home base and the shows will be “decentralized,” Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA, said in a statement.

Mark Beckham, CFDA’s VP of marketing, also noted the challenge of fostering fashion’s runway changes, “The entire fashion week landscape is going through tremendous evolution and we want to be sensitive to the needs of the designers and be cost-effective. So if a designer is creating an original film, perhaps they can look at a screening room. If they’re planning a casual presentation, maybe an amazing penthouse would be better.”

Currently, the CFDA is in the process of looking for a new show venue that could act as a replacement for the Skylight Clarkson locations.

So among all the shake-ups this season, one must ask, is it time for New York’s Mayor De Blasio and Governor Cuomo to step up to the plate and preserve New York as the Fashion Capital of the World? Let us hear your thoughts.

New York Fashion Week (Image Courtesy of Huffingtonpost.com)

New York Fashion Week (Image Courtesy of Huffingtonpost.com)

Patriotic Fashion

To The Red, White and Blue: The American Flag in Fashion

American Flag in Fashion (Courtesy of  Quora.Com)

American Flag in Fashion (Courtesy of Quora.Com)

Happy Memorial Day! It’s the official kickoff weekend to the summer in the United States.  It’s time to hit the beach and enjoy some fun barbeque smoked food parties. With Independence Day right around the corner, what better way to show national pride than by wearing the iconic red, white and blue flag print.

The first official flag of the United States was introduced on June 14, 1777 and represented our founding 13 colonies with thirteen stripes in red and white and thirteen stars.  The American flag as we know it today has only been around since 1960 (July 4th, 1960, to be exact). It was introduced shortly after Hawaii became the nation’s fiftieth state, and in its long and tricolored history, there have been a grand total of 27 official, government approved versions: As states were added, so were the stars. What has remained consistent, the flags thirteen red and white alternating stripes—representing our original thirteen colonies. Citizens proudly hung their flags in front of their homes, schools and government buildings. They had great respect for their nation.

America was seen as the land of economic prosperity and enabling dreams – “The American Dream”.  This slogan was made popular through intense marketing. The goal was singular: to project America to be the best place in the world to be living in. And it paid off. America became an attractive destination for some of the world’s smartest immigrants and global investment.

Through the years, the American flag has become a fixture in the fashion world all across the United States and even overseas. The fashion world’s homages to the flag over the years have been a little more abstract. It’s most definitely a popular motif, but the banner’s many variations run the gamut from straight-up remodeled – case in point, Givenchy’s spring 2014 men’s tech-y colored jumpers – to Catherine Malandrino’s gauzy iconic flag dress  (which featured heavily in FIT’s 2009 “Fashion & Politics” exhibition).

Catherine Malandrino 2001 (Courtesy of Pintrest)

Catherine Malandrino
2001 (Courtesy of Pintrest)

 

Givenchy Men's Spring 2014 (Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Givenchy Men’s Spring 2014 (Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

Most often it’s a bankable subject – look at Ralph Lauren. The designer has been printing the American Flag image on many variations on his t-shirts for years. You cannot attend a 4th of July party without someone in the crowd wearing a Ralph Lauren iconic flag tee (they can be found in his men’s, woman’s and children’s collections). Tommy Hilfiger is another sportswear giant who incorporated the iconic American symbol as a logo for his collection.

Tommy Hilfiger X Gigi Hadid spring 2017 (Courtesy of  Tommy Hilfiger)

Tommy Hilfiger X Gigi Hadid spring 2017 (Courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger)

 

Denim & Supply by Ralph Lauren (Courtesy of Lyst.Com)

Denim & Supply by Ralph Lauren (Courtesy of Lyst.Com)

 

On the runway, Thom Browne has become famous for his signature red, white, and-blue grosgrain trims, let alone his unconventional runway collections that, somehow, blend country-strong iconoclasm with theatricality and excitement. Meanwhile, Chanel’s pre-fall 2014 rodeo in Dallas extravaganza, Karl Lagerfeld embraced the motto “Everything is bigger in Texas.” The show was a barn-burner of a star-spangled spectacle in all its glory.

 

Thom Browne Spring 2017 (Courtesy of ssense.com)

Thom Browne Spring 2017 (Courtesy of ssense.com)

 

Chanel pre-fall2014 (Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Chanel pre-fall2014 (Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

So in honor of Memorial Day, Independence Day and the start to summer, wear your Flag motif proudly. No matter what your political party is, we should all be patriots.

Miu Miu Spring 2011 (Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Miu Miu Spring 2011 (Courtesy of Vogue.Com