In The Words Of: Cathy Horn

Fall 2016 NYFW has come to a close. Although the season has been full of new clothes, it feels like the last several seasons: More of the same looks, trends and key pieces. As Cathy Horn asks, who will lead American fashion:

"It sometimes seems, in fact, that the industry has splintered into three completely separate businesses — the celebrity lines, the trendy-casual stuff that consumes most of the space (and slowly kills you with its banality), and the elite brands like Oscar de la Renta. There’s no real leader, though, in American fashion. We have stars, bona fide talent (Narciso Rodriguez) and conceptual playmakers (thank you, Marc Jacobs), but what we desperately need is someone who can challenge and ignite the whole industry. Raise the bar, because it’s pretty low right now."

- Cathy Horn, The Cut

Industry Issues: How To Fix The Fashion System

This round table chat between editor Tim Blanks, designer Erdem Moralioglu, blogger Susanna Lau, publicist Daniel Marks and editor JJ Martin was first published on Business Of Fashion's site this past Monday. There are many interesting fashion industry insights, but this excerpt regarding advertising and print media has to be one of the best. It just reinforces the reason why many major fashion magazines and designer brands look the same - and echoes the feelings of Tomas Maier in an earlier post (check out that one from December 18):

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In The Words Of: Tomas Maier on Advertising

It's always nice to hear designers acknowledge that many of the major fashion brands use the same photographers to shoot their advertising campaigns. It's one reason fashion ads have become so predictable over the last twenty or so years:

When I ask why he (Maier) began collaborating with artists and photographers for his advertising campaigns, he simply states: “Because I had the opportunity. I like photography, and there are a lot of different photographers that I like. I've looked at advertising, for 20 years, and everyone uses the same five people in this industry…” - Alexander Fury, Independent

Industry Issues: The Broken Runway Show Schedule

Vogue UK reported yesterday in an online post that CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg has hired a consulting firm to help "reboot" the NYFW shows. Finally. The system has been broken for a number of seasons now. In fact, the shows have become so out of sync with consumer needs and more and more of a circus for press, I haven't even attended them in years (give me a showroom appointment over a show any day; I want to see the clothing and accessories up close - not seated in the middle of five rows of people, where I can't even see half the outfit coming down the runway).

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In The Words Of: Vanessa Friedman

"...if we turn away from the luxury and fashion industries at a time like this because they are not “serious,” then we contribute to the goals of those who attacked France. When the terrorists opened fire on restaurants and nightclubs, they were not simply sowing fear. They were assaulting a certain kind of lifestyle, one that values conversation, self-expression, art and beauty, of which fashion is a part. To embrace those values is, now, a political statement." - Vanessa Friedman, New York Times

Industry Issues: Fashion & Music Subcultures

I was interested to come across an article by Tish Weinstock on about the role music subcultures have played in forming youth identity, including dress codes. In it, Weinstock points out that music used to have a huge influence over what tribe one decided to become a part of (Ska, Punk, Goth, etc.) and how you dressed. But technology has changed things; now all kinds of music are easily available (great), as well as acceptable (not so great), which means nothing is underground or subversive anymore.

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Fashion Media: A Short Lesson In Branding & Editing

In Monday's set of show reviews via The Cut, Cathy Horn points out a crucial dilemma for young designers: Creating a signature look. On the one hand, they need to distinguish their work from other lines, but - at the same time - if they become too tightly branded, their clothing can quickly become cliched. It's basically a vicious fashion circle.

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