New York Fashion Week weathers #MeToo storm
New York Fashion Week weathers #MeToo storm
More than 230,000 people flood the US financial capital to attend the style fest that generates nearly $900 million a year for the city.
It is currently scheduled twice-yearly in February and September.
But as social media influencers wrestle power from fashion editors and buyers, more labels than ever are opting out this season, abandoning New York for Europe or tearing up the runway show altogether.
Here is a look at the top trends expected to dominate when Fashion Week formally gets underway on Thursday, preceded by three days of men’s shows.
The sexual harassment watershed engulfing the US and rocking the fashion industry has seen the Council of Fashion Designers of America unveil new guidelines in an attempt to clamp down on misconduct.
“We have zero tolerance for unsafe environments and strongly encourage everyone in our industry to report abuse in the workplace,” wrote CFDA chairman Diane von Furstenberg in a letter announcing the guidelines, which also raise awareness against eating disorders and advocate greater diversity.
Misconduct accusations have seen celebrated photographers Terry Richardson, Mario Testino and Bruce Weber barred from collaborating with Vogue and Vanity Fair publisher Conde Nast.
The magazine empire has issued a new “Code of Conduct” to include bans on alcohol on sets, on under-18 models without a chaperone, and for nudity or “sexually suggestive” poses to be agreed beforehand.
But the Model Alliance has demanded “meaningful and lasting change,” saying “voluntary standards” without education, proper complaint mechanisms and independent enforcement “are not going to work.”
Marchesa, the label of Harvey Weinstein’s estranged wife Georgina Chapman, canceled their Valentine’s Day show, still reeling from the fallout of his downfall over multiple allegations ranging from sexual harassment to rape, in favor of “an updated format.”
Added to the schedule is a #MeToo fashion show — named for the movement against sexual harassment — on Friday to raise awareness.
“The only way to change things is to be united... and stand up and say, ‘That is not OK, we are not going to accept this anymore,’” organizer Myriam Chalek told The Daily Beast.
Alexander Wang, the New York king of cool whose urban chic is so adored by off-duty models, is making his swansong before this summer ditching the traditional February-September calendar in favor of June-December.
His departure follows the exit of Proenza Schouler and Rodarte for couture week in Paris on the same schedule, and Altuzarra, which moved to Paris Fashion Week.
“Why do something that’s not working?” Stephanie Horton, chief strategy officer at Alexander Wang told a recent industry event in New York. “The business model needs to change because the consumer has changed.”
Steven Kolb, president and CEO of the CFDA, predicts that other designers could follow suit.
“I think it’ll be a period of chaos, maybe, but chaos always calms down at some point,” he told the same event in New York.
Tommy Hilfiger is taking his see-now, buy-now fashion roadshow to Milan, Rihanna’s Fenty collaboration with Puma is taking a break, and rap superstar Kanye West chose to unveil his latest installment for urban sportswear brand Yeezy last week on Instagram, modeled by his wife Kim Kardashian.
British former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham is marking her last show in New York before celebrating her label’s 10th anniversary in London. Spanish label Delpozo is already moving to London and Tome to Paris.
Bucking the trend is Italian luxury house Bottega Veneta, showing at the American Stock Exchange on Thursday as a one-off to celebrate a new boutique on Madison Avenue.
Look out for the influencers — the breed of bloggers, Instagramers and celebrities whose followings can shift markets and who are particularly dominant in New York.
“We’re so embedded in pop culture, in media and entertainment,” explains Kolb.
Face and figure alone are no longer a guarantor of hitting the big-time. Instead it’s genes, having the right name and an Instagram following.
Think 16-year-old Kaia Gerber, look-alike daughter of Cindy Crawford already collaborating on a collection with Karl Lagerfeld, Kendall Jenner, half-sister of Kim Kardashian, and Gigi and Bella Hadid, daughters of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Yolanda Hadid.
No longer just the face of brands, their huge celebrity following is a meal ticket for brands and they can monetize that. Think Calvin Klein’s recent underwear campaign featuring the Kardashians.
Zayan the Label unveils summer and Ramadan lines fit for a princess
- The Ciao Maharani collection was inspired by Princess Gayatri Devi, the last maharani of Jaipur
- The label also launched a special line of kaftans for Ramadan
DUBAI: Dubai-based Zayan Ghandour is widely known as the fashion-forward woman behind hugely successful concept store S*uce, which boasts incredibly offbeat designs by regional and international designers in stores across the UAE.
Ghandour launched her own quirky, feminine brand, Zayan the Label, at Paris Fashion Week in 2011 and has now unveiled a Spring/Summer 2018 collection that is perfect for the month of Ramadan, as well as a line of kaftans.
Titled the “Ciao Maharani” collection, the delightful summer line was inspired by Princess Gayatri Devi, the last maharani of Jaipur, the capital of India’s Rajasthan state famous for its reddish pink buildings.
The collection is marked by tiered dresses embroidered with Indian floral folklore motifs, vibrant brocades with contemporary jersey rib details, deliciously bright color block dresses with ruffled halter-necks and detachable off-shoulder sleeves, as well as dresses, tops and bottoms.
The line is ideal for iftar and suhoor gatherings due to the loose fit and summery shades of some of the pieces — there are even oh-so-comfy sweatpants embroidered with various motifs. Starched, Santorni-esque whites, vibrant reds, yellows and blues all work together to result in a collection that is at once stylish, smile-inducing and fun.
The label is known for its quirks and this line is no different, with one cold shoulder sweatshirt embroidered with the words “Garam Masala” — a fiery, spicy staple in Indian cooking. Although the thought of wearing a sweatshirt in the Gulf heat is rather off-putting, perhaps label lovers could save this piece for their inevitable trip to cooler climes this summer.
Ghandour also released a similar line of Ramadan kaftans, which echo the colors, styles and motifs that appear in her Ciao Maharani collection.
Inspired by a legendary style icon in India, it is refreshing that Ghandour chose to turn to the subcontinent to fuel her latest collection.
Described as “one of India’s most elegant, independent and modern maharanis,” by the India Today newspaper, Devi was the third maharani consort of Jaipur from 1940 to 1949, through her marriage to Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II.
She was born on May 23, 1919, in London and married her husband in May 1940. Despite the relative ease with which she could have chosen to live a life of leisure, Devi chose to opt for a stint in politics and won a seat in the Indian Parliament in 1962. She held the seat from 1967-1971 as a member of the Swatantra Party and was an avid equestrienne and polo player to boot.
Known for her fondness for cars, Devi also reportedly imported the first Mercedes-Benz W126 to India and owned a bevy of Rolls-Royces and an aircraft, according to India Today.
With all these achievements under her belt — or tucked neatly into her sari — it is perhaps no wonder that the Lebanese trendsetting designer chose to draw inspiration from the Indian princess.
The collection is available across S*uce stores in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the standalone Zayan the Label store in Dubai and via international stockists. To peruse the collection online, visit zayanthelabel.com.