New York Fashion Week weathers #MeToo storm

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Models pose backstage during Ovadia & Sons Mens’ New York Fashion Week show at Irving Plaza. (Getty Images/AFP)
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Above, a model is seen backstage during Ovadia & Sons Mens’ New York Fashion Week show at Irving Plaza. (Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 06 February 2018
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New York Fashion Week weathers #MeToo storm

NEW YORK: New York Fashion Week kicks off the global fall/winter 2018 season fighting to stay relevant blighted by sexual harassment scandals, an industry in chaos, and designers jumping ship.
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.


Destiny’s designers: Kelly Rowland, Beyoncé don Arab gowns at charity event

Kelly Rowland wearing Yousef Al-Jasmi. (AFP)
Updated 15 October 2018
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Destiny’s designers: Kelly Rowland, Beyoncé don Arab gowns at charity event

DUBAI: Kelly Rowland and Beyoncé both chose Middle East-based designers for their trip down the red carpet at a charity event last week.

The superstars attended the City of Hope Gala in Santa Monica, California, wearing floor-length gowns by designers from Kuwait and Lebanon.

For her part, Rowland chose a glittering, rose gold gown by Kuwaiti designer Yousef Al-Jasmi, with a high collar and slit at the back. She accented the figure-hugging dress with a pair of dazzling earrings and slicked-back hair.

Meanwhile, Beyoncé chose a black velvet jacket by Lebanese label Elie Saab. The belted piece featured embellishments on the shoulder and a plunging neckline and is from the label’s Autumn/Winter 2016 collection.

Beyoncé paid homage to a high-profile music executive being honored at a charity event to raise money for cancer research, The Associated Press reported.

The singer’s vocals soared as she performed three ballads including her 2009 smash hit “Halo” and “Ava Maria” after saluting the character of Warner/Chappell Music Publishing CEO Jon Platt at the City of Hope gala near Los Angeles on Thursday night. She took the stage following her husband, Jay Z, who presented Platt with the Spirit of Life award during a charity event that raised more than $6 million.

“Most people lead with their ego, but you lead with your heart,” Beyoncé said Platt, who will soon be leaving his position at Warner/Chappell to take on the top role at Sony/ATV, the top publishing company in the music business.

“You have touched so many lives, mine included,” she added.

Jay Z called Platt the “Obama of the music industry.” The music executive is known for signing publishing deals with Jay Z, Usher, Kanye West and Snoop Dogg. His roster of songwriters at Warner/Chappell includes Lil Wayne, Bruno Mars and Timbaland.

Both Beyoncé and Jay Z appeared at the black-tie charity event after the couple wrapped up their On The Run II tour about a week ago.

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award than my brother, Jon Platt,” Jay Z told more than 1,000 attendees. “He’s known as ‘Big Jon’ and he has a beautiful soul.”

City of Hope is a treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases as the Music, Film and Entertainment Industry Group has raised more than $118 million in 45 years. The award is the group’s highest honor recognizing those that have helped further music, film and entertainment.

Previous Spirit of Life award recipients include Quincy Jones, Clive Davis, Irving Azoff and Mo Ostin.

Music mogul Diddy, singer Usher, former NBA player Chauncey Billups and some of Platt’s family members took part in a video dedicated to the music executive. Platt’s oldest son, Jonathan Platt, was diagnosed with diabetes.