An ad for Vogue in the 1960s, when people made an effort to dress well.
Over the course of the 20th century, social dress codes evolved from staunchly formal to informal and fluid and now, to virtually nonexistent, victims of a confluence of cultural factors including the ever-increasing casualization of everyday life. It’s unlikely that United’s zealot gate agent gives a hoot about the woeful state of the fashion industry. But his/her strict enforcement of the employee pass rule provided a reminder that in some rare occurrences, leggings just won’t do. In other words, there are reasons to go out and buy some clothes.
Bridget Foley – editor and columnist for Women’s Wear Daily.
This is a quote from Ms. Foley’s editorial on the recent leggings incident on United Airlines. Do you know the story? Well, briefly – two teenage girls were pulled aside before boarding a United Airlines flight and were told they would have to change out of their leggings. A nearby women witnessed this and went mad taking photos and posting on Instagram, yelling “outrage.”
Turns out the airline had a reason for their position as the girls were traveling on a company pass and there’s a dress code that applies. United considers that anyone traveling on a pass is a representative of the airline and therefore, they are required to present professionally. From what I’ve read, no one else on that flight was confronted about their leggings and I’m sure there were plenty of other travelers sporting the ultra casual look.
Of course I’m with Ms. Foley and United Airlines. Keeping to high standards is always a good thing. I tip my hat to the gate agent who enforced the (reasonable) policy and Ms. Foley who always eloquently says it like it is.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Arts, Events, Fashion, Uncategorized, Vintage, tagged Anna Wintour, commemorative stamps, fashion news, Hillary Clinton, Oscar de la Renta, US Postage Stamps on March 15, 2017|
1 Comment »
Oscar de la Renta commemorative postage stamps.
When I was in college I worked part time in a neighborhood dance wear and accessories shop. Ingeborg, the German-born owner of the shop, was a stern boss but she was a good businesswoman, had an discerning eye for quality, and could be very generous to her employees.
I learned about a lot of different things from Ingeborg, including the attraction of a postage stamp. Among my tasks each morning was a walk to the bank and sometimes the post office, where I was to buy commemorative stamps only. Commemorative stamps? I had no idea.
Commemorative stamps are limited edition postage stamps that honor a person, place, or event. There are perhaps a dozen or so to choose from at any one time. Like miniature pieces of art they are always more interesting than the usual stamp and brighten up any envelope. Ingeborg didn’t ever say she wanted a particular stamp, she left it up to me to choose. So this is something I have been doing (and enjoying) a long time; at first for her and now for myself. Like Ingeborg, I only buy commemorative.
Earlier this year I read in WWD that there was to be a stamp commemorating the late and beloved American fashion designer Oscar de la Renta. The stamp was two years in the making and finally released on February 16th 2017. To celebrate, the fashion house hosted a release ceremony with formidable speakers Vogue editor Anna Wintour and Hillary Clinton, who was a good friend of Mr. de la Renta and the man who designed her original pantsuits.
(In her speech that day, Mrs. Clinton reminded the audience that Mr. de la Renta was an immigrant from the Dominican Republic. “And let there be many, many, more immigrants with the love of America that Oscar de la Renta exemplified every single day,” she said to a reported thunderous applause. He became a US citizen in 1969.)
You bet I was excited to make my way to the post office and get the fashionable commemorative stamp. They’re so lovely.
Thanks Ingeborg, wherever you may be, for gifting me with a lifelong appreciation of a postage stamp.
Read Full Post »
Our industry, not unlike the housing industry, saw too much square footage. Thousands of doors opened in the nineties and aughts, created a bubble and like housing, that bubble has now burst. We are seeing the results, doors shuttering and rents retreating. This trend will continue for the foreseeable future and may even accelerate … The U.S. market is oversaturated with retail space and far too much of that space is occupied by stores selling apparel.
– Richard Hayne, CEO Urban Outfitters, Inc.
Mr. Hayne is commenting on the current challenging times for retail bricks-and-mortar. Urban Outfitters sales are slumping and they’re not alone – The Limited, Wet Seal, and BCBG are facing insolvency. Macy’s and JCPenney are laying off workers and shutting stores.
What’s up? Well, like Mr. Hayne says there’s too much retail space and an overabundance of product. Combine that with customers’ lack of fashion interest and a desire instead to spend money on food and travel. Plus people more and more prefer to shop online.
Old-fashion gal that I am, I like shops. But lately I have noticed that I can’t find what I want and customer service is lackluster, even at local boutiques. It seems that a big wet blanket is draped over retail establishments. Walk in and there’s no energy, no interest, no interaction. Why stay? Why buy? There are exceptions, of course and I try to support those that I find.
These are interesting times for fashion and retail.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Events, Fashion, Uncategorized, tagged Diane von Furstenberg, fashion and politics, fashion designers, fashion industry, fashion news, Ivanka Trump, The Business of Fashion, travel, Trump's executive order on February 6, 2017|
4 Comments »
The fashion industry has always been a reflection of what America is all about … inclusion and diversity. It will continue to stand by these standards. I am personally horrified to see what is going on.
– Diane von Furstenberg, Belgium-American fashion designer.
This quote is from an article in The Business of Fashion by Imran Amed.
For Mr. Amed’s article many fashion industry professionals were asked to comment on Trump’s recent executive order to halt the current refugee program and (temporarily) ban travelers from seven Muslim countries from entering the United States. Ms. von Furstenberg and Steven Kolb, chief executive of CFDA were the only ones willing to make a comment. Others declined to say one word.
Isn’t that rather odd considering the outrage expressed around the country and around the world? CEOs from Apple, Facebook, Starbucks, and Nike just to name a few, are all unafraid to take a public stand against Trump’s actions.
Why so quiet on the fashion front? I surmise that (assuming most designers actually disagree with Trump) they might be afraid to alienate Trump supporters, many of whom could be their customers. Let’s not forget that Kellyanne Conway was sporting Gucci at the inauguration. Brands such as Isaac Mizrahi and Lori Goldstein sell on QVC, a magnet for middle-of-the country shoppers. Also, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka is an influential member of the fashion biz.
It could be that designers and corporate brands are nervous about offending all the wrong people (customers and Trumps). If they say nothing, they’re safe.
But SAFE is not fashionable right now. SPEAKING UP is what’s trending.
Read Full Post »
I’m not against see-now-buy-now, but there has to be some scarcity somewhere. When you just put things out there and it feels like everything is available all of the time, right away, there’s no sense of something special.
– Pierre-Yves Roussel, chairman and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group.
Burberry was among the big brands to offer see-now-buy-now.
During the last fashion show season in September, many brands offered some of their items for sale right away. There is much talk in the industry about this trend, called see-now-buy-now. Some designers think it’s great for increased sales and exposure. While others are unsure, expressing concern about changing timelines and schedules.
See-now-buy-now is a pretty big shift (if it lasts) affecting manufacturing, editorial, delivery, space in stores and so on.
Retail sales in clothing had been on the decline – perhaps it’s this fast-fashion/have it now/nothing special that has turned people off buying clothes. Instead consumers are finding their sense of special from experiences such as travel, food, and entertainment.
Read Full Post »
Grace Coddington is stepping down from her position as creative director at American Vogue magazine.
The former British model has been Anna Wintour’s right-hand gal since 1988 when the two Brits took over the magazine. At 74, Ms. Coddington has no plans to retire but says she intends to stay active in fashion and other interests, including the creation of a fragrance for Comme des Garçons.
Good for her. I look forward to seeing what the talented Ms. Coddington does next.
Read Full Post »
Donna Karan top right in the 1980s with models sporting her line.
Donna Karan is a part of me — past, present and future. It has been an honor to speak woman to woman about ‘Seven Easy Pieces’ that forever changed the way women dress.
– Fashion designer Donna Karan.
Ms. Karan announced last week that she is stepping down as chief designer from her namesake brand, which she founded with her husband in 1984. Later in 1996 the company went public and then in 2001 LVMH Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton bought all outstanding shares.
The Donna Karan brand was a favorite of women in the 1980s when she designed the basic jersey bodysuit and other pieces to coordinate – called Seven Easy Pieces. She was thought of at the time as a lifestyle designer, not just a designer of clothes. Frankly, I don’t see how the brand can continue without her.
Ms. Karan says she now wants to devote more time to her other line, Urban Zen.
It’s the end of a fashionable era.
Read Full Post »