fbpx
Showing: 1 - 12 of 25 RESULTS
Uncategorized

Alibaba’s Tmall Unveils Outlet Business Luxury Soho – WWD

[ad_1]

LONDON – Tmall, China’s largest business-to-consumer ecommerce platform is getting into the outlet business. Designed to help brands accelerate their digital transformation–and pressingly in this coronavirus-hit world–to liquidate stock and bring in a new source of revenue, Luxury Soho was unveiled quietly on April 20.
Named after the SoHo district in New York, known for its bustling fashion energy, the platform is a counterpart to Luxury Pavilion, which was introduced in 2017 and now hosts a wide spectrum of luxury brands and retailers including Cartier, Prada, Zegna, Coach and Net-a-Porter.
With a severe industry-wide sales disruption and consumers’ discretionary spend forecast to be cut back, discount retailers are expected to benefit in the post COVID-19 world. Brick-and-mortar outlet operator Value Retail reported a quick bounce back in its China revenue to pre-virus levels, while the Hong Kong-headquartered outlet operator On The List opened a permanent showroom in Shanghai this month.

That being said, Yoox China closed down on February 28 this year as YNAP focused its efforts on its full-priced business joint venture with Alibaba, while the Outnet, another off-price platform under YNAP, left the market even earlier in 2015.
“Luxury brands have a specific product life cycle. As the main platform for brands’ digital operation in China, Tmall provides solutions for different scenarios,” said Weixiong Hu, vice president of Alibaba Group and general manager of Tmall’s apparel fashion business unit. “In the future, luxury brands can open two different types of stores on Tmall. The official flagship stores that focus on the new products of the season are stationed in Luxury Pavilion and the official outlet stores that focus on discounted products can be put under Luxury Soho.”

Luxury Soho will feature quality products with competitive price points while protecting brands’ premium images at their Luxury Pavilion stores.
Millions of Taobao users who are deemed qualified by Alibaba’s big data algorithm will see the channel show up on the app landing page. For those who don’t see it, they can find the page by searching “luxury discount.”
Tmall said it hopes this channel can be a gathering place for the fashion-loving but price-sensitive Millennials and Gen Z shoppers. There will be short-form videos, live streams, and product recommendation content from key opinion customers. Top tier brands, media and influencers will also be able to share fashion information.
Coach is one of the first brands to join this channel, and the discount goes as deep as 70 percent off. For example, a men’s backpack is marked down from 5,600 renminbi to 1,680 renminbi, or $790 to $237.
Yann Bozec, president and chief executive officer of Coach China, said: “This strategic cooperation with Tmall will help us to connect deeply with Chinese consumers and show them the unique brand image, products and experience of Coach.”
Other brands that have joined the outlet channel include Emporio Armani, Versace, Hugo Boss, Giuseppe Zanotti, MCM, La Perla, Calvin Klein, Diesel, Y-3, UGG and Chiara Ferragni.
Related:
Value Retail’s Scott Malkin Draws Lessons From China >>

Net-a-porter to Open Flagship on Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion
Miu Miu Bolsters China Digital Presence With Virtual Idol, Tmall Shop

[ad_2]

Source link

Uncategorized

L’Oréal USA CEO Stéphane Rinderknech on Growing U.S. Beauty Sales – WWD

[ad_1]

Stéphane Rinderknech is a man of many metaphors, and the jigsaw puzzle is one of his favorites. For him, the act of reconstructing a thousand little pieces into a single cohesive image represents the complexity of running — and building — a business.
“You may have 4,000 pieces, but the first step is always to put two pieces together, then three, then four,” says Rinderknech, president and chief executive officer of L’Oréal USA.
“It takes time. And each move, each piece, is important. Because you don’t get to 4,000 if you don’t get the third one. And it’s the same with everything we do in the company.
“When you first come to the U.S., you’re lost,” he continues. “Day after day, hour after hour, the image becomes clearer. Step by step, every meeting, every discussion, every trip, every moment is an opportunity to put two other pieces of the puzzle together that is L’Oréal USA.”

Rinderknech assumed his role officially on Jan. 1, 2020, but has been in the U.S. since September, traveling across the country and assembling his vision for the future. A lot depends on Rinderknech being able to fit together the many disparate elements of the North American beauty scene — not least of all which is to help restore L’Oréal to significant growth in a market that had stagnated even before the coronavirus crisis.

If anyone seems up for the challenge, it is Rinderknech. Ask those who know him best to describe him, and the first word they use is “energy,” a force that comes through in even the most casual conversation. Rinderknech speaks with kinetic animation.
His sentences come out in bursts of adjectives, idea building upon idea, verbally italicizing key words and all punctuated with hand gestures for emphasis. His voice rises with excitement as he shares a concept, idea or anecdote, and when he listens, he leans in, intently focused on whoever is speaking.
For Rinderknech, people are a key part of the “pieces” that enable him to connect the dots and see the full picture, and he relishes human interaction. “I want every discussion I have, every meeting, to never be indifferent,” he says. “Something has to happen there. We have to build another step in the relationship.”
When the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. in early March, the puzzle became exponentially more complicated, but the picture immediately took shape. Although he may not yet know the country intimately, his mandate was clear and his call to action immediate.
“Going through a crisis makes us stronger together,” says Rinderknech, of the company’s 11,000-strong workforce. “Sharing this experience makes us so much closer. I see everyone’s homes, their dogs, their kids. This would never happen in a normal context.
“There is a spirit here,” he continues, “and to lift it up, to continue to move forward to be resistant, to protect the business and give our people a sense of direction, that is a very important mission.”
As the COVID-19 crisis worsened in the U.S., Rinderknech had three key priorities. First, to assure the health and well-being of L’Oréal’s workforce; second, to galvanize the company to contribute to the greater good, via the production of hand sanitizers, small business and vendor relief and donations ranging from financial grants to needed goods such as gloves, and third, how not only to mitigate the impact on the business — but how to learn from it, build on it and transform the way L’Oréal operates.

Stéphane Rinderknech 
Mark Mann/WWD

Even though the coronavirus pandemic had not yet broken out when L’Oréal chairman and ceo Jean-Paul Agon appointed Rinderknech as ceo of the U.S., it was clear he was brought on board to be an agent of change. According to L’Oréal’s own figures, the firm has a 13 percent share of the North American beauty market, making it the largest pure-play company here. North America accounted for 25.3 percent of L’Oréal’s overall business in 2019, or about 7.6 billion euros.
But as big as those numbers are, the region has also slowed down considerably. In July, Agon characterized the market as “flat at best.” In contrast, China, the market Rinderknech was most recently ceo of, posted growth of 30 percent last year, led by e-commerce, which is the top-ranked channel in the country and accounts for upward of 40 percent of sales.
“Stéphane is one of the most energetic men I have ever met, and he always keeps pushing in order to achieve his goals,” says Agon.
“At the same time, he is able to lead a team and effectively communicate his energy and ambition. Choosing him to lead the U.S. was not based only on what he has already done in a highly competitive market,” Agon continues, “but more on his skills and strength, which are extremely appropriate to the U.S. market.”
Agon knows whereof he speaks: He became ceo of L’Oréal USA literally days before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, and took over the global ceo role in 2006, just prior to the global economic crash of 2008.
L’Oréal recovered from both events to emerge stronger than ever — and Rinderknech fully expects to do the same when the pandemic has ended. As focused as he is on marshaling L’Oréal’s resources to conquer the coronavirus, he also recognizes the opportunity a changed landscape presents, particularly one in which technology has assumed a larger importance than ever before for a population largely confined to their homes.
“There is going to be an acceleration of the digital transformation, an acceleration within the acceleration,” says Rinderknech. “What we are going to learn is to adjust the content, build the capability, bring the consumer experience.”
For now, that means adjusting and adapting to the needs of quarantined consumers, creating livestreamed content, for example. In the future, who knows? But the point is to build in the agility needed to respond in real time.
“We have to adapt to the consumer reality, to be in their life, to be with them,” says Rinderknech. “The role of a brand is to seed connection, to engage in a dialogue with consumers. It is not to say, ‘Buy my thing and here is a great price.’ It’s, ‘I am here with you and for you, sharing the experienceand the moments.’
“What I’m interested in is the backbone of a brand, not whether it’s big or small,” he continues. “Who are your consumers? What does beauty mean to them? What do they aspire to? And what is our platform of expression to connect with those audiences that we have clearly identified, which is different depending on if you are CeraVe or Giorgio Armani or La Roche-Posay or YSL or L’Oréal Paris.”
He refutes the notion that the U.S. can’t be a high-growth market like China, positing that if you give the people what they want, when they want it, where they want and how, sales will follow, as evidenced by the success of products like L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Hyaluronic Acid and Glycolic Acid serums and Maybelline New York Falsies LashLift Mascara (“a salon gesture adapted to mass.”)
“The market is not growing that quickly, for sure,” says Rinderknech. “But I think anybody in this market can grow very, very fast. There are different forces, different changes, different habits, and we have a responsibility to find the dynamism in the market by putting the right innovations, right quality, service, experience and products that can perfectly fulfill the demands and desires of consumers, which are changing.”
The curiosity to find answers to those questions is what drives him most. Whether it is consumer mores or languages (he speaks French, English, Spanish, German, Mandarin and Japanese) or cello concertos (Rinderknech is an avid player and says music is like beauty in that “there are a million versions of the same suite and every time you play one, it is never the same”), Rinderknech loves to learn.
“I am driven to discover, to take risks, to dive into new things, to push into new frontiers,” he says. “Because you discover something and then it leads you to discover more.”
Rinderknech has had a relatively meteoric rise through the ranks of L’Oréal, and in each posting, he has taken a key learning and moved forward. He joined the company in 2001 in Miami, as Lancôme area manager for South America in the travel retail division, where he soon caught the attention of senior management by adeptly managing through the sociopolitical crises in Brazil and Argentina and gaining significant market share advantages by supporting retailers during the upheavals and reaping the benefits when life returned to normal.
Three years later, he moved to Japan, first as head of Biotherm and then was quickly promoted to run Lancôme, a brand he revitalized in that market. In 2008, he was named head of L’Oréal Luxe in South Korea, where he launched Kiehl’s and helped propel it to the number-one skin-care brand in the market. In 2011, he moved to China, first as general manager of the Luxe division, then as head of the Consumer Products Division, and finally, in 2016, he was named ceo of L’Oréal China.
Rinderknech calls Japan the school of “consistency, rigor, quality, depth and detail,” while Korea was all about speed. (“They move so fast—there’s a word for it, pali-pali, you hear it all the time.”)
In China, which he calls the school of scale and speed, Rinderknech helped propel L’Oréal to the number-one spot in the country, and proved himself an able student of digital. “Running CPD there was quite a challenge — there was a brutal shift from offline to e-commerce, with the rise of Alibaba, Jingdong, etc., so we had to maneuver through that.”
By all accounts, he did so very successfully. L’Oréal was the top-ranked beauty company in e-commerce in China in 2018, with a 22 percent share of the prestige market, according to a company presentation. The group’s ranking on Tmall improved considerably under Rinderknech as well. In 2016, for example, Lancôme was the sixth largest brand on the platform and L’Oréal Paris was number nine; by 2018, the brands were first and third respectively.
L’Oréal’s top brass hope he can have the same impact here. “You’ve got the two biggest economies in the world and the two leading countries in terms of digital,” says Nicolas Hieronimus, deputy chief executive officer. “The ability to learn from one another is very important and Stéphane will definitely help our U.S. business benefit from some of the best practices and learnings that he got from a fast accelerating Chinese digital world.”
Already that is happening. Cheryl Vitali, previously the global president of Kiehl’s who was named global president, American luxury brands, in January, is one of the few executives stateside who has worked extensively with Rinderknech prior to his appointment in the U.S. “He is very focused on digital opportunities and commerce,” she says. “He was able to create a competitive advantage for us in China, and he sees similar opportunities here, where we can move quickly and see opportunities related to what the consumer is doing and how she/he continue to shift.”
Rinderknech’s approach is to incorporate digital into all aspects of the business, weeding out silos and making sure the entire organization is using all of the technological tools at its disposal to drive sales across all platforms. The phrase “o plus o,” online plus off-line, comes up frequently in his conversations, emphasis on the plus.
“It is not a confrontation, it is a convergence. This is something I was really exposed to in my previous job,” he says. “When I go to a store, I have my phone with me, and I do a lot of things with it. How does digital complement the in-store experience? It’s not shifting something. It’s making sure that the teams here that work on e-commerce and that work in brick-and-mortar don’t think channel. They need to think consumer.”

Stéphane Rinderknech 
Mark Mann/WWD

Rinderknech himself loves to spend time in stores. On a bright Monday morning just one week before the coronavirus quarantine in New York City, he was recalling excitedly visits to CVS, Target and Ulta that he had made over the weekend. “The only reality of the work we do is in the stores. If you have questions, go to the stores. The best discussions, best ideas, are always in the stores,” he says. “It’s great to go with people, because they can answer your questions, but it’s great to be alone, to understand what is it that I feel when I’m there. And then suddenly, bam! It pops up. And you say, ‘Right!’ And you get your idea.”
As for his “aha” moment that weekend? “I think our new products are amazing, but sometimes not visible enough or educational enough for consumers,” Rinderknech says. “Consumers want to be informed. How do you tell them about the ingredients, the routine? We have a tremendous opportunity to educate them.”
That being said, he is looking to tap into e-commerce’s potential as a force multiplier by taking advantage of the many hero products across L’Oréal’s brand portfolio. “These are products that are already imprinted on the minds of the consumers and the algorithm favors them, because there is organic search and stories behind them,” he says. “If we invest to make them even more visible, then there is great potential of growth ahead.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Rinderknech spent a significant amount of his time traveling from state to state, visiting stores, observing consumers and meeting with teams everywhere to disseminate his vision. He makes it a point to see the world beyond the walls of an office, be it going on a 50-mile bike ride from Santa Monica to Malibu and back with Hieronimus (they went to a Lakers game after) or having dinner at an Outback Steakhouse during a market tour in the Midwest.
His leadership style is to make sure everyone is aligned on end goals — and then let the people involved figure out how best to get there. For an organization to thrive, Rinderknech believes people must know what is expected of them, where they fit within the frame, how they can best contribute to reaching the goals and also feel that they are continually learning. “There is not one way to get to Rome — you have to respect that there are different ways so that the diversity can kick in,” he says. “You tell them, let’s get there, but give them the freedom to tell you how. It’s like a recipe. Every person counts, every interaction counts, every ingredient counts. You take what everybody says, you mix it in a blender” — here he stops and makes a zzzzzzttttttt sound — “and then it’s like, ‘OK! That’s the way. I got it.’”
For sure, Rinderknech’s approach represents a newer way of working for many in L’Oréal. “Meetings tend to be much more collaborative and problem-solution-oriented, as opposed to a formal presentation, where you’re presenting numbers, concepts and strategies,” says Megan Grant, president of L’Oréal Luxe USA, who notes Rinderknech often pops into an office unannounced to bat around an idea. “It’s a more collaborative working session, and because of his approachability and energy, teams feel comfortable speaking their mind and giving their opinions.”
It’s a give-and-take rather than top-down approach, a style he honed in Japan. “If I give orders, I’m not going to get speed, I may get resistance,” Rinderknech says. “To gain in speed means actually sometimes to step back and play the game of back-and-forth, until you feel 100 percent ownership and engagement with the teams. That’s when the ideas are going, and everyone is hypercreative.”
While speed may suffer in the short term, in the longer term, Rinderknech believes such an approach accelerates change, likening it to a surfer riding a wave. For him, the wave is the size and scale of the U.S. market. “When you surf, you don’t use your muscle to fight the wave. You identify the right wave, and then let it carry you,” he says. “It is your balance, your agility, your flexibility and your skills that enable you to stay on the wave.”
Post-pandemic, that agility will be more necessary than ever before, as consumers and marketers adjust to whatever the “new normal” will be. “Part of our role now is to challenge people, to help them reinvent a whole new world, because this is what it is going to be about — nothing is going to be the same,” says Rinderknech. “The agility to rebound is to select what you want to build, to be able to allocate the right resources in the right place to ensure the right rebound.”
Ever since he was a five-year-old in Agen, France, where he would memorize the capitals of the world, Rinderknech has yearned to travel, and he is at his most animated when he talks about how much he loves discovering new cultures and meeting new people.
The first thing he wants to do post-quarantine is surround himself again with people. “I hate noisy restaurants, but when we’re able to again, I’m going to go to the most crowded restaurant. I am not such a social distancing fan,” says Rinderknech. “I love to be with people and I hope soon we are going to be together again.”
 
The CEO Chronicles
L’Oréal established Cosmair (short for cosmetics for hair) in the U.S. in 1953, and officially changed its name to L’Oréal USA in 2000. Rinderknech is the company’s eighth ceo. Two previous ones, Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones and Jean-Paul Agon, subsequently became ceo’s of the entire company after their time in the U.S. Here, a timeline.
1953-1981: Jacques Corrèze
1981-1984: Lindsay Owen-Jones
1984-1987: Jean Levy
1987-2001: Guy Peyrelongue
2001-2005: Jean-Paul Agon
2005-2009: Laurent Attal
2009-2020: Frédéric Rozé
2020: Stéphane Rinderknech
 

[ad_2]

Source link

Uncategorized

‘Making the Cut’ Winner Jonny Cota – WWD

[ad_1]

Amazon “Making the Cut” winner Jonny Cota may be the luckiest fashion designer in America, if not the world, right now.
Not only does he have a $1 million prize, he’s got a global platform to launch his brand with one of the few retailers that’s come out ahead during the coronavirus, and arrives with a built-in fan base — all at a time when the future of showing and shopping fashion is very much up in the air.
“How weird we’re all in this global pandemic and every designer is struggling and I would be in that same situation except right now I’m having the opportunity of the lifetime?” said Cota, a 15-year veteran of the Los Angeles fashion scene whose niche Goth leather brand Skingraft has been worn by Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Beyoncé.

Cota took top honors in the streamer’s first fashion competition show, starring Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, after a runway showdown against Berlin-based Esther Perbandt, who has a similarly dark, but more elevated and conceptual aesthetic. (For finale judges Klum, Naomi Campbell, Joseph Altuzarra, Chiara Ferragni and Nicole Richie, it came down to which designer had the versatility to become the next global brand; for the record, Klum and Campbell voted for Perbandt.)
Since the show wrapped shooting in September, Cota has been mentored by Christine Beauchamp, president of Amazon Fashion, who appears in the last two episodes of the series, during which designers had to prove their commercial chops by creating their own pop-up shops and presenting her with a business plan.

With guidance from her team on creating assets for the Amazon customer, including clean photography, clear size charts and product bullet points, Cota created the 20-look Jonny Cota Studio collection now available on the U.S. site, and rolling out internationally soon, with prices from $40 to $350. (Perbandt’s brand has been picked up by Amazon’s sister site, Shopbop.com.)
Cota’s clothes are certainly cooler than anything you’d expect to see while shopping for Tide pods and toilet paper. Mostly genderless and in a black-and-white palette, they include a blanket poncho reminiscent of his past work, motocross-inspired denim, and a butterfly-print caftan. Like Christian Siriano, another designer born of TV, Cota is quick with a quip and he has a story to tell, which should serve him well (as should his preshow celebrity following). But there are plenty of winners of fashion competition shows, including of “Making the Cut’s” older sibling “Project Runway,” who have not become global brands. However, they were not backed by Amazon.

Jonny Cota Studio 
Courtesy

The retail behemoth has been slow to the prestige fashion world, even though it sponsored the 2012 Met Gala, and Anna Wintour is friendly with Jeff Bezos, whom she cozied up to at the Tom Ford runway show in L.A. in February.
In a deep dive into Amazon Fashion’s apparel offerings, a January report from Coresight and DataWeave found the bulk of what’s listed are non-branded, or “generic” products, and activewear is the top-selling category. But the online giant’s fashion currency has risen dramatically since the pandemic has left much of the rest of the retail landscape in shambles, with Sears, J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus and other major chains struggling and some nearing bankruptcy. (By contrast, shares of Amazon are at a record high.)

“What will limit Amazon’s potential is the fact it’s becoming clear to brands that it is a predatory partner,” cautions retail futurist Doug Stephens. “The next thing you know, they are private-labeling what you just did, and using your data to do it, and selling to the customers you just acquired.”
Still, sources say Amazon is preparing to expand its prestige fashion footprint further, has been working with the Council of Fashion Designers of America to help designers sell excess inventory, and could even step in with a new framework for a future New York Fashion Week. WWD broke the news in January that Amazon is readying its own digital storefront for luxury fashion, which could also open up a host of opportunities for content and commerce. Beauchamp would not comment on future initiatives.

A look from Esther Perbandt’s finale collection for “Making the Cut.” 
Janice Yim/Amazon Studios

What those initiatives look like could depend in part on the success of “Making the Cut” and sales of Cota’s collection (the designer won two challenges during the series, and both looks sold out, though it’s not clear how many were produced).
Amazon declined to share viewership numbers, or how much it has invested in launching Cota’s brand versus what he will get to invest in himself from the $1 million pot. But the marriage of content and commerce is a step forward for the platform, which has gradually been improving on its early QVC-like shopping segments with more slickly produced fashion entertainment programming and brand-building around personalities. In July 2019, Amazon exclusively launched Lady Gaga’s Haus Laboratories beauty line with Amazon Live previews and tutorials, and in September, it produced Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty runway show, bringing her lingerie collection to Prime Video members to watch and shop.
Amazon has not revealed plans for a second season of “Making the Cut,” but is still casting as if it will have one.
“I dreamt about what it could look like before the pandemic and I dream about what it could look like in the pandemic and after the pandemic,” said Klum of the show’s prospects, adding that the challenges could explore remote designing, for example.
“The more constraints we have, the more creative we become. There are few things less inspiring than a blank canvas,” said Gunn, along with a pitch for the resiliency of fashion: “We all need clothes.”
COVID-19 has put Amazon in the spotlight more than ever before — for better and for worse, as the retail giant, like its essential retail peers, has had difficulty keeping up with consumer demand and also has faced pushback from workers who have walked out demanding better safety protections in the warehouses where they continue to ship essential and not-so-essential merchandise to the quarantined millions.
“Amazon in one way or another has become a hero to a lot of people who are depending on essential goods to be delivered to them,” said Cota, who got a call from the show’s casting director the same day in March 2019 that he closed his Skingraft store in downtown L.A. after the landlord doubled the rent. “I wouldn’t have jumped at the opportunity if it had happened a year, two years, or five years before. It was this moment where I had no idea what tomorrow looked like, no idea where the brand was going. There was no better time to say ‘yes’ to this opportunity.”
A California native, Cota started out making costumes for a San Francisco vaudeville circus troupe (he himself was a stilt walker) before launching his fashion business in 2005 with a collection of leather jackets made from vintage remnants (hence the name, Skingraft). Earning a following for motocross jackets, drop-crotch pants and leather holster bags, he showed his collections, which have a high-end price point from $100 to more than $1,000, at both L.A. and New York fashion weeks. A retail pioneer, in 2009, he became one of the first to sell high-end clothing in downtown L.A. at the first of two storefronts he had before moving to his current space at Row DTLA. He also had a store in New York’s NoLIta in 2013.
“I had a friend who cast ‘Project Runway’ for years, and I always said, nope, not for me,” said Cota, 37. “Specifically, a lot of other shows are heavily reliant on sewing. Even though we had to sew a lot on ‘Making the Cut,’ the fact it was a show about entrepreneurship and being a creative director, that spoke to me and my skill set.”
Like many fashion brands, his has gone through several lives — initially wholesaling to speciality stores such as H. Lorenzo and Opening Ceremony; then taking on investment from venture capital group Innov8 (the partnership ended in 2016); then shifting to a direct-to-consumer model with see-now-buy-now collections of more accessible items, such as hoodies and T-shirts. When he got the casting call, he was at an inflection point.
“I went [on the show] to get exposure for Skingraft, I went in there to help discover the next chapter of our company,” said Cota. “We were switching to an online model as a brand and we needed to reach a global audience. So I thought, get me through three, maybe four episodes. That will be enough exposure to give us a new opportunity.”

Skingraft’s fall 2016 collection. 
WWD

Cota earned points on the show for his willingness to listen to judges’ critiques, to soften his aesthetic, incorporate color and print and more accessible shapes, including feminine dresses. He even agreed to change the name of his brand to Jonny Cota. To underscore his journey, he titled his final collection “Metamorphosis.”
“I’m so proud of what I’ve accomplished with Skingraft, but even when I have spoken on social media, it has a tone, the tone is cool and unapproachable. That worked for what it was, but it was definitely an armor to hide behind. When first going on ‘Making the Cut,’ I started giving them Skingraft silhouette after Skingraft silhouette. And the judges could see right through it, that there was more there. Naomi Campbell dragging me through the coals after the couture challenge, and being like, this is derivative, this is boring, show me more. I thought it was the worst day and it turned out to be the best day. I had to do a lot of soul-searching, let go of a part of myself and my aesthetic.”
Funnily enough, since the show started airing in March, Skingraft has seen a halo effect, to the tune of a 500 percent increase in sales from March to April: “Since the judges critiqued the name Skingraft, it’s made our fans come out in full force and it’s our best month in sales of our career.” While Cota initially planned on folding the Skingraft collection into the new Jonny Cota Studio collection, now he plans to keep them both going — and available, as soon as retail reopens, at his L.A. store.
“Niche followings are so unique. Skingraft customers, they really cherish the all-black Goth-y side of Skingraft and they don’t want to let that go. At the same time, you can tell they are so proud of me and of themselves feeling like they were onto something before the rest of the world. We get a lot of messages like, ‘I’ve been going to your store for 10 years in DTLA and finally the world gets to see what I saw.’”
Since the show wrapped, Cota has spent most of his time in Bali overseeing production of the collection (he’s long produced his clothing there). “Skingraft will always be the little Goth-y stepchild doing its thing, but the focus for the rest of the year will be on Jonny Cota and the Jonny Cota for Amazon collection.” (Whether his relationship with Amazon lasts beyond that is uncertain.)
Even with the gloom and doom the pandemic has wrought on the fashion industry, Cota said he never really considered taking the $1 million and cashing out (and chances are, Amazon would have nixed that idea). “I know it will be a well-funded year and I’m going into this without caution and full steam ahead. I’m excited to invest the majority of the prize into the company. But also, Jonny Cota has been underpaid for the last three years. He always pays his team first. It’s time to have an adult salary for a change.”
Someway, somehow, he’s feeling good about the next chapter. “The show launched from this moment of entertaining people at home while they are trying to stay safe…and we’re launching a brand that has never been more accessibly priced for me. The timing is perfect — let us entertain you, let us make you feel optimistic, offer you a piece of us at the most reasonable price we can, let’s get through this together and move forward together.”

Jonny Cota Studio 
Courtesy

Jonny Cota Studio 
Courtesy

Jonny Cota Studio 
Courtesy

 

[ad_2]

Source link

Uncategorized

Hair Salons in Georgia Open Back Up Despite COVID-19 – WWD

[ad_1]

Despite concerns from some salon owners over whether or not it’s safe, hair salons are getting ready to open back up in parts of the country after weeks of government-mandated closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia announced Monday that some nonessential businesses in the state are allowed to open starting Friday, including hair and nail salons. South Carolina and Florida opened public beaches this week and governor of Tennessee Bill Lee announced that he is letting his state’s stay-at-home order expire April 30, after which most nonessential businesses will be allowed to open. In North Carolina, a stay-at-home order was extended until May 8, though business owners feel that they are next on the docket to get the green light to reopen.

While salon owners in these states are relieved to be able to start seeing clients and making money again, the announcements have spurred mixed reactions from the salon community.
“Some seem really excited to get back, and others feel it’s way too fast,” said Edwin Neill, chief executive officer of Neill Corporation, an independent distributor of Aveda products in seven Southern states.
Still, Neill said most salon owners he’s spoken to in his network are feeling the financial pressure and ready to get back to work as soon as lockdowns in their respective states are lifted. Salon owners are already placing orders with his company, gearing up to open in the coming weeks, he said.

“It seems like a good number [of salons] are planning to reopen [immediately],” said Jay Elarar, ceo of Moroccanoil, which distributes its products in about 10,000 salons on the U.S. market.
Despite concerns over catching the virus, executives say consumer demand for hair services is still there — especially after weeks of service providers shut down across the country.
“Through all of this, there’s one common thread we’ve been hearing — people want to get back to the salon,” said Elarar. “You can only go so long without people coloring their hair or God forbid, doing box color at home.”
With COVID-19 continuing to spread and no vaccine in sight, the salon experience will look quite different than it did pre-virus.
Health and safety precautions are top-of-mind for salon owners who are reopening. Though individual states are issuing COVID-19 health and sanitation guidelines through their cosmetology boards, the Professional Beauty Association is working on a cohesive protocol designed to help salons get back to business safely. PBA’s mandate is expected to be disseminated to state cosmetology boards and to salon owners across the country next week.
“Salons are going to be open, but in a different way,” said Elarar, who sits on the PBA board and is working on the task force along with executives from L’Oréal and Schwartzkopf, that is designing the protocol. “There will be fewer clients per day, a quick in-and-out. Salon staff are going to have to wear masks and gloves.”
Neill said that with social distancing in place, a lingering spa day with magazines and Champagne is no longer an option. “It will be more like a trip to the doctor’s office,” he said, with customers sitting in parking lots prior to appointments and waiting for a text when it’s safe to come in, then spending a minimal amount of time in the salon.

Services will likely be limited to “maintenance, not makeovers” like root touchups and cuts, said Dan Langer, president of R+Co and chief marketing officer at Luxury Brand Partners, in order to minimize appointment time and the number of people in salons. R+Co is sold in about 2,000 prestige salons in the U.S. Langer said the owners he has spoken with are choosing to reopen based on personal preference — most are reopening, some aren’t.
Some salon owners in states where lockdowns are being lifted are opening due to financial pressure, though they remain worried about the safety of their staff and clients.
Bryan Nunes, owner of Blo Salon in Raleigh, N.C., said his that salon, which employees over 40 stylists, is stocked with the sanitation supplies necessary to reopen, and he’s able to be flexible with his staff’s schedule and his opening hours to accommodate for fewer clients in the salon at a time. But he worries for smaller salons and independent booth renters in the area, who may be facing delayed shipping time on bulk orders of masks, gloves and sanitizing wipes. What’s more, they’ll be taking on fewer clients and making less money, but will be back on the hook for rent once they start business operations back up.
“[These salons] can’t get a PPP loan or access to supplies, and all of a sudden [the government] wants them to reopen — there’s a lot of moving parts.”
Conflicting communication from the government has made it difficult for small business owners to open up safely and effectively, said Nunes.
“My question is why would you close us down to begin with if your opinion now is that it’s safe to reopen, even without the necessary supplies? [Salons] want to reopen, but we need to be set up for success.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

[ad_2]

Source link

Uncategorized

Luxury Eyewear Brand Ahlem Launches ‘Reframed’ Buyback Program – WWD

[ad_1]

Closing the loop. Luxury eyewear brand Ahlem has launched “Reframed,” a new buyback program.
“We should never have to compromise ethics for elegance,” says Ahlem Manai-Platt, the brand’s founder, who’d like to see the program set an industry standard for environmental responsibility.
The strategy lets customers swap out frames, in any condition, and exchanges them for a voucher up to $100 toward their next purchase with the independent eyewear brand, creating a full life cycle for their products.
The system is tiered based on signs of wear, starting with frames dubbed “good’ with gentle signs of wear getting the full $100; styles seen as “fair,” which show major signs of wear getting $80, and finally, frames that fall under the “poor” category with major damage or breakage netting $60.

A runner-up for the 2017 CFDA/Vogue fashion fund award, the brand is based in Los Angeles, but Manai-Platt has French-Tunisian roots, and manufactures all her eyewear in French factories. In addition to the program, the brand is releasing a “Give Back” collection, rendered entirely from recycled and reused metals and acetates in exclusive colorways — with proceeds benefiting the No Kid Hungry organization. “Giving back has always been at the heart of our brand culture,” says Manai-Platt, said of the collection, which will release annually.
Ahlem is launching product online, since it temporally closed its stores due to the coronavirus, and as a result of COVID-19 the eyewear brand will donate 25 percent of every purchase to the No Kid Hungry organization as well.
“We did not wait for the disruption to rethink our mission; we are using this time to stride for better and to further our company ethics,” Manai-Platt said.

[ad_2]

Source link

Uncategorized

These Movies Tell Us How to Dress for Dystopia – WWD

[ad_1]

One of the memes making the rounds amid the coronavirus outbreak depicts Charlize Theron in her full “Mad Max: Fury Road” regalia — clinging, soiled fatigues, a rickety robotic arm and military-grade boots — juxtaposed with the actress in sweat pants, a hoodie and Hello Kitty T-shirt.
The punchline: What I expected my apocalyptic outfit to look like versus what it is.
Indeed, most people associate dystopian fashion with popular films, headlined by “Mad Max” and “Blade Runner,” the latter having inspired countless designers, including Raf Simons, Gareth Pugh, Alexander McQueen and Matty Bovan.

“Blade Runner” (1982)<br />Costume designers Charles Knode and Michael Kaplan 
Ladd Company/Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock

“Five filmmakers with one identical screenplay will result in five completely different looking movies. The look of any film depends almost entirely upon the vision of the director,” according to Deborah Nadoolman Landis, director of the David C. Copley Center for Costume Design at the UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television.

The costume designer for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video, Nadoolman Landis notes that science-fiction films tend to fall in two camps: hopeful, which typically yields “clean, modern and refined” styles; or dystopian, cuing up dark, militaristic clothes full of menace, or rugged, tattered togs.
Heartthrob Timothée Chalamet is to don a breathing apparatus and futuristic fatigues in the upcoming remake of “Dune,” due out later this year.

“What happens with science-fiction directors is they usually say, ‘Oh I don’t want it to look like anything that’s been ever seen before,’”Nadoolman Landis related in an interview. “Well, that’s almost an impossibility because anyone who has a background in fashion or knowledge in fashion history knows that fashion is the ultimate recyclable — not only the clothes are recyclable, but the ideas are recyclable.”
Yet Landis noted that costume designers for period films or even futuristic tales take into consideration the present day. “The people in the story are going to be dressed in a way that has to be understood by the audience, so we are influenced by fashion, by other films, by other cultures, by period clothes,” she explained.
In “Blade Runner,” for example, Sean Young’s character “looks like some Forties fantasy, I mean, look at those shoulders, look at those suits. Those suits look like Adrian suits from a Joan Crawford picture,” she marveled. “Science fiction always represents our current fears and our current hopes for the future.”
Jenny Beavan received the Oscar for Best Costume Design in 2016 for “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which represented new fashion territory for her.

“Mad Max — Fury Road” (2015)<br />Costume designer Jenny Beavan 
Village Roadshow/Kobal/Shutterstock

“Jenny’s entire career had been spent designing period ‘tea dipped’ lacy films for James Ivory,” Nadoolman Landis noted. “Post-apocalyptic would have been out of her wheelhouse, but like the great designer she is — she nailed it. Remember those gauze goddess dresses?”
While the 1995 film “Waterworld” received lackluster review and was widely viewed as a flop, Nadoolman Landis said its costumes seem prescient as the COVID-19 crisis spurs conversations about how to “make do and mend” in order to make the fashion industry more sustainable.

“Waterworld” (1995) 
Ben Glass/Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock

In the decayed, yet artful layers worn by the film’s drifters, she spies “the ultimate upcycling.”
Nadoolman Landis confessed she’s been thinking about taking up knitting, and wondered if fashion might move to a place where “suddenly things that are handmade and handcrafted become a symbol of your environmental integrity, that you’re upcycling very much in a post-apocalyptic way, but in a positive way.
“It’s fashions that look like perhaps you created them at home. Look at the way people are making their own masks and somehow making your own mask almost has more value than wearing an N95 mask because somehow it looks like you have made an investment in the future.”
Here, the professor of costume design shares a list of movies with notable doomsday designs. She notes that she left out the “clean, antiseptic ones where everyone where’s jumpsuits — and there are many”:
“Snowpiercer” (2013) directed by Bong Joon Ho, costume designer Catherine George
“Idiocracy” (2006), directed by Mike Judge, costume designer Debra McGuire
“Escape From New York” (1985), directed by John Carpenter, costume designer Stephen Loomis
“Strange Days” (1995) directed by Kathryn Bigelow, costume designer Ellen Mirojnick
“Dredd” (2012) directed by Pete Travis, costume designer Dianna Cilliers & Michael O’Connor
“A Clockwork Orange” (1971) directed by Stanley Kubrick, costume designer Milena Canonero
“Children of Men” (2006) directed by Alfonso Cuaron, costume designer Jany Temime
“Brazil” (1985), directed by Terry Gilliam, costume designer James Acheson
“Blade Runner” (1982), directed by Ridley Scott, costume designers Charles Knode and Michael Kaplan
“The Matrix” (1999), directed by The Wachowskis, costume designer Kym Barrett
“The Hunger Games” (2012), directed by Gary Ross, costume designer Judianna Makovsky

[ad_2]

Source link

Uncategorized

Wired Becomes Latest Condé Nast Publication to Unionize – WWD

[ad_1]

As Condé Nast gears up to implement company-wide cuts amid the coronavirus, another of its publications has decided to unionize.

Staffers at Wired have announced their intention to form a union with the NewsGuild of New York, joining The New Yorker, Ars Technica and Pitchfork, the other Condé brands that are already unionized.
More than 85 percent of eligible employees at the tech magazine and web site signed union authorization cards and have asked Condé to voluntary recognize the union, according to the NewsGuild.
“We seek to unionize so that our entire staff has a seat at the table as Condé Nast decides how to adapt to the media industry’s dramatic transformations,” said Andy Greenberg, senior writer at Wired. “The current economic crisis has only made that need more urgent. If we can collectively protect any member of our staff from the effects of budget cuts, we have a responsibility to demand a say in how those cuts are decided.”

The move comes just over a week after the publisher of Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ and Glamour announced plans to cut salaries of those making more than $100,000 by between 10 and 20 percent for five months in a bid to counter the plunge in advertising revenues plaguing the industry due to COVID-19.
The media company will also implement reduced working hours and work week schedules such as three- to four-day work weeks for certain roles, while chief executive officer Roger Lynch admitted that he expects there will be some layoffs, but did not give any details of where and when these may occur.

The Wired Union stressed that the organizing drive has been underway for more than a year, but because of the pandemic it has taken on a “renewed importance as journalists across the industry seek a collective voice in how media companies respond to the economic crisis.” In forming their union, they hope to address issues including job security, codified layoff procedures, fair annual cost of living raises and structures to improve diversity and inclusion.
“I’m so proud to welcome the staffers of Wired into our union,” said Susan DeCarava, president of the NewsGuild of New York. “As we continue to build a productive relationship with Condé management, we look forward to recognition without delay so we can get to work bargaining a contract that will protect Wired for years to come.”
This comes as hundreds of staffers at Hearst Magazines are still waiting for a union election date. Since management did not voluntarily recognize it, the decision now lies with the National Relations Labor Board, the federal body that deals with labor disputes.
A Condé rep did not immediately respond to request for comment.
For more, see:
Condé Nast to Cut Pay, Furlough Some Staffers
People Magazine Owner Meredith Unveils Cost-Cutting Measures
BDG Launches Nylon Digital Issue, Delays Print Edition

[ad_2]

Source link

Uncategorized

A24 Auctioning ‘Midsommar,’ ‘Uncut Gems’ Items for Charity – WWD

[ad_1]

The ominous doormats from “Hereditary” and over-the-top floral wares from “Midsommar” are being put to good use post-production.

Independent entertainment company A24 is auctioning off those items and other iconic props from recent productions, to benefit New York organizations providing support during the COVID-19 crisis. The digital initiative, A24 Auctions, kicks off April 22 at noon EDT.
First up is the “Attic Auction” lot, featuring “keepsakes worth holding onto” from “Euphoria,” “Eighth Grade,” “Hereditary” and “Mid 90s.” The headline item is Rue’s Hoodie, the sweatshirt worn by Zendaya in the finale episode of “Euphoria” — holes cut in the armpits to accommodate a harness. Proceeds will go to NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest public health-care system in America.

The following week’s auction will pay ode to festival fashion with items from “Midsommar,” including an ornate flower crown and Florence Pugh’s May Queen “gown,” hand created by costume designer Andrea Flesch using 10,000 silk flowers. There’s also a wooden mallet and bear fur-helmet of sorts — truly something for everyone — among the 10 items marked to benefit the FDNY.
In May, items from “Uncut Gems” (including the film’s Furby necklace and Kevin Garnett’s Celtics jersey) and nautical trinkets from “The Lighthouse” will go on the block to support the Queens Community House and the Food Bank for New York City.

A24 Auctions 
Courtesy A24

A24’s “Attic Auction.” 
Courtesy A24

Celtics jersey worn by Kevin Garnett in “Uncut Gems.” 
Courtesy A24

More From WWD:
Alessia Cara, Manifesting Her Dreams
Madelyn Cline, Going for Gold
Mandy Moore Comes Full Circle

[ad_2]

Source link

Uncategorized

A Chat With Stella – WWD

[ad_1]

“We’re all in this together” — a universal mantra of the coronavirus era. Sometimes that commonality is comforting in its more superficial aspects. Last week, when uncooperative English-country cell service put the kibosh on a no-visuals conversation with Stella McCartney, her p.r. went swiftly to un-planned B: Zoom. We settled in to chat equally undone, granted, with Stella flaunting a much better top, a sweatshirt from her collaboration with “We Are the Weather” author Jonathan Safran Foer. (Full disclosure: Before joining, I switched out of my Clorox-spotted, Bronx County DA sweatshirt, an artifact of a younger brother’s stint on my couch 25 years ago.)

While some people embrace the primp-up-at-home approach to quarantine, that’s not Stella’s thing. “I put makeup on for the first time in a month last week, when I had to do something,” she offers. As with most conversations these days with someone you haven’t spoken with recently, ours starts with “How are you coping?”

“I couldn’t be luckier,” Stella says, ever self-aware. “I’ve got a little bit of help here, which is a massive blessing. I can’t complain.”
Like millions of others, she is working through 24-hour household-running, juggling work, meals and homeschooling of her four kids, ages 15 to nine. Her day starts with Stella McCartney brand meetings — more frequent and of broader scope than before lockdown. While the kids are old enough that interruptions aren’t an issue, she goes into “tough-love” mode when it comes to school. Last week, English schools were still on Easter break, so she was anticipating readjustment this week. “They all go to different schools and each school has handled it in a different way. Some are more tech savvy than others,” she says.

As for cooking, Stella is top chef, but lately, she’s getting help. Because her work day starts early, she tries to think through each day’s meals the night before. But on this morning, she woke up to a surprise. “My daughter Bailey had already cooked tomato soup. I have to say, it was delicious,” she boasts. “It’s great, they’re getting into [cooking], I mean, they’re making fun of me because it’s, like, soup every day. I’m such a waste-not, want-not type, it’s at the core of everything in the brand and in my personality. Literally, I’m using everything. It’s great. That’s how I was brought up.”
To our primary purpose: a check-in on Stella’s business in the age of COVID-19, and what this particular Earth Day represents to her. I learned after we spoke that even from quarantine, she’s found a way to celebrate its spirit. Stella worked with Ocean Outdoor, the digital advertising company, to host a major screen takeover at London’s Piccadilly Circus. It launched on Tuesday and runs through Sunday at midnight, rotating a series of upbeat messages including “Mother Earth has started healing” and, captioning a photo of the Earth painted on Amber Valletta’s face, “For us, every day is Earth Day.”

Amber Valletta as Mother Earth in Stella McCartney’s Earth Day screen takeover in Piccadilly Circus, on display through April 26. 
Courtesy Photo

WWD: I just saw Barry Diller on “Squawk Box” [on April 16]. He was not optimistic.
Stella McCartney:  Well, f–king welcome to Stella McCartney, Bridget Foley.

WWD: Thank you. How are you feeling?
S.M.: I am very much split. I’m split between my personal emotions, and then obviously, I have a business to run. I’m living two lives right now. I’m the mother of four, I’m a wife. I’m cooking three meals a day and I’m loving it. I’m with my babies, and blessed to be in nature and not in the city. I’ve got my horse. So I’m fine in my solitude.
Then, obviously, there is a deep sadness for all of the lives that are lost and for what people are going through. I have a huge respect for the people on the front line here in England in the NHS and all of the emergency workers. That reality, the mindfulness of what other people are going through, and that we’re all connected in all of the same thoughts, which is a really heavy realization, not to be lightly dismissed. I am very aware of that. Then, there’s the side to me that employs hundreds and hundreds of people globally. Obviously, we are affected as a business, like every other business right now. I’m always wanting the business to do well because of what we stand for as much as anything, and also because I’m a businesswoman. But right now you think, “Wow, this is the first time we are all connected in so many ways.” That’s the important thing that sits on my mind.
WWD: It’s odd that that connection comes through isolation.
S.M.: Yes. I have a large family network so I’m not isolated that much on my own. The first couple of weeks were really interesting for me on a working level because in our industry, we work with teams, and we feed off each other creatively. I was trying to settle into working via device and using my teams in a different way. [Now] all of us are feeling connected. I’m more connected with teams globally than usual — “let’s meet with China; let’s meet with Japan,” bigger meetings with teams. I’ve enjoyed that and I want to carry through. One of the big questions here is how does this impact our lives going forward, when things get back to whatever the new normal will be.
I’m looking to my team a lot, also. Holistically, making sure my teams are OK mentally and emotionally. And that, normally, I don’t have time to do; [usually] I’m just getting involved in my day-to-day. But now I’m like OK, we need to have calls every week just to check in on everyone and see how everyone is feeling. I worry about people, just how they’re doing. My teams in Italy, they’re not allowed out, they’re allowed out to go food shopping and that’s it….I’m mindful of that, like how are you all doing emotionally and mentally because that’s hardcore, going out or not going out and looking out and seeing nothing there. That’s quite hard hitting. I’m not sure if any of us really know how that will affect us all.
WWD: Nuts and bolts, I’m sure the specifics vary from region to region.
S.M.: Yes. there’s one side that’s creative and there’s one side that’s very, very much responding to different regions and who is quarantined, who’s not. Obviously, we’re massively based in Italy, so it’s been a big conversation about what we can make, what we can’t make, what we can have access to. When you do work in a sustainable way, you have to work far in advance to be sustainable. I develop the majority of my fabrics far in advance, and I have such a deep commitment to my suppliers and to where we’re growing the yarn and the process and the entire circle-ness of it all. I try to remain respectful and loyal to X amount of [suppliers] because I know they’re my reliable source points.
WWD: Quarantining with family is very different from quarantining alone. But it still puts stress on work.
S.M.: I grew up in a creative household. And creatively, it was pretty much isolation. When The Beatles broke up we moved to a farm in Scotland, completely isolated. My mom and dad did an album; my dad did an album of McCartney, and I think it was his best work. It has been a massive impact on my life, that isolation, on how I think and how I live my life through my business, through my family, through my friendships.
The majority of my friends are artists or work in the creative fields, and the majority of them work in isolation; it’s just what they do. Name-dropping, I checked in with David Hockney, and he said, “I’m painting more than ever.” The birth [of] creation is a very insular moment. And then [creatives] go into a teamwork frame, if at all. So my dad will write an album on his own. When he has that creative birth, he will then take it to the next step, engineering it, producing it, art-working it, and ultimately it goes on tour in front of hundreds of thousands of people. So it’s sort of this journey….Our industry goes very quickly away from isolation in the creative sense and goes into teamwork. It becomes a production line, if you like.
WWD: It sounds as if you prefer a longer solitary creative process.
S.M.: I seem to be busier than ever because I’m doing more and more calls. This is taking me away from my creative process and isolation, so I’m trying to find a balance, which is at the core of everything we do at Stella McCartney. Maybe the answer to all of this is trying to find the balance.
WWD: Other designers have talked to me about the creative process being teamwork. It sounds as if your process still starts singularly.
S.M.: My name is on the door of the brand, so everything that it stands for has come from me at some stage in my thinking, from my belief systems and my creativity. And then the team around me, we all feed off each other and we all create from that starting point. In our industry we all complain about not having time. So I want to be respectful of that right now and [think of] how can we find that balance between teamwork and creating with your team and bouncing off of each other and all that stuff.
Even before all of this happened, I was already approaching spring like this. I was like, OK, how can we not buy new fabric for spring? How can we look at everything that we [have already]? I’ve done that for years. It’s the way that I work; it’s the way my mind works. What have we got in stock, how can we repurpose it? How can we give it a re-life or a rebirth? We did all the upcycling two seasons ago on the runway. How can we look at what’s in a warehouse somewhere? So it’s a really interesting moment for our brand.

Vegan leather — it’s not just for the Falabella bag. This coat is from fall 2020. 
Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

WWD: What does your sweatshirt say?
S.M.: It says We Are the Weather. It’s my Jonathan Safran Foer collaboration. We Are the Weather — it’s very apt. It feels like most of what I’ve done seems apt right now. It seems like everything I’ve done in my career seems to be quite apt right now.
WWD: To that point, and going back to what you said a moment ago, do you think you’re a bit ahead of other brands fabric-wise?
S.M.: My viscose comes from sustainable managed forests. It took me three years to [develop it]. So once I’ve taken that long and it’s the only source I have, I then commit to it. I [now] have had to look at all the business, which I do anyway, but it’s more magnified. Then that goes into, can we have access to

our e-commerce if [production] is all in Italy, and da da da. And what markets are opening up more than others, or which ones are going into isolation or coming out of isolation. We’re all doing the same thing I’m sure.
WWD: What differences do you find among the various global markets?
S.M.: Every single market is reacting differently. But what people are buying is what would be expected, much more home pieces, much more classics. We’re so lucky in that we have real iconic, timeless, staple pieces — the Falabella bag, for example, the Elyse shoe. It’s not dissimilar to what I’m sure a lot of brands are finding. Hopefully people will lean toward a more mindful culture now. To be a more conscious consumer more than ever, I hope, starts to have some kind of resonance with people. And I think that that’s what we represent in the industry.
WWD: It surprises me that people are shopping at all for clothes or accessories. You’re finding that people are shopping?
S.M.: They’re not shopping as much. I think the whole reality of this is buy less, care more. That’s the highlight for me, but it has always been the case. As I say, before when I was looking at doing spring, I was already thinking, why do we offer so much product? Waste is a big, big, big issue in our industry, and I am a massive fan of trying to reduce waste or do better with the waste that exists. I think we probably waste the least out of all the brands, we’re so mindful and careful. The challenge for me to my teams is how can we be better at our production and how can we be much more efficient. So we’re pretty on it.
I think that now more than ever is the time to look at our industry and say, OK, the truck loads of fast fashion that are incinerated or buried. That’s $100 billion worth of waste a year in fibers, in resourcing. It’s crazy. There is just so much we don’t need. And I agree, I don’t think anyone needs to buy anything ever again. It’s how you repurpose. This is what I think all the time; this is not anything new for me. That’s why I’m [looking] to the classics that I’ve created, because they’re timeless. It’s how I approach the birth of design — by starting with, how can I create something that lasts somebody a lifetime, and then another lifetime after that? How can I design something that is so not relying on a trend so that it can be recycled or repurposed or resold or rented? How can I encourage all of that? I am so open-minded to all of that.

Sustainably sourced viscose is a Stella McCartney staple. This dress is from fall 2020. 
Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

WWD: When you have that attitude about less is more and less is better, how do you keep on a growth path?
S.M.: There’s real growth. We’re not a massive, massive brand. Look, there’s always going to be brands, there’s always going to be products, you’re always going to want a mug for your cup of tea, and when your mug breaks, you’re going to buy another one, or you’re going to get bored of that mug and you’re going to go, “I want a new mug; I deserve a new mug.” That’s OK. It’s allowed, we’re allowed to consume. What we need to do is consume in a better way. And what companies have to do for the customer is make better and source better and be better brands. We are really f–king good at that at Stella McCartney. That’s a nice mug, Bridget. You’re allowed to buy yourself a new one in a week.
WWD: Thank you. From a craftsperson in Ireland.
S.M.: Exactly! Look, my way of thinking has always been, it’s allowed. You’re allowed to buy s–t, right? No one is going to stop buying s–t, but people are going to, I hope, buy more locally now, they are going to buy better, they are going to buy more online. That will reduce a lot of carbon in the air.
For me, I’ve always had this really difficult dilemma where it’s like, if I do things mindfully and ethically and environmentally, [does] that mean I’m not allowed to have a successful business? But I believe now more than ever that my business model should be more people’s business model. When everyone is doing things [mindfully] then fine, then we can have a non-growth conversation. But right now I need to set an example, I need to show people that you can have a healthy business, you can employ people, you can employ mills in Italy, you can work with farmers all over the world. You can create commerce in a more conscious way.
WWD: During these massive global quarantines, we’re seeing cleaner air and cleaner water; it’s been measured. But it has taken a total shut down and total isolation. So does that make you optimistic or pessimistic?
S.M.: I’ve been really optimistic that we’ve seen a dramatic reduction in a matter of weeks. Pollution — you could see the results really quickly. Obviously I never envisaged a shut down so dramatically.
WWD: No one did.
S.M.: More than ever now, we need to have these conversations, and we have to learn. [Otherwise] I think it is such a disservice to the suffering. I feel like every single person that has lost their life or lost a loved one from COVID-19, that cost and pain and suffering needs to see something good come of it. If the people in power can respect those lives lost with some kind of environmental respect and management and policymaking, then I feel like it’s not in vain. People have got to stop and ask, “What was the cost, and what can we do in a positive way [to honor] the pain that people have felt?”
WWD: Yet some public health protocols seem at odds with environmental protocols. We’re all washing our hands constantly, so we’re using more water than ever. Also, the return to single-use items. In New York State, the plastic-bag ban went into effect only a while ago, and it’s now suspended. And before it closed, Starbucks stopped accepting customers’ containers, at least temporarily.
S.M.: The single-use plastics — that’s where tech will come in. I’ve been looking for many, many years at things like that. We’ve been looking at a company making single-use items that are completely biodegradable. It’s now looking at single-purpose spoons and cutlery, because obviously, the world wants disposable spoons and cutlery. Look, water. We’ve done so many things over the years at Stella, just simple things like clever care such as a whole campaign around not dry-cleaning, not washing your clothes so much, turn your washing machine down, doing it less frequently. The amount of water we use just in the fashion industry — the facts are ridiculous. So outside of washing hands, there are ways to reduce water consumption, many, many ways. And that’s just everyday practice in pretty much every industry.
WWD: Do you see a dichotomy between the environment and the public health issue or do you think ultimately they come together in the big picture?
S.M.: Ultimately, they come together in the big picture. Ultimately, we’ve got to have some kind of respect for animals on the planet and we’ve got to stop the way in which we farm them and kill them and eat them because it’s a hotbed for disease. It’s not an industry that is healthy or pretty. I’m not isolating out a nation because I think the entire globe is guilty of how they farm and kill and manufacture animals. We have seen many diseases come of that. So, you know, it ain’t gonna go away until somebody looks at that predominantly. They are all connected. And I think it’s so interesting that it’s the conversation nobody is really having.
WWD: Why not?
S.M.: Because people don’t feel good about the fact that they kill billions of animals a year. There is a guilt attached to it. They don’t feel proud of it so they don’t want to talk about it. They know it’s wrong, and it’s hard to face that. We are all part of it. Well, I’m not part of it. But the majority of the planet is part of that conversation, and responsible. Again, I’ll be the glass half-full type where I say, “you don’t have to give it up completely if you can’t, but just reduce it and just buy it better.” Draw a line in how you consume. Set yourself goals, set yourself parameters that are better. Because it comes down to individuals. The individual consumption and demand will dictate what the ceo’s and the businesses invest in, what they buy into.
I’ve been working on my mom’s vegetarian food [company] since she passed away 22 years ago on Friday. She started it, what, 30, 40 years ago? She started a vegetarian, alternative food brand, and it is growing year on year. And I have never seen more competitors in a most exciting way. My mom would be so happy. She probably would have closed the business, seeing how many vegetarian alternative competitors there are now. That’s not because KFC loves chickens. It’s because they see that the consumer wants a vegan KFC. The biggest burger selling at Burger King right now is the Impossible Burger. This is due to customer change. This is the reaction to hopefully the new way of life.

Sophisticated fake fur from fall 2019. “I’ve got my own little supply network,” McCartney says. 
Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

WWD: Do you oversee your mother’s company?
S.M.: Well, the whole family does. We create the products, we create the range, I do the packaging, we look at the marketing. It’s a family brand..
WWD: That’s amazing. How long has it been?
S.M.: I don’t know the exact founding year. I need to look at it, actually; this reminds me. I want to put it on the packaging when we re-brand. [Linda McCartney Foods launched in 1991.]
WWD: You have stayed faithful to your upbringing, and the tenets you were raised on. Do your kids embrace the lifestyle that you live at home? Has any of them ever questioned it?
S.M.: Yes, they do. They are exactly how I was. But I think now there’s more people around [with similar views], although there’s still not a huge amount of vegetarians. Like, surprisingly, not all their friends are veggie. But it’s a much more well-versed conversation now. They are a lot less freakishly alone. But it’s very similar. I remember when I was really young, I’d say to my mom and dad, “why are we vegetarian? Why can’t I eat meat?” And they would say, “Well, you can eat meat because it’s an individual choice. But this is why we choose not to, because we don’t want to eat a dead animal.” My kids have asked me the exact same questions, and I give them the exact same answer. I’m like, “You are totally free to do what you want to do. I really respect your choice, but this is why I do it.” I see it through their eyes. Because when you’re part of a high-profile family that the world knows doesn’t eat animals, you don’t feel like you can go and sneak chicken Kiev on a weekend.
But at the end of the day, my kids — I believe very much that children are so beautifully connected to nature and they’re so innocent and they’re so pure and the minute you say to them, “Look, there’s a chicken alive and there’s a chicken deep fried. Do you want to eat it?” I mean, nobody wants to eat stuff if they see how it’s made. I don’t think anyone would eat it if they really saw how it got to their plate.

A fanciful take on boho-cool, knitted from upcycled leftovers, from fall 2019. 
WWD/Shutterstock

WWD: What do you think the lasting impact will be of COVID-19 on the industry?
S.M.: I don’t know what the lasting impact will be, if any. My biggest fear is that things will just get back to what we consider normal, whatever that is. But I think that the immediate impact will be thinking differently, I hope. I’m always trying to push myself and my teams. They laugh at me. I’m, “OK, so what are we going to do? How are we going to do this differently?” For me, if every single day I didn’t try and figure out how to come at something differently, I feel like I wouldn’t be able to do what I do.
I think that the entire industry now, and anyone in business now, has had to stop and say, “this is a moment I didn’t see coming. How am I going to be the one to think outside the box?” We are all competitive. We all want to win, and we all want to come up with great ideas. Right now people have got to push themselves and try to guess what might happen next. It’s a breaking of the norm as we have known it. I think if you are in fashion, you need to think that way every single day, regardless of the coronavirus. That’s our job. But there are obvious ways in which things will change. I think people are going to be much more cautious with their money. They’re going to invest more carefully, and they will buy in a different way, physically and emotionally.
WWD: Small picture, back to spring, a little more on your thoughts right now.
S.M.: We started working on spring, and then we paused. But I feel like at Stella we need to do something to [speak to] this moment and not just say, let’s just cancel everything until it’s over. For me, it feels like creatively we should be more inspired than ever to stand out. So I have been working on this little idea of individual pieces and individual gems, and being mindful of the two ends of the spectrum. I think some people will come back and go, “oh f–k it, I deserve to enjoy fashion for a second. I have been sitting in my flat in my pajamas for three months.” So I think there’s going to be [some people who want to shop].
Again, it comes back to working sustainably. I’m trying not to order new fabrics for [spring]. I’m just like, what have we got? We have fabrics that we buy in bulk because they are sustainably sourced. They are our go-to’s. We’re not like other fashion brands.
WWD: No, you’re not.
S.M.: I have a relationship with environmentally friendly suppliers. I have even created them in some instances. That’s the core value system of the brand, so that’s what we can go to. We’re lucky in that sense. It’s like saying I know that I can get my organic oat milk from this supplier, that’s not going to change. It’s just then left to me as to what I print on it this season or if I can embroider on it this season, which I probably can’t. I work like that anyway. My upcycled collection [fall 2019], those pieces all become limited editions. My final coat was like five seasons’ worth of prints sitting in a warehouse. So it shows that if you are sustainable as a business in fashion, you’re kind of ahead of the game when something like this happens. I’m not reliant on the same things that other people are reliant on because I am much more reliant on a sustainable source.
WWD: Your ethical premise becomes pragmatic business.
S.M.: Yes, and it becomes a supply chain conversation. I know there’s only two non-leather suppliers that I want to work with, with whom I’ve developed a soft non-leather or a faux fur. And so they are who I go to. I never start a season with, “let’s see 700 fabrics from Italy.” It’s not how I work. I’ve got my own little supply network. Over 60 percent of our environmental impact happens at the raw material stage, which means that this is where we have the biggest positive impact as well. If I didn’t use a fabric maybe in one season because it didn’t feel right, I don’t then sell it or chuck it away. I go, “OK, maybe I’ll use it next season.” It will sit somewhere and then I’ll reuse it.

A fluid coat crafted out of fabrics from past collections, from fall 2019. 
Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

WWD: How will this crisis impact the show system?
S.M.: I feel like we’ve been having that conversation for 20 years. Like, ugh. You know?
 WWD: Yes. But do you think this is, finally, the essential reset button?
S.M.: I think maybe more the conversation is, it’s our job to come up with newness, come up with different ways of grabbing attention and reflecting the feelings, the thoughts of other people. We represent that in what we do. So there’s always got to be a new way of doing it. We all think that fashion shows are medieval. We all question how that works and if it needs to be done that way. It’s just always hard to find an answer on that one. This will [force the issue], for sure. Exciting new ideas will come out of this, for sure.
NOTE: On Monday, Stella’s p.r. Arabella Rufino sent word of the screen takeover at Piccadilly Circus. Asked why she planned the initiative at a time when there are so few people on the streets to take it in, Stella sent a thoughtful reply. “For the first time in history, we can truly measure the damage done by human activity,” she wrote. “Will we go back to the norm, or will we give Mother Earth the respect and time she deserves to continue healing — so that these city centers with their huge screens can be seen through unpolluted air? I hope we can learn from this moment of pause and that nature can reclaim its rightful focal place in our lives. My message is a gentle, loving reminder: Every day is Earth Day.”  

[ad_2]

Source link

Uncategorized

Vivienne Westwood Partners With Environmental Organization Canopy – WWD

[ad_1]

LONDON — Vivienne Westwood is marking this year’s Earth Day by furthering her environmental commitments and forging a new partnership with the not-for-profit organization Canopy.

Canopy’s work revolves around “protecting forests, species and climate,” and by joining forces with Westwood, the aim is to further the organization’s mission of safeguarding the world’s endangered and ancient forests and highlighting the link between clothing consumption and deforestation.
To launch the tie-in, the British label has released a video, produced by artist Aidan Zamiri and featuring the model and activist Kai-Isaiah Jamal, reciting a poem that celebrates being alive and the natural world. It also puts the spotlight on the juxtaposition between a vision of a world that values forests, and the tearing of trees to create viscose — by way of striking imagery of trees being burnt down and a moody soundscape.

“Sometimes I put on a plain black T-shirt, pull it over my head, and forget that in this basic T lay the substances of ancient forests that no longer exist,” reads Jamal.
Protecting the forest ecosystems has been at the top of the British label’s sustainability agenda, by ensuring its packaging only comes from responsibly managed forests. It’s also working toward making sure that 100 percent of its wood pulp derived fabrics are certified, by next year.

“Fashion has a disproportionate impact on the environment, and to remedy that we have for some time been changing the way we make clothes to reflect the need for the industry to change the way it operates,” said Christopher Di Pietro, global brand director at Vivienne Westwood.
“We hope the video will help draw attention to our campaign in support of the work Canopy has been doing to transform unsustainable supply chains to protect forests around the world — and with it our climate and wildlife.”
Canopy’s founder and executive director Nicole Rycroft added that both the climate crisis and the pandemic the world is facing “illustrate how consequential our every action is.” The remedy, according to Rycroft, lies in creativity and positive action.
“Vivienne and her team know that brilliance coupled with imagination and pragmatic action will transform how our economy interacts with vital ecosystems. Jamal’s poem and video provide us with the dream of a future we all want to be part of,” she added.

[ad_2]

Source link