George Issue III

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george spring 2021

Creating Content

AT HOME MASK CULTURE

The Future of Runway:

A Chat with IMG

CANCEL CULTURE Couture’s Emerging Nightmare A D.C. Escape:

The Reach and The Glenstone

D.C. on the Fashion Rise:

POST INAUGURATION issue no. 3


Dex Frederick & Alexandra Lange Cover Photo by Nicole Pollack

GLO

Mask Culture, 15

The Future of Runway: An Interview with Dominic Kaffka, 17 Cancel Culture: Couture’s Emerging Nightmare, 19 Pioneering Distressed, 25

BAL

Modeling in 2020: Astrid Voss, 27

A Conversation with Jack Carlson of Rowing Blazers, 33 Creative Integrity and its Place in Law, 43 The Rise of Depop, 47

I Z AT

How Tik Tok is Changing the Fashion Branding Game, 51 How Pantone Influences the Fashion Industry, 53 Evolve or Perish: Digitalization, 57

ION


DC

65, A DC Escape: The Reach and The Glenstone

69, The Role of Fashion in the 2020 Presidential Election

73, DC on the Fashion Rise: Post Inauguration

A x FB

79, Our Guide: Content at Home

89, Ivan Bart: Breathing Life into Beauty

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93, Mini-Profile: Margot Lee

95, Prospect Spotlight

table of

contents george issue III spring 2021

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gwfba 2020-21 Editor-in-Chief Nathalie Campbell Magazine Graphic Designers Anastasia D’Agostini Riya Dave Andrea Kang Ornella Libi Giovanna Lino Henry Parente David Wiesley President Alexandra Lange Vice-President Dex Frederick VP of Marketing Nicole Pollack VP of Visual Content Andrea Kang

Creative Zori Angelova Maddie Balick Cora Broadhurst Christopher Cho Marion Citrino Riya Dave Alexandra Fastlich Roi Hayashi Athina Hostelet Andrea Kang Ornella Libi Yasmin Maleki Henry Parente Nicole Pollack Mayte Romero David Ruff Adis Santoyo Amy Tan David Wiesley Taylor Williams Simone Ennosen Yen Betsy da Silva

Events Eva Alshannikova Anastasia D’Agostini Lexi Pellegrini Rina Suka Olivia Tirmonia Uribe Valverde Content Nathalie Campbell Hana Chabinksy Katie Coolidge Anika Dilawri Lauren Durniak Julia Lehrer Giovanna Lino Aaron Mancus Dinorah Martell Celeste Noraian Gabrielle Russo Jacob Solomon

VP of Events Olivia Tirmonia Secretary Grace Demeritt

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III

issue

M O ZO

UNIVERSITY


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NATHALIE CAMPBELL

Hello and welcome to the third issue of George!

This year has been a tumultuous one, to say the least. Taking on the role of Editor-in-Chief in an entirely virtual space, in all transparency, was daunting: no in-person meetings, no energy-filled pow-wows, no exuberant FBA gatherings with our teams and peers. It was, undoubtedly, a different vibe this year. Yet, even collaborating with FBA via Zoom, compiling this issue of George from a far became a therapeutic creative outlet.

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And so, in this year’s historic issue of George, we didn’t hide from the pandemic (though I admit at times, I really wanted to.) Instead, we decided to embrace the new challenges that this global crisis has posed on the fashion industry and far beyond. Reflecting on this past year of political unrest, isolation, and undeniable loss I was inspired by our members’ ability to still find beauty and meaning within their assignments. Covering everything from the effects of globalization within the industry to the role Tik-Tok has played in fashion. Narhalie Campbell Photograph by Katie Coolidge

letter from the editor

Looking back on this unprecedented time, I am grateful for the sense of connection GWFBA offered me. Even pre-pandemic, when I felt lost or even isolated on such a spread out city campus. I was able to connect with like-minded creatives and innovative thinkers in one place. Feeling a part of something and having a project you’re passionate about can really transform your life. I want to thank the fabulous visual and graphic design team for bringing this issue of George to fruition. To both Alex and Dex, our President and VP, for their unwavering efforts and dedication into making this year successful, in a year where they could have easily forsaken their responsibilities. And to the rest of our FBA E-board, each team, contributed so much time and energy into making this incredible issue possible. I hope this letter encourages you to dive into the fabulous work produced by our members, and that this issue of George entertains, inspires, and even impresses you! I know I am impressed by the tireless work that’s been put into it. Wherever you are in the world, tag us on instagram @gwfba with the hashtag #GEORGEAtHome. Share your thoughts with us! xx

Nathalie Campbell Editor in Chief

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dear GWFB Alexandra Lange Photograph by Nicole Pollack


BA

Dear GWFBA, What a wild ride it has been. This year has been anything but normal. While we could not get together in the same fashion, we tried our best. From weekly zoom meetings to virtual speaker events, we wanted to keep everyone engaged which sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t. And that is okay. Being a student is all about learning, but being a student during a pandemic is all about just hanging on. We know this year was unlike any other, but I think that is what made our time together so special. While we didn’t get to sit in a classroom together on Monday nights and brainstorm, we learned how to create breakout rooms on zoom and do virtual photoshoots. We were all going through the same thing, and having a safe space of like-minded individuals was more necessary than ever this year. This school year has been full of tragedy, chaos, and never ending surprises, but one thing that has stayed constant is our GWFBA community. No matter what was going on, we came together on Monday nights (virtually of course), and got the chance to forget about everything else that was going on in the world. We discussed issues of sustainability, new ventures in the fashion industry, and the future of design. We brainstormed article ideas for our blog, and conceptualized this very magazine in those meetings. We planned a virtual speaker series and learned how to create content from the comfort of our homes. One word that comes to mind when I think of this year and this organization is adaptability. Creating a magazine is incredibly tough to do in person, and even more difficult to do virtually. I am so proud of all our members who contributed to our third issue of George, and our first completely virtually orchestrated issue. Every aspect of this magazine was a challenge and our members

adapted and persevered to create this beautiful piece of art that you are reading right now. Truly everything this year felt like a challenge, but I could not be prouder of the way we, as an organization, overcame and succeeded. I have spent the past three years of my life as a member of GWFBA. The impact that this organization has had on my time at GW is like no other. I started out as Editor in Chief and founded George and I am so thrilled at how this publication has continued to grow. Serving as President this past year has been one of my greatest accomplishments so far and I will never forget this experience. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was sad about leaving, this organization feels like home to me and I will miss all of our members so much. As I enter the next chapter of my life, I look forward to what is to come, but I also look back and am grateful for the memories and the people I have been able to meet because of GWFBA. I am so honored to pass this organization down to an incredible and talented new executive board and I cannot wait to see all the amazing things that they do in the future. Thank you to every single member of GWFBA for giving me a sense of purpose during a time where many of us felt lost. You know how to find me. Best,

Alexandra Gigi Lange GWFBA President 2020-21

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2020-21 page 11


EBOARD


GLOBALIZATION

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Olivia Tirmonia, Henry Parente, Roi Hayashi, David Ruff Photograph by Nicole Pollack


MASK Roi Hayashi Photographs by Nora Shepherd

Like seat belts, bike helmets, and technology, what first seemed excessive, has now become a safety routine. Some people have refused to wear masks, viewing them as unnecessary. As the Coronavirus has intensified, mask-wearing has become a mandate in public places. Now, masks are not only worn as a protective measure, but they have become a fashion statement of sorts. The fashion industry was one of the first to step up and offer its resources to help fight the PPE shortages at the start of the pandemic. From Chanel to Canada Goose, designers were ready to help in a high-powered and stylish way. Christian Siriano was one of the first designers to publicly volunteer to create masks for healthcare workers in New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo and Siriano’s design team produced and delivered over 5,000 masks. Over in Maine, L.L.Bean shifted from making products like boots to 10,000 masks a day, using fabric from its dog-bed liners. L.L.Bean also helped get more than 1 million masks to

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local hospitals by using its global supply chain. Ralph Lauren produced over 250,000 masks and 25,000 gowns in the US. The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation also committed a $10 million donation towards COVID-19 relief. Prada announced that it would produce 80,000 medical overalls and 110,000 masks at its factory in Montone, Italy. Prada also donated six intensive medical care units to hospitals in Milan. Gucci made and donated 1.1 million masks and 55,000 overalls. Neiman Marcus teamed up with Jo-Ann Stores to produce PPE for frontline healthcare workers. Armani also converted all four of its Italian production sites to make single-use medical overalls for healthcare workers. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced fashion and textile companies to refocus their businesses and align with a common goal: to address the urgent need for face masks and hospital gowns. Some designers have found a financial opportunity in sharing their brand’s personality


By Celeste Norian

CULTURE and vision through their masks. Erdem has done florals, J. Crew has done gingham, Vince did one in a dusty rose silk, while Mother Denim’s are made from denim. Rowing Blazers made some in tweed herringbone, like a little sportcoat for the chin! The luxury brands entered the mix, too: as part of Louis Vuitton’s cruise 2021 collection, branded face shields were on display, doubling as a visor when it’s flipped up. Tom Ford emphasized the jersey knit mask, while Fendi shared a silk bow. Burberry became the first luxury fashion house to make its foray into PPE, launching this cotton face mask in the brand’s vintage check print. Each is crafted with sustainable revalued fabric and antimicrobial technology, and offers PPE. 20 percent of each face mask sale will go to the Burberry Foundation COVID-19 Community

Fund, which continues to provide PPE, as well as aid food banks and healthcare charities.

Virgil Abloh’s Off White also added their own rendition using their logo. With the designer adding his signature arrow motif to the front of his version. The double straps around the head and neck add for extra comfort and support. Major sports leagues were quick to adapt, emphasizing a fan’s enthusiasm for gear. Popular athletic masks included ones from Adidas, Under Armour, and Athleta. Fashion brands will continue to be at the frontline in finding innovative ways to make effective, fashionable, and fun masks. Hopefully masks won’t be needed for much longer, but for now, they might as well produce an added fashion statement.

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The Future of Runway An Interview with Dominic Kaffka of IMG FOCUS By Lauren Durniak page 17


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rom online fashion shows to digital clothing rendering, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the traditional route of fashion and runway. I chatted with Dominic Kaffka, VP and Managing Director of IMG Focus and New York Fashion Week, where we discussed the future of fashion and runway and how the industry has been turned on its head throughout this past year.

inviting only a limited audience, enforcing social distancing guidelines, and the use of masks and temperature checks prior to the event. This made time management even more essential, as the team had to ensure that everything was conducted safely, while also ensuring the event was successful and followed Wu’s vision.

IMG Focus is an event and production agency that specializes in fashion shows and events for brands, designers, and clients across the multimedia industry. Specific projects range from New York Fashion Week, Project Runway, to the most recent fashion show production for Rebbecca Minkoff. Like many of us, Kaffka noted that the lines between life and work are blurred these days. Dominic likes to unwind with the crowd favorite quarantine walk outside but noted that sometimes the work doesn’t stop, and you just get absorbed into it. While outside of the home office, Kaffka can be seen organizing fashion and lifestyle events for IMG Focus’s clientele.

While IMG Focus has produced many spectacular events over 2020, Kaffka noted that the city feels different this year. New York Fashion Week along with other major fashion events throughout the years are missing many foreign fashion creators and icons. Regardless, the show must go on, and Kaffka emphasized that the industry thinking more outside the box than ever. He believes this change is refreshing and is forcing creators to innovate and enhance creativity when executing these major events. Kaffka expects people to take non-conventional routes as they adapt to these ever-changing times, in which new challenges are constantly emerging. He notes that designers will have to reinvent their business models and keep in mind their global audience and what their needs and desires are. While he sees things becoming more costefficient and accessible in the future, he envisions that things

The first in-person event produced by IMG Focus over 2020 was the Jason Wu show in New York City. Kaffka noted that this was uncharted territory, and the stakes were high as it was one of their first in-person productions of the year. With social distancing guidelines in mind, the IMG Focus team made safety their priority. This included

will remain somewhat the same when our world becomes a bit more normal. When we discussed the future popularity of online events, Kaffka noted that they might become more popular, but they will never replace the gigantic live shows that we have become accustomed to. He envisions more content creation in general by brands and fashion houses, including fashion films. He also foresees a mixed media approach to fashion events, blending digital with in-person magic. Despite these innovative changes, nothing tops the inperson fashion event experience, Kaffka says. There are only some things that can be experienced in the room, he said, explaining that these events are not going anywhere too soon. While Kaffka did not allude to any specifics of any upcoming projects or events, he emphasized that he and his team are working furiously to provide their clients with the best results possible and that they look forward to continuing to work with designers. Dominic optimistically ended our conversation by saying that there are so many happy years to come and that the future of fashion looks bright.

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CANCEL

Katie Coolidge Photograph by Nathalie Campbell

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Couture’s Emerging N i g h t m a r e by Jacob Solomon

CULTURE


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icture this: you have been invited to attend the Met Gala. All the high points in your career, the movies you starred in, the roles you did not want to play, all of them have led you to this moment. Emerging from the back of an Escalade, you step into a sea of cameras and people with drastically high expectations. Your dress, the most elegant piece of clothing you have ever slipped into, is being photographed one hundred times every few seconds. You smile, wave, and carefully ascend the staircase into the event. The night is perfect. Now picture waking up the next morning, only to find yourself trending on Twitter, reposted three times on Diet Prada, and your entire entourage red-faced and horrified by the comments people are leaving. What did I do wrong? You, yourself...probably nothing. The dress, though... probably everything. The emergence of social media in the late 2000s changed the game for fashion. It gave people an easy platform to express their opinions. And, too, to converse with others on said opinions, further forming an army of “commoner critics,” harping on every missed detail of multi-million-dollar events. But, the already-changed game was about to get a total redesign. In October of 2010, Kevin Systrom and Mike Kreiger rolled out the next generation of social media, “a photo and video sharing social networking service:” Instagram. Eleven years and over ninehundred ten million users later, the “commoner critics” have evolved and created a culture specific to them: the culture of cancelling.

The term “cancel culture” refers to the exercise of publicly rescinding support of a person or brand because of their views or actions on a particular matter. He/she who is facing backlash now becomes “cancelled.” There is, however, a debate around whether or not cancel culture is cold-blooded, or has a beating heart. The case for it is rather simple, but effective. Forbes contributor Kian Bakhtiari defines cancel culture as “an authentic attempt to right historical wrongs and push for meaningful change.” To this extent, the emergence of movements such as #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter into mainstream channels -- “giving a voice to the voiceless,” as Bakhtiari describes it. The case against it, however, is even simpler. It is detrimental to the fashion industry. Summing it up, Bakhtiari explains that it restricts open debate, and that it “can summarily execute opposing viewpoints without [reason].” But what does this mean for brands?


Nathalie Campbell Photograph by Katie Coolidge

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Katie Coolidge Photograph by Nathalie Campbell

can·cel cul·ture noun

the exercise of publicly rescinding support of a person or brand because of their views or actions on a particular matter


It means that the days of acting politically neutral have become trickier. Generally, brands -- not just in fashion -- tend to want to stay out of politics, for fear of isolating a portion of their buyers. But because of cancel culture’s rapid expansion, brands can no longer remain neutral, and they cannot issue “empty statements of solidarity” as Bakhtiari calls them. Every move a brand makes is being watched by millions of eyes waiting to catch the slightest mistake and blow them up on social media for it. One may refer to this as holding the brand accountable, another may refer to it as overly sensitive and a waste of energy. Despite this, cancel culture does have its perks. For instance, it is very useful in identifying and refuting cultural appropriation. The renaming of Kim Kardashian’s activewear to Skims from Kimono is a recent example of this.

On the other hand, cancel culture can -- and does -- harm those in the crossfire. In 2018, actress Scarlett Johannson wore Marchesa to the Met Gala: a brand founded by Georgina Chapman, Harvey Weinstein’s ex-wife. At the time, due to Weinstein’s investigation, Chapman faced massive backlash and received blame for her husband’s behavior, a later found baseless claim. Moreover, Johannson also faced backlash for wearing the dress but quickly denounced those “cancelling” her, and with help from Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, justified the outfit. All in all, cancel culture is not the friendliest face. Sure, it does help bring some issues to light, but it also puts some things, and people, unnecessarily down. It forces brands to rethink their every move, for fear of consumer loss. It reveals every minute mistake and defocuses the big picture. Although it is here to stay, weaponizing it against big players defeats the purpose of why social media was created: to express.

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wenty-one years ago, the designer shoe industry was coming into its own. New and unique designs arrived into the market and caught a lot of attention -- but not necessarily the good kind. Isabel Marant’s wedge sneakers and Christian Louboutin’s studded slip-ons were among those consumers thought of as ugly, and back then, ugly did not sell. At the time, the polarization of the designer shoe industry was massive, as infant brands such as Golden Goose and Common Projects were selling minimalism, rather than excess. With simple and understated products, they were reeling in the customers the more established luxury brands were losing. As the decade progressed, the symbolism of wealth changed. And one of the first places this was evident, was the fashion industry. People strayed

away from gold-plated this, and diamond-encrusted that. They sought clothing that was easy-going and casual, nothing too put together. They wanted something more genuine, something that told a good visual story. So, in 2007, Golden Goose delivered. In comes the Superstar. The first of its kind, the Superstar bridged the gap between super high end designer sneakers, and athletic trainers; and fit perfectly in among those craving designer quality, but not the overly perfect designer look. The Italian brand’s founders, Alessandro Gallo and Francesca Rinaldo, say the Superstars are an “emotional product that is authentic and never artificial.” Further, the shoes were designed to seem as though they had already seen the world, and thus were a method of encouragement

PIONEERING

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for the wearer to do the same. As per usual, when creating a new category, the backlash is plentiful and one description of the shoes can stick even fourteen years later: ugly. With everything from the soles to the laces being intentionally pre-distressed, it is easy to see how some consumers may not love the design. However, many others did. Currently, Golden Goose has over ten styles of distressed shoes for both men and women. From velcros to hightops, the Golden Goose’s predistressed style has caused a ripple effect in the fashion industry, with other brands not only adopting it for their shoes, but their clothing as well. French designer brand Givenchy began to (and still does) sell $1240 distressed hoodies, while Balmain has gone so far as to embellish


their distressed jeans with gold sequins and crystal chains... and charge over $4000 for them. Fellow Italian brand, Gucci, has not strayed far from Golden Goose’s path with their almost $900 distressed sneakers. On a more affordable stage, American clothing companies American Eagle and Abercrombie & Fitch have instituted ripped/ distressed jeans into their permanent collections, as they have become a staple amongst their customers. The growing appeal of imperfection among millennials and gen z’ers, too, has drastically changed the fashion industry. With the arrival of the Superstar in the late 2000s, the pre-distressed clothing trend officially began. In the years following, big brands were in for a real shake up, learning that the days of perfection were over, and in order to keep up with the trends they had to adopt a new mantra: ugly sells.

Roi Hayashi Photograph by Nora Shepherd

By Jacob Solomon

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Astrid Voss: A Rising Star

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word with Astrid Voss

Astrid Voss is currently a model at Wilhelmina Models in New York City, 17 and a junior in high school in Boston, MA. She has walked in multiple European fashion weeks both before and during the pandemic. We discussed life as a young model, the rapidly changing fashion industry and her aspirations for the unknown but promising future.

Photographs Courtesy of Astrid Voss


MODELING IN 2020 By Katie Coolidge

GIVE US A LITTLE BACKSTORY. HOW DID YOUR MODELING CAREER BEGIN? I started modeling at 14. I literally walked into Brandy Melville to go shopping. They loved my outfit and asked me if I would be interested in coming back for a photoshoot. The manager ended up really liking me and asked me to start traveling to California every month, so I would go to LA and shoot content for their website. I wanted to do more, so I soon submitted photos to agencies. The agencies in Boston were hard, because when you’re younger agents want you to do commercials and children’s campaigns, but I was already really tall (I’m 6’1) so that wasn’t really an option for me. But I wasn’t ready to give up modelling so I signed with Wilhelmina in New York.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST BIG BREAK? Burberry. WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE BEING IN THE SHOW? I went to London and I worked for a week with the chief creative officer, Ricardo Tisci doing “looks”-- trying on all the different clothes. You basically wake up at 5am and leave at 9pm just dressing and undressing the whole day (which I personally loved). Two days before the show they start bringing all the models in for fittings. The coat I wore had some issues, so the day of the show I completely missed the call time because I was waiting back at “headquarters” getting the coat refitted. It was so stressful. I was frantically trying to find myself on the board and could not find my name anywhere until they grabbed me and said you’re on and I was pretty much thrown onto the runway to open the show.


WERE YOU EVER AFRAID OF FALLING DOWN? Heels are part of the job requirement. As a model you better be able to do any and everything in heels and do it well. Dealing with discomfort is a big part of being a model. But that’s the job. I signed up for it. As glamorous as it looks there are definitely tough moments. The designers want perfection and sometimes you need to practice the show one more time. Some girls complain, but I just think about how lucky I am to even be here.

DURING THIS SUMMER’S BURBERRY SHOW, WHAT WERE THE PRECAUTIONS FOR THE MODELS IN LIGHT OF THE PANDEMIC? HOW DID THE SHOW WORK? It was different for models from Europe, but I was coming from America. I had to quarantine for two weeks in London, then get a covid test. The fittings still happened, but it took much longer and there were less girls allowed in the room. For the actual show there was no audience. We were in Buckinghamshire (outside of London) in the middle of the woods, and I mean middle of the woods. Burberry set up a bunch of tents, electricity and bathrooms everywhere. They mounted a ton of cameras to achieve every possible angle.

DID THE SHOW FEEL REALLY DIFFERENT COMPARED TO NORMAL FASHION WEEK? It definitely felt like a performance. It was more focused on dance; Ricardo had a bunch of dancers come in. It was so atypical for a fashion show, but it morphed into something amazing and different. It was a performance in every capacity-- like I was wearing thigh high white rubber boots that couldn’t even bend at the knee and was walking through the woods, no runway, just grass and hiking over roots.

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WAS IT LESS STRESSFUL BECAUSE THERE WASN’T AN AUDIENCE WATCHING YOU? There is always a certain pressure with a live audience, so hypothetically being filmed would seem less stressful. But in reality, I never knew when I was being filmed so I still had to be on my A game the entire time. I was afraid the one shot they’d get of me would be the one second I relaxed or slouched. In a weird way I missed the performance rush; the second before you go on is what models live for. A nonexistent audience definitely took that aspect away. It did kick in again when they announced that three million people were about to watch the live stream, that definitely instilled some more.

THE MODELING INDUSTRY IS KNOWN TO BE PRETTY CUTTHROAT, WAS IT CHALLENGING TO FIND YOUR PLACE WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED? You get turned down a lot rejection is more common than acceptance for sure. I am younger and a lot of these brands’ demographics are older women so they may not want a 17 year old-- sometimes it really just comes down to age. The biggest thing is not being hard on yourself; you didn’t get the job okay fine. The problem rises when girls immediately jump to doubting themselves like ‘I’m ugly, I’m not skinny enough’. How you look is how you look and everyone should learn to own it. Confidence is the biggest thing for me, it’s the only way I can produce good work. Be competitive, but be positive. Never think you’re better than the girl next to you in the waiting room. page 31


HAVE YOU FOUND THAT THE MODELLING INDUSTRY IS SHIFTING TOWARDS A MORE INCLUSIVE AND DIVERSE SPACE? It’s more about the designer and the vision they have for the show or campaign. Hermes had a casting I went to while I was in Paris and a lot of the girls they casted were much older. For the Burberry shows Ricardo definitely has a type. The girls are all very much my dimensions and size. There was a great diversity of race and his male models are very atypical. Most of the time designers look for very skinny tall men but Ricardo casts men who are really muscular and huge which is really uncommon. It’s definitely becoming more inclusive as a whole, especially with social media. In the show there were multiple trans models that I knew from Tik Tok which was really cool. People with tattoos and shaved heads used to be viewed as lepers in the modeling world and now it’s totally sought after. Designers like Margiela spearhead this movement a lot because he looks at fashion as human almost without gender which has really been reflected in his models. WITH GEN Z BECOMING A GROWING DEMOGRAPHIC OF LUXURY CONSUMERS DO YOU THINK FASHION HOUSES WILL START TO REBRAND IN THE FUTURE? In my opinion, brands with classic histories like Chanel I just can’t see changing in the near future. High fashion is supposed to be almost “unattainable” which I think companies like Chanel will preserve. But recently, I did a Marc Jacobs campaign and they were talking about a collaboration with Peanuts that they did. I thought it was really odd at first, but I realized it’s super popular with their asian demographic (which was super smart). Off-White recently did a collab with Emma Chamberlain so some brands are certainly shifting towards Gen-Z, but as a whole I think couture will stay the same. Americans are a niche demographic that love to flaunt logos and name brands, but when I enter stores in Paris or London I’m always like ‘wow that’s beautiful what brand is that’ and am surprised when it says Gucci. They’re not covered in labels whatsoever. There’s people that buy it for the brand and there’s people that buy it for the style, they’re very different.


Revival of a Lost Culture BY KATIE COOLIDGE

A CONVERSATION WITH OF ROWING BLAZERS page 33


Katie Coolidge Photograph by Blake Masi


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hile this year’s issue of George underlines facets of “globalization” in the fashion world, readers may jump to grandiose ideas of pandemics or global fashion takeovers. But, just as conglomerates are an obvious symbol of globalization’s effects, so are the revivals of niche arts and vogues. A striking effect of globalization is its counterculture. Designers and consumers alike are searching for companies and clothing that reclaim and revive lost looks of fashion from yesteryear. The prep style is far from lost. In its lifecycle, preppy clothing has made numerous comebacks, the fifties look intrinsically tied with sailing, lacrosse, rugby and rowing. The eighties produced the Official Preppy Handbook morphing the style into an aspiration for classic looks and dazzling success. To its credit, the preppy style likely persists because the lifestyle persists: there will always be coastal elites. Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Brooks Brothers ad campaigns are distinguished even without a label. They are universal: but what sets them apart from each other? Where is the humor, authenticity and novelty that not only prep shoppers, but all consumers crave to see in their clothing?

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t the peak of prep’s reformation is 33 year old entrepreneur and founder of Rowing Blazers, Jack Carlson. His career began in 2014 when he published his four year opus highlighting the “striped, piped, trimmed and badged blazers” that have been worn by rowers around the world at legendary races and elite clubs. “The book was intended for the rowing community, but ended up launching in the fashion and menswear community” Carlson explains when I asked him how his brand began. The rich history he uncovered and the unexpected response from the book (also called Rowing Blazers) provided direct inspiration for what would become his clothing company. Carlson kick-started his business in 2017, which now has celebs such as Timothée Chalamet, Pete Davidson and Hailey Bieber frequently sporting his lines. Each season, Carlson launches brilliant solo and collaboration collections “taking rules out of the streetwear playbook.” In the past, Rowing Blazers collaborated with Slim Aarons photographs, Harry’s New York Bar and recently -- as an ode to Princess Diana -- Warm & Wonderful.


Katie Coolidge Photograph by Blake Masi

“I was reading about streetwear while in grad school at Oxford, an environment where no one had ever heard of Supreme.” But, Carlson asserted he “wanted to make a brand that could mix the classic, timeless and ‘preppy’ aesthetic” with the inclusive and fun energy of streetwear. His site and stores certainly convey this in a display of diverse colors, patterns and designs. Carlson has successfully woven a classic oarsman blazer into something eclectic that you may see on both an old man or hypebeast throughout the concrete jungle.

He repels the traditional idea of preppy in their dress code being as stiff as their drinks. “We maintain a strong sense of irony” whereas other prep brands may go out of their way to be exclusive or use the term ‘preppy’ in the negative. Irony is what sets us apart”, Carlson maintains. “The whole idea of the brand is that clothes are meant to be fun. There’s nothing in our brand that is terribly avant garde or technical. We are classic, timeless, authentic, irreverent, ironic, but most simply fun.”


s r e z a l B g win r e z a l B g n i ow e z a l B g n i ow e z a l B g n i w o R e z a l B g n i w o R “The whole idea of the brand is that clothes are meant to be fun. There’s nothing in our brand that is terribly avant garde or technical. We are classic, timeless, authentic, irreverent, ironic, but most simply fun.” - Jack Carlson


s rs ers ers ers

Rowinng Blazers Photograph by Elise Kang

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heir demographic? “Whoever gets us,” he says, “we have a diverse customer base, young, old, those who define themselves as preppy, and those who would retract from that suggestion.” He describes their pre-covid store parties in aweing detail, something pulled from a time forgotten, where all are welcome. “Someone once said to me, ‘these people would never be all in the same room at the same time, ever, anywhere, other than a Rowing Blazers party’ and I laughed.” In the midst of a glittering Manhattan gathering imagine older men from the upper east side rubbing shoulders with models and skaters. Imagine japanese tourists on their yearly pilgrimage mixing with hypebeasts and “finance bros.” It’s mythical. While we may consider what Rowing Blazers creates to be fashion, Carlson asserts merely at face value. They create fashion in the literal sense: it’s clothes. But fashion with a “capital F” he finds to be quite boring and even a little silly, “it can sometimes just feel so anachronistic and antiquated.” With growing globalization, it is certainly an industry stuck in its ways and sometimes a bit unreceptive to change. Carlson contends, “it doesn’t speak to how I shop or how I live my life.” He is not a hypebeast by any means, but the way streetwear companies operate resonates more deeply with him and definitely translates well into his brand (even though

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Carlson is anything but traditional in more ways than one. He has a Ph.D. in archaeology from Oxford, an unorthodox degree for a man, and more specifically a designer. I wondered if this translated to any hardships he’s endured as a creator. He deems not; “I think it has actually been an advantage.” He admits that it is a distinct possibility if he had had a formal education in fashion, the brand he came up with wouldn’t be nearly as interesting, “I don’t know the rules so I’ve never felt I had pressure to play by them.”

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s the young, unconventional startup continues in the future there will certainly be more collaborations, color and disruption. But, what will happen in terms of growth? Rowing Blazers aims to be authentic, irreverent and always resonate with their customers. What happens when a company dedicated to reviving a lost art, a niche culture and a refreshing fashion blows up? As RB becomes a global brand we will watch to see if they can retain their primordial identity. And we sure hope they do.

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Nathalie Campbell Photograph by Katie Coolidge

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CREATIVE

INTEGRITY and its Place in Law:

A C ALL T O S AV E T HE FASHI O N I NDUS TRY By Yasmin Maleki

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The Prevalence of Plagiarism Danielle Bernstein, owner of the popular fashion blog WeWoreWhat has become a mega-influencer in the fashion industry. Since then, she has launched her own clothing line: Shop WeWoreWhat. However since its creation, the brand has been accused of plagiarism on a number of occasions. The most notable instance was this past July when Bernstein was accused of copying the design of a face mask developed by Karen Perez, designer of the brand Second Wind. Perez was shocked to see a replica of her design for sale on WeWoreWhat after sending Bernstein a requested product sample. With the help of social media news outlets like Diet Prada, a popular Instagram account known for exposing plagiarism in the industry, Perez was able to regain control of her design. Bernstein ultimately announced that she would discontinue the masks and donate the remaining

inventory. Although this ended in the favor of Perez, piracy in the fashion industry is not uncommon. Although Bernstein’s designs were almost exact replicas of Perez’s work, under the Copyright Act of 1976 she had not plagiarized. Copyright and patent laws have allowed many artists the ability to protect and maintain ownership of their original works. These laws ensure the artists rights over their creations and the opportunity to take action in a legal capacity. Film, music, and literature are all protected under the copyright laws presented in the Copyright Act of 1976. Although fashion serves as a form of artistic expression, fashion design is not protected under this act. This has had detrimental effects on the industry by undermining the ethical dimensions of design as an art.

Fashion as an Art, Not a Utility European countries have a rich history of fashion. Luxury brands such as Chanel, Balenciaga, Prada, and Gucci date back to the early 20th century while houses such as Burberry and Lanvin date even further back to the 1800’s. As these brands have grown, their unique designs and aesthetics have followed them to create an irreplaceable and iconic image in the landscape of European art and fashion. As a result, European law recognizes the importance of creative integrity within fashion design. When the US was founded, manufacturing of clothing was a key component of economic growth.Unlike Europe, US law recognizes fashion as a utility rather than an art. However times have changed and with the expansion and international recognition of American brands such as Tommy Hilfiger or Ralph Lauren, US law should acknowledge the importance of fashion design as its European counterparts have. This will deter the continued growth of fast fashion as a staple in American fashion.

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Defamation of Brand Identity A consequential effect of fast fashion is its potential to harm brand identity. Today, many brands rely heavily on brand identity to drive sales. For example, luxury brands maintain an aura of class and exclusivity in order to market their goods and attract consumers prepared to spend. This becomes problematic when generic brands are able to offer the same goods at a lower price. Designer Proenza Schouler released their iconic PS1 bag in 2010 which instantly became the “it” bag of the season. Noting the bags rise in popularity, Target released a replica at $34.99, while the original bag retails between $1,695 and $9,250. Arguably, this significant price disparity may suggest that these two products do not target the same consumers. However, the knockoff bag hurt the image of Proenza Schouler’s brand by making it more accessible and therefore, cheapening it. Overall, knockoffs cheapen design as a craft and cause consumers to devalue the creative process. Forever 21 is another key example of this phenomenon. Rather than developing their own designs, they profit off of the work of others which, in turn, reduces the sales of the original designer. Although the fast fashion giant has been faced with over 50 lawsuits, they have never been found guilty of copyright infringement. This leaves us to wonder whether the industry values should reflect ethics or profit.

Negative Impact on Smaller Brands Under the Copyright Act of 1976, governing laws were instituted in order to reward creators and innovators in an effort to encourage new ideas. However, the vast amounts of plagiarism in the fashion industry has discouraged many smaller independent designers who are incapable of defending themselves in a legal capacity. Even if they do decide to take legal action, it is a lengthy and expensive process which is undermined by the speed at which fast-fashion companies are able to manufacture and sell their knockoff pieces. The harmful effects this has had warrant a call to action. Adopt the Innovative Design Protection Act As a result of a piracy plagued industry, creative integrity in the fashion industry has been dismissed as unworthy of legal protection. In order to restore ethical and moral decency throughout the industry, the Innovative Design Protection Act (IDPA) should be adopted. The IDPA calls for the extension of copyright protection to fashion designs under the “useful articles” clause. By extending the ethical umbrella of copyright protection to fashion designs, the integrity of the arts will once again be reestablished and safeguarded to protect independent designers.


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epop has become a pillar in the sustainable fashion industry. Straight from your cell phone, people all over the world can sell their clothes and purchase items from other Depop sellers. Directed towards Millennials and Gen Z, this app has over 21 million users. Depop has gained a cult following. The purpose of Depop was to create a place for the sale and purchase of reusable fashion pieces, creating more sustainable practices within the industry – reducing the urge to shop through fast fashion outlets. Before Depop and before cell phones, people used Ebay for selling items they no longer wanted. Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal, began her career on Ebay selling vintage clothing to make a living. This sparked her company which is now a form of fast fashion in today’s market. Depop is bringing back a more focused platform for what Amoruso used to build a career, and it’s sparking a lot of interest. Social media influencers are using Depop to create their own store, and with a lot of success, it too is sparking new careers. When the whole country went into quarantine, everyone seemed to enjoy a little spring cleaning. Closets were emptied and Depop became an easy way to make some quick cash on items that were neglected in the back of our closets. The fashion industry has been extremely affected by the pandemic, and as we look forward, perhaps resale and sustainability will increase more than ever before.

Because of its resale aspect, Depop has a wide variety of high end products: a major Nike sneaker collection, or some killer vintage finds. However, resale is not always driven by this new sustainable fashion movement. People are often buying popular items in bulk to resell at a higher price. This completely ignores the sustainable aspect of Depop as consumers can’t seem to get the items they want from their original source. There is a major difference between wanting to make a profit and wanting to limit waste in the industry. While this may be an issue arising with Depop, there are several other platforms that are trying to accomplish Depop’s mission. Poshmark and Thredup are very similar to Depop, whereas Tradesy and Vestiaire Collective are more directed towards the resale of high end brands. Etsy centers around handmade items, often in the vintage category and more often than not, the older generations are still drawn to Ebay for their rare and special finds. Not only is the resale of used clothing better for the environment but it is also more affordable, as the prices are often comparable to those in a real thrift store. Buying a used item cuts down the value which offers another incentive to shop for used items. As more apps like Depop enter the market, resale could make up a major part in the fashion industry in future years.

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here is no doubt that social media has a big influence on us all, but nowadays two main apps are considered key industry leaders: Instagram and Tik Tok. Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has become one of the best platforms to advertise, post photos, and reach out to influencers and online stores. However, more recently, Tik Tok presented a new business model that gives people a platform to express their opinions even more freely. From a fashion perspective, Tik Tok has helped shape people’s styles and individualities in a different and innovative way. Each new fashion/beauty trend is made by content creators, and those trends can quickly become viral, giving companies an opportunity to jump in and promote their products and services.

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In addition, Tik Tok has helped fashion brands connect with content creators to innovate during the pandemic and tailor their content towards a younger audience. Not only are content creators becoming more serious about reaching the ‘Fashion Tik Toker’ status, but also, large fashion companies and modeling agencies are beginning to use the platform as a valuable networking channel to form new partnerships worldwide. This is a strong tactic in connecting with Gen Z, since they are evidently shaping the future of fashion. As a member of Gen Z, I enjoy watching more creative advertisements rather than the standard format. Some e-commerce platforms such as Shopify have formed a partnership with TikTok with the goal of increasing online sales. Its strategy has allowed its merchants to sell products in the form of shoppable video ads, where TikTok users can interact with the ad and directly purchase the product. These partnerships are also forming with higher-end brands, too. In a recent Business of Fashion article, Akinniranye, fashion TikToker, partnered with Ralph Lauren to promote virtual clothing via Bitmojis. She was a mid-size influencer

at the time and still managed to go viral. For the campaign, she dressed in four outfits with her Bitmoji alongside. Due to the campaign’s success, Ralph Lauren started using this same strategy with other content creators as well. Another example is when Chanel partnered with Dixie D’Amelio, a 19-year-old TikToker and singer. She attended the Chanel fashion show online during the pandemic. The TikToker published a Youtube video about the show in partnership with the brand and with Brazilian fashion influencer, Camila Coelho. This last partnership was an unexpected one. Chanel has a more classic clothing design, whereas Dixie has a more rock/ gothic style. So, why would Chanel choose Dixie to be the face of their brand on Tik Tok? These partnerships and new ways of branding show how the intersection between fashion, technology, and authenticity is expanding in 2021, and how brands are strategically innovating new campaigns. Companies must keep in mind their target audience, and their values to effectively and creatively rebrand themselves.

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HOW PANTONE INFLUENCES THE FASHION INDUSTRY By Giovanna Romariz Lino


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lobalization at its finest. Worldrenowned color company, Pantone influences design companies and trendsetters worldwide. No matter what country you are from, or what culture you identify with, Pantone’s color of the year impacts décor, brand identity, and fashion design. It sets a pattern for fashion trends of the year, and no brand wants to be miss out. It all began in 1962, Pantone manufactured color cards for cosmetic companies. A year later, the company evolved into developing the first color matching system. Currently, the company creates card boards with the same system known as Pantone Matching System (PMS). The goal is to allow designers to color-match certain looks before entering the production stage. In addition, Pantone produces digital guides, swatch books, binders, and the famous ‘Pantone’s color of the year’.

In architecture fairs, Pantone’s Color of the Year is visible in the furniture and other décor. In fashion shows and store displays, designers and merchandisers will choose to follow Pantone’s color of the year as a base for their seasonal launch. Pantone is also pivotal for companies who aim to create a powerful brand identity. A color palette can be generated from Pantone’s color schemes and you can find the hues that best represent your brand’s message. There are studies surrounding the psychology of colors that show what each color represents to the customer, thus, brands utilize these factors when re-branding or creating a new collection. Pantone also produces the ‘Pantone Fashion Color Report’ for designers. This includes research based on the designer’s color choices for their particular lines during NYFW & LFW. The report then ranks the top ten colors for women’s and men’s clothing for the next season. Another key point is how Pantone’s Color of the Year is chosen. Pantone searches for influences from different markets and collaborates with representatives from all different nations to reach a consensus for color of the year. Their influence is strong and their impact is clearly felt throughout fashion and design companies across the globe.

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PANTONE 15-4578 Sand

PANTONE 13-0231 Pistachio page 55


PANTONE 15-4578 Stone

PANTONE 15-6245 Bronze page 56


By Katie Coolidge

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Evolve or Perish:

DIGITALIZATION By Katie Coolidge

COVID-19 has certainly caused a multitude of vagaries. From an outside perspective, humans have entered a distinctive new epoch. Especially in fashion. We’ve traded in our ball gowns for bathrobes, sweatpants and comfort. The age of perennial trends has been replaced with random inchoate styles each month. The irony is hilarious. We’ve never been more stuck at home and yet fashion trend cycles are changing so rapidly that we don’t even have the time to wear them. As the pandemic began we had just concluded our last traditional fashion week (for a while). Since then, high fashion has done a complete 180. As an industry originally buttressed by physical retail and in-person fashion shows, how will they survive? Digitalization. We’re seeing it already. Its most basic level is the rise in e-commerce. At the start of the

pandemic the apparel, fashion and luxury (AF&L) industry moved quickly to close stores, make donations and in some cases even produce hand sanitizer or other PPE.

of the value chain better, faster, and cheaper.” Digitization can enable better analytics, customer acquisition but most importantly make a step toward sustainability.

However, as the pandemic progressed the fashion industry faced hardships. Some companies were just better equipped at e-commerce, because they had their foot in the door prior to the disaster. When companies such as NetA-Porter or Farfetch launched they were not immediate bedfellows with luxury goods. Now, their business “fit” is desirable for every luxury brand. The unique ability to retain the online customer through print, websites and social media puts competitors in a position of strength against its in-person counterparts.

The e-commerce model allows companies to accurately predict and produce inventory. Less overproduction, less waste.

Consulting company McKinsey & Co. expresses that e-commerce is “not only an increasingly important sales channel; it can also help companies adapt cost structures and make each step

More visible, however, are the effects of digitization on fashion shows and advertisements. While in-person fashion shows will likely be extant post-pandemic, the presence of novel substitutes are not going anywhere. The obstinate industry was on the cusp of changing their infrastructure surrounding shows even before the pandemic hit. COVID-19 only expedited the process. Big luxury brands like Saint Laurent and Gucci have already relayed intentions of leaving behind this traditional calendar, which Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele dubbed as “stale”.


In the future, mimicking Helsinki Fashion Week’s lead, this could look like 3-D fashion shows, interactive livestreams and cyber networking opportunities. The internet’s capacity is limitless which forecasts more inclusion, wider audiences and easier access to fashion lovers worldwide. “Working in 3-D is much faster and it’s more sustainable for the environment to design your prototype digitally, because you don’t mass produce. It’s only when customers order the look that it’s made from scratch,” said Evelyn Mora, founder of Helsinki Fashion Week. This could be a huge step in eliminating the fashion industry’s waste problem. However, this is not something prophesied for the future, we’ve seen fashion brands latch on to digitization. It already came to fruition. Paloma Wool initiated a digital runway show (now available on YouTube) with the idea that customers can better see how the material looks and the clothes fit. Moschino created a full collection of doll-sized garments that were showcased by marionette dolls. But, most interesting, has been the infiltration of fashion into the avatar, game world space.

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Balenciaga held its show inside the video game “Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow”. The game takes place in 2031 in all different locations-- a Balenciaga store, a postapocalyptic city and a forest rave. Their lookbook was presented on the site. Users were able to toggle around with the outfits and see them in a 360 view. Their point was to expand audiences, to show clothes in great detail and to make a multimedia platform. Other brands have followed suit. Louis Vuitton presented a capsule collection in collaboration with video game League of Legends. Canada Goose recently used computer generated imagery (CGI) models to showcase their reimagined classic line. So where does this leave us? With all this digitization is fashion even about clothes anymore? Personally, I don’t think so. But I also don’t think it matters. Using multimedia, companies are not only able to create a compelling brand story, but a connection with their consumer base. And that’s what really matters anyway. It’s sustainable, it’s inclusive, but most of all it’s interesting. Fashion was long overdue for a change.



Henry Parente Photograph by Nicole Pollack


george issue III

David Ruff Photograph by Nicole Pollack

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Photograph by Olivia Tirmonia

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Photographs by Nicole Pollack


By Julia Lehrer C is internationally known for its abundance of art galleries and museums that house some of the most iconic works in history. This year has posed limits on indoor activities, so The Reach at the Kennedy Center and the Glenstone Museum in Potomac, MD offer visitors the opportunity to appreciate art outdoors. Both The Reach and The Glenstone use their location to their advantage - using nature to enhance the sculptures they showcase. The sculptures and landscape at The Reach complement the performances happening inside: on permanent display are four sculptures in addition to rotating exhibits. Milk River by Deborah Butterfield can be seen closest to the cafe. Using driftwood, Butterfield cast each piece in bronze, painted it, and assembled them into the shape of the horse. Taking inspiration from the Milk River in Montana, the sculpture represents both the strength and creativity. While Milk River integrates natural mediums into art, Brushstroke by Roy Lictenstein uses painted aluminium to emulate the stroke of a paintbrush. Lichtenstein takes inspiration from comic books which is obvious in the style of his work. The thick black outlining and curved shape make the sculpture feel animated, directly contrasting the green landscape and buildings in the background. Taking inspiration from the performances that occur inside the Kennedy Center, Dance Steps by Carin Mincemoyer teaches passerbys the steps of the dance the twist. Each sign in the exhibit displays a different step in the dance along with a description of how to to do each move. The final permanent sculpture at The Reach is Blue by Joel Shapiro. Standing nearly 25 feet tall, the blue sculpture of a person mid kick looks as though they are dancing page 66


irrigation system exists inside, allowing for flowers to bloom and cover the sculpture. As the seasons change so does the sculpture with its floral peak emerging in the summertime. Similar to Koons’ Split-Rocker, Forest by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller place nature directly into their work. About 20 wood-stump seats are placed together in the middle of the woods with 22 speakers amplifying an audio clip for 28 minutes. Viewers are invited to sit down and listen to the audio clip and fully immerse themselves in the sounds of nature. The expansive grounds and outdoor exhibits allow visitors to truly appreciate both nature and the art which is exactly what the founders of the Glenstone intended. The outdoor exhibits at The Reach at The Kennedy Center and The Glenstone Museum provide visitors with the opportunity to view art in nature, which can be hard to come by in DC. The works blend themselves into the scenery to create an experience infusing culture, art, nature, and the DC skyline together. With limits on what can be done indoors, a trip to The Reach or The Glenstone can be a great escape from a monotonous day and is a unique experience like no other.

in the middle of a stage (represented by the large flat patch of grass it stands on). Shapiro’s inspiration comes from the time he spent in India in the Peace Corps and the integration of the arts into Indian culture. Blue Man perfectly captures the Kennedy Center’s mission to be a leader in the arts across America. In the same way that the Kennedy Center works to spread art across America, the Glenstone Museum aims to provide visitors with a rich experience and a better understanding of 20th and 21st century art. On nearly 300 acres of land, the minimally designed gallery buildings are purposefully meant to showcase the art and nature rather than the building itself. By using organic landscape styles the gallery buildings look as though they were carefully placed in nature rather than purposefully built. While the exhibits inside the museum are in constant rotation the sculptures on the museum grounds are more permanent. Split-Rocker by Jeff Koons uses nature to create a sculpture. The animal shape is made with stainless steel but an


Dex Frederick & Alexandra Lange Photograph by Nicole Pollack

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Bucket Hats & Ballot Boxes The Role of the Fashion Industry in the 2020 Presidential Election By Anika Dilawri

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as 2020 the most important presidential election in U.S. history? Between the pandemic, protests against systemic racism and the U.S. justice system, and the countless controversies associated with the Trump administration, it may seem so. Voting is a fundamental process in keeping democracy alive, however COVID-19 drastically impacted the way Americans were able to vote; as registration booths and offices closed, an increasing number of people opted for mail-in ballots. With this in mind, the fashion industry took on a new role in America’s democracy with the emergence of “voting merchandise.” The fashion industry is often viewed as superficial, focusing only on status and appearance, when in reality fashion can contain a strong social message and has always been political. In an election where every vote was crucial, America’s designers and brands embraced their influence and power to encourage consumers to vote. American brands and designers from around the country created voting merchandise in an effort to mobilize and incentivize voters, specifically targeting young people. By using celebrities such as Karlie Kloss and Lizzo to promote their designs and the messages behind them, the fashion industry attempted to close the race and age voting gap in America. With the explosion of voting merchandise, I could fill pages with the number of brands who have taken on the task of creating designs with an important political message, from Old Navy to Tory Burch. Here, I leave you with just a few of the notable designers and retailers who used voting merchandise and celebrity endorsement to encourage voting in the 2020 election. Multi-brand retailer Dover Street Market parterened with “When We All Vote” to produce a number of voting merchandise pieces. “When We All Vote” is a nonprofit organization that originally launched in 2018, committed to encouraging voter participation and harnessing grassroots energy to change the culture around voting. By calling upon designers such as Stüssy and celebrities such as Selena Gomez to design these products, Dover Street Market created a sharp streetwear collection that also serves as a call to action. 100% of the proceeds from the collection, that featured the designs of multiple celebrities, went to the “When We All Vote” campaign.

Henry Parente Photograph by Zilana Lee


After scrolling through Instagram, I came across a photo of Hailey Bieber sporting a tie-dye, Joe Biden concert tee. From there, I saw that exact t-shirt, promoting the “Believe in Better” initiative, on countless young people on social media and in my city. The “Believe in Better” initiative features nineteen American fashion designers that came together to create and promote voting merchandise in support of the presidential candidate, and now 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden. From bucket hats to tie-dye t-shirts, these designs draw upon current trends to engage young people. The collection also includes a 2020 fashion accessory essential: the face mask. A diverse group of designers were involved in the Believe in Better campaign such as Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung, and Vera Wang. The entire collection was produced in the United States in unionized factories. Additionally, each product is below $60, expanding the market to a wider demographic of Americans and giving them the chance to purchase their own piece of voting merchandise. Finally, Fashion Our Future 2020 initiative (FoF2020) was created by actress Rosario Dawson and entrepreneur Abrima Erwiah. With OffWhite’s Virgil Abloh as the initiative’s creative director and designs from Brandon Maxwell and Tanya Taylor, FoF2020 incentivized voters with limited edition “MODEL VOTER” t-shirts, scarves, and even metallic lunchboxes. The initiative not only focused on encouraging voter registration, but educating citizens on voter rights and the importance of voting on one’s daily life. Dawson and Erwiah’s efforts shifted the problem of citizens choosing not to vote from a matter of voter apathy to a matter of lack of understanding about American politics. The initiative was launched at this year’s New York Fashion Week and has created a partnership with VotoLatino, an organization that empowers Latinx voters, to address the racial voting turnout gap in America. Voting merchandise not only contains an important message that encourages consumers to vote, but also gives consumers something to wear when casting a ballot at the polls (if they choose to do so). Planning an outfit to head to the polls may seem trivial, but when we plan outfits to celebrate personal or professional milestones, why can’t we plan an outfit to celebrate exercising our right to vote?

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FOGGY BOTTOM WEST END ADAMS MORGAN KALORAMA DUPONT CIRCLE SHAW U STREET PENN QUARTER DOWNTOWN CAPITOL HILL LOGAN CIRCLE CHINATOWN DOWNTOWN

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Roi Hayashi Photograph by Nora Shepherd

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DC on the Fashion Rise: POST INAUGURATION By Nathalie Campbell

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f any of you read last year’s issue of George, you may have caught our theme of GW as a fashion hub in a generally unfashionable city. Enter Foggy Bottom’s campus in a sea of gray pant suits and you’ll find colors, prints, mixes and matches at every corner. But much like many other schools, GWU has shifted to GWZU (George Washington Zoom University) this past year. So without the stylish bubble of students and creators on campus, has DC returned to its dull and uniform roots? Luckily, I think the answer is no. In a year of minimal social gatherings and restricted events, celebrating the big things can feel sort of depressing. But doesn’t a good outfit make all the difference? I think it changes everything. Event big or small. You don’t have to agree with me, but January 20th, 2020 was a pretty good day. Politics aside, I think the fashion contributed a large part to the excitement. Inauguration was a visual spectacle in the most understated way possible. Attendance was surely lower for safety reasons and there may not have been an inaugural ball to critique the best gowns, but all of the attendees, performers, and politicians were serving looks. Not only did the outfits look fabulous, but they represented something even bigger and better. President Joe Biden wore a traditional gray wool coat over a meticulously-cut navy blue Ralph Lauren suit, a notoriously American brand, referencing true ideals of hope and aspiration. VP, Kamala Harris flaunted her obvious fashion sense that, perhaps, wasn’t highlighted as brightly prior to inauguration. Not only did this event showcase a new wave of fashion for political figures, but it offered a chance to highlight new and fresh designers on the rise. Harris’s purple suit was by Christopher John Rogers, Black business owner whose brand is effortlessly perfect and individual. His pleated pants and cropped blazers alone are enough to urge him to run for president. page 75

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he rest of the event’s attendees were showstopping as well, showing that DC may be giving NYC and other fashion hubs a run for their money. Ella Emhoff, stepdaughter of the VP wore a Batsheva dress beneath an iconic plaid Miu Miu coat, Bernie Sanders sported a Burton ski coat paired with gloves knitted by a local teacher who recycles wool into mittens, and 22-year-old poet Amanda Gorman, wore a bright yellow Prada suit. What made the fashion at this inauguration so exciting is that no one looked the same. Any sense of uniform went out the window and that’s what made the event so visually appealing and intriguing. The variety of ways in which the day’s attendees used style as a statement of intent seemed to be the most significant. The clothes worn in the rows of seats behind the President’s podium no longer adhered to the traditional buttonedup precedents of past Inaugurations, but rather reflected a more diverse and authentic vision of how Americans truly dress today. If this is any indication of the style we may find on Pennsylvania Avenue, I think DC’s days of lackluster fashion may be over.


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CONTENT CREATION @ HOME feat. David Ruff & Adis Santoyo

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“Producing content at home is both an art and a science” - David Ruff


Inarguably, the stream of content pouring out of a myriad of social media platforms seems almost incessant -- even during a global pandemic. For creators, like myself, keeping up with the ever-changing cyber landscape can be daunting, and at times, discouraging, especially when resources and options are scarce. I am here to tell you not to fret anymore. Your bedroom is your runway and the world is eagerly awaiting your debut. According to Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, viewings on Instagram surged 70% since the current public health crisis began. Now, more than ever, is time to create content. Here’s how to ensure the digital world’s emoticon eyeballs are glued to your content...

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MAKE

Don’t dip your toe in the water; dive in headfirst and make some content! The only way to find out what works for you and your audience is to experiment. Whether you are living at home, on-campus, or off-campus, creating memorable and engaging material is attainable. If you don’t have a parent, friend, or roommate to help take your pictures or videos – don’t worry. I suggest purchasing a tripod with a BlueTooth connection so you can find optimal lighting and angles – and then snap away with ease. And if you are in the mood to splurge, investing in a ring light is one of the smartest decisions you can make. Just ask a Kardashian. While adding equipment to your content creation arsenal is not vital, it will certainly elevate your content. The main objective is not to achieve perfection but rather to create posts that are both relatable and polished.

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Now that you have made a wide variety of content, measure which types performed the best. Is it trying skincare products on Instagram Stories? Maybe it is a weekly baking tutorial or a Do-It-Yourself fashion video filled with elaborate transitions. It doesn’t matter if you are on Instagram or TikTok or another platform, analytics will be your best friend. You can access your content analytics by switching over from a personal account to a business or creator account in your profile settings. From there, take note of engagement from your audience. The most important metrics of engagement go as follows: ‘saves’ and ‘impressions’ being the most important, then, ‘shares’, ‘comments’, and, finally, ‘likes’.


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As much as it is salient to diversify your content, you will want to maximize what works for both you and your audience. There are many ways to get creative with your material while also sticking to the styles and topics you present to your followers daily. By way of illustration, after a video showing my outfits of the week in my mirror on TikTok garnered almost a million views, I started making more mirror videos. I even created a hashtag called ‘#RUFFlections’ on Instagram where I share my favorite outfit photos taken from my bedroom mirror. Having a consistent stream of posts, with the same composition, under a personalized hashtag, encourages your followers to interact with older posts as well as come back for more. It also allows you to get into an efficient routine of shooting instead of consistently brainstorming new ways to produce content without knowing how your audience will react. Sometimes I’ll put on ten outfits to shoot in one day so I am all set with material for the next few weeks and can focus on other things, like studying -- because that is very important, too! You can also use different platforms to crosspromote your content on one platform. When I am taking photos for my Instagram feed, I am always looking for opportunities to get behindthe-scenes content that I can repurpose on my Stories or TikTok. As the old saying goes: “work smarter, not harder”.

While creating content as a hobby is fun, it’s always nice to get compensated for all your hard work and effort. For some creators, monetizing their content is indispensable. If you have a good understanding of your audience, a unique perspective, and a specific niche, brands will pay you to create content -- even from home and regardless of your follower count. With that said, brands won’t just throw money at anyone who has a social media profile; you need to prove to brands why you would be a valuable asset to them.

Ask yourself: what can you offer? Can you drive link-clinks and sales to their website or take stunning photos that they can use in advertising campaigns, or perhaps, both? When I want to work with a brand or a brand that approaches me, I have my analytics and portfolio on hand. Once you land a collaboration, lead the conversation. You know what you can do best and you know what your followers will interact with. You don’t need a big fancy production crew to create your content; you want your posts to feel organic -- because they should be. Some of my most successful partnerships, with American Eagle, Nordstrom, and UGG, to name a few, were all shot on a tripod in my bedroom. Brands are dramatically shifting their budgets away from traditional media publications towards creators, like you and me, who can give them real and raw content that attracts a loyal consumer base. Creating content remotely can feel like an insurmountable task, but it is also a terrific opportunity to modify your strategy and connect with your audience in ways you have never before. Content creation isn’t easy, it is both an art and a science, but it shouldn’t be unenjoyable. Your individuality and intuition are your greatest strengths -- and those are the qualities that everyone will be ‘doubletapping’ on. page 84


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t the start of the pandemic, I hit a creative slump. I had absolutely no motivation to create content or post on any platforms. Starting this year with 8,000 followers, I made it a priority to post content that resonated most with me. While it took some time and effort, I have been able to create a great community online and have accumulated nearly 23,000 followers within the span of 6 months. Throughout the year, I’ve found new things to learn and inspire me. I channeled my creative energy through exploring virtual art museums and taking classes focused on fashion forecasting and fashion history. After a long month of not knowing how to get back into my routine, I ordered a ridiculous amount of painting supplies. I had never painted a lot before, so this idea was new to me. Yet, painting was exactly what I needed to get me out of my slump. Something so simple pushed me to start sharing and creating more of my authentic content. Finding my unique personal brand was key to producing great content. Why am I posting? Who am I trying to reach? Whether you have a personal or business account, asking yourself these questions can be beneficial. In my case, I tend to post more fashion and lifestyle content on all platforms and I embrace the fact that I am a college student. This draws in my audience of trendy, college fashionistas. My advice is simply to find your passions and share what makes you, you. The beauty behind social media is the ability to use it anywhere and everywhere. Content does not have to be hard to produce. The best posts often are the most simple. I think, the object in one’s photo is not the most important, it is the angle and storytelling that happens behind the image. When I started to post content I made many pinterest boards for inspiration. Whenever I was in a rut or time constraint, I would look at that board and find simple objects to create content with in order to shoot from home. What makes content creation fun is getting to balance my “two lives.” It’s important to manage your time between your personal life and your online life. Without it, the student and professional life balance can become overwhelming.

Another way I create quality content is by learning and using editing softwares to add effects and text. I use many depending on the photo, including: TEZZA, PicsArt, Adobe Spark, and Adobe Photoshop. Learning and adapting to these platforms has been crucial. However, I find the most innovative techniques on TikTok. TikTok has been a wonderful tool to aid creators in sharing their content styles and inspiring their community. TikTok is the only platform where you can “trend” almost instantly. This allows creators like me to bloom on the app. The quality connections between people and the openness of the app creates growth for so many users. The ability to use these free tools helped me in the long run to create content different from other feeds. I never want to be a replica of someone else, so investing time into finding what works best for yourself helps, specifically during this period while we are all at home. It can be really simple to produce content at home, but it can have limitations. Creating content pre-pandemic was very freeing. Being able to go places spontaneously and find people and places to create with is irreplaceable. For that reason, I have relied on social media a ton to chat with other creators and friends about trends and ideas to share on my platforms. However, I am really thankful for the extra time I’ve been given to contemplate, refocus, and build something for myself during this year at home. While it may take time and effort, creating content at home does not have to be a challenge. The simplest things are often the most beautiful.


Alexandra Lange Photograph by Nicole Pollack

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IVAN BART Breathing Life into Beauty By Anika Dilawri

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It is no question that technology and digitalization play a key role in any industry, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

e often view the modelling industry as a superficial one—fixated on perfectly symmetrical faces, filled with hollow brains and hollow bodies. Ivan Bart, current president of IMG Models and a key consultant in New York Fashion Week, has sought to change this. He is a pioneer in the industry, disrupting the stereotype of what a model should be. By championing diversity in the modelling space and placing value onto the model as an individual (and not solely a face), Ivan Bart is “breathing life into beauty.” GWFBA had the chance to speak to Bart via Zoom in late October, gaining

insight to Bart’s role and the future of the modelling industry.

Before being appointed president of IMG Models in 2014, Bart worked for agencies such as Ice, Wilhelmina, and Ford. Since working for IMG, Bart has set the agency apart from others, creating a reputation as an international leader in the industry. Bart emphasizes the importance of management and “understanding the evolution of the individual” as one aspect that sets IMG apart from the rest. In management, Bart plays a pivotal role in educating the model on what options are


Ivan Bart, IMG President

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available to advance their career and what to expect from these decisions. As the individual model evolves, so does their career. Bart tells us that during these difficult career decisions, he often advises talent to “choose the life experience”—that despite crucial career-advancing opportunities in the industry, the model should not focus only on professional success but also on personal experiences and values. The immense value IMG places on diversity and representation also differentiates the agency from its competitors. In 2012, Bart brought back IMG Models’ men’s division in an effort to connect to the male consumer, acknowledging that the modelling industry is a “feminist business” dominated by women. Diversification not only means gaining a wider consumer pool but seeing a reflection of ourselves in a typically exclusive industry. Bart highlights the work of Hari Nef, the first transgender woman signed to IMG, displaying that there are “no limitations on representation.” Since the 2020 presidential inauguration, IMG has signed inaugural poet Amanda Gorman and Vice President Harris’ stepdaughter, Ella Emhoff. Not only are these two women impressive style icons, but they are authentic artists committed to using their platforms to create change. IMG not only encourages the diversification of models but of all actors involved in the industry, from photographers to stylists. Nevertheless, there are still strides to be made to increase diversification in all areas of the business, for example the lack of representation amongst petite women. Bart notes that part of the height discrepancy we see in the modelling industry is due to strict sample sizes created by designers.

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Ivan Bart, IMG President


IMG Models has begun to recruit talent from platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. By casting influencers as models, Bart once again breaks the stereotype of what a model “should be.” Bart emphasizes the importance of personality and voice in individuals when recruiting models, rejecting the notion that modelling is solely based on appearance. The usage of influencers for brands such as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Louis Vuitton exhibit the immense power of It is no question that technology and millennials and Gen-Z as buyers in the industry. digitalization play a key role in any industry, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. As social media brings together luxury brands and Even the way in which GWFBA members were Instagram influencers, collaboration becomes able to meet with Ivan Bart over Zoom exhibits a growing trend in the modelling and fashion the transformation of digital technology from world, sometimes between unlikely enterprises. an elite luxury to a necessity. Bart shares During our panel, Bart reflects on the unexpected that technology has changed the nature of collaboration between home improvement store work at IMG Models as communication with Lowe’s and designers Jason Wu, Rebecca international offices in Sydney, London, Milan, Minkoff, and Christian Siriano. Many designers and New York City is done entirely through were hesitant to collaborate with Lowe’s to promote their home decor inventory, afraid of email correspondence or Zoom calls. being labelled as too commercialized or tacky. Digitalization, which holds an even greater However, these designers were able to see past importance during the pandemic, will also Lowe’s commercial label and appreciate the have implications on the evolution of the home as a great source of inspiration for fashion, fashion and modelling industry. Bart reveals especially during COVID-19 lockdowns. Bart that, historically, fashion and modelling uses Lowe’s collaboration with these designers industries have displayed “great resistance” to insist that collaborations between industries to technology’s full potential in the industry. should “feel authentic” and be intentional, rather Though digitalization can be intimidating, it is than collaborating for the advancement of wealth on an “inevitable trend” and will change the and status. nature of work in the fashion and modelling industries. This spring, luxury brand, Mugler Despite the screens that separated GWFBA created a virtual avatar of Bella Hadid, dubbed members from Ivan Bart during our discussion, “Digi-Bella,” to present their spring 2021 the optimism and passion for the industry that collection, allowing the brand to overcome of Bart radiates made a rather disconnected panel the industry. However he acknowledges the feel like a conversation—from Bart’s enthusiasm significance technology has in creating greater for talent like Brandon Maxwell to his confidence in New York’s recovery from the pandemic. In a opportunities for talent. way, Ivan Bart is not only breathing life into the With the emergence of social media influencers modelling industry but into every situation he and the connection they hold to the consumer, encounters. We can see Bart inciting this change as IMG begins to sign talent such as Amanda Gorman who represents a petite demographic. Change must be made, but who are the decision makers who incite this change? Is it designers, managers, models, or a collaborative effort from everyone involved? The high regard for diversity at IMG is just one way in which Ivan Bart is humanizing the modelling industry.

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MARGOT LEE x GWFBA By Jacob Solomon

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OCT 06 2020

FBA’s first guest speaker of the year was none other than Instagram personality Margot Lee. Margot is a lifestyle blogger and social media influencer, a recent graduate from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University. Lee joined FBA in the fall to speak about her experience balancing her personal life with being in the public eye. In addition, she also talked about how she built her platform and the numerous sacrifices she had to make to do so. We received insider tips on how to create and maintain a successful personal brand. Margot emphasizes that “you are your brand” and the most important thing you can do is differentiate yourself from the rest of the game and stay true to your values. Speaking with Margot was a very fun and valuable experience. We are very grateful to have been able to work with her during such a hectic time.

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PROSPECT

SPOTLIGHT

Photograph by David Wiesley


Tired of not finding clothes that were different and unique, two friends set out to create Prospect, a unisex line of limited, responsibily made pieces that are one of a kind. Prospect was founded by Nadia AlFaraje and David Wiesley in 2020. Nadia is a junior at University of San Diego and David is a junior and FBA member at the George Washington University. Inspired by brands like Saintwoods, Sporty & Rich, and Fear of God we set out to create a brand that encompassed what we believed was missing from the fashion industry: unique, simple pieces produced in very limited quantities. Instead of using a high price to drive exclusivity, we limited the quantity of product produced. Ultimately, we want our customer to be the only one in the room with the piece. Therefore, each piece designed in collection 01, dropping later this year, will be denoted by item number / total produced. This will be stitched into each of our pieces. Additionally, we sponsor a particular social initiative with each collection by donating a percentage of total profits. page 96


DAVID WIESLEY

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with

he likelihood or probability of some future event occurring.

What motivates your work?

Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world – we are working to change that. For collection 01, we plan to partner with a manufacturer that produces products made of a single material to maximize recycling efforts. By limiting the amount of pieces produced, we hope to eliminate the frequent overproduction/overconsumption in the fashion industry. We aim to develop a business model in which our pieces can be returned and broken down to be reused in a future collection. Also, we plan on dying all of our products with natural materials in order for products to be repurposed. We are committed to closing the fashion loop. page 97


Nadia Al-Faraje Photograph by David Wiesley


Can you talk about your first launch? Our initial launch was disrupted by the pandemic. Initially, we planned on having a launch party displaying a greater range of designs/products in LA. However, in light of the pandemic, we decided to use Prospect to support one of the many groups most impacted by the crisis: children who are victims of abuse. We designed a limited edition hoodie and donated profits to Voices for Children, a San Diego based nonprofit organization that transforms the lives of abused, abandoned, or neglected children by providing them with trained volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs). Over 2.9 million cases of child abuse are reported annually. Given that children in unsafe households are spending more time at home and no longer have the support from teachers or other caregivers, Voices for Children has experienced increased demand for their services during the pandemic. Orders helped the effort to make homes safer during this uncertain time.

Photographs by David Wiesley


Nadia Al-Faraje Photograph by David Wiesley

What was the hardest part of the new launch? Manufacturing and communication with our customers. First, when working with our manufacturer there were challenges in translating our designs into a physical product. After weeks of working through renditions with the manufacturer, the product was finally ready for production. However, upon receiving finalized mock ups in the mail the formatting of the text was still incorrect. Making sure that our designs checked out through mockups was essential. The incorrect mock ups and decreased capacity due to the pandemic significantly slowed product delivery time. Communicating with our customers in a transparent manner was important to maintain our credibility, especially as a new brand. page 100


What advice do you have for people interested in the fashion industry who want to start creating their own designs? I think diving in if you have an idea is so important. Nadia and I had talked about starting Prospect for so long until quarantine gave us the time to dive in. Taking the initial steps to transform that idea into reality is definitely the hardest part. Second, I would think about what your brand is adding? Is there a way to do good? This was a major part of our process and an integral part of our business model. Third, I would say be ready to make rendition after rendition after rendition. The initial designs of our limited edition hoodie was drastically different from the final product. Take time to review sources of inspiration to find out what attracts you most to certain magazines, blogs, or brands. This enables you to refocus the design process with a fresh perspective, giving you a more tailored result. Finally, remember the brand is yours. Be careful to not conform to others in the process, stay true to your vision and purpose.

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What is your brand adding? Is there a way to do good?

David Wiesley Photograph by Nadia Al-Faraje


David Wiesley Photograph by Nadia Al-Faraje

What’s next for Prospect? We are in the process of designing a sweatsuit, bag, and oversized tee. We are still working through the renditions of the product and are excited for what’s to come. We appreciate all of the support we have received from the first drop. Check out website for the upcoming drop: shop-prospect.com

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Henry Parente Photograph by Nicole Pollack

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Roi Hayashi & David Ruff Photograph by Nicole Pollack

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