Spring 2019 / The University of Chicago
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR WRITING EDITORS VISUAL DESIGN EDITORS
Jen McIntosh Daniel Chae Louis Levin & Sarah Eikenberry Angela Liu & Marie Parra
Carla Abreu & Cecilia Sheppard
Hannah Burnstein & Dani Oâ€™Connell
ASSISTANT PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR
ASSISTANT WRITING EDITORS
Hugo Barillon & Stella Slorer
ASSISTANT VISUAL DESIGN EDITORS
Ella Anderson & Cheryl Hao
ASSISTANT STYLING EDITORS WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS
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Georgianna James & Wendy Xiao Alexandre LaBossiere-Barrera, Chiara Theophile, Rosie Albrecht, Eleanor Rubin, Devan Singh, Isabella Hernandez, Sebastian von Stauffenberg, Melanie Wang, Leone Tarantelli, Kate Lu, Yeeqin New, Sarah Eikenberry, Brinda Rao, Sarah Peabody, Elizabeth Winkler Julia Attie Kephern Chambers, Connor Fieweger, Brooke Werdlow, Yuna Song, Corinne Stonebreaker, Miranda Grayzel-Lord, Fiona Lu, Gabrielle Smith, Natalya Moore, Nina Meyers from the People Model Management
CONTENTS 5 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 46 54
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Letter from the Editor Utilitarianism in Fashion Fashion’s Open Floodgates Minimalism vs. Maximalism Aging is In Classy or Classist Handbags That Don’t Bleed Interview with Dominic Sondag Brick and Mortar Isn’t Dead Yet Burberry Chapman is Innocent Digital Age When Zero is More Than Nothing Reduce, Reuse, ReDress From Baby Foreskin Facials to Blood Detoxifying Leeches The Future of Fashion Magazines International Tilt Pop Gilded
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR This winter was an exciting time for MODA Magazine. Despite Lauren taking a brief hiatus for the quarter to study abroad in Paris, and a polar vortex that brought Chicago to a standstill for nearly three days, this quarter’s issue will be the longest of Jen and Lauren’s time at the University of Chicago. It holds fifteen articles and three shoots, and this issue launches alongside the annual winter MODA Fashion Show, Atelier MODA. The shoots team brought us to the Cultural Center and played with bold colors in makeup. “Pop” is our beauty editors’ second shoot and is an ambitious contrast to last quarter’s stripped down, behind-the-scenes look at beauty that uses clean, colorful lines to make an impact. “International Tilt” took us inside of International House’s dark, wooden walls and breathed some alternative life into the hallowed space. Finally, “Gilded” brought us to the gilded halls of the Cultural Center and gave us some warm tones and floral accents to breathe much-needed life into an especially frigid winter. Our current issue, in addition to releasing alongside the MODA Show, comes at the end of New York Fashion Week. Our contributing writers capitalized on the heightened attention towards the fashion world by encouraging us to think about fashion’s role in the in the digital age, sustainability practices in the industry, and movements towards making the fashion world a more inclusive space. Furthermore, the future of fashion is hotly debated both for brands and the industry as a whole. We also appointed our two incoming Co-Editors-in-Chief, Louis Levin and Cecilia Shepperd, who will be taking the reins next quarter under Jen and Lauren’s watchful eyes. They will be joined next fall by Stefan Tesliuc who, despite spending his year abroad, has proved to be an invaluable source of fashionable insight for our editorial team throughout the year. Our hope is that these three will continue our tradition of growing MODA Magazine, and we look forward to seeing what they come up with! Thank you so much for your support every quarter; we are eternally grateful. With gratitude, Jen McIntosh
Photo via The Hundreds, Reese Cooper Introduces “Lone Pine”
UTILITARIANISM AND NEO-
STYLIZATION IN FASHION a r t icle by Al e x a n d re L a Bo ssie re - B a rre r
Fashion often assumes that function follows form. As the market becomes more and more saturated, labels have had to compete for the attention of the masses. This oftentimes means forfeiting a refined path for a strategy of shock and awe. Yet ironically, the in-your-face approach to fashion has grown at such a pace that even the wildest of looks can fail to stir any reaction. As a result, the model of function following form is now being turned on its head. From trench coats to shoulder bags to earthy tones, fashion’s take on utilitarianism has been a fresh shift away from sensory overload on the runway, revealing that a form-follows-function outlook does not contradict the meaning of fashion itself. People are beginning to prioritize practicality as they realize that clothes can sometimes convey meaning more powerfully when they are not lurid and blinding. Gaudy colors and patterns are becoming more muted, and meticulously picked outfits are being replaced by dampened pieces as a sort of casual, modern-day sprezzatura. This utilitarian movement evolves constantly, now drawing inspiration from niche Japanese workwear brands such as Visvim, WTAPS and Engineered Garments. Neo-Americana clothing has been embraced by the market and turned into elevated traditional American work and sportswear. This trend has also provided brands like Dickies, Champion, and Patagonia with a platform the likes of which they have never experienced. The style has naturally been brought into the realm of luxury by the likes of Yeezy, Gucci, and others who have capitalized on the ability to charge
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Photo via WTAPS, 18-2ND Visual / no.3
shockingly high prices for sweatshirts, denim jackets, and other traditionally commonplace pieces. This sometimes controversial appropriation of workwear has also been seen in its amalgamation with military-inspired clothing, which, while present for a much longer period of time, has only recently touched the mainstream. Today it continues to evolve, as smaller brands provide higher-end, more personal takes on the new, downplayed utilitarian mold in fashion today. Vintage college-print sweatshirts and beat sneakers are becoming staples for the fashion-subtle, further blurring the line between what’s intendedly “norm-core” and actually normal. As of late, designers have delved deeper, focusing on an often stylized image of American life. Everything from western wear to a stereotypical Hollywood-esque slouchiness has come under scrutiny as of late. Brands like Reese Cooper’s namesake line, for instance, provide a niche consumer with an aesthetic inextricably tied to the picturesque American midwest.
This ennoblement and stylization of typically banal clothing have stirred up controversy surrounding the motives and morality of the practice.
clothing has seen something of a resurgence, headed most notably by the likes of Balenciaga, Vetements, and others, who, in past seasons, have sent models down the runway in everything from scrubs to branded corporation workers’ uniforms to poorly fitting suits one might expect out of a stereotypical cubicle job. On principle, utilitarianism’s permeation of higher fashion is more than just a trend. It’s not to say that it hasn’t been done, as most things fashion-related have these days. But the extent to which it has influenced the direction of the industry in the last couple of years cannot go without recognition. In a space defined by its often blind following of form over function, a reversed perspective is both refreshing and truly important, not only in its ability to survive, but its capacity to flourish. However, even a revolution like this can have its boundaries. The lines between utilitarianism, stylization, and the question of the validity of appropriation within the bounds of the fashion world are ones that continue to be pressed, perhaps in blind pursuit of some border on which to rest.
Photo via HAVEN, featuring Visvim FBT Prime Runners Light Brown
Cries of appropriation on working-class culture have brought new attention to the definition and point at which appropriation exists. Critics argue that fashion as a whole revolves around the blurred term, but its escapability is questionable. Regardless, truly nondescript, normal-looking
ar ti cle by Chiara Theophile
FASHIONâ€™S OPEN FLOODGATES How e -comme rce is ch anging th e face of lu xu ry brands
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Left: Photo via Gucci x Net-aPorter, Pussy-Bow Foral-Print Silk Blouse
Photo via hypebae.com, Eytys x Net-a-Porter Mother in Midnight Velvet Blue
Net-a-Porter, Farfetch, The Outnet––with so many online retailers today, it’s hard to imagine that only ten years ago the way that consumers bought clothing assumed a completely different model. E-commerce has exploded, and, in the meantime, it has transformed the industry as a whole. If fashion is your thing, you’ve probably spent more than your fair share of time scrolling through page upon page of shoes and bags, longingly looking at items you wish you could buy, and desperately hunting for any sales going on. Flashback just a few years back, however, and you would most likely have been doing all of these things in a physical store, if at all. The fashion e-commerce business has grown to be an indispensable part of luxury brands’ sales. Currently, luxury sales’ yearly growth is minimal, rising at a sluggish 3.4%, but, according to McKinsey, e-commerce could triple in sales over the next decade. With these numbers in mind, it seems clear that high-end designers should begin moving into the e-commerce sector if they want to have a place in the future of fashion. With online retailers rapidly expanding, the threat of the affordable luxury market looms over luxury businesses now more than ever. Websites like The Outnet, which offer previous seasons’ items at discounted prices, embody this threat. They reconstruct the high-end market by opening the doors of luxury to a far wider audience. Little research has been conducted concerning the dilution of luxury brands as a result of the launch of e-commerce business. There are, however, a number of reports regarding consumers’ opinions on online luxury. While elements like convenience and general e-commerce growth are brought up by consumers in favour of online luxury, many have concerns regarding the disappearance of the lavish experience of shopping in high-end stores. People feel that luxury should remain limited and unavailable to the masses in order for it to endure as true ‘luxury.’ It follows that nearly forty-percent of respondents to consumer reports believe that luxury sold online will result in the breakdown of designer brands’ images. At this point in time, e-commerce’s dilution of luxury appears to be more of
a fear than a fact. Nevertheless, it does seem likely that data collected in the next few years will only work to confirm this fear, rather than dismantle it. In an effort to combat this dilution, high-end brands are endeavoring to imbue their own online retail options with the extravagant experience they pride themselves on. The ‘luxemosphere,’ as it’s called, is constantly growing and changing as technology advances. Luxury brands’ websites now offer live-chat options and the possibility to try anything on. These features, and the further technologic progress that will undoubtedly ensue in the future, not only help provide a full sensory experience to the consumer similar to the one they would get in store, but they also aid high-end brands in keeping their advantage over their more affordable peers and discount websites at large. The expectation on the part of luxury consumers to feel special when buying expensive products has not only led to consumers fearing luxury brand devaluation, but it has also resulted in buyers expecting more from this branch of fashion. The luxury e-commerce business has raised consumers’ expectations when it comes to a brand’s image and personal service quality, countering the argument that e-commerce wholly opposes luxury.
“With online retailers rapidly expanding, the threat of the affordable luxury market looms over luxury businesses now more than ever.” . .
The question of whether or not e-commerce will lead to the dilution of luxury brands is yet to be answered. And we won’t get an answer for a few more years. That being said, factors which one might not have previously considered, such as the consumers’ own fear of luxury being diluted, have been brought to light. Will multi-brand retail companies such as The Outnet and e-commerce more generally, truly lead to the diminishing or devaluation of luxury brands? Or, is luxury fashion bound to remain a relatively closed-off sector with a particular audience for better or worse? Photo by Jay Rockett, Farfetch order of Swallo print scarf from McQ by Alexander McQueen
Minimalism Top: Photo via Young & Able, The Row Pre-Fall 2015 Collection
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In fashion, less is moreâ€Ś except for when more is more. Minimalism and maximalism exist in a constant battle in the world of design, cycling in and out of popularity. For the past few years, maximalism has proven the reigning aesthetic, but minimalism still persists in street style and indie brands. So, what pushes the zeitgeist towards one extreme or another? The 90s saw the rise of the minimalist greats: Calvin Klein, Max Mara, and Jill Sanders led the pack. The fashion world had just finished up with neon sweaters and shoulder-pads, and so for many fatigued fashionistas, minimalism was a breath of fresh air. Minimalist clothing allowed the body to shine through instead of obscuring it under layers of fabric and sequins. But by Y2K, it seems that breath of fresh air had grown stale. The early 2000s are remembered for metallics, PVC, and glittery lip gloss. Yet, as the years progressed, phones morphed into sleek obsidian tablets. Minimalism swung back into fashion again, to complement the changing look of our tech. By 2015, something has shifted yet again. Alessandro Michele had the reigns as Gucciâ€™s creative director. Michele debuted his new vision in the Fall/Winter 2015 show, which showcased layer upon layer of prints, knits, and furs. Before Michele, the cult brand Meadham Kirchhoff gained a name for maxing out maximalism. From 2011 to 2015, Meadham Kirchhoff decked out their runways in rainbow balloons, tinsel, and disco lights, sending models out in technicolor explosions of sequins, fur, and glittering face-paint. Maximalist nonagenarian Iris Apfel became an accidental fashion icon, known for her enormous bangles and wacky layered prints. So, what drives this cycle of minimalism and maximalism? The aesthetics reflect different values, and their waxing and waning popularity largely depends upon which of those values are central to culture at the time. Minimalism focuses on reducing waste, rejecting commercialism, embracing simplicity, and above all else: exceptionally high quality. The 90s, sobered
by the AIDs epidemic and the end of the Cold War, took a more cautious approach to fashion than the previous decade. The later 2000s returned to minimalism after a hard-hitting recession and the establishment by Apple that the aesthetic of progress was sleek, simple, and precise. In the 2010s, online fashion communities rejected flashy materialism and instead chose to appreciate the elegance of a well-worn t-shirt and perfectly fitted jeans. Maximalism, on the other hand, values diversity, eclecticism, experimenting, and risk-taking. The 80s were a rebellious decade, with queer activism, the AIDs crisis, second wave feminism, and more sending the status quo into a frenzy. Maximalism naturally fit with that defiant spirit. The early 2000s were saturated with excitement at the arrival of a new millennium, life-changing technologies, and the endless possibilities of the future. And the past several years have been one of the most turbulent and chaotic periods in America, and around the globe, since the Civil War. The fight against xenophobia, racism, homophobia, and sexism requires a mind that is open to hearing every side of every story. Communities are now more diverse and accepting than ever. And our desire to know and support others has come across in the maximalist clothing on today’s racks and runways. From Gucci to Zara to the hundreds of cult brands that have
“The aesthetics reflect different values, and their waxing and waning popularity largely depends upon which of those values are central to culture at the time. “
Bottom: Photo by Liu Song, Let The Season Bloom / ELLE China 2016
ar t i cl e by R os ie Alb re c ht
flourished on Instagram, you can find hints of Latinx embroidery, Indian jewelry, east Asian fabrics, African prints, glam drag, butch fashion, and much, much more. The current wave of maximalism is about pulling not just from all over your closet, but from all over the world. In addition, maximalism is the solution to minimalism’s elitist problem; not everyone can afford a perfectly curated capsule wardrobe, but a single trip to the thrift store can pull together a fantastic maximalist outfit. Anything can become part of an ensemble; thrifted jewels, hand-me-down shirts, and fabric patches from the scrap bin are all fair game. Minimalism and maximalism will likely always remain in a cycle together, if the history of the runway is any clue. It’s hard to tell where the fashion world is headed in our unstable future. The climate crisis might invite minimalism, which aims to reduce production of clothing, or maximalism, which follows the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle code to a T. Multiculturalism might continue the diversification of fashion, or fear of difference might force a minimalist homogenization of the fashion world. Or it’s possible they’ll both exist together, equally – even within the same closet. Traditionally, each aesthetic has required a certain level of commitment. But the internet has changed the fashion world forever, and all bets are off. So how should we prepare for the upcoming trends? My advice is this: hoard minimalist clothing and start a maximalist capsule closet too. Let’s have our cake and eat it!
AGING IS IN .
In the modeling industry, immortal youth has always been in. At just sixteen years of age, Twiggy became a world-famous supermodel, an icon of the 60s. Tyra Banks, host of America’s Next Top Model, began her career aged fifteen, and booked a contract with Elite Model Management at sixteen. Kate Moss was discovered in JFK at just 14. Aging models do everything they can to maintain their youthful glow. Yet, the currents are starting to shift. Society is beginning to embrace the beauty of its elders; wrinkles are in. The inclusivity of all ages in fashion, notably women and those over 40, is not only economically beneficial, but also promotes age positivity and female empowerment.
ar ti c l e by E l e ano r R ubin
Photo via Alyson Walsh, Jan de Villeneuve
Developing a more meaningful and visible relationship with older generations has a considerable economic benefit. By 2018, there will be 20 million people who are 55 and older in the United Kingdom alone—that’s one in three citizens. It is a phenomenon termed “the silver tsunami” and the US will be affected too: the number of Americans 65 and older will most likely double from 46 million to more than 98 million by 2060, rising from 15% of the United States’ total population to 24%. This demographic is generally wealthier and better educated than younger citizens and they are most likely retired, meaning they have more time to spend their larger pools of money. This generation wields a vast consumer power. And this generation was, until recently, not being effectively targeted by the fashion industry.
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Promoting older women in fashion is not only advantageous economically, but also improves women’s confidence and self-image. Lauren Hutton is an American model and actress who, at 73 years old, modeled in Calvin Klein’s Spring 2017 underwear campaign “celebrating women.” The novel ad included black and white images of women from all generations and spurred Vogue to write “there’s no age limit to being an underwear model.” Model Maye Musk, age 70, of South Africa attributes much of her success to the expansion of social
Alyson Walsh, founder of blog That’s Not My Age, strives to create a place where women and men spanning all ages feel confident, stylish, happy and healthy. Walsh is a freelance journalist, former fashion magazine editor, and writer whose blog features advice on fashion, lifestyle, beauty, and shopping. She wants “to look healthy, stylish and modern, not younger. And I want to be relevant, even with my wrinkles. We are important role models to younger women, and I love looking to older women who are leading the way.” In a society
Photo by Mike Ruizone, Maye Musk
media and the proliferation of Instagram (on which she now boasts 230,000 followers). Though she began modeling at age 15, Maye became especially successful when, aged 60, she cut her hair short and let the gray hairs grow. Following this change, she was featured in a music video with Beyoncé, has been photographed nude on the cover of Time and New York magazines, promoted ads for Target and Virgin America, and is now both a CoverGirl spokesmodel and an ambassador for Swarovski. Musk was signed by IMG Models in 2015 in her late sixties. Her work has managed to shatter the unflattering stereotypes of older women; she has become a fashion icon for women across traditional age barriers.
“The number of Americans 65 and older will most likely double from 46 million to more than 98 million by 2060, rising from 15% of the United States’ total population to 24%.”
“OUR CONCEPT OF BEAUTY IS BECOMING MORE INCLUSIVE. IT’S ADVANCING THE SELF-IMAGE AND CONFIDENCE OF ALL WOMEN.” where the average age of a runway model is 17 and 25-year-olds are considered past their prime, one can understand why Walsh feels that older women are deemed washed up and why younger women might be in need of some more experienced role models. Rebecca Valentine established the Grey Model Agency, a company that only books models aged 35 and older to expand diversity in fashion markets. She told Women’s Weekly that “We all love to gaze upon beauty and that will never change, but our concept of beauty as we embrace our multi-cultural and wonderfully diverse community is changing to embrace the unconventional.” Our concept of beauty is becoming more inclusive. It’s advancing the self-image and confidence of all women. So maybe the next time you ask your lovely grandmother her age, she’ll be pleased to tell you, because now, embracing aging is in.
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Classism is rife throughout much of the world, but in fashion, it’s especially prevalent. The way we choose to dress is an expression of ourselves, and those with more money have a far wider variety of options at their disposal. On the one hand, branding can be an ostentatious display of wealth, or at least of money spent on a piece. On the other, higher quality knits, cuts, and fabrics tend to look better and, in turn, are perceived as more expensive. The issue boils down to how people who are considered as dressing ‘well’ or ‘poorly’ are viewed by society. People have a tendency to associate stylishness with wealth and the lack of it with poverty. As these stereotypes persist, divisions between the less well-off members of society and their wealthier counterparts only grow. In essence, fashion increases the idolization of the rich by highlighting the gaps of society. Perhaps the largest contributor to the classist undertones of fashion is branding. A white tee shirt with a Levi’s graphic costs under $20, while an equivalent piece from Gucci costs over $450. Of course, the make of the tee may differ, but certainly not at a differential as steep as $430. The average person may not know the specific difference in price between the two items, but they will most definitely associate the Gucci shirt with wealth. To understand the problem at its core, it’s important to step back and ask what purposes branding actually serves. For the consumer, it could be a display of brand loyalty, appreciation for design, or, most topically, wealth. For the creator, it can be a means of increasing brand awareness or reputation. Designers like Gucci tend to be worn by those who spend more money on clothing in general, and, regardless of whether a person wearing a Gucci tee is dressed ‘well,’ the simple act of them wearing Gucci pieces in conjunction with other expensive items fosters the exclusive and expensive reputation of the brand.
CLASSY OR CLASSIST Implicitly, people begin to view companies like Levi’s as inferior, for these brands lack the status that comes with money. Clothing without labels or logos can just as easily feed into classism. A cashmere Hermes scarf is likely to look significantly better than a wool one from Zara, as would a pair of APC jeans vs their Gap counterparts, or an Acne sweater compared to a Uniqlo one. By virtue of having means, wealthier people can simply access better looking clothes than their less wealthy peers. One might counter that the well-off can also access better goods of any kind. Fashion, however, is a uniquely overt and personal activity. For instance, owning a nice home that entertains a few close friends and guests is different from wearing a Burberry pea-coat that impacts passersby and friends alike. Similarly, people often notice when a person is dressed in cheaper clothing. Because the divide between inexpensive and expensive clothing is frequently apparent and discernible, it reinforces the gap in the perception of the poor and the rich. Fashion can, in this respect, increase the degree to which people revere the rich and resent the poor. Though the problem of classism can never truly be eliminated from the fashion industry, certain actions can be taken to lessen it. For one, branding can be toned down, and more deeply examined. A conscious consumer could still buy clothing at a higher price point, but opt for pieces which are less overtly labelled. Even more effectively, clothing could be made more accessible. Yes, price will always be an inhibiting factor in who can buy what, but reducing - where possible - the costs of high-quality brands could benefit the industry as a whole through the establishment of a broader consumer base. In the end, fashion is about self-expression, and a more tenacious industry is one in which people can express themselves with as few barriers to expression as possible. ARTICLE BY DEVAN SINGH PHOTO BY NEIMAN MARCUS
uxury fashion designers seem to be finally leaving behind the idea of taking from nature to benefit their brand, and are asking instead how they can create a brand that benefits nature. Accessories companies, for example, are re-evaluating the way they think about materials. Whereas in the past they had often been captivated by the skins and furs of animals, they are now shifting to promoting cruelty-free, wholly natural fabrics. It comes at a time where transparency and sustainability are the new vogue, and these luxury brands are picking up on that. This shift in trend is essential to the industry; it’s also a game changer. Chanel is one of the most prominent brands taking note of, and promoting, this change. In the past, the skins of crocodiles, lizards, snakes, sharks, and stingrays have been an integral part of Chanel’s handbag collections. Yet, earlier this year, the brand announced that it is halting the usage of these skins, because it is finding it hard to ethically obtain these materials. Chanel claims that “this is a decision which provides an opportunity to create a new generation of high-end products that respect our fundamentals.” Chanel’s anti-exotic skins decision is also seen as a response to their target customers’ preference for purchasing products that they believe to be environmentally friendly. While Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and many others are still trying to secure skins that are produced through a ‘cruelty-free’ process, often by purchasing their own farms, Chanel has determined it is time to flee from the erroneous use of animal skins altogether. PETA has spoken out quite favorably towards Chanel’s course of action, rather than the private farm path other brands are taking. This preference is due to the uncertainty surrounding the process of producing animal skins and whether it can truly ever be a 100% crueltyfree process. According to Christina Sewell, PETA’s manager of fashion campaigns, PETA was surprised by Chanel’s action, because PETA had been urging Chanel executives to abandon exotic animal skins since 2015. PETA recognizes that, as a leader in the fashion industry, Chanel’s decision promises change for the business of fashion towards more eco-friendly practices, a necessary shift in today’s climate. Stella McCartney is another designer taking
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leaps to switch up the priorities in the fashion world and use alternative natural materials in her handbag collections. Her brand is partnering with BOLT threads, a biotech company, to implement the use of biomaterials, instead of leather, in handbag collections. ‘Mylo’ is the first of these biomaterials to be implemented into McCartney’s design of the renowned Falabella handbag. Mylo originates from an underground root system named mycelium. McCartney’s brand is transparent with the processes of creating mylo, emphasizing that mycelium is a renewable resource and its production refrains from use of toxic chemicals. The material resembles leather in appearance and texture, while also presenting a unique variety of thickness in each sheet of material. The advanced material is giving the newest collection a one-of-akind feel. McCartney has consistently committed her brand to ethical luxury. It’s a promise that they will not harm the environment, and it’s a promise that consumer are increasingly drawn to. The designer admits that historically the fashion industry has not been especially eco-friendly, to put it lightly, and she wants to change that. “The only way for me to start the conversation I want to start is by making a product that you want to buy and that you are going to spend your hard-earned money on...If I don’t have a successful business, then I’m an environmentalist who happens to be Paul McCartney’s daughter, and that is a conversation which lasts about three seconds.” McCartney is on the hunt for alternative materials that will get consumers involved in a more sustainable fashion trend. She sees it as an extremely necessary push due to the current lack of support and energy the fashion world gives to environmental causes. In a time of rising global temperatures and increasingly unsustainable, and inhumane, treatment of animals, the earth is in trouble. The fashion industry has been a detriment to the environment over the years, but some brands are starting to take action and find sustainable materials that they can be transparent about and encourage consumers to get behind. These designers are making the waves upon which the rest of the market shall, hopefully, ride. It’s a much needed, and long awaited, push. The question is how long will it last? Are we really witnessing the end of exotic skins in fashion? Or will this prove a momentary movement?
Handbags That Donâ€™t Bleed Isabella Hernandez
Photo from: Stella McCartney
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ominic Sondag started his brand ‘S.K. Manor Hill’ in the summer of 2016 with the intention of combining classical and vintage silhouettes with a modern twist. The struggle of establishing a brand in such a competitive market has given him unique experiences in developing a creative identity and staying true to a personal style amidst the ever-changing trends of today’s fashion. His work has been featured in publications such as “Hypebeast” and “Highsnobiety” and is gradually garnering the respect of major individuals in the field, particularly in Asia. What prompted you to enter the world of fashion? Who were your inspirations? Fashion was always something I wanted to do, but I never really thought it was a realistic pursuit in terms of a job/a way to make money. Somewhat by chance, in my last semester of college, urged on by my family to study abroad, and having already satisfied my major (Graphic Design) graduation requirements, I found a fashion school in Florence (Florence University of Arts) that looked interesting. I quickly realized I had found my passion in life. It was like a sudden realization that designing clothes was what I was meant to do. Some designers who inspire me include Dries Van Noten, Issey Miyake, and Daiki Suzuki. I had the privilege of working with Daiki at Engineered Garments in New York. How did you go about starting your own label? What did you envision for your brand? I started by making samples in a factory where I worked in New York’s garment district. I had secured the job through my work with Engineered Garments. That lead to me putting together a collection for Spring/Summer 2016. I reached out to stores that I thought would be interested in carrying my line and secured some appointments to show them my collection. My first season I was able to get orders from two amazing stores, one in New York and the other in San Francisco. I ultimately envisioned (and hoped for) great success for my brand within a niche market. Your clothes are known to have a Japanese street style that typically blends, relaxed pieces with more formal attire. How do you create the perfect balance between the two? I try to make the more formal things a little more relaxed and the more casual things a bit more sophisticated. There is no particular formula; I think it just happens innately.
Over time you have transitioned your brand from men’s to unisex. What sparked the change? Has it had an influence on your work? I don’t really think I transitioned; I have always felt that my designs could/should be worn by both men and women. I don’t think we need to apply gender to the clothing. I design for myself and hopefully other people of all genders appreciate the garments for themselves and their sensibilities, not because they are specifically made for a man or a woman or anything else on the spectrum. However, when starting my brand, I initially focused on men’s stores particularly in terms of marketing and outreach. Now, with that base (the men’s market), somewhat more established, I have been attempting to promote the unisex element of the clothing I make. Over the brand’s four years of existence, I’ve tried to evolve that approach by using both men and women in my lookbooks. You appear to pick certain colors and textures that permeate each collection. Did you have a specific intention? I am big on texture — the color just comes with my feelings at the time. I always try to have a black or a navy and a tan or beige or off-white and then maybe add some “pops” of color but make sure they are all cohesive and work well together. Cohesion is a must when it comes to a collection. What is the biggest motivation for your work? My biggest motivation is myself; I’ve got a passion for fashion. Do you have any advice to aspiring designers? How can they make an entry into such a competitive industry? Well, I can only speak from my experiences and it’s different being a fashion designer and having your own fashion label. If you want to have your own label, I would suggest to try working for companies you admire in order to gain experience and knowledge in all aspects of that particular fashion brand.
Conducted by: Sebastian von Stauffenberg Photo from: s.k. manor hill
Brick and Mortar Isn’t Dead Yet Melanie Wang
hen was the last time you stepped foot inside a mall or store? It probably wasn’t as long ago as you may at first think. Despite society’s apparent conversion to e-commerce, there are still some aspects of brick and mortar retail that you would be hard-pressed to find online. Virtual retail has grown quickly, in keeping with society’s rapid increase in digital dependence. However, there still exist tangible differences between online and in-person stores, and the unique qualities of physical shops have secured their place in society for the time being. People are increasingly living lives based off of convenience,
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and this often translates to a dependence on online shopping. The swift rise of e-commerce has resulted in virtual shopping being cemented into the average person’s everyday life. People are more and more likely to order food, clothing, groceries, and pretty much everything else online – sometimes because of money, sometimes because of convenience, and sometimes just because they can. As today’s society grows more reliant on online transactions, physical retail stores find themselves struggling to compete with both internet-based organizations and their own online presences. Essentially every major retail store has acquired an online domain and established themselves on the web – if not, they aren’t likely to survive in this digitized world for much longer.
Yet, despite this shift towards the virtual, physical retail stores persist and show little sign of disappearing in the near-distant future. For all the convenience of online shopping, customers still appreciate the real-life presence of an actual shop. In physical stores, customers can do things that the internet is as of yet unable to offer them. They can walk around and feel each fabric, test the comfort of a pair of shoes, and try on makeup. The essence of being present in a store is something that cannot be achieved online, and it boils down to one thing: tangibility. A customer can touch every item in a store and try them out until a decisive conclusion about whether or not to make a purchase has been reached. The in-store experience also offers the shopper the opportunity to engage in conversation with employees, as well as with other customers. People want and need to communicate in order to have a successful shopping experience. And, similarly, this social aspect of a shopping experience cannot be replicated online; the customer service or chat options on websites are mostly ignored, and when used, don’t usually end up being particularly useful.
The swift rise of e-commerce has resulted in virtual shopping being cemented into the average person’s everyday life.
In an attempt to make the online experience more user-friendly, the eyewear company Warby Parker has created a free testing program that allows customers to order five different frames and try them on at home – free of shipping or any other costs. The popularity of this
program highlights customers’ desire for a tangible way to test products out before purchasing; however, the process is still rather cumbersome and remains void of human interaction, prompting people to just make the trek out to the brand’s physical stores instead. While it may work if people just want to have some options, for the indecisive customer the opportunity to try on a few frames doesn’t quite cut it. Perhaps, in the future, the internet will find a way to remedy these shortcomings, but until then, the physical store reigns supreme.
In short, despite the ever-increasing pace at which online retail is expanding and adapting, there is still an important place for physical retail stores, and there will remain one for the foreseeable future. Until technology is advanced enough to adequately replace the human interplay that is so key to the shopping experience, as well as present an alternative to the ability to try out any outfit, shoe, necklace, lipstick, or gadget, there will continue to be a demand for physical retail stores and, subsequently, a place for them in society. For now, people constantly return items bought online, or are not completely satisfied with their virtual orders precisely because of the lack of tangibility. As long as that discontent lasts, physical retail stores are protected. But to secure their position for the more distant future, they must adapt and keep up with the times. They are safe, but for how long?
Photo from: Zara, Warby Parker
Burberry: Where it’s Gone and Where it’s Going Article by Leone Tarantelli
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homas Burberry founded his eponymous brand back in 1856, but the house rose to prominence around the time of World War I. Looking for an alternative to the heavy green greatcoats, it was Burberry’s “trench coat” that the English officers opted for. These coats were the first to feature the trademark check. The check - and the brand - soon became symbolic of British elegance and class. In the early 90s, however, Burberry began cutting prices and diversifying their products, which led to a shift in the brand’s clientele from the upper echelons of society to a clan of football hooligans. The brand rapidly became associated with troubled youth culture, hence the phrase “Burberry lad.”
earing Burberry became less of an appreciation of style or class, but more a vulgar display of wealth. The fashion house suffered from severe “brand hijacking” and the production of counterfeit goods. Some formal venues went as far as banning Burberry products and several major department stores refused to stock Burberry. In 1997 what was once theBritish fashion house saw a fall in sales of about 47 million pounds. So what was the key to the brand’s revival? Exclusivity. The excessive use of logos had diminished the value of the check. How could the house preserve the check as an emblem of quintessential British class if it was being printed on thousands of products, from bucket hats to tracksuits? CEO Rose Marie Bravo began by buying back licenses that would protect the brand, and creative director Christopher Bailey started employing far more discretion with the logo. However, all this came at a huge cost to the brand; despite their British heritage, domestic sales were a meager 15 percent of Burberry’s income in 2004. The “logomania” was vastly popular overseas especially amongst Chinese shoppers, for whom buying luxury goods was a form of “ostentatious consumption.” For better or for worse, branding made a lot of financial sense and Burberry’s choice to shift direction led to a fall in sales. Thus, Burberry - along with many of its luxury peers - faces a clash between commercialism and idealism. The brand has to recognise that their customer base is no longer the gentlemen of the British upper class, but a younger demographic that spans the world. Bravo tried to modernize the outdated personality of the brand through his“Classics with a twist” theme that brought back the trench coat, but in brilliant pink. Similarly, Gosha’s 2018 collaboration re-contextualized the check to the LGBTQ community: it was printed with the rainbow colours, with Cara Delevingne leading the show. Despite the ingenuity of these recent ideas, 2018 saw s hares fall as much as 8.2%. Riccardo Tisci, the incoming creative director, could not, therefore, arrive at a more crucial time. Will he be the key to Burberry’s second fashion comeback? The Italian made a name for himself at Givenchy with his melancholic designs, heavily rooted in romanticism and sexuality. Tisci has a radically unique aesthetic, with conforms more closely to streetwear than the signature Burberry style. The
designer is all about creative risk: he took Givenchy from elegant and chic to turbulent and outrageous. Should Tisci follow his instincts and transform Burberry’s identity from one of class to one of haute couturestreetwear? Does streetwear spell trouble for the label, as it did in the past? Will Tisci stray too far from Thomas Burberry’s original vision of the house? Tisci’s first move was to revamp the logo. A refreshing change from the knight and “Nova Check” to this modern, chic logo as the face of the brand was an audacious move, yet one that strikingly amalgamates the classic heritage of the brand and the modern exuberance of the modern day. Does this decision set the tempo for what’s to come? It is still early days for Tisci, but it’s clear that he is keen to upkeep the brand’s individuality, while appealing to a younger demographic. His debut collection in London opened with a category labelled Refined, accentuating how, despite his modern approach, a minimalist style will remain at the core of the house. At the same time, a large part of the collection was described as zeitgeisty, with polos and bum bags. Tisci’s collection is thus deliberately unspecific, featuring attire from “establishment to punk”, or as he said himself “it’s a mix of the British lifestyle.” The appropriately named Kingdom c ollection epitomises the Italian’s vision for the brand: a perseverance to diversify products to appeal to a growing consumer base. Another concern for the brand is their renown as a British fashion house. Some question how an Italian, who worked with a Parisian label, is expected to adopt the quintessential British identity? Yet, given Burberry’s global customer base, it seems only natural to have a diverse figure at the helm. Furthermore, Tisci has publicly demonstrated an appreciation of the “sophisticated cut and Saville Row tailoring.” And, with the aforementioned Refined collection, Tisci made small, chic alterations to the otherwise classic British day wear. Presenting these iconic items as one of his first major fashion statements is Tisci’s way of conveying that Burberry is and will remain the face of British fashion. Tisci is not here to distort, but rather revive and adapt the once esteemed fashion house.
Georgina Chapman is Photo: Getty Images
The Marchesa Controversy and Why We Need #MeToo Now More than Ever then-husband, Harvey Weinstein, who pushed some Article by Kate Lu Marchesa was founded back in 2004 by Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig. Specializing in high-end womenswear, the label has been donned by A-list celebrities including Anne Hathaway and Cate Blanchett, be it on red carpets or at fashion weeks. The brand had a meteoric rise that many have attributed, wrongly or rightly, to Chapmanâ€™s 24 | MODA Magazine | Spring 2019
of the actresses he worked with to sport his wifeâ€™s clothing line. Though her line certainly benefited from that exposure, who was really at fault: Weinstein or Chapman? In early 2018, accusations began to flood the media. Weinstein was accused of rape, assault, and sexual harassment. Eighty-seven reports surfaced, many made by celebrities including the likes of Kate Beckinsale and Cara Delevingne, all denouncing him for inappropriate and non-consensual behavior.
In a matter of hours, Weinstein became infamous. It seemed as if everyone, whether they knew him or not, had a strong opinion about the situation. And, of course, the scandal couldn’t remain isolated. Weinstein’s actions began to take a toll on his wife’s professional life, which suffered drastic and immediate consequences. But Chapman was, and still is, innocent. In a candid interview for Vogue, she spoke her truth. “There was a part of me that was terribly naive — clearly, so naive. I have moments of rage, I have moments of confusion, I have moments of disbelief! And I have moments when I just cry for my children. What are their lives going to be? What are people going to say to them?” In her eyes, Weinstein had always been a faithful husband and a loving father, so when news broke of his sexual assaults she was just as surprised as the next person. Doing what was best for herself and her children, she immediately sought to divorce Weinstein. Never once did she defend his actions, yet the public still continued to insist that she was complicit. In reality, Chapman was complicit only by her marriage to an offender. Some people showed their support for Chapman, but in the public eye she remained largely ostracized. In the wake of Weinstein’s accusations, Chapman was pushed to cancel Marchesa’s appearance in the 2018 New York Fashion Week. Despite her multiple apologies and insistence that she was oblivious to Weinstein’s offences, accusations continued to flood in. Among those who stood by her side were Scarlett Johansson and Anna Wintour who tried to change the public’s reception of Chapman. For months, the Marchesa label - once a red carpet staple - was nowhere to be seen. When Johansson pulled up to the Met Gala in a burgundy floral appliqué gown, it came as a shock to all. Her response? An honest statement about female empowerment. “I wore Marchesa because their clothes make women feel confident and beautiful, and it’s my pleasure to support a brand created by two incredibly talented and important female designers.” In a similar sentiment, Anna Wintour released an interview with Chapman in which she showed her support. “I believe that one should not hold a person responsible for the actions of his or her partner.” These acts of defiance certainly had an impact, but for some simply led to an increase in the number of outlets towards which they could direct their anger, now also including Johansson and Wintour.
It almost seemed as if blame was being placed on everyone but Weinstein himself. Johanson and Wintour were both attacked for showing their support for Chapman. Other female celebrities like Meryl Streep were accused of being “enablers” of Weinstein. Weinstein’s lawyer, Lisa Bloom was blamed for simply doing her job. Rather than focusing on Weinstein, people found other outlets to direct their anger. Innocent women in his circle were placed under the microscope. All this in a word: sexism. Victims of Weinstein have voiced their own feelings on the issues at hand. Lauren Sivan, one of his accusers agrees that Chapman was facing unnecessary blame. “Did she stand by him or smear the victims? No, she didn’t, she left him and apologized to the victims. To blame these women who may or may not have known anything about it is a waste of time… Being angry at Anna Wintour or any woman who defends another woman is not what this should be about. I really believe that we should all be putting the blame where it belongs — on Harvey Weinstein.” Similarly, Sarah Ann Masse reasoned that “trying to pin any of the blame on to [Chapman] distracts from the issue at hand, which is that Harvey Weinstein is a serial sexual abuser.” Despite the ongoing #MeToo movement, the Chapman controversy exemplifies just how pervasive sexism is. Women should not be scapegoats for their husbands’ actions. Though there are a few brave individuals who realize the importance of uplifting women and supporting them (especially when they are innocent), there are not enough. Really, it’s simple. Chapman was not complicit in Weinstein’s actions. Therefore, she should not suffer his consequences. Anyone who chooses to blame Chapman, Johanson, Wintour, or Weinstein’s accusers are just another example of why the #MeToo movement is more important now than ever.
Digital Age: Damaging or
Photo: Peter Stigter
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Dynamic? Article By Yeeqin New
ptly named the “digital age,” the past few decades have brought countless technological changes to everyday society; from apps on our phones that allow a photo to be instantly shared across the globe to seemingly limitless information at our fingertips, digital advances have permeated every corner of our lives. Fashion is no exception. In recent years, fashion designers have utilized digital technology to advance both their designs and the display of each season’s line. While the design-oriented, creative uses of technology in fashion are inventive and add a new dimension to the business, the consumer and display driven additions of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in stores fall flat and are rather ineffective in driving consumerism. A prime example of designers reacting to the digital age in a positive and radically innovative way is Kunihiko Morinaga’s Japan House Los Angeles collection in early 2018: his collection for his experimental label, ANREALAGE, featured fabrics that react to light, and more specifically to flash photography. The apparel is seemingly all white to the naked eye, but kaleidoscopic patterns are revealed when light hits the fabric. This fabric is treated with photochromic dyes in order to possess these qualities, and Morinaga’s use of this fabric in his collection is a commentary on the power of light and society’s obsession with photography. Morinaga’s photochromic dyed fabric brings a new quality to items of clothing that go beyond what originally meets the eye, and thus is effective in blending digital technology and fashion. Another designer who takes advantage of
developing technology is Iris van Herpen, whose collections feature 3D printed ensembles. According to Herpen, the first 3D printed garment she created in 2009 took about a week to be completed; now the process is much more streamlined. 3D printing allows Herpen to create fabrics with varying textures as well as have precise patterns that can mimic lace, thus enhancing the level of detail she is able to afford her apparel. Herpen also emphasizes the intersection between traditional craftsmanship and the technology involved in 3D printing. In an interview with Vogue, Herpen said, “sometimes a texture that I’ve been developing on a 3D printer can be an inspiration for a handwork technique, and sometimes it’s the other way around.” Not only does 3D printing allow for a range of fabrics that go beyond traditional thread or fur, Herpen blends developments of the digital age with traditional apparel design to create concepts that are new and effectively influence one another. In contrast to these innovative uses of technology, another way fashion designers have been adapting to the digital age has been the advent of VR and AR in stores. Some companies, like Tommy Hilfiger and Coach, have experimented with using VR in brick and mortar stores to immerse consumers in the world of their fashion shows: customers put on the goggles and are transported to the world of this season’s runway show. Other companies, like Sephora or Gap, allow shoppers to try on makeup or clothing through AR stands and dressing rooms. While thought-provoking concepts, these ideas ultimately fall flat when in action. Watching a fashion show surround you is fun, but ultimately will not drive consumers to make a purchase; if anything, this feature turns the stores into a gateway for an amusement park ride. In the same vein, AR machines that allow one to try on makeup or clothes are not effective enough to convince a consumer to buy an item in the same way that actually trying on the item in real life could. Using digital technology in the creation of new designs is innovative and perfectly reflects what fashion is meant to be: the expression of modern developments and social changes. However, when it comes to using virtual and augmented reality in stores to promote consumerism, these digital advances are simply gimmicks that contribute little to the designer beyond a fun trick that store-goers enjoy for 30 seconds. 27
erhaps it’s just me (though I have a feeling it’s not), but there is a certain type of shame that accompanies having to ask for a bigger size when the dressing room attendant checks if everything is alright. It’s even worse if they ask you what size exactly that is—the performative function of language takes center stage and all of a sudden, your largeness, your inability to fit into your normal size, is made real. Of course, somewhere deep down we know that clothing sizes are largely arbitrary and vary from brand to brand, even dress to dress. But that doesn’t change the fact that for some reason, our clothing sizes have come to represent far more than just a number on the tag—they have come to define our self-image. And at the core of this size-centric phenomenon rests that hallow holy grail, the size zero. As modern, empowered women, we strive to be defined by the numerical representation of nothingness. We find our value in something that literally has no value—it is a bitter irony that infiltrates every dressing room and online shopping bag. So, where did size zero come from, and why do these numbers seem to matter so much? It will come as little surprise that such a negligible size is a fairly recent innovation, and clothing sizing itself only arose in the 20th century. The first attempt at creating standardized clothing measurements in the US came in the 1930s, and before that any sizing for women’s clothing was based purely on bust breadth.The chart created designated the smallest size as an eight, and it went up to a 32. But a size eight now is nothing close to a size eight then; in 1958, a size eight meant having a 23.5-inch waist and 31-inch bust and weighing about 98 pounds, measurements not even found on the runways in Paris (today’s size eight would better correspond to a 1958 size 16, if you were wondering). This standardized sizing chart was largely unsuccessful (imagine!) as it created garments based on an hourglass figure that only 8% of American women actually have, and it was mostly abandoned by the 1980s, leaving brands and designers free reign to size and label their clothing as they fancied. It’s around this same time that the concept of vanity sizing comes in, and we first begin to see the path to that infamous zero. Companies soon noticed the impact of the number on the tag. Someone was more likely to buy something if they were proud of that number, 28 | MODA Magazine | Spring 2019
or in the least satisfied with it. So, they labeled a size 10 as a size 8, a size 18 as a 16, and women felt better about themselves, they bought more dresses. Smaller sizes were in turned invented for those who had been sized out of it all; there was a size four by the 1990s, then a size two, and then came the moment. It was actually Nicole Miller who first started producing size zero, after she began losing smaller customers when she began calling her size eight a size six. So, she made a smaller one, a size that would in reality correspond with what was previously a two. And thus, the zero was born, and then adopted by almost all major brands, because who wants a size two Prada dress when you could be a size zero in Calvin Klein? And once you have zero, but you keep vanity sizing clothes, you have reason for a double zero. And then, I guess, a triple zero. And clothing sizes keep changing but their importance to women do not. It’s not necessarily about what we look and feel like, but about how we are labeled. We rely on – allow - a single number to tell us if we’re fat or skinny, worthy or unworthy. Moreover, the American sizing system makes any change in size feel momentous—having to ask for a size four if you’re normally a size two feels like having to ask for something twice as big, and a size eight feels like four times the size of a two. Leaping from a size zero to a size two feels like entering a new realm, when in reality it probably just means an extra inch or two on the inseam. In France, asking for a size up means going from a 36 to a 38, an increase of two that, as a proportion of the numbers, feels much less significant. It’s not just that we as a society strive toward a borderline unhealthy ideal for women, but that we equate this ideal with the status of being literally nothing. Its more than just prizing skinny, it’s about saying a woman’s body is most worthy of admiration when its corresponding size has no worth, it’s about the fact that these silly arbitrary little numbers have brought about so many tears and dressing-room breakdowns and grunts of frustration and bouts of self-doubt and overwhelming floods of self-hatred. It’s about us, as women, finally declaring that we are worth more than whatever that number is, and that we are worthy regardless of that number.
When Zero is More Than Nothing Vanity Sizing in the USA
Article by Sarah Eikenberry
Photo: Getty Images
Reduce, Reuse, ReDress: Sustainability in the Fashion Industry by Brinda Rao
The days of fashion brands hiding immoral practices are coming to an end. Now more than ever, millennial consumers are invested in presenting an eco-friendly image and this includes what they wear. Gone are the days of fur-flaunting runways and shady production methodologies; buyers are double-checking their favorite brands’ “receipts,” and there are now plenty of ways to ensure that your favorite brand is being honest and transparent about their sustainability practices. From global certification standards to organizations dedicated to promoting transparency in the industry, the conscious move is certainly towards sustainability. The trends and interests of the masses are defined by a collective global-consciousness that has led to a series of changes in the production, business and marketing of the fashion industry. Historically, the textile industry has had a paramount contribution to the annual amount of CO2 emissions. With this in mind, many labels are now using the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) to reinforce efforts to promote environmentally-conscious production methods. Brands like Everlane, Patagonia and H&M use these production standards with efforts towards an overall image of sustainability in their manufacturing. Unfortunately, the corporate fashion industry has an underlying interest in financial factors that outweigh the widespread call for ethical practices, since sustainable practices often cost more than often
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cost more than old-school approaches to manufacturing. Due to the discrepancy in production costs, some big name brands are not willing to commit to a sustainable image. Sustainable endeavors often stem from an interest to cater to certain demographics. Mass interest in sustainability has been championed by slews of social and global elites. With social media platforms, modern celebrities and politicians are able to herald their favored eco-friendly labels, and designer brands have not missed this. It is not a coincidence that companies like Zara have changed their website setup in recent years to showcase clothing made from recycled and organic sources. However, these grand public gestures are for naught if companies are not being transparent with their consumers, who are becoming wary of flashy declarations of eco-friendly intent. Luckily for the public, Greenpeace USA has served as a resource to turn to in the search for transparent, eco-friendly companies. Greenpeace is an international organization working to promote sustainable practices in consumer-based industries. Their efforts encompass ratings and investigative explanations of popular companies’ green policies, or lack thereof. Greenpeace ranks these companies on an evolutionary growth path towards the best sustainable practices. With this ranking, consumers have a visually descriptive resource to determine whether a brand’s public image matches the reality of their practices. Greenpeace USA is not alone in its mission to promote transparency in the fashion industry. Fashion Revolution USA is another resource that is investigating deceit in the fashion industry in scopes including human rights, labor rights and environmentally-conscious standards. They created a transparency index for users to see whether trusted brands truly match up to their public image. With an emphasis on awareness and educating, Fashion Revolution’s goal is to spread their resources at a global level. In the age of digitized transparency, the fallacies of the fashion industry are losing footing.
“Sustainable endeavors often stem from an interest to cater to certain demographics. Mass interest in sustainability has been championed by slews of social and global elites.”
Within the fashion industry, there are forces working to protect the consumers’ interests in sustainable companies and products. In the past two decades, a slew of standards and certificates were launched by various production and resource companies in the fashion industry. Cradle to Cradle was launched by McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry to certify if labels hit a certain criteria in regards to recycling, renewable energy and eco-material usage, and social responsibility. The European Ecolabel evaluates the cradle-to-grave impact a product’s production, marketing, and shipping has on the environment. While specifically used for products made in the European Union, this label has made strides to expand to the global front. Certification and grading programs like these are becoming widely used resources for the environmentally-conscious consumer. Ultimately, the crusade for a sustainable fashion industry comes down to the will of consumers. Consumers have the prerogative to set trends that will end unethical and harmful practices. In contemporary times, consumers are changing the definition of “luxury” products. While historically these were considered rare, extravagant goods, luxury has a new connotation of products that look and feel good publicly and privately. With the help of new standards and organizations, big name brands are beginning to be held accountable and can no longer get away with skirting sustainable practices. Consumers have the power to determine what ideals and values should direct the fashion industry.
Photo courtesy of Fast Company.
Photo Courtesy of Deccan Chronicle
From Baby Foreskin Facials to Blood-Detoxifying Leechesâ€“ What is Going on? by Sarah Peabody In an effort to stay young and beautiful, it seems as though every celebrity and their mother swear by an unconventional beauty treatment. Some do botox, others undergo cryogenic therapy, and certain celebs, use, well, baby foreskins.
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Each year, a new bizarre beauty treatment fad hits the news and causes a stir of curiosity and, often, disgust. Have some methods gone too far in the exoticism factor or are celebrities finding the key to anti-aging and perfect skin? What is probably the first most widespread weird facial trend was the “vampire facial.” In March 2013, Kim Kardashian posted an iconic picture of her face covered in blood, boasting about her recent facial and dedicated a whole episode of Kourtney & Kim Take Miami to the procedure. It involves drawing your own blood and running it through a machine to isolate the platelets so that this platelet-rich blood is injected back into your face. It supposedly encourages the skin to act in its most optimal way as it increases just about everything from elastin to collagen– encouraging hydration and anti-aging. But is it worth it? This sort of treatment sets you back around $1000 and even requires a handful of treat-
ments once a month to see results. Even 5 years down the road, Kim Kardashian has admitted to regretting the procedure as the painful hour garnered little to no results. However, her sister, Kourtney, continues to praise the facial on her app. Now what seems to be blowing up everywhere is the most recent big trend in the dermatology industry– foreskin facials. From Sandra Bullock to Kate Beckinsale to Cate Blanchett, everybody is endorsing the Hollywood Epidermal Growth Facial– or, at least, talking about it. Once again, it’s a treatment that is meant to generate or increase collagen and elastic. The foreskin name comes from the serum that is used that has concentrated stem cells and proteins from a newborn baby’s foreskin. Yep. To be specific, it’s from the discarded foreskins of South Korean babies. These cells are then cloned in a laboratory and shipped to NYC for the expensive facial. In the treatment, the serum is first spread over the face and neck and then these parts are punctured many times by 12 microneedles to really ensure the effectiveness of the product. It’s said that the experience is a lot less painful than the vampire facial, but it apparently gives off the smell of sperm.
Overall, this $650 treatment has generated a lot of controversy regarding the “creepiness” of the use of infant foreskins. Even the queen of odd-yet-expensive beauty herself, Gwyneth Paltrow, claims that bee sting therapy is “pretty incredible” to get rid of “inflammation and scarring.” However, recently, a 55-year old Spanish woman passed away from developing a serious reaction from the same treatment after 2 years of practicing it. It seems as though every extreme treatment involves a hefty price tag and an element of puncturing and pain, both of which are significant costs that seem the outweigh any marginal benefits that the facials may induce. But hey– if you’re really itching to test these unusual methods, you can always go to Amazon to buy products like bee venom face masks or snail mucus face cream. This way, you can find things that are USDA certified with little to no health risks, and are far more reasonably priced.
FUTURE by Elizabeth Winkler
It’s 2019. Now more than ever, you can find anything and everything online – fashion magazines included. Though it may seem counterintuitive, this online availability does not diminish the print version’s appeal; instead, each type of publication fuels the other and together they create something new. Teen Vogue, one of Condé Nast’s publications, is an extreme example of this digital movement: in November 2017, the magazine announced that it would end its quarterly physical publication in favor of online content. The magazine’s young audience consumes online media so much more than they do print media that such a change, though dramatic, is hardly surprising. And it’s not just Teen Vogue that has made this transition; in January 2019, Glamour magazine also ended its physical publication, and there are many other magazines that have followed suit. Even if they have not taken the leap to full digitization that Teen Vogue and Glamour have, almost all fashion magazines have some kind of online presence. These publications understand that digital material offers the reader options that physical magazines cannot, including easy (and often free!) access to articles, videos, interactive content, as well as the ability to comment on and share articles that interest them. These are features that a modern reader, accustomed to having infinite information at their fingertips, expects and, indeed, now requires from their fashion publication. One might argue, based on these expectations,
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that any company continuing to publish print magazines is wasting money, that their reader no longer exists. Surprisingly, though, this is not true. Readership may be lower than it was before internet access became so prevalent, but it is far from nonexistent. Excepting one-off expenses like bringing all their business units together in one location, Condé Nast still reports net profitability, something that would be impossible if all of their print magazines had lost substantial subscription revenue. Just as print book sales did not end with the advent of e-readers, people in the digital era continue to value a physical fashion magazine.
This continued interest in print is recognized throughout the fashion industry; most of Condé Nast’s titles have maintained their traditional publications in addition to their online presence, and some clothing brands that had been solely digital have begun publishing magazines. In 2014, for example, high-end online brand Net-a-Porter began printing a 6-issue-per-year magazine called PORTER with scannable codes leading to products online. This publication is, after five years, still published regularly, confirming that print still has an active audience not satisfied by online platforms alone.
Photo vio TeenVogue Online
At their cores, physical magazines have always been about images – beautiful, arresting compositions that showcase daring looks from high-quality photographers, models, and designers. A website, no matter how hard it tries, will never be able to fully recreate the effect of this kind of tangible image. People buy physical books for the sensation of turning their pages, to indulge their senses in that specific old-book smell, to remember the past and honor tradition. This same principle applies to physical magazines: they are printed on thick, glossy paper, they give the reader a sense of escapism and luxury, and – most importantly – they are not constantly available. The internet is always at a person’s fingertips, and its content is more or less permanent. It is so much a part of our daily lives that physical magazines – whether they are published monthly, quarterly, or annually – have the
At their cores, physical magazines have always been about images – beautiful, arresting compositions that showcase daring looks from high-quality photographers, models, and designers.
appeal of something rare and precious. Anna Wintour, Vogue’s Editor in Chief, understands this; she has said that “it is very important to make the print publications even more luxurious and even more special just to differentiate us from everything else that’s out there…You have to feel it coming off the page. You have to see the photographs and pieces that you couldn’t possibly see anywhere else.” Business models like those of Condé Nast and Net-a-Porter show us that fashion should not look to the internet alone, but rather to the symbiotic relationship between physical and online platforms. Publications must find a balance that allows each medium to enhance the other’s best qualities. This balance, between physical and digital, history and progress, the everyday and the luxurious, is the future of fashion magazines.
NATALIAâ€™S INTERNATIONAL SHOOT - JENTILT Models: Kephern Chambers, Connor Fieweger, Brooke Werdlow & Yuna Song Photos: Natalia Rodriguez Shot at International House
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Models: Corinne Stonebreaker, Miranda Grayzel-Lord & Fiona Lu Photos: Julia Attie Makeup: Hannah Burnstein & Dani Oâ€™Connell Shot at Crerar Library
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Models: Gabrielle Smith, Natalya Moore & Nina Meyers from the People Model Management Photos: Daniel Chae Shot at The Cultural Center
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The Spring 2019 issue for MODA Magazine, the University of Chicago's premiere student-run fashion publication.