IN THIS ISSUE 04 FROM THE EDITOR
Hello and welcome to the world of Papercut Magazine!
THE LIFE 06 THE NEW YORK CHRONICLES
We put the city under the proverbial microscope.
08 ARE YOU FASHION?
Living it versus wearing it.
11 FASHION VICTIM
One shopaholic’s account of her addiction.
FASHION FORWARD 12 IN THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS
Straight off the runway: the latest beauty trends for S/S 2010.
22 AFRICA, AZTECS, AND AVATAR
Fashion learns a thing or two from mother nature.
25 ON THE VERGE
Three very different up-and-coming fashion designers.
BUZZWORTHY 32 IRAN UNDERGROUND
Just how far Iraqi designers will go in the name of fashion.
34 FASHION GOING GREEN
Is the eco-friendly fashion trend here to stay?
36 THE IRREPRESSIBLE NARA PAZ
We talk one-on-one with Boston’s brightest star.
ON THE COVER Photographed by NICOLE BECHARD Styled by NICOLE HERZOG in one of her own designs Makeup: GINA CATALDO of Sephora Hair: AMANDA ORTIZ of Roberts Salon Model: GABRIELLA COLLADO
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Hayley Maybury
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Nicole Bechard TECHNICAL DIRECTOR Jamall Oluokun CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Erin Berry Brittnee Cann Nora Gilligan Nicole Herzog Hayley Maybury Noosha Talebzadeh CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Nicole Bechard Conor Doherty Josh Howell Zuza Zajczenko
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FROM THE EDITOR HELLO AND WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF PAPERCUT !
First off, I must say how excited I am to finally be sharing Papercut magazine with all of you! It has been a long time coming and now that it is here I hope we all will agree it was worth the wait! When we came up with the idea of starting an online magazine we knew from the beginning that we wanted it to be something that would cover a wide range of topics, have a different concept then most fashion magazines, and most importantly be something that we ourselves would actually read! I want our reader to not only be interested in the information that they find here on our website but also to be able to actually take something away afterwards. Our staff has been working together some time now, covering fashion and the arts on many different levels. Being able to bring you news in a way that is fun and easy to read while providing you with useful knowledge is what Papercut is here to do. For our debut our talented team of writers have come up with some great articles that I am sure will grab your attention! In this issue we take on a wide range of topics. From an interview with the ever fabulous designer Nara Paz to discuss her struggles and triumphs as an emerging designer, to the chronicles of a fashionista trying to make it in the big city. There is also my personal favorite: an excellent article on Iran underground fashion telling just how far Iraqi designers will go to escape government control. I, as well as the rest of the team, look forward to hearing your feedback. If there is anything you think we should be covering that we are not, we would love to know! This is your magazine after all! Enjoy friends,
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Written by BRITTNEE CANN
hen I was younger I would take forever to get ready for school in the morning. I would try on a million outfits before making a decision about what I was going to wear that day. My mom would yell down to my room that life was not a fashion show and it didn’t matter what I wore. Ten years later, I moved to New York City, where life is exactly that. There has always been this city-versus-city debate over which region reigns supreme as the worlds “fashion capital”. New York, London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles...the jury might forever hang on the issue, but from an insider’s perspective let me assure you that New York is serious about style. That’s not to say that you need to put on a ball gown to go to the corner store but rather recognizing that wearing some printed pajama bottoms with a slouchy t-shirt and fuzzy coat to run out for milk is a fashion statement in itself. Anywhere else an outfit like that might look crazy but in this city it is the exact kind of unpredictable, wild style that is much appreciated. In the past two months I’ve been stopped on the street four times to have my photo taken for various fashion websites. I point this out not for bragging rights but rather as evidence that in this town, the street is exactly where fashion inspiration comes from. Walking around you really can’t make it more than three city blocks without having to stop to ogle at someone’s amazing shoes or bag or jacket or what-have-you. New York is flooded with fashionable men and women between the ages of 1 and 100; I mean that quite literally. I’ve met girls as young as four and women as old as sixty-two all of whom have an exceptionally unique and experimental sense of style. Even fellow New Yorker and famed designer Marc Jacobs keeps his eye on the city’s residents. For his Fall/Winter 2010 collection show this past fashion week, Jacobs took to the streets himself in search of non-model girls to walk his runway, to prove the point that fashion is more about style than it is anything else. New York really celebrates the art of fashion and the whole industry unlike any other place in the world. During the annual “Fashion’s Night Out” event on September 10th last fall, the entire city was one giant party. Stores all around from 59th street down to Soho opened their doors to invite the public in for free hors d’oeuvres and champagne. The Chanel store was full of women waiting to get a free manicure with the brand’s newest jade lacquer, DKNY enlisted model Coco Rocha for a step-dancing performance, Bergdorf Goodman had a life-size fashion board game hosted by Vogue’s Andre Leon Talley, Mary-Kate and Ashley were behind the bar serving drinks at Barneys, the Prada store had the super-hip band Rapture perform...and this is only five of the umpteen events that happened in a four-hour time span that night. Home to many American-based fashion labels and magazines, there is something about New York that draws attention from fashion followers everywhere. In the forthcoming issues, I will put the city under a proverbial microscope in attempt to figure out just what it is about this place that allows it to cultivate and harness incredible style within its five boroughs. I want to figure out just what makes the city that never sleeps tick around the clock.
ARE YOU FASHION?
“APPARENTLY THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS IN LIFE THAN FASHION. YEA, RIGHT.”—FCUK Written by NICOLE HERZOG
ashion. This word can mean so many different things to so many people that it’s subjective. The real question is what does it mean in relation to creativity, style, innovation, glamour, poise and perseverance? There is a difference between those that are fashion and those that merely buy the latest trends and call themselves fashionable (and of course there are echelons within each category from one extreme to another). What constitutes a fashionable lifestyle? Well, if you think that FCUK is profanity, you still have a lot to learn, however it doesn’t mean you are deemed a “fashion wannabe” just yet. Living your life fashionably, as compared to someone that is a wannabe, does not automatically classify one as rich or poor. Fashion is in the mind and cannot be classified monetarily. Those that live a life of fashion, whom we will call LLF’s, are those that craftily mix and match their ensembles and do not thoughtlessly recreate
exact trends that are featured in department store windows. To the LLF, fashion is tailored to the individual, and that type of individuality can only be attained by picking and choosing your own pieces. Even recreating old clothes into new and updated looks or sifting though secondhand items to find the perfect gem, is a second nature to the LLF. Therefore, the LLF girl is secure with who she is and dresses for herself; strutting effortlessly and cradling her inner beauty. Appropriately determining the clothes that flatter her—no matter her size and demeanor—is priority. LLF’s would never wear items that accentuate flaws or wear outfits that are visually uncomfortable to look at. While the LLF girl dresses for her personality and wears it with confidence, the fashion wannabe (FW) dresses for other people to become what others want them to be. Living a fashionable life isn’t always by what one wears. An LLF girl for ex-
ample subscribes and reads magazines to focus strictly on top season’s trends along with articles on industry news, designers, models, and fashion companies. Magazine choices are those at book stores, city streets, and local happenings. Fashion is about being educated in the industry, even if one isn’t directly part of the industry. Meanwhile, the FW carelessly reads top season trends without any research; merely waiting for the answers to reveal themselves. There is quite a difference between a person that likes to shop for the newest ‘it’ items and one that seeks out fashion in the unlikeliest of places. The LLF girl thinks about fashion all day long! From the moment she wakes up, to the moments she tries to fall asleep with ideas running through her head. Her room is interesting and reflects who she is, by surrounding herself with what she likes, not worrying about others opinions. Her confidence is so warm
people gravitate toward her at parties, exhibits, openings, shows and all the other fabulous places that she thoroughly enjoys going to, whether deemed cool or not. She doesn’t give up when times get hard, she perseveres though thick and thin coming out stronger than before. With confidence in yourself and your choices, this would make you an LLF girl since it ultimately translates to your lifestyle. An FW merely follows fashion by obvious rules and lacks a vision of self. Though if we were to critique that crazy outfit wore out last night, it might still be awful. The rules of ‘style’ as compared to ‘fashion’ are slightly different (but that’s a whole other story!). So until next time, exude your inner beauty Papercut fans and be an LLF girl!
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FASHION VICTIM THE VERY TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC Written by HAYLEY MAYBURY
lthough I’m already running late for work, I sit down at my computer and quickly sign on to view my credit card balance. Yes! I think to myself, there’s just enough to buy that dress I wanted to wear out tonight. Now most of you would agree that a fashion victim is someone who has made a tragic outfit choice, or someone who is wearing something from like four seasons ago, and I have to agree that this term would definitely suit them. However, in my mind, a fashion victim is someone who, at the end the month looks at their bank statement and realizes they cannot pay the rent because of the $600 they spend last week on that new Marc Jacobs bag! Okay, so one month isn’t so bad, right? You can (and will) catch up! But then you see those new shoes you have been absolutely dying for and—oops!—there goes another $200. Have you ever seen the flick Confessions of a Shopaholic? Isla Fisher plays a New York City fashionista plagued by her terrible spending habits. If you’ve seen it, afterwards you probably wondered who could actually live like that! Well, take out the gorgeous guy, the creepy stalker debt collector, and the unrealistic Hollywood movie ending and you will find me standing there! A real live girl gazing in horror over my bed at all the shopping bags before me. At the same time, however, I am giddily wondering what I should wear first. It’s one hell of a bittersweet feeling. So maybe it sounds like I’m overexaggerating. Well friends, I can tell you that I most certainly am not! My bad habit got to the point where I had to physically hand over my beloved plastic card to my roommate to hide it from me! The sad thing is that eventually I found it and then couldn’t get to the store quick enough! You may think I’m crazy, but honestly is there anything better than the smell of new clothing, or the feel of new shoes the first time you slip them on. I don’t think so! Well, maybe an income that helps me to actually afford such luxuries could help. Until then, however, I will continue to fall victim to fashion! 11
IN THE GARDEN OF
GET READY TO
PUT SOME SPRING IN YOUR STEP WITH THE LATEST LOOKS IN BEAUTY.
Photographed by NICOLE BECHARD Makeup GINA CATALDO / SEPHORA Hair AMANDA ORTIZ / ROBERTS SALON Model KATIE MULREY 13
EASE INTO THE SEASON WITH NEUTRAL HUES As we begin to make the transition into warmer weather, use neutral colors—a la Alexander Wang—to carry you through summer.
On eyes: SMASHBOX eyeshadow trio in “Pretty eyes”, SEPHORA eyeliner in “Golden Sand”, Makeup FOREVER eyeliner. On lips: TARTE lip gloss in “Cliff”, LAURA MERCIER lip gloss in “Flax”.
USE CORAL AS A FRESH ALTERNATIVE We don’t care what anyone says, coral is making a comeback. During their spring couture show, Dior had models flaunting it on the runway, and we are more than happy to jump on the bandwagon. On lips: DIOR Addict lip polish in “Glow Expert”.
BRIGHTEN YOUR LOOK WITH PASTELS Dior also brought us beautiful, iridescent eyes. Our favorite was the lavender, but we say mix it up with blues and greens as well. On eyes: DIOR iridescent eye shadow in “Petal Shine”, GIVENCHY Prisme Again! eyeshadow quartet in “Zen Pastel”, TOO FACED eyeshadow duo in “Poodle Puff”
MAKE A STATEMENT WITH RED LIPS Dolce & Gabbana took it up a notch by including red hot lips as part of their S/S 2010 collection. We say go for it! Soften with muted eyes for a more romantic look. On lips: DIOR Addict lip color in “Hollywood Rose”, LANCOME clear gloss.
ADD DRAMA WITH COPPER EYES For a more dramatic look, go for coppery eyes. This darker neutral tone will spice up your look without going overboard. On eyes: DIOR Iridescent eyeshadow in “Earth Reflection”
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AFRICA, AZTECS, AND AVATAR FASHION RETURNS TO ITS “NATURAL ROOTS” Written by ERIN BERRY
he word “fashion” may not come to mind when one thinks of the near-naked beings in James Cameron’s recent blockbuster hit Avatar, but like the blue-skinned Na’vi people, designers are gathering inspiration from the most accessible resource on Earth: Mother Nature. As technology advances and people are becoming more aware about its impact on the environment, an ecological backlash has emerged in art, music, movies, and also fashion. The spring 2010 Valentino runway show in Paris featured the Avatar-inspired collection of Jean Paul Gaultier with an overall theme that marries nature with the digital age. The earthy tones, plaited braids, and turquoise jewelry reminiscent of the ancient Aztecs evokes a feeling of ritualistic decoration that is both fierce and ephemeral. Italian designer Marella Ferrera also adopted this tribal, back-to-nature feel in her 2010 Spring Collection titled “Dee”. Her flowing fabrics, knotted ropes, and African jewelry are both exotic and organic. Although environmental awareness has become more of a fashion statement than a political one, there is a quality of this style that transcends the “trendy-ness” of going green. It is more about returning to nature as a material, much like the clothing of our ancient ancestors. This “style��� is not limited to the fictional world of Pandora or the peoples of ancient history; it is fashion adopted from the remote tribes existing presently in Africa, South America and the Pacific Islands. Photojournalist Hans Silvester recognized the strange inclinations of the people in Ethiopian tribes to decorate their bodies using natural elements. The bright and bold photos in his photographic compilation Natural Fashion; Tribal Decoration from Africa are a colorful display of portraits of the nomadic people from Surmi and Mursi tribes. It may seem that the temporary “clothing” made from leaves and twigs is a far reach from the Western idea of fashion, but Silvester praises their intricacy and aesthetics as if commenting on the latest line: “...they are extremely talented: they can take any material from the plant world—leaf, stem, flower, grass, root, and instantly transform it into an accessory that has come straight from a fantasy or fairy tale, without the slightest tinge of absurdity.” What is so curious about the behavior of these tribes
is the fact that it exists despite the lack of the media and even mirrors. So the question remains: who or what is this behavior for? These people have a certain concern for artistic prowess that makes one question why they feel the need to create such elaborate pieces when the result is only temporary. Silvester debates the purpose of this decoration, addressing reasons of practicality, such as using it for protection from the sun and camouflage. He states: “Perhaps underlying it all is the spirit of the hunter, accustomed to the art of camouflage, or the warrior merging with nature as he confronts his enemy, or perhaps it is simply an unconscious homage to Mother Earth.” Humans are the only species that decorate—which brings the idea back to fashion—why does it exist? Humans have been adorning themselves since the beginning of time. Primitive people decorated functional objects such as spears, tools, and clothing until the decoration itself became an entirely separate entity that we now know as art. The current trend for high fashion in 2010 embraces the primitive way with a twist that is surprisingly modern. The March issue of American Vogue features the creations of Balenciaga, Givenchy, and the late Alexander McQueen in an editorial spread entitled “The Warrior Way” (photographed by David Sims). The overall jungle setting and theme speaks of survival in a post-apocalyptic world. The idea is no longer about being environmentally conscious; it is about being melded with nature and the natural inclinations of our species to hunt, gather, and create. Whether in the jungle or on the runway, fashion is recognized as a trait that is uniquely human. It is apparent, even in these tribes far removed from the world of commercialism, that fashion, like art, is instinct.
THE EARTHY TONES, PLAITED BRAIDS, AND TURQUOISE JEWELRY REMINISCENT OF THE ANCIENT AZTECS EVOKE A FEELING OF RITUALISTIC DECORATION THAT IS BOTH FIERCE AND EPHEMERAL.
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UT ON O T E S E SUE WE S I H FOR TH C A H E C R A A SE ALENT T W E N T HOTTES HETHER IT’S D. W AROUN GING FASHION EMER ISTS, OR T R A , S ER DESIGN S, YOU CAN BE AN MUSICI IT WILL BE THE SURE EATEST. R G D N A LATEST
E H T ON
E G R VE
Designer Nicole Herzog loves the eclectic. She uses this passion to create beautiful, classic pieces with a twist. In addition, she is all about the details. From vintage rhinestone broaches or buttons, to the rich textures of upholstery fabrics, you will fall in love with the unique quality of each piece.
A KIN D VIN TAGE B AND CLAS ASED OU T SIC F ASHI OF THE ON D L ESIG ITTLE TO NS WN O F
ELLIN GTON , CT
D E K A N
S G RA
T G HO N I K OO TH L I W D GOO
OING D G N I E UNIT INITIATIV O T D CATE A GREEN I D E D ELP ILL H W 10% T S A LE LE AT A S VERY E R FO
Naked Rags founder Nicole Lee Lordelo illustrates that being fashionable and green is possible. All Naked Rags clothing is made with sustainable fabrics (such as organic cotton) and for every sale, at least 10% will help to fund a green initiative or non-profit social organization. Not only that, the t-shirts are oh-so-soft with the perfect fit and cool, contemporary artwork to match. As their website claims, “we know you’ll feel and look good [in] Naked!”
Boston-based designer Melina Laguerre is inspired by art from the Victorian and Colonial times. She loves the look and the whimsical spirit that shows in both the clothing and architecture of the time periods. Laguerre likes to take this inspiration and mix them with a modern look. In doing so, she uses mostly woven and upholstery fabric as she feels they best embody her ideas.
LOVE S TO
INCO RPOR ATE W IN OVEN SPIRED BY V AND IC UPH OLST TORIAN A ERY FABR ND COLO NIAL ICS. TIME PERI ODS.
IRAN UNDERGROUND IRANIAN DESIGNERS ARE GOING UNDERCOVER TO ESCAPE GOVERNMENT CONTROL.
Written by NOOSHA TALEBZADEH
an you imagine having to host a fashion show in the basement of an apartment complex to keep it a secret? Due to government restrictions, this is what many fashion designers have resorted to in the city of Tehran, Iran’s capital. In Iran all women have to abide by an Islamic dress code whenever they step out into the public eye. The law requires women to have modest clothing covering their hair, arms, legs and feet; practically everything except their face. Supposedly, this is said to help protect the women from attracting indecent attention from men. So what does a government-approved runway show look like? The models walk down the catwalk in an array of garments that seem oversized as they hang away from the body, while the fabric carefully lines their faces so not one strand of hair is showing. Some designers have dared to break free from this law abiding runway and have carefully planned shows outside of the government’s radar. First, a basement is rented for one night where a document has to be signed that all the women will follow Islamic dress code. Found through networking, those interested are contacted with information about the show via text message. Before they can attend, they must call another designated person who interrogates them about who they are and how they know about the show. Later a car will drive up to each persons home giving them an invitation with directions to the location. All of this is done carefully and in code. Once you enter the basement, you see a room filled with men and women mingling together. The women take off their outer layers and reveal fitted and low cut outfits as party music vibrates through the room. For a designer the costs can add up quick, from renting the room to flying over international models. The garments are walked down the runway in hopes of being sold that night to help cover all the expenses. Once the sale is done, the customer will walk out with a one-of-a-kind garment that the designer may never see again. The risks for anyone involved are enormous. To be caught by the police could easily mean jail for most, and even death, especially for the women. It’s hard to believe it’s all done for fashion, but the more these people feel forced to conform, the more eager they are to break free.
SOME DESIGNERS HAVE DARED TO BREAK FREE FROM THIS LAW ABIDING RUNWAY AND HAVE CAREFULLY PLANNED SHOWS OUTSIDE OF THE GOVERNMENT’S RADAR.
FASHION GOING GREEN PASSING TREND OR SUSTAINABLE MOVEMENT? Written by NORA E. S. GILLIGAN
eneral commentary on the fashion industry is dichotomous by nature. On the one hand, the industry is often overlooked as a cold and superficial business, evolving only as dictated by trends, determined season-to-season by the invariable few “influentials” (read: the old guard of Vogue editors, and the new wave of bloggers). The less cynical see fashion as a real-life outlet for artists and creative minds, reflecting the culture, society, and times surrounding it. Whatever side you take, the fact that society responds to fashion is inarguable, which makes the industry a wide-reaching platform through which to address pressing social issues, such as environmental awareness. No? Yes, thinks Gereon Pilz van der Grinten, Co-Director of GREENaffairs and Founder of THEKEY.TO, an international event at Berlin Fashion Week for green fashion, sustainable lifestyle, and culture. “Fashion is one of the world’s leading industries. It influences everybody. That’s why we are convinced that a new responsible approach in the entire fashion production chain can play a pivotal role to save the planet,” states Mr. van der Grinten.1 Launched in July 2009, the main focus of THEKEY.TO is to showcase ecologically and socially responsible fashion design. Van der Grinten’s lead influence with THEKEY.TO joins a number of other fashionable calls to environmental awareness. The Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation announced the addition of a Sustainable Design Award category in 2008, in acknowledgement and encouragement of “emerging designers who are not only thinking about fashion design, but also how the whole process affects the planet.”2 Popular fashion blogs are covering the environment, and vice versa; Refinery 29’s recent Green Mile Guide to Eco-Friendly Shopping in NYC suggests a growing number of both stylish and eco-savvy shops and boutiques.3 Luxury conglomerates have been taking their stake in green credentials, such as LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s 2004 “carbon inventory,” to gauge its impact on greenhouse-gas emissions, and May 2009 investment in Bono and wife Ali Hewson’s
PHOTO: JOSH HOWELL
According to the non-profit Earth Pledge, today some 8,000 synthetic chemicals are used throughout the world to turn raw materials into textiles. Domestically, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that onequarter of all pesticides used nationwide go toward growing cotton, primarily for the clothing industry. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers many domestic textile manufacturing facilities to be hazardous waste generators; and lax standards and enforcement in developing countries, where the majority of textiles are produced, means that untold amounts of pollution are likely being deposited into local soils and waterways in regions that can hardly stand further environmental insult.6
PHOTO COURTESY OF WWW.WEARABLECOLLECTIONS.COM
THIS PAGE: (L-R) H&M storefront; WEARABLE CLOTHING recycling organization van. OPPOSITE: THEKEY.TO Wear Fair in Berlin, January 2010.
organic EDUN brand.4 Definitively provocative was the late (and ever-fabulous) Alexander McQueen’s nature-inspired Spring/ Summer 2010 Paris collection, touching “on issues now charting the future of fashion, including a growing social consciousness of the environmental impact of consumption.”5 McQueen’s show opened with an LCD projection of a woman morphing into an ethereal underwater being, paired with show notes that read: “When Charles Darwin wrote The Origin of Species, no one could have known that the ice cap would melt, that the waters would rise and that life on earth would have to evolve in order to live beneath the sea once more or perish.” Do I sense a lasting trend? Fashion as a reflection of the times is by no means a new concept. From Coco Chanel and Paul Poiret’s contributions to simplify women’s fashion after the First World War, literally and figuratively freeing feminists from their girdles, to the recession-friendly mantras of “shop your closet,” and “cheap and chic” boasted on the covers of all your favorite monthlies, the industry is ever-adapting and evolving. The relevant questions: does the new, green blood coursing through an industry duly noted for its environmental footprint have staying power? Is that enough to change the way shoppers shop, or the way designers design? Just as often as the fashion industry is highlighted for its positive environmental initiatives and inspiration, it is chastised for the vast amount of pollution and waste it creates. As Political Affairs online magazine reports:
PHOTO: ZUZA ZAJCZENKO
For every line like Stella McCartney’s, a vegetarian who has made a career-long commitment to organic design, are several “fast fashion” brands like Forever 21 and Topshop, which make their bank by cheap, disposable garment production. For every consignment shop and organization like Wearable Collections, a non-profit that places recycling bins in designated buildings throughout New York City for the collection of unwanted garments and clothing, is an H&M that shreds and throws away its unsold clothes.7 According to a 2008 study by the Council for Textile Recycling, Americans throw away more than 2.5 billion pounds of clothing and textiles annually (more than 68 pounds per person per year), representing about five percent of the total municipal solid waste. These are significant figures representing a dirty, less-than-chic side of an otherwise glamorous industry. Fashion’s role in heightening environmental consciousness cannot be argued. The actual impact that green awards, boutiques, partnerships, and fashion shows have on production and consumer choice, though, is. Is the larger market truly invested in changing the direction of fashion’s environmental impact, or merely paying lip service to this great cause? Will consumers on limited budgets, who still want to be stylish (i.e. us!), be willing or able to spend more on a t-shirt made from organic cotton, or tech-driven fabrics? Will we even want to replace the stretch nylon of our Wolford leggings? “Statistically, green fashion occupies a tiny sliver of the apparel market, [representing] less than 1 percent of industry sales. Among consumers, only 18 percent are even aware that eco-fashion exists,” says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at market-research firm NDP Group.8 Time will tell whether fashion actually cares about making a slow but steady move toward sustainability. Or whether socially-responsible marketing is a business strategy to keep the industry cur-
rent with the times, a passing trend to keep shopper’s interested while the economy is down and eco-friendly is what’s hot. “We launched a provocation and they picked it up,” says Frans Prins, van der Grinten’s partner in THEKEY.TO. “Be part of the Shift! This was how we invited the brands and many of them felt the call to action. It’s a real challenge, but there’s no future for business as usual. We’re shifting towards a greener economy, and what we invent today will be the guidelines for tomorrow.”9 Is this too tall an order for the fashion industry and apparel market? Not necessarily. We have a long ways to go, for sure, though.
Castiglione, M. (14 December 2009). The Protagonists of the Shift. THEKEY.TO Press Release. Retrieved 19 February 2010. http://thekey.to/press/press-releases/14122009_en/. Ecco Domani. (July 2008). Ecco Domani® Fashion Foundation Announces New Sustainable Design Category. Ecco Domani Press Release. Retrieved 20 March 2010. http://www.eccodomani.com/about/press-releases/new-fashion-design-category.asp. 3 St. George, V. (17 February 2010). “Green Mile: Our Guide to Eco-Friendly Shopping in NYC.” Refinery 29. Retrieved 20 March 2010. http://www.refinery29.com/green-story-tk.php. 4 Dodes, R. and Schechner, S. (2 July 2009). “Luxury-Goods Makers Brandish Green Credentials.” The Wall Street Journal. Accessed 21 March 2010. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124650107013784081.html?mod=dist_smartbrief. 5 Moore, B. (7 October 2009). “Paris Fashion Week: Alexander McQueen embraces his role as fashion’s reigning provocateur.” Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 February 2010. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/alltherage/2009/10/booth-moore-alexander-mcqueen-diary.html. 6 Earth Talk. (November 2009). “Fashion’s Deep Environmental Footprint.” Political Affairs online magazine. Retrieved 19 February 2010. http://www.politicalaffairs.net/article/view/9176/1/377/. 7 Dwyer, J. (5 January 2010). “A Clothing Clearance Where More Than Just The Prices Have Been Slashed.” The New York Times. Retrieved 19 February 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/06/nyregion/06about.html?partner=rss&emc=rss. 8 Kuchment, A. (14 April 2008). “Sense and Sensibility.” Newsweek. Retrieved 17 February 2010. http://www.newsweek.com/id/130627. 9 Castiglione, M. (14 December 2009). The Protagonists of the Shift. THEKEY.TO Press Release. Retrieved 14 February 2010. http://thekey.to/press/press-releases/14122009_en/. 1 2
NA RE RA PR ES PA S Z IBL
oston-based fashion designer Nara Paz not only creates stunning clothing, she is irrepressible in her quest to become internationally recognized. An extremely personable woman, she has had a remarkable rise to prominence; from growing up in a poor village in Southern Brazil, to struggling to gain notoriety as a graphic designer in her home country, to becoming a rising star here in Boston. She has pushed herself and her dreams against poverty, biases against her heritage and gender, and the difficulties of establishing oneself in a foreign country. Paz claims that art and fashion has always been a part of her life. As a young girl, her family couldn’t afford to buy her clothes. She would find her escape spending afternoons looking through international magazines such as Vogue at a local newsstand. She “was crazy about fashion even then,” and afterwards would go home to draw and cut out designs to make clothing for her paper dolls. Her real dream at the time, however, was to become an artist. Her parents, however, disapproved; they believed she would find no money in such a career. Paz considered attending architecture school, but her lack of mathematical skills ruled this out. Instead, she studied industrial and graphic design, and with hard work and tenacity she established a successful business in this field. While traveling in New Zealand, Paz met the man who would later become her husband. Together, they came to the United States and Paz decided to study fashion design and production “to get U.S. qualifications,” as she puts it. Today, the recent Lasell College graduate is definitely on her way to becoming the international high fashion designer she aims to be. She placed first in the Lasell senior designer fashion show, earning herself the Christy Proctor “Rising Star” Award. Paz was also selected as one of the top five emerging designers during Boston Fashion Week this past fall. She has been featured in multiple other shows, and earned herself window displays and floor shows at big-name stores such as Macy’s. Currently, she is focusing on releasing a full commercial-ready Spring 2011 Collection. In between her many meetings, fashion-related events, and frequent trips to New York, Paz was able to sit down with us and give us a one-on-one account of her amazing story. Following her tale, photographer Conor Doherty presents three very different spreads from Paz’s current line “Pieces of Me”, a Renaissance-inspired collection that focuses on the colors, shapes, and forms prevalent of that era. Interview by HAYLEY MAYBURY
Papercut Magazine: What inspires you as a fashion designer? Nara Paz: Art, colors, shapes, forms and textures, and the artistic interpretation of these elements. I think fashion designers need to be artists as they strive to create wearable clothing. What excites me is when I see people looking fabulous and confident when they wear my clothing. The pleasure they show is so rewarding. I get that now when models tell me they love my clothes. PM: What do you feel that a city like Boston (where high fashion isn’t necessarily prevalent) can offer up-and-coming designers? NP: I think high fashion is a small market niche anywhere. It’s more prominent where you have a lot of celebrities and celebrity events. I believe there is a high fashion market here in Boston but it’s not as out there as places like New York or LA. My hope is to gain national and eventually international recognition, so I have to show my clothing outside of Boston. I have already begun that process by showing in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and India because of connections in those places. My advice to up-andcoming designers is to know who you are. Know who you want to be like and focus on this. For me, I would like to be a modern day Chanel or Oscar de la Renta. I draw inspiration from the hard work they went through to succeed in this business. PM: But what about Boston? You are still here in Boston. NP: That’s right, people may not see Boston as a fashion center, but they certainly know the city and respect it, nationally and internationally. They know it as an educational center and a center for innovation and creativity; a city that attracts the best thinkers in the world. It is a city to be proud of. Even though I aim to establish a presence in other places, it’s not to say I can’t get myself going on that path from here in Boston. PM: What are the struggles you face being an emerging designer and what do you do to overcome them? NP: Well, my goal is to become a respected high end fashion designer nationally and internationally. I see this as a long and challenging process. It will take time and perseverance to build a reputation and profile, but I’m used to that. I’ve had to sacrifice and persevere a lot in the past to get to this point today. A poor girl from a poor country village! Someone who couldn’t speak a word of English eight years ago! And along the way having to endure heritage and gender biases! These challenges have made me stronger and more determined. PM: Anything specific? NP: I think the biggest struggle I’m facing as an emerging designer in Boston right now is the lack of experienced and skilled local resources to help me commercialize my somewhat different kind of designs. It is so hard to find people who have “walked the walk”—seamstresses, pattern makers, sample makers, fabric suppliers, manufacturers, trimmings and accessories suppliers. These are all resources that have dwindled away because of a lack of work in the region. What resources that still exist are limited. They are probably okay for someone who is content on serving a local market, but for me, it is a struggle. I have seen what is available elsewhere in the U.S. and overseas in places like Brazil, Europe, and Asia. I have to turn to these places to help me with what I want done. I am traveling to New York regularly to engage resources and services that are more capable and competitive. However, even though I will go where it is necessary to get my designs produced, I still pride myself as a Boston designer. PM: What type of events do you participate in to get your clothing noticed by the public? NP: Although I’m a recent Lasell College graduate, I have to say 38
I’ve been in the commercial design business for over fifteen years and my husband who is my business partner in my design studio is an international business development executive, so I know—we know—what it takes to get noticed. I attended Lasell to get a degree in fashion design and production because we both felt it was essential to have U.S. qualifications. We decided as far back as my sophomore semester that the clothing I had to design and make for my courses at Lasell should be commercial ready, so we started the process of getting noticed from the get go. PM: What about Fashion Shows? NP: My first fashion show in America was the Lasell senior fashion show attended by over 2,000 people. It was part of my graduating year and everything I designed for that show was aimed at getting noticed and established commercially not only here in Boston, but elsewhere. Our fashion show presentations are professionalbased and worthy of being put on anywhere in the world because that’s how we prepared and presented them. We also did two other shows in Boston Fashion Week in fall 2009. One was for Fashion Exposé which was planned to take place in a tent on the Pier at the Naval Dockyards in Charlestown. We specially trained and prepared twelve models for twelve different looks, but because of severe flooding and dangerous conditions we couldn’t present. Instead, with no more than two hours notice we transported the entire entourage to the Bokx 109 Restaurant at the Indigo Hotel in West Newton and presented to a packed house there. I was also chosen by Fashion Group International as one of five emerging designers to watch last year and did a presentation at Macy’s. PM: What did you see as the main benefits of these shows? NP: Apart from getting a certain amount of general media and fashion community exposure, the primary purpose of preparing and doing the fashion shows was to obtain photographs and videos of the garments as advertising and promotional collateral. These are costly and time-consuming events but they did serve the purpose of “kick-starting” my exposure. Such events were worthwhile and provided valuable collateral. Participation in future events like these will be more selective. More than likely, they will coincide with the launch of my next full and commercially available collection. For most of this year, I want to do less of the big events and more of the networking and collaborative situations of connecting with people and organizations in the industry. There is a lot to learn and share. I feel privileged, for example, to be asked to appear in the inaugural release of your magazine. Thank you! PM: How do social networking sites help play a role in selfpromotion? NP: My sense is that Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networks that are specific to a particular field, do play a role in this era of instant communication and “in-the-now”. These venues provide a means of reaching out to a small collective of people but in my mind right now they tend to be more like extended family. Although the opportunity does exist to self promote, the predominant activities are instant messaging, socializing, and/or informational. There is an element of ‘getting to know you’ which can be labeled as self-promotion, but I don’t see this as replacing other forms of promotion such as e-marketing or the more traditional celebrity and event marketing for the fashion industry. Social networking may be more of a qualifying medium rather than a defining medium. In other words it’s probably a necessary venue in which to have a presence but not sufficient in itself. It’s important to be seen as having a Facebook presence but you have to do other things to become known and accepted in your field. There will be a need in the near future to develop a business portal on Facebook for Nara Paz Design Internationale that will promote me as its designer. This is to come when I have my full commercial collection available. Right now my Facebook presence is personal.
I THINK THE BIGGEST STRUGGLE I’M FACING AS AN EMERGING DESIGNER IN BOSTON RIGHT NOW IS THE LACK OF EXPERIENCED AND SKILLED LOCAL RESOURCES. IT IS SO HARD TO FIND PEOPLE WHO HAVE “WALKED THE WALK”— SEAMSTRESSES, PATTERN MAKERS, SAMPLE MAKERS, FABRIC SUPPLIERS, MANUFACTURERS, ACCESSORIES SUPPLIERS.
INTO THE WOODS 40
Photographed by CONOR DOHERTY Hair/Makeup MICHELLE MCGRATH / TEAM ARTISTS, INC. Models KACEY EMMET and LEAH MILCH / MAGGIE INC.
Photographed by CONOR DOHERTY Hair/Makeup MARIOLGA \ TEAM ARTISTS, INC. Model MARIE WU \ MAGGIE INC.
BIG TROUBLE in LITTLE CHINATOWN
FALLS. Photographed by CONOR DOHERTY Hair/Makeup MARIOLGA \ TEAM ARTISTS, INC. Model LEAH MILCH \ MAGGIE INC.
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