MASTHEAD Daniel Nissim Editor–in–Chief
A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR we’re featuring the work of an aspiring fashion design duo. Our staff had a great time working on the shoot, and I’m really proud of them. But going forward, W27 will feature a new major each month. I will continue the work of my predecessor, Dara Kenigsberg, in properly reflecting the whole of FIT. Dara deserves a lot of credit for the success and direction W27 has taken over the past few years, and I am honored that she has entrusted me with the role of editor-in-chief of this great paper.
Jenny Kim Executive Editor Andrea Navarro Managing Editor Kayla Renshaw Treasurer Martin Allen Advertising Manager
EDITORS Kayla Renshaw Meghan Kane
I hope you enjoy our September issue. We have some returning staff and some new staff as well, but W27 will always welcome new members. I truly believe that everyone has a story to tell — a good story that everyone would be interested in hearing.
ART Danielle Gosda Art Director Joanna Bugenis Rose-Ann Reynolds Senior Designers Valerie Gutierrez Joyce Xu Junior Designers
CONTRIBUTORS Caterina Nicolini Nermeen Ileiwat Zatanya Cooke Veronica Marrinan Alexa Schmitz Thais Derjangocyan Alena Caras Natalia Pereira Valerie Gutierrez Madelyn Adams Andy Mitchell Orquidia Gomez Professor John Simone Editorial Faculty Advisor
It is the responsibility of any good newspaper to cover the issues relevant to its readers — to both inform them and represent them on paper. FIT is a diverse school filled with students from many different backgrounds. Academically, while this may be the Fashion Institute of Technology, fashion is not the only subject studied on campus. It’s funny. When I first applied to the menswear program at FIT, I thought I was going to a fashion school. I pictured endless classrooms filled with sewing machines, dress forms and walls of fabric. Unfortunately, and not so unfortunately, that is not the case. During my tenure as editor-inchief, it is my mission to highlight all that FIT has to offer — the majors that might not get all the attention and the great clubs who deserve the spotlight. On the cover of our September issue,
Now I told myself I wouldn’t end this thing with a quote, but I’ve just finished watching Danny Boyle’s “Steve Jobs,” so I just had to share one from the Apple luminary. “We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.” Have a great school year,
Daniel Nissim Editor–in–Chief
Professor Albert Romano Advertising Advisor
ON THE COVER: Designs by Jindan Piao & Simin Wang (www.1995nyc.com) Photographer Heather Leigh Cullum (www.heatherleighcullum.com) Lighting Assistant Ralph Bavaro
Makeup Artist Michael Shelton Models Julia Verton & Destiny Aowusu
contents ON THE BLOCK
Melanie Wong and Tahiya Hossain: Designers and Businesswomen / The Wonderful Countess Greffulhe at FIT
She’s a Barbie Girl in a Digital World / Gender Neutrality in Fashion
The Amazon Effect on Fashion
See, Buy, Wear / Google Search is Your Best Friend at This Season of NYFW
J. Crew’s Survival Strategy / A Look Inside the Oculus: The New Westfield World Trade Center Mall
Summer 2016 Beauty Olympics / Zendaya for CoverGirl
Humans of FIT
Frank Ocean: The Visionary Artist Returns / Restaurant Review: Fig & Olive
Stranger Things Sparks 80s Nostalgia / Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Summer Music Festival Highlights
20 Summer Movie Woes MONTH IN REVIEW
20 Presidential Debate Preview 21
Islamophobia: The Western World’s Modern Day Plague
Why the Textbook Industry Needs Revision
Free Things to do Around NYC
The Rise of the Radical Right: Repeating the Past?
Designers Jindan Piao & Simin Wang On Their Way to Fashion Fame
Understanding Venezuela’s Political and Social Decline
Apple Gambles on the Future of Headphones
Will Sustainable Fashion Ever Be In Vogue
W27 is PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER. PLEASE RECYCLE AFTER READING. A FIT STUDENT ASSOCIATION PUBLICATION.
STYLE ON 27
24 Style of 27
ON THE BLOCK
Melanie Wong and Tahiya Hossain: Designers and Businesswomen BY MEGHAN KANE As third semester fashion design students Melanie Wong, 18, and Tahiya Hossain, 19, finished their first year at FIT, they both experienced a certain urge to create. It was when Wong approached Hossain with a venue in mind for a future fashion show that the two decided to “just go for it” and design a collection, which ultimately led them to an offer from a New York boutique. Wong, unlike many of her classmates, found herself without an internship at the beginning of this past summer. The desperation and fear shared by many students in the same situation was far from her mind. She decided to take matters into her own hands and arrange a project for Hossain and herself so that they could gain valuable industry experience and, hopefully, public attention. Monsters of Brooklyn, a social justice and anti-gentrification youth group, granted the design team the space for their show. Since the group was providing the venue, an underground
art space in Bushwick called Silent Barn, Wong and Hossain decided to base their designs on the theme of anti-gentrification. The collection, titled Solidarity, incorporates Asian influences — Wong is Chinese and Hossain is Bengali — as well as modern architecture and Jean-Michel Basquiat. “The Asian thing was really an accident,” Wong added, laughing. “We just have an affinity for Yohji Yamamoto and his architectural designs.” “People tend to forget that fashion is an art and it can communicate ideas,” said Wong. “So even though this was a blatant way of doing it, we wanted to remind people that you can use clothing to say something important.” They did this by printing Basquiat quotes onto pieces such as crisp white wide-leg pants and boxy cropped tops. Both designers felt that they succeeded in communicating
PHOTO COURTESY: TAHIYA HOSSAIN
their message focused on building awareness around the value of culture in New York City and the harm of gentrification. One way they incorporated this subject was by only using women of color as their models — all scouted by the designers themselves through Instagram. Although the deal with the boutique did not work out due to conflicts of style, the designers were encouraged to go out and show their work to other stores. “We thought, ‘Maybe we can do this. Someone did like our stuff,” Wong said. “So that’s what we’re in the process of doing right now.” As a growing number of orders continue to flow in, Hossain and Wong are planning to show their expanding collection in another show later this fall. It will be held at Artists
Space Books & Talks in Tribeca as a collaboration with By Us For Us — an Asian and Black “fusion collective.” “We had to realize that we can’t take every opportunity that comes our way,” Hossain said. The two decided that at this stage especially, it’s crucial to stick to their brand. “You have nothing to lose,” she added as advice to those who are considering following a similar path. “Don’t worry if you don’t have connections. Just send that email,” said Wong. As the two designers have shown, comparing your experiences to those of others won’t get you very far. The path to success within the fashion industry is not bound and determined. With some solidarity, you can make things happen.
THE WO N D E R F U L
COUNTESS GREFFULHE AT F I T BY CATERINA NICOLINI PHOTO COURTESY: © JULIEN VIDAL / GALLIERA / ROGER-VIOLLET
On Sept. 23, The Museum at FIT will unveil it’s latest exhibition, “Proust’s Muse, The Countess Greffulhe.” The exhibition will feature a collection of Countess Élisabeth Greffulhe’s extraordinary dresses. The museum will exhibit her clothing and accessories along with a series of photographs of her and her closest friends — famous poet Robert de Montesquiou and novelist Marcel Proust. Countess Greffulhe was an inspiration for both de Montesquiou and Proust. An ensemble, inspired by Countess Greffulhe’s designs, from the talented Rick Owens will also be shown. Director and chief curator of the museum, Dr. Valerie Steele and contributor to The Aristocrat as a Work of Art essay has ambitiously managed to organize the upcoming exhibition based on “La Mode retrouvée: Les robes trésors de la comtesse Greffulhe.” Olivier Saillard, director of the Palais Galliera, Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris, coordinated the move of some of Greffulhe’s dresses to New York. What makes Countess Greffulhe so special, and such an important fashion icon today, is her fearless innovative creativity and ideas, despite the conservative context in which she lived in, according to Dr. Steele. These traits represent Greffulhe’s extraordinary lifestyle and personality,
which can best be described as “complicated, unquestionably artistic, narcissistic, and extremely cultured in the arts.” In the past, Greffulhe would commemorate her beauty through photographs and in turn, loved the attention she received. Steele also mentions that “her appearances at social events and parties would be comprised of her standing at the top of the staircase, waiting for everyone to look at her, and leave after. She never ceased to cultivate her mystique.” Greffulhe quickly became a fashion inspiration for the women in her social circle. “Her clothes are really unique, and she would rather look bizarre over banal. Even though she went to all the famous couturiers of the century, she infused everything with her own style and collaborated with them rather than relying fully on their ideas,” added Steele. Her mentality went beyond the norm and she also made it a priority to support a number of different artistic, social and scientists causes. Some of those being her support of Marie Curie and a Jewish army officer who had been unjustly accused of treason. As Marcel Proust said of her via Oriane, the character based on Greffulhe in his novel “In Search of Lost Time,” “Each of her dresses seemed like… the projection of a particular aspect of her soul.”
GENDER NEUTRALITY She’s a Barbie Girl in a Digital World BY ORQUIDIA GOMEZ
Barbie, the iconic doll by Matell, is now a paid fashion blogger. Barbie broke the Internet and took over social media with her Instagram profile, barbiestyle — garnering a following of 1.5 million people and counting. WWD notes that Barbie was paid to promote Dyson’s Supersonic hairdryer at beauty conference just like any animate fashion icon. Barbie is posting images from events such as the Golden Globes, Art Basel Miami Beach, Coachella and, most recently, New York Fashion Week — receiving over 80,000 likes and more than 500 comments. Extravagant location shoots ranging from Milan to Montauk and Paris to San Francisco land her back in her favorite city — Malibu, California. WWD notes that “the account, and Barbie’s first paid posts, are the result of a project that was two years in the making and something that started as a bit of a side project.” Mattel’s team operates the account along with publicity firm KCD, according to WWD. In today’s digital era, the Internet has become one of the fastest growing tools to advertise, promote and market just about anything. For example: models, athletes, actors as well as public figures are photographed wearing and using products with company and designer logos. Pictures are quickly uploaded and posted on the Internet — tagging both the celebrity and company using clever hashtags such as #OOTD (Outfit of the Day). A celebrity with a large following garners more reposts, and on and on the marketing train goes. Viral exposure boosts brand recognition and increases sales. In an age where Kendall Jenner has over one billion Instagram likes and celebrity “tastemakers” are paid thousands of dollars for a photo, is it hard to believe that Barbie can get in on this action? Networking and business collaboration between celebrities and companies are paying off now more than ever. A magazine ad, commercial or billboard can only reach a limited number of people. With one click of a button, Barbie can reach millions, and maybe billions, of people instantly. For many, Barbie is their first style icon and muse. Many fashion designers will say that their first sewing experience was making outfits for their Barbie doll. Who knows how many of those custom outfits have graced the runway. The introduction of Barbie to the digital world is another way Matell is trying to keep its franchise relevant and fresh. Barbie’s timeless styles and evolving trends still continue to influence both the young and the old. After all, at the age of 57, Barbie’s still looking pretty good.
IN FASHION BY MEGHAN KANE
In an interview with Elle magazine, Zendaya made it clear that her shoe line, Daya by Zendaya, is not just for women. “Boys will be rocking my heels,” the actress said. Although she says her shoe line is also for men, the sizes don’t extend beyond a women’s size 10. Her statement regarding gender neutrality, a now trendy concept in fashion albeit a seasoned one, seems to be more of an invitation for the male gender to buy her typically feminine footwear rather than a genuine attempt to accommodate a growing market for gender neutral fashion. This adds to the fact that there are currently at least two different definitions of gender neutral clothing in today’s fashion market. There is clothing that is neither ordinarily feminine nor masculine and is marketed as such, and then there is also fashion, usually footwear, that is either feminine or masculine but is offered in a wide range of sizes to accommodate both sexes. Third semester FBM student Gavin Lowrie, 19, agreed with this notion. “There’s especially a need for women’s shoes that can fit men’s feet,” he said. Women can generally find men’s shoes that work for them but men have a more difficult time fitting into the available sizes in most women’s styles. Attempting to stay true to their trendy nature, Zara released a gender neutral line titled Ungendered in March. After presenting a slew of neutral toned basics such as hoodies, jeans, t-shirts and tank tops, the fast fashion retailer found themselves under fire. Many were critical of the fact that the line consisted of traditional menswear pieces while the absence of skirts and dresses was all too evident. They were also criticized by their use of strictly binary models in the campaign. Representation, particularly in terms of gender neutrality, is crucial when marketing to an array of identities. So when Jaden Smith revealed that he was coming out with a gender neutral clothing line called MSFTS, the inclusion of varying gender identities was expected. Smith himself, a routine gender bender, is often photographed in dresses and pants and sometimes in the same pieces as his girlfriend. “[MSFTS is for] the girl that wants to be a tomboy or the boy that wants to wear a skirt,” Smith told Variety magazine.
Back in January, he was featured in Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2016 campaign sporting the brand’s womenswear. In a similar fashion, both Barragan and Rachel Comey sent men, chest hair and all, down the runway in women’s clothing during Spring 2017 NYFW. Children’s clothing not labeled by gender is another section of the market that is expanding. Brands such as Gardner and The Gang, along with Tootsa and even Burt’s Bees, are succeeding in offering alternatives to stereotypically “boyish” and “girly” clothes. The tomboy trend in children’s clothing, having been around for quite some time, is now developing into something that is even more androgynous and not necessarily targeted towards boys or girls. “The difference in what is now trending as ‘gender neutral’ goes beyond a girl who wants to be less girly and moves into the question of why is a particular color or garment thought of as specific for a girl or boy,” said Professor Lauren Zodel, a childrenswear professor here at FIT. “The bigger difference in this new approach on gender neutral clothing is that it is giving boys more freedom in addition to girls,” she said. Some FIT design students specializing in childrenswear are incorporating this concept into their work by taking a gender neutral approach with color and fabric. Professor Zodel attributes the growth of this trend not only to the progression of LGBTQ rights and the increasing representation of transgender people in the media, but also to the styles of child celebrities such as Shiloh Jolie-Pitt and “a greater importance placed on raising children without shame of being their authentic selves.” As the new generation of kids, along with their millennial parents, embrace gender fluidity, the fashion industry will continue their progressive outlook on the future of fashion. As designer Geoffrey Beene said when defining fashion in the Washington Post, “It’s a visual art and an emotional sensing. It has to do with feeling good in a second skin, and how others perceive you.” No matter the skin one is in, men, women and others deserve to feel good in their clothing.
PHOTO COURTESY: CREATIVE COMMONS
THE AMAZON EFFECT ON FASHION BY THAIS DERJANGOCYAN
When Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994, no one could have predicted the impact it would have on our culture and daily lives. The retail giant, which was started in Bezos’ garage, now has over 150,000 employees worldwide and made more than $90 million in profits last quarter. According to shorr.com, “Thanks in part to Amazon, e-commerce has exploded, and in doing so, it’s completely changed the way we shop, reshaping the U.S. economy in the process.” While this has been a blessing for Amazon, it has been a boon for many retailers.
the first to report a 64% drop in its first quarter earnings due to this effect. In addition, Macy’s Inc., Kohl’s Corp and Dillard’s Inc. all reported a decline in their revenue. “Clearly Amazon is a major factor in our industry. No doubt about it. How much does it impact us? I don’t know, but we take it really seriously. They’re a formidable competitor. Our traffic is down. If you look at the brick-and-mortar part of our business, that demand didn’t just entirely go away. Amazon has a lot to do with it,” said Pete Nordstrom, co-president of Nordstrom, in an interview with WWD.
What has widely become known as the “Amazon Effect” has many retailers concerned and wondering if they need to rethink how they do business. Consumers are adopting new shopping patterns, but many large retailers and department stores still follow traditional business plans. Jared Wiesel, a partner at Revenue Analytics (a pricing and revenue management consulting firm), told MarketWatch.com, “I don’t know whether retailers just don’t want to admit it publicly, or whether they have not yet fully admitted it to themselves, but the Amazon effect is absolutely a part of these weak first-quarter results,” referring to the poor sales Target saw at the beginning of this year. He continued, “All roads point to the fact that Amazon is gobbling up share.”
According to new research from Cowen Company, Amazon is expected to own 14% of the total US apparel market by the year 2020. This number is up from the 5% that was predicted in a 2015 report.
WWD recently reported that a wide range of retailers have been impacted. Nordstrom was
According to Business Insider, Amazon hopes to become “the number one online shopping destination for fashion customers.” They are very serious about expanding their reign over the fashion world and has begun taking various steps to do so. The company has hired former fashion editors to join their marketing teams and is now a sponsor for fashion week. In doing so, Amazon is attempting to gain more recognition and familiarity in the fashion world so as to attract new brands. The company also began offering seven new fashion brands that they trademarked themselves. Furthermore, Amazon has recruited fashion and branding professionals to help
shift how they are viewed by consumers when it comes to fashion. Their ultimate goal is to turn the site into a cool shopping destination, rather than a discounted fashion site. Fashionista.com reported that with Amazon’s increased spending and investing in its fashion department, they are anticipating being the number one apparel retailer by 2017, beating out Macy’s. Competing with Amazon will undoubtedly become increasingly difficult for retailers. However, there are still a few things they can offer that Amazon cannot. For example, the experience of going into a store cannot be replicated online and many people find that being able to touch and see what they are buying in person is necessary. Retailers often collaborate with celebrities for exclusive lines and offer benefits through rewards programs — a great way to attract and retain customers. “The customers are coming to us for newness and a great experience. That portion of our business remains pretty darn healthy,” said Erik Nordstrom. The Amazon Effect has shaken up the industry, but that’s what keeps fashion innovative. Retailers must strive to outdo threatening competitors in order to stay viable and relevant. A lot is at stake for retailers, but through differentiation and commitment, they may be able to surpass the Amazon Effect — or else they will slowly fade away.
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See, Buy, Wear BY NERMEEN ILLEIWAT
New York Fashion Week today is almost unrecognizable to those who attended the event five years ago. It is no secret that the fashion world has undergone quite a few changes in recent months, especially when it comes to fashion shows. While some designers are now showing men’s and women’s lines together, others, like Burberry, have decided to design and show seasonless lines. These recent changes in fashion week’s format are really shaking things up, as many brands have adopted the see now, buy now model and have stopped showing influencers and critics their lines in advance. What was once an exclusive members-only club, is quickly becoming a free-for-all. With the implementation of this See Now, Buy Now model, collections are shown on the runway and then released in stores the same day, rather than six months later. Designers and fashion companies on both ends of the spectrum are opting for this new sales tactic. Topshop is doing it along with Prada, Club Monaco and Kate Spade. Michael Kors even decided to cancel his Fall 2016 Show in February, opting to show his line in September instead. Designers are now going straight to their source of revenue, the consumers. There is no longer the long wait for the line to hit stores. Critics are no longer able to influence consumers’ opinions before they see the line themselves and customers can now develop their own opinions without much bias involved. But this new idea has not been met with enthusiasm by all. Many European designers have spoken out against the new method and believe it takes the desire out of runway. Regardless of the backlash against the “See Now, Buy Now” trend, it has proven to be successful. Take Rebecca Minkoff, for example. Her February 2016 show was a hit. As her looks strutted down the runway, shoppers strode right into Minkoff’s stores and the label experienced a 200% sales increase in year-over-year sales. Tommy Hilfiger recently took a vow to rebuild the brand around the consumer as well. The first step in doing so was re-aligning his fashion calendar to fit the consumer calendar with the release of the Tommy x Gigi capsule collection and plans to continue with his entire line for Spring 2017. Hilfiger took the See Now, Buy Now strategy a step further by offering tickets to the two-day fashion event for free through NYCgo. com. Tickets were claimed by everyday people within an hour. Those that witnessed Gigi Hadid walk down the runway in the collection she helped design were not solely industry leaders and editors — they were also the target market. Not only could they see the looks, they could buy them right then and there. Hilfiger included a large interactive screen where guests could buy their favorite outfits of the day, or more likely, the outfit Gigi Hadid was wearing. With this idea, designers are now able to assess if their designs are a success or not. In the end, it’s not what the fashion editor says that really matters, it’s what the brand’s customer buys. Some believe this strategy is also being used as a way to defend against fast fashion companies. The designs are now immediately available and retailers like H&M no longer have enough time to replicate the designs and sell them as their own. This new approach to presenting fashion gives consumers not only more access, but more control. Part of the appeal of fashion has always been the feeling of exclusivity. There are the few insiders, and everyone else is considered an outsider. This new method will end up shifting the way fashion is perceived in future years. But is this the change the fashion world has been searching for, or just another trend?
Google Search is Your Best Friend at This Season of NYFW BY JENNY KIM
At this fall’s New York Fashion Week (NYFW), Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, put its foot forward into the exciting and chaotic world of fashion. Before the events kicked off, they released a search carousel system — carefully curated and submitted by brands present at NYFW The goal of the search carousel is to allow the different brands to control what their audiences see when they search from them on Google. For example, when a consumer searches “Michael Kors,” they will see a box with live updates on what’s going on at the show and inside the brand. Prior to fashion week, if a consumer searched “Michael Kors,” it would generate results including the brand’s website, Wikipedia page and social media pages. However, this new system, designed specifically for fashion week, will allow brands to display the most relevant NYFW information first. Former Maxim Editor Kate Lanphear, who was the brains behind this project, said that Google has partnered up with more than 50 brands to make the search carousel a reality. Participating brands include Tom Ford, Prada, Burberry, Hermès and Marc Jacobs. Maureen Mullen, the chief strategy officer for L2, said that this allows brands to “go front and center with the most aspirational vision of their products.” This is not the first time that Google has experimented with a search carousel. Back in January, the idea was tested during a Republican Presidential Primary debate. A search for “Republican primary debate” showed videos of the candidates and answers to questions that weren’t asked on TV. This allowed viewers to connect on a more personal level with the candidates — or the candidates’ PR. It has also been used for major events like the Oscars and the Olympics. It is obvious what the benefit of Google’s search carousel is to designers. However, many may wonder what the benefits are for the consumers and what Google gains from this. Cameron McKnight, a product manager at Google said that allowing designers to control what consumers see in a Google search “brings fashion week to life in a new way.” It allows designers to communicate with their audience more directly, rather than relying on influencers and critics. When the designers communicate directly with their consumers, consumers benefit by receiving information from the brand itself and not a biased opinion from an outside party. However, Google’s search carousel system can cause questions to arise about the integrity of Google search results. After all, Google always strives to provide the most accurate and relevant results. The system can subvert Google’s mission of finding the best search results. However, Rami Banna, a Google product manager, stated that these types of results would only pop up during NYFW, and they would not conflict with the standard algorithmic search-based results. “It will supplement the existing search results,” said Banna. Google’s experiment with the search carousel will allow the company to have a place in the fashion industry — standing against popular social media platforms such as Instagram. In February, L2 concluded that Instagram was responsible for 97% of social media engagement during the Fall 2016 shows. While Google’s search carousel may not gather that level of engagement, following NYFW has never been easier.
J. Crew’s Survival Strategy BY VERONICA MARRINAN
Everyone knows of J. Crew in one form or another. Maybe your mother wears their clothes, or you’ve bookmarked a few of their items to buy when you get your first “real” job. J. Crew is classic, timeless and their clothing almost screams Audrey Hepburn. But despite their reputation for superior quality clothing, the company’s sales have been declining rapidly over the past seven quarters, according to Bloomberg.
J. Crew’s decline in sales has been attributed to price increases and a shift away from classic styles that have long been customers’ favorites. In response, J. Crew started to focus more on their label, Madwell — a similar but trendier brand for a younger demographic. However, as it became apparent that sales were not improving, t he decision to partner with Nordstrom became clearer.
The solution is not what you would think. J. Crew is not expanding its online retail nor vamping up their delivery service. Rather, on September 12, J. Crew introduced their next collection in 16 Nordstrom locations as well as the department store’s website.
J. Crew has been careful to specify that this is not a push towards selling more clothes through other retailers. Although the company does sell some merchandise through Net-a-Porter and other physical stores abroad, this is the first time their brand will be seen in a store other than its own in the United States.
This is a bold, and seemingly brash, move in the midst of an industry that is quickly moving out of department stores. With the rise of online retail and the customer’s focus on the retail experience, many designers are looking for a more direct control over their brand image. Why the move into the department stores? And why specifically this department store?
PHOTO COURTESY: MIKE MOZART, CREATIVE COMMONS
CEO Mickey Drexler cited Nordstrom’s attentiveness to the customer and store experience in answer to these questions, according to Bloomberg. As someone who focuses a lot on the presentation of the apparel, Drexler feels he can trust Nordstrom’s detail-oriented approach — one he feels the retailer shares with the brand.
By partnering with Nordstrom, J. Crew will be able to expand their brand visibility without the expenses of opening new stores across the country. They will gain access to new customers who may have never walked into a J. Crew store, but will give the brand a try if it is carried by a trusted retailer. They have returned to their classic styles and added a few more trendy options in the same price bracket as Madewell, which will hopefully help them regain old customers and also make the brand more accessible to younger ones. They are reminding their customers that J. Crew is relevant and exciting, but still as timeless as ever.
A Look Inside The Oculus:
The New Westfield World Trade Center Mall BY ALEXA SCHMITZ
World Trade Center is host to various dining options — from fine dining eateries along with fast food chains. PHOTO COURTESY: USA TODAY
Contrary to speculation, a spaceship did not land downtown. Actually, that’s the Oculus — home to the World Trade Center Transportation Center and the Westfield World Trade Center mall. The New York Post reported that the Oculus opened as a train station in March. The word “oculus” is of Latin origin, directly translating to eye. The word also has an architecture reference — specifically, a dome-like opening. According to The Verge, Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava designed the extravagant, pearly white structure to resemble a flying dove. Attracting tourists
and locals alike with its colossal spikes and futuristic sleekness, the $4 billion Oculus has even more to offer inside. The Westfield World Trade Center mall opened on Aug. 16 and houses almost 100 stores and eateries. From Apple to Kate Spade, Eataly to Shake Shack — it does not lack variety. It carries luxury brands along with affordable fast fashion brands. While many of the mall’s restaurants are already open and serving patrons, others are still in the construction phase and are expected to be opening soon. The Westfield
The mall has a multi-lingual concierge staff with access to translations for 200 languages and a Concierge Team that can offer customized gift suggestions. Other services include Answers on the Spot. Customers can text the Answers on the Spot phone number with any question or concern they may have and receive an instant response. Android and iPhone users can download the free Westfield App to easily navigate the mall and make the most out of their shopping and dining experience. Upon downloading, users can choose to create an account or proceed on the app as a guest. The app will notify users of exclusive deals and promotions that retailers
are featuring. Customers can refer to a map of the mall, scroll through a list of retailers and restaurants and even search for a specific item and find out where it can be purchased. On Sunday, Sept. 11, the Westfield World Trade Center Mall operated under shorted hours — respecting its location. From a nation under attack to this testament of our resiliency, the opening of the Oculus and the Westfield World Trade Center mall is another step in rebuilding the community.
BEAUTY OLYMPICS BY NERMEEN ILEIWAT
The 2016 Olympics held in Rio weren’t the only thing people were closely watching this summer — many couldn’t seem to peel their eyes off of the 2016 Beauty Olympics. With so many new releases and beauty lines out, makeup artists could barely keep their heads on straight — let alone stash all of the PR packages into one place. The summer proved to be a big one for those interested in highlighters. YouTube personality and makeup artist Jaclyn Hill kicked off the summer by collaborating with high-end brand BECCA and their Champagne Pop collection has become the holy grail of highlighters for beauty product junkies everywhere. Seriously, the highlighter shines brighter than Katie Ledecky’s gold medals. Coming in a close second, the silver goes to CoverFX. The brand’s new liquid highlighter comes in four shades and has definitely changed the game for makeup artists everywhere. These highlighters are so pigmented that they must be mixed in with a foundation or concealer before being applied. Finally, we have Anastasia Beverly Hills who showcased their new Moonchild palette, which includes six different shades that have the ability to bring out the inner mermaid in any user. In the all-arounds, Kylie Jenner’s performance rivals that of the Final Five. Her fledgling makeup line, Kylie Cosmetics, grew almost exponentially this summer. She introduced seven new matte shades to her permanent collection and three limited edition shades. To celebrate turning 19, she also released an “eight-piece, gold infused, limited-edition birthday cosmetics collection” that “sold out at warp speed as 300,000+ people swarmed the Kylie Cosmetics website,” according to Seventeen.com. Don’t worry though — they restocked on Sept. 14. Then there are the new gloss shades
Zendaya for CoverGirl BY ZATANYA COOKE
In January, CoverGirl unveiled their new brand ambassador — quadruple threat (actor, singer, dancer and style icon), Zendaya. The 20-year-old joined the likes of mega-stars KatyPerry, Pink, Sofia Vergara and her personal favorite, Queen Latifah. Zendaya’s first commercial for CoverGirl aired during the 2016 Grammy Awards. “The commercial kicks off with a spotlight on the girl of the moment, as she dances in a glitzy, fringed, flapper-inspired dress in low lighting. ‘I wanna try something new,’ she says, referencing the name of her new song Something New, which was also revealed in the ad. ‘New shades. New moves. New looks. New grooves.’ She goes on to show off three totally different beauty looks, dancing and goofing off while she models each,” according to the dailymail.co.uk. CoverGirl Vice President Esi Eggleston Bracey raved about Zendaya in a press release stating, “She is not afraid to stand up for what she believes, and makes no apologies for who she is — we love her energy, confidence, and willingness to experiment and express herself with makeup. I know that together, we will do big things and help evolve the perception of beauty today.” More than a pretty face, the “Replay” singer is exceedingly talented and is using her fame to shine a light on issues that are important to her. Last year she took to Instagram after Giuliana Rancic criticized her for wearing faux dreadlocks at the Academy Awards. Zendaya wrote, “There is a fine line between what is funny and disrespectful. Someone said something at the Oscars that left me in awe…. Because I was hit with ignorant slurs and pure disrespect.” She also spoke out against a magazine after they retouched a photo of her to make her appear thinner. Most recently, the star shared a video of herself on Snapchat addressing a racial profiling incident with a store clerk in L.A.
she added to her line, which now includes Kyliners and Kyshadows — the Kyshadows sold out within a minute, twice. One of the biggest surprise performances this summer was Benefit, with their new brow collection. The collection rivals that of the gold medalist brow specialist, Anastasia Beverly Hills. If that wasn’t enough to create a hole in your pocket, Urban Decay released a new lipstick line, Vice, which includes over 100 new shades in four different finishes. The creamy texture and super pigmented formula used in the lipsticks have proved to be a success — giving MAC a run for their money. To wrap up the competition, we have the drug store event. This summer, Maybelline proved themselves to be a triple threat — releasing a new foundation, lipstick line and a mascara. Maybelline’s Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation and Applicator is the first of its kind. The new applicator is similar to a beauty blender, but with a handle — making the process of applying foundation mess-free. Maybelline’s Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid Lip Color was a big hit, not only because of its gorgeous pigmentation but also due to its long-wear formula. As if those two great products weren’t enough, Maybelline also released a new Lash Sensational Luscious Mascara. The mascara is black as can be and leaves your lashes looking long, lush and curled to perfection. Closing out our coverage of the Beauty Olympics is CoverGirl. With the launch of a new lipstick line in collaboration with Katy Perry, the brand made quite the comeback this summer. The line comes in 13 shades that include an interesting variety of avant-garde and nude colors, giving the brand the oomph they sorely needed.
When she isn’t busy tackling social issues, acting or singing, the CoverGirl spokeswoman spends her time communicating with her fans on social media. Zendaya inspires and encourages her many followers to simply be themselves. Though a CoverGirl newcomer, Zendaya is no stranger when it comes to representing beauty brands; she became the first celebrity ambassador for CHI Hair Care and a spokesperson for Proactive’s sister company X Out. Giving back is also important to her and she offers her time and money to philanthropic organizations such as Convoy of Hope, Trick-orTreat for UNICEF, Make-a-Wish Foundation and Keep A Child Alive. CoverGirl’s strategic move to tap the youthful singer/actress was more than just a mutual jelling. Zendaya fans are younger and just starting to experiment with makeup. They recognize Zendaya from the Disney Channel’s “K.C Under Cover” and follow her on Instagram and Snapchat. Their parents may not be ready spend the big bucks for higher-end makeup brands which means this could be huge business for CoverGirl Since the original announcement in January, Zendaya has done two more commercials with CoverGirl and will be promoting the entire CoverGirl Clean collection. Her latest commercial, which aired in mid-July, shows how a girl can shine while using the Clean Matte BB Cream for Oily Skin. It has been her most popular commercial so far, airing on multiple cable television channels as well as Snapchat, Youtube and Instagram. It looks like Zendaya’s tenure with CoverGirl is off to a good start. With this steady gig and a role in the upcoming SpiderMan film, this young starlet’s career is on the rise.
WHY THE TEXTBOOK INDUSTRY NEEDS REVISION BY ANDY MITCHELL
As students across the nation begin their first week of school, the subtle nuances of fall are again remembered. The leaves will start changing color, the smell of pumpkin spice lingers in the thin air and plump summer bank accounts are quickly consumed by the purchasing of mandatory textbooks. The high cost of books has been no secret to college students over the past few decades. Despite great growth in computers and the Internet, there has been more than 100% price increase in textbook costs since 1996, according to NBC News. Textbook prices have more than tripled the annual rate of inflation, since 1977. With most teachers making these texts mandatory, students are forced to buy them — regardless of the price tag. In economic terms, textbooks have an inelastic demand — meaning demand for the product does not decrease correspondingly with a rise in its price. Five publishers own 80% of the college and university textbook market, allowing them to set prices high and force students to pay up or go without the mandatory content, according to Bloomberg. This situation is even more problematic for lower income students and students attending community college. From 2014-2015, the College Board estimated the average cost of in-state tuition at community college was $3,347 per year. While this is more affordable than most four-year public universities and private schools, the cost of textbooks is not discounted. The College Board estimates the average annual cost of textbooks to be $1,328. This growing cost does not account for the price of room and board or a meal plan. Renting or buying used books can help students save money in the process. Comparison shopping through sites like Chegg.com, Amazon.com or Bigwords.com, allow consumers to see different pricing options side-by-side. Students may consider holding off their book purchase until after the first week, as many teachers may inform them that the book is optional or available in the library. Irobia Allen, manager at Fashion Design Books on 27th and 7th, said that business has changed over the past few years. The store has moved away from selling textbooks and began carrying more art supplies. “The only person that is coming out on the high end is the publishers,” Allen said. The store does not do price matching “because we don’t have many books this semester.” She recommends that students plan their classes ahead of the current semester in order to purchase textbooks off season when they are less expensive. “While textbooks are becoming the dinosaurs — prices continue going up,” Allen said, noting the economic anomaly. While simple decisions will help save money, a more systematic change may be a more efficient approach. Open source textbooks are available in online databases and cost nothing to access. These
databases are commonly funded through donations. Creative Commons is an non-profit organization that gives no cost access to higher education eTextbooks. These books range in topic from foreign language, science, business and most other courses needed to fulfill general education requirements. These texts are professionally reviewed to ensure their quality. More than 2,500 professors in the United States have begun using open source textbooks in their classes, according to a report from the MASSPIRG Education Fund. With such a wide range of high level content available online, the process of purchasing textbooks seems outdated. Each year, revisions are made which cause the previous years addition to lose its value and become obsolete. Compared to physical textbooks, open source material can be edited as new information surfaces, making its content more accurate. One must also consider the environmental ramifications of producing new textbook editions every few years. 30 million trees are cut down every year in the process of producing books, according to Eco-Libris, an organization committed to planting trees to offset the printing of books. By reducing the number of paper textbooks purchased, we can help reduce deforestation. Some professors at colleges and universities have a vested interest in the textbook industry, especially those who mandate that students purchase the book written by themselves. While this is sensible for experts in niche fields, it may be dangerous in curating only one perspective on the given topic. By assigning textbooks they have written, these professors are guaranteed a profit every semester. Removing this kind of incentive for teachers gives students more choices in which textbook they purchase. One solution to the high cost of college books is an online textbook library that is set up by individual universities. This would allow students to pay a flat rate to access all texts needed throughout the school. By purchasing this information from publishers in bulk and electronically, the school would receive a discounted price on the content. This would also allow students to learn about topics outside of their elected major. Students could opt-out of the open source library if they believe money can be saved by buying or renting books themselves. With this price included in the tuition cost, potential students and parents are given a more accurate assessment of how much higher education will cost. Colleges have enabled the textbook industry, and it is up to the colleges to help make things right. Students should only be concerned with learning — not worrying whether or not they can afford to buy their books for the semester.
“With most teachers making these texts mandatory, students are forced to buy, regardless of the price tag.”
By this point we are all too familiar with the harsh reality that living in New York City is anything but affordable. Lucky for us, the city that never sleeps does offer a variety of free activities. As college students, it can be hard to find something that both sparks our interest and is affordable. Don’t you worry, W27’s got you covered. Realizing that we live in a city surrounded by so many distinguished museums can be overwhelming at first. While some admission fees are a little outrageous, many museums offer free admission certain days of the week or pay what you want options. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is free from 5 p.m. to close on Tuesdays. The Museum of Modern Art, Rubin Museum of Art and the Museum of the Moving Image offer free admission on Friday nights. Each museum has something new to offer and are well worth a visit. In a city with very limited green, it can be hard to find a peaceful getaway when life gets too chaotic. The parks located throughout Manhattan are unique in their own way and attract all sorts of people. Madison Square Park, the High Line, Union Square, Central Park and Battery Park are all great parks to visit. The Central Park Conservatory even offers free tours throughout the park that highlight areas you typically wouldn’t stumble upon. Union Square also hosts the Greenmarket on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and is full of fresh produce.
FREE THINGS TO DO AROUND NYC BY KAYLA RENSHAW
In addition to the above ongoing activities, the following events are limited to the month of September.
ANNUAL CHESS-IN-THE-PARK (9/17): The largest outdoor chess tournament in the United States will return for another year. No prior experience is required.
Looking for more of an attraction? The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is free on Tuesdays, and the New York Botanical Gardens and Bronx Zoo are free on Wednesdays.
BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL (9/18):
For something a bit outside of the norm, the 9/11 Memorial is free and open to the public at all times. The memorial is something that everyone should experience at least once, especially New Yorkers.
THE HALF KING READING SERIES (9/19):
If the art scene is more your speed, Chelsea has plenty of free galleries that are open to the public. Most include artists that are trying to break into the industry, but who doesn’t want to see free art?
The festival includes a book market, readings and panel discussions at Borough Hall. Numerous events will follow the festival the week after
The Half King Reading Series is held on Mondays in Chelsea and has been around for 16 years. In addition to literary events, photography and magazine programs have been held as well bringing in prominent figures from the industry.
In case you didn’t know, late night television audiences don’t just appear out of the blue. Many of the popular late night series offer standby tickets for those brave enough to withstand the wait. Although a standby ticket does not guarantee admission, you have a pretty high probability of making it into the show that night. If you are one of the lucky ones, you will be the envy of all of your friends.
UG! COMEDY SHOW (9/20):
For you fitness buffs, there are 30 free outdoor fitness and wellness classes offered each day of the week throughout the city. On Tuesdays, Tai Chi classes are offered in Washington Square Park and on the High Line. The High Line also offers mediation sessions every Wednesday night. Most classes are weather permitting, but they are a great way to get outside and get into shape. In addition to these fitness classes, Piers 26 and 96 offer free kayaking certain days of the week — a great upper body workout with breathtaking views of the skyline.
Photoville will take place at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 5. The event will feature talks from photographers and editors, containers filled with photographs, a beer garden and plenty of food trucks.
If exercise isn’t your thing, shopping and food are the main attractions at the popular Brooklyn flea and Smorgasburg. The flea markets are held in Fort Greene on Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and in Dumbo on Sundays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. You can catch Smorgasburg in Williamsburg on Saturdays, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. and in Prospect Park on Sundays, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. All of these events are free with a wide variety of options for everyone. Both events will continue until weather conditions deteriorate.
GLOBAL CITIZEN FESTIVAL (9/24):
Brooklyn isn’t the only borough with a flea market. Queens is hosting the Lic Flea & Food market, including a beer garden, thru 10/30.
The Washington Square Park Folk Festival will take place between 1 PM and 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday. This annual festival can be traced back to the 1940s.
For all you film lovers, there are free evening screenings at various locations throughout the city. “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” will be playing at Williamsburg Oval in the Bronx on Sept. 17. “Captain America: Civil War” will be playing at Noonan Playground in Queens on Sept. 23. On Sept. 24, “The Jungle Book” will be shown at Frederick B. Judge Playground in Queens.
New York City is bursting at the seams with free and affordable activities for all. So get out of your dorm room (or apartment), breath in that city air and enjoy all it has to offer.
Come check out the UG! Comedy Show in the East Village. Todd Montesi and Pat Rigby will be hosting the event, which will include numerous skits and lots of laughs.
PHOTOVILLE (9/21 – 25):
ENCLAVE READING SERIES (9/24): The Enclave Reading Series is known for featuring established and emerging authors of national recognition for creative, innovative work. The event is held monthly and has hosted meetings for 10 years.
The Global Citizen Festival will take place on the Great Lawn in Central Park. Rihanna, Metallica, Kendrick Lamar and more will headline the festival in an effort to combat some of the planet’s pressing issues.
WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK FOLK FESTIVAL (9/24–25):
Designers JINDAN PIAO & SIMIN WANG On their Way to Fashion Fame BY DANIEL NISSIM
The dream of every fashion design student is to share their work with the world — to see their designs on the runway and on the streets. Second year fashion design students Jindan Piao and Simin Wang are on their way to living that dream. Piao and Wang started their label, 1995NYC, in April and have been growing their business ever since. I had the pleasure of sitting down with these designers to talk about their journey through the world of fashion and the challenges of running their own company.
DANIEL NISSIM: WHAT LED YOU TO STUDY FASHION DESIGN? Jindan Piao: I think my mom affected me a lot about fashion, and I’ve always had lot of ideas about clothes. I wanted to be a fashion designer when I was very little. Simin Wang: I think it’s the splendor of fashion shows.
DN: WHAT SOURCES DO YOU DRAW UPON FOR YOUR COLLECTIONS?
DN: HOW HAS FIT HELPED YOU START YOUR OWN BRAND?
JP: I have a certain journal to collect my ideas together, and I look up many fashion magazines and social media platforms like Instagram.
JP: I think FIT is a good place to meet people — I found my partner at FIT. I feel so lucky.
SW: Funny, funky and fabulous photographs.
SW: FIT is more practical than other schools, and it has useful resources to get in touch with the industry.
DN: WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN STARTING YOUR OWN COMPANY? JP: Definitely the money. DN: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO STUDENTS LOOKING TO START THEIR OWN COMPANY? JP: Just do it! I think the best way to learn is to experience the whole process. I think working for some company first will be a safe choice. Stand out of the box and try to reach more people — that's crucial in the fashion industry. SW: Start running even though you just learned how to walk.
DN: IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE WITH ANY DESIGNER, WHO WOULD YOU COLLABORATE WITH? JP: I would love to collaborate with Alessandro Michele! He is so creative and bold! He knows how to think in a different way and has a very open mind. Gucci is so lucky to have him. And also Henrik Vibskov — he's also a genius. His designs are full of playful details and amazing structure. I admire him a lot. SW: I think it’s Alexander Wang.
SW: I believe it’s the financial part — how to control your budget and how to make profit.
APPLE GAMBLES ON THE FUTURE OF HEADPHONES
PHOTO COURTESY: MAURIZIO PESCE (FLICKR)
BY DANIEL NISSIM
On Sept. 7, Apple released their latest iteration to the iPhone line — the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. Like previous generations, they feature faster processors, improved cameras and other various upgrades. However, the change that surprised no one, but still stunned everyone, was Apple’s decision to remove the headphone jack from the new iPhones. However, Apple’s decision to remove the headphone jack from the new iPhones was a game changer. — or something like this, I don’t like the way that sentence sounds The headphone jack, a 3.5 mm port, has been around since its implementation in radios in the 50s, according to CBC News. Since then, it has been a standard when it comes to the personal audio experience — it was critical in Sony’s Walkman technology. It’s a fairly simple technology and companies have not dared to upgrade due to its widespread use. Everyone has a pair of headphones or earbuds that are guaranteed to work in all of their devices. Apple is once again challenging the norm. Don’t be mistaken. You can still use your handy pair of headphones with the iPhone 7’s included Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adaptor, but that’s just another peripheral for you to forget to bring or to lose. Apple has also included a pair of EarPods with Lightning Cable, but they’re an ok set of earbuds at best. If you end up using wired headphones, you won’t be able to charge your phone at the same time. Belkin’s offering a $40 Lightning splitter, but should you really have to pay for an adapter to simply charge your phone and listen to some tunes? Ultimately, Apple is banking on two standards: Bluetooth headphones and Lightning cable headphones. Apple is personally investing in the wireless headphone game with the announcement of
their AirPods. Styled like the wired EarPods Apple ships with their devices, the AirPods are a pair of Bluetooth enabled earbuds. At $159, the AirPods will last up to 5 hours on a single charge and up to 24 hours when charged by its included batter case. Apple’s W1 embedded chip will help improve the AirPods battery efficiency. The AirPods are Siri-enabled, carrying out most of the added functionality, but can still be used with non-Apple devices. Wired.com reports that the sound quality does not differ from their wired counterparts, so it seems like these are more of a fashion statement. Apart from the newly introduced AirPods, Apple also announced three new pairs of wireless Beats headphones: the Beats Solo 3 Wireless ($299.99), the Powerbeats3 Wireless ($199.99) and the BeatsX ($149.99). For Apple’s hi-fi customers, this change has paved the way for a newer line of headphones. Lightning cable headphones have the ability to support in-headphone DACs (Digital-toAnalog Converter). Putting it simply, they can output high-quality sound without the addition of a headphone amp. There are more affordable wired options like the included Apple EarPods ($29.00) to the pricey Audeze EL-8 ($799.95). As the technology continues to be adopted, prices will go down and more manufacturers will offer a wide variety of Lightning cable headphones. This brings us to the heart of the problem: are people willing to adapt to this change in technology or are they too set in their wired ways? Let’s be honest. Wired headphones get in the way and wires often fray or get tangled. Sure, there are often still wires with Bluetooth earbuds, but wiring issues are mostly caused by the tension of inadvertently jerking your headphones. Changing from wired to wireless
isn’t really a cost issue because there are plenty of options starting as low as $15. While charging times and power limits are annoying, owning a pair of wireless headphones is no different than owning a phone — just charge them regularly and you’re good to go. The removal of the headphone jack is the ultimate step towards Steve Jobs’ dream of a closed system. From Apple’s inception, founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were at odds when it came to the use of ports in their system. Personal computing in the 70s was almost completely DIY. Jobs wanted a controlled system for the most seamless experience. With Apple’s control of the Lightning cable technology and the removal of the headphone jack, they’ve yet again dictated how you must use their products. Apple has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to adopting, or dropping, standards. They said goodbye to the floppy drive, and then it subsequently fell into obscurity. They gave up on disc drives and now software can be download and installed from the Internet. Whether or not this change will prove to be as monumental as Apple’s past decisions is still unclear, but it is sure to make waves in the industry.
Will Sustainable Fashion Ever Be in Vogue BY ALENA CARAS
Sustainable fashion is an emerging market with untapped potential. In a world where fast fashion is on the rise, it’s hard to believe that this potential will ever be realized. For many, the novelty of buying couture-inspired pieces at affordable prices is the ultimate luxury, and the idea of paying more money for a similar item, albeit better quality, just doesn’t cut it. In a panel discussion held at FIT by Humans Who Design, a company who brings together a community of designers raising awareness to causes in the design industry, the speakers talked about the challenges that face designers who strive for sustainability. To some consumers, sustainable fashion is outof-style, and it’s this stigma that has influenced the idea that you can’t have your cake and eat it too when it comes to amazing, yet ethical fashion design. Well, the truth is you can have it all. During the panel discussion, designers shared their experiences when dealing with their consumers, and how sustainability can sometimes get a bad rap because it might be perceived as over-priced or too out there in terms of how the garment was created. However, over the last few years we have started to see a shift in that mindset. The one designer who is leading the way in the industry is Eileen Fisher. After attending an event with Eileen Fisher, and meeting the designer one-on-one, I learned all about her “no excuse” sustainability goal for her company and her vision for 2020: “To create an industry where human rights and sustainability are not the effect of a particular initiative but the cause of a business well run. Where social and environmental injustices are not unfortunate outcomes but reasons to do things differently. “ At Eileen Fisher, sustainability is at the forefront of the business strategy and integral to the success of the company. Fisher explained that sustainability is not an option; to better the world and better the community, we must take steps to address how we can be more sustainable, and the way to do that is by taking small steps. Those small steps help create momentum and will eventually lead to great strides for the industry.
In fact, the idea behind Fisher’s sustainability vision stemmed from a discussion with her PR team. Each year, Fisher holds a competition for students studying fashion design in the US, providing them the opportunity to join her team in a yearlong residency where they receive one-on-one mentoring. Applicants from all across the country submit proposals on how they would help better the environment by helping the Eileen Fisher Company contribute to a more sustainable future. Fisher explained that she has millions of stock that is sent back to her warehouse because the garments may be slightly damaged or marked. Rather than have these garments mount up into piles, students who are selected for the program come up with innovative ways to repurpose the clothes. For example, a pair of pants that are ripped will be reconstructed, by hand, into 3 tops. After cleaning the garment, a label is attached that says, “Remade in the USA” and is sold in stores as part of a new line called “Green Eileen.” At the event, Fisher brought along the 3 students, all selected from Parson’s, who worked with her over the past year on her made in the USA sustainability line. The students talked individually about the various skills involved and their plans for repurposing garments. One student selected for the program, Teslin Doud, a dye expert, talked about how she repurposed silk. “A lot of the silk that comes back through Green Eileen is in great condition, except it has a coffee stain or a pen mark,” said Doud. A natural dye expert, she experimented with dyes made from natural pigments like eucalyptus for the assignment. “Instead of cutting up the good material, we decided to over-dye it in these patterns that camouflage the
stains and give it new life,” she explained. You can purchase items from the Green Eileen collection online at www. greeneileen.org. If you would like to get involved in the Green Eileen initiative, simply attend a workshop where you will explore various ways to repurpose designer items into new valuable pieces. To register to one of these workshops, visit www.greeneileen.org/workshops/. It is up to us to make sure that sustainable fashion has a place in the future of the industry. In a business known for its excess and one-off pieces, repurposing clothing has never been more important.
HUMANS OF FIT
HoFIT BY ANDY MITCHELL
Kimberly Massa Hometown: Commack, Long Island NY Major: Fashion Business Management What is something about you that someone might not know by your appearance? I think sometimes people are intimidated by how I look just because I’m tall and loud, but i’m actually, I don’t want to say sensitive, but emotional. I feel a lot of things at different times. I can really relate to what other people are feeling and people just by looking at
me would think I don’t care — but I do a lot.
What fusion of two influential people would you say describe yourself and your essence? I really like Emma Stone as an actress and there’s a reason behind that. In 10th grade, when I was feeling really not good about myself, like most 15 year-olds do, she said to harness your own uniqueness
and creativity during a speech at the MTV movie awards. I swear, it has helped me so much. It was the just the right time and the right wording I guess. Also a little bit of Joan Rivers because of the fashion aspect and being funny and being true to yourself and wearing what you want to express yourself. It’s okay to do whatever, be who you want, wear what you want and it’s fine.
PHOTO COURTESY: ANDY MITCHELL
Davi Dunn-Pilz Hometown: Newburyport, MA Major: Fashion Business Management What is something about you that someone might not know by your appearance?
What fusion of two influential people would you say describe yourself and your essence?
Im sort of an introvert at levels, but you wouldn’t see that because, you know, I’ve got bright colors and stuff like that.
A little bit of a Dennis Rodman mixed with a Pee-Wee Herman. I feel like Pee-Wee has always got good energy — always has friends around and keeps his space nice and clean. Dennis Rodman knows how to switch it up and have good energy.
Is there anything that surprised you about New York? It constantly smells like urine — that was a surprise. I’m used to living by the water, so it always smells like nice ocean salt water, but this is kind of stinky.
PHOTO COURTESY: ANDY MITCHELL
Conrad Tirinnazi Hometown: Washington, D.C. Major: Fashion Business Management
PHOTO COURTESY: ANDY MITCHELL
What is something about you that someone might not know by your appearance?
are thrillers — suspense. I really like some of Alfred Hitchcock’s films that were made back in the 1950s and 1960s.
Since I was a little kid, I always had a passion for movies. My mom and I made it a ritual to watch a movie almost every single day of the week. I would say it’s completely contrasting with the hip hop, underground street environment that most of the people that I grew up with were all about. My favorite genre of movies
Is there anything that surprised you about New York? It’s super dirty here. On top of the dirtiness, which is sort of a con to this city, I expected people to be a lot meaner. I’ve noticed that people are a lot more open and willing to meet new people because you come to New
York City for that. I guess that didn’t really communicate from all the stories I had heard about the city. “If you can make it here you can make it anywhere.” Well, that kind of gives off that negative connotation like it’s a struggle within itself. It’s definitely been a lot easier to meet people and form a life here than I was originally expecting, and FIT obviously had big part to do with that — with creating a foundation to build off of here, ya know?
Frank Ocean: The Visionary Artist Returns BY VALERIE GUTIERREZ
Fig & Olive BY JENNY KIM Fig and Olive, a trendy Mediterranean-based restaurant that has expanded to eight locations since its first opening in 2010, heavily focuses and takes great pride in its olive oils — most of their menu consists of some form of extra virgin olive oils. As soon as we sat down and started chugging our ice water, looking from a reprieve of the hot and humid New York City weather, the server started chatting us up. “The first one is extremely delicate. The second one starts off fruity and has a bit of a semi-bitter finish. The third one is the most fruity and floral,” the server explained. He might have been describing some fancy wine, but was instead explaining the set of three olive oils he set down presented with some carefully cut bread for dipping. When the server left, we studied the interior of the restaurant and were pretty impressed. Endless bottles of wine and olive oils covered each wall and the small light fixtures that were placed every five bottles or so made the atmosphere extremely calm, sophisticated and romantic.
PHOTO COURTESY: FLICKR.COM
R&B singer Frank Ocean is considered to be one of the most bona fide artists of our time. IN 2012, Mr. Ocean proved himself to be a talented singer-songwriter with his Grammy awardwinning album “Channel Orange.” The album brings a universal language to his listeners — a conversational piece of unrequited love. Additionally, its eclectic style creates an R&B album like no other. Around the same time, Ocean addressed racial-binary matters and opened up about his sexuality through Tumblr — his preferred form of public communication. His modern ideals bring a sense of hope. However, his sudden disappearance from the public left behind a trail of unanswered questions. Four years later, Ocean returns with an abundance of creative projects. In one week, he released the video stream “Endless” and his sophomore album “Blonde” — both Apple Music exclusives — a music video for the song “Nikes” and a 300-page art magazine called “Boys Don’t Cry.” This multi-platform release is rare — presenting itself as a series of creative assignments similar to the project of an art student. His approach is process-based — that of a craftsman. The reformation of his personal narrative introduces us to his various talents. Not only is he an R&B singer, but also an essayist, photographer and visual artist.
We ordered the penne funghi, which is is a penne dish with truffle olive oil, cremini mushroom, chives and loads of freshly sliced parmesan. The presentation was simple. The pasta was dumped into a wide bowl, asking to be eaten in large bites. It was rich and absolutely delicious. The mushrooms were perfectly cooked and it was such a satisfying combo when paired with the pasta. While the dish was drenched in truffle olive oil, which could be a bit heavy for many, the fresh green onions gave it a good kick and a decent balance. We also ordered the red oak lettuce — a salad dish with feta and a mustard grain dressing that was heavily infused with wine. It was a slightly overwhelming at times; we didn’t taste much of the mustard. Instead, it felt like we were eating salad with red wine poured over it. However, towards the end, the grilled chicken skewer soaked up much of the dressing, making it pleasant to eat. The service was great. The waiters had friendly personalities — easily welcoming both returning and new customers. They were attentive and extremely knowledgeable about every dish and olive oil they were serving. Between the romantic atmosphere and the restaurant’s attention to detail, Fig & Olive is just the place to meet your dining needs.
The first to digitally appear was “Endless.” — a 45-minute video clip that epitomizes the sense of craftsmanship, depicting him building a spiral staircase with his bare hands. A series of new songs play in the background. Perhaps it represents his opposition to fame and reminds us of the importance of the work itself. The magazine, “Boys Don’t Cry,” depicts Mr. Ocean’s visual aesthetic along with his raw personal input. It includes brief talks with other artists, a poem called “Boyfriend” and photography of high fashion and cars — he believes his car obsession is a part of his “deep, subconscious straight boy fantasy.” Adding, “Consciously though, I don’t want straight. A little bent is good.” This then brings us to “Blonde.” It is serene with an emotional approach to soul-searching and acceptance. Apple Music describes the album as “a daring set of ambient post-R&B that slips into your bloodstream.” His work is transparent, and yet so complex. With an impressionistic style, Ocean provides a range of vocals fused with minimalist instrumentation. It tells a tale of existence: deep love, loneliness, and finding solace in distress.
PHOTO COURTESY: JENNY KIM
SPARKS 80S NOSTALGIA BY KAYLA RENSHAW PHOTO COURTESY: FLICKR.COM
If you are one of the few people who has not heard of the Netflix original series “Stranger Things,” you are missing out. The show is the perfect mesh of 80’s sci-fi and childhood nostalgia. The series is set in a suburban Indiana town in 1983, references to the decade running rampant throughout the eight episode series. From the opening credits to Winona Ryder showcasing her talent, the series is full of bittersweet surprises. The close-knit friendship between characters Dustin, Lucas, Mike
and Elle dominates the show’s plot and is eerily similar to the central theme in “The Goonies.” The unbreakable bond shared by both groups of kids reiterates the age-old tale that anything is possible when your friends are by your side. Another similar comparison between the decade and the modern series are the teenage girls that believe they have what it takes to save the day. It seems that Nancy from Stranger Things and Nancy from Nightmare on
Elm Street have more in common than just their names. Their main agenda is to formulate a plan that will help them destroy the monsters that are taking over their lives. Everyone’s favorite alien, E.T. returns but in a very different form — a stunning young girl with supernatural abilities. Will and Elle hit it off from the very beginning and Will eventually takes it upon himself to take Elle under his wing. The only challenge is hiding her from his mother. Similar to
“E.T.” the pair go on numerous bike rides with his friends and the scenes are shot in a way that give you vivid flashbacks of the classic film. Science fiction and the 80s have always gone hand in hand, and the show does a wonderful job of bringing that back to life. The series will be returning for Season Two and fans are already looking forward to its return and a new set of classic references that are sure to be sprinkled throughout the season.
Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child BY ANDREA NAVARRO
Even though the Harry Potter saga came to an end with the release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” almost a decade ago, fans of the wizarding world have always gravitated back to the Harry Potter universe with a sort of fervor that’s matched by only a few series. So when it was announced that “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child,” officially introduced as the “eighth story in the Harry Potter series,” would be released worldwide as a screenplay on July 31, fans jumped at the opportunity to dive back in the series. The expectations, however, weren’t matched. The screenplay, to put it bluntly, is a mess — quite literally. It has a messy plot and a childish premise. For instance, are we really supposed to believe that there’s only one Time Turner left? There are also a number of plot holes in the story. Things that were resolved in previous books suddenly are issues again simply because they are convenient plot devices. It feels very inconsistent and ends up leaving the reader uncomfortable. You want to enjoy the book, but you can’t stop thinking that the things occurring shouldn’t be happening. The worst part, however, is that there is no true knowledge of the characters. The depictions of previous characters — Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, etc — is so off the mark that they end up seeming like caricatures of their previous selves. The result is a lack of motivation behind their actions and speeches — the reader could not care less about the parts in which they appear.
And now the best, and most frustrating, point of the screenplay: Albus, the second son of Harry Potter, and Scorpius, the son of Harry’s school nemesis, Draco Malfoy. Their friendship is the center of the play, and because they are new characters and there is nothing to compare them to, they feel fresh. Their relationship is an interesting one. They are obviously devoted to each other — constantly expressing their affection and sharing intimate hugs one moment, only to tell the reader that they are “totally into girls” in the next. A huge “no homo” sign is once again held high. If only the story was focused on developing the adventures of Albus and Scorpius instead of revisiting plots we’d already seen in previous books. The screenplay could have worked wonderfully as a standalone in the Harry Potter universe. And although the screenplay wasn’t written by Rowling, the expectation was that it would be written by someone who feels comfortable exploring, and expanding, the universe she created. Instead, the work is amateurish at best — something resembling the fanfiction written by a 14-year-old looking to find out what happened after the “all was well” that so masterfully concluded the tale of Harry Potter.
Natalia There’s no feeling like waking up early on the morning of a music festival. Once you jump out of bed, select your colorful outfit and jam out to your favorite upbeat track, it hits you that you will be seeing your favorite bands performing on the same stages in just a few hours. Of course, planning for the festival itself starts way before the day of. Tickets go on sale several months in advance where select show dates and cities are announced. Concert goers plan their road trips, complete with radio playlists, to get them to the venues. These festival junkies gather their friends and head for the concert — even making more friends when they arrive on concert day. EDM, Coachella, Warped Tour, Firefly — what else screams summer like music festivals?
Summer Music Festival Highlights BY NATALIA PEREIRA AND MARTIN ALLEN
Depending on the genre you’re interested in, there is almost always a festival for you. For those pop-punk enthusiasts, Van’s Warped Tour is a nationwide tour for you. Since it features over 50 bands from genres such as alternative, rock and punk on several stages from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., you can’t help but feel adrenaline rush over you as you’re making your way into the venue. Running from back-to-back sets on different stages and juggling meet-and-greets is much more stressful than it sounds. Time is key at a music festival, especially when you’re trying to maneuver your way to the front of a crowd for your favorite band’s set and also don’t forget to stay hydrated. Many of the genre’s favorites were featured this year’s Warped Tour: Sum 41, Sleeping With Sirens, Yellowcard and more. All played energetic sets regardless if it was noon or 7p.m. The fans in fact carry even more energy to the performances — promising a day full of crowd surfers and mosh pits in the center of the crowd. After all of those hours, it somehow feels okay to be sweating profusely, on the verge of dehydration in 100 degree weather and sunburnt to a crisp due to barely any shade. Those gross bodies pressed up against one another, squeezing their arms through tiny openings to point back at the lead singer, with feet barely touching the ground find it all worth it. I can guarantee that this festival is addictive. Once you go for first time, you’ll find yourself hooked for life.
Martin Perhaps it was New York’s inherent appeal or the beautiful skyline in the background of the mainstage. Maybe it was the green, sprawling festival grounds. Regardless of the reasons, June 2016’s Governor’s Ball Festival at Randall’s Island Park was certainly one for the books. With a knockout lineup that included The Strokes and The Killers as headliners, the festival attracted over 100,000 music and art fans to the small island right across the bridge from Harlem. On the opening Friday of the fest, performances included British electropop import Years and Years, New York’s own Action Bronson, British altpunk veterans Bloc Party and to close out the night, the storied, effortlessly cool Strokes. Magic was certainly in the air during The Strokes’ headlining set. Right on the heels of their first release in over three years (“Future Present Past”) Julian, Nick, Fab, Albert and Nikolai ripped through a career-spanning set which included such hits as “The Modern Age,” “Someday” and “Under Cover of Darkness” with characteristic New York swagger. To see such a legendary New York band with the Manhattan Skyline gleaming behind them was truly an unforgettable sight. With the bombastic thrill of Friday’s acts still alive in many festival-goers minds, attendees took in sets from punk juggernauts Against Me!, sister act Haim (whose set came equipped with a heavy downpour of rain), Canadian electronic duo Purity Ring and a set from guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. from The Strokes.
“With the bombastic thrill of Friday’s acts still alive in many festivalgoers”
To cap off the hot, rainy but absolutely fantastic Day 2, Las Vegas alt-rock superstars The Killers took the mainstage for a set that was nothing short of, well, killer. Right as the group took the stage, the weather gods smiled upon Randall’s Island and lifted the clouds, just in time for the group to kick off their set with mega-hit “Mr. Brightside.” Other songs included “Spaceman,” “For Reasons Unknown” and “Human.” Also, as tribute to New York’s alternative music scene, the band played a stunning cover of mysterious band Interpol’s “Obstacle 1” — definitely one of the highlights of the entire weekend. Tired but excited, festival-goers woke up to some less-than-great news on Sunday morning. The final day of the fest promised sets from up-andcoming rapper Vince Staples, Scottish pop act CHVRCHES and, perhaps the biggest act of the entire festival, Kanye West. Sadly, torrential rain and other harsh weather conditions rendered the festival grounds unsafe. Following the delayed opening of the gates, the Governor’s Ball staff announced that Day 3 had been cancelled. As much of a bummer the cancellation was, the weekend saw many incredible performances, delicious food and great times had by the attendees of the festival. Governor’s Ball 2016 was an incredible two days and, with any luck, next year’s installment will be nothing less.
20 HAUTE CULTURE
Summer Movie Woes BY DANIEL NISSIM
Going to the movies is a great way to avoid the summer heat. From the A/C to the concessions to the escape only movies can offer. Summer 2016 had many promising films, but unfortunately there were more misses than hits. Summer 2016 was not kind to reboots and sequels. Fox tasked Roland Emmerich with bringing back the “Independence Day” franchise with “Independence Day: Resurgence.” So-so special effects coupled with a poor storyline left Fox with a $103 million domestic gross from a $165 million budget, according to Box Office Mojo. That’s one-third of the first film’s haul with twice the budget. “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” with its 30% Tomato
score, brought in $77 million — less than one-third of the first film’s take. Even though I subscribe to an unlimited movie service, “Through the Looking Glass’s” poor reviews were an instant turnoff. “Star Trek: Beyond” was a surprising case. Well-received, this third film in the new Star Trek series underperformed — bringing in less than the two previous films. Even with the announcement of Sulu being gay and the death of Chekov star Anton Yelchin, “Star Trek: Beyond” could have done better. Even though this has not affected Paramount’s plan for the franchise going forward, it was certainly disappointing. In the comic book film department, it was a tale of two poorly reviewed films. “X-Men: Apocalypse,” with its 48% Tomato score, poor acting and stupid plotline, bombed domestically — bringing in only $155 million compared to its $178 million budget. On the other hand, “Suicide Squad,” with its 26% Tomato score, bad script, silly villain and poor execution, outperformed critics’ expectations with its $308 million domestic haul ($700 million worldwide). Opening with a $133.6 million weekend, “Suicide Squad” set an August opening weekend record. But let’s be honest. Amanda Waller was the only
good thing in that film, but whatever, America. This poor showing at the box office may be evidence of audiences’ waning interest in comic book and blockbuster films. “The theater business has weaker prospects going forward than at any time in the last 30 years. It’s encountering visible strain this summer. It’s a superhero, mega-blockbuster, tentpole strategy run amuck. There’s too much of it, and it’s not working,” said Media Analyst Hal Vogel to Variety. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video will continue to eat away at movie theaters’ business. Netflix added some great programming over the summer with “Stranger Things” and Baz Luhrmann’s “The Get Down” — Netflix’s most expensive show to date with a $90 million budget for a nineepisode season, according to The New York Times. Ultimately, viewers will have to decide how they’d like to spend their money. With the rising price of movie tickets and the convenience of streaming services, going to the movies is becoming increasingly less appealing. While there will always be that film you have to see in theaters, Summer 2016 didn’t quite deliver.
PHOTO COURTESY: BUDDHA JONES (VIMEO)
Where They Stand:
Presidential Debate Preview BY DANIEL NISSIM
On Sept. 26, Hofstra University will play host to the first of three presidential debates. Republican Party Nominee Donald Trump will go head-to-head with Democratic Party Nominee Hillary Clinton. Here are some sound bites from the nominees:
Hillary Clinton: “We need comprehensive immigration reform with a path to full and equal citizenship. If Congress won’t act, I’ll defend President Obama’s executive actions — and I’ll go even further to keep families together. I’ll end family detention, close private immigrant detention centers, and help more eligible people become naturalized.” – January 2016 Speech
Clinton: “At the center of my campaign is how we’re going to raise wages. Yes, of course, raise the minimum wage, but we have to do so much more. We have to figure out how we’re going to make the tax system a fairer one. Right now, the wealthy pay too little and the middle class pays too much. So I have specific recommendations about how we’re going to close those loopholes, make it clear that the wealthy will have to pay their fair share, and have tax cuts for middleclass families.” – October 2015 Democratic Presidential Debate
Clinton: “I’ve been fighting for universal healthcare for many years, and we’re now on the path to achieving it. I don’t want us to start over again. I want to build on the progress we’ve made; go from 90 percent coverage to 100 percent coverage. I don’t want to rip away the security that people finally have; 18 million people now have healthcare; pre-existing conditions are no longer a barrier.” – February 2016 Democratic Primary Debate
Clinton: “We have a lot more social media, so, we are seeing the dark side of the remaining systemic racism that we have to root out. We’re going to enforce the law, we’re going to change policing practices, we’re going to change incarceration practices, but we’re also going to emphasize education, jobs, and housing.” – February 2016 Democratic Primary Debate
Donald Trump: “I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively, I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.” – June 2015 Announcement of His Candidacy
Trump: “[My tax reform] will provide major tax relief for middle income and for most other Americans. There will be a major tax reduction… It’ll simplify the tax code; it’ll grow the American economy at a level that it hasn’t seen for decades.” – September 2015 Press Conference
Trump: “Obamacare. We’re going to repel it, we’re going to replace it, get something great. Repeal it, replace it, get something great!” – September 2015 Dallas Speech
Trump: “I believe we need a civil rights agenda for our time. One that ensures the rights to a great education. So important. And the right to live in safety and in peace and have a really, really great job — a good-paying job and one that you love to go to every morning.” – September 2016 Speech at Great Faith International Ministries
The Western World’s Modern Day Plague BY MADELYN ADAMS
Racism and religious intolerance have been constant themes throughout America’s history. From slavery to anti-Semitism, the Western world has familiarized itself with persecuting minority groups of people based on color, ethnicity, gender and religion. Although both the Eastern and Western hemispheres have fallen victim to scapegoating and bigotry at one point or another, many Americans seem to believe that these battles have been fought and won.
quarters of Muslim-Americans claimed to either know someone who has been or have been personally discriminated against or due to their religion, whether physical or verbal, since the September 11 attacks. While this survey is over a decade old, the statistics are still frightening. The FBI’s 2013 Uniform Crime Reports indicates that, since the September 11 attacks, hate crimes against those who identify as (or appear to be) Muslim have increased nearly five times.
News outlets on both sides of the political spectrum, from CNN to Fox News, are notorious for sensationalizing frightening news. Without fear, people would have no reason to watch the news and broadcasters are aware of this. Broadcasters and news stations utilize jargon and graphics to induce immediate and subconscious fear into the viewers’ minds. This may be good for broadcast ratings, but it has negatively impacted the Muslim community.
Priding ourselves in being a “melting pot,” Americans tend to deny that racial and religious issues still exist. However, there is one issue that has manifested itself throughout the past 15 years: Islamophobia.
The rise of Islamic extremist groups plays a large role in disparaging the name of Islam. As a largely vocal and inhumanely violent minority of the Islamic population, extremist groups terrorize not only Westerners, but also members of the Eastern hemisphere and the Islamic religion.
Large-scale terrorist attacks, Islamic extremist groups and media sensationalism have singlehandedly sparked nationwide Islamophobia. While it is irrational to blame an entire nation for being fearful, this fear has turned especially dangerous due to the fact that many Americans and Western Europeans are now legally, culturally and socially persecuting a specific religion in response. According to a report from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and UC Berkeley Center for Race and Gender, 2015 saw 31 proposed bills in 17 states which had the intention of denouncing Islamic religious practices. Ten states currently have anti-Islam legislation in place, banning Sharia law. This ban is held to be unconstitutional by some, while supporters of this legislation tend to believe that Sharia law is unconstitutional in and of itself. This same report also noted that a total of 81 anti-Islam legislations were proposed between 2013 and 2015.
Islamophobia is defined by the University of California, Berkeley Center for Race & Gender as “a contrived fear or prejudice fomented by the existing Eurocentric and Orientalist global power structure.” In a social sense, Islamophobia is demonstrated through the recent rise of hate crimes, anti-Islamic legislation and overall negative sentiment towards Muslims. In America, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has managed to charm his way into the primary nomination by feeding off of some Americans’ blatant bigotry against Muslims. Nearly two-thirds of the Americans who support Trump also believe that President Obama is Muslim, despite evidence indicating otherwise, as revealed by a 2016 survey from Public Policy Polling. Additionally, a recent YouGov poll revealed that 55% of Americans polled admitted to having an “unfavorable” opinion of Islam. Who or what is to blame for the rise in Islamophobia within the Western hemisphere? The growing prejudice against Muslims has long been in the works and it stems from one primary factor: fear. In reaction to fear, people have turned to hate. This hate has manifested itself in the form of discrimination and, in turn, hate crimes.
Fear of Islamic extremists is not uncalled for. A 2015 study published by the Institute for Economics and Peace shows that deaths as a result of terrorism have increased approximately ninefold over the past 15 years. However, only a small fraction of these terrorist attacks are taking place within the Western hemisphere. Even more shocking is the fact that Islamic extremists are responsible for just one out of every five terrorist attacks in the West. Widespread fear of terrorism has also contributed to American reluctance to accept Syrian refugees, a vast majority of whom are Muslim. Although President Obama achieved his goal of accepting 10,000 refugees into the country, this is far less than our European neighbors. Denmark, Austria and Germany have all accepted more refugees than the United States — with approximately 19,000, 39,000 and 600,000 accepted respectively. Due to oversaturation and over-reporting within news media, many Americans are led to believe that we are in immediate danger when it comes to Islamic terrorist attacks, even though the majority of terrorist attacks occur in Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Syria and Pakistan.
Most recently, the ban of the burkini across French towns has sparked both international outrage and support. Many of these bans have since been lifted by French courts due to being unconstitutional, but these anti-Muslim sentiments in France have left a bitter aftertaste.
This rampant fear can be traced to three main interconnected sources: the 9/11 attacks, the rise of terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS and media sensationalism. Other economic, political, cultural and religious factors can be accounted for, but these are the three primary components.
Despite what the media implies, not all Muslims are terrorists. In fact, The Pew Research Center reports that almost all Lebanese Muslims polled have an “unfavorable view” of ISIS and 94% of Muslims in Jordan have the same thoughts. On the homefront, 86% of American Muslims believe that suicide bombings and other violent tactics are “rarely or never justified.”
Although Islamophobic views won’t subside any time soon, some public figures have courageously spoken against anti-Islam attitudes. Kareem AbdulJabaar, Barbra Streisand and Zayn Malik are just a few examples of celebrities who have spoken against Middle Eastern xenophobia. Muhammed Ali provided a statement to NBC addressing Islamophobia not too long before his death, saying “I am a Muslim and there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino or anywhere else in the world. True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so-called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion.”
September 11 was the start of a new era, both nationally and globally. Being one of the first modern day large-scale terrorist attack against Americans, it ignited a period of international mourning along with a new sense of American pride and kinsmanship. It is understandable that the American population would be fearful of possible future attacks, however, this fear has manifested itself in the form of hate crimes. According to a 2002 Zogby survey, almost three-
Functioning as fear-mongering machines, news outlets recognize that they can profit from the latest world horrors simply by oversaturating their storylines with terrorist reports. The number of minutes devoted to coverage of foreign policy by news outlets has increased 102% over the five years following the attacks, according to a report from ADT Research.
With many controversial topics surrounding the current presidential race, it is important to remember that Islam holds its roots close to those of Christianity and Judaism. Those who choose to terrorize others in the name of religion are not true Muslims, and the worst thing a population can do is discriminate another on the basis of assumptions and prejudice.
22 FIT SPEAKS
THE RISE OF THE RADICAL RIGHT:
Repeating the Past? BY MADELYN ADAMS
PHOTO COURTESY: WIKIPEDIA
The 1920s is typically remembered as a highpoint the world’s history — a carefree decade. Society enjoyed everything from the Jazz Age to the Lost Generation to an economic boom unlike any other. Spirits were high and so were incomes. The 1920s took a turn for the worst when, in September 1929, the stock market suffered a severe crash. The stock market crash, along with a combination of other factors, ultimately led to the Great Depression. Originating in the United States, the Great Depression quickly affected the rest of the world. Poor, hungry and hopeless, people were desperate for change and sought out strong political leadership so they could have their pre-Depression lives back. Knowing this, a man by the name of Adolf Hitler took advantage of Germany’s dire political and economic situation in order to position himself in a place of power. Germany was in turmoil after World War I, and control of the country was ripe for the picking. Hitler knew the importance of public speaking; his speeches were passionate and full of pathos, appealing especially to Germany’s fraught middle class. He promised Germany’s return to economic and political power. He promised to bring jobs to those without them, and he promised to make Germany great again. As he rose to power, Hitler utilized his newfound authority to promote xenophobic agendas. Knowing the psychology behind coercion, he convinced an entire nation that Jews were the root of all evil — that Jews were the reason why Germany came out on the losing end of World War I. Of course anti-Semitism existed before Hitler’s rise, yet he took that anti-Semitism and profited off the power that came with scapegoating. Hitler created a registration list of Jews and forced them to wear a yellow Star of David in order to identify themselves. In addition to persecuting Jews, Hitler also tyrannized other groups including but not limited to Slavs, Gypsies, homosexuals, and the mentally and/
or physically disabled. Hitler’s allies did not provide asylum for any of the aforementioned groups. The rest, as we all know, is history. Fast forward about half a century, to 1990s America. Bill Clinton is president, the economy is booming, and, overall, Americans are happy with their comfortable, stable, middle-class lives. The September 11 attacks occur, Bush’s War on Terrorism begins, and the United States military becomes further involved in Middle Eastern affairs. The mid-2000s saw a large economic downturn — the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Fearful of terrorists, upset with a worsening economic and political standing and nostalgic of the great power that the United States once was, Americans have been desperate for change. Skip ahead to the 2016 Presidential Campaign. Republican candidate and billionaire business man Donald Trump promises to “Make America Great Again.” His platform revolves around tough anti-immigration legislation, as he promises to build a wall along Mexico’s borders to keep immigrants out. He also promises to better the economy and reclaim America’s high political and economic standing within the international arena. Understanding that Americans are looking for extreme measures in order to end terrorism and improve the economy, Donald Trump speaks directly to the people who are feeling the most desperate — that is, the lower and working class. Along with his blatant racism toward Mexican immigrants (and, not to mention, countless cases of sexism), Trump feeds off of the Islamophobia which continues to plague the nation, telling an NBC News reporter that he would “absolutely” make Muslims register in a national database. Trump also does not support providing asylum for Syrian refugees. Does any of this ring a bell? Don’t worry; this isn’t another one
of those “Trump is literally Hitler” articles. This article isn’t meant as a history lesson either. However, Trump is one of the many Western politicians contributing to the recent rise of the radical right. As a politically independentidentifying millennial growing up in a time rampant with racism, Islamophobia and economic downturn, the rising right genuinely terrifies me. My fear isn’t uncalled for — radical right wing politics has been trending in Western Europe and is currently gaining traction in the States. So, what exactly is the harm in a “rising right”? While there is no singular definition to what exactly constitutes as “radical right,” self-identified rightwing extremists tend to promote racist, xenophobic, ethnocentric and anti-Government ideals. Extreme right-wingers in America and Western Europe point fingers at eastern terrorists, perpetrating anti-Muslim sentiments. Extreme right-wingers sometimes turn to violent means in order to promote their own ideals, committing acts of domestic terrorism. According to the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database, there have been 65 registered attacks in the United States linked to the promotion of right-wing ideologies since the September 11 attacks; this same report recorded only 24 attacks from extreme jihadists. In a way, homegrown rightwing extremists pose more of an immediate threat to American welfare than ISIS. Our allies in Western Europe have also fallen victim to the rising right. According to an October 2015 TIME article, Sweden accepted twice as many Syrian refugees per capita than neighboring countries in early 2015. Despite this, a 2015 opinion poll revealed that Swedish Democrats (a party associated with neo-Nazis) would receive more than 25% of the people’s vote for parliamentary elections — five years ago, Swedish Democrats were only receiving 5.7% of votes.
Also in 2015, the Danish People’s Party (a party that promotes anti-European Union and antiimmigration positions) “captured the second largest percentage of Denmark’s vote in June’s national elections,” according to an October 2015 article published in the Huffington Post. France’s Front National, a party that runs on xenophobic campaigns, won over six-million votes in France’s 2015 regional elections. Although those were just a few examples, it is clear that a concerning pattern is emerging within modern, integrated, Western societies. The rise of the radical right can be simply attributed to fear. As seen with Nazi Germany, people who are in a state of fear — whether that is a fear of uncertainty or a fear of terrorism — look for a scapegoat to blame, and, unfortunately, minority ethnic, racial and religious groups are at their mercy. 18th Century political theorist and philosopher Edmund Burke is believed to have said, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” For the students of FIT, I urge you to please take the 2016 election seriously. No, this is not a promotion of the liberal agenda and this is not an attack on the Republican party — any ideology with the term “extreme” or “radical” attached to it is never a good thing, whether right or left swinging. However, this is a plea for you to think deeply about how something as simple as words can affect the welfare of millions of people. This is a plea to you to use your vote wisely and reflect upon political affairs, both past and present. No, I don’t expect a Bernie-style political revolution over night. However, I do have high hopes that our generation will be the one to put an end to bigotry and prejudice, both politically and socially.
SEPTEMBER 2016 23
Understanding Venezuela’s Political and Social Decline BY ANDREA NAVARRO
For many foreigners, and even for most Venezuelans, understanding the country’s current situation is a tough, almost puzzling experience. How is it possible that the country with the biggest oil reserves in the world is also the country with the highest criminal rate and largest rate of inflation? How could the country spiral into such misery without the rest of the world really noticing, or its own citizens being able to actually do something about it? The answer is a complicated one, requiring a brief history lesson. When Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s former president, sought election 17 years ago in 1999, he promised the people he would help them overcome what he perceived was a loss of national identity. According to the document he redacted in 1996, “Una Revolución Democrática. La Propuesta de Hugo Chávez para transformar a Venezuela” (A Democratic Revolution: Hugo Chavez’s Proposal to Transform Venezuela) the way to overcome the country’s perceived national catastrophe required finding a “political, social, economic, territorial and world equilibrium.” This solution sounded ideal to most Venezuelans at the time, who were fed up with the government corruption. Chavez was elected and the “Socialist Revolution” began. On paper, of course, it sounded great: help the poor, be more inclusive, reclaim a sense of nationalism. We were all supposed to be equals. What he really achieved, however, was creating a system in which everyone grew poorer and living at the government’s mercy. Instead of creating ways for the people to become autonomous and self-sufficient and facilitate the creation of dignified jobs to help the country’s economy grow, he used and misused Venezuela’s immense energy resources (as well as our gold, and other natural valuables) to feed his own political agenda. He used them both domestically, where he could afford to buy the people’s loyalty, and internationally, where he became the Socialist leader of a Latin America handing out free gifts in the form of millions of dollars worth of petroleum. To Chavez, this was a somewhat affordable model of business. At the
time of his death in 2013, the average price of a barrel of petroleum was $99.83. According to El Nacional, one of the country’s main newspapers, Venezuela was producing around 3 million barrels a day (out of which $2.5 million were exported, mainly to the US). If the country was earning $249.58 million each day, poverty should have never been a concern, especially considering that Venezuela is relatively small with a population of 28.5 million people, according to the 2013 Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda (National Census of Population and Dwelling). If Venezuela was truly socialist, with all of us as equals, every Venezuelan should have received $8.8 millions daily, or the equivalent of that amount in proper infrastructure and quality of life. Instead, we had, and still have, alarmingly increasing levels of poverty, criminality and continued government corruption. Enter present day Venezuela. Ruled by Nicolás Maduro, the current president hand-picked by Chavez’s himself before his death, the country is in worse shape than anyone could have imagined. In the first trimester of 2016, the average price for a barrel of petroleum was $26.14, according to El Ministerio del Poder Popular del Petroleo (Ministry of Popular Power of Petroleum), with the production levels around 2.5 million barrels a day — most of which is exported to the US and China. Although oil prices dropped around the globe, one of Venezuela’s main issues is that its government and state were too dependent on it. Because we are rich in petroleum, we believed that we didn’t need to produce anything else in order to sustain ourselves. According to CNN, approximately 90 percent of necessities are imported (and even that numbers might run short). Agriculture production in the country was almost non-existent to begin with, and the few private companies that remained in the country had their lands confiscated by the government — often without compensation. Adding to this problem is the devaluation of the Bolivar, Venezuela’s official currency. In 2015, a US dollar was worth 175 Bolivares. Today, a dollar is worth 1025 Bolivares. To put it another way, one Bolivar is
worth $0.00098. On top of that, the minimum wage is currently 22,576.60 Bolivares a month — equivalent to around $22 a month. According to statista.com, this means Venezuela has the highest inflation in the world at 481.52 percent. Statista also states that “Higher inflation rates are more present in third world or developing countries, because they often lack a sufficient central bank, which in turn results in the manipulation of currency to achieve short term economic goals. Thus, interest rates increase while the general economic situation remains constant.” This is all too true in Venezuela’s case. On top of that, Venezuela is barely able to make enough money to pay for its international debt, which totals almost $10 billion, according to bancaynegocios. com. The government can’t afford to import basic food items such as milk, eggs or flour (or anything else, for that matter), and the country can’t produce them because of the government’s previous confiscations from the private companies that made the food. The result is empty shelves at supermarkets and endless lines from the early morning to the markets’ closing hours, with most Venezuelans leaving the facilities without finding the most basic solutions for their daily needs — shampoo, deodorant and toilet paper are other items that are extremely rare to find in the country. Thousands have died because specialized, and standard, medicines have not been imported as well. A starving population, frustrated with the government is the perfect recipe for social instability. Paradoxically, most Venezuelans have a sense of humor so twisted that these types of situations are quickly turned into jokes of some form — mostly shared via social media. This coping mechanism is problematic because we have become cynics, normalizing every new disturbing situation until the point of insensibility — it seems as if nothing can shock us at this point. We have seen our country crumble to pieces, and we assume that in this situation it is better to laugh than to cry. And yet, the situation remains painfully unfunny. However, not all Venezuelans express
their frustrations in the same way. On Sept. 1, thousands of people from every corner of the country took to Caracas’ streets in a pacific march looking to put pressure on the failing government and to ask for a referendum in which Maduro could be recalled — looking to elect a new president. Unfortunately, despite the vast majority of the population’s pressure, the only entity that can effectively call for a referendum is the Consejo Nacional Electoral (National Electoral Council). Popularly known as the CNE, this branch of the government is also controlled by Maduro and his people. Venezuela’s only hope at this point is for the government’s opposition to collect at least 20 percent of the entire population’s signatures asking for the referendum. However, this is a time sensitive matter. If the signatures are retrieved (and validated by the CNE, which is a whole other issue) as soon as possible, the referendum can be called for before Jan. 10 of next year. This would mean that new elections could take place, allowing for an opposition leader to take the role of president, if elected. If the referendum were to be held after that date, the current vice-president would merely take Maduro’s position and the opposition would be forced to wait until 2019 to try, once again, to take Chavism out of the country in a democratic manner. With less than five months until Jan. 10, time is running out if Venezuela’s opposition leaders intend to make a change. And if things continue down this dark road, I shudder to imagine how things could get worse if Maduro were to remain in power for three more years. And yet, many Venezuelans are still hopeful. As liberator Simón Bolivar once said, “it’s harder to maintain liberty’s equilibrium than to hold the weight of tyranny.” Still, it’s pretty hard to be under a tyrant’s weight, and Venezuela is unwilling to take it for much longer. =
24 STYLE ON 27
STYLE ON 27
BY ORQUIDIA GOMEZ
LUCY SERRANO, TDM
ALEXIS ALONSO, AMC
JOSHUA NAREEM, TDM
What do you think the current and future trends of fashion?
What is your most prized possession?
How would you describe your personal style?
What labels makes you feel totally cool?
“I believe fashion is becoming simpler and apparel designs and fits are becoming more minimalistic. Athletic wear is the new norm, and it is becoming more incorporated in clothing for everyday wear.”
“Definitely the jewelry my grandma has passed on to me. She gave me rings, and the necklace that I styled as a belt in my picture.”
“Utilitarian, with an ethereal twist.”
“I pull most of my trends from Theory or honestly, Gap. The modern man is my aesthetic.”
BRITTANY DAVIS, FA
DOHA KHAN, TDM
What were your inspirations when you put this outfit together? “My inspiration for this look was to be mellow, but at the same time add a touch of darkness to my outfit. Also, it was the only top that fit with my skirt.”
MARIEL BOURIE, FBM
MARCUS MILLER, ID
LANEY ROBERTSON, ITM
What is your top print for spring?
What type of shoes do you prefer, high heel or wedges?
Explain how you and your fashion go together?
“My top print for this upcoming spring is watercolor prints.”
“I love high heels. Although I’m walking around the city all day, heels just give me the confidence and add the perfect touch to your outfit. Plus you can find so many heels with style and comfort so you don’t have to compromise.”
“I have a variety of interests, and I enjoy having that reflected in my style. My fashion acts as a mood ring for my aesthetic — it’s always changing.”