After three and a half years, two quick elections, and an endless failed trade agreement, on December 31, Britain finally made its formal withdrawal from the European Union with a deal in place. It would be easy, then, to imagine that the journey had reached, if not the end, at least a new chapter with a clearer path forward. But last-hour deals – more of a last-minute to avert a complete economic crash – have small businesses across the country scrambling to answer the question: What happens next?
The first post-Brexit London Fashion Week started last Friday, hoping to answer that question in a fashion context. Because even after weeks of making peace with the impact of Brexit, the future of the country’s largest creative industry – one estimated to contribute around £ 35 billion to GDP each year – it still depends on the balance.
The fashion industry’s neglect during the Brexit negotiations was palpable when compared to the too much attention focused on, say, fishing. Fishing is that industry hiring about 24,000 people, and already received £ 23 million in aid; meanwhile, the 555,000 fashion workforce has been largely left to fend for itself, particularly as high-end retail has taken a hit and streaked tens of thousands Layoffs.
For those in power, to ignore the role of fashion in placing London on the international cultural map – let alone its financial interests, if we speak the language they are likely to understand – is to shoot a vital sector of the economy head-on. But the weight of cold and harsh statistics on how strong Brexit will impact one of the country’s most significant creative exports appears to have had little to do with their views, with the only concrete financial aid being provided via £ 20 million. funding is available to small businesses in all national industries.
It’s not that there hasn’t been a significant effort to make the fashion case part of the UK’s role on the global stage. It should be noted, in particular, the work of Tamara Cincik in the Fashion Roundtable, that is Open letter to the British government explaining the economic benefits of providing a cash injection into the fashion industry which attracted co-signers including Nick Knight, Vivienne Westwood, and Jefferson Hack. And it’s also reassuring to see plenty of city designers throwing up cheerful tones throughout the weekend. Any attempt to show a direct reference to the current challenges facing pioneering London designers as a result of Brexit would be trite – but even without taking into account the broader political context, it is designers working in direct opposition to Brexit’s isolationist fervor emerging as the most voice. interesting this week.
Tod’s kicked off London Fashion Week with a program highlighting emerging talents. Collaborating with Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, this multi-level Italian label asked 35 young designers to remake its iconic accessories, including Gommino Loafer, Timeless T, and D-Bag. The result of the project, entitled Tod’s Legacy, made its debut on dedicated online platform Last Friday.
Andrew La Casse for Tod’s Legacy
Tod’s was founded by the Della Valle family in the 1920’s as a shoe manufacturer. Six decades later, when current president Diego Della Valle took control, the company continued to grow into one of the major fashion players and the largest luxury leather label in the industry. Tod’s strength lies in his legacy; the company continues to manufacture its products in the Marche region of Italy, employing skilled craftsmen. It also created Tod’s Academy to pass on these time-honored techniques to an entirely new generation. For Tod’s Legacy, however, Della Valle is trying to bring a new perspective to the stability of her style.
“This is a wonderful project that supports students and at the same time brings an unusual and innovative perspective to Tod’s,” said Della Valle in a statement.
Andrej Gronau for Tod’s Legacy
Each student is given a scholarship and access to a group of mentors of the fashion industry’s most renowned designers, editors, stylists, critics and talent scouts to perfect their vision. Andrew La Casse, for example, worked with designer Roksanda Ilincic to reconfigure the Timeless T Bag with its large flap and flowing leather strap. And Andrej Gronau partnered with designer Simone Rocha to provide his interpretation of Tod’s accessories using knitted fabrics. Both Ilincic and Rocha are also Central Saint Martins graduates, and, perhaps more than most, understand the importance of blending traditional craftsmanship with innovative ideas.
“I can see an extraordinary thought process between your identity and theirs,” said Rocha to Gronau in one of 35 videos featuring the dialogue between mentors and mentees. Very good.
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One of the unexpected revelations of London Fashion Week is a short film from a never-before-seen footage of Alexander McQueen. A one-time live streaming only on the Fashionscout website, a consulting and platform for emerging talent, the short film premiere featuring Super 8 footage shot by Gary Walis, takes place at 4 p.m. EST on Sunday. Wallis was a backstage photographer at all of McQueen’s fashion shows between 1992-96, and his archives have been moved into a book entitled McQueen Backstage; Early Years.
The footage has been ordered by McQueen who is planning an event in New York where he wants to project a film. The black and white shot reflects the designer’s desire to have something grainy and grainy. “It’s not neat,” said Wallis, who gave the narration. The first scene depicts McQueen in a comfortable gray sweater walking around the grounds of Hilles House with muse Isabella Blow wearing McQueen proper stitches. McQueen does cartwheels on a hilltop, lying on the grass barefoot in the air, before we see him inside the manor’s mansion measuring Blow’s husband, Detmar, for his bespoke suit and jotting down detailed measurements in a column in a book.
In the next setting, McQueen took Wallis on a tour of Soho London which is important for designers. He was arrested in front of the bohemian bakery Maison Bertaux, and at his favorite fabric shop, Greenscourt, whose owner is a champion in his work. Throughout, McQueen, who died eleven years ago, looked young and happy, with bald head, eyes narrowed to the sun. Wallis revealed that McQueen was very interested in photography, even wanted to become a war photographer. He wanted to document the conflict.
The final location was backstage at the Café de Paris for the February 1994 McQueen fashion show. Calling for help, McQueen has put together a model that’s a mix of friends from college, coworkers, and friends Blow from Mode where he worked for a time. We watch her slice tulle skirts with her scissors until the girls step in front of the camera. Wallis described energy as “kinetic” and “panic” as “clothes are made when they walk the catwalk.”
After the show, the footage changed hands, was reportedly kept in a London storage unit for years, talked about and then forgotten again as careers progressed and those involved traveled extensively. That is release McQueen the 2018 documentary that finally prompted the excavation of long lost footage. They provide an interesting glimpse into the creativity and personality of this much-missed designer, whose influence extends far beyond London Fashion Week and whose appeal seems to increase with time.
Fashion editor Jackie Mallon is also an educator and author of Silk for the Feed Dogs, a novel set in the international fashion industry.
When shoppers started canceling or shortening their buying trips to Milan and Paris last February on the brink of the global Coronavirus outbreak, Joor CEO Kristin Savilia knew that the clothing wholesale and purchasing industry needed to adapt. In this sense, that means finally embracing a completely digital way of working. What he didn’t know at the time was that the change would be permanent. As London Fashion Week starting tomorrow, it will mark the third time since June 2020 that the digital omnichannel purchasing service has become its exclusive partner. While this is perhaps the most prestigious of the online trading events, it is far from the only thing Joor has secured since launching an event-driven Passport service amid the pandemic last year.
“As soon as the fashion week trip started to be canceled, we saw huge activity at the site’s virtual showroom function,” said Savilia. He acknowledged windfall in functions rarely used on the site. “Full disclosure; the feature is there but isn’t actually being used by the brand, and suddenly our brand is calling us for a refresher course on implementing it.” It is clear that with brands that take advantage of this aspect, the events and purchase periods can also be extended and reach a wider audience.
As usage increased, Savilia and her team quickly scaled up the virtual showroom to include the ORB360-degree imaging technology that worked with partners. ORDER, adding videos by style to optimize search as well as editing functions. A standard aspect of the IRL purchasing process is to survey the shelf of goods for purchase and assess whether the assortment is sufficient. The edit feature can show customers on a shop-wide pro purchase platform based on style, location, item type, etc., for a real-time brand estimate. Currently, several retail partners are using Joors’ enhanced pro paid services including Harrod’s London, Selfridge’s, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Shopbop, Level Shoes, Liberty London, Dover Street Market, Forty-Five Ten, Intermix, and Samaritaine, coming soon to reopens LVMH’s retail and hotel projects in Paris.
“I said to my team, ‘trade shows and fashion shows aren’t going to happen in June, let’s be a platform that makes business continuity possible for that market,’ recalls Savilia when she thought it was just going to happen. season. London Fashion Week was signed later with 50 brands shown to coincide with the shows Premium and Seek. Now in its third season, the company has grown to 120 brands. The idea coincided with the Passport which was under development at the time. Originally intended to complement physical performances, the idea was shifted to a virtual format. But LFW is just one event. Passport centralizes trade shows into a one-stop shop for users – as in one login, one website, one application, and one fully integrated service. In its first year, it hosted 17 global events which attracted more than 140,000 visitors. Savilia said with more than 1,600 participating brands, more than 500,000 items were sold. “Think for a moment.” The CEO said that the platform was’ democratizing the industry in a good way. “
DIVERSE GLOBAL REACH
Together with LFW, they are taking up events in countries for the first time hosting trade shows and non-profit fashion week events in China, Turkey, Colombia, Japan, and Brazil, with a footwear market event due to launch the morning I spoke with Savilia. Currently, Passport is hosting Show Room Canada, Liberty Fairs X LA Men’s Market, Brazilian Footwear, Joor Showcase, Destination Italy with London Fashion Week in preview stages, and Premium and Seek events which appear together seasonally.
The next event to launch on February 22ndnd is the RAISE Fashion Event which supports Black-owned businesses, partnering with a newly formed organization to help Black and Harlem Fashion Row entrepreneurs. “With many retailers like Nordstrom JWN , Macy’s M and Gap GPS taking a 15 percent pledge to provide and support black-owned businesses, we help retailers connect with them, “said Savilia. The initial launch will highlight 25 brands, with 25 more to be added mid-year.
LOOKING AHEAD AND THE CHALLENGE MEETING
A year later, Savilia is confident that digital shows will continue to improve and, for some, replace physical trade shows. In much the same way, some predict runway shows will continue post-pandemic. “We travel too much, go to a lot of events,” he said. Industry needs to change its carbon footprint by traveling less and consolidating events. “He thinks physical shows are still important but will involve less travel to attend. He notes some stores have set buy levels for in-person visits; for example, at Selfridge’s, an account must buy the 250,000 BP level.” The industry is 20 years behind, ” he said, “We are not going to be a virtual event that only plays purely but works in a more harmonious way. But your events are getting bigger in reach, and your events can run longer online. “In some cases where a buyer only has three days it may not be possible to see all of them. With online events that can last a month or two, the remainder of the purchase is purchased online.
Like many businesses in the fashion industry, Savilia said the first two months of the pandemic were challenging and sometimes uncertain. But as more and more brands and retailers turn to 100 percent digital, the need for Passport functionality and virtual showrooms is a boon for Joor. The New York City-based service, which has twelve offices globally, including London, Paris and Shanghai, China, is currently in the process of opening, finding that the biggest challenge is staffing. Savilia went from wondering if layoffs were imminent to hiring thirty new staff members to accept the influx of brands and events to the platform. “We are recruiting and training new staff over the summer; we offer a point of contact service because we know some brands may go digital,” said the CEO. While many aspects of the fashion industry have shifted to digital platforms – for example, shows are online; each retailer typically has a website, lookbook collection and even a creative portfolio that exists digitally. Savilia says the wholesale buying industry is mired in manual order forms that are centered on paper and Excel-spreadsheets.
Joor surpassed the competition in this sector by not only being the first but also the biggest. Joor operates globally and owns about 75 percent of luxury brands, including those owned by LVMH, Kering and Richemont and has 30 exclusive retailers using the upgraded service versus three of similar but newer services. “Our biggest differentiator is that we are global and the fully digital ecosystem allows synchronization, interaction and collaboration; that’s the magic of Joor,” says Savilia. About outdated systems and competitors in the field, the CEO commented, “It’s great to have competition, but the real enemy is the lack of digitization. When brands and retailers are on the same platform, the same space and synchronization are best, nothing beats that scenario. “
“We’ve seen things come a lot more from TikTok, which is kind of a digital version of the proverbial way, where things happen more organically by osmosis,” said Edwards. In the app, users are encouraged to react, respond to and even remake popular videos, using soundtracks or voiceovers to parody or pay tribute to the original creators. This creates endless feedback where brands can play with influencers on the same scale.
Vu, TikTok’s head of fashion, said, “Over the past year, we’ve seen a lot of interest and engagement from the community for fashion content. From my experience, every time I go to this fashion show, it always feels exclusive. There is a lot more to being truly inclusive and inviting the audience into the experience. “If some insiders may disagree, preferring the intimacy of private events, the numbers don’t lie: TikTok’s #MakeItVogue hashtag, which just launched last week, has more than 940 million views.
“The brand is definitely branching out and leaning more towards the TikTok community. Social listening will be key for these brands as they need to understand what the brand’s current perception is. How can they join in or how can they correct perception, how can they accentuate that? Vu continued. “That’s also a problem with fashion shows; they have to be interactive. “
Vu points to the Gucci Model Challenge, a meme the creator creates about Gucci’s style of look with items in your own wardrobe, which Gucci promotes on its channel. “Gucci has clearly seen the value in the community and really opened up their brand image, allowing the community to come and help them with their creativity too. Celine and Balmian, he said, have also found success on the platform by creating original sounds that users can incorporate into their own content. The same goes for JW Anderson, who offered creators the check cardigan pattern Harry Styles wore for free after TikTokers started making their own versions.
“We feel like the brand is really opening up and being more authentic and creative in their way of really adapting to this Gen Z mindset,” said Vu. “The post-consumer experience is real. The community will search Google what they have recently seen in the fashion show video, how to do it, how to make it. Brands are aware of these post-consumer experiences, and they can actually take advantage of relevant calls-to-action that generate trends in the community. “