"Sustainable luxury", I mean let's be honest - at first glance the term sounds like BS. Especially when fashion is based around trends and the latest and greatest in an industry where things are always changing and not feeling very sustainable.
This is why its a breath of fresh air when major brands start taking proper steps and shifting their mindset to support sustainable efforts. Can I get a hell yessss! Here are 5 brands making such moves in the sustainable space:
Vegan handbags and biodegradable boots are some of the items that come to mind when we think of Bottega. In 2012 they launched their first line of sustainable handbags made from materials produced from the bark of mulberry trees. This is same fibre used in the making of Japanese washi paper - such an amazing idea. They were also the first luxury label to ever receive LEED (Leadership in energy and environmental design) certification for its Montebello atelier.
In 2021, Gucci celebrated their 100 year anniversary. You can read my thoughts about it and the Balenciaga collab here. During this time, Gucci’s CEO, Marco Bizzari stated "We looked to our past to define our future which we now know is implicitly linked to the planet that we call home. They have said that they have adapted their entire supply chain to become more eco-conscious by being mindful of Co2 emissions and they have started using a special fabric called ECONYL which is made up of consumer waste, recycled plastic and discarded carpets.. This fabric is used in Gucci's Off the Grid line which was designed specifically for people like you and I who are becoming more and more aware of the impact that our daily habits have on the environment.
No surprises here, Stella-ella-ella Mcartney is one of he first luxury brands I encountered that took sustainability seriously from their beginnings rather than the majority of brands who may be motivated by other factors and then realise after the fact that they should taking some responsibility for their actions. With this label you can be sure of vegan leather, organic materials and promoting ethical practices from start to finish in the supply chain.
This company made moves into sustainability with their “Make it possible” Initiative aimed at reducing the company’s carbon footprint with their motto “ Waste Nothing, Welcome All”. This was in 2020. The idea was to reduce their carbon footprint and its effect on the environment as well as shifting to plant-based materials. In the same year Tommy Hilfiger also launched premium shoes made up of none other than recycled apple peel fibres as an alternative to leather. Since 2021 it's owner the PVH Corp has teamed up with Ecovative, a biotech company to join the vegan movement and use mycelium to produce raw materials to use in their fashion fibres to recreate eco-friendly leather.
Vivienne Westwood as a brand is going by the motto buy less, choose well, and make it last – and I couldn’t agree more. According to their website they are aiming to mobilize people around climate change and human rights. They’ve been integrating sustainability bit by bit but in their Fall 2022 collection they went in with recycled fibres like nylon and polyester as well as responsibly sourced viscose to show that they were being more active in their mission to make a difference.
Let's hope more luxury brands follow suit.
Gifts ideas for Vegans in Dubai.
[The Giving Movement]
Gucci celebrates its 100th anniversary.
If I'm totally honest, I'm not generally a Gucci fan as I've considered it kind of bland in recent years but I'll give respect where its due and I cant deny it, this collection left me feeling particularly giddy on a Thursday afternoon.
I liked it alot.
I'm loving how fashion houses are now firing up the creativity in how they're presenting their collections to us in the current post pandemic situation. It feels like they've been given more freedom to turn their shows into more of an experience - from the music to the filters and the storytelling - how else would we have ended up with a level of production this fun to look at?
Before we get into these stunning pieces let’s talk about the vibe of the fashion movie itself. "100 years of Gucci" is the occasion.
Happy Birthday Gucci.
But then.. with a a special party guest appearance by none other than ...Balenciaga??
We’ll get into that in a minute.
First, lets talk about the production.
For music a killer mix of everything Gucci inspired over the last few years from Gucci Gang by Lil Pump to Die Antwoord and some Vitalic and everything in between.
What else did we love?
Not one influencer model in sight, keeping the focus firmly on the fashion, yes please and thank you.
Naturally there were Equestrian touches everywhere as they are firmly entrenched in Gucci’s history. Then there were references to the Savoy Hotel (where the founder Guccio Gucci worked as a lift boy in his youth watching the luxury crowd that would eventually end up celebrating him back).
The show was also jam packed with logomania, crystal encrusted, anatomical heart shaped bags worth selling non-vital organs for, sequined suits, chain necklaces, the Jackie bag reinvented, the hourglass bag from Balenciaga with floral Gucci prints. It was everything we could have hoped for in a 100 year Gucci commemoration and more.
Now lets talk about the "collab" it's rare to see brands of this calibre in a single collaboration which is already a win for us but when its two kingpins like Gucci and Balenciaga then it’s really something special. But why this specific union? The most obvious connection would be that both brands share the same mother company Keyring but secondly as creative director Alessandro Michelle explained after the show, it wasn’t exactly a collaboration but more a product of his “hack lab” where he looked to influences from Gucci daddy, Tom Ford (naturally) to Demna Gvasalia. He said “Gucci becomes for me a hacking lab, made of inclusions and metamorphoses. I have plundered the non-conformist rigour of Demna Gvasalia and the sexual tension of Tom Ford..I have celebrated the equestrian world of Gucci transfiguring it into a fetish cosmogony".
And we am living for it.
*Update* The release date is to be confirmed for sometime in June although SA's are currently taking pre orders.
Without any further ado, if you still havent seen this masterpiece, check out the fashion film below:
Read next: How will Corona affect the luxury market?
Unpinning ourselves from the material world while still having goals and objectives is a philosophical struggle that many of us face, like having to choose between a mindful choice and a convenient one. I'll save the dmc for another day (or a therapist) but what I'm saying is, it's nice to be able to support something where you don't have to choose and can just enjoy while helping the planet in the process. This is why I'd like to introduce an impressive new fashion label called The Giving Movement who are using recycled materials to make some of the freshest threads I've seen in a while. This fitness and streetwear label was launched online just over a week ago here in Dubai and they appear to making an impact already. Below I've rounded up my top 5 reasons to love this kick ass concept:
Images: The Giving Movement Instagram
Check them out on Instagram: @thegivingmovement or get straight to shopping on www.thegivingmovement.com
Read next: Guilt Free Glamour: 5 Eco-conscious luxury brands.
Read next: Vegan Friend Problems.
Read next: Bentley goes Green.
See more Dubai fashion posts here.
Images: the giving movement instagram
If you’re following me on any socials, you already know that I’m a huge fan of New York based fashion brand Sprayground, who are known for their collectable limited-edition backpacks. So I was quite excited to see that they have added face masks to their range to up our moods while we (would otherwise) go through these times looking like a bunch of potatoes.
I had the misfortune of missing out on their previous drop and now, before anyone makes any assumptions let me explain. So there I was, chilling in our villa in full lockdown mode. Suddenly the router decides to show us the middle finger. Yep...that's nearly an entire day... in the middle of quarantine...without wifi (clearly I also know a thing or two about pain, moms). Unfortunately when the internet connection finally settled I realised I'd missed out on a Sprayground mask drop which I found out had sold out in literal minutes :(.
In any case, as you can imagine fans are going to be frothing at the bit to get their hands on these goodies which are due out, 2 May at 7:30pm Dubai time for just $25 so get ready. X
See more Dubai Fashion posts here.
If you're also a huge fan of Sprayground and have also been wasting your time on waitlists and checking back with international online stores (Nordstorm, Farfetch etc) patiently waiting on the next restock then I have some great news. Theres actually a SpraygroundGCC which services the UAE and KSA regions. Yes please! How delayed yet pleasantly surprised did I feel when discovering this delicious fact. Obviously I promptly made contact (Kindly note, I do not DM people. I make contact. Like the little alien that I am) and asked them about ordering some pieces from Sharks in Paris collection which I've been dying to get my little paws on for the longest time!
The brown Sharks in Paris crossbody was a must and one of the pieces I always wanted besides the fact that crossbodys are the most convenient everyday wear invention everrr! I also went with the Black Sharks in Paris back pack as it’s the most convenient piece for work, laptop and document vibes etc and then I had to choose something fun and go with the Money on the Plane limited edition backpack. It gave me Alec monopoly vibes when I saw it and since the Alec monopoly x Sprayground collab backpack isn’t part of the GCC collection it seemed like the next best thing.
In any case, below are some snaps of the pieces I am now proud to call my babies.
It looks like sneakerheads and streetstyle fashionistas have something to get excited about because Sole DXB is back in December.
If you've never been to the event, you can expect a curated fair of fashion, art, basketball and hip hop which runs for three nights. This year its running from the 6th of December in the design district, you can check out more details at the end of this post.
In previous years the organisers have showcased brands from independent labels in cities like New York, London and Tokyo but this time around I'm extra keen because the organisers are showcasing a bit of South African flavour with some designers and artists from my home country. Excited to see how they represent the design scene which, let’s be honest is huge in SA, especially Cape Town. This is a city where 99% of the population cultivate some kind of creative talent like sketching, fashion design, poetry, creating installations and so on whether they're doing it professionally or as a hobby plus our cultural past is... well.. complicated and that certainly influences our aesthetic so to see how its going to be received by the Middle East crowd is going to be so good.
I still consider myself more of a tourist than a purist when its come to the sneaker scene, although my collection has grown considerably in the last couple of years (hellooo Off White!) but the way that luxury progressive fashion has been influenced by streetstyle trends and independent labels this year has been quite a sight to behold so let’s see what insights Sole DXB can provide into 2019 and beyond.
I feel like I haven't done any fashion updates for a minute so I thought it would be best to do a round up about some of the fashion related highlights over August until September in one post.
Victoria Secret is Quaking
Let's get the bad news out of the way first. So a couple of month's ago I wrote an article about how things were not looking that good for one of my favourite brands, Victoria Secret. I also touched on the drop in sales over the last two years and what the reasons behind it could be. The update on this situation is that... things have gotten even worse. Victoria Secret announced to its investors a week ago that is planning on closing 20 stores and the CEO is stepping down. She will be replaced by the lady who handles the product development for *drumroll* Bath & Body Works. I am not making this up. You can read all about it on the Business of Fashion's article, here.
Serena William's Tutu
Unless you've been living under a rock you would know that Serena Williams was banned from wearing her superhero, black catsuit at the French Open. The outfit was not just a fashion statement but was also specially designed by Nike to prevent blood clotting, a medical issue that Williams has had some complications with in the past. Either way, French Tennis Federation President, Bernard Giudicelli said the catsuit isn't going to happen. However, this situation has turned out brilliantly or "ironically" even, considering that we are dealing with the King of ironic fashion, Louis Vuitton creative director, Virgil Abloh who has stepped up and designed a tutu in collaboration with Nike so Williams can whip some asses in true satorial splendor at the US Open - and I. Am. Living. For. It.
Adjusting to Burberry
We absoutely have to talk about Burberry's logo change. Do you love it? Personally (nearly a month later), I'm still processing it, I guess. I mean it’s like they're completely a different house now. Riccardo Tisci being put in the drivers seat was already big news, exciting but also kind of a wtf moment because he is literally the opposite of British, tradition but at the same time a super cool disruptor. I'm looking forward to seeing the level of badassery (can we make that a word?) after what he did for Givenchy back in 2015. His first Burberry show is scheduled to take place on the 17th September at London Fashion Week. Excited.
As everyone who is in fashion, wants to be in fashion or follows fashion knows, The September issue for any magazine is kind of a big deal. (If you want more insight on this, you can watch The September Issue which is a behind the scenes documentary about the planning and anticipation that goes into it at Vogue). So it’s amazing to see women who have been majorly underrepresented in the past, dominating the September issues of some of the most prestigious publications in the world. From Beyonce and Rhianna to Zendaya and Lupita Nyongo. They are looking gorgeous. Especially Rihanna, love that look on her and eagerly waiting on the release of her documentary.
Jeffree Star x Shane Dawson
This last highlight is not strictly fashion related as he is seen as more of a beauty icon but since Jeffree Star does lay claim to one of the most impressive designer fashion collections ever, its enough of an excuse to highlight the incredible docu-series created by Shane Dawson entitled "The Secret World of Jeffree Star". I was not a fan of Jeffree for the longest time. He just seemed kind of problematic. Like this human magnet for controversy because he always appeared to be fighting with some celeb or company but this documentary has changed my perception of him in the biggest way. It’s a five part series (so definitely get some snacks ready), it is explicit (I mean its Jeffree Star so, duh!) but prepare to have your mind blown. I love watching content like this because it really opens your mind and shows how unlimited human potential actually is. I'm a huge fan of people like Tim Ferris, Gary Vee, Tony Robbins and the rest of the "superhumans" - this series is by no means like their content (it's more extreme) but the principles of hard work and not giving up are definitely here. It also reaffirms my belief of a link between people who have the capacity to handle extreme suffering being the same kinds of people who have the potential to be mega successful. And I'm not downplaying the suffering of people who are not successful - obviously having the potential doesn't always mean having faith in yourself. But having both appears to be somewhat of a superpower from what I've personally noticed. The series also tackles the downsides to having major success. It starts off pretty casually but gets very intense, so brace yourself. You can see it on Youtube here.
Image credits: Instagrams of VirgilAbloh, Burberry, JeffreeStar, Badgirlriri.
See more fashion posts here.
The tea has been simmering away in the background but latest sales figures have finally confirmed the worst. It looks like Victoria's Secret might not be around for much longer.
Word is that since they dropped their swimsuit and apparel line in 2016, Victoria's Secret’s sales have declined consistently during every single month in 2017 as reported by WWD.
Another potential reason according to Forbes might be that the brands unrealistic representations of the female body could be seen as "off message" for today's market.
*All articles on this site contain affiliate links. For more info check out my terms and conditions.
It’s kind of ironic that the company who has made its name by giving girls something to aspire to may now have to change their look to adapt to the markets perception of a real body. Especially in an age where it's all about being relateable and hugging out your imperfections as seen with lingerie brands like Aerie who uses real women models and un-retouched images. Here are some of their items.
In an article from the Wall Street Journal, CEO Lesley Wexler predicts that online shopping is not the future of retail and that people will get over their attachment to smartphones. Hmm... uh-oh, I'm just going to leave his opinion to marinade right there.
In any case Victoria's Secret has always been one of my favourite brands so I hope they can pull themselves together and get out of this mess asap.
In the meantime feel free shop some of my favourite picks from Victoria's Secret Online below - from the comfort of your smartphone.
Cover image: Victoria Secret Instagram
Read Next: Prada's exclusive made-to-order service has landed at the Fashion Avenue.
Read Next: Bottega Veneta has just launched their new store at Dubai Mall.
See more Dubai fashion posts here.
Gvasalia for Balenciaga, Abloh for LV and of course, Tisci for Burberry. I've spent a good few minutes of this year hyperventilating (in a good way) at how fashion has evolved in 2018. This is by far the closest progressive fashion has become to being worn "as is" in the way of streetwear instead of being watered down into the usual commercial, overly accessible PG version of itself with an original element seemingly thrown in here and there for goodluck.
This is why I'm so excited at the announcement that Tisci with be collaborating with Vivienne Westwood for his first collection. I mean it kind of makes sense. Ricardo Tisci is super adventurous in his designs in any case. Burberry is super traditional. And then there's Vivienne Westwood who's the ultimate British fashion rebel to sort of ease the way into the transition. I can’t wait to see what they come up with, I'm expecting something along the lines of a straightlaced anarchist. Could we be prim and proper while rebelling at the same time? I guess we'll have to see.
The collection will be launched in December and will support non-profit organisation, Cool Earth which works to protects rainforests.
Read: My First Impressions of Virgil Abloh at Paris Fashion Week
Related: The Burberry Conservatory Celebrates the launch of the Iconic Belt Bag in Dubai.
See more Dubai fashion posts here.
Shop this seasons must-have Belt bag from Burberry.com below.
Just a quick post on this development, as soon as more details are revealed I will update. Anna Sui is expanding her fashion empire into the ath-leisurewear market. She revealed her plans last week at WWD’s CEO Summit in China last week saying that she will be channelling an “empowering yet feminine” and good girl/bad girl attitude in the brand design. The brand is set to launch in China before it launches in the Middle East and the rest of the world. She also added “we want to bring something different into the activewear space”.
Since she’s known best for her prints and bold colours I have no doubt that she’ll be bringing something fun and innovative to the table. The line will cover yoga, fitness and running. Excited to see what she has in store for us.
See more Dubai fashion posts here.