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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
Images: Instagram/Anna Sui
Bottega Veneta has just launched their new store at Dubai Mall and they are going all out. The Italian fashion house has not only made its Dubai post the biggest Bottega Veneta boutique in the Middle East - they will also be showcasing their two most iconic bag designs in a dedicated exhibition from 1 to 3 June.
The Cabat and the Knot are by far two of the most iconic Bottega Veneta designs and the exhibition will display recent, archival and heritage versions of the bag. The heritage pieces are being flown in from Milan especially for the occasion from the prestigious Bottega Veneta Museum in Montebello Italy.
What's more they have introduced the personalisation service as shown on the runway in S/S18 at the store itself. Men will be able to personalise bags from the brands stripe group and women can add theirs to the newer bags such as the BV73 tote and Intrecciato Palio tote, duffel, wallets and phone cases.
The process will take between 24 hrs to a week depending on whether you opt for the embossing or stitching options.
Hypebae recently reported that Google had just released a fashion app - and when a tech giant like that taps into any market. You know they're going to bring something quality to the table. Introducing Style Match – it’s like Shazam but for clothing (and décor).
Here’s how it works. Perhaps you are out and about and you spot someone with killer style or maybe they are wearing an item of clothing you absolutely must add to your collection, you simply point your phones camera at the item of clothing and Google will then pull up the exact same piece or similar pieces through Google shopping. If you have a Pinterest account, you will be familiar with the` principal but this is the first time ever that image recognition has been built into a camera.
It also works on home decor - for just in case you're keen on that lamp in your friend’s living room too. The app also pulls up reviews for the piece of clothing or furniture, so you can make informed buying decisions about the item. Pretty awesome.
It's currently only available on Android phones or through Google assistant as its part of Google Lens but will hopefully be available on iPhone soon.
As with every major event in fashion history, I remember exactly what I was doing when I heard about the Balmain x H&M collaboration (leaving gym) and I think it's safe to say that the Swedish retailer had ‘thee’ absolute perfect timing in 2015 when they selected, creative director, Olivier Rousteing for a partnership or rather, THE partnership which sent us all into a frenzy.
Olivier Rousteing is a visionary, there are simply no other words to describe him. You could say he has always been on a steady climb to greatness even since his days working at Cavalli. However, at this point in time he was having a major minute on and off social media with his Balmain Army concept and oh-so trending ambassadors. He took the brand to the next level by uniting people of every taste by merging legendary supermodels such as Cindy and Naomi on the one hand, Rihanna and J Lo on another and then on the other end of the spectrum, tv reality stars, the Kardashians. The brand was indefinable and therefore limitless - and I'll admit, we were lapping it up like a glass of bubbly at Friday brunch.
H&M has since partnered with other major designers like Fendi and Stella Mccartney but I don’t feel like the anticipation has been as huge as the Balmain x H&M collab. It might however be set to change with the latest development. Italian fashion house Moschino announced its fashionable fling with H&M via Coachella on Saturday. This was done via a Live chat that was projected onto big screens featuring Gigi Hadid and creative director Jeremy Scott at an exclusive party attended by the likes of Cardi B and Emily Ratjakowski.
Everyone has remained tight-lipped about the specifics except that the collection is set for release on the 8th of November and that it will feature Moschino's signature playful cartoon prints and bold colours. According to Vogue prices will start at the equivalent of between Dhs100 to Dhs1000 for these limited edition pieces.
Images: Moschino Instagram
Arab fashion week is underway in Saudi Arabia with some of fashion's biggest names showcasing their looks at the Ritz Capital Hotel. It was originally meant to start on the 12th April but was delayed due to the unfortunate bad weather.
The women-only event is not open to the cameras but models, fashion buyers, foreign press and designers have been revealed some shots from behind the scenes using the hashtag #arabfashionweek. The atmosphere seems filled with anticipation as it's the first time that the event has come to the Kingdom.
Guests can expect to see designers like Yulia Yanina, Tony Ward (image below), Naja Saade, Cavalli, Jean Paul Gaultier (pictured above) and Alexandrine (who makes history as the first Brazilian brand to be showcased in KSA) to name a few along with trunk shows from Harvey Nichols to add to the festivities.
In an interview with the National, Saudi Princess Noura Bint Faisal Al-Saud, the honorary president for the Riyadh branch of Arab Fashion week, said that the fashion council is trying to bring the fashion industry in Saudi Arabia to a whole new level. Sounds like the beginning of many good things to come.
Image: Arab Fashion Council /Instagram
It's hard not to get excited for this year's summer trends especially if you've been following the events from Paris Fashion Week. There is something for everyone whether your into preppy, statement fringes, creamy pastels, sequins and even plastic.
I’m loving the fun, playful ice cream shades like the pastels we've seen at Chanel, Celine and even Victoria Beckham at PFW. Lilac is set to be pretty major this season and is truly such a versatile colour whether on dark, tan or lighter skin tones. Bubble gum, baby blue and pretty pinks are also very feminine and will be big on the pastel themed summer of 2018.
I'm a firm believer that sparkles and glitter-glamour should not be confined to evening looks and special occasions and that is why I am so pleased to see that this will be a huge trend for summer time as seen by the looks of Versace, Tom Ford and my favourite, Gucci.
There's just something about a woman who's not scared to wear a bold colour ensemble. She immediately radiates a kind of confidence that has an effect on every room she enters. How good are the primary colour brights as seen in shows with Stella Mccartney, Preen and Balenciaga? Especially when brought together with complimentary accessories it makes for an ultra fresh, fearless look.
Not sure how I feel about this trend when it's off the runway, especially for summer when your clear, PVC overcoat could potentially mist up in the middle of a social event creating some awkward situations - however these were featured everywhere from Chanel, Fendi and Burberry this year. One dream team collaboration which incorporates the trend that everyone's been talking about is of course the plastic wrapped boots and the PVC pumps from the Jimmy Choo and Off-White capsule collection.
Designers including Calvin Klein, Loewe and Balenciaga incorporated some statement fringing in their looks. This is perfect for the woman with diva-esque style. According to fashion bible Vogue, this is also a trend that will be carried through 2018 right into Autumn with some jelly fish style inspiration.
I can't wait to try them all! <3
All images: Pinterest
There have been various lists about fashion influencers in the Middle East such as who is the best, who wields the most power amongst their followers or who's getting paid the most per post. This is not one of those lists. These are simply the must-follow fashion influencers who are essential to your follow list. They are a mix of models, brand ambassadors, fashion designers and boss ladies who inspire in terms of fashion, beauty and lifestyle and have the power to brighten any newsfeed.
Nouraridaofficial Followers: 278K
Beirut based Nour Arida is goals in so many ways. We all have a thing for women who prove through hard work and focus that anything is possible. Nour started as a sales associate for a clothing brand, Aishti, worked her way up to fashion buyer and then went on to become a brand manager for various luxury fashion labels. She has since gone on to start and establish her fashion blog N for Nour - launched a day before she gave birth and has also graced the covers of prestigious magazines such as Elle Arabia and Emirates Woman.
Karenwazenb Followers: 418K
Beautiful Karen Wazen Bakhazi's feed is the perfect balance of family, glamour and womanhood. Her photos include the cutest snaps with her adorable three kids and husband while jetsetting to the hottest fashion and beauty events with power social media players like xeniaoverdose as well as a very open, honest account of her challenges as a mother and woman, having recently revealed that she was diagnosed with vitilligo.
Ascia Followers: 2.3million
No list on Middle Eastern fashion influencers would be complete without including Kuwaiti-American Ascia who blogs and vlogs with her husband through their youtube channel, The Hybrids. She's the face of Riva Middle East and has worked with brands like Dior, Chanel, Net-a-Porter and Tory Burch. Ascia is also a fashion designer who has collaborated with various brands, the latest being Haadesigns for an exclusive Ramadan collection.
Halima Aden Followers: 584K
This Somali Model-Activist might not be from the Middle East herself but Halima is has been a huge influence on the Middle East and in the west by being the first woman to wear hijab in a beauty pageant. It’s impossible not to get swept up in her adventures as a fashion activist, educating the world while jetsetting globally and smashing stereotypes in the world of fashion.
Nadya Hasan Followers: 159K
Nadya Hasan aka thefierce_nay is an Emirati style blogger who also happens to take travel photos which will get your mind wondering off to exotic destinations from the comfort of your office chair. As a self-confessed shoe addict, she has also designed her own she collection and runs the lifestyle blog, thefiercediaries.com, which document her fashionable adventures.
Sara Almadani Followers: 105K
While the other influencers on this list mainly made their mark through social media, Sara Almadani was already successful before the "influencer boom" and would, without a doubt still have been successful even without social media. She’s a mother, an entrepreneur, an activist, a fashion designer and a restaurateur. Added to this, she was also selected by Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi as a board member of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. I’m a huge fan of the messages in her instastories which consist of messages of inspiration, spirituality, success and just all round good advice brought across in a very open and frank way.
Ola Farahat Followers: 501K
Described as one of the UAE's quintessential "it" girls, Ola is more than just a pretty face. Her latest accolades include being a Grazia style award winner as well as featuring in a spread for Dolce & Gabbana. Ola has also followed her dreams and combined her passion for putting outfits together with her business acumen and started online boutique ownthelooks.com. The website allows people to shop the looks that are styled by their favourite fashion influencers.
Elnaz Golrokh Followers: 1.2 million
She might describe herself as a professional makeup artist but her feed is just so much more than that. Besides her pro make up tips, you will also see this 32 year old, Iranian, fashion and beauty blogger working her magic at glamorous events in Dubai with her husband, Hamid Fadaei who also happens to be and international model.
Who are your favourite fashion influencers in the Middle East? Let me know in the comments if there is anyone brightening up your newsfeed.