British Vogue appoints new top editor


Just a month after the death of Franca Sozzani, Vogue Italia’s long-time editor-in-chief, the editor-in-chief of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, resigned from her post after 25 years.

Shulman’s resignation was announced during Paris Fashion Week, leaving the magazine’s publishing company, Conde Nast, scrambling to find her replacement amid the chaos of the industry’s busiest time of the year.

However, two days ago British Vogue announced it found her replacement — Edward Enninful, 45. Making him the first nonwhite man to take on the responsibility of editing one of the most powerful women’s fashion publications in the world in the magazine’s 100-year history.

Enninful is a smart choice due to his years of experience in the industry, beginning as a model for i-D magazine he was 16 and becoming the magazine’s fashion editor at just 18.

After working 20 years for i-D magazine, Enninful became the creative and fashion director of Conde Nast’s W magazine, using his unique vision to raise the publication’s popularity and revenue.

Enninful also worked as a contributing editor to Vogue Italia. He is credited for helping curate one of the magazine’s most famous issues, “The Black Issue,” which featured only black models and was so popular Conde Nast had to print 400,000 additional copies.

Two years ago, Enninful was awarded the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at the British Fashion Awards. The prize commemorates outstanding people in the fashion industry for their contributions to the sector.

Not only is Enninful a powerful figure in the fashion industry, but a recognized advocate for diversity. Last year, Queen Elizabeth II honored him, as part of her birthday honors, for his efforts in diversifying the fashion industry.

Due to Enninful’s charismatic presence and passion for the industry, he has friends in all aspects of the sector. Taking fashion icons Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell as dates to the Met Gala and standing next to Michelle Obama in Instagram photos are but a few examples.

His well-rounded Rolodex of connections will be very useful and important when he takes on the role of editor in chief of British Vogue Aug. 1.

New Marvel superhero is lesbian Latina


Marvel’s newest comic-series is all about America Chavez, an 18-year-old college student who studies, hangs out with friends and fights evil aliens all in her signature gold hoops.

America is the first lesbian Latina superhero with her own comic series, making Marvel one of the most diverse comic book publishers.

Marvel also features comics of diverse protagonists like Muslim Mr. Marvel, an African-American Iron Man and a female Thor.

What is different about America Chavez’s comic, is that her writer, Gabby Rivera is herself a lesbian Latina.

Rivera, 34, is Puerto Rican and a proud member of the LGBTQ community.

While she did not set-out to be a comic book writer, her novel “Juliet Takes a Breath,” about a lesbian, Puerto Rican teen, was picked up by a Marvel editor and later became the basis for the comic series.

America first appeared fighting in across dimensions in Marvel’s “Vengeance” in 2011, now in 2017, she has her own popular comic series.

With the rise in political tension and threatened Hispanic community, America’s character seems all the more appropriate.

To keep up with her growing audience and popularity of America, Rivera has been learning more and more about comic writing, forming America’s identity as both a Latina and a lesbian.

Vogue highlights mental health


For Vogue’s 125th year anniversary, Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief, decided that in light of the recent societal tension and due to the predominant audience of the publication, the magazine would highlight women that are impacting the world for better in each issue for the rest of 2017.

To debut the plan, March’s issue was titled “Women Rule!” and it featured a cover with seven models of different ethnicities, sizes and race, with a caption that read “the beauty revolution: no norm is the new norm.”

In the latest issue of Vogue that debuted this earlier week, pop star and fashion icon, Selena Gomez is on the cover.

While that might not be shocking to some, the story that was featured next to her photographs surprised many.

Gomez not only talked about the facade celebrities must put on when they are watched by most of the world, but how common it is to not only people of influence and how the lack of conversation about that facade is detrimental.

Gomez talks for the first time about checking into a psychiatric facility herself and how therapy changed her life. She goes on to say how mental health awareness and therapy shouldn’t be stigmatized but encouraged.

This topic has not been talked about to this extent in the magazine before, and for it to come from a person of such influence is new to not only Vogue but to many fashion magazines.

Vogue emphasized that many see Gomez as just a million-dollar actress and a singer. However, she is also the executive producer of “13 Reasons Why” a mini-series about mental health and suicide awareness, and an advocate for dialectical behavior therapy, which focuses on borderline personality disorder.

Gomez is using her fame and stature to break down walls that say your mental health is not important. She is giving a voice to many that feel they aren’t good enough.

I believe Anna Wintour chose to tell Gomez’s story as part of her “Women Rule!” movement to highlight the fact that just as women are powerful and strong, they are allowed to breakdown and cry. We are all only human.

This issue is sending a message that in an environment where it is frowned upon to look vulnerable and weak, sometimes those can be your greatest weapons, which makes Gomez the perfect person to highlight for Vogue’s 125-year anniversary.

CFDA unveils fashion award nominees


With film award season over, a less publicized, yet equally as important, award season commences, American fashion award season.

Every year during the spring and early summer, fashion designers, retailers and brands join forces to celebrate the winners of the CFDA Fashion Awards.

The CFDA stands for the Council of Fashion Designers of America and was founded in 1962. Each year the council awards America’s future and established fashion talent at their fashion awards.

For the 2017 CFDA Fashion Awards, chairwoman and former creative director at her namesake label, Diane von Furstenberg, unveiled the list of nominees.

The nominees were not surprising due to the brilliance and beauty of the collections they have displayed throughout fashion month in February. The list includes, Joseph Altuzarra, Raf Simons, Marc Jacobs and Thom Browne and past winners Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.

However, to some in the fashion industry, the amount of designers from abroad being honored were staggering.

Robert Geller, a Germany-based designer, was nominated for the first time in the Menswear Designer category. He is up against big names like Calvin Klein, Thom Browne and Todd Snyder.

Demna Gvasalia, the Belgian wunderkind that launched his millennial hit label, vetements, just a few years ago will receive the International Award for his work at Balenciaga and vetements.

Finally, Franca Sozzani, Vogue Italia editor-in-chief who recently passed away last year, will be honored posthumously with the Fashion Icon Award.

The award show will take place June 5, giving the fashion industry a season to wait anxiously.

However, until then the CFDA will keep busy.

Throughout the year the foundation provides monetary assistance in the form of resources and support to students at high schools to the graduate level. The CFDA also kick-starts fashion designers careers through the CFDA / Vogue Fashion Fund that provides business opportunities and publicity to emerging designers.

Retail stores experience decline


After years of taking center stage as the stand-out example of a retail store for young consumers, Urban Outfitters shares plummet to a new low as sales fall short of expectations.

Nasty Gal, the e-commerce store that was once a booming mecca for young online shoppers, recently felt the same decline of sales. Except, unlike Urban Outfitters, Nasty Gal was unable to turn its low sales into profits and earlier this year the e-commerce store was forced to file for bankruptcy.

The decline of established retail stores come at a time when social media outlets like Instagram and Facebook and online marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy make it easier for consumers to become the producers.

Instagram and Facebook, as well as Amazon and Etsy, allow ordinary people to start online businesses and stores with a click of a button.

By registering your account as a business, one can easily start posting handmade clothing, jewelry and even furniture to their pages for sale.

Bagatiba, Same Swimwear, Gisou and The Blonde Salad Shop are all retail stores created on social media and all have a following of over 50,000 people.

On these social media outlets and online marketplaces, one can even buy ad space to promote their merchandise to their target audiences.

Because of the accessibility and uniqueness of handmade garments and items, many fast-fashion stores like Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap and J. Crew are losing long-time customers that now prefer to stay at home to shop rather than make a trip to the mall.

Established retail stores are trying new ways to get customers back into their stores.

Urban Outfitters is set on making their stores a place to not only shop, but get your hair done and have lunch. Abercrombie & Fitch switched from their typical preppy polos and khakis to maxi-dresses and bohemian blouses that are severely marked down.

However, their efforts are not gaining the reception they need to compete with the online marketplaces. The retail stores sales keep declining while as of early February, Amazon’s revenue increased 22 percent, according to investing website,

Only time will tell if brick-and-mortar stores will keep up with the allure of e-commerce shops.

Rihanna honored with Harvard award


Grammy award-winning singer Rihanna is no longer just recognized for her influence in the music and fashion industries but also for her impactful involvement in a number of charitable causes.

On Tuesday, Rihanna accepted the Harvard Foundation’s prestigious 2017 Humanitarian of the Year Award. It is an honor that was given to gender-right activist Malala Yousafzai and workers-right activist Dolores Huerta in years past.

For most of Rihanna’s career she has worked to better the lives of children, the poverty-stricken and the sick.

When she was just 18 she founded the BELIEVE Foundation, a charity to help critically ill children.

Six years later, she founded the Clara Lionel Foundation, after her grandmother passed away from cancer, where she was able to build a state-of-the-art oncology center in her hometown of Barbados.

As a pop star and fashion icon she has used her influence to become a global advocate for access to healthcare, women empowerment and education.

She has served as an ambassador to the UNICEF Tap Project, which raises money for clean drinking water, as well as being involved in the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, which helps children get an education in more than 60 developing countries.

When she accepted her award, Rihanna gave an inspiring speech that was followed by a standing ovation from the crowd, which included dean of Harvard College, Rakesh Khurana.

She explained how she use to watch television commercials that asked to donate 25 cents to save the life of a child that was suffering. She would wonder how many quarters could save all the kids in Africa.

“People make it seem way too hard, man. The truth is, and what that little girl watching those commercials didn’t know, is that you don’t have to be rich to be a humanitarian. You don’t have to be rich to help somebody. You don’t gotta be famous,” said Rihanna accepting her award.

While, Rihanna’s philanthropic endeavors include a global scholarship program and bringing education to developing countries, Rihanna herself has never attended college.

In her speech, she acknowledged her regret for never going to college and her wish to be able to go.

“I mean I wish I was [college educated], especially today. I might come back. So, I made it to Harvard. Never thought I’d be able to say that in my life, but it feels good.”

London Fashion Week gets outrageous


For decades, London has been notorious for their avant-garde fashion and London Fashion Week was no exception.

From Feb. 16-21, London’s streets were filled with eccentric ensembles that included colorful furry shoes, LED light-up jackets and massive amounts of make up.

The inspired clothing did not stop on the streets, inside the venues runway shows for British designers, like Burberry, Versus Versace and House of Holland, showcased collections that shocked and excited every fashion week attendee.

Accessories were a big deal for Brits this season. Designers took inspiration from classic pop-culture references like Nickelodeon’s TV show, Spongebob Squarepants to create a “Spongebob Squarepants Gold Collection” that included trendy chokers and rings.

Shoes had their moment when renowned footwear brands like Sophia Webster and Charlotte Olympia used outrageous themes like “Frozen” and “Film Noir” as a backdrop to their shoes that were decorated with feathers, mesh and even icicles.

As for the clothes, there seemed to have been no limit to what the designers could create.

At Burberry, designer Christopher Bailey introduced a new kind of trench coat, one completely open on the front, introducing a new bare-chest trench. The impractical yet stylish theme was seen throughout the collection with one-sleeve sweaters, off-the shoulder tops and jagged-cut coats.

Versus Versace’s newest collection channeled London’s traditional punk-rock vibe, as models walked down the runway in leather jackets, black mini skirts and studded knee-high leather boots.

House of Holland showcased a more colorful collection that included every type of material imaginable.

From mesh tights to fringe pants to furry-sleeve jackets, the label’s newest collection is sure to be a favorite among London residents.

New York Fashion Week is first stop


Calvin Klein

New York Fashion Week is only the first leg in a month-long extravaganza of fashion shows around the world.

Since it is the first stop, for the last couple of years it was regarded as the least impressive in comparison to the collections shown in London and Paris.

However, this year, audiences were surprised by the moving collections full of inspiring clothes that pushed boundaries and sent a message.

Established labels reinvented classic looks and emerging designers gave us reason to believe they are here to stay.

In a collection dubbed as “Americana” Raf Simmons, the new chief creative officer of the brand took the saying “what goes around comes around” to new heights.

Alexander Wang

He took inspiration from America’s diverse and chaotic fashion past filled with leather jackets, trouser suits and ribbed sweaters to create a new forward-thinking way of dress.

He restructured sweaters and added mesh detailing, put plastic covering on top of feather dresses, a gold faux fur coat and plaid coats which was surprisingly beautiful.

While some might have thought a runway show with no seats would be dreadful, Wang’s mosh-pit audience perfectly reflected his gothic, all-black collection.

Adam Selman

His studded bags, leather pants and graphic shirts added a new tier to New York street-style.

The models stomped on the runway in patent leather boots while carrying chain-link bags that will definitely become the next it-girl accessories.

Leave it to Selman to turn a Western cowboy look into something romantic and girly.

His denim jumpsuits and rose embroidered jeans contrasted with converse and metallic sunglasses.

However, the odd pairing created a surprising and causal that can be worn for a night on the town or a day with your friends.

BROCK Collection

For those who long for the days women were ultra-feminine, this year’s Vogue contest winner is a gift to you.

The collection features knee-length dresses cinched at the waist in gingham and red fabrics.

The feminine clothes were accessorized with classic off-the shoulder fur coats and stools. At first glance the collection looks almost Italian, with their ruffled details and deep color palate.

However, there is an air of casualness to it, making it the perfect date-night attire.

Fashion Week experiences big changes


Twice a year since 1993, people that work in the fashion industry flock to New York City with suitcases full of flamboyant clothes, energy bars and portable phone chargers, all in the hopes of making New York Fashion Week seem just a little less chaotic.

However this year, chaos seems inevitable because big labels like Rebecca Minkoff, Tommy Hilfiger and Rachel Zoe are all going to Los Angeles to showcase their fall/winter 2017 collections, while other designers are staying in New York.

This big shift in location is a way for the designers to stay local to their customer base. Rachel Zoe’s brand is predominantly a California-based label, which is why she decided to show her new collection in the city she has more of an influence in.

Tommy Hilfiger is not only shaking up the fashion world by showcasing his new collection in California, but his newest collection is a collaboration between him and supermodel, Gigi Hadid.

This will be his second collection that has been created by him and Hadid, an idea that has uprooted his once waning brand due to her constant exposure of the brand’s clothes to her 29 million Instagram followers.

Minkoff who already showed her latest collection in L.A., just days before the official start to NYFW, took a page out of Hilfiger’s book and took advantage of the exposure Instagram can give a fashion label.

Minkoff filled her runway with fashion influencers and bloggers that have a massive social media following, instead of the usual runway models that are not as popular online.

Fashion blogger, Aimee Song of Song of Style, who has an Instagram following of over four million followers opened and closed Minkoff’s show, posting photos and videos all over her Instagram, Snapchat and blog.

These big changes to the way fashion shows are conducted comes at a time when the fashion industry is evolving into a more informal and casual environment.

Just last year, high fashion labels like Burberry, Topshop and Proenza Schouler created “See Now Buy Now” collections. Meaning, instead of showcasing collections months before the clothes will appear in stores, the designers are showcasing their collections and immediately putting it in stores and online for people to purchase.

This immediacy and casualness is a way for the fashion industry to keep up with millennial’s fast-changing behaviors and immediate needs.

However, some say it is deterring the importance of the fashion industry’s long standing rules and regulations.

For example, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the organization that puts NYFW together, was ignored by rapper-turned-designer, Kanye West, when he failed to confirm his fashion show block with the CFDA.

This disregard for one of fashion’s biggest organizations is a step in a new direction for the industry.

2017 is the beginning of a whole new age for the fashion industry, only time will tell what else will change for the industry and if they are up for the challenge.

Haute couture becomes political


Protests, bans, inequality and violence. Those are a few of the things that we as citizens of America and the world have witnessed since the year began. Protests in airports and in the streets of the world’s most popular cities. Multiple shootings where innocent people have died for being at the wrong place at the wrong time and an exponentially-growing divide between the nation’s political parties.

In the midst of this chaotic environment, one of the most opulent and lavish events took place: Haute Couture Fashion Week. Haute couture is synonymous with high-end fashion. The clothes are custom-made using only high quality fabric and with extreme attention to detail. Haute Couture Fashion Week has been a part of the fashion industry since the mid-nineteenth century.

This year, the shows took place in Paris just a week after the Women’s March, where thousands upon thousands of men, women and children marched through the streets in cities around the world to protest President Trump. Thus, to have something so glamorous and over-the-top right after a worldwide protest seemed inappropriate and unnecessary to some.

However, the beautiful fabrics and glittering silhouettes was how the fashion industry took part in the protest. The designers created clothing that gave the audience a feeling of optimism and hope for the future of our world.

Elie Saab, debuted a collection of golden, beaded dresses and silky skirts that the designer, Saab, said was inspired by the turn of the 20th century in Egypt.

During that time the people in Egypt were able to freely express themselves in a progressive and cultural hub. Saab used that idea to embroider his dresses with pictures of city skylines and boats sailing along the Nile River.

The dreamlike dresses gave the audience a sense of wonder. The collection served as a reminder that while the present is chaotic, there is always something to look forward to on the horizon.

Valentino, showcased a collection that depicted a pure and classic aesthetic that is reminiscent of Grecian goddesses and architecture. The smooth lines and flowing cloaks reminded me of the popular saying “less is more.”

The simplicity of the collection was a direct contrast to the complexity of our reality. It served as a much needed simple distraction to the disarray that is so apparent in our daily lives.

The Vetements show was a praise to one’s unique and individualistic attitude, something that seems to be at risk in this political climate. The inspiring collection was modeled by people of different ethnicities, races and ages.

They walked down the runway wearing eccentric ensembles including all leather outfits, long fur coats and silk dresses over hoodies.

Imprinted on some of the outerwear were saying like “Not Your Resident,” which mirrored the popular saying against President Trump, “Not My President.”

While these are just three examples of the way designers used the uneasy political mood as a major theme in their haute couture collections, many other fashion houses did the same like Maison Margiela, Jean Paul Gaultier and Chanel.

The designers took advantage of their stature, the large audiences and publicity of the week to make a statement. That statement being: there is a light at the end of the dark tunnel.