Fashion Entrepreneur Podcast

Fashion Originators

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Hi.

Welcome to Fashion Originators, a podcast hosted by me, Stephanie Irwin. Every other week, I interview game-changing fashion entrepreneurs. Each episode, THEY share their wins, losses and wisdom – all to inspire your career and personal goals.

#FashionOGNews: BIG change at Kenzo, Taylor Swift collabs with Stella McCartney and a Lady Gaga fashion exhibit?

#FashionOGNews: BIG change at Kenzo, Taylor Swift collabs with Stella McCartney and a Lady Gaga fashion exhibit?

Photo: The vaguely disturbing Britney Spears x Kenzo campaign. She’s a beautiful woman — why all the photoshop?

On the latest edition of #fashionognews, I’m sharing the news about Amazon’s latest fashion launch, Farfetch attempting another random project, Lady Gaga exhibiting her fashion archive and 24 Sevres (my FAVE) making some big changes. PLUS (since it has been a minute, let’s be real), I’m also featuring stories on the BIG change happening at Kenzo and Taylor Swift’s new fashion collab (cringe).

As always, I hope you guys enjoy the news update and all the stories I hand-picked this week (with a sprinkle of sassy commentary -- naturally).

Audio to come Jun 15th evening*

Amazon launches ‘The Drop’

‘The Drop’ is a feature of Amazon that will feature limited edition items designed by influencers. The catch? You only have 30 hours to shop before the items disappear. Alongside the rapid-expiring collection, it also features ‘Staples by The Drop’ which has pieces you can buy on a permanent rotation of sorts.

For me, this is the last thing the world needs — another ‘faster,faster, faster’ project from Amazon, and another fashion line by basic (AKA boring) influencers. For Amazon to gain traction in the fashion space, I think they should embrace what they are good at — purveying basic pieces. Need socks? Need printer paper? Done.

As well, sustainability is such a huge issue in fashion, that this appears incredibly tone-deaf. At least the likes of Boohoo and Missguided go on and on about their ‘fashion for all’ approach (which everyone should have, by the way). When I applaud ‘fashion for all’ (just so we’re clear), I’m applauding the size-range and the purveyance of sexy clothes to plus-size women — not the ‘inclusivity’ of a £3 top. Let’s be real — most people who buy a £3 top online aren’t in such dire straits that £3 is all they can afford to spend on a top, and that they have no other tops in their closet.

Point being, Amazon needs to create a fashion offering that’s interesting, somewhat in-tune with sustainability, and something that plays on their strengths. This is not it.


Farfetch teams with Gucci for original content

It seems that everyday, the wonderful people over at Farfetch have a new, seemingly random initiative to drive customer-growth. This week, they are expanding on their content platform, ‘Farfetch Communities’ through collaborating with Gucci on original content. In the past, Farfetch and Gucci have partnered up to provide 90-minute delivery in certain cities, but beyond that, haven’t really done anything creative together.

While Neves cites this project as a way to leverage their community, it’s almost the equivalent of calling all Amazon sellers a community -- there’s so many of them, that I’m not really sure they could deliver a cohesive message.

That being said, I really like the Farfetch because of their willingness to adapt, try new things and build on that. In being open-minded, they’ve attracted a lot of media attention and investment which I do respect.

Lady Gaga fashion exhibit

Lady Gaga’s 40 most famous outfits will be going on exhibition in Las Vegas. Among these items, the infamous meat dress will obviously be featured, alongside more pieces such as her costumes from A Star is Born.

Gaga’s creative head, Nicola Formichetti, says he has been working with Gaga since the beginning of her career on this exhibiton, reaffirming the artist as a living art project of sorts. The exhibit is open May 30th to November 8th.

For me, I think this is well-deserved, and it makes me wish I lived closer to Vegas. While in most cases doing this sort of exhibit would be premature (these kinds of things usually happen after someone dies), Lady Gaga’s archive is so vast that I don’t think this will be the last fashion exhibit featuring her style.

24 Sevres Changes name 2 years in to 24S

24 Sevres has changed its name to 24S, and has put a new emphasis on international customers. When it was launched, LVMH played up the website’s French identity. However, the company soon realized that their customer base was actually far more international than they anticipated.

Embracing this fact, they’ve also added new languages to the site — German and Korean — alongside English and French.

Personally, I think starting out with a ‘French’ aesthetic was a good idea, and that evolving is totally okay. They have a clear brand, and I think that’s really important to have especially when starting a project. Overtime, similar to Farfetch, evolving becomes necessary to staying relevant to the ever-demanding luxury fashion consumer.

AND….

Meghan has double the fashion influence of Kate?

According to Lyst.com, Meghan Markle’s outfit choices have double the online demand to Kate Middleton’s. Apparently, Meghan’s influence is more ‘color’ related, whereas Kate’s is more designer related.

OF COURSE!

This should be of no surprise to anyone. Don’t get me wrong, Meghan is a beautiful woman with decent taste, but she’s fundamentally very basic. Plus, Kate has been in the spotlight for far longer, so of course the novelty of her style and appearance has worn off. In the article they even admit that Meghan’s hype is starting to taper.

There are two interesting points to think about from this article; why do we need to always pit women against each other? Secondly, Kate’s influence being more ‘designer’ vs. ‘trend’ driven is important to note. For me, ‘designer-related’ influence is more useful, as it results in a drive (albeit a temporary drive) of sales, whereas a greater ‘trend’ influence is more tenuous / arbitrary.

Taylor Swift collaborates with Stella McCartney on a clothing line

Swift recently announced she’s creating a clothing line with Stella McCartney to celebrate the launch of her new album called ‘Lover’. Citing McCartney as a long-time friend, Swift seems to think that this collaboration makes sense.

For me, I think this is an incredibly random idea. Sure, Swift attracts attention. BUT are her fans the Stella McCartney customer? No. Will this get Stella McCartney press? Yes. Honestly, I don’t think Stella is desperate for press. She has a really strong brand ethos, and she is doing quite fine thank you very much — the UN charter, collaborations with Google etc.

As an advocate for sustainability, I think Stella should be selective when it comes to bringing on cringe-worthy celebrity collaborations going forward. Does the world really need this? Is this really worth the waste? (Even sustainable brands create waste, contrary to popular belief). Well, only time will tell.

TopShop saved from administration

I’m bored of this story, honestly. It’s really sad that people at Topshop are losing their jobs (500 more people will be sacked), because Phillip Green failed to evolve the brand with the times.

Humberto Leon and Carol Lim leave Kenzo!

After an 8-year tenure at Kenzo, Humberto and Carol will be focusing on their own brand, Opening Ceremony. Showing their last collection Jun 23rd, their departure will be quick -- officially leaving completely on July 1st.

Interestingly, this BoF article compares them (accurately) to other American designers like Jason Wu at Hugo Boss and Alexander Wang at Balenciaga -- Americans who were put in place to give European houses a fresh injection of energy. While Wu and Wang didn’t really thrive in their roles. Leon and Lim did.

The thing is, Kenzo was doing well, but not growing to the scale it could. One could actually say the same thing about Opening Ceremony. Through prioritizing their focus, it will be interesting to see how this impacts the growth of both separate brands.

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