Fashion Entrepreneur Podcast

Fashion Originators



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: Baby Phat is back, Vogue Hong Kong controversy and Rent the Runway homeware?

#FashionOGnews: Baby Phat is back, Vogue Hong Kong controversy and Rent the Runway homeware?


On this week’s edition of #fashionOGnews, I’m sharing 5 stories from last week that really piqued my interest. While there’s always WAY too much happening, the rental market, asian fashion, Calvin Klein, and Farfetch are among my favourite things to debate ad nauseum. If you’re an audio-fiend don’t worry — the podcast that goes with this post is at the bottom!

Rent the runway partners with west elm to rent out home decor

Rent the Runway will be partnering with West Elm to include ‘soft home goods’ (in addition to clothing) on their platform.  As fashion bloggers transition to ‘lifestyle’ and millenials obsess over the ‘instagrammability’ over their flats/lives, this partnership is interesting yet unsurprising.

It’s interesting because I wonder how they will properly integrate it. Rent the Runway have a purpose that’s clear in it’s name -- you’re renting runway pieces. Likely, a dress you’ll wear to a wedding, or a statement coat you couldn’t afford to actually buy. By including ‘soft homegood bundles’, they’re providing something that’s similar only in it’s pricepoint and model (rental).

Vogue Hong Kong launch

The latest global edition of Vogue, Vogue Hong Kong,debuted March 3rd. Despite the seeming global decline of fashion magazine relevance and revenue, magazine ads are still ranked as the second most influential advertising medium in Hong Kong (according to Vogue Business).

Personally, I think that featuring a superstar like Hadid (alongside Fei Fei Sun) shot by Nick Knight is a great way to get the issue more hype. That being said, they could have done more to include local talent in the shoot (apparently it was all done by westerners). In order to change the homogeny in fashion, we need to find that artful balance between obtaining commercial awareness (through famous people) yet simultaneously featuring new and deserving talent. Hopefully, they will do more of this going forward.

Calvin Klein shutters runway offering, debuts ‘Tik Tok’ campaign

Simons out, commercialization in at Calvin Klein. Last week, Calvin Klein announced their abandonment of the runway side of their operations, which wasn’t the success they thought it would be.

In what could be the greatest contrast to Simons’ sophisticated aesthetic (I am still sour about his departure), Calvin Klein are chasing the youth through a campaign on video app Tik Tok (basically the new Vine). Featuring Shawn Mendes, A$AP Rocky and Kendall Jenner (YAWN), it was the most-viewed campaign they’ve ever done within the first 24 hours of its release.

While this may seem like an obvious success, views doesn’t necessarily equal sales. As well, these views could be attributed more to the social media presence of Shawn Mendes and Kendall Jenner outside of Tik Tok. The platform seems quite irritating and childish, so hopefully it will change. Calvin Klein are clearly low on cash and need the boost from the reliably profitable side of their business, so it’s understanding that they are going full-tilt.

Farfetch boosts platform with new content focus

The fashion ecommerce site seems to be taking on a new project every five seconds. The next one? Content. To be fair, this actually sounds quite cool and long overdue. Before March 7th, Farfetch only released editorial content once per week. Now releasing content daily, Farfetch is trying to keep up with Net-a-Porter in obtaining a strong brand image and further engaging their customer base. For the launch, Farfetch has commissioned the likes of Adwoa Aboah and Blondey McCoy to create shopping edits for the site.

As a content creator, seeing this excites me. As most people know, magazines are struggling to stay relevant and profitable and I think multi-brand ecommerce sites (like net-a-porter) can provide content that is authentic, useful, engaging and revenue-driving. While Vogue UK are doing photoshoots with primark, at least you know on Net-a-Porter  or Farfetch that their brand edit is more honest -- and less about a large cheque from a fast fashion company.


Baby Phat is back : Kimora Lee is the OG girl boss, and I think her timing is impeccable. Reportedly, inclusivity will be a big part of her comeback.

Thank you all so much for tuning in! I would love to know: what’s your favourite story from last week? You can join the conversation over on Instagram @fashionoriginatorspodcast — In the meantime, be sure to give the (unedited ‘authentic’) audio version of this post a listen!

#41: Why you should care about Canadian fashion with Fashion Talks host Donna Bishop

#41: Why you should care about Canadian fashion with Fashion Talks host Donna Bishop

#FashionOGnews: Celine doesn't suck, futuristic shoes & LVMH hotel?

#FashionOGnews: Celine doesn't suck, futuristic shoes & LVMH hotel?