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: Fashion protests, The Sims x Moschino and digital clothing?

#FashionOGnews: Fashion protests, The Sims x Moschino and digital clothing?

Whether it’s digital-inspired, or literally digital, clothing, last week’s fashion news was all about technology and the democratization of style. It’s an exciting time to be in fashion -- the protests, the technology, the out-of-the-box nostalgic collaborations (I’m a big Moschino x The Sims fan -- can you tell)?

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).


Photo: Extinction Rebellion’s Oxford Street protest

Elizabeth and James goes to Kohl’s

The more affordable Olsen twin brand, Elizabeth and James, is about to become even more affordable. After laying off all their staff and shutting the doors of their shop, Olsen fans were concerned -- what will ‘effortless chic’ aficionados who can’t afford The Row (AKA most normal people), do?

If you’re a fashion snob, then you’ll likely be sad to hear that Elizabeth and James have signed a licensing deal with Kohl’s. The Kohl’s team will design the range and be it’s exclusive retailer, but the Olsen twins will oversee it.

While I understand that this is a desperate bid to save the business from total financial ruin, I do think it’s a little sad. I know, I know. Business needed to evolve and change as the market changes in order to survive. That being said, having to sell one’s brand to a fast-fashion giant isn’t the idealistic vision one has when starting anything quality. Word on the street is that it shuttered fundamentally because the brand ‘tried to cater to the late twenties, early thirty-something woman that can’t afford the row but wants to buy something similar,’ and ‘the quality wasn’t on par.’

Jeremy Scott debuts a ‘Sims’ inspired collection for Moschino

On a happier note, Jeremy Scott debuted his latest Moschino collection a few days ago -- and it’s inspired by my favourite video game The Sims. The collection features Moschino signatures such as the teddy bear and biker jacket purse -- all created through a Sims-tinted lens. Alongside these classics, there are a few pieces that made me laugh -- like the swimsuit covered in green plumbobs (those diamonds above a Sim head that show their mood).

Appropriately timed with EA games’ 20th anniversary, it’s a clever move for both Moschino and EA games. Plus, it really taps into millennial nostalgia, and people seem to be all about that these days. Whether or not these will end up at TK Max in a few months time, however, is unclear. I like the pieces on social media, but not sure I’d actually fork over the £. Would you?

Extinction Rebellion protests fast fashion in Oxford Circus

Last Friday, Extinction Rebellion took over Oxford Circus during rush hour in an event called ‘The Fashion: Circus of Excess.’ Stopping traffic for an hour, models paraded around in outfits made of plastic, denim, feathers and covered with anti-fracking & climate change slogans.

Location-wise it’s genius. Oxford Circus is the epicenter of London (and fast-fashion, TopShop’s head office being there). While I don’t think these protests will make any instantaneous changes to company policy, I think they are valuable to shifting social opinion overtime. Maybe, just maybe, it will make people think a little more before buying that new top at H&M. I salute you.

Designers explore the future of ‘digital clothing’

The Scandianvian retailer, Carlings, released it’s first digital clothing collection last November. Featuring 19 genderless and sizeless pieces, the costs run from 10-30 euros -- all to give you that Instagram-fresh look.

While this seemed strange to me initially -- would people really spend on digital clothing? It did occur to me that I used to use a website called ‘Star Doll’ (don’t judge -- it was the coolest), and I did in fact buy clothing for my doll. Now with social media, we’ve strangely become our own sort of doll. Plus, the Kim Kardashian game selling clothes for your Kardashian avatar is real proof that adults still buy into this.

Head of Fashion Innovation at LCF, Matthew Drinkwater, thinks that this will become mainstream in 5-10 years. I 100% agree. I think it’s the real problem-solver for fashion fashion. I think we’ll all just wear black and have digital closets. Thinking about it now, I’m undecided if that’s a future I’d want to live with (great for the planet at least)?

Tech executive becomes CEO of Conde Nast

The former CEO of Pandora Radio, Roger Lynch, has been named CEO of Conde Nast. While Lynch has never worked in print media before, I don’t think people should be too concerned about that. After all, Conde already has plenty of print media experts -- what they need is someone who can help them improve their digital influence and presence.

Considering Lynch’s past as a CEO of Sling TV (5 years), and how he sold Pandora for 3.5 billion to Sirius XM, it’s clear that Conde are really going to work hard on adding value to advertisers through greater audio and video presence.

The most interesting part of this story, however, is actually Anna Wintour. Some say that she will not work under a younger CEO -- reigniting rumours that she will be leaving Vogue. For me, I hope she leaves. She was a pioneer during her time, but her time is now up and well all need a fresh digital-first voice. Who knows, maybe Lynch can help Conde achieve that.

That’s it for this week, thanks so much for tuning in! I’d love to know: what was your favourite story from this week? Any I missed? If you’d like, listen to the audio companion to this blog post below:

I want YOU on Fashion Originators (contest closing soon)!

I want YOU on Fashion Originators (contest closing soon)!

#FashionOGnews: 'Victim fashion', trademark squatting and ASOS crack-down?

#FashionOGnews: 'Victim fashion', trademark squatting and ASOS crack-down?