Anonymous said: do you think karl lagerfeld should retire
You know what’s scary? Karl Lagerfeld is a senior citizen. And so is Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood and Giorgio Armani.
You know what’s even scarier? So is Donatella Versace.
They have their moments of brilliance, but in any other industry they’d have retired by now. And some of them should. Just sayin’.
Anonymous said: what are your thoughts on the use of cigarettes in the fashion industry? (e.g. smoking in editorials)
Meh, whatever. Honestly. I don’t even care. There are worse things being glamorised in fashion photography:
- racial fetishism
- the sexualisation of children
- date and gang rape
- domestic abuse
- BLACKFACE IS STILL A THING
- TERRY RICHARDSON IS STILL A THING
- etc etc etc.
Anonymous said: serious question - is it difficult to get a retail position at prada/miu miu or any other luxury store? obviously the hiring rules will differ, but i'm just curious about your knowledge on this topic. what kind of background experience does it typically require? thanks.
Yeah, it is. From my experience, anyway. Typically they want you to have at least 3-5 years of experience in a luxury retail environment (or “high-end customer service role”), which isn’t feasible if you can’t find a way in to begin with. Having a friend who works there helps because a lot of companies have an employee referral program put in place, whereby they recruit new staff from their current employees’ social networks. This eliminates the need for the costly services of an external recruitment agency, and it makes the interview process a lot less painful. Companies can save up to $50,000 by hiring the right employees, as opposed to an employee who makes a good first impression but turns out to be a dud (think of all the training programs involved!). The referral program also benefits the friend who refers you—they get paid a nice bonus!
Tl;dr: make friends with people who work at Prada.
Anonymous said: I'm not entirely sure if you're the right person to ask, so feel free to ignore this question, but I've tried googling it and I'm just wondering: what happens when high fashion brands decide to go public?
I received this question months ago (probably around the same time that Marc Jacobs left Louis Vuitton), but I’m only getting round to it now. Sorry!
Basically, going public means selling a percentage of your company on the stock exchange. An initial public offering (IPO) is the first time that a private company, like Marc Jacobs, offers shares to the public. Private companies work with investment banks to sell shares on the stock exchange to the public at a set price, with the hope that prices go up over time.
Let’s use a hypothetical example: Fashion Brand X is a luxury womenswear label that is wildly popular for its coats and cashmere knits. Brand X has five stores, all in North America. The founders of Brand X want to expand their business by opening more stores, developing stronger marketing campaigns, and perhaps starting lines for fragrances, accessories and sunglasses. But they don’t have enough money to do this. Where can they get it? They can borrow money from the bank, but the interest rates terrify them and they don’t want to be in debt until they’re 90. What they can decide to do instead is sell shares in their business to raise the necessary funds.
Private companies do not sell directly to the public. They work with an investment bank, which has many contacts on Wall Street and knows how to get a high price for the shares. The bank will determine how much the company is worth before splitting up shares. It will then consult Brand X to decide what percentage of the company should be sold, how many shares should be offered, and how high (or low, as they don’t want to alienate potential investors) to set the prices.
I recently published a Fashion 101 post about initial public offerings on my Wordpress blog!
Anonymous said: If you were asked to educate a bunch of people who are uneducated when it comes to fashion which topic would you tackle first?
- Don’t trust anyone who claims they “know” fashion. It suggests they’ve reached some kind of finish line, an absolute state of enlightenment. It is impossible for a person to know everything about fashion. Whatever you think you know today could change tomorrow. Fashion moves quickly.
- Don’t let Tumblr bloggers trick you into thinking that “knowing” fashion and being a pretentious fashion dickhead is cool. It’s just like any other interest you cultivate. There is no secret to it.
- It’s okay to reblog a grainy 90s detail shot of archival Yohji Yamamoto just for the hell of it. Nobody is going to quiz you on it.
- "Amanda Murphy in Prada fall-winter 2014 shearling coat, photographed by Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia August 2014" does not mean that someone "knows" fashion.
- If you’re genuinely interested in learning more, write a blog. One of the best ways to learn is to teach somebody else.
- Marc Jacobs once said that his creative process starts off with a blank piece of paper, then he draws a dot in the centre, then works around it. Start small, and let that interest grow organically. Whose work do you really admire? Study it. Read reviews, explore their references, and think about who they’re dressing. You’d be surprised how quickly you can get that ball rolling.
- You don’t have to take a class to “know” fashion. There isn’t an entrance exam.
Anonymous said: Simon Porte for Jil Sander?
I would love it so much. He’s got the subversive simplicity that Jil Sander is all about; he’s got a great eye for fashion and function, with subtle nods to some of the greatest designers alive (you can always see a little bit of Comme des Garcons—his former employer—in this clothes), and his colour preference is very "Jil Sander" in the way it’s presented. Simon Porte screams modernity. His name has also become synonymous with this new guard of underground fashion designers to come out of Europe, designers whose collections are characterised by an almost passive-aggressive approach to deconstructing what it means to be young and sexual beings. J.W Anderson is another. Whereas Jil Sander dressed women in the office, Jacquemus is dressing their daughters: girls who play sports, play the clarinet, and play with boys’ hearts. And read science fiction. Complex girls.
He’s got a good approach to business, too. He’s always been aware of the fact that having cool factor on social media (his Instagram page is particularly popular) can only go so far—designers need more sustainable success. Instagram won’t be around for ever (I hope). “I’m obsessed with selling my clothes, it’s an economic reality: I need to sell for real. I built all this with so little money. Ever since my first season, I realized I had to sell; I needed a commercial strategy,” he told The Cut. He could definitely reinvent Jil Sander into a brand that still excites people. And he’s soooo handsome. It helps.
The only thing that worries me is that Jacquemus is still very young, and Jil Sander is a company that demands a lot of attention, especially given its current state on the Milan Fashion Week schedule (snores everywhere). Simon Porte is going to explode in a few years. I’ll give it some time. For now, though, I’m looking forward to seeing what Rodolfo Paglialunga can do at Jil Sander. Honestly, I had to Google his name because I am no longer keeping tabs on Jil Sander in the press. Fingers crossed!!
Anonymous said: how to have a job like grace coddington's?? seriously!! what should I be majoring in?
Anonymous said: In the last episode of the most recent season of The Fashion Fund, Anna Wintour mentioned something along the lines of designers having to take on a celebrity image in order for their brands to be sustainable. Do you believe it true that a designer must attain somewhat of a celebrity status in order for his/her brand to be successful in this day & age?
I agree. I’m writing a post for The Style Con about this very topic so I don’t want to give too much away at this point, but if the recent “unmasking” of Matthieu Blazy as Maison Martin Margiela’s lead designer has demonstrated anything, it’s that anonymity as some form of cultural cool has become a thing of the past. Is it just plain pretentious now? Do designers, as Anna Wintour says, have to learn how to market not only their clothes, but themselves?
I’m really fascinated by this whole idea that designers must become celebrities in their own right. There are some designers who would have been celebrities no matter what, like Stella McCartney, the daughter of a Beatle. And there are designers like Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs who became celebrities because the timing was right, and they made such bold statements with their clothes and catwalk presentations that the public simply became fascinated by the fantasia. Marc also modelled in his own Bang fragrance ad campaign. Designers like Karl Lagerfeld, on the other hand, have such incredibly overbearing personalities and say the craziest things that becoming a celebrity was inevitable. Then, of course, there are celebrities who move into fashion design because they already know how to market themselves. Victoria Beckham is now winning design awards over Tom Ford. It’s depressing, yes, but that’s the kind of industry we have now.
Think about some of the designers who have reached celebrity status (or, to a lesser extent, “industry darling” status), and how social media has propelled them. Would Fausto Puglisi have become creative director of Ungaro had Anna Dello Russo not worn his gladiator dresses everywhere? The street style beasts, like, invented him. Would Jason Wu have been hired by Hugo Boss if images of Michelle Obama’s dresses hadn’t been sent all over cyberspace? What about Alexander Wang at Balenciaga? J.W Anderson at Loewe? Did anyone care about Loewe before he joined? I’ll leave it at that. My article will be published on The Style Con next week!
PS. As Alexander Fury said, it helps if the designer is good-looking. Matthieu Blazy is superbly handsome. *heart eyes*