October 29, 2009

Fashion's Night Out and more: Updates from around the Web

Well, it looks like we were wrong, wrong, wrong about Fashion's Night Out's success, or lack of. WWD reports today that the Sept. 10 event was SO smashingly successful that it's going to be repeated next year — and it'll be bigger and smashing-er than ever!!! Everyone's still mum about actual sales figures for the night, with Bergdorf ceo Jim Gold pronouncing that "More importantly… Fashion’s Night Out set a fun, optimistic and energetic tone for the fall season.” Yes, we'd forgotten, retailers always measure their success by the tone. Bloomberg, Wintour, and co. are looking to outdo themselves by getting New York's sales tax repealed for the day, meaning deeper discounts for those buying items over $110. Can it work? Of course it can!!

In other updates, we made an egregious oversight in posting Tuesday's bike commuting story without linking to this handy guide to the two-wheeled commute in NYC. Let it be known that MBF does not in any way condone bike commuting without use of helmets (in the US, at least), lights, and a good contingency plan for rainy weather!

Lastly, we seriously underestimated the number of licensing deals inked for Where the Wild Things Are. In addition to the two clothing collections we mentioned, there was a skateboard series, Uggs, vinyl collector toys, and jewelry... Check out the comprehensive round-up at CoolHunting!

Photo by essgee on Flickr

October 26, 2009

It's a green recession at Condé

First, Anna Wintour was spotted walking to work. Then Grace Coddington outed herself as a subway rider. Now, as the latest result of 25% across-the-board cuts at Condé Nast, Self mag editrix Lucy Danziger is getting profiled by the NY Times — for her newfound routine of commuting by bike.

Danziger blows away all the naysayers who worry that biking is unglamorous, pedaling off in her Tory Burch outfit and arriving with still-perfect hair under her helmet — and even a still-warm morning coffee in her water bottle rack!

Unlike many bike-unfriendly Midtown office buildings, Condé even offers a snazzy bike rack in the basement, pictured above. Let's hope that's one amenity they won't be cutting!

October 22, 2009

Rallying around the Garment District

Yesterday's "Save the Garment Center" rally was well-attended — by fashion students, garment workers, and even high-end designers, reports the NYT — but it looks like the district could already be making a comeback. In a far cry from this summer — when Mayor Bloomberg proposed to consolidate the entire NYC garment industry into a single building — the city is now sponsoring incubator studios for young designers, who will be selected in a competition.

The 12 lucky winners will not only get a two-year lease at below-market rent in a shiny new architect-designed space, but will also receive counseling from the CFDA, making this something like a real-life Project Runway. Of course, for the landlords involved, even more than for the designers, it's a win-win situation: the floor being used for the incubator project was standing empty anyway.

Via The Cut; photo via NYT

October 20, 2009

Eco designers among latest CFDA/Vogue picks!

The annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund spread is out in this month's Vogue, and surprise! Not one, but two sustainable designers are among the 10 nominees: womenswear designer Alabama Chanin and jewelry designer Monique Péan.

This marks designer Natalie Chanin's second nomination, having already been selected in 2005 under her previous label, Project Alabama. Her clothes are made by local Alabama artisans from organic fabrics using traditional techniques, with a soft, country style.

Péan draws on the art of native cultures for her jewelry line, which is made from fair trade components including recycled gold and ethically mined gems, and donates part of the proceeds from each collection to charity, a full 50% in the case of her Charity:Water collaboration.

With an amazing crop of young nominees including Ohne Titel, Wayne — already a winner of last year's Ecco Domani award! — Sophie Théallet, and Esquivel Shoes, we're not betting on any horses yet — but it's fantastic to see ethical fashion getting the nod from Anna Wintour and company!

October 15, 2009

Real vs. fake: A model controversy

Once upon a time, not so long ago, hourglass figures like Marilyn Monroe's were considered most desirable; and even as recently as the 1980s, breasts were an accepted part of a model's body. These days, with the stick-thin heroin-chic figure continuing to dominate the fashion world as Americans grow ever plumper, the fight continues to escalate between defenders of runway models and advocates of "real women" as models.

By many accounts, curvy women are back: Mad Men star Christina Hendricks' bombshell figure has attracted widespread adulation, including an Esquire profile. Plus-size model Crystal Renn has been making a splash with Hungry, her new memoir of her eating-disordered days as a straight-size model. And popular German magazine Brigitte recently declared a moratorium on using professional models, issuing an open call for readers to be cast for an upcoming photo shoot instead.

Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren has been taking a lot of flack for not only Photoshopping longtime model Filippa Hamilton-Palmstierna into bizarrely unrealistic proportions (see photos above), but also terminating her contract for not fitting into their clothes, she claims. The 23-year-old is 5'8" tall and 120 pounds.
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