All posts under ‘They said/We said’


They said/We said: How we feel about the whole YSL SLP thing…

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Photography by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images

Well, this is certainly a game-changer: Yves Saint Laurent has just announced that under the creative direction of Hedi Slimane, the fashion house will be entering a new era, complete with a new moniker.

In the next few months, the legendary French fashion house will undergo its transformation into Saint Laurent Paris, a nod to “Saint Laurent Rive Gauche,” the name YSL’s first-ever ready-to-wear collection was produced under in 1966. The rebranding will first hit sales floors as the S/S 2013 women’s collection later this year.

A YSL rep told WWD that Slimane wanted to recapture the original “impulses” that led Saint Laurent himself to make his foray into the RTW world: youth, freedom and modernity. The rebranding’s aim is to bring the house back to its “truth, purity and essence.”

Obviously, you can’t make a big change like this without eliciting some strong responses. Saint Laurent died relatively recently (in 2008), and understandably, a lot of people are still very attached to the image of the man behind the label. Taking the eponymous brand’s name in a new direction has been met with a certain degree (i.e. a lot) of outrage so far. The Twitterverse in particular was blazing with anger, with big-ticket fashion players from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week to Independent Fashion Bloggers tweeting their distaste.

“Yves Saint Laurent is changing their name… Not gonna lie.. I’m a little upset,” MBFW tweeted.

“Why anyone would want to name change the classic Yves Saint Laurent is beyond us […],” IFB opined.

We’re a bit torn on this one: calling the “YSL” moniker iconic is almost an understatement, and anyone with the slightest inclination to fashion is probably a bit attached to the fashion house’s name and logo (which, thankfully, Slimane isn’t changing). Then again, maybe Slimane is right — maybe it is time to breathe some new life into a brand that’s long been shadowed by its founder’s legacy.

What do you think: can you get behind SLP or will you always be a YSL type?
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They said/We said: A new study reports that women spend more on beauty during recessions

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Photography by Carlo Mendoza

It should come as no surprise that during financial downturns, people tend to tighten their purse strings. What is surprising, however, is a spending phenomenon called the “lipstick effect,” which is a cute way of describing how women surprisingly spend more on beauty products during recessions. For example, did you know that L’Oréal was one of the few companies to experience growth in 2008? When all other sectors were approaching rock bottom, the beauty market was actually thriving.

Up until this point, most speculated that women were opting for beauty buys because they’re cheaper ways of splurging. However, a recently released study seems to have scientifically debunked this notion. According to the study’s findings, when it comes down to it women are less “recessionistas” than they are “recession mate hunters,” at least on a subconscious level.

Essentially, the scientists found that in keeping with ancient times (when finding a mate was of paramount importance, especially during environmentally taxing periods) the modern-day hunt for a mate is put into subconscious overdrive when the economy takes a nosedive.

In other words, as the number of gainfully employed men dwindles, women are drawn to beauty products to up their physical attractiveness, making them more viable competitors for those few eligible bachelors. This trend even extends to advertising: slogans that hinted at a “catch-a-mate” function fared better than those that were more neutral.

Though this sounds a bit (a lot) like gold-digging, apparently, it’s not — according to the study, the women’s own resource needs (i.e. money in the bank) didn’t play a part in their draw to beauty products. In fact, the lipstick trend seems to just be a byproduct of an adaptive evolutionary tactic that’s been around for years: the most desirable females were often the most beautiful, while the most sought-after men were usually well-equipped to provide for their mate and offspring.

Sexist? Well, unintentionally, yes it is a bit sexist. But it’s food for thought: are evolutionary tactics still permeating our modern-day existence? Or did the researchers fail to take into account other factors, like the cross-gender effect of a little retail therapy during bad times? Also, how many women can rely solely on beauty products to enhance their appearance? What about gym memberships, cosmetic surgery, and the like — do women spend more on them during recessions as well?
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They said/We said: Adidas pulls Jeremy Scott “Handcuffs” sneakers after being deemed racist

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Despite sticking behind the design, Adidas pulled the plug on a pair of outlandish sneakers Jeremy Scott had created for them following a torrent of public outrage. The orange, purple and grey Roundouse Mid “Handcuffs” kicks were topped with orange plastic shackles, the doomed addition that ended up causing an uproar about the shoes’ alleged racist connotations.

A sneak peek of the sneakers was uploaded onto Adidas’ Facebook page with a playful tag line that read “Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?” The pic was almost immediately greeted by a wave of backlash, the comment count quickly climbing into the thousands. “Jeremy Scott is renowned as a designer whose style is quirky and lighthearted,” a spokesperson for Adidas insisted in a statement. “The design . . . is nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott’s outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery.”

Scott spoke out about the design as well, tweeting in all caps “MY WORK HAS ALWAYS BEEN INSPIRED BY CARTOONS, TOYS & MY CHILDHOOD…” and linking to a picture of…My Pet Monster? So, the shoes everyone was up in arms about were actually inspired by a plush toy popular in the ‘80s? For those who aren’t familiar with him, the exceptionally colourful Mr. Monster had his own pair of orange plastic handcuffs, which makes Scott’s reference point pretty clear.

Adidas decided to pull the design from its market release date in August anyway, presumably to do some damage control. What’s your take on the Jeremy Scott x Adidas “Handcuffs” debacle? Were Adidas and Jeremy Scott not being careful enough about minimizing offence or are people simply overreacting?
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They said/We said: Condé Nast reportedly forbids its contributors and employees from working with Carine Roitfeld

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Photography by Mario Sorrenti

In a move that could be straight out of The Devil Wears Prada, the New York Post’s Page Six is reporting that Condé Nast is pulling out all the stops in its attempt to freeze out former Condé editor Carine Roitfeld.

A source told Page Six that Condé Nast CEO Jonathan Newhouse sent out a friendly “reminder” to contracted contributors like Mario Testino, Craig McDean, David Sims and the Mert Alas/Marcus Piggott team about their exclusive contracts with Condé, and that contributing to Roitfeld’s new biannual glossy CR Fashion Book would violate their agreements.

Even those who are not under contractual obligation with Condé Nast are being strongly “discouraged” from contributing to CR, which will be published by Fashion Media Group LLC.

After having left her post as editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris amid a flurry of rumours (most hinting at tensions between Roitfeld and Newhouse), the fashion industry was abuzz with excitement over what direction the always edgy and fascinating Roitfeld would take. So far, all her ventures have been far from disappointing.

Given Roitfeld’s popularity with the who’s-who of the fashion world, it will be interesting to see how this rumoured power struggle unfolds. We can only imagine the number of advertisers, brands, editors and photographers who are caught between a desperate desire to collaborate with Roitfeld and the fear of some serious backlash from publishing heavyweight Condé Nast.
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They said/We said: Controversial writer Cat Marnell finally leaves xoJane.com

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Photography via Twitter/Cat_Marnell

You have to give it to her: xoJane.com’s former beauty and health editor Cat Marnell, who recently left/was asked to leave the site because of her drug use, tells it like it is. “Look, I couldn’t spend another summer meeting deadlines behind a computer at night when I could be on the rooftop of Le Bain looking for shooting stars and smoking angel dust with my friends and writing a book, which is what I’m doing next,” she told the NY Post in an unabashed email.

Marnell, who worked at Lucky as a beauty editor before joining xoJane.com, quickly gained notoriety for her always-entertaining and raw posts. The posts generally stuck to the same rambling formula: they would start off with some mention of a beauty conundrum, quickly spin out into a vaguely-related retelling of a drug-fueled moment and then, at last, the whole post would wrap up with the mention of a beauty product. Somehow, the formula worked. Marnell was one of the most commented-on writers for the site, not to mention she brought in the most traffic.

Jane Pratt, the site’s editor and former editor of Jane Magazine, devotedly kept Marnell on (until now) despite pressure from xoJane.com’s publisher Say Media, who had previously put Marnell on disability leave. “[…] Though I would love for her to take care of that brilliant brain of hers, I’ve always had a Libertarian view of drugs and suicide, that people can do whatever they want with their own bodies,” Pratt said in a post on xoJane.com yesterday. “In the end: We both agreed she wasn’t doing her job. Though she plans to write more here in the future, she isn’t on staff,” she added.

But judging from some of Marnell’s most recent quotes, she has no plans of cleaning up anytime soon. “Why am I not talking about drugs if I’m taking them every day? People can say that’s pathetic, but it’s one of my main hobbies . . . why do I have to clean up?” she told the Times. Whatever happens with Marnell, we’re getting our hands on her book the second it comes out. As twisted as the read might be, it will undoubtedly be a good one.
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They said/We said: Anna Wintour speaks out about Vogue’s glamourized profile of Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad

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Photography by Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

At long last, Anna Wintour has finally spoken out about the controversy surrounding Vogue’s glamourized portrayal of Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad last year, as well as addressed the atrocities that are ongoing in Syria today.

“Like many at that time, we were hopeful that the Assad regime would be open to a more progressive society. Subsequent to our interview, as the terrible events of the past year and a half unfolded in Syria, it became clear that its priorities and values were completely at odds with those of Vogue,” Wintour said in a statement Sunday.

The “Asma al-Assad: A Rose in the Desert” feature, which was penned by former Paris Vogue editor-in-chief Joan Juliet Buck, described the beautiful, British-born al-Assad as “glamorous, young, and very chic—the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies.”

Almost immediately after the feature went live, news of the conflict and violence happening under her husband Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship became public, and the situation in Syria has only worsened over the past year and a half. In fact, yesterday the UN’s annual shame list on children and armed conflict was released, naming Syria as one of its worst offenders.

Buck herself spoke out about the feature in the wake of all its uproar.

“I think that Vogue is always on the lookout for good-looking first ladies because they’re a combination of power and beauty and elegance…that’s what Vogue is about. And here was this woman who had never given an interview, who was extremely thin and very well-dressed and therefore, qualified to be in Vogue. And they had — Vogue had been trying to get her for quite a long time,” she told NPR. Should have stopped at “lookout.”
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They said/We said: Is Maison Martin Margiela going to be H&M’s next designer collaboration?

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Photography by Peter Stigter

In news that will undoubtedly set many fashion hearts aflutter, H&M’s next collaboration is rumoured to be with none other than the Paris-based Maison Martin Margiela.

Though WWD admitted that the Swedish retail giant has neither confirmed nor denied the rumours, they said they have it on good authority that H&M will be announcing the one-off holiday collection collaboration “soon.” Read more »


They said/We said: Would you buy Kardashian-branded makeup (kakeup)?

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Photography by Denise Truscello/Getty

If the Kardashian Klan’s recent foray into the music video biz managed to finally push you over the edge, then plug your ears—you won’t want to hear what they have planned next. Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian have officially announced the next step in their mission of world domination by launching the cosmetics line Khroma Beauty, in partnership with Boldface Licensing + Branding.

“Growing up we would play with my mom’s makeup and from a young age I always wanted to be a makeup artist! Of course now makeup plays such a a [sic] huge role in all of our lives, whether we’re on camera, at a shoot glammed up or just keeping it natural day to day and it’s a dream come true to be able to create our own line of products to share with you guys,” Kim Kardashian wrote on her blog Tuesday.

The line, which will be available this December in Ulta stores, is said to embody a “luxury feel and quality to the mass customer, with exquisite formulas to emulate the eyes, lips and complexion looks for which the Kardashian sisters are famous.”

This isn’t the first time the sisters have attached their name to a product (and it probably won’t be the last). The Sears-backed Kardashian Kollection clothing line, the Kardashian Kolor collaboration with OPI and their ill-fated partnership with QuickTrim, which they’re now being sued for based on allegations that they made “false claims” about the diet supplement’s effects (a total Kardashian Konundrum) are just a few of the products they’ve lent their faces to and padded their bank accounts for.

We have to give it to the Kardashian sisters: when it comes to makeup, they have cultivated a distinctively smouldering and impossibly impeccable “Kardashian look.” But is their look something that the average consumer will buy into? What about you: will you be snapping up some Khroma Beauty products or are you completely Kardashianed out?
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