Author: Tammy Olobo

Fashion and Fake News

It started with politics – a term coined by Donald Trump when he aggressively responded to questioning by CNN Journalist, Jim Acosta. It was his premier press conference as President-elect. “You are fake news!” Similarly, this catchphrase was used to retrospectively describe the claim by the UK Independence Party that a vote to leave the EU would result in £350 million worth of net savings a week. Allegedly, this instead could have been directed towards funding domestic institutions, namely the NHS. Bending the truth, embellishing the truth, a white lie, and lying by omission are all tactics that have long been endorsed in political warfare. They’re employed to influence the vote of the public in favour of a particular party, while damaging others. When I first learnt about such broadcasts on TV, radio and print media, in history lessons at school, we called it propaganda. But since then, the concept is no longer confined to the realms of electioneering. Fake News has become some sort of phenomenon, applicable to other areas including fashion. The purpose …

So, what’s the deal with fashion and cultural appropriation?

Over the last few months, the term ‘cultural appropriation’ has appeared increasingly more often on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds. They accompany other words and images that convey an incredibly strong sentiment of rage. The people behind these posts are angry. But some of their followers or ‘friends’ just don’t get what they’re going on about exactly. “I hear it has something to do with race”. “What’s wrong with wearing a bindi or liking a pic of a girl with her hair in braids?” Now, on the surface these types of comments and questions are not necessarily ill-willed. However, they do show that this issue of cultural appropriation needs clarifying. Here, I attempt to demystify and explain. The fashion industry could not survive without diversity. For centuries, it has been common practice for designers to borrow elements of style, whether it be the use of colour, patterns and motifs, embellishments, the way a piece of apparel is cut or accessorised, from a variety of different countries and cultures across the world. A mix and …

Style.com is out. Condé Nast partners with FarFetch

Less than a year after Condé Nast relaunched Style.com as a fashion e-commerce site, the company is closing the business and forging a new strategic partnership with Farfetch. Read more here: https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/news-analysis/the-end-of-style-com-conde-nast-inks-new-partnership-with-farfetch In other news… Topshop faces fierce competition from e-retailers, Boohoo, Misguided, and PrettyLittleThing. Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jun/07/topshop-falling-out-of-fashion-with-instagram-generation Why do women find it so hard to dress for work? Read more here: https://qz.com/995484/why-its-so-hard-for-women-to-figure-out-what-to-wear-to-work-in-2017/ Google Arts & Culture enters fashion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Read more here: http://www.vogue.com/article/google-we-wear-culture-metropolitan-museum-of-art-andrew-bolton-anna-wintour Heidi Klum teams up with Lidl (yes, Lidl!) to produce new clothing line. Read more here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/people/heidi-klum-teams-lidl-have-reached-peak-fashion-collaboration/ Lanvin sales continue to plummet since firing Alber Elbaz. Read more: https://fashionista.com/2017/06/lanvin-sales-slump-fired-alber-ebaz

Made in Transylvania 

Earlier this week it was unveiled that Louis Vuitton “Made in Italy” branded shoes are in fact, the products of a little town in the region of Transylvania in Romania – Famed for vampire mythology, it’s not quite the setting for luxury craftsmanship we had in our minds. For a wealthy, fashion enthusiast, the picture of a highly skilled, Venetian shoe-maker expending hours of work on fine detailing in an Italian atelier would merit a premium price tag for a pair of designer shoes. It’s not rare to see LV footwear selling anywhere between £500 and £1,200, depending on the style and type. Yet instead, literally more than one thousand miles away from where their labels would suggest, Louis Vuitton heels, boots, sandals and sneakers are being mass produced in a low wage, third world country before only the soles are fitted in Italy. Perhaps selfishly, the news feels disappointing. As an aspiring owner, my initial thoughts sprung to that of deception. Italians are known for leather, and China and the Middle East, beautifully embroidered silks. …