Author: Tammy Olobo

Fashion and Fake News

It started with politics. It was a term coined by Donald Trump when he aggressively responded to questioning by CNN Journalist, Jim Acosta, at his premier press conference as President-elect. “You are fake news!” Similarly, this catchphrase was used to describe, retrospectively, 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. As alleged, this instead could have been directed towards funding domestic institutions, such as 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. …

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

Over the last few months, the term ‘cultural appropriation’ appears more and more on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds, often within posts conveying upset and rage. The people behind them are aggravated. But some of their followers and ‘friends’ just don’t get why, and 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?” On the surface these types of comments and questions are not necessarily ill-willed. However, they do illustrate that the issue of cultural appropriation needs clarifying. Here I attempt to explain. The fashion industry could not survive without diversity. For centuries, it’s been common practice for designers to borrow elements of style, whether it be colour, patterns and motifs, embellishments, cut, accessories etc. from a variety of different countries and cultures across the world. This mix and match of geographical influences leads to innovative design in clothes and footwear. And the acceptance, appreciation and adoption of fashion from other … is out. Condé Nast partners with FarFetch

Less than a year after Condé Nast relaunched as a fashion e-commerce site, the company is closing the business and forging a new strategic partnership with Farfetch. Read more here: In other news… Topshop faces fierce competition from e-retailers, Boohoo, Misguided, and PrettyLittleThing. Read more here: Why do women find it so hard to dress for work? Read more here: Google Arts & Culture enters fashion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Read more here: Heidi Klum teams up with Lidl (yes, Lidl!) to produce new clothing line. Read more here: Lanvin sales continue to plummet since firing Alber Elbaz. Read more:

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. …