Thursday, 29 November 2012

In The World of A 6 year old: Anna Nicole Smith's daughter models for Guess

What more to say when kids are taking cue from what grown ups do. That is just how one can express the feeling when on On Tuesday, Nov. 27, the LA Times revealed photos and video of Anna Nicole Smith's 6-year-old daughter in a Guess photo shoot. She's starring in the brand's spring 2013 clothing and denim campaign. The company said on Monday that the full campaign will launch in January.

Dannielynn Birkhead will appear in a spring 2013 campaign for the Guess clothing line.
Dannielynn Birkhead, daughter of Larry Birkhead and Anna Nicole Smith, appears in the Guess ad campaign. Pictures of her first modeling shoot leaked and caused frenzy on the Internet. The 6-year-old Dannielynn poses on the beach in a white denim vest and a dark denim skirt,

iMage crediy: AFP photos

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Lol? Coca-Cola unveils gaudy new fashion line in Rio de Janeiro catwalk.

After being named the world's most valuable brand last year, you might think Coca-Cola would be content with their lot.
But as they venture into the world of fashion with a brand new clothing line unveiled in Rio de Janeiro, it is clear the fizzy drink giant is keen to take their global domination to the next level.

The international beverage company held a fashion show at Fashion Rio in Brazil earlier this month where they showcased a collection of clothing for spring/summer 2013.

Check out some pictures from the runway...

Soft drink giant Coca-Cola unveiled a new fashion line at Fashion Rio, but what do the critics make of it? 

The looks are bold and vibrant, and feature plenty of stretchy nylon fabrics 

The looks are bold and vibrant, and feature plenty of stretchy nylon fabrics     The looks are bold and vibrant, and feature plenty of stretchy nylon fabrics 

The designs are very futuristic and also feature the brands trademark branding  

Bold colours and eye-catching prints create an eccentric show at Fashion Rio 


Scroll down for video

The 'Beliebers' Impression - Justin Beiber.

I guess the title of this post got you thinking if this is a new release by the young popstar, but no, its not! The Style Bistro reported on Nov. 24 thatJustin Bieber saw the Prime Minister of Canada in a pair of denim overalls. Justin metStephen Harper on Friday, Nov. 22. He was there to receive the Diamond Jubilee Medal from the Canadian Prime Minister. The Biebs wore a backwards baseball cap, a white t-shirt and denim overalls. Harper wore a suit and tie, a juxtaposition to Bieber's sloppy look. The country of Canada must be hanging in their hands in shame right now. (Justin grew up in Ontario, Canada.)

Justin Bieber tweeted this picture of himself in denim overalls on Twitter.
Photo by Justin Bieber's Twitter
 He posted pictures of himself in his denim overalls. He tweeted one of his photos, saying:
"I hope you hate my style." He also tweeted: "Overhauls lol."
Later that day, Bieber posted another picture of himself at the gym. Justin still wore his denim overalls, but his time he was shirtless. Justin said he was "getting ripped for the ladies." There is speculation whether he's back together with singer-actress, Selena Gomez.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Kim Kardashian's Mum Planning Teenage targeted fashion couture

This may not come by as news to most people, as someone like myself has long thought of this possibility. But here it comes. Kris Jenner, the famed mother of the Kardashian namehold has allegedly trademarked Kendall and Kylie's names in a bid to ensure the success of their fashion line. The mother of the teen models reportedly wants her daughters to launch a fashion line more profitable than US star Jessica Simpson's billion dollar empire. 

Kris Jenner
Kris has helped her older daughters Kim, Kourtney and Khloé Kardashian with their global clothing line and plans to make Kendall, 17 and Kylie, 15, fashion, jewellery and cosmetics moguls by the time they are in their twenties.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Jury On Men's Fashion For the new season.

This article was leafed from

The latest menswear might look great on models, but what does our celebrity panel think? We ask Gareth Malone, Jon Snow, Dermot O'Leary, Louis Smith and Nick Grimshaw for their take on the looks of the season.

Fashion jury composite    
The Jury come on the designs shown in view of the coming season. Picture: Getty Images

Burberry Trophy jumper

Fashion jury: Burberry trophy jumperBurberry trophy jumper: 'I don’t like patterned jumpers, because I think I look like my dad in them,' says Nick Grimshaw. Photograph: Maurits Sillem
Gareth Malone I don't know what a trophy jumper is, or what I'd need to do to win one, though I'm more likely to wear a bright jumper than this trend.
Jon Snow Beautiful cut. I like the pattern, but do I have the waistline to get away with it?
Dermot O'Leary I love knitwear and am actually on the look-out for what you might call a statement jumper. This pattern is a bit too "Christmas jumper" for me – I'm not quite up for that full effect – but a modified version, yes, I'd give it a go. I love traditional British knits, smooth and chunky.
Louis Smith I love the jumper and hat, but not with suit trousers – jeans or harem-style pants would work better. I also like the gloves and tie, but not with the jumper and hat – that's overload. I feel that these jumpers were pretty big last winter.
Nick Grimshaw I'm not into this. I don't like patterned jumpers, because I think I look like my dad in them. I can see this happening, and it's already a bit how teenage boys are dressing, isn't it? My head is too big to wear a hat, but I am into the idea of a flat cap. Those fancy gloves are a bit too feminine.

Louis Vuitton bomber

Fashion jury: Louis Vuitton bomberLouis Vuitton bomber: 'This jacket is doing it,' says Louis Smith. 'It’s a really good look.' Photograph: PR shot
Gareth Malone I'm never seen in a bomber jacket outside the cockpit of a Spitfire. My mum calls these jackets bum-freezers. A total no from me.
Jon Snow Hopelessly over-elaborate. I would not be seen dead in it. Give me a real bomber jacket any time.
Dermot O'Leary This dark and sheeny bomber jacket looks great with smart trousers and shoes. The fur on the hood is a bit mid‑1980s B Boy, but I like it. What's he carrying, though? Is that a miniature sleeping bag?
Louis Smith This jacket is doing it. It's a really good look. But I'm not loving the polo neck. Also, a simple belt buckle is more up my street. And I can't see the odd-shaped bag taking off.
Nick Grimshaw I love a bomber jacket, although there is a tendency to look like a bouncer. I wouldn't wear it with shoes and trousers, though. Maybe I'd wear one to a festival with trainers.

Prada red

Fashion jury: Prada redPrada red: 'Would I dare wear it?' asks Jon Snow. 'You bet I would.' Photograph: PR shot
Gareth Malone Pillar-box red has never been my colour, although I did once own a red shirt. It's the sort of colour I'd struggle to wear beyond 25 December.
Jon Snow Suave, great cut, love the slanting pockets, sumptuous colour. Would I dare wear it? You bet I would.
Dermot O'Leary This imperial red certainly makes a big statement. I'd like the coat, but it would have to be in black. This coat has echoes of a Russian tsar. Beyond the colour, it looks like a beautiful, slim, double‑breasted cavalry coat. It's luxury and street at the same time – a good look for the right person.
Louis Smith I'm not a polo neck man, but the coat is pretty cool and I'm loving the round red glasses – I'd definitely wear those with a smart outfit or a suit. They're a bit Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. I like long coats with fur, but I don't like the colour. It's something Kanye [West] would pull off.
Nick Grimshaw I love red. It can be really warm on men. Red jeans and a denim jacket with old boots is a good look. I've also got a really nice burgundy Gucci jacket that's one of the things that always gets the most compliments when I wear it.

YSL man clutch

Fashion jury: YSL man clutchYSL man clutch: ' I’m a big bag man, and I love leather,' says Dermot O'Leary, 'but a “man clutch” is a step too far.' Photograph: PR shot
Gareth Malone One of the guys from the Manchester airport choir frequents a pub that has a sign on the door saying, "Absolutely no man bags." Many a British man would struggle with the word "clutch".
Jon Snow Cool dude look – but what's in that delightful little bag? Not for me, but if he needs it to carry his iPhone, a makeup puff and a couple of Pro Plus to ensure he's awake enough not to leave it on the night bus, I guess it does the job.
Dermot O'Leary I'm a big bag man, and I love leather, but a "man clutch" is a step too far – a bit Partridge In Paris. The rest of this look is a bit too neat schoolboy for me, but I can see it taking off – not the bag, but the sleeveless V-neck, shirt and slacks.
Louis Smith It's terrible! I'm all for man bags, because I am always on the go and need to transport my stuff in style, but a clutch is too far.
Nick Grimshaw It looks wonderful on the model, but it can't happen because it looks too like [Cristiano] Ronaldo. I saw it in Ibiza, but it makes you look like a woman. I like men's clothes when it looks like you haven't bothered at all. And anyway, what are you carrying in that clutch? I'd rather have a holdall or rucksack.

Dolce & Gabbanna velvet

Fashion jury: Dolce & Gabbana velvetDolce & Gabbana velvet: 'I see myself dressed head to toe in velvet,' says Gareth Malone, 'but I'm not sure I'd like anyone else to.' Photograph: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty                       
Gareth Malone When I was a kid, I had a velour/velvety jumper and I still love the way velvet feels. I see myself dressed head to toe in velvet, but I'm not sure I'd like anyone else to.
Jon Snow I'm not a fan of the three‑piece, and I'm not sure I'd ever go for this retro Sherlock Holmes look. I return to the past, for sure, but what's new?
Dermot O'Leary Velvet can look great, but not this much velvet. It's a great evening fabric, and I can see some people bringing it into their daytime look, but it's not something I'd really get into. That claret's a great, rich, winter colour, though.
Louis Smith This is suave. I'd wear the trousers and jacket far more fitted, but other than that it's a good look. Three-pieces are the way forward. I'm also a fan of dicky bows and own several. I love the burgundy against the white shirt, too.
Nick Grimshaw This looks sick – I really like that look for nightwear. I can't see it carrying across to casual daywear, but when you're dressing up, I think velvet is great. I love a dicky bow, but there's a danger of looking like a child or a magician if you don't get it right.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Whoever Says men can't wear print pants definitely wasn't talking fashion.

Its true what they say, life is to you what you want it to be. Look carefully at this picture and tell me if there are barriers at which print fabric can go.

Image courtesy of

Blitz: The New face of Digital Fashion blogging?

This is an advertorial blog feature.

It’s that time of year again when Christmas party dresses are at the forefront of women’s priorities as they seek to look their best at work functions and special family dinners. Many retailers are turning to fashion bloggers to promote their party wear and A/W collections through interactive campaigns.

Online influence has become a valuable tool for the bloggers of today and whether they are modelling A/W party dresses, attending photo shoots or inspiring outfits on the street from London to Kuala Lumpur, the rise of the everyday fashion blogger should not be underestimated.

While most blogs begin as hobbies, many bloggers have turned their past-time into a career, in some instances earning up to six-figure sums – although this trend has yet to become widespread in the UK. Kat Griffin of Corporette in the US gave up her highly paid position as a lawyer to blog on a full-time basis, and she now receives 130,000 unique visits each month.

Retailers are quickly realising the importance of bloggers and increasingly using them for promotions, for example the latest F&F Clothing competition and Net-a-Porter’s campaign featuring Garance Dore.
Five women aged between 19 and 28 are involved in the F&F Clothing campaign and they come from a range of backgrounds and locations, including Hove and Aberdeen. The focal point of each blog represents each woman’s interests, from vintage clothing to plus size fashion.

Jillian Lidgate, Head of Online Marketing at F&F Clothing comments: “The internet has transformed the world of fashion and bloggers can now be as influential as major publishers. Online fashion has become part of daily life, as people research their outfits and accessories with image-led social networks like Tumblr, which is home to a vibrant and creative international fashion community”

Georgina Horne of Fuller Figure Fuller Bust says: “I think that my blog should win the prize as the purpose of it is to show women how dresses look on a larger and bustier lady. I am not a model size or shape, I am just an average woman who enjoys looking and feeling great.”

More and more women are looking to fashion bloggers as icons with personal styles that they can emulate – these bloggers are not all size eight models and they are proud to use online channels including social media to show off their unique tastes.

Insane? As Shoppers queue through night for H&M Maison Martin Margiela collection.

Na wa ooo!

The above is common exclamation among people from Nigeria. Well, if the topic of this blogpost is anything to go by (trust me, it sure is), then fashion has a strong stranglehold on humanity.

H&M store in Regent Street, London
Insane? A whole lot of people queued all night for a chance to buy a Maison Martin Margiela creation. Photograph: Martin Godwin

Two long queues stretching down Regent Street on either side of the flagship H&M store on Thursday morning offer the telltale sign that their latest designer collaboration is about to go on sale. There are people standing in line who have been there since 10.30pm the night before and they are all set to buy into the avant garde world of Maison Martin Margiela, a label specialising in rather unconventional clothes. On sale are jackets with odd pointy shoulders, fabrics used inside out, coats and jeans cut in gargantuan oversized proportions. It is not for the uninitiated.

As a group of shoppers sweep into the Regent Street store - politely at first but soon madly running up escalators - the H&M website crashes. The first 20 customers allowed to shop from the women's collection in a specially cordoned off area, meanwhile, begin by pouncing on "sweetie wrapper" clutches in silver or metallic purple; leaving TV camera crews and photographers blinded by a £34.99 reflective handbag.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Is it safe to say Jet-Setting Lifestyle Taking is taking Its Toll? Kim Kardashian Goes make-up free at Miami airport.

The 32-year-old Keeping Up With The Kardashians star made quite a statement in a gaudy and gothic Stephane Rolland gown at the MTV European Music Awards in Frankfurt, Germany this week with full make-up and slicked back hair before she tripped up on stage to present an award.

But hard work of flying around the world launching fashion collections, giving interviews and wowing on the red carpet is bound to take its toll, as Kim learnt yesterday when she touched down in Miami after the music ceremony, sans make-up and looking a little worse for wear.

Launching a fashion collection in a foreign country can never be easy going, as Kim Kardashian brought the Kardashian Kollection to the UK followed by a glamorous appearance at the MTV Awards in Germany, but now all of the jet-setting is catching up on her.  Check out pictures of her without make-up after the jump.

Kim K without her traditional make-up gloom.

Kim's jet-setting life-style is taking its toll on her skin - Splash

Kim Kardashian arrives back in Miami following crazy London trip, November 12 (Photos: Splash News).


Sunday, 11 November 2012

More than the flare and glamour: To dress like a socialite.

This is a guest blog post By CAROL ODERO

“Dear Carol,” a letter from a reader began (grammar corrections all mine)... “Madam, liberate your mind from colonial shackles. Do not let their glamour subjugate your mind. You have adopted their names, their religion. Do you also have to jettison your social and cultural values?
I’m willing to believe that your great grandfather was more civilised than the ‘refined aristocrats’. As for aspiring to be invited to the same table as the Queen or US President, why I think it would not make you a happier person. I aspire to be a proud African, fair, kind, considerate to all around me. Please learn to love your African self.”

I will concede something here. Certain events attract certain crowds. If this were 1928, TIME magazine would label them socialites.

Now, journalism has its perks: the greatest being access – to places, people, things. Travel, so far, is rather lacking but the people: fascinating, intriguing, taciturn, unexpected, open, sometimes all at the same time, and things. I am allowed to know the unknowable.

Access has earned me the ambivalent, blurry moniker of socialite, never mind my actual, all-consuming full-time career and total lack of aristocratic credentials.

Several female colleagues have had this tag attached to their identities in one too many captions, an act that rankles them to no end when visions of hard-won deadlines dance in front of their eyes.

Men can be socialites too. Merriam-Webster says a socialite is “a socially prominent person.”, “a socialite is a person who attends many fashionable upper-class social events and who is well known because of this”: states “one prominent in fashionable society” and Thesaurus “a person whose actions and opinions strongly influence the course of events.”

By these definitions alone quite a number of high-profile event attendees would in some way fall under this category. And with indecipherable dress codes such as White Tie and Black Tie, we forget that while fashion plays a hugely decorative role, it is fundamentally a business. It generated $6 billion in 2011 in the US alone. This business is largely distributed by “socialites” whose sometimes unwitting role is to transmit fashion.

With great access naturally comes great responsibility. You wouldn’t think it but socialites – real, imagined or titled by public opinion - have duties.

Turning up fashionably and late, preferably both, is the least of those. I’ve had years of spotlit engagements and TV appearances on a skinny belt budget and after littering ‘sections of the media’ with my mug I was rightly plunged into an actual crisis. I literally had nothing to wear. This is where my fondness for dress codes blossomed.

They simplified the social rules of engagement. What to wear, when, how and why is a dilemma that has plaqued females since Eve gave a fig. More importantly, once this dilemma is out of the way, life moves on to the bones of the business. Again with more now expected from men, fashion is now their challenge too.

My reader accuses me of being shackled by glamour, a quality that though shiny and pretty with a touch of the hollow, counts for something.

I wouldn’t for a minute turn down an invitation to dine with the Queen. Not so her aristocracy might rub off, but because it is within these formal events that connections are made, deals are brokered, projects are raised, charities are discussed and opinion shapers, decision makers and power brokers gather.

Etiquette and dress code is the bomb detector and diffuser. Ask any diplomats, ambassadors, heads of state, state dignitaries, professionals, students at formals, graduations, christenings even funerals. There is nothing more dangerous than an unspoken social rule and not just when it comes to fashion.

Clothes matter, not because they cover nakedness. The more powerful you are, the faster the pace of life is and the busier we all get, the less time we have to assess peers, make friends and exert authority.

Clothes can be both camouflage and uniform, reveal as much as they hide. A dress code eliminates the need to explain yourself but the little touches you add and your unique interpretation of it counts as self-expression.
Clothes count, which is why prolific personalities (celebrities to politicians) are aggressively encouraged to tweak, modify or alter appearance, more so if they wish to count in the court of public opinion.

Stylists shape public perception and opinion in such subtle ways that few people realise this is an energy that can be harnessed. In a world where if you blink you’ll miss it, being fluent in fashion can, in fact, draw you closer to the decision-making table. And at this table, failing to observe protocol is in poor taste. 

Friday, 9 November 2012

Blitz: Kim Kardashian to launch Clothing line in The UK.

kardashians in london lib
Kim, with younger sister Kourtney.

She has designed the range, called the Kardashian Kollection, with her sisters Kourtney, 33, and 28-year-old Khloe. Available in sizes eight to 16, it features more than 100 spangled, sequinned, figure-hugging pieces.  
Now, it only depends on who you speak to, she’s either the poster girl for “almost everything that is wrong with Western society” or “the hottest woman in the world”.
She also has a £22-million personal fortune, rapper Kanye West for a boyfriend and arguably the most famous bottom on the planet.
Describing herself as the “ambassador to Britain for curvy women”, 32-year-old Kim Kardashian swept into London on Wednesday to launch her clothing line at Dorothy Perkins.
All three women star in Keeping Up With The Kardashians, the fly-on-the-wall show which has made them one of America’s biggest brands.
Only Kourtney accompanied Kim to London, where they are staying at the Dorchester Hotel. The three sisters, who own several clothing and lifestyle stores in the US, will be reunited on Saturday, when they are due to meet fans at the Westfield shopping centre in West London.
This being “Planet K”, an entourage of 47 flunkies including security guards and make-up artists were on hand at the Dorchester to ensure all went smoothly. Journalists were granted eight-minute slots of the sisters’ time in a function room at the hotel.
Perched on a sofa in front of a life-sized cardboard cut-out of herself, Kim said: “Back home we had our own clothing stores which were quite high-end.
“With this range our goal is affordable luxury clothing because everyone is under pressure financially.
“We embrace our body shape and body type and want to make clothes for women who have a more realistic body. We are like a brand for our fans – we see what our fans are asking us for from our blogs and Facebook and Twitter.
“That gives us the ability to communicate so directly and we see they are really loving the brand and the line being made for curvy girls.”
Kim was once known for little more than being the socialite daughter of Robert Kardashian, a lawyer on OJ Simpson’s defence team – until an ex-boyfriend leaked a sex tape they had made in 2007.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Collections From Leo and Levi Clothing's For the Season of 'Ember'.

 Leo and Levi Clothing's is a a start up clothing label in Nigeria. As the months of Ember proceeds to its last, the label has come up with trendy wears for the season. The dresses are glared to match the parades of the season and make you look stylish and self-defining. Find below some of the creations on ground. 

A Niger-delta patterned attire. Often called, "The Senator or Jonathan style"
On the right is an a simple anakara made top that can be worn on anything to make for that casual look for the season.
A gold embroidered black top for couples.
Even the older folks are cool as well.






For more and bookings; 
Leo and Levi Clothing's Nigeria, 
23D/42E, Binukonu Shopping plaza, 
Ogudu road, Ojota, Lagos, Nigeria. 
234-7033801718, 234-8054527192.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

The Fashion Bits At MTN Lagos Fashion Design Week.





Lagos was destination point for fashion designers and fashion lovers last weekend as the 2nd edition of the MTN Lagos Fashion and Design week took place in grand style

FASHION and style rocked Lagos city last weekend as the second edition of the prestigious MTN Lagos Fashion and Design Week  (MTN LFDW).

The fashion week, which is at the apex of the Lagos fashion calendar, was a meeting point for all players in the industry to come and display their treasure trove of creativity for the entire world to see and buy.
The event which took place from October 24 – 27, saw some of Africa’s top as well as upcoming design labels showcase their new collections.

Iconic Nigerian labels such as Lanre DaSilva-Ajayi, Ituen Basi, Jewel by Lisa, Mai Atafo all established their presence at the event.

For its new collection, Lanre DaSilva-Ajayi held people spellbound from start to finish with her chic, flowy and print-tastic collection.

Renowned for its Victorian and Edwardian era influenced pieces, the designer presented  “Butterflies“, a collection flourishing with outfits made with multicoloured print, silk and lace.

Ituen Basi’s newspaper inspired Spring/Summer 2013 collection was also among the creative collections spotlighted at the event. The Nigerian label’s collection evoked fun and glamour through its use of print and colour - characteristics that have come to define the vibrant local fashion scene.

Nigerian design label, Jewel by Lisa is always one to look out for during fashion week presentations. At the presentation last Saturday the label presented lots of multi-coloured luxury print outfits, which paid homage to the modern day Fulani girl.

For its presentation, Sunny Rose showed us the different sides of blue in blue denim, silk, chiffon lace and more.

The label’s creative head showcased models strutting the runway in print frocks, knee length dresses with sweetheart necklines and evening wears all in colour blue.

Mai Atafo Inspired unveiled its Spring/Summer 2013 collection at the show with a colourful bridal collection and dapper male collection.

Fashion labels such as Mango, Vintage Colette, Grey, Alter Ego, Omer Asim, Bridget Awosika and Emmy Collins  also made beautiful appearances on the runway.

The emerging young 12 designers also strutted their stuff on the runway where orange culture entertained with his music, whacky designs and models.

This year’s event started on October 24 with a presentation of the top 12 finalists of the LFDW Young Designer of the Year.

The Made in Lagos exhibition opened on October 25 and featured amazing jewellery from Pot of Gold Africa, Femi Bags, House of Tara, L’eespace, Modern School of the Arts, Colurs in Africa, Jasmine Rose Flowers, Pearl 8 hand beaded bags from Ghana and many more creative enterprises. The runway opened to breathtaking designs from Nigerian designers on October 25.

The MTN LFDW ended on Saturday with the LFDW Young Designer of the Year finale where Josh Samuel Clothing Company emerged as winner and went home with the grand prize of N4million naira.

Interestingly, Nigeria also became destination point for foreign buyers with the presence of the representatives of UK Department Store chain Selfridges and Munich-based at the MTN LFDW to select Nigerian products to stock in their outlets.

Here are some of the creative and breathtaking runway pictures from the show.
Author of this article: Nike Sotade

Style Byte: A Conversation With Fashion Icon Ozwald Boateng on Style, Africa, and His New Film A Man's Story

During his meteoric career, Ozwald Boateng's been called the coolest man on Earth, and the fashion world's best-kept secret. Yet the candid new documentary A Man's Story, opening this weekend in New York and Los Angeles, makes certain that the British fashion designer and style icon no longer remains a secret.
In a career already spanning two decades, the 45 year-old Boateng has outfitted celebrities from Will Smith to Russell Crowe, from Jamie Foxx to Mick Jagger. At age 28, he became the youngest tailor - and the first of African descent - to open a store on London's legendary Savile Row. Boateng's also designed menswear for Givenchy and bespoke costumes for films like The Matrix and Ocean's Thirteen, and he's even been the subject of his own Sundance Channel TV series, House of Boateng. He's also the recipient of an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his contributions to the clothing industry.

Throughout all this, however, Boateng's private side - such as his quiet struggles in the rarified world of British fashion, or his efforts to foster entrepreneurial investment in Africa - have taken a back seat in public to his style innovations.

Director Varon Bonicos' new documentary, A Man's Story - for which Bonicos filmed Boateng from 1998 through 2010 - reveals much about Boateng's personal life: from the challenges of growing up as a young man of African descent in London of the '70s and '80s, to the abiding influence of his father on his life and career. The result is a warm and often poignant film that humanizes Boateng, while doing full justice to the glamorous place he occupies in the world of men's fashion.

We spoke with Ozwald Boateng and Varon Bonicos in Los Angeles, where they are promoting A Man's Story. The interview has been edited for length.

GM: What is your passion for film - and in particular, how are you inspired by the intersection of film and fashion?
OB: Film has always been a really good tool for me to communicate emotion about why I create a collection. I'm probably one of the first designers to make short films. The first time I did it was back in 1994. The invite for my first fashion show was a VHS cassette. And it kind of became part of the language of my designing collections - I was always putting together short films.
Apart from that, I think fashion designers are directors anyway. We spend a year designing a collection for a fashion show that lasts maybe fifteen minutes. We have to design the look of the catwalk, cast the model for each look, work up the sound, the lighting - it's a lot of work that goes into that fifteen minutes.
JA: Film has been so important in terms of influencing men's style, men's self-perceptions. I was curious whether there were film icons, movie stars who have influenced your sense of style?
OB: Sean Connery, of course, since I was a kid - you know, James Bond. Or The Thomas Crown Affair - you can't beat those three piece suits. The Italian Job with Michael Caine - again the suits. If you're a designer, there's got to be some films that you've seen that have inspired you creatively. There's no escaping that. Film is such a very good tool for communicating emotions, and all designers and creative people look to inspire an emotional response.
JA: You mention Connery and Bond, and he was so crucial in selling the Savile Row style here in the States.
OB: Absolutely.

JA: You yourself have become an icon on behalf of that style. Was that something you planned from the outset as a designer - to be so out front selling the look yourself?
OB: No, actually, I tried to stay out of it. In the early years, it was because I was a very young guy working in a very old discipline - so really, that's tough to begin with. And then I was trying to do it in a very modern way - so again, that's tough. Add me, visually, into the mix of all that, and that just complicates things. So for the first few years, I didn't let anyone take any pictures of me. Basically, a lot of people had no idea what I looked like. And because my name did not necessarily sound African, a lot of people ... just thought I was some kind of middle aged white guy [laughs]. So no-one actually knew what I looked like, and that was the best thing - because it allowed everyone to focus on the work.
JA: You were hidden, basically.
OB: Yeah, but it was all very deliberate. Because I'm good at what I do, and I just wanted to focus on the work. Let people talk about my cut, the influence of the cut, the detail, and that's all it was about - for years.
And then there was this famous magazine in London called The Face - this was in the late '80s, early '90s - and that's the first time I kind of revealed myself. And the reason was that the journalist was so adamant that she take a picture, and I was fighting it and fighting it, and anyway, I did it. And then the moment I had the picture taken, the dynamics completely changed. I got a lot more interest, but the interest always came back to that they wanted to take a picture of me - and that's when I got into Italian Vogue, and all those magazines at that time.
GM: One of the most powerful parts of your story is that you are of Ghanaian descent, you were born in London - and you broke into a place as tradition-bound as Savile Row. How was your background as an African an asset to you - in your fashion, in your creative work - and at the same time, what challenges did it pose that you had to overcome?

OB: As I say very early on in the film, at the time I was growing up, it was tricky. You had two options: allow it to become a headache, or just get on with your life [laughs]. So I chose to just get on with my life and not let it bother me. So even when I was experiencing real issues, I just didn't see it. So, I think that when someone's got an issue about where you're from, and they're going at you - and you ignore it ... it makes them powerless.
So that's been my way of dealing. When I went to school, there were two black kids in the whole school. I think the first time I saw only black people was when I went to Ghana - I must have been 21, or 22, at that time. To have that visual experience - I remember going, "oh, wow - I've not seen that before."
GM: You're very proud of your culture and of the artistry that comes with it. And you have collections inspired by African style, but also by Japanese samurai style, Native American culture, Russian style. You show all this interest in different cultures - and I think in part that's because you yourself come from a culture different from that of the UK.
OB: Exactly. And that's why Savile Row was so relevant, because Savile Row is an important street in British history. So my opening a shop there had much greater meaning than just opening a store. And I think, subconsciously, I was aware of that. Because I'm always about change for a greater meaning. But the way to do it is without putting any badges on it. Because the more you put a badge on something, the more it becomes something else.

GM: I'd like to ask you about your commitment to helping Africa through development. You've said in your interviews that you believe private investment and entrepreneurship are more effective in helping Africa than government aid.
OB: Yes, absolutely.
GM: I'd love to hear more about your philosophy and how you think you can accomplish your goals through your Made in Africa Foundation and also through this film.
OB: Designers are creating for the future ... [we're] basically visionaries ... so when you visualize something, you don't visualize it to be worse than it is, you visualize it to be better [laughs]. That's how designers think. So when I go to Africa, I don't visualize it being worse, I visualize that if we did everything right, what would that look like, and suddenly it's an amazing vision.
Africa controls 50% of the world's natural resources, in some cases 70% - so the concept of poverty [in Africa] makes no sense. And in the world, resources are key. So when you understand those points, the only thing left is: 'why?' And the 'why' is the infrastructure. So infrastructure development is the key. And you balance that out with how much aid has been invested, which is billions, and of the aid money that's been put in, if 20% actually hit the ground and got deployed, I'd be shocked. So that's why I set up the foundation.
In terms of what we're dealing with: we've written a paper for the British government on policy for Africa, we've campaigned the World Bank, the African Development Bank - and the African Development Bank is doing a $22 billion dollar infrastructure bond. So now there's more interest in investment in Africa than there's ever been since I can remember. The main thing we've done in Africa is to change views, which is the key.
JA: For both of you, what is the big takeaway that you want people to have on this film? And Varon, you put twelve years into this - all that footage going back to the late '90s. We see documentaries all the time, and no-one is rolling cameras over that length of time.
VB: The film is 96 minutes out of five hundred and something hours. It was really hard to craft. It's like little tiny dots of newsprint - and then you pull out, and you get the picture. The editor Tom Hemmings had to sit in a darkened room for two months just watching footage. But you know, I met Ozwald and I'd never met anyone like him before. I was only supposed to film for a few weeks ... [but it wound up being twelve years]. The central message of the film really is about belief, the core structure of belief. It's got a man's story - and fashion, it's a great backdrop. The film also highlights one of the most important relations in life, which is a relationship between a parent and a child. But the central message is about belief. I'm proud of the film. It's great to be sitting here with you to be able to talk about it.
OB: I think each person's going to take a very personalized viewpoint about what the film's doing for them. I make bespoke suits that are made to fit men as individuals - and that's somehow worked through the film, [with] the film fitting the individual. That seems to be the poetry of life.
JA: In the final shot of the film, you're walking off stage with your father. That was very touching. He inspired you - and look what it created. I just thought that was wonderful.
OB: That's interesting. Many people see the film, but no-one's mentioned that. So let me tell you about that. I decided I was going to do this fashion show based around this movie, and I called it, "A Man's Story." I wanted to figure out: at what point do you become a man? Is it 18, is it 21, is it when you get married, when you have kids? So I'm sitting at dinner with five mates of mine, and the guys say, "actually, you only become a man when you lose your father. It's when you have a problem, and you can't call him - because he's not there." And I said, "wow." So at that point I realized I'd done all this stuff, and I'd never celebrated my dad. So my whole focus moved from what I was doing to making it all about him. Which is why, at the end of the show, I'm applauding him. [...] So that's really what A Man's Story is about. It's really about your moments, and remembering them. And also, enjoying them as they happen.
VB: I agree. Enjoy every moment as it happens.


One Direction in behind the scenes video from their dapper Vogue fashion shoot.

In truth, being picture perfect is something that comes rather easily to the good looking members of One Direction.
The British boy band looked at their dashing best as they got suited and booted for a glossy photo shoot for the December issue of Vogue- entitled Vogue Goes Pop.
Posing alongside model Edie Campbell, the boys got into their new role as clothes horses as you can see in this teaser video from behind the scenes.

Model behaviour: Harry Styles looked more than happy to get close to model Edie Campbell
Model behaviour: Harry Styles looked more than happy to get close to model Edie Campbell

It's also a chance to see the group being touched up with make-up in between takes.
The former X Factor competitors, who are unable to go anywhere in public without being mobbed by their fans, have revealed that they just love girls screaming at them.
Jump around: One Direction look their suited best as they discuss their global fame with Vogue magazine
Jump around: One Direction look their suited best as they discuss their global fame with Vogue magazine

Speaking in December's edition of Vogue magazine Niall Horan said: 'I love it. I love the screaming.

The December issue of Vogue features the full interview
The December issue of Vogue features the full interview
'They love it, too: they’ve all got their tickets and they’ve been waiting a year or so to see you, so you’ve got to give it your best.'
Harry Styles is perhaps the singer who seems to get the most female attention but he is still getting his head around being a sexy symbol.

He told the magazine: 'You’re never going to get used to walking into a room and have people screaming at you.

'There’s a lot of things that come with the life you could get lost in. But you have to let it be what it is. I’ve learnt not to take everything too seriously.'

With his close friendship with BBC Radio 1 Nick Grimshaw influencing his fashion choices, Harry laughs at how he used to dress.

He said: 'I like fashion.  When I look back at the kind of stuff I wore on the X Factor, I laugh. There’s no excuse.'

The boys, who were recently guests on Spanish TV show El Hormiguero, are also planning on making themselves sound more like a live band for their next album.
Harry told Vogue: 'We want to gradually get more and more ‘live’ sounding. So this album is a lot less little synth sounds, more guitars and drums. 

'It’s important to experiment with things – we want to move with the times, but keep true to ourselves.'

Niall, who plays guitar, features on a lot of the tracks as the group spent a lot of time writing in the studio.

Many people think Zayn Malik and his growing collection of tattoos make him the rebellious one of the band, but it is Liam Payne who breaks the rules.
The cheeky singer explained how he chose to cut his hair even though his management told him not to.
Made up: Harry doesn't look particularly comfortable having his make up put on for the shoot
Made up: Harry doesn't look particularly comfortable having his make up put on for the shoot

Liam told the magazine: 'At the start, management said I wasn’t allowed to change my hair. But then I did it anyway, so they kind of let that one go. 
'I tend to change my hair quite a lot. I can go out and about. The other day I went out dressed as a big chav – Adidas trainers, jogging bottoms – and no one recognised me.'

The full interview is in the December edition of Vogue.

Read more:Source

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Take This: Just How Fashion Technology is Helping the Fashion Industry.

This is a guest blog post by Elizabetta Camilleri

[Did you ever think that your mobile can be your remote control for shopping? It’s getting there. Guest author Zabetta Camilleri reviews how mobile apps are changing Fashion Retailing with brands such as Burberry, Forever21, Shopkick, Shopstyle, SalesGossip, Chanel,Tommy Hilfiger & Clotheshorse leading the way in mobile app innovation.]

There’s no doubt ‘Fashion Tech’ has become the latest buzzword in retail. The innovation we’ve seen in the Mobile apps space has already disrupted the age-old industry of fashion retail. Now we are witnessing some important trends that will continue to change the way we shop for fashion online as well as on the high street.

Apps entering the fashion industry

Mobile App innovations will have a huge impact on retail over the next few years. From launching basic websites that have been rendered to fit most smartphones to developing more sophisticated native apps, designed to leverage each functionality of the specific operating systems – the trend continues. The total number of UK subscribers buying via mobile phone grew by nearly 5 million in the last two quarters – a rise of almost 33% (According to mobileSQUARED). A recent survey conducted by the Luxury Institute confirmed the importance of apps in the luxury world by showing that 80% of wealthy smartphone users had downloaded an app and two-thirds have shopped on their smartphone. The survey even showed that luxury shoppers were most interested in using apps to gain access to discounts, whilst early access to sales was the second highest incentive to shop this way. If the high-end retailers were worried about losing their brand value, the key seems to be to translate the same aura of exclusivity to the digital world by giving mobile customers greater access than the average shopper.
Shoppers are using their mobile devices to support the whole customer-shopping journey, from discovery of new products and brands through to purchase. Shoppers can research and explore new product features, compare prices, read reviews, find store locations, take pictures of products, scan barcodes, download digital coupons, actually buy something and then, in the long term, expect the customer support needed to establish a long-term relationship. Whatever it is – there’s an app for it, and shoppers are using them more and more.  In addition, as shoppers become addicted to any kind of fashion sales, they are becoming increasingly responsive to any promotions pushed through their phone. In short, Fashion Tech is helping the consumer become much savvier and more demanding than ever before.

Opportunities for developers

The window of opportunity is now wide open, developers can still get an early mover advantage if they come up with simple ways they can help retailers add value. We see a few market leaders. High street brands, such as Forever 21 and Jigsaw, through to luxury labels like Chanel are driving this forward with the creation of highly engaging mobile websites and apps. What we’ve seen up until now has been pretty basic but is constantly evolving with features that include locating stores, checking if a product is in stock and QR code scanning to capture product information as well as discounts. Companies such as ASOS and ShopStyle have developed apps that are some of the smartest shopping portals in the digital world, and they are certainly generating sales. Neiman Marcus, another high-end retailer, on the other hand are leveraging simple app technology to enhance your shop experience by through the NM Service; an app that lets customers know which of their favourite sales girls are on the floor.
A number of new entrants have also muscled their way into increased effectiveness and have snatched a piece of the pie whilst it’s still hot. For example, New York’s Shopkick has come to epitomize the potential of location-based technology. Its participating stores are outfitted with a microphone that emits a high-pitched tone which the smartphone picks up to automatically give you rewards for simply walking into a store. Shopkick reported 700 million product views in its first year and boasts 2.3 million active users.

One size doesn’t fit all

One issue that keeps popping up as a major barrier to shopping for clothes and shoes online is the question of size and fit. The fact that sizes are not standard across all brands contributes to a high percentage of returns – an extremely expensive issue for all online retailers. To address this problem Tommy Hilfiger has started using the “augmented reality” concept to launch its own augmented reality fitting room, allowing users to superimpose images of clothing onto themselves using the phone’s camera.  These types of “virtual fitting-rooms” are certainly proving to be a popular phenomenon especially when new technology is implemented to make size and fit recommendations. Clotheshorse uses an algorithm based on questions about the user’s body measurements and previous purchases to recommend the best size possible for the shopper, whilst UPcload is a “virtual tailor” that scans your body via your webcam, then uploads a 3-D template of your body and cross-references it against a database of 100,000 people to make a recommendation for clothing that will fit your size and shape.

The Future of Fashion is in Tech

One thing is clear: Mobile Retail is here to stay. As technologies improve, it will continue to have a greater impact on the traditional shopping journey. Changes are already starting to show – Take Fancy, for example is a social media site that essentially crowd sources interest in a product and allows merchants to sell them in real-time. It puts demand at the heart of the business model, not supply. It is now up to retailers to stay on top of changing customer behaviour and evolving technologies to increase sales both online and in their brick-and-mortar stores.


Zabetta Camilleri is the CoFounder of SalesGossip, a Mobile Web app that gives you the latest insider gossip on any Fashion Sale or Promotion in your city
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Facebook Comment