LVMH Luxury Ventures Invests in California's Madhappy Streetwear Lounge Around Brand

In June 2019 Architectural Digest revealed two LA retail pop-ups created to promote mental health and inclusivity as critical brand DNA into the shopping experience. In the consummate LA lifestyle shopping experience, California gave us Madhappy and an invite to the local optimist group.

Before we start swooning, what about Madhappy’s sustainability credentials? We’re still looking but in F.A.Q. Madhappy answers the question of how to care for Mh products with the reply “We recommend washing on cold. Hang dry or dry on low heat. Lower environmental footprint + perfect for your Mh.” This fact does not answer our sustainable fabrics question.

Madhappy products are currently made in LA; Classics by Madhappy are available year-round with a flow of new seasonal colors. Limited capsule collections and collabs are never restocked.

Is Pharrell Williams singing ‘Happy’ running through your brain yet? It was in ours for the last 15 minutes, prompting us to imagine the perfect Madhappy festival, as directed by a blog post. Madhappy’s four co-founders: brothers Peiman Raf and celebrity stylist Noah Raf, Joshua Sitt, and Mason Spector have a big reason to be happy.

The LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Luxury Ventures subsidiary revealed that it has taken an investment position in Madhappy and its positivity-centric message. In March 2019, the smile-worthy streetwear concept raised $1.8 million from MeUndies founder Jonathan Shokrian, College Fashionista founder Amy Levin Klein, founders from Sweetgreen, and Justin Caruso, the son of American retail real estate magnate Rick Caruso.

Business of Fashion notes that LVMH’s “bet on a tiny streetwear label is a sign of the luxury giant’s eagerness to get on board with start-up culture and emerging fashion business models, even as its parent steers some of the industry’s biggest brands.”  

“LVMH is not trying to recreate [streetwear] from a distance by copying after the fact,” Shireen Jiwan, founder of Sleuth Brand Consulting told BoF. Instead, by way of investments like this and the appointment of figures like Virgil Abloh to top spots under its main umbrella, “they’re getting in front of it by collaborating with the organic creators of this new way of living, working, wanting, shopping, being.” 

Edie Campbell Shoots Zara 'Keep It Uptown Campaign', While Accepting Fast Fashion Complicity

Edie Campbell Shoots Zara 'Keep It Uptown Campaign', While Accepting Fast Fashion Complicity

Manly or not? Top model Edie Campbell suits up in Zara’s latest fall 2019 trend campaign, heading to Manhattan’s Upper East Side in faux fur jackets, bourgeois plaid skirts, printed dresses and pussy-cat bow blouses — with lace collars, no less. Miss Manners is on the move.

AOC has spent time recently reflecting on the hypocrisy of writing about the critical need for sustainability in fashion — while simultaneously promoting it through blog posts. I’ve concluded that silence — or stopping the posting of fast fashion — it not the answer. But we will use each fast fashion post to search for and report on any sustainability-related updates by the brand — in this case Zara.

We will also use the same post to share any new industry info or essays around fast fashion. This compromise allows us to give readers what they see in terms of fashion trends and photography, while using the post to remind us that all of us fashionistas, and the insatiable lust for something new — are part of a very serious problem for our planet. Together, we must also be part of the solution.

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Edie concludes her essay — after citing glimmers of hope around sustainability in the fashion industry — with choice words, and not ones that will always get her more work.

“I would be proud to work with brands that shoot on a Norfolk beach, rather than flying a European crew to Mexico. I would love there to be more transparency on clothing labels. I would love the fashion industry to produce less and invest in more sustainable manufacturing methods and materials. Mostly, I would love people to buy less. Even if that would put me out of a job.”

Cara Delevingne, Rebellious Brit, Fronts Dior Joaillerie's Rose des Vents Collection

Top talent, actor, model and activist Cara Delevingne is now the face of Dior Joaillerie, starting with the brand’s Rose des Vents campaign. The Brit has modeled for the Dior brand before and is currently the face of its Addict Stellar Shine lipstick, but this is her first jewelry campaign.

Cara Delevingne for Dior’s Joaillerie Rose des Vents collection.

Cara Delevingne for Dior’s Joaillerie Rose des Vents collection.

Describing Cara as “a rebellious English rose”, the announcement continues: ““Much more than a muse, the audacious icon is an endless source of inspiration. For Dior, Cara Delevingne upends the conventional jewellery codes with her characteristic whimsy.”

The Joaillerie's Rose des Vents collection is inspired by Christian Dior’s favorite flower, the rose, and his global travels. The importance of flowers in our lives was also celebrated by Maria Grazia Chiuri’s recent spring 2020 runway show for the luxury house.

In another of Chiuri’s deep-dives into the history of Christian Dior, the creative director was deeply inspired by Christian Dior’s sister Catherine, an active member of the French resistance. The bold, audacious ‘Miss’ in Miss Dior was captured by the French resistance and sent to Ravensbrück, an all-female concentration camp in northern Germany.

Catherine Dior, imprisoned French resistance activist and lover of flowers.

Catherine Dior, imprisoned French resistance activist and lover of flowers.

Catherine survived, returning to Paris where she sold her beloved flowers at Les Halles market, where she was the ONLY woman granted a license to trade as a ‘cut flowers broker’. Miss Dior became an acclaimed gardener, botanist and house consultant on flowers.

Catherine Dior’s love for blooms and nature also supported Chiuri’s commitment to the environment at her spring 2020 show. One of her noteworthy initiatives was working with the Paris-based environmental design collective Coloco, which will replant the “show trees” in projects around the city.

Christian Dior SS20 show Paris, Sept. 2019

Christian Dior SS20 show Paris, Sept. 2019

Dutch Museum Faces Protest Over Exhibition on Nazi Design

A picture taken on September 8, 2019 shows a Swastika formed with red carpets by artist Ralph Posset during the opening of an exhibition entitled "Design of the Third Reich" at the Design Museum Den Bosch, in 's-Hertogenbosch, central Netherlands. - The exhibition will show the contribution of design to the development of the Nazi ideology. (ROB ENGELAAR/AFP/ Getty Images for Smithsonian.com )

A picture taken on September 8, 2019 shows a Swastika formed with red carpets by artist Ralph Posset during the opening of an exhibition entitled "Design of the Third Reich" at the Design Museum Den Bosch, in 's-Hertogenbosch, central Netherlands. - The exhibition will show the contribution of design to the development of the Nazi ideology. (ROB ENGELAAR/AFP/Getty Images for Smithsonian.com)

The show focuses on how design furthered the ‘development of the evil Nazi ideology,’ but critics worry the show glorifies Nazi aesthetics.

By Brigit Katz. First published on Smithsonian.com.

Swastikas hang from the walls. Nazi propaganda films play across the gallery. Photos display the imposing choreography of Hitler’s rallies. They’re all part of a new show in the Netherlands seeking to place Nazi design under scrutiny. The exhibition at the Design Museum in Den Bosch explores how aesthetics fueled “the development of the evil Nazi ideology,” as the museum puts it. But the show, which was met with protests on its opening day, also shows the challenges of presenting Nazi iconography within a museum setting.

As Daniel Boffey of the Guardian reports, “Design of the Third Reich” includes a 1943 Volkswagen Beetle, images from the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, films by the Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl and a piece by Arno Breker, reported to be Hitler’s favorite sculptor. The exhibition uses the artifacts to explore the contradictions of Nazism’s grandiose, romantic aesthetics, which sought to convey an image of prosperity and “purity” while its adherents were carrying out the most heinous of crimes.

Museum officials have taken steps to ensure that the exhibition’s artifacts are not taken out of context and glorified. Photography is prohibited in the gallery, so visitors are unable to post pictures of themselves with sensitive materials, and the museum has hired extra security to patrol the exhibition spaces, as Dutch News reports. The museum has also recruited people to monitor what is being said about the show on social media. Additionally, a spokesperson tells Catherine Hickley of the Art Newspaper that museum staff held a “very fruitful conversation” with members of the local Communist Youth Movement, which had requested demonstration permits before the show’s opening, to explain the purpose of the exhibition.

But that did not stop communist activists from protesting near the entrance of the museum on Sunday. The Association of Dutch Anti-Fascists has condemned the show as “provocative” and called on authorities to shut it down.

Timo de Rijk, director of the Museum of Design, is sensitive to criticisms of the new exhibition. “They are concerned that maybe we are glorifying it all,” he said of the protestors. “I would not be doing this if I thought we were, but I can understand that they are aware of that kind of evil in history.”

The museum insists that it is important to take a critical look not only at the “good side of culture,” but also its more sordid chapters. “The Nazis were masters in using design to achieve their goal, to both convince and destroy huge numbers of people,” the museum states. “If you wholeheartedly want to be able to say ... ‘[N]ever again,’ you must take time to analyse how the influencing processes worked at the time.”

Hanna Luden, director of the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel in The Hague, seems to agree. She tells Stefan Dege of Deutsche Welle that the Museum of Design is walking a “tightrope act” with its displays of Nazi paraphernalia—but that ultimately, exposing the terrible, manipulating power of Third Reich propaganda is "fundamentally good."

Vogue Italia September Has Gorgeous Adut Akech + Vilma Sjölberg Covers | Farneti's Words Confuse

Vogue Italia Sepember 2019-2-duo.jpg

Vogue Italia September Has Gorgeous Adut Akech + Vilma Sjölberg Covers | Farneti's Words Confuse

The September 2019 issue of Vogue Italia brings two covers into the world of fashion speak and imagination. "Peace" is the guiding idea of Mert & Marcus’s image of Vilma Sjölberg, while “Couture” inspires Paolo Roversi in his Adut Akech cover.

Also read the texts by Michael Cunningham for the September covers of Vogue Italia signed by Mert & Marcus and Paolo Roversi. Note that this text is taken directly from the Vogue Italia . AOC finds it a tad confusing, as international translation always struggles with s(he) pronouns in Google translator. Reality is that this issue of Vogue Italia is focused on the importance of words, adding a note of irony to this modern word editorial focus. Always looking for the good in a situation, I first attributed the excessive use of ‘he’ to Google translator.

Reading the Vogue Italia website translation of Farneti’s editor’s letter, it seems that the extensive use of ‘he’ is intended., that the male pronoun is dominant, in which case AOC is pretty pissed off. After all, the history of Rome is even worse than the fall of women’s influence and power under the Greeks. Italy put the nail in the proverbial women’s rights coffin.

‘A Portrait | The Michael Kors Mini-Documentary’ by Alison Chernick Makes YouTube Debut

Michael Kors debuts ‘A Portrait | The Michael Kors Mini-Documentary’ on YouTube’s new Fashion and Beauty Vertical

Michael Kors debuts ‘A Portrait | The Michael Kors Mini-Documentary’ on YouTube’s new Fashion and Beauty Vertical

New York documentarian director, Alison Chernick debuted her seven minute mini-film ‘A Portrait | The Michael Kors Mini-Documentary’ about the personal and professional background of designer Michael Kors on Thursday, timed with the launch of YouTube’s new fashion vertical channel.

Encouraging fashion people to smile more, Michael Kors takes us on an upbeat journey through his upbringing in Merrick, Long Island, as the “only child in a family of very, very outspoken women,” he says referring to his mother, aunt and grandmother whose “simple and sporty” style, “bohemian hippy princess” look and “over-the-top glamour,” respectively, prompted his interest in fashion. “When I said I wanted to be a designer there were hosannas around the room,” admits Kors.

Bergdorf Goodman’s fashion director-president, Dawn Mello, is credited with inspiring the launch of Kors’ own label after admiring his age 19 work in a nearby Fifth Avenue fashion boutique Lothar’s. Chernick does a superb job of capturing the grit and glam of 70s New York and the centrality of Michael Kors in that scene.

Bronwyn Cosgrave, writing for THR, reminds readers of what’s left out of the film, necessitated by its short length. Kors isn’t credited sufficiently for transforming Celine into an aspirational brand. There’s no mention of the financial struggles Michael Kors endured until Hong Kong tycoon, Silas Chou, invested in his brand in 2003. (It went public in 2011). The designers work on ‘Project Runway’ is also absent.

In a lovely coincidence with the YouTube debut of the short documentary, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge wore a Michael Kors MICHAEL dress on George and Charlotte’s first day of school.