It wasn’t all a luxury affair when fashion chose to meet its modern forces. In reality, this meant simple, fairly traditional clothes, done well. Any collection American-related would be missing a trick if it wasn’t a little focused on athleisurewear. Fortunately, NICCE wouldn’t make such a mistake – the brand’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection pays homage to the laid-back ease of Los Angeles in the 90’s. Best of all, a super-tactile, utility number with a functional texture is the kind of thing you would want to wear every day. Silhouettes are slouchy and unfussy, with baggy shorts and soft-shouldered jumpers playing key roles. There was a kind of understated beauty to low-key bucket hats in intelligently chosen fabrics and classic jackets that were tweaked just a touch and cropped. This season imbues hints of the utility trend, showcased through gradient tones. Colours mirror iconic NICCE jersey staples, offering newness across wardrobe essentials for upcoming months. Creating the perfect base for festival season, the Kurt-Cobain-esque stripe tees serve-up in nostalgia. This was a collection low on concept and all the better for it; there’s a great deal to love here, which certainly isn’t something you can say at every street brand.
Kanye West’s YEEZY has signed a reported 10 year partnership with Gap entailing a co-branded line of apparel set to release sometime in 2021.
The collaborative collection, designed by West and the YEEZY team (helmed by Design Director Mowalola Ogunlesi), will include womenswear, menswear and children’s clothes at accessible price points.
The controversial rapper has long expressed desire to work with Gap.
In a 2013 radio interview with 99.7 NOW!, West said he approached the brand but “couldn’t get past the politics.” Then in 2015, he told Style.com (now Vogue.com) that he would “like to be the Steve Jobs of the Gap” and take “full Hedi Slimane creative control” of it.
“We are excited to welcome Kanye back to the Gap family as a creative visionary, building on the aesthetic and success of his YEEZY brand and together defining a next-level retail partnership,” Gap Brand Global Head Mark Breitbard said in a statement.Kanye West’s YEEZY x Gap collection will release in 2021 at the Gap website and Gap stores.
After announcing the program over the past year, Adobe has finally released the Photoshop Camera app. The application allows one to apply a plethora of filters for free.
Photoshop Camera is available for iOS and Android users; it encompasses AI-powered features to improve photos. You can take advantage of quick fixes like auto-tone and portrait control with a single tap or finger-swipe. Filters and effects are just as easy, and you can choose from more than 80 custom filters, saving your favourites to use them regularly. After snapping a picture, Photoshop Camera will suggest effects to apply to ensure the most visually catching result. Then, you can export photos to your computer in the .PSD file format, allowing you to edit in the full version of Photoshop.
Luxury conglomerate Kering has just added three new members to its board of directors, announcing thatactress Emma Watson, businessman Tidjane Thiam and entrepreneur Jean Liu have joined the French Company. “The collective intelligence that comes from diverse points of view and the richness of different experiences are crucial to the future of our organization. I am proud to add such impressive talents to the team,” said Kering CEO and chairman François-Henri Pinault in a statement.
Emma Watson will serve as Chair of the Sustainability Committee, following years of advocacy on environmental and social justice issues. The actress has been a UN WOMEN Global Goodwill Ambassador since 2014 and has previously been featured in Vogue Australia as a sustainability guest editor.
Tidjane Thiam has been appointed as Chair of the Audit Committee, coming from his previous position as CEO of the Credit Suisse Group AG. Thiam also serves as the African Union Special Evoy on COVID-19, and is a member of the International Olympic Committee.
Jean Liu is the president of Beijing-based transportation company Didi Chuxing and has been at the forefront of empowering women in tech through her DiDi Women’s Network. Additionally, she is a founding member of the advisory board of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum, and also serves as a member of the Asia Society’s Board of Trustees.
Kering has been donating around $1 million USD to combat the spread of coronavirus and has reported a 15.4% decrease in revenue in Q1 due to the widespread pandemic.
Update – June 2020 Back in March, Coachella Festival announced that it would postpone its festival until October of this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, after much deliberation, Coachella has formally been cancelled.
According to Billboard, the festival’s allied company, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), has been financially struggling amid the health crisis. It has had to lay off 15 percent of its employees and has furloughed an additional 100. In addition to that, it has had to issue pay cuts between 20 and 50 percent. “Every employee worldwide will be impacted in one form or another. It is an agonizing decision, but sadly, a necessary one,” AEG’s CEO Dan Beckerman stated in an internal employee memo.
Coachella hopes to return next April; however, AEG predicts the festival might have to be delayed until October 2021 if it aims to have a full-capacity event. For those who have purchased tickets for this year’s event, refunds are currently being placed on hold until AEG confirms the details of next year’s gathering.
Sportswear giant Adidas has recently issued a statement following last week’s protest due to the organisation’s complacency on racism. Along with the message, the sportswear brand has vowed to immediately implement three steps of action, including a $20 million investment in Black communities, university scholarship for black employees, and focusing on a “more inclusive” hiring.
Adidas’ investment in BAME communities includes a $20 million pledge in the United States over four years. The money will go to in the adidas School for Experiential Education in Design; and Honouring Black Excellence, a program honouring and supporting the Black community through sport initiatives such as Adidas Legacy, a basketball platform for underserved communities; the adidas School for Experiential Education in Design; and Honouring Black Excellence, a program honouring and supporting the Black community through sport.
Over a five-year, Adidas will finance 50 scholarships each year for Black students at partner schools. The company has also pledged to increase the number of Black employees. According to the memo, 30 percent of new positions at Adidas and Reebok in the US will be filled with Black and Latinx individuals.
“The events of the past two weeks have caused all of us to reflect on what we can do to confront the cultural and systemic forces that sustain racism. We have had to look inward to ourselves as individuals and our organization and reflect on systems that disadvantage and silence Black individuals and communities”, said adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted. “While we have talked about the importance of inclusion, we must do more to create an environment in which all of our employees feel safe, heard and have equal opportunity to advance their careers. As adidas, we will create a lasting change and we will do it now.”
“We recognize the immense contribution of the Black community to our success and that of others. We promise to improve our company culture to ensure equity, diversity and opportunity. We understand that the fight against racism is one that must be fought continually and actively. We must and will do better” the company concluded.
After Apple’s Chief Executive Officer announcement in April, the Apple Card is now set to add interest-free instalment payments for more of its products. Ever since last year, holders for the credit card created by Apple and issued by Goldman Sachs have been able to purchase iPhone models with 24 months of no interest.
Apple is now allowing customers to buy Macs, iPads and more through monthly instalments via the Apple Card. The tech company has allegedly announced it will offer 12-month interest-free payment for Macs, iPads, iPad keyboards and display monitors, alongside with similar six-month plans for AirPods, Apple TV and HomePods.
Payments can be made via the Apple Card section in the iPhone wallet app with payments added to monthly Apple Card bills. It is also important to note payment plans are compatible with Apple’s education discounts. Aside from boosting sales of Apple products, the plan will also help promote the enrolment for the Apple Card.
Back in April, London Fashion Week announced it would become a virtual event in light of the global pandemic. The British Fashion Council has released more details about what to expect when it launches this weekend.
From Friday, the London Fashion Week website will relaunch as a ‘digital platform’, aimed at both industry figures and consumers. The BFC have invited designers, brands, media companies, retailers, and other creatives to submit content for inclusion on the platform, which will be free for members of the public to access.
Over the last three months, designers have had their ability to produce collections severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, which has forced most factories into temporary closure and abruptly halted the fashion industry’s supply chain. As a result, in lieu of traditional shows to unveil new seasonal collections, brands will showcase a variety of digital content formats.
Designers including Marques’Almeida and Robyn Lynch are showcasing smaller capsule collections, while others are opting out of showing clothes entirely: Bianca Saunders will be hosting a panel discussion with SHOWSTUDIO, while designers including RAEBURN and Daniel W. Fletcher are contributing ‘conversations’ instead of presenting collections. The platform will also host podcasts and playlists created by a host of creatives and brands: ART SCHOOL, Ahluwalia, and the retailer Browns are among those who have contributed.
While the line-up is dominated by emerging brands, notably absent from the schedule are most of London’s internationally recognisable names. Burberry, which typically shows its collections in London during February and September, has not participated. Other absentees include Britain’s most successful independent designers: Martine Rose, Wales Bonner, and A-COLD-WALL* are currently opting out, as is Craig Green, who moved his runway shows to Paris in January this year.
The virtual event runs from June 12-14 at London Fashion Week’s website, where the full schedule will be available soon.
Streetwear Giant Palace joins the burgeoning list of brands and institutions donating o the black community, announcing a $1 million pledge to Black Lives Matter and the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. The streetwear brand made the announcement on June 8, while sharing an anti-racism video on its Instagram page.
News of the pledge comes as fellow brands Nike and Jordan, for instance, recently unfolded donations of $40 million and $100 million, respectively, following the atrocious killing of Minnesota-hailed George Floyd.
“Palace stand firmly with all protesters seeking justice against police brutality and racism,” the company said in a statement. “Looking at a long-term commitment, we pledge to donate 1 million dollars in 2020, starting with the Black Lives Matter and Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.”
Palace added on Instagram, “this ain’t some band wagon shit btw. It just took a hot minute to figure out. if I could drum up a mill by the end of the year. and work out what we’re going to do long-term.”
To all who have expressed outrage, disgust, anxiety, empathy, or bewilderment at how this crisis in social justice can be our reality in 2020, I ask you to take some time and call a friend, colleague, a mixed race relative—someone who is black or looks black—and have a real conversation with them.
During this conversation, ask them what it is like for them day to day as a citizen in American society, what their experiences have been as it pertains to racism.
This is not likely to be a five-minute conversation. But if you really care to understand, if you really want to fix this problem, if you really want the protests to bring sweeping change, if you really want to make a change in society for the better, you need to start with an understanding of what it is like to be black in America.
Racism in America permeates all aspects of life: from the first time your teacher embarrasses you in front of your entire school class, the shop owner that follows you in a magazine store and tells you that you need to leave the store when, momentarily, you have been separated from your parents, to the joyous experience of receiving your first driver’s license that is quickly being intruded on by “the conversation”.
This is when your parents sit you down to discuss what you must and must not do if you are ever pulled over by the police. This is our reality as young people, as adults and as parents.
The risks and disadvantage continue throughout life, regardless of education or economic status: in corporate America, in the jobs you were overlooked for or never promoted to, despite being overqualified and performing at a level that is multiples above your counterparts’ performance. That’s another conversation black parents have with their children, in order to compete, you have to be at least twice as good.
That is the requirement when you are black in America.
Many of you reading this will ask why black professionals in any field have a difficult time showcasing these racism issues, and the reason is not because we have not pointed them out, it is because white people are looking for a plausible answer such as “there must have been something wrong with the business model.”
The problem is exacerbated when agencies and corporations look to remove individuals who have been uncovered as racially biased and have become an embarrassment and liability to the company, but the lack the courage or will to fire them for fear of being brought into a wrongful termination suit. Instead, racist elements are “failed up” the corporate/municipal ladder because it is easier to promote someone up and out of the way than to terminate them. So, the racists win by garnering additional power to stop progress on other transactions, and potentially becoming a hindrance in the same transaction again at some point in the future.
What is needed at this time is white American to stop running from this issue, and stop running from your privilege because it what we need from our allies and counterparts that will help us deal with racism. White America’s incredulous, and historic knee-jerk response has become cliché among African Americans: “How do you know it is racism?” “Come on, there has to be a reason besides that.” “There has to be a fundamental underwriting issue.” Actually, there are no problems with our projects, our deals pencil out with great returns so your credit committee needs to be questioned, we solve problems when other falter, we must not fail because we are not given a second chance, so how do we know it is racism. It is racism because our white counterparts that have the same issues are able to finance their transactions, are held in the highest esteem, and revered as hero’s while we are not treated the same. Racism hides inherently in the shadows of this very line of questioning and is exactly what those in deep denial would want you to embark on, a line of questioning because there is no definitive answer that will satisfy them, and this is how the racists win their position: They make it incumbent upon logical people to question the experience, and to look for logical responses within illogical patterns of facts that do not constitute an answer as it pertains to a particular situation. Again, the reason for this is right in front of you. It always has been. It’s racism.
If we are serious about our intentions and truly want social change for the better, know that it will only come when our white counterparts resolve to stand beside us, fighting to root out racism across the spectrum. The change will not be complete or permanent or totally secure if we only address this cancer in isolated sectors while allowing it to incubate and spread from others. The net positive effect of real change will be the overturning of hundreds of year of the norm in our society and supplanted by a new, inclusive societal norm that works toward the betterment of all.
It is frustrating to hear intelligent people say to me, “You didn’t experience racism,” or “You have been successful,” with judgment in the unstated but implied question, why haven’t others? Success and money do not thwart the experience driven by the racists. But it is not obvious to those on the outside that success for black Americans is achieved despite and in the face of racism; it comes by having successfully jumped every hurdle put in your path and the ability to still kept pace with your white counterparts who have no such hurdles because of a skin color. Our successes have come with unnecessary interference, additional tests and obstructions that limit, delay which diminish those successes. However the silver lining is these successes also come from assistance from the white allies that have been quiet fans of our work, our insight and tenacity that together we have pushed to make our projects work.
Racism is increasingly blatantly obvious and on public display in the killings George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, far too many to name more than a few; in the sodomizing and dehumanization of Abner Louima with a policeman’s nightstick; in the railroading and incarceration of The Central Park 5; in the tens if not hundreds of thousands killed before cell phones were available to tell a story. But it also resides in voter suppression redlining, housing discrimination, healthcare disparities, job-application codes, property tax-based education, food deserts, predatory lending, corporate diversity, access to capital, the judicial system, government hoops that only black people have to jump through—every aspect and facet of life in which black people’s existence is challenge, where the same existence for white people is not. The effect of financially killing black business leaves not just families impoverished, but whole communities exiled from opportunity, initiative, with hope diminished, examples of community success exterminated and dreams and prayers left as a vague reminder of what used to be generations ago. Ultimately leaving those individuals trapped in those communities with little chance to financially excel or ability to grow within the communities. The black people you now see marching, protesting, venting their collective frustration, crying out for a little room to breathe in nation that is suffocating us all with its unrelenting racism are not just asking you to stop killing us physically in the street, they are also looking for relief from the choking off of access and opportunity across all platforms within the corporate and finance markets.
Economic opportunity and access are as important and necessary to life as freedom from threat of physical harm. Stop it. Stop killing us quickly with bullets and chokeholds and stop choking us slowly with systemic biases baring us from full participation on an equal footing. This is the fix society must strive for. This is my answer to all those who out of ignorance ask why back Americas aren’t more successful, why aren’t we producing more? Get you knee off our necks—physically, financially and metaphorically in every way. Make the playing field level and you would see a thriving and exciting segment of society that looks nothing like the derivations of poverty in the images popularly circulated to illustrate a particular narrative.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my world, the world of 40 million black people in the United States and hundreds of millions more over the last 400 years now gone. Enough is enough. The time has come, is long overdue in fact, for a real conversation and an overhaul. Pick up the phone and ask us about our experience, what the world of tens of millions of us is like, what it is like to be in our shoes. This is a unique time in American history, affording an opportunity and maybe even a desire to finally fix what has been plaguing our society since its founding. The fix will require us to work together to create a protocol across industry, (Policing, Banking, Industrial, etc) that removes racism from our day to day lives.
To those young people in the streets, thank you for standing up. I am one with you in this pain. I am proud and inspired by your courage and your example. For the allies we have built and understand our call to you for a real partner in the repositioning and changing of the status quo of racism within society, thank you for your courage and disgust with the norms so that we can collectively make this a society we are all proud to be a part of. Let’s fix this together once and for all.
Text by Dan Bythewood
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