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#News: December

Over-viewing news from the month of December, written by Sophie Prescott.
Photograph: Dior SS16, sourced from Shine by Three.

>> River Island announces RI Plus
Following in the footsteps of New Look, as well as online favourite ASOS, high street giant River Island is the next store to announce a plus-size range, with sizes ranging from 18-24. The range, ‘RI Plus’, will include everything from partywear to workwear, as well as its denim range and core basics, and is expected to be available in store and online from March this year. “We feel this is the right time for the brand to expand our size range offering,” a spokesperson commented, “ultimately, it’s about fashion and being inclusive.” Amen to that.

>> BFC Announces NewGen Recipients
The British Fashion Council has announced the six designers who will receive the NewGen sponsorship for AW16, whose previous recipients include J.W.Anderson, Erdem, Mary Katrantzou.
Ashley Williams, Claire Barrow, Danielle Romeril, Faustine Steinmetz, Marta Jakubowski, Molly Goddard, Ryan Lo and Sadie William will all receive funding and the opportunity to showcase their collections during fashion week. Congratulations!

>> Isabel Marant to Sell?
According to Reuters, Isabel Marant is set to sell her eponymous brand in hope of international endeavours, including an interest in accessories and leather goods. It is said she will sell her majority stake to Eurazeo – who already owns shares in Desigual, Moncler and Vestiaire Collective. Are the rumours true? Watch this space.

>> Designers Support the #ClimateCatwalk
During a UN conference on climate change at the beginning of December, there was an unexpected movement on social media from those in the fashion industry taking a stance against climate change. Mario Testino, Charlotte Tilbury, Jefferson Hack, Elisa Sednaoui and Natalia Vodianova were amongst those who took to Instagram to film themselves walking the #ClimateCatwalk, in order to symbolise them walking towards a more sustainable future. Hundreds have been getting involved, including Vogue who have openly supported the hashtag.

>> Rihanna X Puma Hits NY Fashion Week
Following her success as Creative Director of sportswear brand Puma, Rihanna has announced that the next collaboration will showcase at next season’s New York Fashion Week. The ‘Puma By Rihannashow will take place on February 12th, with an auction and prizes including her iconic creepers.

>> Hunter Quits London Fashion Week
Hunter announced last month that they will “step away from the traditional fashion calendar” and no longer appear at London Fashion Week, in an effort to reach out to their customer base via different means. Following four successful shows in past years, it is believed the brand will showcase their designs in a way that aligns with the festival circuit – which is a logical move – however details of this are yet to be announced.

>> Selfridge Launch Sustainability Project ‘Bright Young Things’
Selfridge has invested in a new project ‘Bright Young Things’ which supports designers who use sustainable practices and is partnered with the Centre for Sustainable Things. The project launches on the January 7th as a collaboration between nine designers who each incorporate recycling, waste reduction and ethical practices into their fashion production, and will continue into March.

>> Dior Design Team Takes the Helm
We are still yet to hear any news of the next Creative Director for Dior, however it has been confirmed that the in-house design team will take control for upcoming seasons, following Raf Simon’s shock departure. The A/W 16/17 couture collections will be left in the capable hands of the design team, as well as the pre-A/W 16/17 collection which will be presented on an appointment-only basis to editors in Paris. We cannot wait to see the results!

>> Alexander McQueen Relocates to LFW
As the LFW schedule was published earlier last month, it was revealed that Alexander McQueen is relocating his show from Paris to London, the birthplace of founder Lee McQueen. After 13 years of presenting seasonally in Paris, the show will be moving to London for one season only, where the catwalk will take place on February 21st at 7pm.

Also back on the schedule is Mulberry, showcasing in catwalk format following several seasons of presentations – as if we needed more reasons to anticipate our favourite week in fashion!

>> Primark Addresses Viral Abuse Claims
You have probably seen the news that went viral recently, when a note allegedly written by a Chinese factory worker was found hidden in a pair of Primark socks. The note was reportedly found in socks purchased in a Newcastle store, and was telling of a worker who was blackmailed and forcibly detained in a factory, then asking the reader to tell the government or the media.

A Primark spokesperson has now addressed the issue in a statement: “We have found no link at all between this individual and any of our suppliers’ factories in China. We think it is likely that the note was added after production and it is feasible it was added in transit or at a port.” She also insisted that routine checks of the factories are frequently carried out. Hoax or not, this isn’t the first time Primark have been called out for their production ethics…

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