The month just passed saw even more announcements, controversies and social media posts within the fashion industry – for high fashion and high street alike. Here’s the round-up of all the most important fashion news stories for May – read on to find out about the most exciting new collaborations coming soon, and more…
>> Gisele Speaks Out Against Animal Trafficking
Model Gisele Bundchen has passionately voiced her opinions opposing illegal animal trafficking, through the UN campaign ‘Wild For Life’ – an issue she describes as a “shameful trade pushing species to the edge of extinction”. As part of the campaign, Gisele picked an animal which best represented herself to raise awareness – in her case, the Sea Turtle. The campaign encourages others to pick a ‘spirit animal’ on social media to spread the message.
>> New Horizons For M&S
The new CEO of Marks and Spencer, Steve Rowe, has announced plans to completely turn around the dwindling retailer, making changes to improve the style, fit and quality of its clothes. He told the BBC’s Today show: “our customer look to M&S not for fashion trends but for accessible products they can wear with confidence. Quality will remain central to our thinking.” This comes after five consecutive years of declining sales for the high street giant, and its worst day on the stock market in seven years last May.
>> Pop-Up ‘Vogue Café’ To Open
As Vogue continued centenary celebrations last month, it was announced that a pop-up café would open in Westfield, London to mark the milestone. From the 27th of June until the 25th of September, the café will serve exclusive ‘Vogue 100’ cocktails and punch along with afternoon tea, while guests can view a whole catalogue of iconic Vogue covers from the past 100 years.
>> H&M x Kenzo Collaboration
Following the success of other such collaborations (including Balmain, Karl Lagerfeld, Matthew Williamson and Alexander Wang) H&M have confirmed its next designer collaboration will be with Kenzo. The collection will include both menswear and womenswear, and will hit stores from the 3rd of November – and if it is anything like their most recent Balmain collaboration, expect chaos when it does.
>> Rihanna x Dior Eyewear
Rihanna’s latest fashion endeavour has been announced: an eponymous sunglasses collection for Dior, where she is currently a brand ambassador. The range, which was designed by the singer herself, has a distinct futuristic aesthetic as she shared pictures via her Instagram account last month. This is not the first time Rihanna has dipped her toe into the world of fashion design, following her collection for River Island in 2011 and her hugely successful designs for Puma, which largely boosted sales for the brand.
>> Alexandra Shulman Wins WGSN Award
British Vogue Editor-in-Chief, Alexandra Shulman, was recognised last month by the WGSN Futures Awards, where she won an accolade for the Outstanding Achievement Hall of Fame. Lauretta Roberts, the brand’s director, stated Shulman was recognised for her “inspirational story and contribution to fashion publishing“, holding the longest editorship in the history of British Vogue. Congratulations!
>> Beyonce’s Ivy Park Addresses Sweatshop Controversy
Following claims that Beyonce’s athleisurewear line for Topshop, ‘Ivy Park’, is manufactured in sweatshop conditions, with workers being paid a mere £4.30 per day, a spokesperson for the brand has responded, asserting the brand’s “rigorous ethical trading programme“. Several workers even revealed how they would work 10 hour shifts with only 30 minutes for a lunch break, despite the company’s insistence that they are “proud of [their] sustained efforts in terms of factory inspections and audits.”
>> CK Model Defends Controversial Advertising Campaign
Calvin Klein were under fire last month for using an upskirt image in their latest advertising campaign, which has been accused of objectifying women and promoting rape culture. The model in the image, Klara Kristin, has defended the photo however, posting on her Instagram: “all this discussion about it makes me think about how alienated and scared some people are to the female human body. Be and love yourself and your sexuality #girlpower.” The company has yet to comment on the controversy.
>> Net-A-Porter Announce Exclusive Gucci Collection
Gucci has gone from strength to strength under the direction of Alessandro Michele, who has led the brand since early 2015, and now they have released a ready-to-wear capsule collection available exclusively on Net-A-Porter.com. The capsule includes womenswear, shoes and accessories, incorporating classic Gucci elements with new twists which are both eye-catching but diverse. Visit Net-A-Porter now to view the collection, which is available to buy now.
>> Hedi Slimane Rejects Own-Label Rumours
After leaving Yves Saint Laurent, there has been much speculation (particularly from WWD) that Hedi Slimane may be about to begin on an eponymous label, but early last month he tweeted a legal letter denying such rumours. It states: that “Hedi Slimane has never had in the past, let alone now, the intention or desire to launch a brand under his name” leaving his next move within the industry uncertain for now.
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Written by Sophie Prescott,
featuring an image from Gucci x Net-A-Porter campaign photographed by Tom Craig.