Tag Archives: fashion industry

The Three Ways Michelle Obama Is Influencing The Fashion Industry

To say Michelle Obama’s wardrobe has attracted considerable attention would be an understatement. The world is obsessed with what Michelle wears. She always looks so put-together yet modern — and the designers whose clothes she sports get their names in the news. But are they actually seeing an increase in business? Michelle’s fashion choices seem to have one of three effects on the industry.

First, according to WWD, the First Lady has had an effect on designers, but it’s not always by increasing their sales. Since many of the clothes that Michelle wears are beyond the average American woman’s budget, designers are seeing an increase in name recognition, but they haven’t had dresses flying off racks. Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte said they have been emailed a great deal since Michelle wore one of their creations. Thakoon and Maria Cornejo said many more stores have requested appointments to see their collections and possibly pick a few items to offer their customers. Jason Wu’s recent trunk sales around the country have caused mob scenes. These higher-end designers have seen a greater response to their designs from people outside the fashion industry, which could translate to increased business down the line. Keep reading »

Vogue Italia’s “Black Issue” Is A Success, But What Will Its Impact REALLY Be?

If you haven’t heard already, the July issue of Italian Vogue was unprecedented. All the models in it were black. Amidst the buzz that followed, the much-hyped “Black Issue” became such a popular success that distribution was increased by 40-percent, an amazing feat. Some (including me) saw the concept — race as an “issue” — as a gimmick, an attempt to shush critics who frequently point out how little page-time the fashion industry gives to anything other than white faces. But, without a doubt, the issue got people talking about the issues. Now, let’s hope their attention isn’t squandered.
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Vogue Italia’s “Black Issue” Doesn’t Address The Real Issue

I can’t remember the last time I picked up a lady mag and saw an African-American woman on the cover that wasn’t Halle Berry. The beauty and hair advice doled out in these magazines is targeted at white women unless otherwise noted and the major runway shows are pitifully powder white (Eastern-European is very in). It’s sucky, to say the least. Vogue Italia decided to do something about it, declaring their July issue “The Black Issue” — all of the featured models would be Black and all the featured content would address Black women. This is all fine and dandy on a purely surface level I suppose, except that by making this issue “special” they’ve defined all other, white-centric issues as the usual and the norm. Rather than having more women of color in every issue, targeting a single issue at one ethnic group doesn’t really do anything to increase diversity, now does it? That’s weak. [NY Times] Keep reading »

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