British, witty, charming and fashionable; with these qualities one could be considered almost perfect in my opinion, would they not? Alexa Chung, 29, and known to some as a muse of style, pop culture phenomenon and overall, a woman that beats to the sound of her own drum.
At 5’8″ and with legs for days, she stands above the rest of the models, one-hit-wonders and other high society ladies in the world because of her free spirited attitude to her fame, fortune and world title as a style icon. Ms. Chung refuses to not let the world see her for who she really is. I find that Alexa’s openness regarding her life is one of her most admirable qualities. In comparison, most if not all celebrities hide within the reality of their life and only convey to their audience what they want them to see.
“Modelling taught me how important your brain and personality are to being happy,” she tells Stylist. “I was happier the minute I started doing TV work instead of modelling because I suddenly had an outlet for my opinions. I’d rather be told I was funny or clever than I looked nice. The most beautiful girls in the world that I met while I was modeling were also the most depressed.”
Her past is a collaboration of television hosting, modeling, acting and also designing for Madewell, which sold numerous amounts in September of 2011. “She’s become the Kate Moss for this new generation,” said Jane Keltner de Valle, the fashion news director for Teen Vogue. While Alexa is always photographed in the front row of many fashion runways and events, she, like many celebrities owns an Instagram, where all her devoted fans can see past the surreality of standing arm to arm with Karl Lagerfield and into the genuine life of this British it-girl.
Indeed, while Ms. Chung has been on the covers of the British editions of Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar and was identified last month by The Sunday Telegraph as one of the 100 most powerful women in Britain, the American mass audience thus far appears to be more interested in the antics of the Kardashian sisters and Kate Gosselin than Ms. Chung’s brand of offhanded chic. But that career hiccup has hardly damaged her A-list status in the fashion world.
Unlike many other trendsetters her age, Ms. Chung is more likely to flash paparazzi a peace sign than her underwear. “No kind of parenting can prepare you for how odd it is to be in front of a baying mob of flashbulbs and having to act natural or pose,” she said. “And I’m really bad at being elegant and graceful and doing this sort of thing.”
She said she inherited from her father, a graphic designer, an eye for good proportion. “I just apply that to clothes,” she said. “And I’m dressing for my body. So it’s very flattering that other people might want to borrow my style, but really it’s just making the most of what personally suits me, which is that I’ve got a long skinny leg and no boobs. So I dress to accommodate that. All of my beauty icons are men,” she said in her throaty alto. “It’s all about effortlessness. It’s all about looking underdone.”
Anyone who knows anything about the fashion industry knows that fashion is subjective. Whether you think a look is fashionable or not is completely left up to your judgement. But what makes someone a fashion expert as opposed to a fashion poser is a genuine appreciation for fashion and an impeccable execution of personal style. Chung has been under the lime light for quite some time now and (for the time being) proven herself to be very aware of what works for her, aesthetically, and that has resonated with thousands and thousands of fans around the world.
Ozwald Boateng began working towards his goal in a studio on the Portobello Road, which he opened in 1991 at the age of 23. By 1994, he was the first tailor to present a collection on the Paris catwalk. At the end of 1994, Ozwald Boateng has opened his first store on Vigo Street, just off Savile Row, and became the youngest and first black tailor to have a store on the row.
While Boateng enfolded his life throughout his documentary, he expressed the tale of his journey not only within the fashion industry but also the personal struggles he encountered with his relationships and family. With the birth of the Savile Row House in 2007 designed by world famous architect David Adjaye, Ozwald Boateng has extended its bespoke expertise to semi-bespoke, ready-to-wear, shoes, accessories and luggage: a sophisticated journey through men’s lifestyle. True to his pioneer spirit, Ozwald Boateng consistently breaks new ground, combining fashion, design, art and architecture.
Savile Row has set the standards of quality tailoring and suiting for years to date. While its location holds a nostalgic place in menswear making, its charm and overall classic taste on what men should be wearing hasn’t been lost. From using the purest of wool and the highest quality of fabrics such as tweed and flannel for their suiting, a suit’s judgment from Savile Row isn’t limited to its 22-karat gold pin striping or actual gold buttons.
With Ozwald developing his design philosophy in 1994 he was the first tailor to present a collection on the Paris catwalk. At the end of 1994, Ozwald Boateng has opened his first store on Vigo Street, just off Savile Row, and became the youngest and first black tailor to have a store on the row. Over the past two decades Ozwald Boateng has reinterpreted the British art of bespoke tailoring. Traditional craftsmanship and innovation are corner stones of the House. Ozwald Boateng’s iconic contemporary twist, refined fabrics and contemporary silhouettes offer a unique luxury experience to men of all generations.
While the business aspect of this organization is kept surreptitiously behind its doors, the true cost of the suit is what it actually does for the man wearing it. While the word, “cash” is of taboo to the men inside the business, they convey that a more discreet and secretive policy has worked in their favor among the years and especially in this industry. Business for them is more about keeping their reputation than it is advertising. For example, hidden labels in each suit give it an overall sense of intimacy and prestige. On the contrary, while many designers such as iconic names like Chanel, who have their label on every garment and accessory made which has worked in the favor of branding and marketing for them, Bespoke suiting is more so the art of not being an exhibitionist. It’s as if its wearer is of a private club for gentleman that has been camouflaged by lavishness and luxury.
Savile Row’s refined manner in creativity and presence is extraordinary and is in no comparison to even the values of Armani or other men’s tailoring. When it comes to questioning Savile Rows future longevity in the marketplace, I think the abundance of time and skill equals the value that comes from all garments made. Quality over quantity is clearly their tactic and has been throughout the years.
Although custom made suits are in less demand than they were decades ago, most tailor shops are still in business and staying strong. For example, Anderson & Sheppard, a bespoke tailor shop on Savile Row has been around since 1906 and is still keeping its ground and serving customers to best of its ability. As long as there are consumers you value elegant, fine quality garments the desire for bespoke suiting will never go out of style.
1-Discuss the product
The Row is a brand established by Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen in 2006. The brand produces apparel, eyewear and handbags, but the product I’m focusing on is the apparel. The Row is known for its timeless pieces that portray a sense of elegance, chicness and relaxation. The quality of fabrics and impeccable fitting is what The Row does best.
2-Discuss brand attributes and how they relate to the product
The thing about brands started by celebrities is that they’re name is already well known. They may be discredited by some because of their lack of experience in the fashion industry but these celebrities are still able to sell because of their loyal fans that continue to support their risky endeavors. In my opinion The Row creates clothing that is not necessarily for the mainstream audience and its clear that both Mary-Kate and Ashley are knowledgeable about the true art of fashion. One of the main attributes of this brand is it’s tie to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen which are household names, therefore an opportunity to sell more product than a beginning, unknown designer would.
3-Discuss the positioning of the product in the marketplace
The Row is a high fashion brand and garments are sold in luxury department stores at high price points
4-Identify where and how the product reaches the consumer
You can find garments from The Row being sold at many luxury department stores around the world such as Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. Their clothing is also being sold online at NET-A-PORTER.COM
5-Discuss pricing structure
Price points range from $400 for a pair of denim leggings to a whopping $16,900 for a fur backpack. Regardless that they are new entrepreneur designers, the Oslen twins are certainly not amateurs at what they are doing. They have hired all the right people and found all the right fabrics to match the price points of iconic fashion brands such as Chanel and Salvatore Ferragamo.
6-Discuss marketing strategy
Clearly the Olsen twins have no trouble marketing their collection seeing as they have been marketing themselves through advertisements and tv shows since the early nineties. While many ads and interviews have been placed in well known fashion magazines such as Vogue and Bazaar for fans to read, the duo has decided that the exclusivity of tacky marketing tactics would only diminish the classy and posh collection the duo has worked so hard on.
7-Conclude with your assessment of whether this is a positive or a negative trend for the fashion industry.
My assessment of The Row is more so my thoughts on the Olsen twins progression not only as young female entrepreneurs but also as creative individuals who have collaboratively made a collection of clothing and accessories I find more appealing than I would have given them credit for. While being able to escape the negative doings of their youth, these childhood starlets have created a business for themselves. It depicts a refined beauty that is not only chic but also has a subtle sense of inclusivity. The clothes are beautifully tailored in a modern and also minimalistic fashion that is quite popular among designers of today. With the name deriving from the home of British tailoring, Saville Row, their clothing line conveys their lavish attention to quality and what the “delebrity” fashion industry needs more of. The Row holds a very promising future in regards to American twenty-first century fashion.
The accessories for Chanel’s spring show this year definitely made an impression on me if not everyone who saw. The most standout accessories were obviously the “hoola hoop purse” and the “CD rom hat” both round and for the lack of a better term dramatic. Being that the Chanel brand has continued to stay relevant for decades now Lagerfeld has the luxury of creating experimental pieces like the purse & hat. The slight humor in every accessory really complemented the classic and sophistated aesthetic that seems to follow each Chanel collection year after year.
After looking at Fendi’s spring collection you cant help but leave feeling a little bit happier than before. There was a ton of color blocking and geometric shapes that ended up creating a more modern look. With the miniature cube bags and color blocked pumps with chunky heels the accessories had a very minimalist aesthetic. The studs attached to the heels of a few of the pumps added a bit of edge to collection to balance out the simplicity of the shoe. In my opinion Fendi provided accessories for the fashion forward woman, the woman who’s a step ahead of us all.
Color ruled the runway for Burberry this season. The shoes featured on each model were solid color wedges that seemed to make out of leather or possibly suede material. This collection included a lot of different textures; there were even ankle high wedges with snakeskin. As for the bags, each one had a very sci-fi modern aesthic with the sort of plastic/rubber exterior and metallic colors. This collection’s accessories were must haves for the spring season.
Many described Jason Wu’s SS13 collection as naughty but nice this spring season. With garments that created such a dynamic clash of both sexy and dainty it’s only right to pair them with accessories that do the same. Almost every other girl came down the runway holding a hat box-esque purse adding femininity to the overall lady-like collection. Each shoe had it’s own element of sex appeal with the open top and toe pumps with skinny heels. Like I stated before, the accessories helped create a cohesive look for this collection.