Calvin Klein welcomes Raf Simons as the brand’s appointed Chief Creative Officer

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It has been confirmed that in a bold yet widely anticipated move, Raf Simons has been named chief creative officer of Calvin Klein, bringing his signature minimalist aesthetic to the iconic American brand.

It has been long debated where Raf Simons would go with speculation having said Calvin Klein was the favourite after the announcement of his resignation back in October 2015.

Today a statement from the designers has confirmed this as the Belgian’s next move after three years as women’s creative director of Christian Dior Couture.

“The arrival of Raf Simons as chief creative officer signifies a momentous new chapter for Calvin Klein,” said Steve Shiffman, CEO of Calvin Klein, Inc.

“Raf’s exceptional contributions have shaped and modernised fashion as we see it today and, under his direction, Calvin Klein will further solidify its position as a leading global lifestyle brand.”

The arrival was declared after the news that Dior has hired Valentino co-creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri to design its women’s collections, which would be replacing Simons, who had notoriously resigned from the post in October 2015.

Simons will indeed lead the creative direction for the entirety of the company, including ck Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans and Calvin Klein, as well as the men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections.

By giving creative control of the company to Simons, Shiffman and Calvin Klein Collection president Michelle Kessler-Sanders seem to show that there is now a focus upon interest within designer fashion, which has been seen to be lacking in previous years.

Street style interview with Alexis Foreman of Style Memos

alexisStreet fashion, otherwise known as street style, has taken the fashion world by storm, with sections dedicated on vogue.co.uk, pages in copious amounts of weekly and monthly magazines both in print and online. 

The difference between street style bloggers and actual style seems to get blurred. Street style has developed and evolved, it used to be the case that magazines and runways alike would be out of reach, high fashion pieces that most would only dream of wearing.

Apps such as Instagram and Tumblr have a huge street-style element with many users primarily using the platforms solely for this purpose. Instagram currently has in excess of 300 million active users; Tumblr has over 291.7 million blog accounts, granted not all of the accounts are dedicated to fashion and street style but with some accounts reaching over 285k followers, there is a very large influence made by this sector of the industry.

Some of the most influential within the fashion industry are now internationally recognised bloggers. Swedish duo Caroline Blomst and Daniel Troyse who set up the street style blog Stockholm Street Style on Instagram have over 96.1 thousand followers.

Ella Catliff of La Petite Anglaise who has 53.9k followers, who teams up regularly with designers such as Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton, and Mulberry.

Alexis Foreman of Style Memos, is one of the rare ones. A treat amongst the more manufactured, popular accounts. She currently has 11.3k followers on Instagram and a wealth of collaborations and involvement with various brands of clothing, accessories and beauty.

I spoke with her about her blog and the industry she’s found herself in.

Where did Style Memos as a blog begin?

It started as an outlet really, about six years ago. I was a freelance graphic designer at the time with three very young boys. I’d always had an interest in fashion and beauty and felt like I needed somewhere to collect styling ideas, comment on trends and share what’s on my wish list.

When did you realise the blog itself was becoming popular and began to take off?

Only in the last couple of years. I started working with a great photographer and doing outfit shoots with her. Instagram has been a huge part of people gaining awareness of Style Memos. 

You have a lot of involvement with various different brands such as Edit, Smashbox, Kiehls, M&S and Loxley, what is your highlight to date?

They’ve all been fun in their own way to be honest. The M&S shoot was quite a big deal. I thought it would just be a photographer coming down to shoot me around Brighton but it was a full blown production with a winnebago and a team of about 12 people!

I do love championing the smaller start up brands. It’s such a great feeling when my followers respond well to the introduction of a label or product and to see the growth of that brand as a result.

I actually have a very exciting collaboration coming up which I can’t talk about right now but watch this space! 

Do you think street style blogs are beginning to edge towards being manufactured for followers rather than organically produced from personal style?

Definitely. It’s hard to find the genuine ones. When you do it’s like striking gold! I think that with a large percentage of marketing budgets being spent on bloggers, there is a natural pull towards where the money is, rather than creating content that is authentic. 

What/who influences your personal, minimal, colour blocking and sometimes androgynous style?

I’m often inspired by art, photography and design that I come across during work research. I’m also hugely influenced by accounts I follow on Instagram– probably more so than blogs recently. I always really love Leandra Medine’s style (@Manrepeller). I tend to check in on her when I need a new dose of inspiration! I can’t afford most of what she wears but she puts outfits together so well in a really fun way.

Although the blogging world has a lot of diversity in regards to ethnicity, do you think there is more people could do to promote equality in the industry – showcasing style on people with disabilities for instance?

Yes, I think the industry can always do better! There are some brands like Diesel and Desigual that have lead the way in that area but it’s surprising that there isn’t more ground gained.

Who are your top 5 style and street style bloggers of the moment?

I’m not really following blogs much at the moment so here’s my top five Instagram accounts: 

@maggieontherocks

@lisasaysgah

@hannasjournal

@alyssainthecity

@tanyaposternak & @zposternak (they’re the twin sister photographers who are responsible for the gorgeous Mansur Gavriel campaign)

What advice would you give to any aspiring style/street style bloggers?

Work out why you want to have a blog– what do you want to achieve? If you know that it will help you to aim for something. Anyone can post up what they’re wearing or what’s on their wish list but personally I think there needs to be an underlying reason for it’s existence and a consistent theme running though for people to identify your site or account as worth visiting and coming back to. 

I’d also say don’t procrastinate, just get on and create some content! I put it off starting my blog for ages and then even once I’d started it, I would doubt myself and not post enough. 

Solely in regard to your blog as Style Memos, do you consider it successful?

So often I don’t consider it successful as I compare my following with others who have so manyalexis mules more, and with bloggers who are jet setting off to amazing places and wearing the designer pieces. I know it’s stupid and need to constantly remind myself of the frequent comments I get– usually from complete strangers who approach me in the street – who tell me they love my blog and Instagram feed and to please keep doing what I’m doing. So I will.

You can find Alexis’ blog at brightonstylememos.blogspot.com and on Instagram @stylememos.

Mock Vogue Layout – Adobe InDesign

A double page magazine spread created in Adobe InDesign. Featuring an article from GQ magazine (http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/saint-laurent-replacement-hedi-slimane) and facts about the creative director Anthony Vaccarello found via relevant search engine research.

Mock Vogue Layout

History in Brief: The Mule

mule mansur gaviel A style that is not always adored, the mule is worshipped by some and averted by others – but one thing is for sure, they are back.

The Spring/Summer 2016 catwalks were littered with varying styles from fashion houses such as Mansur Gavriel and Gucci.

gucci-loafers‘High-street’ brands such as Zara, Cos, &Other Stories and Mango have also created affordable versions of the shoe. Gucci’s ‘Princetown’ mule, the most popular of their collection, is sold out and has a waiting list until August showing their comeback is definitely now.

The mule, a usually a backless and closed toe style of any height, were originally worn in the bedroom. This style of shoe first got their first outing when Comtesse d’Olonne, wore a red pair of mules to church in 1694, paving the way for the style to evolve and gain momentum.

They went on to become popular within the French Court, both Madame de Pompadour and Marie Antoinette donned variations throughout the eighteenth century.

manolo blahnikManolo Blahnik is an avid fan. The renowned designer recalled: “In the eighties I did nothing but mules.

“When you walk in mules, you walk a bit differently. It’s very sexy to me, you have to get your balance.”

The High-heeled variation were a popular indoor shoe style of the 18th century, influenced by the patten, a backless overshoe of the 16th century.

Mules experienced a resurgence in popularity in the 1950s and early 1960s, after Marilyn Monroe popularised the shoe and helped break their poor reputation after being often associated with prostitutes.

In the 1970s and early 1980s the mule was almost exclusively in the form of open-back Scandinavian clogs, but then re-emerged in the late 1990s, especially in its open-toed form, known as the ‘slide’.

Niall Underwood – Fine Art student, model, freelance writer and co-founder of Taint magazine

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Anthony Vaccarello is confirmed as Saint Laurent’s new creative director

anthony vaccarelloAnthony Vaccarello, formerly of Versus Versace, has been appointed as the new creative director of Saint Laurent Paris this week.

Saint Laurent and parent company Kering confirmed the news in a joint statement on Monday, April 4 following the departure of Hedi Slimane.

On Sunday, Versace announced that Vaccarello had left his role as creative director of Versus Versace, hot on the heels of Hedi Slimane’s exit from Yves Saint Laurent.

In March 2012, Yves Saint Laurent made an official statement declaring Slimane as Stefano Pilati’s replacement as creative director at the fashion house.

There has been speculation in the the fashion circuit that Slimane would leave for something bigger and better, following Raf Simmons left Dior after Paris Fashion Week on Thursday, October 22.

Further speculation suggests that he is tipped to be Karl Lagerfeld’s successor at Chanel. No signs have yet been shown regarding his departure, however Lagerfeld is known to have a lot of respect for Slimane.

Niall Underwood, model and freelance writer, commented: “You don’t work as hard and as relentlessly as he [Karl Lagerfeld] has to get to a position that he’s gotten to, only to step down.

“This particular morsel of speculation is like people worrying about the apocalypse – it’s giving us all something to talk about, but in reality, it’s a long way off.”

Francesca Bellettini, president and chief executive officer of Yves Saint Laurent, said: “I am extremely happy to have Anthony Vaccarello take the creative helm of Yves Saint Laurent,

“His modern, pure aesthetic is the perfect fit for the maison. Anthony Vaccarello impeccably balances elements of provocative femininity and sharp masculinity in his silhouettes.

“He is the natural choice to express the essence of Yves Saint Laurent. I am enthusiastic about embarking on a new era with Anthony Vaccarello, and together bringing the maison further success.”

Mr Vaccarello said: “Mr Saint Laurent is a legendary figure for his creativity, style and audacity,

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the history of this extraordinary house.”

In his four years as creative and image director of Saint Laurent, Slimane helped drive the business to €974 million in sales revenue, up from €707 million in 2014.

According to Sanford C Bernstein, from 2012 to 2014, Saint Laurent revenues grew more than 20 percent each year, outperforming the overall market for luxury goods.

Vaccarello’s first collection for the house will be Spring/Summer 2017, and is set to be shown in October, during Paris Fashion Week.

Versus Versace next creative director has not yet been announced. Donatella Versace told The New York Times on Sunday that she will be “surprising everybody” with her choice.