Monthly Archives

February 2006

Forgo Fashion for Lent – Sacred Fashion for 40 days

Forgo Fashion for Lent - Sacred Fashion for 40 daysAnother Lenten season is almost upon us and Christians around the world, mainly from the Orthodox denomination/s, are packing their coffee, mars bars and other minor indulgences away for another 40 plus days. The sacrifice, if you can call it a sacrifice, does rather pale into insignificance compared with Christ’s 40 days in the desert — that’s desert and not dessert.

Perhaps Lent has some meaningful lessons for the fashion world too? What if some of the major Fashion Brands gave up exploiting third world labour for 40 days and insisted on fair wages for works during this 6 week amnesty? What if the guilty Fashion Houses (we all know who they are) reflected on the barbarity of the fur trade for 40 days – perhaps their suppressed spirit of compassion would see the light of day? What if the fashion trade gave up production methods that harm the environment and during the 40 days held collective workshops seeking environmentally-friendly alternatives? …And us, the consumer, what if we gave up a piece of designer clothing in our wardrobe and donated it to charity and agreed to buy only ethically and environmentally conducive clothing during Lent. What if? What if? What if?

It’s not all doom, gloom and cynicism — the fashion world can take heart from a growing number of ethically and environmentally responsible brands: KOhZO, Loomstate, Edun, Coexist and Stella McCartney amongst others.

Even icons of consumerism and their devotees should turn to the sacred for at least 40 days each year.

Global Citizens – is Fashion Colour Blind

Global Citizens - is Fashion Colour BlindIn a world full of sectarianism and religious belligerence is Fashion the unlikely saviour? Most people would agree Fashion is colour blind; when a customer buys an item of fashion do they ever question the colour, ethnicity, social background or religion of the designer — of course they don’t!

It appears Fashion unites where religion and politics divide. What does that say about the world in which we live? It would appear Fashion consumers are true Global Citizens; cosmopolitan, discerning and truly intelligent. Unless sometime in the future our world is destined to be divided into Continents of Versace, Armani, Evisu, Ralph Lauren, Alexander McQueen and Jean-Paul Gaultier, it would appear that Fashion is set to be a beckon of unified hope and harmony and an example to our religious and political leaders; small minds need simple examples.

The Global Citizen makes her/his grand entry on a catwalk!!

OK, my tongue’s firmly in my cheek but I wish our leaders would get their fingers out of their proverbials and start thinking this issue through with some alacrity!

Nicky Hilton Beverly Hills Chick by Nicky Hilton

Nicky Hilton Beverly Hills Chick by Nicky HiltonNicky Hilton, Paris’ relatively intelligent sister and all round glamour-addict, is building on her Chick “tweeny” fashion label which she launched back in 2004. Her new label, Nicky Hilton Beverly Hills (no points for originality), is looking to attract an older and more discerning customer. Nicky Hilton is quote as saying her new brand is “clothes my friends and I could wear,” – by implication Chick is something she and they would not, which isn’t althogether surprising.

“I don’t want to be one of those celebrities that slaps their name on a label and collects royalty checks,” said the celebrity-wannabe, as she emphasised her credentials; she studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

The Nicky Hilton Bverely Hills collections includes pieces adorned with pearls, polka dots and a pink palm tree motif. Nicky is quoted as saying she finds inspiration in “things from my everyday life,” such as the palm trees outside the window of the Beverly Hills hotel room she used to call home. “Waking up every morning, I would see those trees. That just clicked,” said Nick. Hearing that mindless nonsense is enough, you would have thought, to put off any semi-conscious fashion buyer. Despite that, we all know Nicky Hilton Beverly Hills is destined to be a runaway success.

Madonna Fashion could it be Semtex Girls?

Madonna Fashion could it be Semtex Girls?So Mad Madge of the Madonna kind has set up a new Limited company in the UK called, of all things: Semtex Girls. Let’s face it, only a non-Brit without an understanding of recent British history would introduce the word “Semtex” into a company name, and if anyone was likely to put their dainty “plate of meat” into it — mad Madge was a prime candidate. Although you would have thought Guy could have had a word in her “shell” like!

Semtex, as any Brit over the age of 11 probably knows was the preferred “butchering device” of the infamous IRA. Semtex plastic explosive is manufactured in the Czech Republic and is safe to handle but difficult to trace, since it has no smell — unlike the controversial marketing stench wafting from Semtex Girls!

In fact, a quantity of 0.5 kg/1.1 lb of Semtex is thought to have been the cause of an explosion that destroyed a Pan-American Boeing 747 in flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, December 1988, killing 270 people.

Of course, everyone now wants to know the nature of Mad Madge’s new business. Apparently, she won’t reveal the exact purpose of her new venture but apparently issued the following incomprehensible marketing dribble to Contactmusic:

“The Semtex Girl is a girl who is dynamic, a girl who explodes, who doesn’t know the meaning of nine to five, a girl who is unstoppable and who doesn’t take no for an answer. And has excellent taste”.

Apparently Mad Madge also reassured her male fans (does she have any?) that they’re not exempt and can be Semtex Girls too! Presumably after surgery!

It’s been suggested that Madonna’s new Semtex Girls company could be a fashion brand. A number of commentators have suggested we could soon be seeing Semtex Girls Clothing, T-Shirts, Jackets and Jeans. Sounds a bit cheap and tacky.

So has Mad Madge finally lost her marbles and overstepped the accepted bounds of marketing BS. Most people could probably overlook her exploitation of Qabala to glean attention but to glamorise a substance which has been used to murder innocent civilians and could feasibly be used in the future by pseudo-Muslim terrorists to inflict mass murder is nothing less than spiritually retarded!

B-Rude Clothing by Boy George of Culture Club

B-Rude Clothing by Boy George of Culture ClubSo everyone’s favourite transcendental gay and pseudo-krishna queen, Boy George enters the fashion world with his B-Rude label. Everyone’s asking the same question: why’s the ex Culture Club front-person, DJ maestro and all-round fabulous entertainer hitting the cloth?

The B-Rude label was actually born back in 2004 and consists of bold clothes and T-shirts for men and women. If Boy George’s eccentric and often breath-taking personal fashion sense if anything to go by the B-Rude label will, if nothing else, stun and amaze the fashion world — at a guess it’ll be like imploding Vivienne Westwood over Jean-Paul Gaultier and then adding a bucket load of John Galliano and finally a pinch of Buddhist Punk; a crazy divine mixture which has the potential to be a success.

So hats off and good luck to Boy George and his B-Rude label — definitely one to watch!

Gucci and Armani Fashion Labels Top Consumer list!

Gucci and Armani Fashion Labels Top Consumer list!Apparently a recent survey by ACNielsen of on-line fashion consumers from around the world established that fashion brands Armani and Gucci are the most desired designer labels. The survey also reputedly established that one in three consumers would buy Armani or Gucci products if money was not an issue. Versace came in third in the survey. Clearly Italy remains synonymous with fashion.

“Giorgio Armani and Gucci clearly understand that strong brands make for profitable businesses,” said Frank Martell, president and chief executive officer of ACNielsen Europe was quoted by Bloomberg saying. “They are not merely selling fashion, they are selling an image, something consumers are willing to pay a premium for.”

The survey consisted of 21,000 consumers in 42 countries from Europe, Asia-Pacific, the United Arab Emirates and North and Latin America.

Is this a surprise? Perhaps not, as Gucci, Armani and Versace are all well established in the “consciousness” of fashion consumers. In fact, if you were to ask a group of fashion consumers to quickly name three top designer brands then Gucci, Armani and Versace would mostly like be amongst the designer brands named — perhaps along with Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Moschino, all Italian brands.

If Gucci, Armani and Versace are the most desired designer labels, but does not necessary mean they are also the most desired designer clothing? A great many fashion consumers when put on the spot will roll off a list of common designer labels but if they were to be presented with a group of garments side by side from a selection of different designers I wonder how many would then choose Gucci, Armani and Versace? If nothing else, this survey probably reveals some disturbing facts about consumer manipulation.

Designer Jeans meet expensive Designer Jeans

Designer Jeans meet expensive Designer JeansSo we all know designer jeans don’t come cheap. Premium denim brands like Seven for All Mankind, Evisu, Armani, Versace Jeans, Dolce & Gabbana, Antik Denim, Earnest Sewn, RMC and many others sell from anywhere between $200 and $800 and there are plenty of us out there willing to cough-up the cash for that premium denim thrill….  

….but how far would you go? Would you pay over $1,000 for a pair of exclusive designer jeans — maybe? Well if you are willing to pay that kind of money you’re not alone and you’ll not need to worry about your options because there’s a growing list of designer brands entering the “Transcendent” Premium Denim market. The Transcendent premium denim market includes any designer jeans over and above the $1,000 mark. The most famous Transcendent premium denim includes the Evisu “Millennium” Golds which sold for a whopping £1,200 (approximately $2,000) in the year 2000 — these designer jeans where signed by the Evisu founder Hidehiko Yamane and where limited to 100 pairs each with 22kt gold buttons and 22kt gold thread. Hold on, the Evisu Millenniums are nowhere near the most expensive Transcendent premium denim designer jeans. The Gucci “Genius Jeans” a basic pair of Gucci designer jeans had been distressed, ripped and covered with African beads were priced at $3,134 in 1998. It doesn’t stop there — Escada couture produce jeans that sell for up to $10,000; Escada designer jeans adorned with 14 karat gold or silver rivets and diamond buttons. And we mustn’t forget the amazing A.P.O. custom-made designer Jeans which sell for up to $4,000 and are embellished with diamonds, gold and platinum, not to mention specially woven Indian denim which costs $40 a yard!

The Transcendent premium denim jeans listed above pale into insignificance compared to the most expensive jeans ever acquired. In 2001 Levi Strauss & Co reputed paid an incredible $46,532 for a pair of Levis were found in a Nevada mining town and date back to the 1880s. 

Transcendent premium denim designer jean market looks destined to grow as more and more consumers demand unparallel luxury and originality. Just how high this niche market will go only time will tell.

Giorgio Armani, David Icke & Fashion Illuminati

Giorgio Armani, David Icke & Fashion IlluminatiA great many paranoid conspiracy theorists (PCTs) and average Joes and Joettes are conscious of the esoteric order named the Illuminati. The Illuminati is commonly believed to have its roots in the European Enlightenment and it’s believed the order was founded in May 1776 by Adam Weishaupt a Jesuit instructed Professor of canon law. Today there’s a growing belief that the Illuminate is not simply a benign group of intellectuals and wealthy adherents seeking camaraderie in kind but is in fact a malignant entity dedicated to the creation of a one world order in which the masses are enslaved and controlled by “the few”.

David Icke is perhaps the most well-known and vociferous campaigner against the Illuminati and he reputedly believes the Illuminati controls humanity via machinations, subterfuge, secrecy, and conspiracy. Indeed, David Icke cites the Holocaust, Oklahoma City bombing, the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, the war in Bosnia, and the September 11, 2001 attacks as examples of events orchestrated by the Illuminati; Icke believes these orchestrated catastrophes are designed to coerce, control and led the masses into submissive subjugation — to a world in which the Illuminati have complete, unequivocal and unanswerable control over the ignorant masses.

Recently it was proposed that Fashion has its own form of the Illuminati. This elite order of “fashion” Illuminati apparently coerce, control and led the masses into submissive style — dictating what is fashionable and thereby excluding free and true style which they consider a threat to their positions of power. Most historic Fashion Houses have been identified as members of this esoteric order and a number of media channels have been accused of being complicit in the conspiracy to control the fashion buying masses. It has been suggested that if we look around us today we will see clear evidence to support this conspiracy theory as the verve of youth and innovation is suppressed in favor of drab, lifeless mediocrity.

On the other hand, perhaps we should not look to blame secret orders for the serious, and not so serious, issues of our time. Perhaps we, you and I, the masses, need to step forward and through our own spirit, determination and desire for change claim a new future built on egalitarianism, inclusive respect and opportunity for all.

G-Star Jeans, G-Star Clothes now G-Star Bargain Basement!

G-Star Jeans, G-Star Clothes now G-Star Bargain BasementFor many years now G-Star has been an edgy and widely respected denim brand. G-Star’s innovation and celebration of youth culture attracted a young and intelligent customer base which have remained loyal to the brand and its unorthodox fashion style. Recently, however, there have been murmurings of discontent amongst a growing number of G-Star aficionados and the reason is intriguing.

Ever since its inception back in 1989 the G-Star brand has been limited to a select number of respected retail outlets which helped evolve G-Star into an exclusive designer brand. The arrangement was truly symbiotic, G-Star was introduced to an intelligent and discerning fashion consumer and the exclusive retail outlets had another innovative brand to add to their inventory, everyone was happy, the G-Star brand, the exclusive retailer and the discerning customer. A winning and successful combination.

Then, inexplicably, G-Star decides to introduce its range into the High Street multiples that patently lack the kudos of the exclusive retailers and the once loyal G-Star customer base starts to question the brands credibility. How can an intelligent and discerning fashion consumer be seen wearing a brand that’s widely available in the High Street multiples? The answer is it can’t! So the murmurings of discontent intensify and the G-Star brand transfers to an entirely new customer base which is undoubtedly larger but certainly less loyal. So although G-Star maybe transferring it’s focus to a larger customer base which in the short-term may spike profits, in the long-term the brand will suffer because it will not only lose it’s traditional discerning customer base but the typical customer who shops in multiples is notoriously fickle and will move onto a new fad in no time leaving G-Star high-and-dry.

Ultimately the decision to embrace a wider customer base could prove catastrophic for G-Star and it could act as a warning for other designer brands looking for a short-term “spike” in profits at the expense of their traditional customer base.

Versace Couture Gianni Versace Donatella Versace

Versace Couture Gianni Versace Donatella VersaceIt’s virtually impossible to believe that it’s almost a decade since the murder of the “aristocratic” and visionary fashion designer Gianni Versace. The superstar Italian fashion designer was murder in Miami, Florida, on 15th July 1997 by fugitive Andrew Cunanan, an alleged homophobic who was responsible for the murder of four other men before taking the life of Gianni Versace. Eight days later, Andrew Cunanan committed suicide in a houseboat on Miami Beach that was under siege by armed police.

Gianni Versace is without doubt one of the most respected, if not the most respected, fashion designers of his generation. Born in Reggio, Calabria, Italy on 2nd December 1946, he went onto build a fashion empire worth $807 million. A designer to the stars, Gianni Versace’s outrageous propensity for chic glamour attracted names such as Elton John, George Michael, Madonna, Courtney Love, Jon Bon Jovi, the Artist (formerly known as Prince), Tina Turner, Sylvester Stallone, Will Smith, Elizabeth Hurley (who famously wore his safety pin dress to the Oscars) and, most notably, Princess Diana. The Gianni Versace style was, like all true style, indefinable; a mad mixture of avant garde and ostentatious extremes — the man was a fashion genius and a great loss to his industry.

Donatella Versace, Gianni’s younger sister, had the unenviable task of taking over the reigns of Versace and undoubtedly many people were anticipating the demise of the brand without its founder to lead the way. Donatella, it was said, could never live up to the immense reputation of her legendary brother. Well, it’s been virtually ten years since the untimely passing of Gianni Versace and the Versace Brand is still a major force to be reckoned with and much of that success is due directly to Donatella’s vision and incredible design sense. Donatella has surpassed all expectations and not only stabilized the Versace Brand but taken it on to new heights that would surely make her brother proud.

Donatella Versace has proven herself to be an incredible fashion designer in her own right and deserves to be afforded as much respect and adulation as her greatly missed brother!

Reebok Trainers Reebok Sneakers Reebok Shockers!

Reebok Trainers Reebok Sneakers Reebok ShockersReebok, the sportswear brand recently acquired by Adidas-Solomon AG, is causing something of a stir with its “shockers”. And by “shockers” we’re not referring to a new innovative bio-mechanical and ergonomic footwear revelation – God forbid! No, we’re referring to controversial advertising which includes depictions of Satan – indeed, God forbid!

Only last year Reebok ran a controversial television advertisement which depicted 50 Cent, the renowned uber-rapper and former drug dealer who lives in Connecticut, counting the number of bullets that have been shot at him. The famous rapper laughs and then looks into the camera as a voiceover asks, “Who do you plan to massacre next?” The advertisement was pulled in the United Kingdom. This type of tired and frankly puerile advertising is a long way from Reebok’s roots which where planted in the soil of step-aerobics and Richard Simmons’ anti-inertia classes. Indeed, the brand appears to be at the antithesis of its roots with its direct association with the negative side of hip-hop culture.

Given the negative connotations associated with Reebok’s patently obvious attempt to woo the dark side, many knowledgeable commentators are asking could this negatively impact their new parent company, Adidas. Adidas still has a strong customer base in Middle America and mainstream Europe and surely the last thing they would want to do is alienate their main customer base by supporting advertisements glamorising Satan and murder.

The Congress of Racial Equality is outraged by Reebok’s negative message about black men. “50 Cent was a drug dealer and proud of it,” says Niger Innis their spokesperson. “The fact that corporations are going to reward that kind of behavior is an outrage.” Let’s hope Reebok and now, more importantly, Adidas take note of this valuable advice and they start to glamorise wholesome and decent role-models and ideologies.

Juicy Couture Juicy Jeans Juicy Menswear?

Juicy Couture Juicy Jeans Juicy MenswearJuicy Couture is possibly the biggest fashion phenomenon to hit the high street and cyberspace in the past decade. Before the advent of Juicy Couture nobody would have guessed that you could slap the word JUICY across the rear of a pair of terry toweling pants and make a mint. But hey, the Juicy girls had a vision and the determination to bring Juicy Couture to life and nobody can deny their amazing success.

So what’s the history? Juicy Couture is the story of two girls named Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Taylor from Pacoima, California who wanted to create the best you can find collection in girlie clothes. Juicy Couture was founded in 1994 as an upscale T-shirt line. It later expanded into denim and sportswear, and in 1999 the designers introduced their signature low-riding drawstring JUICY pants and form-fitting zip-up hoodies in an ever-widening array of velour and terry cloth. Although the JUICY pants are a run away success with their target audience it must be noted the associated innuendo has caused a significant amount of indignation amongst certain sectors of our community.

Juicy Couture, like any business, is now trying to diversify. The brand now includes both a men’s and a child’s clothing line. This is where we start to see the problem in defining a brand so clearly in its formative years. Juicy Couture was marketed as your archetypal ladies’ brand so any attempt now to cross over into menswear is utterly futile. No guy, not even your die-hard metrosexual, would be seen in Juicy Couture clothing not to mention a pair of Juicy Pants with the word JUICY blazoned across the butt. The lesson here for Juicy Couture and up-and-coming brands is it’s prudent to inject a degree of ambiguity into your initial marketing so not to box yourself into a predefined and inescapable corner — Ambiguity is a useful marketing mantra. That said and to be fair to the girls at Juicy Couture, if their initial concept had not had such an unambiguous definition then it’s likely Juicy Couture would not be the success it is today — a successful ladies’ brand!

Returning to the issue of the innuendo associated with having JUICY plastered across a woman’s derriere and the indignation that incites in certain sectors of our community, it’s perhaps fair to say this is greatly compounded when introduced into a child’s clothing line. Juicy Couture plays heavily on innuendo and therefore a large percentage of parents will be loathe to purchase Juicy Couture clothing for their kids and some might suggest that Juicy Couture even create a completely new name for their child’s clothing line which is utterly devoid of any innuendo.

So the girls at Juicy Couture should feel proud of their successful ladies wear brand but in all fairness they should forget menswear and rethink their whole approach to their child’s clothing line and marketing strategy. Maybe we can help them out and think of a name for their child’s clothing line? What about Lippy Couture!

CK Boxers David Beckham & Calvin Klein United

CK Boxers David Beckham & Calvin Klein UnitedRumour has it David Beckham could be signing a £1.1 million deal with Calvin Klein. Apparently Beckham, AKA Golden Balls, spends a grand each month on Calvin Klein Boxers or to be more precise Calvin Klein Pro Stretch Boxers and allegedly he wants an opportunity to show off his tackle – wink, wink!

Surely this is a genuine match made in heaven (unlike his marriage – only joking!); Golden Balls is indisputably the ultimate metrosexual and gay icon and Calvin Klein produce arguably the ultimate boxer shorts so on the face of it this is a sure-fire winning combination (unlike his team – not joking!). Perhaps the question on most peoples’ minds, even if they don’t want to admit it, is does David Beckham need any props to pose in a pair of CK boxers? Calvin Klein boxer short models have a certain reputation and Golden Balls will not want to let down the side, so perhaps a strategically positioned pair of rolled up Real Madrid socks will give Becks the necessary swerve.

Whatever the result, Calvin Klein will surely not pass up this once in a blue moon opportunity to expose their CK boxers to Golden Balls’ global fan base…. and there are undoubtedly a few guys in San Francisco, Brighton and Barcelona hoping Becks will expose his Golden Balls to Calvin Klein’s global fan base too!

Louis Vuitton Shoes Louis Vuitton Bag Louis Vuitton Fakes

Louis Vuitton Shoes Louis Vuitton Bag Louis Vuitton FakesSo you’re on eBay or down your local street market and you see what is plainly a Louis Vuitton fake bag, tie, pair of shoes, briefcase, scarf, watch, piece of clothing or luggage set. You look at the price and it’s 90 or even 95% lower than the recommended retail price. You look at the Louis Vuitton item again and start to convince yourself that it doesn’t actually look that bad and in a certain light you might even be able to fool your discerning work colleagues and friends. You then tell yourself that buying a counterfeit Louis Vuitton bag won’t really hurt anybody and so what if it impacts Louis Vuitton’s bottom line, they can afford it! Not an unreasonable thought process, most would agree – However…..

…It probably won’t surprise many people to read that counterfeit merchandise, whether in the form of a fake Louis Vuitton bag or a counterfeit Rolex watch or an imitation Burberry scarf or a snide Armani jacket or a copied pair of Gucci shoes or a bent pair of Evisu jeans, is to a large extend orchestrated by violent criminals and terrorists, and isn’t a harmless activity performed by a bunch of loveable rogues as some might have us believe. It’s a documented fact that the vast majority of cash generated though counterfeiting is used to fund heinous crime including Drug proliferation, Human Slave Trade and even International Terrorism. Government and Law Enforcement Agencies across the world are now shifting their attention to the counterfeit trade in an attempt to track down violent crimals and terrorists. It’s becoming more apparent that substantial sums of money are being diverted from the counterfeit trade into the bank accounts of global terror groups — including, ironically, those terror groups opposed to consumerism and Western Ideology.

So perhaps grabbing that ultra-cheap counterfeit Louis Vuitton bag from eBay or down your local street market isn’t so innocuous after all? Ironically, purchasing a copy this icon of Western consumerism might well go to fund a terror group plotting to inflict mass murder in your city. What’s more valuable to you: a fake Louis Vuitton bag or your democratic existence and perhaps even your LIFE?

Adidas Trainers Adidas McCartney Adidas Respect Me

Adidas Trainers Adidas McCartney Adidas Respect MeAdidas is not immune to the growing trend for icon and brand collaboration. Current Adidas collaborations include Adidas and McCartney, Adidas and Yamamoto, Adidas Respect Me (by Missy Elliot – urban sportif apparel), Ali by Adidas (The legendary boxer), Adidas and WE (the urban skate brand), to name but a few.

So what’s in it for the “parent” collaborator, in this case Adidas but we could also point to Reebok, Nike, Puma and others…? The overriding intention is undoubtedly an attempt by the “parent” collaborator to achieve an otherwise unachievable level of “cred” to use the vernacular term. The parent collaborators are invariably ponderous conglomerates managed by men in grey suits who exude as much “cred” as a George Bush/Tony Blair hybrid; simply put the “parent” collaborators are mundane and dull and have a desperate need for a splash of color to give them some credibility with their personality-addicted consumer base — enter the “child” collaborator, usually a hip designer, musician, film star or sports star. Everyone’s happy, the “parent” collaborator gets their desperately needed “cred” and the “child” collaborator receives a truck load of cash and access to an even wider audience — Everybody’s ‘appy! Or are they?

Many knowledgeable fashion commentators are questioning the wisdom of parent and child collaborations. First of all, if a “parent” collaborator hasn’t got enough in-house momentum and self-belief then no amount of celebrity gloss gleaned from the “child” collaborator will hide the cracks. Many commentators are suggesting that the “parent” collaborators stop concentrating purely on the surface of their brand and start peeling back the edges and taking a look at what’s deep inside — it’s called soul-searching: who am “I”, what do “I” stand for and where am “I” going? If a “parent” collaborator hasn’t got the guts to face itself and hopes that temporal collaborations are the answer to their brand’s long-term success, then that brand is ultimately doomed because there can only be so many parent/child relationships before the customer gets wise to the marketing strategy. In addition, the “parent” collaborator will be colored by the “child” collaborate long after the collaboration ends and as we all know the cult-of-celebrity is very fickle and a star today could well be a liability tomorrow — so rather than help paper over the cracks of the “parent” collaborators image the “child” collaborator actually starts to rock its very foundation!

If a brand has true substance, a quality product and an innovative in-house team then it simply doesn’t need to adopt a “child” collaborator. In fact, it just needs to adopt some respect for its true customer base!!!

Evisu Jeans Ebisu Genes Evisu Counterfeits!

Evisu Jeans Ebisu Genes Evisu Counterfeits Evisu, the original Japanese premium denim brand, founded by the visionary Hidehiko Yamane, is a relatively nascent designer brand compared to the traditional French, German, British and Italian designer names and fashion houses. That said, Evisu has undoubtedly shown maturity beyond its years and now leads rather than follows.

Evisu’s impressive success appears to run juxtaposition with the extraordinary growth in the Internet and online transactions. Original and genuine Evisu products were available to buy online as early as 1999 which led to an almost surreal intertwining of brand name and cyberspace. Evisu was one of the earliest, if not the earliest, brand to be direct associated with online accessibility which certainly gave the brand an edge and led to an explosion in sales. The echoes of self-adulation resonated from Japan to Europe, America and back to the land of the rising sun — all was rosy in the oriental garden.

No fairy story would be complete without a shady adversary lurking in the shadows — and it’s no different for Evisu, although their nemesis is not your typical dragon. The Evisu adversary is much more elusive but like the dragons of fairy stories it has many heads, in fact millions of heads and if it’s slain it comes back once more in a more determine and malignant fashion. So what is this online dragon? You’ve probably guessed already – counterfeits! Evisu jeans are surely the most copied garment online. The Internet is awash with endless counterfeit Evisu jeans. In fact, it is reported that Evisu employ people to scan the Internet seeking counterfeits in an attempt to protect their image and brand name. It’s said, they have several individuals specifically assigned to eBay — their job is to report suspected counterfeits and have them removed and where possible seek legal redress. Evisu surely have mixed feelings about the Internet. Cyberspace played a big part in propelling Evisu into the heady-heights of the fashion elites. However, it transpires there’s a price to pay for this success and the question on the lips of every brand must be: is it a price worth paying?

Burberry Prorsum Thomas Burberry London Golf

Burberry Prorsum Thomas Burberry London GolfBurberry can boast an impressive list of collections, including: Burberry Prorsum, Thomas Burberry, Burberry London, Burberry Golf, Burberry House, Burberry Timepiece (watches to the rest of us) and Burberry Eyewear – phew! Impressive! However, scratch the glossy checkered surface and an all too different picture emerges; a new world-order which must send shivers down the spine of every major brand.

Burberry’s once pre-eminent status as a brand of the rich and powerful has been completely undermined over the past few years as a new breed of customer or pseudo-customer (a parenthesis is necessary to clarify pseudo-customer — this term denotes an individual who purchases a counterfeit [usually online] at a drastically reduced price in an attempt to glean the associated kudos of the brand), drags the once might brand through the lager and blood-stained gutter now so commonly associated with Burberry clad lads and ladettes, colloquially referred to as “Chavs”. Burberry must be devastated by this new found infamy and wonder whether they will ever fully rid themselves of this damaging stigma. Some fashion commentators actually believe Burberry is partly to blame for this situation — they point to the decision to produce Burberry baseball cap as an open invitation to a new strata of customer which was bound to instigate negative consequences; the traditional Burberry customer would never consider buying a baseball cap – ergo, Burberry must accept some of the onus for the current stigma. That aside, other brands are experiencing the “burberry-effect” and are desperately seeking a way to avoid this new world-order which turns the class strata on its head or at the very least dissolves the class system altogether.

Perhaps we’re all missing the point and Burberry are in fact at the vanguard of a secretive egalitarian mission to integrate toff and chav into a new inclusive integrated world-order where Dave and Rupert or Tracy and Camilla can live in peace and the social divide is bridge in red, camel, black and white check.


Kate Moss Fashion Queen Kate Moss Best Dressed

Kate Moss Best-Dressed WomanSupermodel Kate Moss has been voted best-dressed woman by the style gurus over at Glamour Magazine. The 32-year-old anarchic socialite topped Glamour magazine’s annual style list for the third year running. Not bad for a woman recently embroiled in a very public drug abuse scandal.

Kate Moss edged Sienna Miller into second spot followed closely by Ms Beckham in third. Victoria Beckham has moved up the rankings, perhaps in part due to her new found career as a fashion designer with Rock & Republic. Nicole Richie is the year’s highest climber, up 33 places to number four, which probably says more about Paris Hilton than it does about Ms Richie. Halle Berry is fifth, followed by Charlize Theron, Jennifer Aniston, Mischa Barton, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Nicole Kidman. On the flip-side, the worst-dress woman is Celebrity Big Brother housemate Jodie Marsh, followed by Jordan, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.

So what differentiates the best-dressed from the worst-dress? What’s the criteria for judging who dresses well as opposed to who dresses poorly? Indeed, what qualifies anyone to publish such a judgmental and ultimately utterly subjective list? Perhaps this categorising says more about our society than it does about the personalities being judged; it’s like a glamorous form of cronyism! The judges spew forth their subjective views based on personal friendships and ambitions. Indeed, how can anyone, even renowned designers, issue a truly objective list of who dresses well as opposed to who dresses poorly. The very essence of true style is indefinable and personal; there is no objective criteria it’s all utterly subjective and varies from one person to another and that’s what makes fashion and style so attractive and inspiring. Maybe the girls at Glamour Magazine might consider an in-house best and worst dressed woman — this would provide them with a deeper understanding of what it means to label other woman best and worst.

Heidi Klum Birkenstock Sandals Seal the deal

Heidi Klum Birkenstock Shoes Birkenstock SandalsHeidi Klum, supermodel and wife of singing sensation Seal is now an international footwear designer too. Heidi Klum has recently finished her 3rd footwear collection for Birkenstock. This collection, according to Birkenstock, is her most glamorous take on Birkenstock sandals to date and includes:

Madrid “Diamond” feature metallic grained leather uppers in gold or silver appliqued with rhinestones and crystal hearts.

“Saphire”, Heidi‘s two-strap sandal features two-tone metallic leather uppers, adorned with rivets and rhinestones. This style is available in three colour combinations: gold/silver, pink/silver and green/blue.

All sandals had their traditional cork-latex footbed covered in matching metallic leathers and come with a silver plated Heidi Klum pendant.

An objective on-looker might deduce that Birkenstock are moving away from their traditional “eco-conscious” and “green” customer base and are attempting to woo a new affluent and trendy customer who would easily empathise with the glamourous profile and, indeed, lifestyle of Heidi Klum and Seal. Let’s face it, the traditional Birkenstock customer has probably never even heard of Heidi Klum and is more likely to empathise with Ghandi or St Francis. So is this a conscious decision by Birkenstock to move away from their traditional “carrot-crunching” customer base or are they simply attempting to be all things to all people? The latter is perhaps the more plausible answer and who can blame them for wanting to achieve global dominance just like every other high-profile brand.

Nonetheless, part of us all longs for a brand free from celebrity and stardom, a brand pure, free and simple — a brand reminiscent of the “hippie” era. Birkenstock used to be that brand. Maybe a new celebrity-free “Brand Messiah” will come forward and fill the void — suggestions in writing please.

True Religion Jeans is it Blaspheme or True Religion

True Religion Jeans True Religion Denim JacketThere’s a growing trend amongst fashion companies to attempt to apply depth and mystique to their brand by introducing religious or philosophical elements. There’s Edun, Theory, Coexist, Mecca, Gsus, Buddhist Punk and True Religion to name but a few.

Do these companies opt for the psuedo religious or philosophical connotations because there’s a growing spiritual awakening amongst their target audience and they want their product to make a direct and lasting impact, or is it simply an offering of what’s holy and Universally ingrained as an offering at the altar on mammon? Most likely it’s a combination of the two as the ultimate aim appears to be brand recognition and exposure — and if profaning what’s holy along the way increases the odds of success then you would be failing in your Capitalist duty not to do it!

Another line of thought regarding True Religion is relationship between their brand name and brand logo which appears to subtly suggest that Buddhism is the true religion: the True Religion logo appears to depict a Buddha type character — which in combination with their brand name appears to suggest Buddhism is the True Religion which axiomatically insinuates that other religions are false. Perhaps this is reading too much into the new trend and we’re inadvertently entering the “David Ike” realm. Whatever your view we all surely have a responsibility to respect the sacred, if not the Sacred Blue.

Brand name connotations aside, True Religion produce some of the best premium denim jeans on the market with remarkable embroidery and innovative hand-sanded vintage washes. True Religion jeans are worn by an impressive list of celebrities including: Kate Beckinsale, David Beckham, Sarah Chalke, Courteney Cox, Gary Dourdon, Faith Evans, Tom Ford, Jennifer Garner, Heather Graham, Kate Hudson, Angelina Jolie, Donna Karan, Heidi Klum, Nick Lachey, Jennifer Lopez, Freddie Ljungberg, Madonna, Chad Michael Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brooke Shields, Jessica Simpson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Gwen Stefani, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Bruce Willis, the Wayans Bros. — Wow!! Maybe this is a New Religion if not altogether true!

Rock & Republic Jeans Victoria Beckham R&R Jeans?

Victoria Beckham Posh Spice JeansAs everyone even remotely interested in fashion knows Posh Spice AKA Mrs Golden Balls AKA Victoria Beckham, is the butt that launched the Rock & Republic Ship. Rumour has it Victoria Beckham is not only a part owner in the R&R brand but also makes a significant contribution to the design of the Rock & Republic jeans. The question no doubt on a great many peoples’ minds has to be is Victoria Beckham using her high profile, or perhaps more accurately her husband’s, to promote yet another premium denim brand in an already oversaturated market? — or conversely, is Victoria Beckham’s international profile being exploited by a mediocre denim brand to help get its stiletto in the premium denim door?

Rock & Republic Jeans R&R JeansPerhaps that’s all too cynical — maybe we should put aside talk of exploitation and just accept that Rock & Republic jeans are high quality premium denim which just happens to be partly owned and designed by one of the most high profile women in the world who also happens to have an enviable penchant for media manipulation?? On the other hand, perhaps that’s being too naive, particularly when the issue concerning infringement of Queen Elizabeth II’s Royal Crown Emblem is added to the equation. Apparently the Crown logo used on the Rock & Republic jeans has a striking similarity to the crown the Queen wore at her coronation and which now adorns the uniforms of the Beefeaters. Whatever side of the fence you sit, one thing’s undeniable: Rock & Republic Jeans are destined to be the “must-have” piece of premium denim in 2006.

Rock & Republic Jeans range in price from $125 to $275 and the most desirable attribute of the Rock & Republic jeans is their amazing fit in the derriere department; they apparently cradle the cheeks with exquisite delicacy – ummm!!! Anyway, the R&R Collection includes: Madrid crown jeans, Jagger radion jeans, Jagger nitrogen jeans, Winger quaalude jeans, Sapphire crystal jeans, Roth argon jeans, Roth halogen jeans, Roth xenon jeans, Ray alloy jeans, Scorpion xenon jeans,  Leonard strike jeans, Jagger electrolyte jeans, Scorpion cords, Scorpion strike jeans. Wear them and enjoy them — proclaims the new Queen of England!

Paper Denim & Cloth Premium Denim

Paper Denim & Cloth Premium DenimSaw an article interviewing the CEO of Paper Denim & Cloth, Chris Gilbert.For Fall 2006, they are transitioning from the premium denim market because they believe it’s oversaturated and no longer commercially viable.  They will be reducing denim & sportswear prices by 45 – 55 percent.  This will make the retail for men’s jeans around $100.

Paper Denim & Cloth say the design philosophy remains the same.  They will still also use Italian & Japanese fabrics.  The only difference is that they will use laundries outside of the U.S. in Mexico and the Dominican Republic instead of Kentucky and L.A.

Concerning distribution, it it ensures a wider customer base for Paper Denim & Cloth.  Safe to say, most of the high-end accounts will drop them. On the up-side they will find exposure in stores where they were once too expensive.

Paper Denim & Cloth are the first out of the blocks here but many other premium denim brands are bound to follow.  The premium market is saturated.  Additionally, the Paper Denim & Cloth brand has its historically premium denim reputation and high status so the new customer will see Paper Denim & Cloth jeans as a real bargain — Very smart Chris!

Seven Jeans, Seven 7 Jeans or Seven for All Mankind

Seven Jeans Seven 7 Jeans or Seven for All Mankind JeansCan someone finally put this to bed!! What is it Seven Jeans, Seven 7 Jeans or Seven for All Mankind Jeans? Are they three different companies and three different brands. What’s the official story?

This is the unofficial story plucked from the urban grapevine. Seven for All Mankind Jeans started producing extraordinarily innovative jeans in the USA under the banner Seven for All Mankind and made appropriate trademark arrangements in the USA. However, they neglected to make the same arrangements in Europe. This is where it starts to get messy but the saying goes an entrepreneur with an eye for an opportunity, when he saw the success of Seven for All Mankind Jeans in the USA, started to produce Seven Jeans in Europe since Seven for All Mankind failed to file a Trademark application in Europe.

Upon hearing about this development Seven for All Mankind started long and labourious legal proceedings against Seven Jeans for TM infringement. After much legal debate, it was decided that Seven Jeans in Europe should change their name to Seven 7 so to reduce the confusion with Seven for All Mankind jeans which was and is a far superior jean. So, that’s the story from the urban grapevine. Can anyone confirm or deny this. Does anyone have the definitive story?

Nudie Jeans Acne Jeans Nudie Slim Jim

Nudie Jeans ACNE Jeans Nudie Slim Jim JeansThere’s a cool change in the air – and I’m talking 2 below zero!!! For years denim was dominated by the Amricans and Italians, creating a long line of classic jeans from traditional Levi Jeans to exclusive Armani Jeans. Then came along the innovative Japanese brands with Evisu jeans at the forefront led by the visionary Hidehiko Yamane. However, during the course of the past few years a new player has stealthily entered the denim arena. These new players hale from the unlikely land of the vikings; Nudie Jeans and Acne jeans have strong and proud Swedish roots yet their denim has truly universal appeal!

What’s so special about these Scandinavian brands? Why are Nudie Jeans and Acne Jeans so special? Many fashionistas believe the secret of their success is their raw edge. Neither Nudie nor Acne are tainted by transparent marketing hype. Both brands are as cool, clean and fresh as the snow in Stockholm. The stench that wafts from the marketing boardrooms of the high profile traditional brands has not yet tainted these two Swedish gems and this breath of fresh air attracts the denim wearing youth of the 21st century who are too asute to fall for the relentless marketing hype of so many traditional brands.

The Nudie Jeans collection includes Slim Jim, Flare Glenn, Baggy Bjorn, Bootcut Ola, Straight Sven, Super Slim Kim, Thin Finn. The Acne Jeans collection includes Max Garage, Max Pool, Max Raw, Mic Punch, Mic Raven, Moc Market, Moc Pebble, Mod Miner, Mod Off Duty. Anyone looking for a change from the traditional American and Italian Jeans, or anyone seeking relief from the Japanese denim invasion, should serious consider a look at Nudie Jeans or Acne Jeans. It’s a true breath of fresh air!!

Paul Smith Jeans v Paul Smith Red Ear Jeans

Paul Smith Jeans v Paul Smith Red Ear JeansPaul Smith Jeans versus Paul Smith Red Ear Jeans? Is it a tough decision? The answer has to be yes, because it’s not a cut and dry decision since defining a significant and tangible difference isn’t altogether easy. Both Paul Smith Jeans and Paul Smith Red Ear Jeans have their merits and their respective loyal customer base who will argue all night to defend their choice. However, sitting back and being objective is it possible to select a superior jean?

Initially, the question arises: what are Paul Smith Red Ear Jeans? Paul Smith tells us: the Red Ear collection is translated with a Japanese approach to detail, with embroidery, contrast stitching and using the best, high premium Japanese denims. Conversely, we need to know how classic Paul Smith Jeans differ from Red Ear Jeans. We can perhaps surmise they are not what Red Ear Jeans are?? They exclude more of a European look and feel with a propensity for classic elegance injected with the unmistakable Paul Smith traditional English twist. So does it all boil down to a battle between east and west craftsmanship and design or is that over-simplifiying the question? Ultimately, we have to conclude that there is no superior jean because there can be no real competition between equals. Whether you’re a Red Ear fan or a traditionalist your preference is subjective and has merit.