Monthly Archives

July 2008

Vivienne Westwood Clothing or Not!

Vivienne Westwood Clothing, Wear it Love!Can you spot Viv?… By the face?

Vivienne Westwood was born in Derbyshire, England in 1941. Her father was a shoemaker and her mother a cotton weaver. When she was 16, her family moved to London and Vivienne attended the Harrow School of Art. After spending just one term there, she left to become a primary school teacher. She met her first husband Derek Westwood in 1962 got married to him. They had a son Ben. In 1965, she met Malcolm McLaren who became her partner in fashion as well as life. Vivienne Westwood is known as the most eccentric and influential of Britain’s fashion designers. Every season, she puts out on the runway the most amazing and spectacular clothes. Her Logo is a royal ORB with a cross on top, bejewelled and impressive as befits the Queen of British fashion.

In 1971, Vivienne Westwood started a shop with her husband called “Let it Rock” on London’s trendy Kings Road. She would spend all night stitching rock-inspired clothes, visiting punk clubs and grunge bars. Three years later, the couple opened another boutique called “Sex”, selling pornographically printed T-shirts and garments with sexual slogans printed on them. In 1977 they changed the name of their boutique to “Seditionaries” and sold garments with a bondage look made of leather. Three years afterwards there was yet another change of name to “World’s End” and Vivienne introduced her Pirate collection, including frilly shirts and romantic swashbuckling styles. It was very successful.

In 1982 Vivienne Westwood introduced the first collection bearing her own name which proved very popular. Her collections were called Buffalo, Savage, and Punkature. A year later, she gave a fashion show in Paris, the first British designer to do so since Mary Quant in the 60’s. People remember it as one of the best shows ever, but chic Parisiennes were horrified by the riotous behaviour and punky London garments. The collection was called “Punkature”.

When her relationship with McLaren ended, Vivienne Westwood’s shops closed but her talent could not be kept down. She opened a studio in London’s Camden area. In 1984 her new collection was called Hypnos and was the first sports collection with fluorescent fabrics on the catwalk. Other collections included crinoline, tweed, Greek drapery and fig-leaf tights.

Vivienne Westwood won her first British Designer of the Year award in 1990 and then a second one the year after. In 1992 Vivienne Westwood was also awarded an O.B.E. and went to receive it from the Queen in a see-through blouse, and a skirt which when swirled around displayed her lack of underwear. She shocked the world.

PRPS Jeans + Zimbabwean Cotton

PRPS Jeans + Zimbabwean CottonThere has been much talk on Kitmeout recently about the questionable nature of Zimbabwean cotton and whether the fashion indistry should be supporting the country’s corrupt government by using Zimbabwean cotton to produce contemporary denim brands. PRPS is perhaps one of the most high profile brands using Zimbabwean cotton to produce its denimwear. Should brands be using Zimbabwean cotton or not?

Founder Donwan Harrell grew up in North Carolina and Virginia and experienced the simpler things in life. He came from a logging and hunting family and appreciated the clothes that were worn for these jobs. There was always form and function to every detail in the garment. No room for luxury expenses, a product with a purpose.

“Authenticity is our first priority”. Each item in the collection is conceived with a specific purpose and function in mind. Before fashion, PRPS is designed to be worn and utilized. In the pursuit of delivering perfect garments to the most discerning denim enthusiast, no detail is overlooked.

The PRPS product sees the world after the cotton is harvested in Africa; it is shipped to Japan and woven into denim cloth. PRPS denim is woven on vintage Levi’s shuttle looms that are wholly unlike the mass, projectile looms commonly used around the world today. The cloth is woven in small batches with the signature purple selvedge- the clean, bound edge on the fabric. This process is much slower and deliberate, produces less material and more waste, but the end result is denim that is superior in durability, texture and touch.

Jeans enthusiasts regard the distressing and aging process with the utmost importance. Some of the styles are put through a very aggressive aging process, and the end results are as natural and authentic as possible. Every stain, nick and prick or abrasion is painstakingly produced by hand, to replicate real wear and age. No two pairs of PRPS jeans are alike. PRPS signatures include 5 different shanks on each button fly, camouflage or other contrast pocket bag lining.

PRPS repeatedly references a wealth of detail from the worlds of authentic military uniform, work wear, and hunting apparel. “We are continually in the research and development process; from taking note of a painter’s stains, to observing wrinkles on a mechanic’s knees. Our constant pursuit is authenticity in the perfect pair of jeans”.

“We stand behind the quality and longevity of each jean. While they may be bruised they will never be broken”.

Dr. Denim Jeans

Dr Denim JeansDr. Denim Jeansmakers is about passion; about loving what you do. This attitude has characterised generations of entrepreneurs in the Graah family. The story of Dr. Denim Jeansmakers starts in 1986 when Johannes and Alexander visited a denim factory for the first time. The pace, the smells and the large amounts of garments and denim laid the foundation for ideas around a new jeans brand, which started taking shape around 1994. During the hot summer of 2003, things got serious. Dr. Denim Jeansmakers was established by Morten, Johannes and Alexander Graah, resting on a combination of extensive denim industry experience and academic excellence. In 2004, the first collection was unveiled, and the brand is now available in stores across 24 countries world-wide.

This gets Dr. Denim Jeansmakers going
The Fuel: creating the perfect jeans
The Fuse: people wearing the jeans proudly
The Engine: knowledge
The Wheels: the Graah family
The Pimp: setting all artistic impulses free
The Joyride: daring to have fun. Trusting intuition

Maharishi Clothing x Wu-Tang

Maharishi  Clothing x Wu-TangHere the mighty Wu-Tang perform and RZA wears Maharishi Lightning God embroidered Snopants & T-shirt. Maharishi is one of those extraordinary brands which polarises the fashion scene. It’s a  little known fact that Kitmeout was the first website to offer Maharishi online back in 2000 via the NIRO MK store.

On the Wu-Tang front, rumour has it the guys are suing an unnamed company for making fake Wu-Tang Red Monkey jeans.

Fabulous 300 by Walé Adeyemi

Fabulous 300 by Walé AdeyemiThere has been a lot of talk on Kitmeout recently about the whereabouts of Wale Adeyemi. Well it appears the guy is in the USA promoting a new brand, Fabulous 300.

Fabulous 300 brings you the Rolls Royce of street wear, a premium and progressive clothing brand for innovative and forward thinking individuals who seek to create an impact by the clothes on their back.

The man at the helm, UK Creative Director Walé Adeyemi makes sure the Fabulous 300 Collection adorns the wearer with the privilege of being one of the exclusive 300 to rock each Limited Edition garment. With only 300 of each style available worldwide, Fabulous 300 is implanting its exclusivity in the market place and giving the wearer access to an elite crew of luxury street wear leaders.

It seems the days of graffiti bandanas is confined to history!

Louis Vuitton Luggage

Louis Vuitton LuggageIs the fashion world’s current obsession with camoflage a reflection of a injured world. Here’s Louis Vuitton’s attempt to jump on the bandwagon:

With Monogramouflage, Marc Jacobs and Takashi Murakami have made their mark on a new creative landscape: camoflage. In this highly original canvas, designed by the Japanese artist, the Monogram motif appears on a forest background. The collection features luggage, city bags and small leather goods.

Comme des Garçons

Comme des GarçonsFor its first retrospective in Mainland China, Comme des Garçons didn’t delve into its archives of avant-garde fashion. Instead, the Japanese label converted 5,300 square feet of gallery space into a maze of iconic Comme des Garçons print matter — corporate images, magazine advertisements and invitation cards — from the past 25 years.

“Printed matter is a crucial part of expressing the spirit of Comme des Garçons,” Adrian Joffe, the company’s managing director and the husband of creative director Rei Kawakubo, told WWD before the exhibit’s opening this month.

Fashion Rocks

Fashion RocksMariah Carey, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and Rihanna will perform at the fifth annual Fashion Rocks concert celebrating the relationship between music and fashion.
The event will be held Sept. 5 at Radio City Music Hall, and will air in a two-hour special on CBS the following night. Proceeds will benefit Stand Up to Cancer, a program established by the Entertainment Industry Foundation to raise money for cancer research.

Also performing: Keith Urban, Chris Brown, Kid Rock, Fergie, Lil Wayne and the Black Eyed Peas.

“Fashion Rocks uniquely celebrates the intersection of two of the most sexy cultural paradigms: fashion and music. This year, we have a spectacular lineup of talent and performances that will take the show to a whole new level,” Richard Beckman, president of Conde Nast Media Group, which produces the event, said.

D&G Dolce & Gabbana

D&G Dolce & GabbanaFollowing perhaps years of speculation, D&G Dolce & Gabbana take a tartan exploration. Whether tartan has the potential to become a part of mainstream fashion only time will tell.

Established in 1985, Dolce & Gabbana is one of today’s leading international luxury goods groups. The two founders, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, have always been the creative and stylistic source of the two brands, Dolce & Gabbana and D&G Dolce & Gabbana, and the originators of a growth strategy based on balanced development and focus on the core business. The Group designs, produces and distributes high-end clothing, leather goods, footwear and accessories under the Dolce & Gabbana and D&G Dolce & Gabbana brands. Through a series of licensing agreements, it also produces and distributes fragrances and eyewear for the Dolce & Gabbana and D&G Dolce & Gabbana brands and timepieces and jewels for the D&G Dolce & Gabbana brand. Continuous growth over the years has given the Dolce & Gabbana group a solid base, and paved the way for further expansion. In addition to being the sole owner of the two brands, the Group is also wholly responsible for the management and control of the three business divisions: Production, Distribution and Licences. The Group has direct control over the entire value chain, from creation to sale, for both brands, with the exception of products under licence. Manufacturing operations are headed by Dolce & Gabbana Industria S.p.A., which operates the two production facilities, in Legnano and Incisa in Val d’Arno.

The wholesale distribution in Europe of the Dolce & Gabbana and D&G brands is managed by the head offices from Milan. The directly operated stores are controlled by DGS S.p.A in Italy and by local companies, reporting directly to Dolce & Gabbana S.r.l., throughout the rest of Europe. The monitoring of foreign markets is carried out by the subsidiaries in New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong, which, entirely controlled by Dolce & Gabbana S.r.l. co-ordinate the management of retail and wholesale distribution in their respective territorial areas. With specific reference to the Chinese market, the Hong Kong branch operates directly on the territory via local structures in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Taipei. In addition, branches in Rome, London, Paris, Barcelona and Düsseldorf have recently been opened for the distribution of the D&G Dolce & Gabbana brand.


Also with the fiscal year 2006/2007, which ended 31 March 2007, the Dolce & Gabbana group confirms the positive growth trend of the last few years, registering significant increases in its main business and financial aggregates. Wholesale revenues – of Dolce & Gabbana and D&G Dolce & Gabbana brand products achieved by the Group and licensees – reached 1,554.3 million euros, a growth of 35% with respect to the previous year. The figure includes revenues, equal to approximately 200 million euros, from sales of the new Motorazr V3i Dolce & Gabbana, the fruit of a special co-branding project between Dolce & Gabbana and Motorola. For the same period, the consolidated revenues of the parent company, Dolce & Gabbana Luxembourg S.à.r.l., came to 1,050.9 million euros, representing a growth of 30% with respect to the previous year; the Ebitda increased by 30%, reaching 298.8 million euros; while the Ebit grew by 31%, standing at 213.4 million euros; net income amounted for 149.7 million euros, with an increase of 38%. Again as of 31 March 2007, the Group has an overall workforce of 3,140 units and a directly managed distribution network comprising 93 stores and 11 factory outlets.
D&G Dolce & Gabbana

Longchamp x Jean-Luc Moerman

Longchamp x Jean-Luc MoermanCelebrities and fashionistas joined Longchamp managing director Jean Cassegrain and Belgian artist Jean-Luc Moerman Monday night to help the French accessories brand celebrate its 60th anniversary.

Jean-Luc Moerman is famous for his tattoo inspired designs on photographs and flesh and collaborated on Longchamp’s limited edition anniversary collection, which features his signature loops and scribbles silk-screened onto the bags. Each bag will be slightly different from the others — Moerman silk-screened individual bags with an original design — and sold for $6,500.

Dizzee Rascal in Red Monkey Jeans

Dizzee Rascal in Red Monkey JeansBritish hip-hop star Dizzee Rascal went straight in at the top of the UK singles charts on Sunday, the Official UK Charts Company said. The new entry, “Dance wiv Me”, knocked American R&B artist Ne-Yo’s “Closer” into second place. This is supposedly the first time in 12 years an independent lable has gone straight in at No.1

Dizzee Rascal is a big RMC and Yoropiko fan and is often seen on stage in either RMC or Yoropiko jeans and a Yoropiko denim jacket.

Dylan Mills (born 1985 in Bow, East London), known professionally as Dizzee Rascal, is an English rapper and record producer. His (largely self-composed) music is a blend of garage MCing, conventional rap, grime and ragga, with extremely eclectic samples and more exotic styles. His debut album, Boy in da Corner, won him the 2003 Mercury Prize.

Dizzee grew up in the East End of London in South Bow on a council estate. As a teenager, he was detained for stealing cars and robbing a pizza deliveryman, and expelled from four secondary schools. Jeff Chang in his article titled Future Shock explains Dizzee Rascal as a “fatherless child coming up in the East London council estates, aimless youth failed by the schools and the system but saved by music, bedroom beat-head who went top of the pops by representing his streets but can’t escape their judgment. Right outside his front door, mates have turned predators…Childhood school chums who grow up to knife and shoot each other. There are no great leaps here. The daily is never routine. There are only moments for Dizzee to capture, encapsulate, and preserve, griot-like.”  A sympathetic music teacher introduced him to music production on a school computer. He began MCing on pirate radio and at raves at fifteen, but since his mainstream success he has distanced himself from the now growing scene. He used to be a member of the Roll Deep crew, until a conflict with former friend Wiley.

Dizzee has come a long way…

Cruise, UK’s Premier Fashion Chain

Cruise, UK's Premier Fashion Chain.Cruise, arguably the UK’s premier fashion chain, will rebrand its Limeys stores as Cruise, as part of the company’s development strategy. The rebrand will take place during late August across Limeys stores in Derby, Birmingham and Sheffield. “It has always been our intention to introduce the CRUISE concept throughout the UK. The acquisition of Limeys simply accelerated the natural roll out of stores, giving us access to key cities in the Midlands”, commented John Heath, Chief Executive Cruise. “We began online trading at the end of 2007 and will open our 21st store in Bristol later this year. Cruise is now recognized as a national brand and we feel it is the right time to re-badge the midlands stores in line with our move south.”

The rebrand will coincide with the launch of the autumn/winter season across all Cruise stores, and will see the introduction of new brands under the Cruise banner including Marc by Marc Jacobs, D&G, PRPS and Vivienne Westwood. The Cruise brand mix will be tailored to suit each city. The stores will be cosmetically refreshed during the rebrand, adopting the Cruise brand identity.

Despite the brand’s expansion, Heath is certain that the stores will retain their independent, boutique feel, stating: “Thanks to our fantastic staff both in store and at head office, we are in a position to identify and respond to the needs of our customers at a local level. Rebranding the Midlands branches creates consistency and familiarity for our customers on a UK wide basis.”

Established in Edinburgh in 1984, Cruise is renowned for delivering personalised service within unique shopping environments. The luxury retailer offers a mix of international designers, directional street-led fashion and premium denim brands. Limeys in Derby, Sheffield and Birmingham will re-launch as Cruise on Monday 25th August 2008, and Cruise will open in Leicester’s High Cross development in September 2008.

RVCA Jeans + Clothing

Following recent chat on Kitmeout about RVCA clothing and RVCA jeans inparticular, this is the official brand profile by RVCA:

RVCA Jeans + Clothing

The concept of RVCA was conceived by the company’s founder and designer, PM Tenore. For over a decade, PM’s vision has been to create a design-driven brand without compromising its roots in an active lifestyle. Somewhere between contemporary and active, RVCA is free from the passing trends of the surf, street, skate and snowboard industries. RVCA designs appear as natural on the shelves of boutiques as on those of a local skate shop. Disenchanted with action sports branding and design constraints, and acutely aware of the “legitimacy barriers” confronting mainstream sportswear companies, PM created RVCA to be a more organic brand that didn’t have to follow industry rules. RVCA Clothing takes its roots in American workwear and adds function and fashion for every day… every situation. Wearability, Nature, Industrialization. Today. Tomorrow. Life.

Enter Conan Hayes. PM and Conan became childhood friends when they met while surfing the north shore in 1988. Later in 2002, they met up in New York, where PM shared his vision of RVCA—a brand that represents balance of opposites and how they coexist: water, oil, air, land, destruction, industrialization, art, science, foreign, domestic, order, anarchy, past, present.

Conan, an established professional surfer, found himself doing something he would have never previously imagined: declining a lucrative pro surfing contract to pursue PM’s vision. Conan recounts the decision as “one of the biggest of my life.” As RVCA grew, so did the RVCA’s Artist Network Program—an ongoing program to showcase the talent of establishing as well as unknown artists who inspire our generation. Artist/Pro Skater, Ed Templeton (whom ten years previous to RVCA’s beginning, would show his art in PM’s skate boutique) became the first artist to participate in the Artist Network Program. Donating his proceeds to The Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco, Ed paved the way for other artists to use their works to help raise awareness and benefit the community.

De La Soul + Sugar Cane Jeans

De La Soul + Sugar Cane JeansMega group De La Soul are massive Sugar Cane fans and are seen here wearing their favourite denim brand with Flavor Flav the prolific hype man of Public Enemy.

De La Soul is a Grammy Award-winning hip hop group from Amityville, New York. They are best known for their eclectic sampling and quirky, surreal lyrics, and their contributions to the evolution of the jazz rap subgenre. The members are Kelvin Mercer (Posdnuos, Mercenary, Plug Wonder Why, Plug One), David Jude Jolicoeur (Trugoy the Dove, Dave, Plug Two) and Vincent Mason (P.A. Pasemaster Mase, Maseo, Plug Three). The three formed the group in high school and caught the attention of producer Paul Huston (Prince Paul) with a demo tape of the song “Plug Tunin'”. Prince Paul was also sometimes referred to as Plug Four.

With its playful wordplay, innovative sampling, and witty skits, the band’s debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, was hailed as a hip-hop masterpiece.[citation needed] It is also the band’s biggest commercial success to date, with their subsequent albums selling progressively less, despite receiving praise from critics. A measure of 3 Feet High and Rising’s cross-over appeal was the fact that it was voted Album of the Year by NME Magazine, a title better known for its taste in guitar-based music. De La Soul has influenced numerous other hip hop artists such as Camp Lo, Black Eyed Peas, and Digable Planets. They were also instrumental in the early stages of rapper/actor Mos Def’s career, and are a core part of the Spitkicker collective. They are the longest standing Native Tongues Posse group, after the Jungle Brothers.

Paul Smith Clothes SS09

Paul Smith Clothes SS09Paul Smith shows his SS09 collection in Paris, Carrousel du Louvre – Salle Lenotre 99 Rue de Rivoli 75001 Paris. The feedback from buyers and press alike was great.

eBay, The Cyber-Fence!

eBay, The Cyber-Fence!Has the “Cyber-Fence” known as eBay finally got its comeuppance. SKY NEWS has reported that a list of major brands have finally taken the long-awaited initiative against this obscene and covert trade in counterfeit fashion. The funds of which are used to perpetuate all types of illegal activity, including illegal weapons and terrorism. Hopefully, eBay will receive more than a mere slap on the wrists!

Luxury brands are joining forces to tackle the sale of counterfeit goods online. Retailers Louis Vuitton, Dior, Guerlain, Kenzo and Givenchy are suiting eBay for ‘culpable negligence’ of its goods in France.
The handbag and luggage section of Louis Vuitton is demanding compensation of around £20m and Dior’s couture section wants £17m for “illicit sales” of their products.

The companies say eBay knowingly let people use the site to sell fake bags, lipstick, perfumes and clothes purporting to be from the famous names.

The court case has been going on for a year and a half and was originally three separate cases that France’s justice system judged should be dealt with all together because of their similarities.

Today’s upcoming verdict comes after a flurry of legal action against the online giant, which claims to have some 84 million active users in 39 markets worldwide.

Earlier this month, eBay was convicted by a French court of selling counterfeit goods and ordered to pay £20,000 in damages to French luxury group Hermes.

And last September, the cosmetics giant L’Oreal launched legal action against eBay in five European countries including France, over the sale of bottles of counterfeit perfume.

They said eBay was responsible for the sale of counterfeit copies of their goods on its site because it had not done enough to prevent such sales.

Hugely successful, eBay says that in 2007 the total value of items sold on its platform was nearly £30bn.