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Hana Tajima x Uniqlo: modest fashion with spirited designs

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On 3 July 2015, UNIQLO launched a special modest wear collection, elaborated in collaboration with designer and fashion magician, Hana Tajima. The UNIQLO X Hana Tajima Collection is available exclusively at UNIQLO 313@Somerset and the online store.

We had a chance to meet and interview Hana Tajima in 2013, when she declared that “there has been a reawakening of personal creative expression in young Muslim women“.

In line with UNIQLO’s LifeWear concept, the collection is designed to meet the needs of women who value comfortable and relaxed wear.

“The Hana Tajima collection is an extension of our LifeWear concept in making fashionable, high quality products for all to wear, while enhancing their lifestyle at the same time. We worked with Hana to determine what would be internationally appealing while keeping to the concept of modest wear. We are thrilled with the results of this unique collaboration which produced a desirable collection that does not sacrifice style for utmost comfort!”

Mr. Taku MORIKAWA, Chief Executive Officer, UNIQLO Singapore

This inaugural collection takes inspiration from an international approach in appreciation of diverse culture and style. There’s also a certain focus on technology for this range of outfits; for instance TENCEL, “a soft, botanically derived, wrinkle-resistant fiber is also used, as well as AIRism, which is a quick drying, odour minimising fabric which was developed by Uniqlo in collaboration with Toray“.

Modest fashion: challenging conservative rules

It’s been written everywhere that modest fashion target conservative young Muslims. To my mind, it’s somehow wrong; in a recent documentary on the BBC “Hight Street Hijabis“, we follow YouTube sensation Nabiilabee with her friends, discussing about modest fashion, religion and lifestyle. It’s far more complex than just a style for religious people; actually, in this documentary, Nabiilabee is facing Fatima Barkatulla, Islamic Scholar and Director of Seeds of Change Women’s conference, who warns V-loggers of pushing the limit of fashion vs faith.

“Hijab is an act of worship”

A real generation divide who doesn’t want to be dictated what one’s faith is about. The group of young women all have a different definition of what “modest” means: is it ok to have bright colours or not? What’s the normal size for a modest shirt?

And actually, the only consensus is to mention that “modest” is more a lifestyle than a set of outfits: at the end, it’s all a question of attitude towards others and life than any mandatory guideline.

uniqlo hana tajima collaboration modest fashion



The Pyramid of Luxury : climb or die.

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Climbing the ladder of lifestyle has always been the aspiration behind brand consumption. That guy Maslow –  for the sociology geeks, nailed it somehow with the pyramid of needs.

Now this “infographics” is quite interesting in the way it defines segments of luxury from the bottom up. And we already heard controversy, such as “aren’t Coach and Geox more suitable to be called “upper mid brands” instead of affordable luxury?”

There’s much to discuss.

What will Daigou buy therefore? And aren’t old Maisons sketpical by this positioning in the digital era? A real camouflet againt Louis Vuitton, downgraded to the “accessible core” thus.

All fashionisti can now place once and for all brands that all seem to mean glitter and billions: Cartier, Bottega Veneta, Prada, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton…). Black is the new Bling.

Here is the Bermudan triangle anyway. Don’t get lost in it!

pyramid 2

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What’s so great about Instagram? An interview with Kristen Joy Watts, Community Team, Art and Fashion Lead at Instagram

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Fashion Weeks used to be a closed network, with buyers and happy journalists. It Girls were fighting for the FROW. But with Social Media and more specifically Instagram, there’s a brand new playground in which new public and new communities gather. It’s not the Front Row that matters anymore, but the backstage, the making-of, the secret stories propagated and shaped by makers. An ongoing and perpetual reinvention of fashion, which goes beyond conventions and traditional rules. Instagram is our favourite social network (you can follow Vu Quan & lilzeon and his new project). It’s a goldmine to wander around others’ dreams and through people ideas.

Instagram, it’s the reality and the perception of this reality.

We had a chance to chitchat with Kristen Joy Watts, Community Team, Art and Fashion Lead at Instagram to share few ideas, crushes, vision about the network.

Let’s go, in, sta, gram.

Instagram has become one of the ‘places to be’ for fashion brands as well as for fashion enthusiasts. Is there a risk of creating a ‘snacking culture’ for brands that are more luxury oriented?

There is a lot of fashion storytelling on Instagram that is light and fun and fast. We also see really sophisticated, unforgettable storytelling from the fashion community, whether Landon Nordeman’s (@landonnordeman) Instagram-first fashion week coverage for The Cut:

#theCutPFW @rickowensonline Rehearsal #pfw for @thecut #eiffeltower #jaimeparis

A photo posted by Landon Nordeman (@landonnordeman) on

…or Richie Talboy (@okrichie) and Lucas Lefler’s (@lucas_lefler) #emptyrunway series for Vanity Fair. In France too there is a growing community of inspiring creatives on Instagram, from Carin Olsson (@parisinfourmonths) to Tiffany Cooper (@tiffanycooper_) to Simon Portes Jacquemus (@jacquemus). Fashion houses, publications and individuals all over the world look to them for inspiration.

"GRIS" #JACQUEMUS FIRST PRE/COLLECTION / @harleyweir @jamesvaleri @aninevanvelzen

A photo posted by SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS (@jacquemus) on

We are noticing some emerging trends in the network à la Tumblr (such as pro-ANA movements that are creating support groups) and that you have started to recruit people in order to identify and share the community with the world. How do you identify creative community members ? Do you have dedicated tools and contacts with them?

The Community Team at Instagram was created to discover and elevate the most amazing people and storytelling on Instagram. Our small but mighty team has members in Tokyo, London, Moscow, São Paulo, San Francisco and, of course, New York, where I am based. We celebrate the community on Instagram from North Korea to Nebraska. My discovery process involves everything from research on Instagram to asking everyone I meet if there’s anyone they’ve discovered who I need to know about. I always find amazing people when I’m in Paris.

Success is hard to achieve and gaining numerous followers is a lot of work on Instagram. However, some companies such as Instabrand are created with a view to manage Instagram’s talents. What advice would you give to a talent that is starting on Instagram and wants to join the tribe of very followed accounts?

For us, Instagram is all about the fun of sharing your story and discovering amazing people to follow. Here are a few best practices for someone who’s just starting out. First, tell a consistent story. Second, follow some people you know, some people you don’t know and some people you just discovered (for example, I follow many people in fashion and art but I also follow a florist in Moscow and a lifestyle photographer who captures wonderful images of his two Newfoundland dogs. Finally, connect with other people. This can be through likes and comments or even through meeting in person for coffee or an InstaMeet. The InstaMeet phenomenon, whereby Instagrammers meet in a location to take pictures of scenes which inspire them, allows the community to come together and share their passions and creative processes in new, real relationships with others.

Pindrop fashion week london where to go where to eat where to get wifi

London Fashion Week SS15: where to go, where to eat, where to party, where to get free wifi?

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In few weeks, London Fashion Week is back. Amazing designers in the beautiful city.

It’s now the 4th time we’re going to attend some of the shows. And let’s face it: most of the tips we read are not exactly what we were looking for.

Basically, we had few bad experience:

  • desperately looking for food at Somerset House: queuing for 1 hour to get something ridiculously small. Realizing that we also need to have a pastry not to collapse
  • trying to leave Somerset House. Ending at Prêt à Manger. And crying
  • expecting to party @ The Box. And finally at 11pm, realizing that it’s too late and that you’d rather go back to the hotel and watch a cool series instead of attending party with PR agencies (no offence thus)
  • looking for free wifi; finally relying on 3G to send your 1Go photos

So here’s our unconventional list of tips and tricks, and cool places, created with Pindrop.

Share your thoughts! And click on the picture to access our list.

Pindrop fashion week london where to go where to eat where to get wifi




Pharrell on Elle UK. Why the controversy?

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Do you think Pharrell should not have worn a Native American head-dress on cover of Elle UK? We don’t.

Although this sparked understandable and respectable outrage from communities and commentators alike, resulting in a sincere apology by the cultural icon, we believe this new controversy shows society has figured fashion out all wrong.


As a matter of fact, the base of controversy seems far-fetched to us, or at least most of commentators express it with little concision: most of the tweets bear judgments such as “it’s not ok”, ‘what’s wrong with you” and “this is scandalous”, only a few mention the reasons of anger:

“Urgh. Why does the fashion industry insist on turning sacred cultural items into fashion props? #NOTHappy @ELLEUK” – says @OnceAPARNATime.

Cultural appropriation seems to be the problem, as highlighted Refinery29. But the real question is where is the line to draw for offensiveness?

We believe blackfaceing a model is a mistake, but criticizing a graphic and photographic fashion job made with respect (at least benefit of that doubt can be given to the team in charge, right?) seems way over-crying. Why did fashion teams like this one chose this item? Because it bears positive symbols, it also has impeccable visual style and it may remind us that some cultures should not be lost in contemporary moments.

This cover is beautiful. It has character. It does not depict a community in any negative way. Let’s stop underestimating the fashion industry’s capacity to curate cultures. Fashion is not a superficial discipline, whatever twitter might say.

erdem catwalk

London Fashion Week AW14 – Under the Spotlight

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It’s the fashion event that you must pencil into your calendar – of course it’s London Fashion Week. From Somerset House to Kensington Gardens, the streets were filled with fashion bloggers, journalists, socialites and the press who were all fortunate enough to get the first peek at the latest collections – I happened to be one of those lucky few!

On Monday, I set off to the beautiful Somerset House and saw the latest line by M&S who are aiming to bring out the ‘Best of British’. The scene was a simple, minimalist background with a ladder, chair and desk – an unusual set, but it did bring out the best of its 60’s-esque bold coloured swing coats and shift dresses.


I later went to a dim lit, carpeted car park behind Selfridges to see the latest line by Erdem, which was my favourite of the day. Erdem illustrated a mix of contrasting textures such as patent leather on crochet with subdued splashes of gold, grey and scarlet. To put it simply like The Fash Pack have quoted, it was ‘the type of collection that dreams are made of.’  With a revamped version of Heart of Glass by Blondie, the scene was buzzing with an edgy femininity. Simply amazing.


With the spotlights shining on their scraped-back hair, David Koma was the final show of the day. His collection highlighted bold purples and dark greys, with the clothes structured in sharp cuts and finishes. Again, it was a very minimalist, bright lighted scene to emphasise what Koma had to display.

david koma

There is nothing quite like being a part of the camera flashes and loud voices. David Koma and M&S both displayed lovely collections, but the aura was exactly how I imagined a fashion show to be, therefore I wasn’t taken aback. However, Erdem was the stand-out as its unpretentious setting was revamped into an electrifying setting – it was just a shame that it was over so quickly.

adidas-x-Kanye-West 2

Adidas x Who ??

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Raf Simons, Rick Owens, Jeremy Scott, Mark McNairy, Kazuki Kuraishi, Stella McCartney, Yohji Yamamoto, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim from Opening Ceremony/Kenzo… This never-ending list is not the next Fashion Week schedule but the list of designers who collaborate with Adidas. The Adidas roster which now also includes the designer Tom Dixon and Kanye West, will probably welcome Pharrell Williams as well, who has almost confirmed the rumor by wearing a red Adidas Track Jacket during the last Grammy Awards. adidas-x-Kanye-West (1) Thus, Adidas which has just stolen Kanye West from Nike, acts unlike his famous rival by accumulating partnerships. These collaborations are not fleeting as well as they are not only related to a specific product. In this way, for most of them, they have become side product-lines developed through several years.

At the first sight, these collaborations seem to be a brilliant idea. Indeed, the fashion world keen on Hypebeast or HighSnobiety loves the announcements such as a top-designer like Raf Simons who teams up with Adidas. Thus, this kind of collaboration generates an immediate buzz. Nevertheless, in order for a partnership to be convincing, it is above all a matter of mutual passion and universes. For instance, even if the Kanye West recruitment looks like great news for Adidas, but currently Kanye West particularly matched Nike in people’s mind thanks to the most innovative and striking sneakers launches. Whereas Nike and Kanye West collaborated sporadically on a single product and distributed theirs sneakers only in a few selected retailers that created huge expectations for sneakerheads, Adidas x Kanye West, according to both of them, would be a larger collaboration on a range of unlimited products like Adidas x Opening Ceremony or Adidas x Jeremy Scott. Furthermore, at least regarding their impact on US mainstream culture, Nike and West seem to share more than the American artist and the German brand.

That is why except if they are concealing an amazing launch, a new innovative technology or a groundbreaker design, the coming collaborations between Adidas and West or Pharrell would be not relevant. Even if at the time these side lines are quite commercially successful, because of the proliferation of collaborations (and I will not tackle subjects such as one-shot partnerships with retailers like WoodWood or brands like Clot, or the integrated lines like Porsche Design or late-SLVR), because of the choice of retailers as well as the lack of coherency in the choice of designers, these partnerships do not look “honest”.

The trendsetters do not any longer rush for Y-3 and they have never done it for Adidas x Opening Ceremony (editor note: except for VQ who recently bought a fluo leopard tee from them). For a brand, the choice of the right interpreter may be difficult. It could be an artist (Adidas x Lee Quinones), a fashion designer (Adidas x Raf Simons), a sportsman (Nike x Jordan), an architect (Melissa x Zaha Hadid), or a designer (Puma x Starck)…  However, the success of a collaboration does not only rely on the fame of the interpreter, no more than in the product itself. For instance, the designer Michael Graves teamed up with Alessi and then with Target. He created almost the same kettles. Nevertheless, they sold much more Alessi one than Target one while the Alessi kettle was much more expensive. Indeed, the partnership between Alessi and Graves was approved by Alessi customers as well as Graves lovers while Graves lovers was not interested in Target and Target customers did not care about Graves.


About this point, Nike used to act in an opposite way. Nike does not complete a lot of partnerships and the collaborations are temporary and limited. Of course, Nike teams up with Jordan on a wide range but nowadays, the Jordan brand image is quite separated from the Nike brand image and the Jumpman logo is almost as famous as the Swoosh logo. Nike is collaborating with Riccardo Tisci but only on a product that linked them through basket-ball: the Air Force One. Finally, Nike x Undercover is the only collaboration which is not limited both in time and range, however this line is related to SPORT. Whereas Dior and Chanel have created Haute-Couture sneakers for the last Haute-Couture week, Adidas creates sport products only with Stella McCartney. Adidas continues to believe in the so 00’s “retro” field: for Adidas, the most important launch of the year must be the Stan Smith come-back. Adidas does not believe in sport while it supports more athletes in more sports. Adidas creates more technologies than Nike but not the dream ones: Air vs. Adiprene, Flyknit vs. Primeknit, Lunarlon vs. Boost,… More than an umpteenth Adidas Forum customized by Jeremy Scott, we would prefer an uncrowded roster and a back to innovation and creation which it may be heralded by the Adidas x Rick Owens Tech Runner.

Less is more… rick-owens-for-adidas-2014-fallwinter-tech-runner-1  The « Interpreter » concept is taken from « Design Driven Innovation » (Roberto Verganti, Harvard Business Press).


When did Miley become more real than a Fashion Blogger?

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For the sake of our ecosystem we had to cry this out. Our darlings and colleagues from the fashion blogosphere have gone too far. We’re not talking about these buffoons roaming the sidewalks during Fashion Week, but really about those delicate creatures that made boys and girls just like us dream of an eternally and integrally beautiful street, populated with muses and characters.

But then Kristina Bazan just released her new version of KAYTURE. As the pinnacle of her later trajectory, it showcases the most surreal shots of a young talented blogger ever. We’re feeling the brands and all these “amazing projects” they’ve submitted to her have alienated the idea of what we used to love about K: a sophisticated spontaneity. She embodied how cool yet charming and level-headed one person could be when it came to fashion perception.

Kayture Collaboration with Louis Vuitton

Now she looks more plastic than any over-the-top luxury campaign. Fake glows and shopped auras have covered the homepage. Thank you Louis V.

And then we watched Miley Cyrus’ music videos again. And somehow it felt more real. Proof that posterizing an icon is a delicate art that even the greatest brands on Earth still have to master.


stylist 24 hours

The lesson of Stylist Magazine 24-hour challenge to the fashion magazines “à la papa”

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We’ve worked with and for fashion media. And a lot of print magazines tend to cry and shout out loud the fact that their industry is collapsing, because, uh, the consumers are now online.


That should actually be a good news: if Coca Cola is able to keep selling sugar while activating us through digital channels, why a good print product couldn’t find its way?

So Stylist Magazine, every week, reinvents itself.

They challenge the routine; so every week, you expect something new, “disruptive”, while still getting some rituals.

This week, the issue is just massive:


And their team really did that. They not only did that for the sake of doing it. They’ve actually created a whole story about this story: inviting influencers, brands, partners. This issue is far more powerful than another X-Mas party: it’s actually a demonstration of the power of their networks, the skills of their editorial team, the consideration that the London scene feels for this magazine.

It’s a real lesson of modern fashion journalism. The lords and queens of the other media brands should go back to Stylist school. It’s all about the readers, and making us dream.

Thanks Stylist for offering us our weekly fashion fix.

Kanye West

“The world can be saved through design” – Kanye West

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We’re amazed at how the auto-proclaimed “biggest rockstar of all” Kanye West has managed to make a move on the whole media-sensitive creative sphere. As reluctant as the so-called underground scene might feel, Ye is smartly sharing his point to the world. After crying out loud on general media, M. West also took the discreet and subtle time to talk to the ones he says he defends: the creative minds.

Here he is, having a sweet talk to the ears of Harvard Graduate School of Design, waivering some subtle humor: “I’m not a politician, I am – at my best – politically incorrect”, and keeping his cool. No Rant For Once!

Creative genius? Who are we to judge. But Marketing genius? Definitely.