Posts tagged #fashion

Liberty & Fashion For All Foundation

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I had the pleasure to attend this panel discussion that not only left me feeling educated but liberated as well. The panel discussed the recent “missteps” by luxury fashion houses (if you aren’t aware catch up here.)

The event took place at the Phillip Lim store in Soho, NYC. The room was filled with fashion industry professionals from brands all over, from retail to corporate employees. Brands as Ralph Lauren, CFDA, and Teen Vogue came to support and learn about diversity and cultural appropriation issues faced in fashion.

The idea that African American culture has great influence on the luxury fashion industry is clear. Why is it that the culture that influences the industry most, often gets culturally disrespected? Also, why is there no black luxury houses especially being that the black purchasing power is stronger than ever?

Dapper Dan shared with us his struggles of being underground and how Black Twitter played a significant role in bringing him back to the spot light. “We need to find out how we can reach luxury” said Dapper Dan. He continued that luxury is about symbolic meaning. He’s been traveling the world seeking artifacts with deep cultural connection that can inspire his designs.

Dapper Dan’s partnership with Gucci was also addressed as he planned to continue to work with the Italian fashion house to prevent future ”missteps” by helping them understand the black culture.

One question that remains is where do we go here?

There is no one single right answer. I believe the most effective would be African Americans focusing on connecting to their African heritage. In the DNA lies pride and identity. That identity has been lost due to the Atlantic Slave trade. African Americans must not stop searching where their family comes from. We seek pride and status when wearing European brands. The honest truth is, if you’re black you have no historical connection to these brands unless you are European. We connect the idea of wealth with these brands because it is real, they are wealthy. But, the influence that our culture plays on this industry is what’s being sold often. That needs to change.

I believe that black+ African history will lead the future and African American’s will finally touch the luxury level. It will begin with designers like Kanye West, Dapper Dan and Virgil Abloh who will open the gates for young designers by leaving historical legacies.

I look forward to the next event by the Fashion For All Foundation.

Please share with me your thoughts on ways to leverage the playing field.

-Armada

Gucci Gucci Gucci!

What's Gucci my ninjas? What's happening today is that the streets are bigger than ever! You see Vogue aiming to broaden audience by seeking hip hop/ Rap moguls to give unique prospective on the Runway. In this case Gucci Mane on Gucci's SS17 collection. What ultimately is gained here (by Vogue) not only an extra audience but also terminology. Hip Hop is all about the lingo. Gucci Mane used the word "Hard" multiple times to describe his liking for Gucci's SS17 Runway Collection. To be in the in crowd you have to speak the lingo or at least know what Gucci Mane is talking about lol. The more languages you speak the more people you reach and if you can speak to the streets then you're something special. Get to know the lingo, it's all about the context.

What's also extremely cool at the moment is that the brand Gucci itself has taken a turn toward the streets. Allowing graffiti artist GucciGhost AKA @TroubleAndrew to use his works on Gucci bags, clothing, and even the New York City flagship store on 5th Avenue. This has to be a huge accomplishment for the Gucci Ghost especially being a street artist. He got to tag windows of a luxury fashion house's building on 5th ave in New York city and everyone gets to see. Wow! Salute to Trouble Andrew. Graffiti looks pretty funny next to the Trump Tower in this case "Luxury Graffiti."

Even more props to Alessandro Michele who is revamping the world of Gucci just as Tom Ford did. What's also capitalized on is the term Gucci itself that has evolved into ultimately meaning Good. And its been like that for some time but if you're just now getting hip then no worries. Now you are seeing it being referenced in fashion so you cant miss it. The term "LIFE IS GUCCI!" was created into a Snapchat Geo-filter at the Gucci store on 5th ave. Snapchat Geo filters are helping retail fight back against e-commerce bridging the techonology and retail experience.

What Gucci needed was something unique but in raw form. In today's fashion world of copying, Gucci did themselves a favor and put REAL on everything. This is an in your face there's only one Gucci and we're the like REAL GOOD type of thing.  I love it! This is trademarked Street Art and Street art is hard to be ignored.

Street art is a unique industry because its very close to home for everyone. Its grimy, rugged and the concrete walls bare unfiltered truths. This is a collaboration I am proud to see because it reminds me of the streets. The streets is where the culture is and Gucci is the culture. Salute to Strategic Art!

See more on Gucci.com