Ferragamo is Launching a Very Stylish TRIVIA Game



When relegated to trips outside being only about fetching groceries and toothpaste, our irrepressible love of fashion is certainly given a distinct recontextualization. Though as a kind of empowerment therapy, we highly recommend dressing up a few times a week, even when just running out to pick up a box of cereal or stock up on wine.

But we also suggest shutting off the news and virtually spending some time with your favorite fashion brands, skimming their Instagram pages to plan for those post-corona outfit ideas—as an attitude of hopefulness can make quarantining significantly more bearable. Our friends at Ferragamo have actually just taken a proactive/creative approach to giving us a fashion fix, launching their new TRIVIA project via their very popular social media channels, Facebook and Instagram specifically.



Via quizzes and anecdotes, and with strikingly realized graphics, the game takes you through the history of the storied Florence fashion house, with a focus on legendary founder Salvatore Ferragamo. It was nearly a century ago that he returned to Firenze from America—1927 to be precise—and began making the shoes that would ultimately and decisively earn him a prestigious place in the international footwear pantheon.

For our part, we’ve already starting planning an autumn trip to Tuscany, which would absolutely include another visit to the Ferragamo Museum—as thinking about returning to travel is a sort of therapy unto itself. But for now, we’ll absolutely be tuning in to #FerragamoTrivia every Sunday and Wednesday—we’ll see you there.

Fendi’s New #BaguetteFriendsForever Short Stars Winnie Harlow + Shannon Hamilton



If we’re being honest, we really just can’t take any more bad, nay quasi-apocalyptic news right now. So the arrival of the next clip in Fendi’s heartwarming #BaguetteFriendsForever series has made us particularly, if momentarily happy this week.

The ongoing campaign brings together real life, and famous but not spectacularly so best friends—BlackBook, for instance, recently featured the episode with Tommy Dorfman and Naomi Watanabe—for a brief but fabulous adventure that ultimately revolves around the exalted Fendi Baguette bag. In the newest installment, The Unexpected Baguette, model Shannon Hamilton, in New York at the time, rings up pal Winnie Harlow in Miami, earnestly expressing how she wishes she could be there with her—which curiously enough, seems like a very relevant sentiment right now in this time of stifled travel and mass quarantining.



Later, during a seemingly solo Fendi shopping session, Harlow is checking out the scented FENDIFRENESIA, when someone comments, “Nice bag.” And, well, guess who it is?

“The best part about our friendship,” Harlow explains, “is that we have been and always will be there for each other. I can always be completely myself with Shannon; there’s nothing like having someone in your corner that’s going to have your back through thick and thin.”

With so much fashion advertising coming off so aloof and unattainable, we genuinely applaud Fendi for not only creating something so earnestly endearing…but also for celebrating the unparalleled joy of best friends spending carefree moments together. It will definitely make you want to pick up your phone immediately and tell your BFF just how much you miss them. Especially now.


First Images: Stockholm’s ‘Hem’ Has a New Soho Studio Space

Images by Brian Ferry



Over the last couple of decades, the American obsession with Swedish design has become essentially a matter of fact. And so the recent U.S. invasion of Stockholm-based Hem has seemed almost inevitable, if not way overdue.

Indeed, the brand (whose name simply means “home”), was founded in 1983, at a time when the States were more concerned with outré movements like Memphis. But a new, post-millennial wave of style magazines have ceaselessly exalted all things Scandinavia, paving the way for a primary 21st Century aesthetic that hasn’t much tolerance for wacky shapes and pastel colors. Hem actually opened its first outpost just last year in Downtown Los Angeles; and now it has unveiled its first New York studio, a 2500 square foot historic loft on Soho’s Broome Street—long where the city’s best design shops have clustered.

Hem has ever been known for its simple but elegantly modern lines, with an emphasis on craftsmanship over ostentation. And to be sure, classics like the Kumo Sofa, Last Stool, Alle Tables, Touchwood and Udon chairs, and the Alphabeta pendants will all be on offer, alongside new pieces like the Max Lamb Max Table and Bench, and the Powder-Vases by Jenny Nordberg—all of the latter making their first appearances in the States.



Fully embracing their new NYC home, which is a typically high ceilinged Soho space, a notable feature is the site-specific sculptural installation by Brooklyn duo Chen & Kai, which stands at around ten feet feet tall, and is characterized by 20 mirrored panels. So guests can take in a kind of “broken” or schizophrenic view of themselves…though Hem describe it as a kind of deconstructed skyscraper.

“New York has been our single most important market since Hem’s inception,” enthuses Petrus Palmér, CEO and Founder. “It is a city filled with creativity and entrepreneurial ambitions and home to many architects and designers we admire. While it took some time to find the perfect space, Soho was always a must for us, as one of the most walkable and visually striking parts of the city, and center for so much of its design and creative leaders. We’re thrilled to make it our home.”

For those who cannot make it to one of the Hem U.S. locations, shopping online is also an option.


RHYME SO’s Brilliant ‘Fashion Blogger’ Pokes Fun at Fashion + Social Media Excess

Images by Sarai Mari 



Being just on the other side of the New York, Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks, perhaps allows for at least a small measure of…ironic distance. And so the glorious new RHYME SO single “Fashion Blogger” can just be enjoyed for its joyfully sardonic brilliance.

The duo of Australian singer RHYME and Mondo Grosso’s Shinichi Osawa is kind of unexpected; but the track itself is an impossibly infectious mix of sexed up funk riffs and ’80s club culture, with smart-alecky lyrics about fashion world self-importance, and obsession with social media.



RHYME SO explain it as, “Our main point in ‘Fashion Blogger’ is to share a widely talked about commentary but make it…you know…fun. A way to urge people to take themselves less seriously and get off the excess, unnecessary social media that may harm mental health.”

The accompanying video is a riotous glam skate-off, with RHYME going up against Drag Race star Milk (both actually used to be professional figure skaters). Between the former’s deadpan performance, the latter’s unabashed showiness, and the hilarious, condescending indifference of the judges, it’s our absolutely favorite thing right now.


Daniel Arsham’s ‘Future Relics’ Sculptures Bring Dior Into Your Living Room



As the very notion of Fashion Week has faced existential threats from an increasingly digital world, the top houses have taken to ratcheting up the conceptualizing—as we reported recently of the Prada and Ferragamo Milan shows.

For his Summer 2020 Men’s presentation for Dior, Artistic Director Kim Jones went as far as erecting a tent in Paris’ epic Place de la Concorde, ultimately paying tribute to late punk stylist and fellow Brit Judy Blame (who passed away from cancer in 2018). He also enlisted American artist Daniel Arsham as a creative collaborator on the sets—and now miniaturized versions of his sculptures are being offered as an exclusive collection in Dior boutiques worldwide.



Arsham has become well-known for his haunted, “decaying” sculpts of familiar everyday items, cameras, sneakers, etc. For Dior, he has created a series of five called Future Relics, which are perhaps the perfect metaphor for the gradual degeneration of Western ideals and values. Included in the collection is an homage to Christian Dior’s 1951 book Je Suis Couturier, now a jewel box.

These will surely be among the most talked about must-haves of 2020. For our part, though, we’re just trying to decipher if the clock being stopped at 10:10 is trying to tell us something.


BlackBook Interview + Exclusive Photo Shoot: Caroline Vreeland Talks Leather Bustiers, Russian Lit + Singing the Blues

HAT: Vintage 1960’s Yves Saint Laurent from LIDOW ARCHIVE
EARRINGS: Tana Chung



We first encounter Caroline Vreeland walking down the stairs on our way to pick up some snacks for the studio crew in Brooklyn’s gritty-but-gentrifying Bushwick. We are there with photographer Jess Farran for an exclusive BlackBook shoot, and Vreeland arrives wearing a cropped, oversized denim jacket, vintage high-waisted Levis, classic Chelsea boots, and dark sunglasses—which makes her seem like she’s just escaped from ’80s pop video.

She has just landed from Canada, where she sojourned with a new love interest between scheduled appearances. Although she comes from a storied fashion pedigree, and is an accomplished model and singer-songwriter in her own right, Vreeland cheerfully accompanies us to a modest local bodega to pick up the necessary comestibles.



As we walked a few blocks together before the start of the shoot, we began to catch up on her life. Caroline has a very soft, approachable way about her that is immediately disarming. It stands in contrast to her glamorous, compelling public persona which, combined with Marilyn Monroe good looks and alluring Audrey Hepburn mannerisms, radiates a certain star power, amplified by her growing social media and magazine cover presence.

Throughout the shoot, and over a bottle of 2018 Mon Cher Gamay, a wine—light, sweet and tart—that seems a fitting metaphor for the dynamic yet accessible Caroline. Before the camera started snapping, we engaged her on a wide range of topics…but most notably, her new album Notes on Sex and Wine (released this past Monday, March 2).



Your album is a bit autobiographical; how does it feel to put so much of yourself out there?

It’s the only way to do it. I don’t want to bite the hand that feeds me, because Instagram is such a great platform for building my fanbase. But it’s almost cookie cutter—the images on there are generally what the world wants to see, and it can be boring. So with this album, I put out what I want the world to see and hear. The real shit. And I was going through a really bad breakup—I know, ‘whoa is me,’ we have all had bad breakups—and I have since recovered. But I was going through a dark time.

How did you deal with it?

I wanted to show that I wasn’t getting intimacy, and I took to drinking. I was so lonely when I moved to Miami, that’s why the album is called Notes on Sex and Wine. It was the lacking of one thing, while I was drowning in the other thing. In order for me to get passionate about my work, it has to have everything in it. It took about two years to produce this album. 

Is it better to love, or be loved?

That’s a great question, no one has ever asked me that before. It’s usually easier to be loved. If you love and it isn’t reciprocated, then you feel stupid and hurt. I want to be loved…adored, actually, by everyone. I do have a lot of love to give, though. But at the end of the day, to be loved is better. It sounds selfish, but it’s the truth. When I was in Miami, I was giving all the love and I wasn’t getting it back.


Images 1 & 4: DRESS: Troy Dylan Allen from LIDOW ARCHIVE
EARRINGS, RINGS: Renato Cipullo
Image 3: DRESS (WITH GLOVES): Vintage Moschino Couture from LIDOW ARCHIVE
EARRINGS, RINGS: Renato Cipullo
Images 2 & 5: BLAZER: Vintage Moschino Couture from LIDOW ARCHIVE
SHOES: Vintage Ralph Lauren from LIDOW ARCHIVE


You’ve become a celebrity through your modeling, music and social media. But what is it that people still don’t know about you?

I think I try to be this badass, crazy bitch in my public image; but my closer friends remind me that, in reality, I’m the girl that just drinks red wine and goes home early. People might be surprised to learn that I am very into sci-fi podcasts, for example—all the ones that are on the Welcome to Night Vale channel…anything that has some sort of conspiracy theory in the mix. I love those. I am an avid reader and enjoy Russian literature—Dostoevsky, Nabokov, Chekhov, really big on it.

Which is definitely different from your public image. 

I come across as sexually aggressive, but when I am with someone I am comfortable with, I am much more subdued. I am really extroverted most of the time; but now that I am in my thirties, I am starting to really treasure my alone time. I’m living in Brooklyn now, so I am really just discovering my neighborhood and I have a couple of spots…I really love Bar Tabac [a Parisian-style bistro in Boerum Hill]. 

Your music has a lot of soul in it. Who are your biggest influences?

I started learning music when I was 8-years-old, and I played the wind at a school play, just making blowing sounds into the microphone; I had determined at that moment, I wanted to perform. I remember liking Fiona Apple and also starting to like performing in front of people.  So I started taking vocal lessons. In my youth I was listening to Al Green, Etta Jones, Nina Simone—that blues sound is in my album is now. And then I went through some growing pains and tried pretty much every genre. At first I thought I wanted to be like Christina Aguilera or Beyoncé—that sort of loud, belting pop, so I did a project like that.



‘Drinking For Two,’ Paste Magazine Studio Session, January 3, 2020


But there was more to you?

Yes, next I did a project where the sound was more like that of the Black Keys; then I tried something that was more orchestral, like being the female singer of Muse. So I have done all this shit only to come back, and the blues are the thing that roots me now. It took more than twenty years to come to that. What I am channeling on this album is definitely Amy Winehouse, in the sense that I like to write about things that are darker in content; which means that the production has to be kind of down. But what Amy always did was find ways to incorporate movement in her work, even when the subject matter was so dark. Patsy Klein and Nancy Sinatra are also big influences sonically. When working with my producers, we would pull up sounds and moods that we would like and try to emulate them in my own version.

You recently performed before an adoring crowd here in New York, at the Standard East Hotel—and you’re also doing a few more live dates in the area. Do you enjoy it?

Yes. I have this crazy, bitchy, demanding French stylist, and he told me that I have to have a different, unique outfit for every single venue. Which is interesting because, while I am performing in large venues, they are still kind of divey in look and feel; and yet, I will be dressed to the nines in very thoughtfully chosen, customized outfits. I have a strong affection for fashion, but I also want to be some combination of myself—a person—and an image. So even though I like to be very candid and open in my interactions with the audience—I talk about my day, and how I am feeling—I still want to put on a bit of an image and a show.

People have come to expect that of you.

I will wear a custom tailored outfit, and then make it more dramatic with a cape, for instance; or maybe by wearing a leather bustier. Different outfits allow my performances to take on different shapes. I just want each show to be distinctive and have its own life.

Any surprises we can expect?

I’m using a drummer in my show for the first time…and I will be singing a cover song that no one has ever heard me do before.




Images by Jess Farran
Producer and Text: Alfredo Mineo @alfredomineo
Photographer and Director: Jess Farran @Jess_Farran
Stylist: Haile Lidow @hailelidow
Hair and Make Up: Henry De La Paz @henrydelapaz
Beauty: Eileen Harcourt @harcourts  Using TATCHA Beauty @tatcha

Seven Questions About ‘Sustainable Denim’ w/ ISKO




In our collective zeal for new, newer and newest personal technologies, few have stopped to consider that technological waste would quickly become one of the largest sources of pollution in the world. But perhaps more shocking is the impact the apparel business has had on the overall health of our planet. Indeed, a November 2019 Business Insider story reported the bad news: “the fashion industry emits more carbon than international flights and maritime shipping combined.”

But there are forces within fashion who are determinedly working to reverse that reality. To wit, BlackBook recently published a story about the efforts of India’s Secteur 6 with “regenerative fashion.” And textile manufacturer / distributor ISKO™, the largest producer of denim in the world, has recently launched R-TWO™, an extensive “reused and recycled” program, with the intent of cutting a significant percentage of waste out of the supply chain.

Since it can be difficult to know where to find the most accurate information, in order to become a genuinely educated consumer, we went right to the source—posing seven pointed questions to ISKO™ Senior Digital Marketing & Communications Executive, Burcu Almali.

As expected, we learned a lot.


What exactly is “sustainable denim”?

As the industry still appears to be facing a lot of “greenwashing,” it is important to take a stance in order to achieve the implementation of definite best practices, that champion accountability and transparency.
At ISKO, we prefer to speak of “responsibility” rather than sustainability, which is a much broader concept that considers both environmental and social aspects. From this point of view, we believe that responsible denim is the result of a set of actions applied to every single process throughout the production, to make the end product environmentally and socially responsible.
When it comes to responsibility there is no finish line, but ISKO is constantly looking for ways to do things better. The ISKO Responsible Innovation™ approach aims at pushing the unlimited possibilities of denim, while promoting a holistic, responsible mindset. 

How much waste is there currently in the denim supply chain?

Waste is a global problem affecting all industries, and the denim supply chain is no exception.
The Waste Hierarchy sets out the order of priority for managing resources based on their environmental impacts. This guides all ISKO’s thinking and actions, as the avoidance of every kind of waste is always the priority. Where the creation of waste is currently unavoidable, ISKO will strive to reuse, recycle, or recover wasted resources as well as energy. When disposal is the only viable option, ISKO manages it in the most environmentally responsible way possible.
On the other hand, the top priority of the Waste Hierarchy is ultimately to “use less.” Reuse, recycle, reprocess and recovery are all key actions for a better future and a better use of resources. Using more than what is actually needed is certainly one of the biggest challenges that the apparel supply chains face; thus, reduction in raw material sourcing must become the norm, and a key parameter in the supply chain.

How is ISKO specifically addressing that?

ISKO’s R-TWO™ is a step in the right direction, as it effectively helps to decrease the usage of raw materials, improving sourcing efficiency. When raw cotton is processed into yarn, 10% of it is typically expected to be lost as waste. At this stage ISKO differentiates itself, continually tracing and monitoring this loss and reusing the cotton by adding it back into the spinning process.
Recycling processes require treatments involving chemicals and energy, so the utilization of reused cotton is truly pioneering for recovering our own loss without any additional treatments.



Describe the R-TWO™ concept? Can you detail how the recycling works?

R-TWO™ relies on a blend of reused cotton and recycled polyester, improving sourcing efficiency throughout the supply chain.
As pointed out above, ISKO collects the raw cotton from its own yarn production and prevents it from becoming waste. It is then added back into the spinning process, obtaining cotton that is fully traced, documented and audited. This verification process has been invented by ISKO in partnership with its yarn supplier Sanko, offering full clarity into the traceability of reused cotton from field to fabric. It is also certified with the Content Claim Standard—or CCS—of the Textile Exchange.
Certified recycled materials are then blended with the reused cotton to create R-TWO™. Recycled polyester comes from clear plastic bottles or, alternatively, it can come from other certified waste. In either case the source material is collected, sorted, stripped of labels and caps, and cleaned. This material is ground into plastic pellets that can then be re-spun into new fiber filaments, which are finally blended with the reused cotton to create R-TWO™ fabrics.

What ultimately sets it apart?

A major asset of employing recycled polyester is the energy required to produce it, which is less than the amount required to manufacture virgin polyester. By using more recycled polyester, ISKO effectively reduces its dependence on petroleum as a raw material, ultimately reducing the overall carbon footprint of ISKO™ fabrics.
Depending on the content percentages, for the recycled polyester ISKO can provide either the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) or Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certifications, that both track the recycled raw material throughout the supply chain to verify its integrity.



How do you see the denim industry involving in the near future to accommodate more sustainable concepts?

We are happy to notice a much more open attitude to practices of responsible innovation. Nevertheless, this is an ongoing process—one should never stand still, as there is always room for improvement. Unfortunately, not everything we read or hear is true, which makes it extremely difficult for everyone to make informed choices without falling victim to greenwashing.
To prevent this from happening, we must call for accountability at all levels of the production process, making sure that all industry players are well informed. With a greater demand for transparency we can push everyone to commit to the making of greener supply and product chains. To the same end, it is extremely important to work on the development of a global standard where the industry can be measured and assessed fairly.

What can everyday people do to be more conscious fashion shoppers?

Sustainability is an issue that we should all care about with no exceptions, whether we are players involved in the production process of a pair of jeans, or the person who’s going to buy them. Every single person counts in this process and needs to be accountable.
There are for sure a few steps we could all consider in order to start making responsible choices with our denim. A good idea is to look for brands that have clear responsible strategies and are transparent about their policies on people and the environment. Also, be sure to look for quality, as denim not only lasts longer but also improves with age.

Images: Ferragamo Celebrates Contemporary Female Identity for Autumn/Winter Milan Fashion Week Presentation



Perhaps athwart the “dumbing down rising” reality brought on by short attention span social media, fashion houses seem to be taking the lead in urging us back towards more thoughtful explorations of the contemporary culture.

To wit, for its Autumn/Winter Womenswear show at Milan Fashion Week, Ferragamo reached back a century to challenge Carl Jung’s observations on the seven female archetypes: the mother, the maiden, the queen, the huntress, the wise woman, the mystic and the lover. (To be honest, most women we know are a little bit of all…and more.) In this, the early 21st Century, women are thoroughly defining themselves, and fashion is obliged to follow their lead.



“The notion of fitting into a set ‘type’ feels increasingly obsolete today,” new Creative Director Paul Andrew insists, “for both for women and men. Now I think the identities we choose to wear today are not fixed through a single filter—they are a shifting kaleidoscope, a collage of characteristics and qualities.”

Of course, Ferragamo is ever about footwear above all. But this collection was Andrew’s head-to-toe meditation on the modern woman represented by the brand’s aesthetic and philosophical ethos. So, chained fringe skirts and dresses representing power, sheer botanical shirts and skirts representing softness, leather work pants representing pragmatism, and a Vara grosgrained garlanded dress representing romance.



Notable were several new and much buzzed about versions of the classic Viva shoe, including powerful block heel thigh-highs and flat slingbacks. The Trifolio and Studio bags were also granted a thoughtful remodel.

“Key to this collection was considering some of the many women we idolize,” Andrew continues. “We found a book by Fulvia Ferragamo in which she collected botanical images for inspiration: we used this across the collection in print, knitwear and also embroidered onto shirting. We also considered a multifaceted range of female heroes from Virginia Woolf to Nancy Pelosi via Michelle Obama and Nina Simone, and worked to reflect their intelligence, bravery and beauty in the collection.”

And in an increasingly ugly world, intelligence, bravery and beauty are more exigent than ever.



Images: Prada’s Fall / Winter 2020 Milan Fashion Week Show Goes Full Conceptual



Fashion houses have made much of celebrity associations to stay current. But none have advanced the cultural and intellectual gravitas of fashion quite like Prada under her magnificence Miuccia. And for this year’s Milan Fashion Week, the conceptualizing was taken to a particularly spectacular level.

Taking over the Grand Hall of Deposito, the epic function space at Fondazione Prada, the brand’s Fall / Winter 2020 Womenswear show took place within a pair of hallucinatory “piazzas.” Each was created around the illusion of voided out space, to give the perception of floating in, well…nothingness. A statue of Atlas was perhaps was meant to suggest the socio-political-psychological weight we are currently carrying on the shoulders of the world, even in regards to our relationship to fashion.



Striking geometric flower imagery was meant to reference Vienna Secession architectural facades, some of which carried over into the clothes. And the new collection featured fringe skirts, boxy jackets, bohemian patterns, provocative but feminine sheer draping, elegantly delicate graphics and futuristic looking puffers. Which is quite a lot to pack into one—okay, two—season(s).

The show’s front row sported the requisite star/influencer power, including Emily Ratajkowski, Rachel Brosnahan, Susie Lau and Sinead Burke. But it was the conceptual setting, which ultimately raised questions about the public and private, the real and the imagined, that left the greatest mark on our psyches.

Curiously enough, it was all followed by a startlingly industry-shifting announcement, whereby Prada has named Antwerp’s own Raf Simons as Co-Creative Director with Miuccia. We are literally atwitter with excitement over the possibilities.