New York Lawmakers Working On New Legal Protections for Models in Wake of Weinstein

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@michelgaubert on Instagram

 

In the wake of the scores of accusations of sexual harassment and assault regarding Harvey Weinstein, the fashion industry is taking a look at its own rape culture, and finding that some changes need to be made.

New York State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (Democrat) has told the New York Times that she’s hard at work on a new amendment to the state’s current anti-discrimination laws, seeking to extend further protections to fashion models. Specifically, the amendment would hold clients hiring models – photographers, designers, retailers – liable for any sexual harassment claims.

Currently, models are protected very little by law, as their employment often comes through indirect sources, such as agencies, claiming only to act in an “advisory capacity” toward the models’ bookings. This new legislation would remove that gray area.

“The goal is to push back on the silence that has been so pervasive,” said Rozic to the Times, “and find a legislative solution to change the cycle.”

The new amendment would be the second piece of victorious legislation for models in recent years – this most recent Fashion Week also saw the implementation of a ban against underweight or underage models.

Steal This Look: The Off-Duty Falconer

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Illustration by Hilton Dresden

We know what you’ve been thinking: how do I dress myself so I invoke the image of a posh falconer taking a break from hunting with birds of prey to take a light stroll around the block? Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Follows these simple guidelines and you’ll be the most stylish statement in town. Bird sold separately.

The extreme flare pants.

You need to get extreme here. We are into this boot option.

The furry neck.

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Keep your neck warm with this piece from Target.

The sweater vest. 

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No need to get fancy here. A simply blue will suffice – this one is courtesy of Ralph Lauren.

You’re all set. Now get out on the sidewalk and strut your flared legs.

Dries Van Noten Becomes Latest Designer to Receive Film Treatment

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Photo Credit: @DriesVanNoten via Instagram

In the new documentary Dries, set for a 2017 release, Belgian designer Dries Van Noten becomes the latest name in fashion to receive a documentary about his career, following in the footsteps of Anna Wintour in The September Issue and Raf Simons in Dior and I. 

Filmmaker Reiner Holzemer sold the film to Dogwoof Pictures, the distributor behind other high-profile fashion flicks like Iris and The First Monday in May. 

Dries covers the designer’s career and focuses in on a year in the business, where Dries works on four separate collections from both his home and atelier. The doc will feature talking head-style interviews with some of fashion’s most famous names, like Iris Apfel and and Suzy Menkes.

“It took me a very long time to convince Dries to share his passions, his creative and intimate world in front of a camera,” said Holzemer in Variety‘s report. “I followed him for a whole year and I think I came as close to him and his world as it is possible. I hope the result is a very personal insight into his life and career.”

“Reiner’s access to the personal and creative mind of Dries is captivating. Van Noten is one of the most private fashion designers out there and it is a privilege to represent the first film ever made about him, and to witness his creative process,” said a Dogwoof representative.

Fashion Designer Stevie Boi on His New Film and Trump (Interview)

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Photo Credit: Michael Antonio

You may have seen Stevie Boi’s wacky-chic eyewear in a little publication known as Vogue, or else on up-and-coming celebs like Rihanna and Beyoncé, or the underground artist Lady Gaga.

Just in case you haven’t:

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@sbshades via Instagram

His pieces have appeared inside Vogue thirty times and counting. He’s fresh off of a successful show at New York Fashion Week…

…and he’s set to release a film about his fashion ascent next year. We sat down with the blossoming designer for an exclusive chat about where he sees himself heading and what his thoughts are on the current state of the world.

Blackbook: You used to work for the military. What was that like, and how was the transition from that into fashion design? 

Stevie Boi: I loved working for the US government. It actually helped fund my career.  I took my technical experiences working for the military and mixed it with my designs. For example, the job I had instructed me to build tank parts and weaponry. I was able to figure out a way to mix technicality with design from that experience.

Can you walk me through the timeline of going from just starting out as a designer to having your eyewear on the cover of Italian Vogue, and worn by stars like Rihanna and Gaga?

Well, it was literally an overnight situation! I was designing products in my downtown loft in Baltimore. Next thing you know, I’m asked to attend fashion shows and style celebrities. Some of the celebs I’ve known from skipping school at 16 and driving to New York to hang in prominent “club kid” type of venues. Having my products grace the covers of Vogue still to this day (literally today -Oct 19th 2016!) is shocking.

Following up on that – what’s been your proudest career moment?

I still remember waking up to my first Vogue cover.

It appears in your latest collection, “CÄBIN,” that you’re branching out from just eyewear into clothing as well. Could you speak to the collaboration process with Weave Up?

Yes that is correct. Working with Weave Up is amazing. They also will be collaborating again with me for my F/W 17 collection, “NØIR”.  I love Weave Up because they allow their customers the options to create their own textiles, which I believe gives people more freedom to express themselves.

You’re doing a movie, “CÄBIN: the Story,” in select theaters next year. Is it a documentary? Are you planning to move into filmmaking further?

Well, it was supposed to be a fashion film, but after pitching it to Hollywood I was told to make it bigger and more dramatic. So I reached out to my visual director and told him we need a script and movie outline in less than 72 hours! 2 months later we had producers, investors and a distribution team set up. I am 100% ready to take on Hollywood and do more filmmaking after this project. It was draining as hell but totally worth it.

You’re doing a reality series in Europe, and you’re appearing on Whoopi Goldberg’s “Strut.” Is acting as much as passion of yours as designing? Do you see yourself playing characters, or just sticking to playing yourself?

Yes I go to Sweden in December to film “Stevie Takes Sweden.” We filmed “Stevie Takes Vegas” which comes out next year. I’ve been taking my acting very seriously. I was cast in a few Netflix series and movies that debut next year. I would love to do more serious roles. Like as crazy as this sounds – I want to play a crack head so bad. I am really into dark dramatic roles.

You’ve got your next collection, NØIR, coming in February. Can you talk about it at all? Is it just eyewear or clothing as well? 

For the past 4 years I have been working hard to prove to people that I can do luxury & ready to wear. I’m over proving to people that I’m a designer – I’m going back to my roots as a crazy club kid. I’m excited to tap back into my inner goth and fetish aesthetics.

Any other upcoming projects you’d like to discuss?

I am preparing to do something with Disney in a few months. I can’t talk about it just yet but it has already changed my life.

Thoughts on this election?

From the start of my career I had decided it would be best to never speak on political views… But with this circus of an election I must say something. Donald trump sucks! I worked with Chump a few years ago. I also did an IG post explaining the reason why I can’t stand him due to my experiences with him. Many people bashed me and still called me a supporter of his. But I do not support him nor do I agree with him. I don’t trust people that do not blend their concealer in.

RJ Hernández Releases Fashion Film, Discusses Fabulous New Novel

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Illustration by Hilton Dresden

RJ Hernández’s debut novel, An Innocent Fashion, is set in a Devil Wears Prada-esque world, complete with cold-blooded editors and five thousand dollar heels. As the book hits stores, trailed by rave reviews from publications like The Washington Post and Bullett, Hernández has wowed us yet again with a short fashion film to accompany the grand release. Take a look.

Told from the point of view of Cuban-American, sexually fluid Yale grad Ethan St. James, the book is a haunting exploration of personal style, class divisions, and mental health saturated in the sensual imagery of New York’s ritziest nightclubs and unabashed personal vanity.

An Innocent Fashion is a triumphant nose dive into the stormy mind of a depressive Ivy League grad with the world seemingly at his fingertips, but who ultimately feels the crushing, all-consuming loneliness unique to a broke twentysomething trying to make it in New York. It provides us a complex, interesting hero of non-normative race and sexuality without making that the point. And, ultimately, it argues and concludes that having a sense of style does not a vapid airhead make.

We caught up with Hernández to discuss the themes of style, race, and class that have not only informed his novel, but also his life.

What drew you to writing about the fashion world?

RJ: I do take beauty very seriously. Being the kind of person who cares about appearances, you’re put into this category that is often true—lots of people who care about appearances are superficial, two dimensional people. And that’s reality. Or there are people who are just more interested in the sensual world than other people, and derive a lot of pleasure from not merely going about life as a robot but truly looking. As someone who just likes to look at new things, and find new places for my eye to wander, I take issue with the idea that that makes me superficial. I think a person who dresses well and has a sense of style is proposing ideas through the visual medium of their body. To wear something that is truly stylish is to propose an idea to the world that’s interesting. And maybe not necessarily beautiful in an obvious way.

One of the best parts of the novel is it’s prose—the flowery, complex sentences through which it’s told. 

Hernández: It’s on an unusual spot on the spectrum of commercial to literary. But I think this book has a strong commercial allure, in this high fashion world, but is told in a way for a person who just appreciates words and wants to get lost in the language. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say a thing. The style is as important as the product.

St. James is a character who deals with a complicated intersection of sexual, racial, and economic class divisions over the course of the book. Were you writing from personal experience as you created him?

Hernández: I wrote the book mostly as a form of therapy for myself. So it started out as very personal, very close to what it was that I was going through. When I started flushing it out into a fiction, I needed to create some distance between myself and the character, between my world and the character’s world. A big takeaway is class as the ultimate divider of humans. How people of different classes could be friends in a space like college, but simply couldn’t outside of it. And that’s a problem that Ethan immediately faces upon graduation, that his best friends in this space, Yale, simply cannot be his friends in the same way, because the world doesn’t operate on the same terms.

Specifically racially, did you find a parallel struggle between yourself and Ethan?

Hernández: Ethan definitely associates that sense of stagnancy in his childhood with his racial identity. The American dream is always aligned with images of whiteness. The first thing someone does when trying to be a thing is to look like a thing. And so there’s this “fake it ‘til you make it” idea, but more profound. He changes his name, and it’s like trying to change his skin, basically.

A major theme in the novel is the notion of pretending to be something by imitating its appearance.

Hernández: Growing up I didn’t have the idea that I could still be myself and identify with my racial background and heritage, and have that be compatible with this aspirational version of myself. A somebody couldn’t be a person of color.

Do you still feel that way? The more Cuban you are the less advantages you have?

I think everybody’s background does have a huge impact on how far they are able to go in life. Somebody born with huge potential and advantages will be able to go really far. Whereas somebody colored born with the same potential will have to work twice as hard to get a fraction of where another person will. Seeing other people get where you want to be who don’t have the passion of conviction about certain ideas but can get there because…

They’re white. Or they’re rich.

Because of factors out of your control.

But you have come from a lot of disadvantage. You’re still here. You’re being published by Harper Collins. Did you feel like you worked five times as hard as any white author would have had to?

I feel like all my life I’ve had ideas that I’m only now realizing. I’ve had books and ideas in me for years. Part of wanting to do anything in the world has to do with not having. Lack of something is the greatest motivator. In my case not having certain opportunities made me want to get them.

While the book focuses on a sexually fluid character, it’s not being marketed as a “gay” book. What’s been your experience with sexuality, and writing about a sexually ambiguous character?

Hernández: Most of my relationships are gay, but I’d like to think of myself as emotionally and sexually capable of loving anybody. I’d like to think I’m the kind of person who can appreciate someone for more than being a man or woman. The idea that people who don’t identify with queer could pick up this book, that it’s being marketed as just a work of literature, is important. We should be allowed to and encouraged to tell stories, not because we need to tell specifically gay stories. I think there’s a place for that, but any straight-identifying person should be able to read a story with gay characters, the way a gay person can appreciate a story with straight characters.

 

5 Gender-Neutral Fashion Labels on Our Radar

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These five fashion labels are reshaping the fashion industry with their gender neutral clothing lines. Get to know them now.

Not Equal
Not Equal

Not Equal

Not Equal was established in 2012 and aims to deconstruct gender with each hand-draped garment.

Too Good
Too Good

Too Good

Too Good, a London-based house, rejects the endless cycle of S/S F/W lines and gender norms synonymous with most major clothing labels.

Aalto
Aalto

Aalto

Aalto is a Finnish brand created in 2015 by designer Tuomas Merikoski. Though technically labeled as womenswear, the clothes are androgynous and easily translate onto the male body.

Rad Hourani
Rad Hourani

Rad Hourani

Rad Hourani established his unisex clothing label in 2007, and in 2013 became the first designer in history to present a genderless Haute Couture show. His father is Jordanian-Canadian and his mother Syrian.

69
69

69

69 is a “non-gender, non-demographic clothing line” based in Los Angeles.

BlackBook Fashion: ‘SERIAL1’

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Photographer: Simone Lorusso
Stylist: Pippi Kong
Models: Tim Haije & Dennis Van Schuppen (D’Management), Costin (Brave Model) & Artemii (Nologo Model Management
Grooming: Lisa Lionello & Sara Zenga

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Left | Shirt: Balenciaga, Jacket Obvious Basic | Right | (Left) Coat: Jil Sander, Jacket: Hosio, Pants: Obvious Basic (Middle) Coat: Jil Sander, Shirt: Obvious Basic, Pants: Sun 68 (Right) Outside Jacket: Mauro Grifoni, Inside Jacket: Versace, Pants: Sun 68, All Shoes: Versace

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Shirt: Obvious Basic, Jacket: Hosio

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Left | Jacket: Versace, Shirt: Obvious Basic | Right | Outside Jacket: Mauro Grifoni, Inside Jacket: Obvious Basic

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Shirt: Obvious Basic, Jacket: Hosio

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Left | (Left) Coat: Jil Sander, Jacket: Hosio, Pants: Obvious Basic (Middle) Coat: Jil Sander, Shirt: Obvious Basic, Pants: Sun 68 (Right) Outside Jacket: Mauro Grifoni, Inside Jacket: Versace, Pants: Sun 68, All Shoes: Versace | Right | Jacket: Jil Sander, Trousers: Sun 68, Shoes: Versace

The Row to Open Three-Floor Flagship Store in New York

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Photo via Vogue

Though New Yorkers Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen established The Row’s first flagship store in Los Angeles, it was never their initial intention to move west. A few years back, the two had their sights set on a three-story townhouse at 17 East 71st Street in the Upper East Side, but the preferred location wasn’t yet available. Focused and patient, fashion’s most aloof twins have finally locked in the coveted space with official plans to open The Row’s first New York store.

“This store is coming from two sets of eyes with the same mentality,” Mary-Kate told Vogueexplaining how intimacy and collaboration are at the core of The Row’s brand ethos. While Los Angeles’ store was designed around mid-century homes—glass, water and tress—intimacy, here, manifests as a reflection of New York. “We wanted the store to very much feel like a home—that’s sort of the dream of here: a brownstone in New York,” Ashley added.

Unknown-3Photos via Vogue

With help from French interior designer Jacques Grange, who’s previously worked with Yves Saint Laurent and Valentino, The Row’s New York flagship will be a reflection of the Olsens’ relaxed, elegant collections, dotted with special items, like a Frank Lloyd Wright mirror, Carlo Bugatti chair and Masa Takayama ceramics. Framed by the townhouse’s buttery, neutral color palette, The Row’s new home looks absolutely timeless.

“It was really important for us that when you walk into the store it wasn’t about clothes being shoved in your face,” Ashley said, highlighting the importance of designing a calm, relaxing environment for customers to slowly introduce themselves to the clothes.  “Less is more, I believe.”

Resurrection Summons Fashion Gods With New Retail Store

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Photography: Alexander Thompson

In 1996, Mark Haddawy and Katy Rodriguez founded Resurrection, a retail archive that would become one the world’s premiere international venues for collectible and historic clothing. With locations in both Los Angeles and New York, Resurrection has attracted high fashion icons including Prince, Catherine Denueve, Lou Lou De la Falaise, Azzedine Alaia, Iman, John Galliano and Chloe Sevigny—not to mention Kate Moss, who Rodriguez cites as their longest running, most loyal client.

“Kate Moss came into the store on our first day 20 years ago,” she said. “She will always hold a special place in our hearts and history.  She embodies our generation’s curious take of high and low fashion and everything in between.”

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Alexander McQueen Dogtooth Cocoon Coat (2009), Alexander McQueen Sarabande Lace Gown (2007), Alexander McQueen Runway Gown (2008)

With a new location on Great Jones, Resurrection opens its doors to celebrate a brand new, custom retail gallery and archive. In addition to their vast inventory of vintage pieces from fashion gods like Christian Lacroix, Gaultier and Moschino, Haddawy and Rodriguez are celebrating three specific archive collections in their new space.

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It begins with a selection of rare 20th century, out-of-print books showcased on custom Brian Thoreen brass shelves, moves on to Bulgari Jewelry (including the company’s famous Tubas watches) and finishes with a pupil dilating curation of Alexander McQueen pieces.

“It’s really special,” Rodriguez said. “The collection spans McQueen’s career from our perspective. We love the early pieces as much as the very famous later collections. He was such a unique force.  It’s been an important reminder of what great is.”

Later this month, Resurrection will showcase a rare collection of Maison Martin Margiela and in September, will debut a Helmut Lang show—stay tuned.


Resurrection, 45 Great Jones Street, is open Monday – Saturday from 11 AM – 7 PM.