Tag: Fashion



As we bid good riddance to 2020, Highsnobiety’s style editors share a look back at some of the trends we’d like to resign with it. ⁠



As we near the end of a year that has been incredibly difficult, in so many different ways, we’re looking forward to the promise of 2021.

There’s a Covid-19 vaccine and a new administration in the White House — a history-making one at that. There are the groups, from Aurora James’s 15 Percent Pledge to Harlem’s Fashion Row’s ICON360 to Sharon Chuter’s Pull Up for Change, that were founded in 2020 and are only just getting started. There are the personal milestones and the upcoming projects, as well as the continuation of the lessons, work and growth from this year. And, according to fashion and beauty professionals, there’s hope.

From designers to editors, models to stylists, brand founders to executives, we asked folks in these industries to reflect on 2020 and share what they’re most excited about in the new year. Read their responses, below.


“For me, 2020 has been a year of reflection and finding ways to make a difference in the world. We saw an uneasy amount of racial and social injustice this summer, which continued later into the year. As a response to that, I pledged to donate 50% of my earnings for the remainder of 2020 to Black Lives Matter organizations, but also took my commitment a step further by founding Donate My Wage. I wanted to create a space where people could go to learn more about organizations within the BLM movement and how they could donate and support. This initiative is one that I’m most looking forward to continuing in 2021.

“While we have started to see change, most recently with our Presidential election, there’s still so much work to be done. I want to continue working with the 11 organizations we highlight, while also looking at additional groups that need support. If I have learned anything in 2020, it’s that I have a voice, a platform and a message, all of which need to be heard and shared. For me, 2021 is not only a new year and a new beginning, but a continued growth opportunity. It’s going to be a year to continue the fight, the hard work and the determination to see real, widespread change. Fashion is what I love and it’s the industry in which I work and because of that, I will do what I can to help make a difference within it. However, my hope for change doesn’t stop there: 2021 is the year to empower those around us to reach their goals and not let anything or anyone stand in their way. No one has to stand alone ever again. While 2020 has been a struggle, I think every person can say they have learned something about themselves and are excited to make 2021 the best year it can be.”

“In 2021, I’m looking forward to so many things! First and most important is the ability to see all my family in Texas. My sister is having her first baby and I want to be there for her. I think the industry has done a lot of soul searching this year and 2021 will see us taking stock of the past and really making an effort to evolve for the better of the consumers and the teams behind the brands.”


“Well, after this absolute dumpster fire of a year, I’m feeling — thankfully — pretty hopeful about 2021. I’m very excited that Allure is celebrating some major milestones in 2021: our 30th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of our Best of Beauty Awards. It’s been fun to look back over the past three decades to see how much beauty has become intertwined with culture, so we’ll be diving into that in a major way all year. We’re focused on expanding Allure as a brand in some exciting new ways — a few that I can’t talk about yet! Audio was very fun for us this year with the launch of our podcast ‘The Science of Beauty,’ so we’re looking forward to launching some other podcasts next year. It’ll be interesting to see how the world changes after the Presidential inauguration and after the COVID vaccines. I’m looking forward to seeing people in person again one day.”


“The possibility of hope and a return to optimism are what I’m looking forward to in 2021 and beyond. I’m exhausted and feel like I’m running on fumes right now. However, our collective resilience as New Yorkers keeps me stimulated to design and push my creativity forward. Keep your head up!”

“I’m looking forward to continuing a balance of work and life. 2020 has taught us all to slow down and also pivot our priorities. We have seen this in both spaces. I’m hopeful that we will be better people to each other and our creative juices will begin to flow again. I think in terms of the fashion industry, I’m excited at the work we have planned for the Black in Fashion Council with almost 100 brands.”


“Madame Vice President. Period.”


“I’m hoping in 2021 that we’re all going to continue consciously shopping. This is a huge opportunity for consumers to continue voting with their dollars to support small and Black-owned businesses. I’m hoping this is finally the time when we take big steps towards making this world a better place. We need to think about how we treat the people we work with, starting with our supply chain. We need to inspire one another to do better.”


“I think 2020 really taught a lot of sustainable apparel brands that sustainability within a supply chain isn’t enough and internal sustainability — the responsibility they have as a company to sustain BIPOC employees and create an inclusive work environment — is also important. I’m hopeful, especially after brands like Girlfriend Collective and Glossier have addressed publicly where they went wrong and how they’d like to change that other brands will follow suit and that sustainable apparel will also include Black, Latinx and Indigenous perspectives because who knows who might have an amazing solution to creating a more circular economy that just hasn’t been given a platform or chance to be heard.”

“As investors, we’ve always sought out underserved consumer markets that are ripe for innovation, whether that be size inclusivity and sustainability in fashion or clean ingredients in beauty. In focusing on these traditionally overlooked markets, our portfolio has been inherently inclusive since day one. The companies in our first fund are over 50% female-founded. In 2021, we’re excited to continue supporting founders from diverse backgrounds, who are using their unique experiences to truly transform their categories and solve the problems that other consumers experience in a way that only they can.”


“I’m looking forward to joy, to taking time to celebrate life. This year, it feels like we all of a sudden had to stop what we’re doing and take a pause on celebrations. I’m looking forward to being able to hug the people in my life and to love them in person and to the energy that comes when we can share a space together physically.

“I’m looking forward to our brand being carried by Bergdorf Goodman. I grew up a few blocks away, and I remember a time not long ago even when salespeople would follow us around, as they thought that because you were Black, you were likely to steal. It’s very rare to impossible that you would find brands like ours in stores like BG. It’s a true honor for us to be able to be carried in such an iconic and beautiful shop. I’m excited to show my mother and to be able to share our brand with the BG community.

“I teach part time at Parsons and the students have been developing incredible design projects that are created with impact in mind and that will change the world. I’m looking forward to seeing how their projects develop and seeing the results of all of their work.

“I’m also looking forward to starting the year with a new administration in the U.S. in January and seeing the potential of change and in particular the historical moment when Kamala Harris becomes the first Southeast Asian, Jamaican-American Black woman VP… so much to look forward to! Change is coming!”


“I’m really looking forward to the Marc Jacobs show. He sat out the fall fashion week circuit but is returning this spring and I’m sure it’s going to be spectacular. I have loved every show he has done, from Vuitton to his namesake. I cried at his final show for Louis Vuitton.”


“Feels simple, but I’m hopeful for this vaccine. I’m hopeful that people will be more helpful to one another this year, versus in 2020 where it felt like no one could agree on anything. I’m hopeful the entire country is aligned that we want to move on from this monstrous year and that we’ll all be planning for a more fruitful future where we’re not all scared to go out and socialize. I’m hopeful that the economy will pick up again and innovation will come of it and provide jobs to the people who became unemployed due to the pandemic. I’m hopeful we’ll remember the people lost and the people severely impacted financially and help those communities overcome these obstacles. Selfishness has no place in this country — not anymore. Certainly not in my community.”

“In 2021, I’m looking forward to the industry continuing to do the work required to ultimately achieve racial justice. Systemic racism is at the heart of so many of the humanitarian and environmental issues that the fashion industry continues to struggle with from the exploitation of laborers to the pollution of land, air and water in communities of color. It’s not until we have achieved equity, that the industry can truly be sustainable.”


“I’m really looking forward to seeing how the fashion and beauty spaces continue to evolve and move forward towards more positive change. There have been so many ongoing virtual conversations this year about what can be done better and what that looks like. I’m hopeful that in 2021, though there may be some kinks along the road, we will witness the tangible first steps of a huge and much needed shift.”


“In 2021, I’m looking forward to (and hoping for!) live music, concerts, sweaty dancing with my besties and feeling worry-free. Oh, and a reason to get ridiculously dressed up.”


“On a personal note, I’m really looking forward to having this baby at the top of 2021, which has been a blessing amongst the craziness that happened in 2020, along with landing this amazing job at Cosmopolitan.

“Being a Black woman in beauty, I’m really excited about all of the conversation and momentum around diversity and inclusion. It’s something that’s only going to get even bigger and better. We’re going to find more ways of storytelling that celebrates beauty and all its iterations — its colors, ethnicities and cultures. That gives me hope and really validates the hard work we are doing right now. We just have to keep our foot on the pedal and keep it going.


“In 2021, I’m excited to continue the fight to dismantle patriarchy and uplift matriarchal power.”


“I’m hopeful for a refreshed mindset in 2021 for myself personally and for our industry. 2020 was dark and gloomy. The optimism that’s on the horizon gives me hope for a time where we can have in-person moments later in the year — events, shows or simple gatherings. We have all adapted to communicating digitally or virtually, but I hope for a time when we have some good old-fashioned human interaction.”


“I’m at the bar at Joe Allen. It’s 7:52 and I realize I can’t have that second martini, but remember that for the first time in the longest time, I’m on my way to see a show. That’s the night I’m longing for in 2021: our first back for live theater.”


“2020 was the year of turning our insides out and making us take a clear look at ourselves — a new kind of 2020 vision.

“It’s been excruciatingly painful, but the growth has been tremendous. In fashion specifically, we’ve seen several houses take social and cultural stances. The conversation around inclusion and accountability has started to evolve to more than just ticking off a box. We’re seeing more of our stories and experiences documented through the lens of fashion, bringing narratives of BIPOC folk to the forefront. Aurora James starting the 15 Percent Pledge, Hasan Minhaj collaborating with Cole Haan on a shoe, Kerby Jean-Raymond becoming creative director of Reebok and every crevasse in between — creatives are celebrating creatives, and the resulting art is beautiful.


“At The Wall Group, we’ve been hard at work internally building out a program to create change in our industry, in light of the Black Lives Matter movement. The TWG Incubator was developed to democratize access and provide opportunities to artists from underrepresented backgrounds, and we will welcome our inaugural class in January. I’m so excited about the level of talent I’m seeing, as well as the diversity of candidates who are interested in fashion and beauty and are passionate about making it a more inclusive place for others to follow in their footsteps. We have always believed in celebrating creative talent and guiding careers, and we can’t wait to start this journey with our Incubator mentees.”


“We have a lot in store for 2021 at Golde. We spent most of 2020 working on new product extensions, and there are quite a few coming in the first few months of the year alone! It’s been such a joy to be able to find forward momentum and creative energy during such a bizarre time in the world. I’m looking forward to sharing what we’ve created with our community, and am hopeful that they love everything as much as we do.”

“I’m looking forward to experiencing anything Kerby Jean-Raymond puts his hands on. Forthcoming collections with Reebok, his new venture Your Friends in New York, a drive-in New York Fashion Week event — Kerby is the future of all the types of things a fashion brand and creative director can do once they break themselves free of traditional expectations and moulds, and I’m excited to watch him work.”


“I’m looking forward to continuing the progression we have made as a brand, to keep developing partnerships globally but still managing from New York! Starting January, we’re launching our newest collections in a bimonthly drop method, and finally ready-to-wear from our e-comm! It has been exciting to change the way we think through each delivery time frame and what we are wearing. It currently seems like Christmas day, with FedEx boxes of gorgeous fabrics and knits arriving…but really looking forward to May 1st when these garments will be my Zoom and real-life outfits.”


“I’m so excited for 2021 because I think we will see brands continuing to push bigger messages and use their platforms to support important causes and champion meaningful issues. With all that has happened in 2020, we have seen designers and fashion houses committed to doing better, being more vocal and really taking action steps towards making the world a better place. I’ve been fortunate to work with Tommy Hilfiger on his new ‘Waste Nothing, Welcome All’ initiative. I’ve been able to work with Pandora, BOTTLETOP and Rothy’s on their sustainability programs and charitable endeavors. I’m really seeing a bright 2021 in our near future. We all have the power to make a difference and I personally feel that key fashion players are stepping up and leading the charge.” (Editor’s note: Since providing this quote, Aden announced her decision to step down from her modeling career.)

“I love television and I have such a deep respect for everything that goes into making a show come to life. With in-person production having been stalled for many shows this year, I’ve been so inspired by the different ways in which crews and creatives have approached production in new ways. In 2021, I’m excited for the return of some of my favorite shows, of course, but also to witness what I feel will be the beginning of an entirely new era for animation and experimental specials.”


“For 2021, I’m most hopeful about the refreshed focus of the industry. The pandemic has been challenging, but it has refocused the industry to celebrate the emotional aspect of fashion and to empower designers to create what they truly love. It’s an exhilarating time for fashion and I’m excited to see the beauty that emerges next year.”


“In 2021, I look forward to seeing inclusivity with no boundaries! This was pivotal in pushing the needle forward and I think there is some real opportunity for growth. I’d like to see size expansions, even more diverse models being used, skin shades being catered to… The possibilities are endless.”


“I’m looking forward to ‘The Human Voice’ (out in February), Pedro Almodóvar’s new short film, because it will resonate with anyone who’s been going insane within the confines of home, only in Pedro’s telling we make it through to the other side dressing like Tilda Swinton in fabulous Balenciaga ballgowns. Speaking of Balenciaga, I’m looking forward to more designers getting extra funky with their presentations, like Demna Gvasalia and Anna Sui showing new collections on video games, Jonathan Anderson inviting us to wallpaper in lieu of a runway show, and Marc Jacobs, whose Instagram packs more energy and joy than the slog of fashion month IRL. What he told T&C in our December issue is doubling as my 2021 mantra: ‘I’ve got all this stuff, and I just want to enjoy it. Now is the time for everything, you know what I mean? If not now, when?'”


“What I look forward to in 2021 is optimism and creativity. We’ve had a heavy year socially, politically and financially. With a new administration coming in, the vaccine on its way, everyone having to take a pause and reset their own lives, I hope we embrace 2021 as a new beginning. We can’t go back, so we need to look to the future with brighter eyes and an open mind. From that, creativity thrives and I’m hopeful that 2021 will be an abundance of that.”


“This year has been such an incredibly difficult one for people all over the world. Navigating through these times has been quite an obstacle both professionally and personally. If there is one thing I have learned and valued, is to be present and take it each day one at a time. This is an attribute that I hope to take forward with me to 2021 and beyond. To really understand the impact, I can make today and how I can better myself and those around me. I’m an eternal optimist and with everything I remain hopeful but know there is still a lot of work to be done.”


“What I’m most looking forward to in 2021 is a new chapter in American politics. I feel renewed excitement at the thought of reading and editing coverage of the inauguration and everything that comes after for this new administration and our country. And I really can’t wait to see and cover what Vice President-elect Kamala Harris says, wears and, most importantly, does as she makes history in our country.

“I’m also looking forward to a new chapter at Marie Claire with my first issues as EIC hitting newsstands in 2021. We’re in full March mode over here and I’m already sitting on my hands trying to keep myself from over-excitedly type-shouting about our March and April issues. We have two amazing cover stars and are experimenting with some of the pages in the magazine, which has been, to put it simply, really, really fun. I’m so proud of what the team is doing and I can’t wait for everyone to see it.”


“In 2021, I’m looking forward to the growth of all of the fantastic initiatives organized to benefit the Black community in fashion. This year was the birth of several organizations, including ICON360, a non-profit we launched in May to provide financial awards and mentorship to designers of color. I feel so much hope knowing there is a village of incredible people working on racial equality in fashion. I’m hopeful that all of our efforts will create a lasting change that will positively impact the next generation.”


“My hope for 2021 is that we truly live the lessons we learned in 2020 — whether we wanted to or not. The pandemic changed our priorities as individuals, as workers, as people and in our industry. Excess exposed itself as did anything that wasn’t essential, in fact, ‘essential’ took on a new meaning. I hope we keep our focus on inclusion, justice, safety, health and sustainability. I hope we continue to do less and reflect more and create an industry that is inclusive and responsive to the moment. We need fashion, we need the joy and the inspiration, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of our health or this planet.”


“The end of the year has brought with it a true, unwavering sense of hope. As a company, we’ve gone through the biggest upheaval of our 20-year history, an anniversary we had in May while in the throes of the greatest uncertainty about our future. And yet, I feel strength from having been in this raging storm because of what it forced us to do, taking the actions that we’ve been speaking about for awhile: take stock of inventory issues, not produce our Fall 2020 collection and use existing stock in creative ways. It made us move offices and cut overhead costs. However painful that was, it brought a magnifying glass up to our organizational structure and opened our eyes to what we had to do.

“The change has brought strength in new beginnings and confidence in some of the status quo. For one, holding sustainability at the crux of our decisions has been unwavering. Being of service to others and to this planet has only been reinforced. If I had to choose just one specific example of this, I’m excited to speak about the launch of our Climate Beneficial™ wool sweater and hat, which marks what I hope to be the future of the brand. I’m hopeful for the continued evolution of this industry to work towards leaving this earth a better place than how we found it. Most of all, I’m looking forward to collective healing, rebuilding and reconnecting.”


“Something bringing me hope for 2021 is the sustained fight for diversity and inclusion in the fashion industry and beyond. We saw a collective reckoning go on after the George Floyd and Breonna Taylor murders, with a lot of brands promising to do more to create racial equity within their industries. But some of that fervor seems to have died down. I hope that in 2021, with the fresh start that a new year can bring, we remember some of the vital and valuable lessons 2020 taught us. Personally, I’ll be dedicating myself to that mission through my work with Backstory, as some of the powerful projects we’ve been fortunate enough to work on start to roll out. Changing the faces and stories at the forefront of marketing projects is really important to me, and I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to achieve so far. I’m also excited to continue to cheer on the efforts of others like the 15 Percent Challenge and Pull Up for Change as they continue to grow and progress towards creating a more diverse and inclusive landscape for all.”


“I’m so excited to see the continuation of people’s changing relationship with clothing and style. Some people are becoming more intentional about not only what they buy but what they put on their body; others are going through a new period of creativity or a journey of self-expression; and some are simply discovering that putting on clothing is a way to find joy. I’m really excited to see brands like Marine Serre, Telfar, Fear of God and Evan Kinori really move beyond the category of ’emerging designers’ into something permanent and established, brands we’ll love and wear for years to come — and to see a crop of younger labels like Chopova Lowena, Ashley Williams and Asai really resonate with people. I still don’t think creativity is as much at the forefront in fashion as it should be — but I feel a sense that a new space is being carved out in fashion for real outsiders, both designers and consumers.”




LES CHAÎNES D’OR DE CHANEL: Holiday 2020 Collection

“To pay tribute to Gabrielle Chanel’s love for gold, the ROUGE ALLURE timeless shades are enriched with light-reflecting golden sparkle.”


A powerful symbol of the House, the legendary golden chain interwoven with black leather is reinterpreted by Lucia Pica in this limited-edition collection for the holiday season. The CHANEL Global Creative Makeup and Colour Designer paints a portrait of a strong, radiant woman with a colour palette of deep, golden shades for a bold makeup look.

A still from Repugnantam by Charles de Vilmorin
A still from “Repugnantam” by Charles de VilmorinPhoto: Courtesy of Charles de Vilmorin

Each day, Vogue Runway will be chronicling the young designers’ films here.

“Advent” by Stefan Cooke

British duo Stefan Cooke and Jake Burt showcase their new menswear in a black-and-white film directed by Eddie Whelan. The short, which is dialogue-free, features silhouetted models walking in front of traditional British scenes to a pulsing soundtrack by Lukas Heerich. “Part of the magic of this label is how it sweetly strips the underlying brutality from British masculine clothing traditions,” wrote Vogue’s Sarah Mower in her review. The film does the same, offering an un-stuffy, human take on the male dress codes that Cooke and Burt so beautifully subvert.

“Morn came and went—and came, and brought no day / And men forgot their passions in the dread / Of this their desolation; and all hearts / Were chill’d into a selfish prayer for light.” Depressing pandemic poetry or a snippet of Lord Byron’s “Darkness?” That quote is from the latter, which inspired the duo’s film, though it feels especially apt considering the global lockdowns. JordanLuca’s Jordan Bowen and Luca Marchetto offer a salve in their new film directed by Conor Clinch that imagines “a world where darkness becomes light.” A boyish protagonist discovers a hidden rave in London, and gets a moment of reprieve from isolation and the bleakness of night.

“Import Settings” by Shanel Campbell

New York-born and raised artist Shanel Campbell created a film of juxtapositions for #GucciFest. Combining her fashion work with collage, film, illustration, and photography, Campbell’s film “Import Settings” is a powerful display of her aesthetic taste and an uncanny ability to meld her own past with a futuristic vision. “I am simultaneously communicating with my ancestors and descendants,” she has said of her label Bed on Water. On Instagram, Campbell expanded on her ideas, describing the project as “a short film about whatever you want it to be about featuring femmewear from a future collection.” Chances are you will be seeing much more of this femme futurewear very soon.

Like any good fantasy film, Boramy Viguier’s “Lord Sky Dungeon” opens with a hefty tome that is magically set ablaze. The Lord of the Rings font of the title cards immediately declares this to be a mythic quest of sorts, and over the span of two minutes, Viguier’s heroes journey through a fantastical world with all the trappings of sci-fi classics. “Unsettling, to be sure, but also visually hypnotic,” wrote Vogue’s Mark Holgate of Viguier’s spring 2021 collection earlier this year—and the same could be said of this film, directed by Samuel Rixon.

“Taro Buddha” by Yueqi Qi

“This film is based on real memories of my hometown, Kaiping, China,” begins Yueqi Qi’s film “Taro Buddha.” Over the course of a day, the protagonist gets dressed and celebrates her birthday, visiting friends, family, and marketplaces, before ending up at a small dance party. The titular taro buddha makes an appearance mid-way through as a part of the heroine’s supper, complementing Qi’s brightly colored garments, which fuse Chinese traditions with new silhouettes and ideas. “The intention was to distinguish any embarrassment of humble beginnings and to champion home (even if best loved at a distance),” the brand posted on social media. “You can find your God anywhere; even on a plate with some chicken.”

“A trailer for a video game that doesn’t exist,” is how Gareth Wrighton and Zach Beech describe their short film. (In this, it provides a nice counter to Collina Strada’s own video game film.) Scenes of rich forests zoom out to become theaters or malls, while Wrighton’s zoomorphic characters lackadaisically navigate the space. His well-known knit rabbit hat makes a starring appearance, as do his send-ups of popular characters like Sailor Moon. In the end, the film reveals that the “mall” of the video game is a sort of post-apocalyptic store where everyone is just trying to survive. Too real?

“Repugnantam” by Charles de Vilmorin

French designer Charles de Vilmorin begins his short film by sketching demonic creatures from his imagination. Over the next four minutes, those fantastical and quite fabulous demons become real, haunting de Vilmorin within his Parisian apartment. They have glimmering skin, crystal piercings, and prod the designer while wearing his over-the-top creations. “Would you not say that we created you?” one creature asks the designer. It’s a clever take on the creation myth: wondering if maybe the muses are the makers, after all.

“Jord, Luft, Eld, Vatten” by Rave Review

The title of Rave Review’s new film translates from Swedish to “Fire, Air, Earth, Water.” The four elements are represented more abstractly than literally in the short, directed by Jens Löfgren. A gaggle of models wearing the brand’s new capsule collection of upcycled outerwear stomp through Sweden, their bodies morphing and transforming in Löfgren’s surreal lens. The overall effect is one of strangeness, but don’t let that distract from the message of designers Josephine Bergqvist and Livia Schück. Their bed sheet and quilt coats have a realistic, universal appeal, with prints and patterns for every aesthetic. If the film paints them in a dramatic light, know that their ready-to-wear is exactly that—ready for wear in the twisted modern world.

“La Tassinara” by Cormio

Jezabelle Cormio and Gucci’s Alessandro Michele are kindred spirits. Raised in Rome to Italian-American and Italian-Croatian parents, Cormio has a deep affinity for history and its more emotional resonances. After graduating from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Art she launched a collection with a decidedly Tyrolean vibe—see the dirndl and trachten dresses and the delicate Austrian embroideries for proof. Communing between European cultures is just one of Cormio’s strengths; “La Tassinara” also shows her compassion for the everyday. In the Gregorio Franchetti-directed film, a taxi driver becomes the unlikely companion to a trio embarking on a night on the town. The strange karaoke sequence that follows is David Lynchian in its bringing together of disparate characters and suspicious serenity. Michele would surely love it.

“The Pedestrian” by Bianca Saunders

“Three words to describe me,” says a handsome model at the start of Bianca Saunders’s pre-fall 2021 film, “fun, spontaneous, and pretty.” Smirk! The concept for the Akinola Davies Jr.-directed short is a low-fi dating show. Their contestants’ style is intentionally heightened, courtesy of fashionable hairdos and Saunders’s garb, but their casual pick-up lines don’t lose any of their dingy club charm. Perfect dates range from a game of laser tag to a sandwich in Deptford, and the dudes clutch cellphones, bouquets, and a small espresso cup in their hands as they make nice to the camera. The film follows Saunders’s much-admired spring 2021 collection titled “The Ideal Man,” which drew on photographer Hans Eijkelboom’s 1970s pictures. “I found this work Eijkelboom had done, where he interviewed women about what they considered their ideal man to be, then dressed himself up as that, and photographed himself with them,” she told Vogue’s Sarah Mower about that collection. Suffice to say the ideal man of Saunders’s new collection is as dapper and alluring as ever.

“Drip City” by Mowalola

A neon crescent moon sets on Mowalola’s animated short and then a comet crashes into the sea. Designed by Mowalola Ogunlesi and David Killingsworth, the 3-D animations shown in the film push Ogunlesi’s creations into a super-human form. On a Super Smash Bros-esque floating arena, amphibian and mammalian creatures convene wearing acid-hued versions of Mowalola garments with hefty, lug soled—and radiantly lilac—boots. As a character traverses an interstellar runway to meet a silvery alien that looks strangely like a rabbit, the screen reads “SLATT: Slime Love All the Time.” What to make of it? That Ogunlesi, who was named the design director of Kanye West’s Yeezy x Gap endeavor earlier this year, knows no bounds.

Til Death Do Us Ride by Gui Rosa

If Gui Rosa’s short film Til Death Do Us Ride gives you John Waters vibes, well, that’s sort of the point. Together Rosa and his director, fellow Central Saint Martins grad Harry Freegard, have adapted Waters’s OTT, “pope of trash” style for today through their previous films and roles as muses to fellow Londoners Rottingdean Bazaar. Rosa’s film for #GucciFest is a kitschy road trip that translates the tongue-in-cheek aesthetic of his designs into dialogue and visuals. It’s bizarre, funny, outrageous—six minutes of pure LOLs! The mood complements Rosa’s garments. An expert knitter and crocheter, he makes vibrant pieces that send up gender norms and fashion traditions. Make special note of his truly wild ruffle creations mid film—and place some bets on which celebrity wears them first.

Emerald by Rui

Parsons MFA graduate Rui Zhou explores the magical aspect of fashion in her new film, Emerald. Written as a parable, the short features a rabbit with an emerald eye as its protagonist. Other animals obsess over the rabbit and its mystical powers, and seeing the effect it has over the animal kingdom, the rabbit aims to bake a cake with an emerald inside to share the beauty with a cast of animal friends. The creatures are played by human models wearing layered bodysuits and tops from Zhou’s collections. “I really like a peaceful world—a very soft, gentle emotion,” Zhou told Vogue earlier this year. The film and her subtle, interlocking pieces send that message. So many bodysuits on the market overtly objectify the body inside them. With subtle metal closures and translucent materials, Zhou’s second skins telegraph tenderness. What a nice emotion for now.

Joy by Ahluwalia

The London-based designer Priya Ahluwalia was an LVMH Prize finalist in 2020 and has gained international acclaim for her sustainably made designs. In her short film, Ahluwalia brings together British communities that reflect her own, from Nigeria, Jamaica, and India. Directed by Samona Olanipekun, the five-minute short spotlights more than a dozen people in England discussing how their cultures intersect and inform their lives. Ahluwalia’s thoughtful clothes provide a through line between scenes of female boxers and direct-to-camera interviews, offering a wardrobe of upcycled materials that honors her own story as a young woman raised in South London.

Collina Land by Collina Strada

Hillary Taymour one-upped her spring 2021 video by creating a video game for her latest collection. The interactive platform she created with photographer Charlie Engman and multimedia artist Freeka Tet turns many of Taymour’s favorite models into avatars who navigate a hyperrealistic terrain, collecting points and engaging in live game chats along the way. It’s as psychedelic as any Collina Strada film, giving Taymour’s deadstock and upcycled garments a virtual life. Her vibrant aesthetic and inclusive message pairs nicely with the themes of Gucci’s own films, celebrating individuality, inclusivity, and dressing up—even if you have nowhere to go.


What’s that noise? Likely the deafening cheers of Harry Styles stans everywhere, as they wake up to their pinup making Vogue history. The former One Direction star is the first male to ever grace the magazine’s cover, in its 127-year existence.

The 26-year-old performer was interviewed by fellow Brit Hamish Bowles for the interview that goes alongside his cover shoot, which was styled by Camilla Nickerson and lensed by Tyler Mitchell. In the feature, Styles talks about everything from his music and meditation to his solo career and defying boundaries, traditions, and stereotypes when it comes to his fashion picks.

(Tyler Mitchell)

He says, “Clothes are there to have fun with and experiment with and play with. What’s really exciting is that all of these lines are just kind of crumbling away. When you take away ‘There’s clothes for men and there’s clothes for women,’ once you remove any barriers, obviously you open up the arena in which you can play.

“I’ll go in shops sometimes, and I just find myself looking at the women’s clothes thinking they’re amazing. It’s like anything—anytime you’re putting barriers up in your own life, you’re just limiting yourself. There’s so much joy to be had in playing with clothes. I’ve never really thought too much about what it means—it just becomes this extended part of creating something.”

Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s creative director who has long-since credited Styles as one of his muses, added: “He’s really in touch with his feminine side because it’s something natural. And he’s a big inspiration to a younger generation— about how you can be in a totally free playground when you feel comfortable. I think that he’s a revolutionary.”

(Tyler Mitchell)

Speaking about how he parlayed his clean cut boyband fame into a critically-praised solo career, Styles waxed lyrical: “I think with the second album I let go of the fear of getting it wrong and…it was really joyous and really free. I think with music it’s so important to evolve—and that extends to clothes and videos and all that stuff. That’s why you look back at David Bowie with Ziggy Stardust or the Beatles and their different eras—that fearlessness is super inspiring.”

Adding a sweet note to the shoot, Styles enlisted his sister Gemma to appear in an image alongside him—so they could surprise his mum! Sharing the picture on Instagram, the eyewear designer lauded her brother, saying: “The first man to appear solo on the cover of American Vogue. So proud of who you are. Thanks for asking me.”

(Tyler Mitchell)

Fashion Weekly Daily


@Instagram has transformed the way we interact, take photos, shop, and read the news. From being able to connect with our favorite celebrities to sharing memes with friends, the app has changed our methods of communication and connection. In honor of Instagram celebrating its 10 year anniversary, revisit some of W’s best-performing Instagram posts over the years, including Brad Pitt from our 2020 Best Performances issue, our 2019 @lilireinhart and @colesprouse cover and Kate Moss baring it all.

Photography: Brad Pitt by Juergen Teller, @lilireinhart and @colesprouse by @stevenkleinstudio@naomi by @stevenkleinstudio@katemossagency by @inezandvinoodh, Adam Driver by Juergen Teller, @iammariaborges by @inezandvinoodh@karllagerfeld@camerondiaz by @mertalas + @macpiggott, George Clooney by @EmmaSummerton with Yayoi Kusama
Styling: @saramoonves@ariannephillips@edward_enninful@amandaharlech@alexwhiteedits

“I want to make music that helps. ’Cause that’s the way that I help. I’m not a doctor, I’m not a lawyer,
I don’t work in the government. I make music.

Fashion Editor: Carlos Nazario. Hair, Shelby Swain; makeup, Alexx Mayo.
Photographed by Hype Williams, Vogue, October 2020
Taffeta dress by Moschino Couture. Sylva & Cie earrings. Rings and bracelets by Chopard and Tiffany & Co. (worn throughout).

Cover Look

Musician Lizzo wears a Valentino dress. Jason of Beverly Hills earrings. Rings and bracelets by Chopard and Tiffany & Co. Manolo Blahnik shoes.
Photographed by Hype Williams, Vogue, October 2020

IN OUR NEW WORLD, where travel is no longer advisable and social distancing mandatory, it has been a bit hard to connect with Lizzo. She has been on vocal rest in her home in Los Angeles, while I’m mostly isolated in my house on the East Coast. When a window of time finally opens, she settles in before the Zoom camera dressed casually, her sweater falling off her shoulders. She looks even more youthful than her 32 years, with her hair in two buns, reminding me of another princess, the fictional Leia from Star Wars. Both women took on the world and won. For Lizzo, this was not necessarily in our national script; for a Black woman it is never a given. But Lizzo’s script is an updated one. As she sings in “Scuse Me”: “I don’t need a crown to know that I’m a queen.”

This is not the first time I have encountered the singer. On my birthday last year, my teenage daughter gave me tickets to her concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. She knew I would be ecstatic because every morning, as I pedaled away on my stationary bike, Lizzo’s music filled our home. It had been a long time since I first visited Radio City, on a class trip to see the Rockettes. In my memory, they were a line of leggy white women kicking the air—maybe a woman of color or two was included, but they are not who I remember. This time, the Black woman onstage would leave an imprint.

But when I speak to her in late summer, last year’s gathering at Radio City feels very far away. Though I still do the bike in the morning and Lizzo’s songs still fill our home, we are in the middle of a global pandemic and a new civil rights movement, sparked by a police killing in a city Lizzo lived in not long ago. We are nearing 200,000 deaths from the coronavirus in the U.S., and the deaths continue to mount.

“I’m in a hot spot,” she tells me, referring to Los Angeles, where she’s lived since 2016. “I’ve been in my house every single day. I can count on my hands how many times I’ve actually left. I’m fortunate that I am in that position. I really had guilt about that, early on.” She is acutely aware that the lockdown orders can put people in dangerous situations. “A lot of times, staying home isn’t staying safe. There are so many levels to the butterfly effect of this pandemic—not just the sickness but the emotional and mental effects. That is what keeps me up at night. and that’s what stresses me out.”
“I always thought I needed at least two and a half white boys to make a song. One to engineer and one to produce. But now I can sit in my room and be my own engineer and producer”
What Lizzo has not indicated, at least initially, as one of the stresses of the moment is the killing of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, where her musical career ignited and where many of her friends and colleagues remain. Lizzo knows the streets where Chauvin knelt on Floyd as he called out to his deceased mother. She is familiar with the places where the protests occurred. “I saw one of my friends say, you know, ‘Fuckin’ cop just shot another Black man. Let’s all head out,’ ” she tells me. On Instagram, days after the killing, Lizzo wrote: “Protest is not the end of progress, it is the beginning.” She received almost 300,000 likes and 3,000 comments.
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She Can Be Heroes
“I had to travel the world and I had to meet people and read DMs and look into their eyes and really hear their stories, to believe that I was making an impact in a positive way,” says Lizzo. Moschino Couture cape. Sylva & Cie earrings. Bvlgari necklaces. Bracelets and rings by Tiffany & Co. and Chopard. 
Photographed by Hype Williams, Vogue, October 2020

Like all conscious Black people, Lizzo says she has “been brokenhearted by this country” since she was a child. “My dad taught me very early on about what being Black in this country is. When I learned about Emmett Till, I was so young. And I have never forgotten his face.” The formation of Black Lives Matter in 2013, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin, was a somewhat hopeful moment; BLM demonstrations seemed to signal that change could occur. But then 12-year-old Tamir Rice was murdered, and Lizzo shut down. As she describes it to me now, she was thinking, “They don’t actually care. And ‘they’—I don’t know who ‘they’ are. But I know that they don’t care, because if shit like this is still happening, there has to be a ‘they.’ They don’t care about somebody’s actual life.” The realization in part prompted her to write “My Skin,” which she released in 2015, just after the Jamar Clark shooting in Minneapolis by police officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze. “I woke up in this,” Lizzo sings. “I woke in my skin. I can’t wash it away, so you can’t take it away—my skin. Brown skin.”

I have been thinking about this song lately because, for me, it speaks to the toll the violence takes against Black people, and because it performs the transformative achievement that Lizzo has come to stand for: The song politicizes, and in a sense weaponizes, self-love, body positivity, and sex positivity. We can’t stop the shooting, we can’t stop the racism, but we don’t have to take part in the hatred of us: “I love you, don’t you forget it, you beautiful Black masterpiece!” Lizzo sings. Here was Lizzo’s first message to Minneapolis and by extension the country: “I’m done with the struggle. I just wanna enjoy my life now and maybe appreciate my skin.” This enjoyment, this recognition, is for her the revolution. It’s in your face. Sometimes it’s a protest. Sometimes it’s just feeling free. But whatever the fuck it is, it’s being alive in our beautiful Black skin.

When I ask her how she’s feeling now, she responds that she is allowing herself to be hopeful. But hope, she admits, is a scary word, “ ’cause I’ve been let down so much, you know.” She’s cautiously optimistic about the corporations that seem to be taking a stand, putting their dollars to work and pledging to hire people of color, but is tempering her positivity with a healthy dose of skepticism: “Mind you, capitalism is problematic in its own way and racist in its own way.” I share this skepticism: Segregationist attitudes still inform everything from redlining policies to gated communities. There is much that keeps Americans separate—even regarding their music, which brings me back to the crowd at Radio City.

When I share with her my initial surprise and delight with the diversity of her audience, she reassures me I am not the only one who feels this way. Early in her career, Lizzo says, she was told by music-industry executives, “You can’t go white to Black. But you can go from Black to white.” Her response: “‘Well, I’m a Black woman. So I can do just about anything I want to do.’ How dare these people sit up and tell me who my music is going to appeal to or not?” In part owing to the music scene in Minneapolis—dominated by indie rock and Prince, rest in peace—Lizzo’s early audiences were predominantly younger, white crowds. In 2015, she opened for Louisville rock band My Morning Jacket. “Lotta white feminists,” she says of her early crowds.

Now Lizzo is the recipient not only of Grammys and Queerty awards but also NAACP Image Awards, Soul Train Music Awards, and BET Awards. “When I go hiking or whatever,” Lizzo tells me, “it’s Black girls being like, ‘I like your music.’ ‘Hey, that’s Lizzo.’” These Black fans confirm for Lizzo what she already knows, that she’s “a Black woman making music from a Black experience”—and that her message can speak to anyone. Suddenly Lizzo’s usual unflappable confidence gives way to genuine disbelief: “I never thought that I would have…I guess you could call it ‘crossover appeal.’” I can’t help but grin back at her.

Image may contain Clothing Apparel Evening Dress Gown Robe Fashion Female Human Person and Woman
Ballot Initiative
“My job isn’t to tell you how to vote. But my job is hopefully to inspire you to vote…to activate you, so that you can take your protest to the ballot box,” says Lizzo, here in a look by Gucci and Chopard earrings.
Photographed by Hype Williams, Vogue, October 2020

WHEN I NEXT SPEAK TO LIZZO, she’s sitting down in her house, looking like a photograph from Carrie Mae Weems’s Kitchen Table series. This day she’s without her Princess Leia buns and instead wearing a shimmery golden bonnet. Out beyond her patio there are pink plastic flamingos by her pool. Tomatoes and zucchini grow in the garden, rosemary and aloe plants too. There’s a giant screen set up so that she can project movies onto it while floating in her pool; she’s just watched Beyoncé’s Black Is King.

At the end of last year, Lizzo moved out of her small, one-bedroom apartment into this home, which has a recording studio. The writing, she says, has been therapeutic. Previously, she jokes, she was under the impression that she needed “at least two and a half white boys to make a song. One to engineer and one to produce. But now I can sit in my room and be my own engineer and producer.” (“She understands the basic constructs of music and the laws and theories that make you feel certain things,” says Lizzo’s longtime collaborator Sophia Eris.) When I ask Lizzo about a new album, she deflects: “Oh, girl, I don’t know. I gotta finish the songs. It’s gonna be good, though. I’ll tell you that. It’s gonna be motherfucking good.” Atlantic Records, with which Lizzo signed in 2016, has nothing to add except that she is currently recording. (A streaming deal with Amazon Studios was announced as this story was closing.)

Despite Lizzo’s celebrity, it’s as if we have known each other a long time, but I know it’s just Lizzo being comfortable with Lizzo that puts me at ease. Eris had warned me about this, that “people feel like they’re best friends with her” very quickly. Marc Jacobs, who dressed Lizzo for the 2019 Met gala, fell in love with the singer through her music. “I knew from the start, from her energy—her smile and the fact that she hugs people,” he says, “I knew that we would be able to do something really great together.” He now counts her as a friend and invited her to his wedding last year.

Lizzo tells me about her childhood, and it’s ordinary in the best ways. Melissa Viviane Jefferson was born in 1988 in Detroit during rush hour. Like her idol Aretha Franklin, she grew up with gospel music in the church. When she was nine, her family moved to Houston, where she took up the flute and joined the marching band. (Lizzo’s now-famous flute is known affectionately as Sasha, after Beyoncé’s alter ego, Sasha Fierce, and resides in a Swarovski-crystal case in her home.)

Houston was also where Lizzo began free-styling, in school and on the school bus. Band music, Destiny’s Child, and rapper Little Flip offered Lizzo her first sense of ownership over music. “Beyoncé had a major impact on me,” she says now, “as an artist, period. She is the definition of work ethic.” Lizzo was also encouraged by Queen Latifah and Missy Elliot; both began as rappers—like Lizzo—and neither fit the mold of other popular female performers. They were, Lizzo explains, “women who looked like me and who were successful in the ways I wanted to be successful. I was like, ‘Okay. I can be confident and look this way.’ You know?”

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Taking Care
“I can count on my hands how many times I’ve actually left the house to do things,” says the singer. Lizzo wears a beaded top and skirt by LaQuan Smith and Sylva & Cie earrings.
Photographed by Hype Williams, Vogue, October 2020

In her senior year of high school, her family moved to Denver, but Lizzo returned to Texas to attend the University of Houston for applied music and joined the Spirit of Houston Marching Band. Halfway through her sophomore year, she left school to put herself through a kind of self-reinvention, setting aside the flute and trying to teach herself to be a singer. She joined a rock band, drank lots of whiskey and Lone Star beer, and lived in her car. (She is quick to note the difference between having to live in your car and choosing to live in your car. Her mother, Shari Johnson-Jefferson, and older siblings, Vanessa Jefferson and Michael Jefferson, were always available to take her in. The family now lives near her in L.A.) It was during this period, when Lizzo was 20, that her father, with whom she was very close, passed away. “I was showering at the gym, ’cause I had no house, when I got the news,” she tells me. “I was in a dark place, and it was a dark thing to happen.” In 2011, she decided to relocate to Minneapolis, which had been building a reputation as a hip-hop mecca since the mid-’90s.

In Minneapolis, at a block party, Lizzo met Eris, who had come to the city from Dayton, Ohio, to study business and the music business in particular; they met up again later that first night, “got drunk, and bonded over karaoke,” as Eris tells it. The women quickly went on to become “like family,” Lizzo says, forming a band called The Chalice along with another Minneapolis musician, who went by Claire de Lune. The group started to gain traction on local radio, and from there the momentum and opportunities snowballed: “We just ran with it,” says Eris. When Lizzo’s solo career started to take off in the mid-2010s and she began touring, she asked Eris to come with her as her DJ. “I was like, Okay, now I need to learn how to DJ,” says Eris.

“Me and Sophia—we really were in the trenches together early on,” Lizzo explains, “me and her in a rental car driving through America, you know, touring at, like, dive bars.” In those early years of her career, Lizzo was mainly performing, as she puts it, “rappety rap rap,” and so it was important to have Eris with her: “She played the music. I don’t know who else would. I couldn’t afford a band.”

Lizzo remembers the day, the moment, when she met her other longtime collaborator, Quinn Wilson. “Me and Sophia walked everywhere back then,” Lizzo tells me. “We were walking down the street. And mind you, we had just gotten into a bar fight the night before, so we was all banged up and shit.” There had been an altercation over a cell phone, and Lizzo had ended up with “a little goose egg from hitting the concrete.” Wilson was pulling her car out of a parking lot but stopped to let Lizzo and Eris pass. “I literally turned to Sophia and I said, ‘We need friends like that in our life,’” Lizzo says, laughing.

Eris ran into Wilson a few days later at a sneaker store and recognized her. The twosome became a threesome, with Wilson doing makeup for their shows. “I pulled some really not-so-good looks for the first couple of times,” Wilson says. “And then I got it together.”

“The three of us,” Lizzo tells me, “have been like sisters. We have gone through so much since meeting each other. And we have always made sure that the relationship is what we prioritize. It’s never been money. It’s never been the career.” Wilson is now the creative director for Lizzo, with a hand in all her projects, committed to, as she puts it, “translating her vision visually.”

ONE GETS THE SENSE that sisterhood is of utmost importance to Lizzo. I mention Missy Elliot’s cameo on the track “Tempo” from her breakthrough Grammy-winning 2019 album, Cuz I Love You, and Lizzo says, with infectious delight, “that was incredible. And to still have a relationship with her—Missy calls me, texts me, and vice versa, just to check on me. And prays for me, and I pray for her. Being little and watching her, and being like, ‘Man, I want to be like that one day.’ Or, ‘I want to work with her one day.’ I don’t know what happened first. Having the thoughts because it was gonna happen? Or having the thoughts and driving myself to make it happen? But knowing that it did, yeah, is incredible.” Lizzo’s music is “empowering, liberating, and fun…with a side order of ratchet sauce,” Missy says. “She shows the world what strength and perseverance look like.”

Image may contain Clothing Apparel Human Person Evening Dress Fashion Gown Robe Female and Sleeve
Work in Progress
“It’s gonna be good, though. I’ll tell you that. It’s gonna be motherfucking good,” says Lizzo about her next album. Lizzo wears a beaded top and skirt by LaQuan Smith and Sylva & Cie earrings. Mia Becar shoes.
Photographed by Hype Williams, Vogue, October 2020

When I ask Lizzo who she is dating, she tells me that her five-times-platinum single “Truth Hurts” from Cuz I Love You is “damn near a profile on a human being minus his name,” but she’s reluctant to say more; “I think it’s important to me as a human being to not disclose everything in my life.” As much as Cuz I Love You is an album about men, though, it is an album about self-love. Often, in fact, Lizzo’s songs don’t have an object of desire besides the self.

What Aretha Franklin did with her release of “Respect” in 1967—during that decade when Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, and Martin Luther King Jr. were all assassinated—is not unlike the personal revolution Lizzo calls for with her work. Aretha’s “Respect” functioned as an intervention at a historical moment, where Black women were historically invisible to everyone except themselves. Lizzo also is committed to “keeping the torch going,” in the same mode as Aretha, she says, “making sure that people understand that self is so important,” especially in the midst of “this right now.”

The “this right now” is the lockdown and the coronavirus but also white supremacy, sexism, homophobia, racism, and fatphobia—though she does not want her message boiled down to one of body positivity. Body positivity, Lizzo tells me, has been appropriated to a certain degree: “It’s commercialized. Now, you look at the hashtag ‘body positive,’ and you see smaller-framed girls, curvier girls. Lotta white girls. And I feel no ways about that, because inclusivity is what my message is always about. I’m glad that this conversation is being included in the mainstream narrative. What I don’t like is how the people that this term was created for are not benefiting from it. Girls with back fat, girls with bellies that hang, girls with thighs that aren’t separated, that overlap. Girls with stretch marks. You know, girls who are in the 18-plus club. They need to be benefiting from…the mainstream effect of body positivity now. But with everything that goes mainstream, it gets changed. It gets—you know, it gets made acceptable.” When I ask Jacobs about this, he speaks carefully: “I think what is so inspiring is the way she delivers the message,” says Jacobs. “Her positivity—putting the word body before it is just another part of her positivity, and that’s what’s really contagious.”

“I think it’s lazy for me to just say I’m body positive at this point,” Lizzo says. “It’s easy. I would like to be body-normative. I want to normalize my body. And not just be like, ‘Ooh, look at this cool movement. Being fat is body positive.’ No, being fat is normal. I think now, I owe it to the people who started this to not just stop here. We have to make people uncomfortable again, so that we can continue to change. Change is always uncomfortable, right?”

Malcolm X famously said, “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in American is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.” He meant thin or fat, tall or short, big or small, citizen or undocumented, senator or vice president—and so I have one last question for Lizzo regarding how she feels about our Democratic vice-presidential nominee, Kamala Harris. I am thinking about the avalanche of disrespect Harris will have to negotiate as a woman and as a woman of color.

“Having a Black woman as vice president would be great,” Lizzo says, “because I’m just always rooting for Black people. But I want actual change to happen…in the laws. And not just on the outside, you know? Not a temporary fix to a deep-rooted, systemic issue. A lot of times I feel like we get distracted by the veneer of things. If things appear to be better, but they’re not actually better, we lose our sense of protest.” She makes sure to mention Breonna Taylor and Sandra Bland and all the women who, inadvertently or not, often get dropped from the conversation: “We need to talk about the women.”

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Forward Momentum
“We have to make people uncomfortable again, so that we can continue to change. Change is always uncomfortable, right?”
Photographed by Hype Williams, Vogue, October 2020

For Lizzo, the American public is in an in-between time. The present protests are a conversation with a possible future, and she sees herself as having a part in making it happen: “I just want to encourage people to register to vote. That is the most important thing to me. Because there’s a lot of upset people, and there’s a lot of people who have power. There’s a lot of voter suppression in Black communities. But there’s a lot of angry white kids now. And I’m like, ‘Yo, register to vote. Go out. You won’t get suppressed if you try to go to your ballot box.’ You know? I think it’s important to remind people of what they can do. My job isn’t to tell you how to vote. But my job is hopefully to inspire you to vote…to activate you, so that you can take your protest to the ballot box.”

But first, she knows that in order to save and serve the culture, she has to save and serve herself. “I think it’s important that I take full responsibility for the way the world perceives me because that is the way they’re gonna perceive someone who looks like me in the future. Maybe, hopefully, that would give some young girl someone to look up to and take away the opportunity for someone to weaponize her uniqueness against her. I had to travel the world and I had to meet people and read DMs and look into their eyes and really hear their stories to believe that I was making an impact in a positive way. And now that I believe in myself in that way, I’m gonna continue to just push that conversation by being a better me every single day.”

GP_The Reconstruction_Finn Love as The Firestarter
Finn Love as The Firestarter, The Reconstruction© Nick Knight


As Gareth Pugh launches a new project over London Fashion Week, Hannah Tindle talks to the designer about his latest project and how fashion is responding to the times in which we live

This article is published as part of a series of Designer Interviews, where we’re speaking to some of the industry’s most crucial voices about this current – and highly unique – moment in fashion history.


Gareth Pugh has always been known for ruffling feathers and pushing buttons. Ever since he burst onto the London stage in 2004 – a graduate of Central Saint Martins’ star-making MA course – with surreal, club kid-inspired designs, it was clear that he was a natural leader of fashion’s avant garde.

Over a decade on, Pugh remains an iconoclast. After taking a break from London Fashion Week for a couple of seasons, he has returned for Spring/Summer 2021 with a new collection in the form of a non-profit visual concept album. Titled The Reconstruction, the project comprises 13 stills and short films shot by Nick Knight and Jon Emmony (starring an ensemble cast including the likes of Rina Sawayama, Matthew Ball, and Sakeema Crook), a feature-length documentary that goes behind the scenes of making the work, and an exhibition of the collection showing at Christie’s. The project is raising money for Refuge, which helps women and children affected by domestic violence.
We owed it to ourselves and to fashion in general to be part of a conversation that feels a little bit sad at the moment,” says Pugh. “London Fashion Week feels like it could come and go without much fanfare. So it requires people to do things bigger and better than we’ve ever done before. People need something that they can be hopeful about right now.” Here, as part of AnOther’s Designer Interviews series, we have a frank conversation with Pugh about the way that fashion has been reacting to the current climate – and the uncertainty of its future.

Hannah Tindle: For S/S18 you screened a film at the BFI in lieu of a runway show. In light of the current season, does it feel like you had the gift of foresight?

Gareth Pugh: Actually, we started doing things off the runway almost a decade ago in 2009 with a film we produced with Ruth Hogben. I was showing in Paris at the time, and you’re only ever listed on the main schedule if you have a physical presentation and I had to tell a lot of white lies to the Chambre Syndicale. But Didier Grombach was the president of the organisation at the time, and he was obviously quite a trailblazer in his time, introducing a new way of working to the Paris schedule early on with the likes of Claude MontanaTheirry Mugler, and Rei Kawakubo. Luckily, he came to the presentation and left with a smile on his face. We also showed a film with Kristen McMenamy for S/S11. But it’s amazing how much push back from a lot of others we got from doing this at the time. And now, in 2020, everyone’s like ‘let’s make a film!’

HT: It’s the ‘new normal’ this season. How do you think that’s going to work out for everyone? 

GP: I think it’s difficult for some designers. For example, if your clothes don’t lend themselves to film that well, it might be a difficult thing to work around. We’re lucky enough that our clothes work very well on screen and with moving imagery. Fashion films are obviously something that we like to harness to tell a story. I often equate a live fashion show with a tennis match; a lot of back and forth. It’s quite formulaic. With a fashion film, you can portray something bigger than the clothes. It’s much more democratic, too – more people are able to see it.

HT: The behind-the-scenes documentary produced as part of The Reconstruction offers a real window into your process. What was your thinking behind making this? 

GP: What we wanted to do was to create a film that documented us getting our hands dirty at the studio, mixed with high-fashion moments created by Nick Knight and Jon Emmony. It’s a little bit like pulling back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz, I guess, inviting people to see what really goes on. It’s quite exposing, but we’re comfortable with that. This film runs alongside the stills by Nick in the exhibition at Christie’s right in the middle of the room. I like the idea of referencing the gritty making process within such a ‘hallowed’ art space.

HT: What were other conversations that you had during the making of The Reconstruction

GP: In February, Nick Knight asked me to do a screening of Cabaret at SHOWstudio, which is one of my favourite films. That evening, I asked Nick if we would maybe talk about doing something together for the next fashion week. It was time for me to return to the schedule, after securing my trademark back from Rick Owens and my Italian partners. Not that I was held back much before, but this was going to be the first time in ten years that I was going to have complete freedom.

HT: And then lockdown hit … 

GP: Yes and we had to close everything down, including our studio, and I was suddenly stuck in my small London flat. This really highlighted to me how much I love the studio and making with my hands. Also, seeing how other people in fashion were reacting to what was going on around us, it all felt a little bit sad. I just thought, we, as in fashion as a whole, can do better than that. Designers are an adaptable bunch, and what the world needs right now in particular is creative problem solvers.

HT: At the beginning of the documentary, you have included a clip of Nina Simone saying her famous quote: “It’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times in which we live.” How do you think fashion can reflect the times we live authentically and honestly? 

GP: Fashion exists within this strange space. It exists within a space where people understand it in a way that they can’t necessarily do with an artist’s work because it’s wearable. There’s a relatability to it. I think fashion is one of those mediums that can very quickly and very succinctly connect to the times in which we live. Although it can be slow at changing its actual bureaucratic structure, the creative content can. We should be able to move with the times in a very nimble way.

HT: Do you hope to see up-and-coming designers respond to the changing times by engaging with more experimental show formats?

GP: Yes, definitely. Putting on a show costs a huge amount of money and effort when perhaps they don’t have that at their disposal, and often young designers are doing something that is dancing to the beat of somebody else’s drum. But right now, there are no rules in a way, and there are no right and wrong answers to how you show your work. I’m sure that this is a nightmare for those responsible for the long-held structures in place, but it’s a great time for designers to take back control. Often people haven’t had space to even change how they want to communicate their work. The fashion show is a set structure and everyone knows how it rolls. But that’s been taken away, which is really exciting for the new guard.

HT: The worry is that everything will just return to the way it was as soon as it can. What are your thoughts on this? 

GP: There’s much talk of change and it’s a concern that people are just saying what everyone wants to hear right now. But, I was speaking to Nick about this and he really does get a sense that it isn’t just chat and that people are quite invested in it. Giorgio Armani wrote an amazing open letter in April that reflected this. With an Italian designer with a huge commercial hold in the industry to say things need to change and calling people of his stature to follow suit, I am hopeful. We’re glad to be part of that conversation, too, but there’s so much left for us to do.

HT: So what does the future hold for you and the Gareth Pugh studio?

GP: Fashion is always my first love, but we’re thinking of taking a bit of a sidestep from it. The reason why we stepped away from fashion in the first place is that we wanted to stretch our legs creatively. It also feels reckless at the moment to work so commercially, when retail and fashion production is on its knees. Which is why all the proceeds from The Reconstruction are going to Refuge. In regards to what next? Who knows. We don’t have a plan.

Key looks from the collection have been re-imagined in a series of T-shirts designed by Pugh in collaboration with emerging designer Melissa Mehrtens. Sold in exclusive partnership with HIT + RUN, with all proceeds going to Refuge UK, these T-shirts are available to shop here

Marc Jacobs fall 2020 Photo: Corey Tenold

“This is an unprecedented Fashion Week. In the history of New York Fashion Week there has never been one like it,” declared Steven Kolb, the CFDA’s CEO, on a Zoom call. Indeed, in February there were 177 labels on Vogue Runway’s NYFW review calendar. The schedule the CFDA released today, which begins with Jason Wu at 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 13, and ends with Tom Ford at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 16, includes just 60. With only a handful of IRL exceptions, all of the presentations on the CFDA’s official lineup will be digital.

Michael Kors Collection fall 2020
Michael Kors Collection, fall 2020 Photo: Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com 

Proenza Schouler fall 2020
Proenza Schouler, fall 2020 Photo: Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com 

Brandon Maxwell fall 2020
Brandon Maxwell, fall 2020 Photo: Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com 

Among those not on the calendar: Michael Kors, who has announced an October date, Tory BurchProenza SchoulerBrandon Maxwell, and Prabal Gurung. In an email Gurung explained his thinking: “Since the pandemic forced us into lockdown, I’ve been talking to designers, retailers, suppliers, and factories all over the world. Everyone in the industry was running around playing catch up, with no actual goal in sight…. Whatever we put out there has to have a reason for its existence; pretty clothes are no longer enough. We need to really think about purpose and a mission.” He’s one of the designers looking at a later date in order to bring his presentation “closer to the time that shoppers will want to wear the pieces” he’s showing.

Familiar names that are returning to the CFDA calendar include MarchesaCarolina HerreraZero + Maria Cornejo, and Anna SuiEckhaus Latta slipped into the time slot left open by Marc Jacobs’s absence. In addition, there’s a menswear showcase and a time slot for Harlem’s Fashion Row and the BIPOC designers its founder Brandice Daniel is supporting. The biggest surprise: Imitation of Christ, whose last NYFW appearance came in spring 2013. Rather ironically, given where we are now, IOC’s designer Tara Subkoff dubbed that collection “This Is Not a Fashion Show.”

Imitation of Christ fall 2020 couture
Imitation of Christ, fall 2020 couture Photo: Courtesy of Imitation of Christ

At this point, Kolb and his colleagues know little about the type of digital content that will be living on the CFDA’s site, Runway360. “We connected people to content creators when they asked for intros,” he explained. “But at the end of the day the success of this for us isn’t who made an Academy Award winning film or who did the most innovative photo shoot. The barometer of success for us is: Were you able to see the clothes, able to write about them intelligently, and able to understand what is marketable to sell to your customers?”

A key difference between the CFDA and its Runway360 site and IMG and its NYFW.com site: The former is B2B and the latter is more B2C, with a schedule of livestreamed talks and IRL experiences that could include, say, an in-season shopping activation for a fall 2020 collection. That’s another difference: While Runway360 is a strictly digital platform, IMG has come up with a hybrid model, mixing in-person events with virtual ones made on the premises in its content hub. Jason Wu’s week-opening show at Spring Studios will take place on a runway with real models and a live audience. Earlier this week Governor Andrew Cuomo gave fashion shows his blessing; in a statement he said: “When COVID-19 hit New York, so many of our cherished events were forced to cancel or be postponed. The pandemic is far from over, but we’re proud to support IMG in moving forward with NYFW, in adherence with strict state public health guidance.”

Those precautions notwithstanding, the vast majority of the Fashion Week goings-on will be digital. On the CFDA’s calendar, designers and brands are scheduled on the half hour. In the end that may be the greatest virtue of a virtual Fashion Week. No traffic jams, no model delays, no waiting around endlessly for the front row to fill up. All efficiency. Just log on and click play. Of course, there are sure to be more off-calendar events and even more social media goings-on. Big picture, the pandemic has done to Fashion Week what it’s done to everything from office work to our social lives; it’s untethered it from place. The official calendars aside, the internet is a wide open space. Who knows who will chime in on the Fashion Week conversation? Or what they’ll have to say? That’s exciting.


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