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08/10/2017

Strike a pose: how street-style photography stole fashion week

Strike a pose: how street-style photography stole fashion week

Street-style stars, those fashion-forward folks papped outside shows, have arguably become as trend-setting as any model or celebrity. At one of this season’s most hyped shows, JW Anderson in London, for example, over 50 photographers swarmed outside the entrance looking for their photographic prey, making it hard for the more unremarkably dressed among us to reach the door. In the last five years, the scene has grown exponentially. The shot outside the show is now as influential – and valuable – as the one of the model on the catwalk.

But attending the shows in a photograph-worthy outfit does not a street-style star make. For that you need the black-clad photographers – now a familiar presence outside shows, snapping editors, influencers and insiders – willing to take the pictures that then get picked up off their Instagram feeds and used by the street-style stars themselves, often then becoming fodder for a slew of other fashionable feeds. But these images are often used without the photographers’ permission, and without a fee.

This fashion month, a group of about 40 photographers decided to draw attention to the issue, forming a union of sorts. During Milan fashion week, they launched the #NoFreePhotos campaign on social media. The campaign is aimed at influencers, bloggers and brands that, the photographers say, gain revenue through using their images without sharing the earnings. Influencers and bloggers are often paid by brands – or at least compensated with free flights or clothes – in exchange for social media posts of themselves in the outfits.

However, many of the photographers are freelance, with some taking pictures for no money at all. Katz Sindig is one such photographer. He says he spends anything between $8,000 and $15,000 in expenses in an average fashion month, travelling between New York, London, Milan and Paris. Both Sindig and Valentina Frugiuele, another photographer involved in #NoFreePhotos, declined to say how much they earn for a photograph. (Frugiulele did say: “I don’t even want to think about it.”) While each image could be sold for a relatively low fee, if that image is syndicated to different outlets over a season, it can, quite literally, be a money shot.

In striking contrast, the notoriety that comes with being a street-style star can bring serious bucks. In a recent article, Zanita Whittington, an ex-model and influencer who has more than 350,000 followers on Instagram, estimated that she could earn up to $100,000 (£75,000) in a typical New York fashion week if she said yes to every deal offered. With street style a “huge part” of her business, she knows how to play the game, maximising her visibility to gain the maximum amount of pictures. “The trick is to walk to the show,” she said. “That way you get more shots in.”

The photographers’ campaign, according to a campaign press release, will involve omitting the Instagram name of the person in the photo from posts, and not including a hashtag for the brand worn in the image. #NoFreePhotos photographers will also contact users of their work if it is used “without receiving the proper licence and securing compensation for the photographer”. If the issue is not addressed, they will reply to the image on social media with the #NoFreePhotos hashtag, effectively calling the user out. If necessary, they will seek legal advice.

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29/09/2017

You can now do a university course majoring in Gucci

You can now do a university course majoring in Gucci

Calling all Alessandro Michele fans, this one is for you.

Gucci has partnered with one of Italy’s most prestigious fashion schools, Polimoda, for a degree in all things sequins, bold accessories and librarian-esque runway looks. Well, almost.

The next best thing to Michele studies? (Which isn't technically available yet.) A Gucci-approved fashion retail management masters degree will be available from April 2018.

The course is designed to run for nine months, the degree is in partnership with Kering, the French parent company of Gucci, and will teach everything from finance to merchandising and marketing. Select graduates will also be offered internships or jobs throughout the Kering network, The Business of Fashion reports.

“Retail is the heart of this business,” president and chief executive of Gucci, Marco Bizzarri, told BoF. “In the last two and a half years at Gucci we have clearly demonstrated that a new, contemporary and joyful retail environment… really makes the difference.”

A degree in maximalism, maybe not, but learning how to survive in a tough market — priceless.

Interested in nine months in Italy? Interested candidates can apply via Polimoda.

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27/09/2017

Italia 90s – fashion's new favourite decade

Italia 90s – fashion's new favourite decade

It used to be that there needed to be 30 years between a decade and its revival – see the 40s reworked in the 70s or the 50s through the prism of the 80s. No longer. It is 2017 and we are already deep into a 90s revival thanks to a Tumblr generation who have pored over the finer points of Destiny’s Child’s tour wardrobe and the haircuts on Friends. Milan saw the return of the 90s in all its pomp – less grunge, more glamour – with R&B on the soundtracks and bumbags in the front row. Here are five ways the catwalk fell hard for the decade.

Supermodels

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Gianni Versace’s death. His sister Donatella, who has headed up the company since then, paid tribute to her brotherby calling in models who are known in fashion on first-name terms: Carla, Claudia, Naomi, Cindy and Helena. The five supers walked the finale with Donatella, soundtracked by George Michael’s Freedom. Fabulous and moving all at the same time.

Logomania

Fendi’s F branding was back on the catwalk this season, on shoppers and bomber jackets. It’s a familiar sight to anyone who grew up watching Carrie get to thinking about Fendi baguettes on Sex and the City. It also perhaps signals what is to come – these logos are a big part of Paris Hilton’s early-00s look. Be warned: “That’s hot” could soon be a catchphrase once again.

Leggings

Donatella Versace said that younger customers often ask her about the leggings the brand used to do in the 90s, hence their return to the catwalk this season. Dolce & Gabbana – another brand with 90s pedigree – also made them part of its collection. The printed leggings, worn with matching printed blouse, were quite Phoebe Buffay, series 1.

Skaters

Francesco Risso, the new designer at Marni, said he was inspired by a doodle he did of a skateboarding flapper. While that might sound incongruous, the image helped him create some sharp outfits of XXL polo shirts worn with equally XXL cargo pants. They kind of looked like the outfit Casper wears in Kids to steal beer from the deli. Hey, whatever works.

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