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Takashi Murakami and Vans Team for a Summer Capsule Collection

Vans x murakami

Image: Vans

Japanese artist Takashi Murakami is giving Vans a colorful update with this latest collaboration for the sports footwear and apparel brand’s Vault by Vans label. The premium collection will no doubt add some extra color to your summer, with Murakami putting his trademark colorful designs on the famous slip-on sneakers, T-shirts and skate decks. For this collection, Murakami put forth pieces boasting his famous smiling flowers and skull prints and, naturally, added a sketch of himself to the offerings as well. The sneakers will be available in both toddler and adult sizes, so you can pick up a pair for that special tot in your life.

The collection is due to hit shelves June 27, so if you’re looking for the perfect kicks or tees to help get your summer started right, this is definitely a good place to start. Peep some images from the forthcoming range below. (more…)

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Nanette Lepore Has Some Advice for Young Designers

Nanette Lepore

Image: WENN

The youth is the future of fashion but this industry is not an easy one to break into. With all the competition and scraping for funding, it can be daunting for a young designer looking to build a brand in this climate. Thankfully, the members of the fashion industry realize just how difficult it is to launch a successful line and we’ve seen many organizations use their dollars to help support the future of the industry. Last night, FIT raised $1.3 million for its Educational Development Fund at its annual gala, which will help provide support for FIT students, the future creatives and tastemakers of our industry. 

It ain’t easy being a young designer and everybody knows that, including designer Nanette Lepore, who was on hand for last night’s festivities. She cited financing and achieving brand recognition as some of the biggest challenges young designers face today. “It is a hugely crowded playing field, so I think it’s better to be really small and remember that your own time you have to value at like a penny an hour,” she told us. “When you start out, you have to realize that you’re not going to make any money and you’re going to have to work a couple of jobs or whatever it takes because you’re not going to make money in the beginning.”

But the rigors of having to get on your feet and establish a name should not make young designers, especially those based in New York City, forget the tremendous opportunity and access they have living here. “Remember how lucky you are that we have a garment center here in New York City and you can use the local factories. That is key,” she said. Lepore also stressed that designers must not lose sight of perfecting their craft or give in to the fanfare of runway shows before their time comes.

“Remember that the more you learn about the technical aspects of design, the better off you are with patternmaking and sewing. Remember that the most important thing is not to have a fashion show, but to build your brand through trade shows or small shops or even flea markets before you risk everything and worry about a runway show.”

Fern Mallis, who was also in attendance last night, had her own advice for up-and-coming designers looking to get their foot in the door. “Be nice,” she said. “You only want to do business with and help people who are nice. Doesn’t matter how much talent you have because there is a lot of talent out there — nobody wants to work with people who are a pain in the butt.”

The Buzz Forum Buzz

Why Is Rita Ora on Marie Claire’s July 2015 Cover? (Forum Buzz)

There’s a roster of magazines that consistently fail to deliver and our forums aren’t afraid to single them out. The American edition of Marie Claire falls victim to our debate this time around with the launch of the July 2015 issue. Rita Ora fronts the new issue, receiving a good old bashing from our members. Photographed by Beau Grealy, the British singer, who was just announced as a judge on the British version of The X Factor, poses before a subtle pink backdrop to complement her embellished Prada dress.

US Marie Claire July 2015 Rita Ora by Beau Grealy

IMAGE: MARIECLAIRE.COM

Our feisty forum members aren’t having any of it, though. “I still can’t understand why she’s relevant enough to get covers in the US market,” questioned nataliaapple.

“I will NEVER understand her appeal! Nothing about this cover works for me!” slammed Miss Dalloway.

Also unwilling to accept the outcome was orchidee: “They’re still trying to make her happen, huh? She must have one hell of a management team.”

“That picture is so awful, she looks like a clown with that fake smile. I am also in the club of people who do not get her appeal at all,” added KateTheGreatest.

Forum member burbuja8910 wasn’t a fan, either and thought the image was best suited elsewhere. “Boring cover, looks like something from Seventeen or Teen Vogue,” she said.

“I like Rita when she does ‘glamour’ – when the tacky side of her look is mixed with some classic styling. But this cover shot does nothing for her features and those eyebrows look like they come straight from a black marker pen rather than a makeup artist,” said tigerrouge, throwing us into hysterics.

Do you share the same sentiments? Come join the fun here.

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Orla Kiely Collaborates with Leith Clark for Resort Collection

As the importance of a successful resort collection grows, Orla Kiely has teamed up with celebrity stylist Leith Clark on a 70s-inspired story of dresses.

Kiely founded the brand out of her need to visually express her love for pattern, colour, texture and rhythm. The designer never fails to disappoint during London Fashion Week with her crowd-pleasing presentations showcased upon creative sets.

For the L’Orla resort collection, whimsical patterns and bib collar necklines were key as inspirations were derived from actress Stephanie Farrow, designer Ossie Clark and French photographer Sarah Moon. The collection is filled with just the right amount of nostalgic 70s charm that’s easy to incorporate into your wardrobe, even if you’re not the biggest of vintage fans.

If you’re not convinced, just think about what Kiely has done for shoe retailer Clarks in recent seasons. As part of the brand’s collaborative capsule collections, Kiely’s retro-inspired designs haven’t upped Clarks’ vintage game, but rather helped to transform it from the kind of store that your mom buys your ugly school uniform shoes from to much more of a trendy destination. (more…)

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High Heel Injuries Have Doubled in the Last 10 Years

High heels

Image: Imaxtree

Are we getting clumsier or what? A study done by The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery has found that since 2002, there has been a huge increase in injuries associated with wearing high heels. According to the piece, the level of heel-related injuries has almost doubled, going from 7,097 in 2002 to 14,140 a decade later.

8 Things Women Who Hate High Heels Will Understand

Most of the injuries sustained are “sprains and strains to the foot and ankle,” But interestingly enough, most women are hurting themselves in heels in their own homes – and not during Beyoncé dance-offs with their girlfriends in a nightclub. So, all you ladies out there practicing your Naomi Campbell walk from the comfort of your apartment, try to be a little more careful. Young adult females between the ages of 20 and 29 are more at risk for these types of injuries, sustaining them at a rate of 18.38 per 100,000 women. Those aged 30-39 years have an injury rate of 11.07 per 100,000 women. 

How to Make Wearing Heels More Comfortable

“Although high heels might be stylish, from a health standpoint, it could be worthwhile for females and those interested in wearing high heels to understand the risks of wearing high-heeled shoes and the potential harm that precarious activities in high-heeled shoes can cause,” the study reads, as if most women aren’t already aware that they are one bad step away from spraining their ankles in those Charlotte Olympia platform pumps they’ve been teetering around in all day.

On Your Feet All Day? Here’s What to Look for in a Heel

[via UK Vogue, the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery]

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Gap Is Closing 175 of Its Stores

Gap Store Closures

Image: Getty

Things aren’t looking too great for Gap Inc. which is closing down 175 of its stores in North America. Gap’s sales have been in decline over the last five quarters and new CEO Art Peck is trying to turn the tide for the ailing retailer and its Banana Republic sister store. The move is supposed to save Gap Inc. $25 million a year once the operation is complete. Gap expects to lose $300 million in sales as a result of the closures and hopes to have 140 of its locations eliminated by January.

Layoffs are also happening for 250 people in the retailer’s corporate leg. Gap’s global president Jeff Kirwan says that many of the stores closing “don’t represent the best of our brand.” After the closings, Gap will be left with around 800 stores – 300 outlets and 500 mainline stores. 

“Returning Gap brand to growth has been the top priority since my appointment four months ago — and Jeff and his team bring a sense of urgency to this work,” Art Peck said. “Customers are rapidly changing how they shop today, and these moves will help get Gap back to where we know it deserves to be.”

[via BOF, WWD]