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Franca Sozzani On Her Newest Global Issue: Water

Franca Sozzani

Franca Sozzani certainly kept both busy and blogged about when she visited Sydney last month off the back of Vogue Italia’s Australia issue.

But it wasn’t just Christopher Esber and Baz Luhrman to whom she devoted her attention. While in town, Sozzani also paid a visit to Katherine Keating, the daughter of former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating, to discuss an issue far more important than this season’s trendiest hem length: Water. Or, rather, the lack of it.

In answer to Keating’s question, “As the editor in chief of Italian Vogue, how do you use the magazine to address broader social issues, and what are the issues that are most important to you?” Sozzani explained the link between Australia and Africa, the last continent to find itself the focus of Italian Vogue’s global issues.

“My effort is to use the magazine not for a social or political or monetary way, but just to present how you could see things in a different way,” she told Keating. “I made an issue about Africa, but I made it in a very social way.”

If you hadn’t noticed, Sozzani has a rather consequence-ignoring way of confronting important issues. (You'll remember her graphic treatment of domestic violence in the particularly gory editorial she featured recently.) Franca's influence clearly goes beyond fashion. The 64-year-old EIC is also a Goodwill Ambassador for Fashion 4 Development, which supports the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals.

“The main problem is water. Water is before everything. It is before food – before anything is water,” she explained to Keating. Her “new obsession” led her to a meeting with the representative of an Australian company that produced desalination panels. Through talking with the company, she realized the potential of a new way of providing purified water to African children in schools, and hopefully soon, in homes. “It’s a new potential way to give water to every family. That’s my goal.”

So how does fashion play into this? Sozzani believes our industry can help alleviate poverty by providing those in struggling nations with job security, training and health insurance. Water is vital to the fashion production cycle, as is an effective way of distributing Africa-made materials.

The interview was part of Keating’s One On One web series, a run of five-minute interviews with innovators in fields ranging from fashion to business and politics. She’s on the other end of the interview in this month’s Vogue Australia.

ONE ON ONE: Franca Sozzani on Water

The Buzz Latest News

Mulberry Is lowering Its Prices, While Burberry Is Raising Its Prices Further

Cara Delevingne on Mulberry Spring 2014 runway

Mulberry s/s14 (image: WENN)

You may be changing your it bag to a Mulberry next season following the news that the British luxury accessories brand will be lowering its prices after warnings that profits would be significantly less than expected, as reported in Reuters.

Under the recently departed CEO Bruno Guillon, the heritage brand raised its once affordable prices higher and higher in order to reinstate Mulberry as a competing brand to likes of Prada, and away from the mainstream appeal of brands such as Michael Kors.

However, after poor performance from the Christmas sales, particularly in South Korea and Britain, and downturn in profit since the departure of creative director Emma Hill in 2013, it has not been looking good for Mulberry. Perhaps this proves that even having Cara Delevingne as the face of your brand cannot always guarantee success in the store.

Much to the rejoicing of customers, prices of popular bags such as the Alexa and Del Ray could be down by up to £100 each.

However, for those of you wishing to invest in alternative heritage British brand Burberry, you will have to add a bit more budget allowance as the company has confirmed that prices will be increased in order to compete with international exchange rates. With 41% of sales coming from Asia Pacific, it is easy to see that there is a great deal of international commerce, which is in turn affecting profit margins as these sales are worth less once converted back into pounds. It was noted in The Times that adverse exchange rates could knock £30 million off Burberry's profits next year, which new Creative Director Christopher Bailey will no doubt be keen to amend.

This news comes just as the brand is about to open its biggest store in Shanghai later this month, which is certain to be a momentous affair if previous events are anything to go by.

The Buzz Latest News

theFashionSpot’s 10 Best Articles of the Week


  1. We Asked the World’s Top Fashion Schools: How Are You Teaching Sustainability to Tomorrow’s Designers? — We wanted to find out whether the next generation of designers and fashion leaders would be prepared repair some of the damage that’s been done by our current system of clothing manufacturing.
  2. Is Crimped Hair Making a Comeback? — Ready to bust out your old curling iron?
  3. Lady Gaga’s Unretouched Versace Campaign Outtakes Prove It: Fashion Advertising Is Bullsh*t — Friendly reminder: No, fashion advertising does not accurately represent reality. 
  4. Exclusive: Alasdair McLellan Photographs the Raf Simons x Sterling Ruby Collection for Arena Homme+ — An exclusive preview of the the Raf Simons x Sterling Ruby feature in the latest issue of Arena Homme +. 
  5. Would You Spend $1,290 on a Pair of Stockings? What If They Were from Saint Laurent? — Here are some fun, crystal-bedazzled shenanigans for you, courtesy of Saint Laurent.
  6. How to Incorporate Personal Branding Into Your Style — Branding pros and fashion stylists share their expert tips on how to incorporate your brand into your style.
  7. Top Beauty Bloggers and Editors Share Their Must-Have Beauty Products for Spring — Beauty bloggers and fashion editors from The Cut, Racked NY, Fashionista, The Coveteur, The New Potato, CR Fashion Book and more share their favorite new product picks.
  8. Surprise! So Much Boho Celebrity Style at Coachella 2014 — Some really unexpected choices here.
  9. Vintage Junkie? The Best Ways to Buy Second Hand Clothing Online — Whether you're looking for museum-quality Hermes or wear-everyday Gap, here's how to e-com your secondhand clothing habit.
  10. Why Sustainable Fabrics Are the Future of Fashion: Designer John Patrick Interviews The Sustainable Angle’s Nina Marenzi — Find out why clothing companies will simply be doomed if they don't adopt a sustainable strategy.

The Buzz Latest News

Amanda Gullickson Makes a Comeback on The Face [Season 2, Episode 7]

[Season 2, Episode 7 of The Face aired on Wednesday and today we're recapping the episode with contestant Amanda Gullickson (you can find out more about her here). The South Carolina native has been blogging for us exclusively about the show and we encourage you to tune to Oxygen next Wednesday at 8/7 C to find out whether Amanda continues on to the next round. And be sure to check back in with theFashionSpot every week for an inside look at the previous night's episode.]

Steve Fenn/Oxygen Media

Steve Fenn/Oxygen Media

I survived! I am back from last week’s elimination, thankfully, and ready to turn things around. When I was in the elimination room, Naomi Campbell asked if I would switch teams, and I said yes. You can’t forget that this is a competition and I had to do what I felt would keep me there. It was nothing against Lydia or anyone. I remember coming back and once our team went to the room, I wanted to warn Lydia Hearst because I knew the switch would come out eventually. Unfortunately, Naomi beat me to it. I was hoping Lydia knew my intentions and did not take it wrong because I love her. She is seriously an amazing coach.

Amanda Gullickson posing in a animal print coat on this screencap from the face

Tim Brown/Oxygen Media

We didn’t have time to sit around and worry about drama though, we had to win and get everybody off our backs. I was so ready to get it done. Once we got on set and found out it was a lingerie campaign, I was so excited! I could finally use my sexy side everyone keeps talking about, and lingerie is the career path I am aiming for. On the roof, I was in the mindset we would just make it happen on set with no need to practice. But, I knew we should have practiced a little bit. Lydia came out and got us in to shape quickly. The screaming exercise she had us try was great! It was so funny because at first I thought it was a joke. It worked though (or something worked), and once we got on set we did what we had to do. I wasn’t thrilled about being oiled up with the guys, but I knew it was something I could do well, so I was ready to win.

Amanda Gullickson holds another model's face

Steve Fenn/Oxygen Media

Once we got on set, I was a little nervous for Ray. She seemed to be nervous and I was really hoping she could get in her element and make the shoot happen. Thankfully, she did exactly that. I felt very confident in how we did and thought we won this one. I didn’t want to get my hopes up because I’d thought that before. The next morning, Nigel Barker and the mentors came into the loft to announce the winner — it was us! Go Team Lydia! We are back! It was so nice to finally win so everyone could stop saying we never did. It was also amazing that we were safe from elimination, and you can’t forget the lingerie-shopping spree we won! Lydia was the eliminator this week and she made a very bold statement by eliminating Sharon. She was ready to change things up on everyone and I was excited for her. Now it is down to just five of us as we continue to get closer and closer.

Be sure to watch The Face Wednesdays at 8/7C on Oxygen. You can follow me on twitter and instagram at @A_Gullickson.

Amanda Gullickson's sexy photoshoot in lingerie on The Face

Steve Fenn/Oxygen Media


The Buzz Forum Buzz The Buzz

Karlie Kloss Scores Third Cover of Vogue Korea (Forum Buzz)

Karlie Kloss is giving us dramatic disco diva for her third cover of Vogue Korea. Photographed by Sebastian Kim against a contrasting green backdrop for the May 2014 issue, the top model wears a dress from Giorgio Armani's Spring 2014 collection which was styled by Ye Young Kim.

Vogue Korea May 2014 Karlie Kloss


"I feel like Karlie is usually pretty good on covers, but she looks dead here. Which is sad since I think everything else is working," wrote Gina Fish.

Nepenthes also shared the same sentiments: "When I saw Karlie's name I got excited but this leaves me underwhelmed. It's just nice."

"Not bad, it's just okay," said Abracadabra.

Members began to show more of a positive outlook when Cosmic Voices wrote, "The colours are divine, overall I like it"

"Great use of color and the styling's great," complimented justaguy.

Personally, this reminds me of Michelle Obama's April 2013 cover of US Vogue. Don't you agree the colors are very similar? Join the discussion here.


The Buzz Latest News

In Praise of Lorde: The Singer Calls Out Fashion Magazine for Giving Her a New Nose

It was less than a year ago that Fashion magazine was scorned for transforming the stunning Olivia Wilde into a wax work figure on its cover, but now the style bible is coming under fire again for giving Lorde a Photoshopped nose job.

The “Royals” singer is famous for taking media to task over their retouching, calling out a photo agency for airbrushing her skin only in January. Now she’s blasting Fashion, tweeting, “Apart from the fact that I’m pretty sure this magazine gave me a new nose (:|), I really like this photo,” in reference to one of the editorial shots.

Lorde Fashion Magazine cover

Image via Fashion

Lorde graces the mag’s May issue, where her cover photo looks a far cry from her usually angsty persona. Her hair lightened considerably, the 17-year-old songstress wears a heavy metal Dolce & Gabbana dress with matching earrings, topped with au naturel makeup and a sunkissed glow. She looks demure and distinctly anti-Lorde, the irony of which is only exacerbated by the accompanying interview.

On her public image and her musical role models, the New Zealand star says, “I'm drawn to women who aren't painted in history as sweet figures. Patti Smith was prickly. She was frustrated. She didn't take people’s s***. There's no better music idol for young women, because there is a lot of pressure for us to be really positive all the time. Every photo shoot I do, I get asked for big smiles, and I shouldn't have to be that way.”

This is one seriously smart and sassy chick, which is all the more devastating that she’s being edited in such a way. I feel like the cover will only fuel Lorde’s anti-shopping stance further, but to that I say, bring on the fall-out!

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