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Latinx Music Has Lent New Vision to Fashion

Emily walpole

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The 2020 MTV VMAs, held in August, was the first awards show to attempt an in person component in the strange new normal that is pandemic times — i.e., the first major red carpet the music industry’s biggest names would dress for since the Grammys in January.

For the occasion, Maluma opted for a lemon yellow double-breasted suit by Balmain, which read as relatively standard fare for the Colombian-born 26-year-old, often seen in bright colors, patterns and bold suits. But the suit — which Maluma in fact designed alongside Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing — and its accessories were carefully selected to be both a high fashion statement and an homage to his home country.

The yellow suit was meant to pay tribute to the yellow in Colombia’s flag and “encompass a strong Latin culture,” his stylist Ugo Mozie 3rd says, and the blue used in his ring, necklace and grill was the exact color of blue in the flag.

“One of his favorite colors is blue, and I love the blue that’s in the Colombian flag,” Mozie, who started working with Maluma in January of this year, explains. “So we always reference that same blue when it comes to certain accessories. It’s really in the fine details. He’s so passionate about representing his culture on a global stage. When it comes to his biggest moments, it’s really important for him.”

Maluma

Maluma in Balmain at the 2020 MTV VMAs.
Courtesy of MTV

Maluma is among the biggest musical acts from Colombia recognized internationally, and he’s made obvious his affinity for fashion, showing up in the front row at shows like Dior, Louis Vuitton and Off-White, and becoming a commodity for major brands to dress and work with along the way. And he’s an example of a Latinx music star who has brought his culture into his clothing.

“The part about Maluma that I was very intrigued about was his authenticity to culture,” says Mozie, who has also styled the likes of Justin Bieber, Travis Scott and the Jonas Brothers. “Within his music, within his brand, everything he does is really so true to his Colombian heritage, his Latin heritage, and I love that. He’s a modern Renaissance man of Colombia who’s really global with everything. He really doesn’t allow his culture to be a boundary in anything. He’s able to bring his culture whether he’s wearing high-fashion clothing or he’s wearing street clothing, and bring a bit of his culture in his day-to-day style both on and off the camera.”

Something similar could be said for Rosalia, a Spanish musician and one of the most watched style stars in music right now. She had a major breakout in the U.S. over the past few years, and has often effortlessly mixed Spanish heritage items and trends with current runway pieces.

“I was really excited to work with her because she just seemed to have a really fresh approach to fashion,” says stylist Samantha Burkhart, who has styled Rosalia for two years. “I really responded to her wearing things from, say, Palomo Spain to Versace, and I really liked the confidence of wearing smaller brands. I think the really cool thing about her, and why she’s such an incredible artist and so many people are excited about her, is that it’s like there’s never really a conversation about it. She’s someone who just incorporates her Spanish culture and heritage into her music. She’s classically trained and she’s very educated and aware of her country’s history and the history of what she does. And so I feel like she just has a really natural relationship with [her heritage].”

Burkhart, who also styles Billie Eilish, says Rosalia never walks into a fitting label-oriented, something she likes about working with her, and the singer has also educated her about the history of Spanish fashion along the way.

“Instead of being a cliché, it’s sort of more just like, ‘Oh, this is something we grew up with and my mother wore,’” she says. “She does love like a mantua or a flamenco fringe or even just like a classic Spanish earring or a matador shoulder. And she really does try to bring these things into what she’s doing in a way that just feels really authentic.”

Sita Abellin, who styles J Balvin, says a love of color was how she and Balvin bonded.

“We became friends and we always had kind of the same taste — all these colorful pieces and all that,” Abellin says. “He really likes fashion.”

Color play is still a large part of what they do together fashion-wise, and she says it’s how they collectively pay homage to his Latinx heritage.

“He wears a lot of color — that reminds me of Colombia,” she says. “His message for me, I translate it to joy and happiness, having fun. And I think that’s what we do when I dress him up.”

Sita Abellan with J Balvin, wearing Dior.

Lunay, the 20-year-old Puerto Rican rising reggaeton star who has racked up more than a billion views on YouTube with 8.8 million people following along on Instagram, says his approach to fashion is mood-dependent, which is how he chooses the colors he wears, too.

“My style is when I wake up, whatever the vibe that I’m feeling — like today I want to dress in everything black,” he says, over a Zoom call from Miami following rehearsals for an upcoming virtual show. “If the mood is a sunny mood I go more yellow, more orange.”

When it comes to fashion, Lunay looks up to A$AP Rocky as another musician who shirks trends in favor of his own style.

“I want to make my own vision in the fashion industry. That’s it,” Lunay says.

When asked how he incorporates his Latinx heritage into his fashion, he lifts a leg to show off his sneakers with a smile.

“In Puerto Rico, it’s like the dream. We always — Puerto Ricans — we always have to have this on point,” he says of his sneakers, naming Air Force Ones as local favorites.

Another face making waves is Sebastián Yatra, whose sound is more traditional Latin pop versus Lunay’s reggaeton. With more than 12 billion streams and a combined 35 million follower count on his social media and YouTube channels, the 25-year-old Medellin, Colombia-born artist was recently tapped as the host of the Hispanic Heritage Awards, which were shot virtually this year and aired Tuesday on PBS. During the broadcast he also received the “Inspira Award” which was created to honor inspiring young Latinx role models.

Sebastian Yatra

Sebastian Yatra

“It’s a mix between the two cultures, and they’re awards that unite and bring us together,” Yatra says over Zoom of the awards show.

The artist, who has done collaborations with the Jonas Brothers, Halsey, One Republic, Daddy Yankee and more, says he is just starting to get more into fashion.

“I wear different brands. You try to create your own style. And now, in this part of my career, it’s something I want to get into a lot more,” Yatra says. “That’s fun for me, especially entering more of the U.S. market where you have more access to these different brands and designers. Our goal this year was to go to New York Fashion Week and Milan and Paris; with COVID-19 it’s something we’re moving for next year, but it’s definitely a priority for me. It’s something that I want to learn a lot more about.”

The most Latinx thing about the way he dresses, he says, is a preference for having a loosely buttoned shirt (and yes, there was a demonstration via Zoom).

“That’s a very Latin thing. A lot of people, Spanish singers, started doing it as well. But it was something that I did very naturally because of where I come from. Latins were so relaxed all the time. I’m such a free spirit,” he says. “I love wearing whatever represents my heart, and that represents how chill I am and how much love I want to share with people. Things that reflect my personality.”

Julian Rios White was working at The Webster in Miami as a salesperson where he started getting asked to help the teams shopping for J Balvin and Maluma. One day Maluma called him and asked whether he could help style him, and before long White was styling the artist full time, traveling around the world with him. He spent three years with Maluma and now works with Yatra.

“I always feel like once you start working with someone and they’re from the same place or same groups, you have the same values in a way, that’s a plus,” White says.

When it comes to elevating Yatra in the fashion world, White says the aim is to figure out how to blend his rock and rock aesthetic with his Latinx roots.

“I’m taking his style and his view of things — he’s very rock-‘n’-roll-based in his style. He likes this grungy rock-‘n’-roll look. Obviously, we don’t have that much stuff [from the Latinx world]. We don’t have so many artists or bands from the Latin history that were rock bands or that were huge rock artists. Obviously he loves Colombia. He’s very passionate that way when he speaks about Colombia, and we want to keep that. We want everybody to know that he’s from Latin America, in Colombia.…So obviously, if we can work with as many Colombian designers or Latin designers, that would be amazing.”

For emerging electronic artist Ela Minus, who is from Colombia and trained at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, incorporating her roots into her onstage fashion choices as she makes a name for herself in music, is essential.

When Minus started playing solo shows, it was the first time she’d started to think about what she wore onstage and what kind of a message she wanted to send. She sought out dresses, because of the tension it gives off with her music, which is “hard or not so feminine,” she says. “But if you’re wearing really feminine dresses, it’s like, I don’t know. I loved the image of it.”

While shopping in Colombia one day, Minus hit on a store that only sold clothing made by Colombian designers. She fell in love with some of the pieces and reached out to the designers to inquire about working together.

“I always play in the U.S. and Europe, so I love being able to only wear Colombian designers because there’s so much talent and it’s so different,” Minus says. “I love being able to showcase them because I do think they have incredible talent, and I think there’s a big opportunity of people who aren’t from Colombia or Latin America to broaden their scope of what Latin American fashion can be or is now.”

For her, that means wearing more muted, monotone colors like black and white dresses, rather than the colorful prints people tend to associate with Latinx fashion. “I especially like ones that aren’t necessarily evidently Colombian. I’m not wearing colorful, Latin American, more stereotypical [pieces],” she says.

Among the most influential of Latinx artists right now, is Bad Bunny. His stylist, Storm Pablo, works with him exclusively and says Bad has a very strong individual sense of style.

“He has his own fashion sense. And it can be something crazy, like something he wants to do with his hair. It’s all him. If he wants to paint his nails, that’s him,” Pablo says. “I think when it comes to his style, especially now, it’s going much farther than just being fly, and stuff like that. It’s like he’s fighting battles with the way that he dresses. He’s fighting different battles for a lot of different people with the way he looks. And we have fun with it, but also everything we do is very strategic.”

Storm Pablo with Bad Bunny.

Whenever possible, they try to incorporate Latinx designers, Pablo says, citing their recent shoot in Puerto Rico for a Corona commercial as an example.

“Wherever we are in Puerto Rico and also at all times, we always try to use local Latin designers and really shine light on his people,” Pablo says. “I think that’s something that we really try to do with his culture. Of course we wear everything else. But that’s something that we always try to incorporate into every outfit, whether it be jewelry or it could be one earring. But it’s always got to be in there.”

According to Pablo, Bad loves the emerging Japanese brand Doublet, an LVMH Prize winner, as well as Gucci, “of course.”

“But honestly, as far as brands, besides the whole using Latin designers thing, we don’t really pay attention to it,” Pablo says. “We kind of just go on with whatever feels right. And I think that’s kind of what we do right.…It doesn’t always have to be a big designer or anything like that. It can be someone off of Instagram that has 25 followers. Or it can be someone that has 150,000. It doesn’t really matter to us.”

Fashion

Karen Elson Gets Real With Her Kids About White Supremacy in Fashion

Emily walpole

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Karen Elson is not what you expect. When she’s peering fiercely at you from behind a curtain of red hair on the glossy covers of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Muse, and more — that is, where most of us mere humans are accustomed to seeing her face — she’s stunning, intimidating, often alien in her beauty and ferocity. Here in her management company’s studio in downtown Nashville, however, Elson is humble, warm, open, unassuming, even self-conscious at times — and definitively dressed down in plaid and jeans and clunky lace-up boots. (If the desired outfit effect was to somehow obscure or distract from her utter radiance, though, it is not working.)

In fact, she’s so down-to-earth that as we chat, I easily forget that we’re not just two tall flannel-clad divorced moms complaining about the trials and tribulations of sending our kids back to school in person during a pandemic here in the ever-frightening, mask-flouting South. I mean, we are those people; one of us just happens to also be a supermodel/musician with two albums out as well as a gorgeous new art book-cum-memoir, The Red Flame.

The book, much like Elson, comes as a surprise. Judging by its cover, it’s a coffee table hardback of superb quality, a visual chronicle of Elson’s decades-long modeling career since she was discovered in her native Manchester, U.K., as a teen. But start reading it, and you realize this is also a deeply raw, honest, and intimate autobiography in which Elson unearths so many truths about modeling, motherhood, and the ways we live with and learn from our own bodies and minds. And perhaps what speaks most highly of Elson is the fact that she is completely open about all of it — from her eating disorder and being told she wasn’t “fit to model socks” to the fashion industry’s white supremacist history and the recent call to arms for models’ rights — with her own children, Scarlett Teresa and Henry Lee, whom she shares with ex-husband Jack White.

After all, raising our kids in an environment in which honesty and accountability are paramount is the best way we can empower them to build a better world — a mission that, for Elson’s “little feminist” kids, as she says, seems already well underway.

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SheKnows: So your kids have gone back to school, how has that been?

Karen Elson: I’ve got to applaud the schools for being super cautious, following such strict protocols, it can’t be easy for faculty, any of that stuff. I think it’s going to be trial and error. It may get shut down… One child started in August, one just recently went back. It’s definitely not easy but the kids are actually happy to go back to school, they’ll be fine if we go back remotely as well. By the end of the last school year, they had it more dialed in than I was. They’re resilient.

SK: And what was your quarantine like?

KE: We were in Nashville, which I was grateful for, we weren’t just stuck in an apartment in New York… I didn’t get stuck anywhere while I was working and separated from my kids; that would have been heartbreaking. I was just home. And honestly, for all the trials and tribulations of this time, it’s been really nice to have so much quality time with each other. I mean, I’m sure my kids are sick of me right now but we also had some really good quality time. We tried to make the most of it. It’s a really tricky, difficult, scary situation — but just the fact that we were all in it together… even my neighbors were were kind of checking in on each other.

Before this pandemic happened, I lived a global life. I could be on a plane to England for a couple days, then back home for the parent teacher conference, then off on a plane to somewhere else — so it’s made my life a lot smaller, but there were a lot of benefits there. I got to know my neighbors more, I felt my sense of community especially here in Nashville more than I ever had. And that’s a beautiful thing. I had some neighbors who had COVID, and just our entire community really rallied together to make sure that those who were sick, if they need groceries, if they need anything, that we could — from a distance — be there.

SK: And it’s so much more of a contract of trust than we’ve ever had, it’s like this new consent practice.

KE: And it’s trial and error with that too, especially with my kids if they want friends to come over, I have to know the parents. I want to know what they have been doing. Actually this week I had this thought where I went, my god, COVID is really hard but it’s also particularly sad because I can see at times friendships getting affected. There’s this air of distrust. You know, like, Are that family doing what we’re supposed to be doing? Am I doing what we’re supposed to be doing? I’m trying my best to do everything I’m supposed to do. But I’m sure there’s moments where things have slipped through the cracks that everybody has done — but you can’t afford to make mistakes right now.

It’s tough because you do…have to follow the rules. I saw the whole thing at The Fashion House in Nashville and I was like you guys, that’s a little stupid now… I had a dinner for my book last night and I had 12 people, but I made everybody get tested. And I put on the invite: These are my protocols, follow them or don’t follow them and just don’t come.

SK: How are you feeling about the upcoming election?

KE: It’s a funny world right now with politics and I just hope that we’ll get a little levity from all this chaos right now, fingers crossed. But I’m a green card holder so I can’t technically vote — even speaking about elections might be a little persnickety for a green card holder but I’m doing my best to just say, this is what I believe in. All the right things. Trump’s problem is that…great leaders measure their words. They know how to say the right thing at the right time. You think about Obama for instance and the things that would come out of his mouth were just so gracious. And Trump’s big problem is his Twitter. I’m sure his followers would say no that’s his greatest thing, but every day it’s a rollercoaster. It’s a rollercoaster for the markets, it’s a rollercoaster for the safety of the world.

SK: And you’ve been a sort of expat here in the U.S. for a long time, do you see yourself staying here for the long haul?

KE: I don’t know! Honestly. Who knows, once my kids have grown up, where the next chapter might take me. Never in my life have I said any place is fixed. I love having the sort of global mindset of, the world is my own. Once my kids are grown up I might say, I want to go spend three months in this country or that country and then come back to Nashville. The beauty is, for me, traveling pre-pandemic was a big part of my life. I think when this is over, if it ever will be, I will be traveling a lot more again.

SK: So I read your new book, The Red Flame, and I was honestly surprised by what a powerful personal memoir it is — not just a beautiful art book.

KE: Thank you! I love beautiful fashion coffee table books, I’ve got a ton and I absolutely adore all of those. But I knew, doing this, that I wanted to delve deep into my personal experience… You know that wonderful model Emily Ratajkowski, I saw her article that she wrote in The Cut. And, you know, I wrote in the book about issues with model’s rights and nudity and our lack of agency over ourselves and when I saw her article I was like, finally we’re all starting to take ownership of these experiences we’ve had in order to educate the business going forward that you have to value us.

We’re not just a product on the shoot; we’re a living breathing entity who deserve rights. We deserve to feel safe when we’re on set, and deserve to say no to something that feels uncomfortable. The days of the silent muse doing whatever they’re told, those days are over… A lot of the beautiful and powerful women that I know in fashion, they’re so multifaceted and their voices need to be heard. Not just worshipped — heard.

SK: You write so beautifully in your book about tough topics such as your eating disorder and the pressure to shoot nude. How have you broached those conversations with your kids?

KE: I’ve had a lot of conversations with my kids about all of these things; they’re relevant to kids growing up today in general. Especially with my daughter, I’ve had a lot of conversations about the pressures that young women feel to look a certain way, to act a certain way, and how to advocate for yourself. I’m proud that my daughter is a little feminist and is probably at this point even schooling me, on so many things. These days, I listen to her and go, wow, you are ahead of the curve with a lot of these things. She’s taught me a lot recently. But I think it’s important for young women to know that when they’re seeing a picture in a magazine there’s so many other things that are at play. To not take that as the standard of beauty. To take that as, it’s a fantasy. It’s not reality. Highly likely any picture of me has been heavily retouched…where I don’t even recognize myself. It’s not reality.

The days of the silent muse doing whatever they’re told, those days are over… A lot of the beautiful and powerful women that I know in fashion, they’re so multifaceted and their voices need to be heard. Not just worshipped — heard.

SK: Do you think fashion is evolving to be a more accepting realm?

KE: I do think things are changing in the fashion industry. It’s not there yet, but there’s been change and we’ve got to be grateful for the degrees of change. This season alone the Versaci show was so beautiful and so diverse, it had body diversity, every kind of model of different ages and body shapes and ethnicities. And this show I went to Italy for, Fendi, it was a real wash of just every kind of woman. And I want to see more of that, because I think it helps young women growing up who look at these women and aspire to be them to go, ok, I don’t have to be a size zero. The size zero narrative is just so overrated; it’s also deeply rooted in racial discrimination as well. And it’s time we talked about this stuff. Because when you start realizing, oh, the coveted size zero is really based in white supremacy — it really makes you think deeper about fashion and what fashion’s responsibility is to really break that mold completely.

SK: On social media too, it’s not just the magazines anymore.

KE: And I know that all of this stuff is fake, they’ve heavily filtered themselves, they’re subtly advertising things, and it’s all an idealized life. That’s what I want to say about social media: It’s idealized. Even when you’re trying to be earnest… Social media in general I love it, and it’s a burden and it’s my Achilles heel as well, but I look at it with healthy eyes. I know what I’m looking at is… a curated version of somebody’s life. It’s not real life.

SK: And you don’t post much about your kids on social media. Was that a conscious decision?

KE: Yep, it is. I want them to have their own autonomy, I want them to have their own lives that are irrespective of me and their father. And have their privacy and their right to privacy and not have me constantly putting them on display. They don’t necessarily want that. They want to do their thing, they want to be kids without all my friends or followers watching them or judging them. I’m grateful for them to have their privacy and I’ll give them that.

SK: What are you most looking forward to in a post-pandemic world, if and when we get there?

KE: Especially in the fashion world, we were all running on empty before this pandemic. Everyone I knew, we were exhausted, running on fumes. I think having time and space, for a lot of people in creative industries who were just going-going nonstop. The pause has been very been cathartic and very inspiring. I think a lot of people are going to be making a lot of beautiful things coming out of this, powerful things, meaningful things, so theres more depth and intention to the things we do. Instead of just mass producing stuff because we feel like we have to, there’s a lot more intention in what we do. A lot more creativity and focus on the craft of stuff versus… especially in fashion, so many fashion designers were exhausted. Doing so many collections a year. I think this time is going to flip the old model on its head and bring something else to the table that is maybe less frantic. So we’re not pushing people to the brink in order to fulfill their obligations. That there’s a little bit of levity.

SK: You know, your mention of the pandemic as a “forced pause” actually reminds me of your book, when you write about being hospitalized for an eating disorder at age 7, and once you’re in the hospital you’re able to eat again.

KE: It’s a big metaphor isn’t it? You take yourself out of a situation that is stressful and you put yourself in a situation that is less stressful and you go wait, this is the first time in years that I’ve felt [normal]. Especially with the pandemic, there were so many people asking ‘Are you okay??’ thinking that somehow, me stopping would be the worst thing. And I mean, I have to recognize that I’m in a privileged position, I have not lost a job, thank god I am not struggling to put food on the table or pay the bills right now, so I am incredibly privileged to have this GFN, but: It was so nice to spend so much quality time with my children, and to not be on the go all the time. I realize how actually that was contributing to a lot of anxiety in my life — always moving, never stopping. So going forward, that’s something I’ll keep in mind in my life: to carve out more personal time for me, more space, not always on a plane every week. You know, it sounds great but it lends itself to not feeling grounded. And feeling grounded is the feeling I want to feel most.

Read about how Heidi Klum, Angelina Jolie, and more celebrity parents co-sleep with their kids.

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celebrity moms

Launch Gallery: Ashley Graham, Irina Shayk, & More Models Who Walked the Runway While Pregnant During New York Fashion Week

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Avery Dennison: Digitally enabled labels central to circular economy in fashion | Greenbiz

Emily walpole

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Imagine being able to scan a QR code on a jacket that is no longer wearable and receiving clear directions for how to recycle it. Or being able to scan a code that will allow you to make sure a Telfar bag is authentic.

That’s the type of future Avery Dennison envisions for apparel and other consumer goods. And it’s a future that might not be too far off. In early October, the label manufacturer announced a partnership with Certilogo, the digital authentication platform, to enable the latter application.

GreenBiz caught up with Michael Colarossi, vice president of product line management, innovation and sustainability at Avery Dennison, to discuss how the company sees its technology addressing the issue of textile waste and solving the apparel industry’s broader sustainability challenges.

“I would say the primary route that we’re thinking of the technology helping to address, that it’s really an enabler, and to be that provider of information,” Colarossi said. “There is really only one thing on a garment that communicates, and that is the label. Whether it’s providing brand identity or whether it’s providing technical information on the garment itself, that is the only communication device that brands and consumers — or anyone in the supply chain — has to really understand more about that garment. So, we see that label as a communication vehicle to help enable some of the solutions.”

While this technology will help drive the circular economy and it will provide or help shine a light on some of the other areas, it is one part of solving the bigger challenge that the industry faces in terms of sustainability.

But Colarossi acknowledged that labels are just one piece of the solution puzzle.

“While this technology will help drive the circular economy and it will provide or help shine a light on some of the other areas, it is one part of solving the bigger challenge that the industry faces in terms of sustainability,” he said. “It’s important that we don’t lose sight of the other things that we have to go target to make certain that this industry continues to reduce the impact that we have on the environment and improves the impact that we have on the communities in which we operate.”

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Deonna Anderson: Can you give me an overview of where Avery Dennison is with this new technology? I heard one of your colleagues talk about it at Circularity 20, so I’m curious about where things stand.

Mike Colarossi: We have the capability today of creating a unique digital ID for, really, any piece of apparel, footwear or — in the future — really any consumer good. And then, we have the ability of printing that in a variety of formats, whether that’s on a label, on a hangtag, on a fabric label, or we have the ability to create a technology trigger — for example, with our RFID technology. Through the combination of a unique digital ID and a variety of digital triggers, we can enable different consumer experiences.

The capability exists today to do it. We partnered with Ahluwalia [a ready-to-wear fashion company] for Copenhagen Fashion Summit to create a label that was entered into her garments with a specific purpose of creating or enabling the circular economy, which is one of the use cases that we’re exploring. But you can imagine that there’s a variety of other use cases that we’re looking to unlock as well — anything from consumer engagement and creating and working with brands to create a unique story or a different way to engage with a consumer or to provide sustainability information in a digital way on a product; or to provide care and content information on the product; or to enable the circular economy or to even think about the future of retail and how are consumers going to engage in a store, whether it’s with customization of personalization or engaging in a store to provide information on a product and thinking through how that technology can annihilate that. The technology exists.

We can make it happen today, and what we’re doing is we’re standing up, over the next several months, a series of what we call “Lighthouse Projects” to really test out the different hypotheses and use cases that we have.

Anderson: Are those pilot projects?

Colarossi: Yes. Think of it like in the agile sort of framework where we’ve got pilot projects that we’re going to get into the market. We’re going to test, we’re going to learn and then we’ll continue to iterate the solution as we go forward. But we’re talking with a number of the major sports brands in Europe and in the United States, some of the fashion or luxury brands in Europe, and then, we’re also engaged with organizations like the United Nations or the [European Union] who are looking to change regulations as it regards to transparency of information that brands are required to supply consumers with. We’ve got a number of these use cases or partnerships that we’re developing to stand up the technology and demonstrate it in a variety of these different formats.

Anderson: As you test and develop these partnerships and continue to iterate the technology, what do you hope the impact is overall?

Colarossi: The vision first is that every product will be born with a unique digital ID. And then, the hope is, once you have that unique identifier on a piece of apparel or a piece of garment, we can then enable or solve some of today’s biggest challenges.

For example, today, it’s very difficult to recycle garments because a consumer either doesn’t know how or where to return a garment to be recycled or the recycler themselves doesn’t know the content of that garment so they don’t know what recycling methodology they should be using. That’s an example of solving one of the biggest challenges that we have in terms of waste within the apparel supply chain.

Another one is the resale market. One of the biggest challenges that resellers have — particularly in the luxury space — is understanding if a product is authentic or not, and the consumer has the same challenge. In an attempt to enable that circular economy or the resale side of that economy, providing a unique ID would allow that consumer or allow that reseller to immediately authenticate it with a scan of their phone. [We’re] really looking [to address] some of those big challenges with the unique identifier that we’re able to apply to a garment.

Anderson: You mentioned working with a company in Copenhagen, and I know that partnering with other companies and organizations is going to be the way that you really drive this solution forward. I’m curious if you can share any other examples of folks that you’re already working with?

Colarossi: I shared Ahluwalia, of course. We’re [also] working with the U.N. They have an effort where they’re looking to change the way in which you communicate information or the requirements that you have — or brands have — in terms of communicating how a garment was made. So, we’re involved in helping establish that standard for the industry. We’ve also engaged with a recycling network on the east coast of the United States. It’s looking to bring together brands, recyclers, and in companies like Avery Dennison, to create a complete circular system in the U.S.

And that’s interesting because that’s a consortium of companies that represents all different supply chains. And so, we’re working with that organization to develop and basically be the provider of all that shared content information and enabling the circular economy. Those are two examples.

Person scans a QR code on a shirt that they are wearing

Anderson: Living in the age of coronavirus, it seems like consumers might be getting more comfortable with QR codes and the different types of codes they can scan with their phones. Since consumers might be more aware of how these types of technologies work, do you think adoption will be easier when brands start using these labels at scale?

Colarossi: I would say it depends on the region of the world. For example, in China, where people are now accustomed to using WeChat to pay for everything via QR code on their phone, scanning a QR code is second nature. In the United States, where that technology hasn’t proliferated as much, there still is an education effort required. We even noticed that with some work that we’ve done with brands, we still have to provide the hint or the identifier on the garment that says, “Hey, you need to do something” or “You could engage.”

I think COVID will change it from the perspective that more people are going to be using technology to get information. It will change it from the perspective that a lot of us are going to be doing things online, more so than ever. I think there are those sets of opportunities. But I still think there’s an education effort required.

Anderson: What do you think it would take for QR codes and RFIDs to be just a widely adopted part of a label on products across brands? And when do you think it will get there?

Colarossi: I think many brands today are considering it. But I think it’s still a very new space, and companies like Avery Dennison, we have an obligation to help the industry imagine what’s possible. So, the QR code is interesting, and putting a QR code or RFID or MSC or Bluetooth or any technology into a garment is interesting. What’s more interesting, though, is what does it enable? And what we’re finding is that because it could enable so many different things, that could be an overwhelming problem and challenge for brands, for factories, for recyclers — for anyone in the supply chain to really imagine.

We recognize that the industry is on the cusp of change — whether that is the trend on consumption, the issues that the industry faces on waste, or the issues that the industry has historically struggled with on transparency of their supply chains.

I think we’re still fairly early in adoption. My belief is within the next three to five years, you’re going to see it proliferate. … It will be aided by a few of the brands that are going to be standing up pilots in 2021 and consumers getting comfortable with seeing that and understanding what we are supposed to do with this. And then, I think there are likely to be changes in regulations that are going to require us to think differently about the value of a QR code and communicating a lot of information in a very little amount of real estate on a garment. So, I think those three things combined: You’ll probably start seeing it move here in the next three to five years.

Anderson: Why is it important for Avery Dennison — and also for the companies that you will eventually partner with and that you’re already partnering with  — to be doing this type of work right now?

Colarossi: I think that there are probably two or three reasons. The first is that we recognize that the industry is on the cusp of change, whether that is the trend on consumption, the issues that the industry faces on waste or the issues that the industry has historically struggled with on transparency of their supply chains. We’re seeing a trend where brands and consumers alike are placing a lot more importance on addressing those things. And if Avery Dennison can be part of the solution through technology, that is a space that we want to be investing in and we want to be enabling for the industry. So, I think that’s the first reason.

I would say that the second reason is that we do believe that the industry — and all industries, frankly — will become more digital. And we, as a business, need to figure out how we are going to play in that market as well. So whether it’s digital solutions, whether it’s digitizing our supply chains, whether it is creating new customer experiences through new digital transformation, this is part of an overarching strategy that Avery Dennison has to become more digitally oriented and data-centric in the future. And I think that will help us just continue to be a sustainable business in the broadest of terms.

The company’s been around 80-plus years. We plan to be around 80-plus more years. And this is part of our strategic vision that we need to continue to invest in the space of digital.

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Fashion

Top fashion designer Dame Trelise Cooper burgled: ‘One lonely hanger is all that’s left’ – NZ Herald

Emily walpole

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Dame Trelise Cooper. Photo / Norrie Montgomery

Top fashion designer Dame Trelise Cooper is devestated after being burgled and losing her entire 2021 spring and summer samples.

“One lonely hanger is all that’s left,” said the Auckland-based designer on social media.

Cooper said at the weekend the company’s styling room was burgled and stripped of the Spring ’21 and Summer ’21 sample collections for Trelise Cooper, Cooper, Coop and Curate, along with a number of their unique couture pieces. 1800 samples gone, to the value of half a million dollars.

“All of our hard work through Covid lockdowns and 2020 – gone!”

STOLEN 💔

One lonely hanger is all that’s left.

Over the weekend our styling room was burgled and our entire Spring…

Posted by Trelise Cooper on Monday, October 19, 2020

She asked people to be on the lookout for any Trelise Cooper, Cooper, Coop and Curate garments on the market, saying anyone noticing anything suspicious should contact her with information.

“The garments taken were size 8 or small samples so do not have care labels and many of these garments are not available in store yet.”

The fashion designer was very thankfujl no staff were harmed, “but we are truly devastated by this huge loss”.

A police spokesman said they received a report relating to a burglary of a commercial premise on Lion Place, Epsom, over the weekend.

The exact time of the burglary isn’t known at this stage.

The store was broken into and a significant amount of clothing and shoes were reported stolen.

Police have been making inquiries and a forensic examination of the scene has taken place.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Police on 105 quoting file number 201019/3913 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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