Appalled by the mob that stormed Capitol Hill on Wednesday — striking at the heart of American democracy and, for a time, halting the certification of Joe Biden as the next U.S. president — fashion’s and retail’s leaders reacted by giving voice to their worries, their disgust and their hopes for the future.
Whether on social media, in statements to WWD, press releases or missives to their employees, people across the industry issued a strong rebuke to President Donald Trump and the chaos he incited by sending violent supporters to disrupt the House and Senate as they approved Biden’s victory at the polls.
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The industry and much of the world seemed both exhausted and enraged after four years of Trump’s iconoclastic style of leadership that is both divorced from reality and outright dishonest. That was reflected in growing calls to remove Trump from power via the 25th Amendment even though he has less than two weeks left in office. It also stirred social media outlets Facebook and Twitter to ban his accounts until at least after the inauguration, while even Shopify disabled two sites selling Trump merchandise. Trump himself on Thursday appeared to finally concede defeat, saying “a new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20” in a video message from the White House.
But as the nation braces itself for the end of the Trump administration, there are hints even in the midst of a pandemic that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Stephen Lamar, chief executive officer of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, which has offices just blocks from the Capitol, said: “While this was an assault on democratic institutions and our democracy, hours later, that same democracy showed how resilient it is and how enduring it is.”
He noted that shortly after the violent mob swirled through the halls of the Capitol building, wreaking destruction, lawmakers in the House and Senate “reconvened and they went through about an eight-hour period of counting the votes and certifying the electoral results. They did it in a peaceful way, there were still objections and they went through those objections. There was a process. By midnight, it was a huge vote in favor of our democracy.”
Lamar said Biden, when he does take office, would bring more of a process-oriented approach to trade — a key issue for fashion — and noted, “I don’t think we’re going to see tariff by tweet,” as was the case under Trump. He also expects more emphasis on climate change and an outlook on the economy that strives for more fairness.
Biden will have more than just the economic divide to bridge, however, and will have to battle not only the pandemic but also a large portion of the U.S. population that continues to believe Trump’s falsehoods that the election was “stolen,” even though numerous recounts, courts and other investigations have firmly debunked those claims.
The scene of a mostly white mob laying siege in Washington on behalf of Trump, who has stoked racial tensions, again underscored the work the country has to do to take on systemic racism.
Fear of God’s Jerry Lorenzo posted a message on Instagram “with love and a heavy heart” imploring people not to ask him to explain white privilege, which was on display in the stark contrast between law enforcement’s handling of Wednesday’s mob versus the much more severe treatment of Black Lives Matter protesters last year.
“We all dwell in the same social atmosphere…and I feel the social disadvantage and hindrance of my skin color in this country every day…please do not act like you don’t feel and live in the advantage of yours… every antagonist has a protagonist. Today exposed that truth at the highest level,” Lorenzo wrote.
Here, fashion reacts to an extraordinary time in America’s political life and expresses its hopes for the future.
Tory Burch, executive chairman and chief creative officer, Tory Burch
My hopes for the first year of the Biden administration include well-organized vaccine distribution and an economic stimulus that meets the needs of vulnerable Americans including small businesses owners. The country needs to come together, to heal and to address the enormous challenges we face. We need to take strong action to tackle the spread of misinformation online; it is an important step on our path to a more constructive discourse where we respect people we disagree with and can work across party lines to create better, fairer solutions for everyone.
We hit rock bottom and it needs to be a massive wake-up call. The shock of yesterday’s events must be translated into action and national reconciliation. We have to take advantage of every opportunity we have to create unity over division. The majority of Americans share common values of freedom, fairness, opportunity and respect for the fundamental institutions of our democracy.
Jerry Lorenzo, founder, Fear of God:
Diane von Furstenberg
Diane von Furstenberg
What we saw last night is NOT what Americans and the world know of America. America is resilient and the power of the Constitution will win. In my involvement with the Statue of Liberty, which was a gift to America from the people of France, I learned a lot about the Constitution and its values. It is those values that the French so admired and that is why for the last 200 years, people from all over the world take refuge in America, study in America and aspire to live the American dream. I believe those values will be restored by a shocked Congress and Senate and the unity that will appear with Biden and his administration.
Manny Chirico, chief executive officer and chairman, and Stefan Larsson, president, PVH Corp.
The democratic values of the United States are the foundation of the country’s past, present and future. They allow our communities — and companies like ours — to thrive and make positive impacts. Throughout the global PVH family, we were saddened and unnerved yesterday to see the United States Congress disrupted and the U.S. Capitol a target of violence.
At PVH, we respect the right to protest peacefully and condemn any violence or disruption to these values. We applaud the leaders of the U.S. Congress for not bowing to lawlessness, putting aside their differences and committing to honor the tradition of a peaceful transition of power that is a hallmark of the nation’s almost 250-year history.
Gary Wassner, CEO, Hilldun Corp.
I’m hoping that Biden will bring back a world of compassion and fact-based reasoning. The events in D.C. were appalling. They highlight the enormous disparity of belief in our society today, as well as the dangerous influence seriously flawed leadership can have on unsuspecting and vulnerable individuals looking to ameliorate their anger and fear.
Facts must be facts. The news should report facts, not GFN. Leave that to the GFN columnists and hosts. Biden must reinstate the vital importance of truth and integrity. If our society continues to believe in two diametrically opposed “realities,” then there’s no possibility of reconciliation. Without a common starting point for debate, we cannot make any progress. Social media is a blessing and a curse. It’s unrestrained and can be incredibly informative as well as dangerously misleading and provocative. Hate, confrontation and bigotry have become the guiding principles of our current administration, veiled in MAGA rhetoric. It has to end. Leadership is by example and our current example is shameful.
Kenneth Cole, founder and chief creative officer, Kenneth Cole Productions
I believe President-elect Biden understands his biggest challenge will be to unite the states of America. Our country needs a dignified leader who knows that there are no red states and blue states; they are all red, white and blue states. I am looking forward to seeing him focus on the collective health of our planet and the physical and mental health of its inhabitants.
Steven Kolb, CEO, the Council of Fashion Designers of America
Speaking on behalf of the American fashion industry, I look to the incoming Biden administration to consider issues key to the survival and rejuvenation of the fashion and retail sectors, which both suffered greatly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specifically, I hope to see an extension of COVID-19 financial relief programs to ensure continuous employment and operations. The majority of CFDA members are small, independent brands, which are still severely challenged by the pandemic. Additionally, reducing duties and tariffs in our industry is key to our long-term success and viability, as is support on trademark, copyright and design piracy protection which is an issue domestically and overseas and especially in China.
We also need to reform immigration policies by expanding visas for high-skilled workers, creating visas so that foreign-born entrepreneurs can build companies here, and establishing a process for undocumented immigrants to earn legal status. The industry would benefit from the support of the Department of Commerce and tax incentives to manufacture in the U.S. and also incentives developed in support of sustainable business practices.
It was difficult to see yesterday’s events unfold, but I was encouraged to see Congress return to work and certify the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as our next president and vice president. My hopes for the next few weeks are that we as a country come together for our common good, and I believe that President-elect Biden’s continued messaging is already putting us on that path.
Yesterday reminded me of Charlottesville [white supremacist rally in Virginia in 2017 where one person was killed and many injured] all over again…very scary. I think we are all ready for a change from the last four years. I’m confident that Biden and Harris can start to build a strong “United” States of America.
Bobby West, Bobbyday NYC
As a Black man in American I have learned to realize “that you get what you get and don’t be upset,” but hoping that Biden brings what America has been missing since Day One…LOVE for the human race.
Edvin Thompson, Theophilio
My feelings were so displaced. I was caught in a place where my anger became numb. Seeing white privilege wear its sick face time and time again. Numb to the thought that those rioters and thugs would be treated just as I and other Black people who have been abused by law enforcement for something so simple as to be asleep in my own home. Even in that displaced feeling I was so embarrassed of how the world was looking at us, “the free world,” land of the American Dream. It was a complete nightmare. Joe Biden is preserving hope. I think the best thing America can do is hold him accountable every step of the way with his promises. Jan. 6, 2021 will be in the history books. How the future will look is the challenge.
Vote! And continue to amplify the voices in our community.
Christyn Breckenridge, 3rdEyeView
Yesterday’s [Wednesday’s] terrorist coup proved the racist double standard in this country. I was just numb watching the TV because it’s day seven of 2021 and here we are. The WORLD was watching. The world needed to see this. Biden has good intentions but it’s going to take far more than the “we’re better than this America” speech to make this nation better.
Christina Tung, SVNR
Yesterday’s acts of domestic terrorism and insurrection by white mobs without fear of reprisal, let alone risk of bodily harm or death, should shock the conscience of the nation but instead it only reinforces what we’ve known since colonization — our entire political system and governance was designed to perpetuate and protect white power, wealth and status.
After moving through many difficult personal emotions of helplessness, confusion, anger, disgust, shock and nonshock, I am holding onto a slice of hope that the glaring contrast between police response to Black Lives Matter protests last summer and the domestic terrorism of yesterday, the blatant illegal attempt to eradicate democratic processes, and the toxic display of white privilege will shake people out of their apathy and inaction and inspire the majority to organize and collaborate effectively.
I hold hope that Biden and Harris, through their leadership and example, can begin to undo the normalization and effects of the current government encouragement of extremist behavior and tackle head on the dismantling of systemic racism in every facet of society starting with strategic reallocation of law enforcement funding.
Jazmin Veney, Arch NYC
For me yesterday was a sad reminder that we have work to do. America has always had work to do, but yesterday’s events made it clear that nothing has been learned from the unrest of summer 2020. To call the events that took place at the Capitol “protests” and to categorize it as anything other than domestic terrorism is a complete disregard for what Black Lives Matter is, for the lives that were lost senselessly, unjustly because of police brutality, to those across the entire world who risked their lives during a pandemic because their need to fight for justice was greater. We have no true leadership in this country and while I don’t think that the change that is needed starts and ends with a president or vice president, we can clearly see how much of an impact the current leadership has had on U.S. citizens.
Where I expect Joe Biden to make an impact is by holding people accountable. I can imagine that it’s difficult to hold people who look like you and expect you to support them regardless of their decisions accountable, but we haven’t for so long and that is why we are here. The beginning of the end of white privilege could start here. If not with this example then when? Because it gets no clearer than yesterday. Hold people accountable for their violent, disrespectful and racists actions. Hold the police accountable for their lack thereof in this specific situation. Why does the rule protect and serve garner a different reaction depending on who they are protecting and serving? Why are Black people able to be mourning, grieving, and angry over the lives lost from our communities, for no reason but able to hold peaceful, respectful and nonviolent protests? Only for them to be twisted, mocked, called riots, and put on display as “what not to do.”
I’m not looking to any politician to have all the answers and undo the complete underlying makeup of America, but I am looking for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to start by using their new platform to impact real and evident change so the Black community can begin to feel supported.
Theresa Ebagua, founder of Chelsea Paris
I’m in disbelief, stunned by the audacity of the insurrectionists who partook in the unruly desecration of the Capitol building. Watching the destruction unfold, I could not help but wonder: What if these were bodies like mine? Would the response be the same? On some level, we all know the answer to my questions. Just last summer, we witnessed peaceful, BLM protesters met with brute resistance. This week’s incident has magnified the biases at play in our society.
As a designer who values and celebrates cultural differences, it saddens me to see America fractured in this way. We have to maintain hope for a better tomorrow. We’re all one people and as President-elect Biden continuously echoes, we are the “United States.”
With his political knowledge and experience navigating terrains of grief, Biden is uniquely equipped to be a point of unity and reason. Restoration won’t come easy; still, if there is someone who can bridge the gap to facilitate healing and reconciliation. I believe Biden can be that person.
I think we have all experienced what extreme political polarization can do to any community. Wednesday’s event is a direct result of that. I believe President Biden’s first task is to find a way to unite the American people again and to redefine what it means to be American.
Christian Juul Nielsen, Aknvas
Wednesday’s actions at the Capitol were upsetting in many ways. I’m hopeful for President-elect Biden to unite the country and to move forward peacefully.
Yesterday was a blatant display of white supremacy and privilege disguised as “protest.” We witnessed domestic terrorism, met with a lack of urgency from our capital’s security.
As a Black person, seeing last night’s display was not surprising. In fact, it was the perfect example of what we grow up inherently knowing.…Actions have varying degrees of consequences, solely based on the color of our skin.
As a nation, we are far from equality. Systemic racism, suppression and oppression have been embedded into the very fabric of this country and the way it works. Black and brown people are reminded almost daily that we are not as valuable, and definitely not the priority in this nation (especially within the justice system).
When Joe Biden begins his presidency, it’s imperative he begins to address and dismantle all platforms that have been tainted by white supremacy. Justice reform, prison reform, education reform and more need to be tackled. Action needs to be taken to ensure Black safety, progression and prosperity. Biden needs to realize that America needs to protect and respect the very people that built this country. He also needs to make sure white supremacist are not able to easily scale a wall and walk right into the nation’s Capitol.…All while BLM protesters are tear gassed, maced and arrested for peacefully taking up space in their neighborhoods.
America, do better.
I couldn’t help but see it as slave owners burning down the plantations. White supremacists attacking the system that supports white supremacy.
But at our core we must remain vigilant in our belief in the good in one another.
Biden must work to make the country a beacon of hope instead of a bastion of hate.
Biden can begin the hope of a course correction for the country by holding the current president accountable to the laws of the land.
I am horrified but sadly unsurprised by the failed insurrection attempt led by Trump yesterday. It also clearly illustrates once again how there are two types of law enforcement in this country: one where there is an outsized show of force often resulting in the senseless deaths of Black and Americans [of color], and then the type we saw on display yesterday where white privilege results not only in the restrained use of force but a failure to arrest or stop dangerous white people blatantly breaking laws. I believe that President-elect Biden must direct the Justice Department to pursue criminal charges against anyone who participated in the ransacking of the Capitol. Biden must also make good on his campaign promise to address the systemic racism within law enforcement and the criminal justice system. I also hope that Trump will be held accountable for the numerous laws he has surely broken during his time in office and that the Republican leaders who have supported his baseless claims of voter fraud that directly resulted in yesterday’s violence will be held accountable at the ballot box.
Clare Ngai, founder and designer of Bonbonwhims
Seeing what happened yesterday was terrifying and infuriating. As a woman of color and an immigrant to this country, I know the consequences would have been drastically different had the perpetrators been people of color. We all need to rise up, be vocal and proactively do something tangible to help. Especially within the fashion industry — many have the tendency to sit back and observe — it’s no longer enough and far from enough. As a small brand, I continue to donate to organizations [run by Black, Indigenous and people of color] and hope it can help make a difference, and I urge others to do the same.
It’s disgusting to see the cops behaving the way they did. The imbalance is truly shocking, yet not surprising. As for the “protesters,” call ’em what they are. Terrorists.
Bethann Hardison, activist, industry leader and consultant
I have always been in appreciation of Joe Biden before he ran on the ticket of President Barack Obama. Now that he is president-elect, I know what Biden is capable of and he has already done it with his cabinet selections. I put no further pressure because he is in the right lane. Not easy being the president of the USA, but I will “surf the wave” with Joe. So elated he was elected and we now have the Senate and House.
I was prepared for Jan. 6, expecting perhaps violence. Never expecting the Trump supporters to storm the Capitol making an entrance. I have been expecting civil unrest. I am prepared for anything, this is America, not surprising. At least now it’s known what’s possible. Awareness and recognition are everything, so do their best to be prepared and prosecute the criminals. I just hope number “45” goes quietly.
Deirdre Quinn, cofounder and CEO, Lafayette 148
As a business owner, I look to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to help restore stability in the economy and the country — from further economic stimulus, to effective and equitable vaccine distribution. There has never been a more critical moment for our country to come together. We have a lot of work to do and their leadership is vital to help build us back as one nation. This country is built by immigrants — my parents are both immigrants, my business partners are immigrants — and I’m certain that having leaders who value, respect and protect our immigrants will make us a stronger nation.
I’m truly saddened and disheartened to see how people have treated the institution that safeguards the foundation of this country. We’ve seen extraordinary change happen over the past year. I’ve learned that unprecedented challenges can bring out the best in people, and today I’m hopeful for a more united country — one that is built with kindness and empathy — so that we can once again thrive as a nation that others look up to.
Alex Bolen, CEO, Oscar de la Renta
Due to the pandemic, unemployment in our country remains shockingly high. I wonder if Wednesday would’ve been different if all those who invaded our Capitol had jobs? Hard to say, I guess, and regardless, it’s no excuse for their shameful and terrifying behavior, but lack of work must’ve played a part.
As such, I hope that the Biden administration will make it clear that its top priority is getting people back to work by putting the pandemic behind us. We have the tools — vaccines, motivated and tireless health care professionals, money — now they must be brought to bear in a strong and consistent way.
Mark Walker, CEO, Outerknown
What I want most from President-elect Biden is a fresh perspective. Balance. A real acceptance of the facts and issues that need to be solved. Outerknown was started with a purpose to solve the institutional errors that have been created over decades of apparel production. It is hard to solve the problems that exist if you pretend or don’t acknowledge they are real. Human rights, climate change and waste are all real issues that we can change if we hold up a mirror and truthfully own the issues and then try to solve them. I also urge inclusion. Bring in more people who have real information on the issues so it is educated dialogue. Sometimes, great leaders need to stop and listen before they just speak.
The only word I can use to describe yesterday’s events would be “embarrassed.” I think we all asked ourselves multiple times “is this really happening” or “is this the United States Capitol?” I hope we can minimize the damage that can still be done before the inauguration and hold people accountable for their roles in yesterday’s events. It’s concerning that different people get different treatment and is important that all people are held accountable to the same level. We need to move forward together but that is only possible if it is truly a “we” and not “you and I.”
Patrik Frisk, CEO, Under Armour Inc.
The violence and unrest at the U.S. Capitol today [Wednesday] put our country’s values into question. But what’s not a question is there are better ways to lift up America. Under Armour stands for a peaceful and orderly transition of power. What we do today sets the course for tomorrow. Democracy is a team sport.
Brian Dodge, president, the Retail Industry Leaders Association
It is clear our nation has a long road ahead to repair the division that manifested itself today in our nation’s capital, but it starts with acknowledging that free and fair elections must be respected, regardless of the outcome. It’s time for men and women of goodwill in government to denounce the conspiracy theories and cancerous rhetoric employed by those cravenly attempting to capitalize on political chaos. All those trafficking in sedition must be rebuked.
We appreciate the strong words from President-elect Biden, and urge all members of Congress to follow his lead in denouncing violence, and respecting the Constitution and the rule of law.
Andrew Meslow, CEO of L Brands Inc. and Bath & Body Works
We unequivocally condemn the criminal actions of those who have put our elected officials and other lives at risk and our country in the spotlight in this way. This is not who we are as a nation.
While this is a unique moment in our country, remember that Americans have been holding elections and conveying power between parties peacefully for almost 250 years. We have successfully voted during the Civil War, two World Wars and other crises. In this time of uncertainty, we each need to recommit to our values, civility and mutual respect.
While this is a dark moment in our history, this nation has a long record of shining moments through difficult times and we will continue to have them. Our democracy was built for this.
Matthew Shay, president and CEO, National Retail Federation
For more than two centuries we have prided ourselves as Americans on our democratic principles, our nation of laws and the unique experience of peaceful transfers of power from one administration to the next, regardless of party affiliation.
This is a sad and distressing day for our country. For more than two centuries we have prided ourselves as Americans on our democratic principles, our nation of laws and the unique experience of peaceful transfers of power from one administration to the next, regardless of party affiliation.
Our retailers, the millions of associates they employ and the communities they serve across the country want and need our elected officials to focus on the priorities that ensure faith in our government through stability. Today’s [Wednesday’s] riots are repugnant and fly in the face of the most basic tenets of our constitution, and the administration must move quickly to provide the leadership that will end this affront to our democracy.
Stephen Lamar, CEO, the American Apparel & Footwear Association
While this was an assault on democratic institutions and our democracy, hours later, that same democracy showed how resilient it is and how enduring it is.
Tim Boyle, chairman, president and CEO, Columbia Sportswear Co.
Obviously, the events that unfolded in Washington, D.C., yesterday were repugnant to those who cherish America’s commitment to the rule of law. President Trump should be held accountable. President-elect Biden’s first challenge is to bring together a divided country and show the world that the United State is capable of a smooth transition of power and that democracy does, in fact, work. We need him to be a voice of calm and reason that transcends the chaos. After that, I’d like to see President-elect Biden lead a comprehensive effort to get everyone in the country vaccinated against COVID-19. I think both of those can be achieved with his steady leadership.
Fashion school students around the world are preparing to enter an industry that’s rapidly changing. There are courses to pass, design prompts to ace, runway shows to prep for and professional connections to make. And over the past year, they’ve had to navigate it all under Covid-19 restrictions. In our series, “Fashion School Diaries,” those students give us a firsthand look into their day-to-day lives. Here, we meet Benjamin Spencer, a 2021 Savannah College of Art and Design Accessory Design B.F.A. graduate.
I’m not sure if it’s too early to call Benjamin Spencer a designer to watch, considering he just graduated from SCAD, but the 24-year-old is doing some pretty remarkable things with footwear design. For his senior collection, he worked with thermochromic dyes that change color in response to temperature.
“The changing of colors represents the different emotions people feel throughout the day,” Spencer writes of the sculptural collection, which is titled “Metamorphosis” and was inspired by his own mental health struggles brought about by the pandemic.
Spencer has already been getting industry recognition. Christian Louboutin selected him as a finalist for the Hyères Festival, for which he will present in France this October. He was also one of nine out of 400 designers awarded a $15,000 grant by the Swarovski Creatives for Our Future program, which he plans to use to “continue [his] research of thermochromic dyes and how to merge them with bioplastics, grown materials and other sustainable textiles to create footwear and other products.” Finally, he won Melissa’s Melissa Next competition and is now in the process of collaborating with the Brazilian shoe brand on a product that will be sold in stores.
After presenting his collection in SCAD’s virtual student show and graduating, Spencer took some time to reflect on his early love of shoes, his years at the Georgia design school, the challenges and silver linings brought about by the pandemic and his lofty career ambitions.
“I grew up in a small farm town playing sports and being active outside. I was always interested in shoes, from collecting to drawing shoes I saw in magazines and designing my own. However, I never really thought that it was possible to go into the fashion industry, coming from a small town in Missouri. I always just thought of fashion as a hobby rather than a real career possibility.
“Before transferring to SCAD, I studied engineering at another university for two years. Engineering is considered a practical and successful job where I’m from, so I decided to pursue it. After a year of studying, though, I knew being an engineer wasn’t the career path for me. My parents started pushing me back toward my passion of designing shoes. We started looking at universities that offered accessory design as a major, and when we finally visited SCAD, I fell in love. SCAD not only offers a program that allowed me to study footwear design, but the program also taught pattern making and sample-making, which is something that many of the other universities didn’t This is how I knew that SCAD was the place for me.
“From my time at SCAD, what I will remember most are the relationships I built, both with my professors (who I know will encourage and support me even after graduation, and I plan on staying in touch with throughout my career) and with my peers, whether through friendships or being a part of the same industry. I see myself staying in touch with many of the people that I met and collaborated with during my time at SCAD and I hope we will work together again as we embark on our careers in the industry.
“When designing, I always start with a story. What story do I want the product to tell, or how do I want the consumer to feel when they first see the product and then wear it? After I create the story behind the piece, I start researching silhouettes that will help to tell the story best. The story and silhouette research generally lead me into what type of textile development will be used on the shoe. However, the order of all of these steps are interchangeable and sometimes will change depending on what type of inspiration is coming to me in the moment.
“As many know, the pandemic caused everyone to take a step back and reevaluate the important things in life. It also caused us to reevaluate how we work and the restraints we had been placing on ourselves, whether that was needing an office to go into or thinking that the only way to make shoes was by having a sewing machine and a bunch of industrial equipment. The pandemic allowed us to journey back to when we were children and all we had was our imagination to let us run wild.
“The pandemic also impacted internships that would have occurred during the summer of 2020 and the vital experience that students would have gained. I had been accepted to intern with Ralph Lauren, but due to the pandemic the internship was adjusted to be virtual. I gained so much from the experience, even though it was virtual, and feel honored to have had the opportunity to work with the Ralph Lauren design team. But since I was at home, it gave me the time to search for other ways to be creative and focus on my designs. I ended up setting up a studio in my garage with one of my best friends, as well as working for a start-up company focused on making protective head coverings.
“I also embraced the challenges of not having access to a sewing machine and the typical equipment necessary to produce shoes. I used this time to experiment with different methods of making shoes using two- and three-part molding techniques.
“Over the last year, the biggest challenges for me were mental health, the loss of loved ones and feelings of uncertainty brought on by the pandemic. When researching my concept for my senior collection, I knew I wanted it to be relevant to what was currently occurring in the world. I toyed with different ideas surrounding the pandemic, but the story that felt most natural and closest to my heart focused on the conversation of mental health. Mental health is something that I have struggled with throughout my life and something that I have always hid and been ashamed of. By creating a collection solely focused on the study of mental health and the changing of emotions, it not only gave me a platform to bring awareness to different aspects of mental health, but it was also very therapeutic, allowing me to feel more comfortable speaking about my own struggles.
“My senior collection is titled ‘Metamorphosis.’ ‘Metamorphosis’ is a reflection of the rise in mental health issues that have occurred due to the pandemic, loss of loved ones, seclusion and financial instability. The collection takes inspiration from different animals’ physical characteristics and how they change in regard to the emotions they are feeling. Thermochromic dye is used throughout — they allow the color of each shoe to change in relation to the temperature of the environment the shoe is in. The changing of colors represents the different emotions people feel throughout the day. ‘Metamorphosis’ is meant to question what is truly ‘normal’ and let people know it’s okay if they feel like they’re different, because being different is what makes each and every one of us special.
“After developing a concept I felt strongly about, I knew the main focus of my collection would be on innovation in textile development. I wanted my materials to reflect different animals’ textures and I knew I wouldn’t be able to achieve this using traditional materials. I spoke a great deal with my professor, Michael Mack, and a fibers senior, Kathryn Sours, about different materials that could potentially be used to achieve the effects I was looking for. From there, I worked to create dozens of material swatches using liquid rubber, resin, leather, thermochromic dyes and pretty much anything I could get my hands on until I had a core of materials I felt strongly about.
“After deciding what type of textile development I was going to use, I began creating silhouettes. The process that I used was much different than previous processes, because I was focused on creating brand-new silhouettes. My goal was to create shoes that were wearable, but made people question what the parameters of a shoe could actually be. I began focusing on merging different objects together, such as crystals and a human heart or jellyfish and a teapot, to create brand-new silhouettes.
“Because of the experimentation I was doing with my silhouettes and textile development, there was a lot of trial and error involved in the creation of my collection. There wasn’t a single shoe where everything went perfectly according to plan, but that made the process exciting.
“When creating the initial concept for my collection I was really focused on how I would be able to present the collection to showcase the color transformation of the shoes and tie the theme of changing emotions together. I knew I wanted to have a video or a live art installation; however, with the pandemic, I decided to solely use video to portray the collection. I partnered with a few SCAD students to help me showcase my final collection: Malia Acuri (B.F.A., fashion merchandising, 2021), who art directed the collection shoots, and Melissa Chilson (B.F.A., film and television, 2021). In collaborating with Malia and Melissa, I was able to bring the vision behind the collection to life. SCAD has really taught me to value cross-disciplinary collaboration, and my openness to work with other students to showcase my collection made the presentation all the more impactful.
“It was always exciting for me getting to show my peers and professors the thermochromic dyes in use for the first time. Seeing a shoe completely change colors in front of your eyes is not something that many people have seen before, so there would always be lots of confusion and excitement on their faces.
“Now that I’m done, I’m proud of how my collection turned out. There will always be ways to improve upon it, but I’m excited to see how I can move forward with everything I learned at SCAD.
“I’m very excited to display my work in SCAD FASHION 2021. By displaying my collection virtually, the possibility increases that people all over the world will see my work. This allows for greater access and visibility, so that brands and other designers can view my work.
“Being recognized by two prestigious organizations such as the International Festival of Fashion (Hyères Festival) and the Swarovski Creatives for Our Future Program has been a great honor for me, and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my professors at SCAD who encouraged me to submit my designs for these global competitions and championed me along the way.
“After graduation, I plan on focusing my time toward working on the Swarovski Creatives for Our Future Grant and the Melissa collaboration. I will also be dedicating time to building my brand, Thomas Benjamin, and my first collection that I plan to release in 2022. I’m also searching for a full-time design position within the luxury fashion industry.
“When speaking about where I see myself in the future or my ultimate career goals, people always tell me that my head is in the clouds. When I tell them that one day, I will be the creative director of one of the top French fashion houses, they tell me, ‘But you study footwear design.’ When I tell them that one day The House of Thomas Benjamin will continue on for generations to come, they laugh or act like I’m crazy. But what those people don’t see are the hours and hours spent working on my craft and the dedication I had to learning from the very best professors and mentors at SCAD. I grow each and every day, always push myself and am never okay with where I am – I always strive for more and to be more. These goals I have for myself aren’t going to happen overnight and there are also many smaller steps I must take before I can get to the finish line, but one thing I always have known is that when someone says I can’t achieve something it pushes me even harder. Some would say my self-belief is naïve, but to those people I say: You can’t achieve if you don’t believe.”
By Megan Reedlinger June 8, 2021, 5:22 AM Pacific Time
The CMT Music Awards have always provided memorable fashion moments. In honor of the 2021 show on June 9th, Wonderwall.com revisits what we’ll never forget … starting with this classic look … Taylor Swift’s style has evolved dramatically since then. But do you remember when she was drawn to a fairy-tale-inspired look ?? A country-turned pop singer-songwriter was decorated with strapless sequins at the 2007 CMT Music Awards. Wearing a fairy tale, you will be here. It was Taylor before fashion evolved to wear the signature ringlet of the time! Continue reading to see the style of the CMT Music Awards, which has been more memorable for many years …
Related: Best Photos of 2020 CMT Music Awards
Dierks Bentley dressed up like a pilot at the 2014 CMT Music Awards, riding on the success of the hit “Drunk on a Plane”. We love good costumes!
Related: Country Music Star Wives
Expected singer Mickey Guyton didn’t get enough of this translucent glowing gown on the red carpet at the 2020 CMT Music Awards. She welcomed her first child, son Grayson Savoy, a few months later in February 2021.
Carrie Underwood looked perfect in this colorful dress that showed off her toned legs at the 2016 CMT Music Awards.
“Modern Family” star Sarah Hyland attends the 2020 CMT Music Awards. — With bold and adorable coordination by Georges Hobeika. From stunning baby pink short-sleeved crop tops to cutout-covered lilac skirts and ridiculous black ribbons, this is one of the unforgettable looks.
Can she be more chic? At the 2015 CMT Music Awards, Nicole Kidman chose this head-to-toe look by Balenciaga. I don’t know what we like more, such as the decoration of her peplum top or the perfect fit of her cigarette pants. This was the winner of our book!
Let’s talk about cute couples! Maren Morris and her husband and singer-songwriter Ryan Hard have appeared on the red carpet with a look coordinated at the 2019 CMT Music Awards. Maren wore a Faust Puglizi edgy cream mini dress, featuring a cutout and gold decoration around the abdomen, and Ryan a cream suit with a burnt orange button-up. I chose.
Kristen Bell, who moderated the 2012 CMT Music Awards, wore this Reem Acra Fall ’12 gown decorated with gold sequins.
You may not notice her, but yes, this is really a vintage Miley Cyrus! The star, then 15 years old, attended the 2008 CMT Music Awards and never chose today. I was hiding in a floral dress.
Baby hump and Thomas Rhett? What more do you want! Country Crooner embraced his wife Lauren Akins’ grown-up belly at the 2017 CMT Music Awards. The event took place one month after adoption and just two months before Lauren gave birth.
Remembering doesn’t always mean good, right? Billy Ray Cyrus shocked us all when we unveiled this terrifying hairstyle at the 2016 CMT Music Awards. There is no excuse for this bad choice …
Kacey Musgraves has become casual at the 2013 CMT Music Awards. The singer-songwriter wore a daisy duke, an American flag tank, a denim jacket, and unique blue cowboy boots.
If you live in GTL, you don’t need a shirt on the red carpet! I wonder why he was there, but “Jersey Shore” star Mike “Situation” Sorrentino attended the 2010 CMT Music Awards in his own style.
Let’s talk about throwback! Blake Shelton wore a gray shirt under her vest to complement Miranda Lambert’s silver sequin dress at the 2010 CMT Music Awards.
Kid Rock appeared at the 2011 CMT Music Awards with a must-have trucker hat, jeans and T-shirt. His red, white and blue buttondowns (snapdowns?) Were also prepared to express further patriotism in country music Cindig.
Who wore it better? Reba McEntire and Kenan Thompson matched with a green flock at the 2010 CMT Music Awards!
Michelle Monaghan has added heat to the 2019 CMT Music Awards with a statement black leather and red suede look from Dundas’ Fall 2019 collection. To complete her fiery look, the actress put on accessories with Eddie Parker’s red clutch and Giuseppe Zanotti’s black heel sandals.
But that shirt! Jake Owen unveiled this floral button-up at the 2010 CMT Music Awards.
Gina Garsion became full denim at the 2005 CMT Music Awards in a zippered jumpsuit with a metallic concho belt and a leather and feather bag.
Taylor Swift played “Red” at the 2013 CMT Music Awards. The country star of the time sang on a red guitar, wearing flowing frocks over small black shorts designed by Joseph Cassel. She also added black La Duca boots on the heels for a pretty important moment on stage.
Snoop goes to the country! Snoop Dogg made the best impression as a cowboy at the 2008 CMT Music Awards, wearing a 10-gallon hat, button-up shirt and dark duster coat.
In 2017, when Carrie Underwood sparkled with this glittering sweet mini dress from Elie Madi, one of her favorite things at the CMT Music Awards happened. I like the iridescent sparkle of the frilled skirt and the sparkling details of the long sleeves on the top half of the frills. She perfected her looks with strap heels and a cool messy ponytail.
Taylor Swift has made our list again … and of course! Before she moved to pop music, Country Darling was at the 2007 CMT Music Awards in a worm-colored gown with a dramatic train. Appeared in a gown. Of course, she completed the look with the signature ringlet of the time!
We love these good baby bump moments at the 2017 CMT Music Awards. Pregnant Brittany Kerr emphasized her growing curve with a black studded fringed gown, and her husband Jason Aldean dressed casually in jeans, a T-shirt and a button-down shirt.
Hillary Scott showed off her curves at the 2014 CMT Music Awards in this cute black and white striped dress with red flowers. That thin black belt was a nice touch!
This ensemble, worn by Nicole Kidman at the 2011 CMT Music Awards, plagued our heads: from the skin-colored slips under the dark sheath to the unfit green bodice, clashing. Everything was unlucky, up to the Periwinkle sandals. Keith Urban, on the other hand, looked like a typical great self in a suit in a casual unbuttoned shirt.
vision! At the 2012 CMT Music Awards, Jordin Sparks was impressed with this pink chiffon dress by Kevan Hall. From the waist to the delicate off-shoulder sleeves, Jordin looked incredibly romantic.
At the 2015 CMT Music Awards, Danielle Bradbery made a considerable statement in a bold beaded metallic mini dress. She completed the intricate gold look with pulled back ponytails, smoky eyes and neutral sandals.
Kristen Bell hosted the 2014 CMT Music Awards, and that night the actress wore several different outfits, which is The gorgeous strapless black dress with delicate silver details by Monique Lhuillier definitely stood out.
Nico Tortorella takes bad fashion to the next level at the 2018 CMT Music Awards. The “young” star appeared in this tan velvet suit-without a shirt, and in a cowboy hat. He also looked like a pukashell necklace layered with other necklaces, and shiny black. Added a pair of boots.
Shania Twain looked amazing in a black dress that fits her body at the 2011 CMT Music Awards.
Three award-winning Kelsea Ballerini, including the Night’s Video of the Year at the 2020 CMT Music Awards, turned her head in this shimmering silver mini dress. The huge sleeves seemed a little overwhelming, but she definitely made a statement!
“Pitch Perfect” actressBrittany Snow, who co-sponsored the 2015 CMT Music Awards with Erin Andrews, was on the red carpet for the movie. Structured black and white gown by Monique Luillier. Combined with her side-swept hair, pink lips and sandals with black straps, Brittany looked chic.
We worship Kane Brown, but his view at the 2018 CMT Music Awards was terribly overwhelming. He appeared in a Canadian black tie. He paired a denim jacket with torn jeans. He then added a black T-shirt and gray sneakers, which made him a little too casual to set up the award show.
When Gretchen Wilson appeared at the 2006 CMT Music Awards, she wasn’t just starring. She has arrived. The country star swept the red carpet with this tiny, glittering crop top, paired with torn jeans and a studded belt.
At the 2019 CMT Music Awards, Sheryl Crow unveiled a super-bohemian coordinated look that we loved. From the subtle decoration of her floor-length skirt to the overall color palette of the ensemble, Cheryl looked like a beach goddess at the awards ceremony.
Jana Kramer wore this Michael Costello gown and soaked the red carpet in the pink sea at the 2014 CMT Music Awards.
I still remember Taylor Swift’s azuki mini dress at the 2010 CMT Music Awards. Up-and-coming country stars of the time wore this stylish John Galliano Flock for the Big Show, paired with matching strap heels and smooth straight hairstyles.
Major color pop! Cassadee Pope wore this Theia combo (a full, bright pink skirt paired with a crop top with a similarly flashy pattern) at the 2014 CMT Music Awards.
Remember when graphic prints were considered a mega-on trend? LeAnn Rimes! At the 2010 CMT Music Awards, LeAnn chose this geometrically patterned strapless blue dress. She completed the look with statement earrings that matched the thick gold cuffs.
A tank top with a duck pattern? Yes, certainly, there aren’t many red carpet events where this is within the reach. Brantley Gilbert wore jeans and boots at the 2014 CMT Music Awards.
RaeLynn has always offered whimsical and fun fashion, and dresses at the 2014 CMT Music Awards were no exception. The country singer rocked a pale mint tutu dress and bright yellow shoes for a big event.
This lingerie-like mini-dress style was popular in the late 2000s, and Sarah Evans moved away from the usual style and locked this slinky purple number at the 2008 CMT Music Awards.
Remember when Carrie Underwood appeared at the 2010 CMT Music Awards? We were definitely disappointed with the hot pink shades and black connection decorations.
Faith Hill unveiled Gothic Glamor at the 2008 CMT Music Awards. The country queen was all black and shiny at the festival of the year.
Hillary Scott made the gray carpet stare at the 2017 CMT Music Awards. We featured Lady Antevelum singer’s black gowns dotted with multicolored stars and moon, long sleeves and thigh-high slits. She used Swarovski drop earrings as an accessory. , Made one of the coolest looks of the year.
Just as Mike “Situation” Sorrentino was confused about appearing at the 2010 CMT Music Awards, we were confused by the appearance of Nicole “Snuki” Polizzi on the red carpet that same year. The “Jersey Shore” star rocked a glittering mini dress and her trademark pouf at a country event. We didn’t know these “shore” kids were crazy about country music. did.
Karen Fairchild in Little Big Town wore this pale blue mini dress and looked like an absolute vision at the 2020 CMT Music Awards. What did we especially like? The draping details are gorgeous!
Kelsea Ballerini has chosen to add a new twist to the style of the 2018 CMT Music Awards crop top and pair it with Brandon Maxwell’s wide leg pants to lock the glittering spaghetti strap top. We loved the unique interpretation of the two-piece trend, but could have lived without the addition of weird trains.
Lauren Alaina was impressed with this magenta Theia design at the 2017 CMT Music Awards. We loved the smooth off-shoulder cuts and the distinctive colors that matched the carpet!
At the 2006 CMT Music Awards, Lisa Rinna appeared on the red carpet with this sultry turquoise number. From satin to steep halter necklines, this gown was definitely a show stopper.
Singer-songwriter Jenny Tolman appeared on the red carpet at the 2019 CMT Music Awards and looked like a graceful princess in this stunning floor-length one-shoulder dress. From voluminous layers to a cream and light pink color palette, Jenny looked like a dream.
I’m not sure what Elizabeth Cook was aiming for at the 2010 CMT Music Awards. The singer wore jeans and a tank top on the red carpet, but was covered with a large coat to accentuate the printed lining on the inside.
Actress Kate Bosworth attended the 2019 CMT Music Awards in a mermaid-inspired teal sequined gown. That same year, she starred as an unhappy housewife in a “Sugar Court” video from Little Big Town, which hosted the show that year.
Impressive Looks at the CMT Music Awards-Crazy, Wacky and Exorbitant Fashion | Gallery
Source link Impressive Looks at the CMT Music Awards-Crazy, Wacky and Exorbitant Fashion | Gallery