Connect with us

Fashion

Snapshot: intellectual property for fashion goods in Hong Kong | Lexology

Emily walpole

Published

on

Telecommunications, Media And Technology (TMT) Law Update - Volume 34

What is the current state of the luxury fashion market in your jurisdiction?

In 2020, the luxury fashion sector in Hong Kong took a major hit due to the pandemic. The sharp fall in the number of tourists and the lockdown measures hurt the luxury fashion sector. The Hong Kong Tourism Board reported a nearly 100 per cent drop of visitor arrivals in 2020 as compared to 2019. While the Hong Kong government offered some financial support via its employment support scheme to provide financial subsidy to employers to retain employees, a number of luxury fashion brands were reported to have terminated the lease of their flagship stores in Hong Kong early or have completely quit the Hong Kong market.

Manufacture and distribution

Manufacture and supply chain

What legal framework governs the development, manufacture and supply chain for fashion goods? What are the usual contractual arrangements for these relationships?

The supply chain for fashion goods encompasses a wide range of business activities, from development and manufacturing to distribution and sale of goods. Hong Kong does not have legislation specific to fashion goods. Instead, the applicable laws will depend on the particular activities undertaken by the parties. The development, manufacture, and supply chains for fashion goods are governed by general contract law in Hong Kong. Parties are generally free to negotiate the terms of their contracts, subject to certain statutory provisions, for example, restrictions on the exclusion and limitation of liability and implied terms in contracts for the sale of goods and services. Supply chains for fashion goods commonly involve distribution agreements, sale of goods agreements, sales representative agreements (or agency agreements), and franchise agreements. Contractual arrangements will often be based on standard terms and conditions of the supplier or purchaser, with varying degrees of negotiation depending on the counterparties.

Distribution and agency agreements

What legal framework governs distribution and agency agreements for fashion goods?

Distribution and agency agreements for fashion goods in Hong Kong are governed by general contract law, comprised of statutory rules and common law.

Distribution agreements are subject to Hong Kong competition law, including the requirements of the Competition Ordinance (Cap 619), which prohibits anti-competitive conduct and conduct amounting to an abuse of market power in Hong Kong. Parties should ensure that any exclusive dealing clauses or selective distribution agreements, both common arrangements in the fashion industry, will not contravene the Competition Ordinance. Agency agreements are not generally subject to the Competition Ordinance.

Agency agreements are governed by the common law principles and rules regarding agencies, which relate to the relationship between agent and principal, including the power of an agent to bind the principal, and the respective rights of the principal and third parties in such dealings. Parties to agency agreements may be able to contract out of the relevant common law provisions to the extent permitted by the law. Further, the Factors Ordinance (Cap 48) governs the rights and obligations of mercantile agents, which are defined as agents in the business of buying, selling, or consigning goods for sale, or raising money on the security of goods.

What are the most commonly used distribution and agency structures for fashion goods, and what contractual terms and provisions usually apply?

Distributors are commonly appointed on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis. Further, selective distribution systems are commonly used by high-end fashion brands. Under a selective distribution system, the supplier will agree to supply goods only to those distributors who meet certain minimum criteria, including, for example, financial stability and level of profitability. The purpose of a selective distribution system is to maintain brand image, as suppliers will retain more control over the resale of their goods. Since a selective distribution system restricts certain suppliers and distributors, the parties should consider whether their arrangements have competition law implications.

The usual contractual terms in distribution and agency structures for fashion goods include, but are not limited to, exclusivity, intellectual property ownership, product classification, trademark usage, duration, terms of sale, payment terms, delivery terms, obligations of the distributor or agent, subcontracting of contractual obligations, termination, assignability and dispute resolution mechanisms.

Import and export

Do any special import and export rules and restrictions apply to fashion goods?

No specific import and export rules and restrictions apply to fashion goods. In some cases (eg, jewellery or watches containing radioactive substances), an import licence will be required. Other than that, Hong Kong Customs are active in inspecting and seizing suspected counterfeit fashion goods at the border.

Corporate social responsibility and sustainability

What are the requirements and disclosure obligations in relation to corporate social responsibility and sustainability for fashion and luxury brands in your jurisdiction? What due diligence in this regard is advised or required?

There are no such requirements specifically for fashion and luxury brands in Hong Kong. The Companies Ordinance (Cap 622) requires companies registered in Hong Kong (generally public companies and larger private companies) to provide business reviews in their annual director’s reports. Such business reviews should include, among other things, a discussion on the company’s environmental policies and performance and an account of the company’s key relationships with employees, customers, suppliers, and others that have a significant impact on the company and on which the company’s success depends. For companies that are listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, they are required to produce annual environmental and social governance ‘ESG’ reports to make certain ‘comply or explain’ disclosures.

What occupational health and safety laws should fashion companies be aware of across their supply chains?

The Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance (Cap 509) and the Occupational Safety and Health Regulation (Cap 509A) apply to almost all Hong Kong workplaces.

The Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance imposes on employers a duty to provide and maintain a safe and healthy workplace, plant, and work systems, and safe access to and egress from the workplace. Employers are also required to make arrangements to ensure safety and health regarding the use, handling, storage, or transport of plant or substances, and to provide all necessary information, instruction, training, and supervision for ensuring safety and health.

The Occupational Safety and Health Regulation stipulates further requirements in relation to the prevention of fire and other accidents, maintenance of workplace hygiene and environment control, first aid, and the expectation of employers in manual handling operations.

The Commissioner for Labour may issue improvement notices for specific measures or arrangements to be put in place, or issue suspension notices against workplace activities that may cause imminent danger to employees, or both. Failure to comply with these notices constitutes an offence that is punishable by fines up to HK$500,000 and imprisonment up to 12 months.

Online retail

Launch

What legal framework governs the launch of an online fashion marketplace or store?

There are no specific e-commerce laws in Hong Kong. In addition to the general legal framework applicable to consumer goods safety and contract formation, there are two pieces of legislation that have specific aspects relevant to e-commerce. One is the Payment Systems and Stored Value Facilities Ordinance (Cap 584) which governs the use of stored value facilities, such as e-wallets and prepaid cards. The other is the Electronic Transactions Ordinance (Cap 553), which recognises and facilitates the use of electronic transactions and electronic signatures.

Sourcing and distribution

How does e-commerce implicate retailers’ sourcing and distribution arrangements (or other contractual arrangements) in your jurisdiction?

E-commerce can blur the line between traditional borders. Therefore, in contracts conferring exclusivity arrangements, one important aspect is to specify whether the principal retains the right to sell online.

Terms and conditions

What special considerations would you take into account when drafting online terms and conditions for customers when launching an e-commerce website in your jurisdiction?

Specific attention should be paid to the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (Cap 362) which imposes obligations on traders not to use false or misleading trade descriptions and not to omit material information. In particular, adequate disclaimers or explanations should be included to address issues such as discrepancies between the online descriptions and the actual products, availability of stock, pricing (including tax and delivery charges), any applicable right of withdrawal or cancellation, etc. The Trade Descriptions Ordinance has certain extra-territorial effect: a trader may commit an offence under this Ordinance even if the practice is directed to consumers who are outside Hong Kong if the trader is in Hong Kong or has Hong Kong as its usual place of business.

Other relevant terms and conditions would include an appropriate intellectual property rights notice, data privacy policy, and rules on user generated contents (eg, for platforms that allow users to post comments).

Tax

Are online sales taxed differently than sales in retail stores in your jurisdiction?

Broadly speaking, the same taxation principles apply to both online sales and sales in retail stores. The Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap 112) does not contain any specific provisions that deal with the taxation of e-commerce. Broadly speaking, profits tax shall be charged on every person carrying on a trade, profession, or business in Hong Kong in respect of profits arising in or derived from Hong Kong from such trade, profession, or business.

Recognising the rapidly changing landscape of e-commerce, in March 2020, the Inland Revenue Department of Hong Kong issued a revised version of its Departmental Interpretation and Practice Notes No. 39 to provide updates on Hong Kong’s tax treatment of e-commerce businesses. For example, the Practice Notes clarify that a server in Hong Kong utilised by a business can be regarded as a ‘permanent establishment’ in Hong Kong if an essential and significant part of its business activities is conducted through that server. The Practice Notes also clarify that profits tax treatment of digital tokens would depend on their nature and use. For example, an e-commerce business may accept cryptocurrencies as payment from customers for purchasing goods. The market value of the cryptocurrencies accrued at the date of transaction should reflect the amount of sales and purchases for taxation purposes.

Intellectual property

Design protection

Which IP rights are applicable to fashion designs? What rules and procedures apply to obtaining protection?

A wide range of IP rights, such as trademarks, copyright, registered designs, and patents are applicable to fashion designs. Sometimes there can be an overlap between the different IP rights. For example, a logo attracts copyright protection, while also being registrable as a trademark. Another example is pattern prints, whichare protectable as copyright works but may also be protected as trademarks and registered designs. In addition, fashion designs may also be protected as unregistrable trade dress if they have acquired goodwill in Hong Kong.

The main IP legislation in Hong Kong includes Trade Marks Ordinance (Cap 559), Trade Marks Rules (Cap 559A), Copyright Ordinance (Cap 528), Patents Ordinance (Cap 514), Patents (General) Rules (Cap 514C), Registered Designs Ordinance (Cap 522), and Registered Designs Rules (Cap 522A). The Trade Descriptions Ordinance (Cap 362) contains criminal offences targeting trademark counterfeiting.

Trademark registrations, registered designs, and patents must go through an application and examination procedure. On the other hand, there are no formalities required to obtain copyright protection.

With regards to commissioned work, the Copyright Ordinance provides that if there is an agreement between the author and the commissioner of the work that expressly provides for the entitlement to the copyright, copyright in the commissioned work shall belong to the person who is entitled to the copyright under the agreement; whereas the commissioner will have an exclusive licence to exploit and the power to restrain exploitation of the commissioned work. Practically, the rule of thumb is that it is always desirable to specify in the commissioning contract who owns the IP rights.

What difficulties arise in obtaining IP protection for fashion goods?

One example is that sometimes patterns may face difficulties in being registered as a trademark. In principle, marks consisting of a pattern are equally registrable as with other text or logo marks as long as these patterns are capable of identifying the goods or services as originating from a particular undertaking. However, sometimes repeating patterns consisting of simple geometric shapes or designs are refused registrations because these patterns may be perceived as purely decorative and are not capable of guaranteeing the trade origin to the average consumer.

Another practical consideration is that fashion trends are fast-moving and can become outdated in matters of weeks or months, whereas IP registrations (eg, trademarks and registered designs) usually take at least a few months. This can be a practical deterrence for fashion companies to invest in IP registrations in each and every one of their designs.

Brand protection

How are luxury and fashion brands legally protected in your jurisdiction?

Trademarks

The most common way to protect one’s brand is through trademark registration. In Hong Kong, in addition to conventional marks such as word and device marks, it is possible to register smell, colour, sound, movement, and 3D marks. Unregistered trademarks are also protected under the common law of passing off.

Domain names

Brand owners may also register ‘.hk’ or ‘.香港’ domain names. These are domain names that target the Hong Kong market. These domain name strings are administered by the Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation.

Copyright

Qualifying works (eg, logos, graphics, audiovisual works) may also be protected by copyright.

Licensing

What rules, restrictions and best practices apply to IP licensing in the fashion industry?

No specific rules or restrictions apply to IP licensing in the fashion industry.

Generally, IP rights are licensed by way of a written licence agreement. There are requirements to register certain IP licensing arrangements. For example, under the Trade Marks Ordinance (Cap 599), the parties should register their trademark licence with the Trade Marks Registry. Unless the particulars of the trademark licence are registered, the licence is ineffective against a person acquiring a conflicting interest without knowledge, and the licensee will also not be able to enjoy certain statutory rights under the Trade Marks Ordinance (eg, rights in relation to infringement). Further, unless the trademark licence is registered within six months from the date of the licence, the licensee will not be entitled to damages or an account for profits for infringement for the period before the particulars of the licence are registered.

Enforcement

What options do rights holders have when enforcing their IP rights? Are there options for protecting IP rights through enforcement at the borders of your jurisdiction?

Various enforcement options are available to IP rights holders in Hong Kong. For example:

Civil proceedings

As a first step, IP rights owners may issue cease and desist letters before proceeding with formal civil actions. Further options include lodging opposition or invalidation proceedings at the Registry level and infringement or passing off actions with the Courts. A wide range of remedies such as injunctions, damages, account of profits, delivery up of infringing goods, etc. may be granted by the Courts.

Criminal proceedings/Customs actions

Hong Kong Customs investigates and prosecutes criminal offences relating to trademark and copyright infringement. IP owners must first record their rights with Customs. The recordal process involves appointing an examiner and attending interviews with Customs. Customs officers have the power to arrest suspected infringers and seize infringing goods found within Hong Kong and at its borders. Once infringing goods are seized, rights owners are asked to assist in examining the goods. If Custom decides to prosecute, brand owners are required to testify in court.

Data privacy and security

Legislation

What data privacy and security laws are most relevant to fashion and luxury companies?

The legislation governing data privacy is the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap 486). It is applicable to both the public and private sectors, including fashion and luxury companies.

The Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data is the authority that oversees the compliance of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance. From time to time, the Privacy Commissioner issues codes of conduct, guidelines and guidance notes, and provide industry-specific resources to assist companies in understanding compliance requirements under the law.

Compliance challenges

What challenges do data privacy and security laws present to luxury and fashion companies and their business models?

Direct marketing

The Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance imposes strict requirements on direct marketing. Companies must first obtain customers’ explicit consent (in practice, explicit written consent is recommended) before using their personal data for direct marketing purposes. Companies must also comply with customers’ opt-out requests and maintain an opt-out list. Failure to comply with the above requirements constitutes a strict liability offence and companies may be liable for conviction and a fine or imprisonment, or both. Therefore, companies must implement robust measures and provide sufficient training to their staff to ensure compliance.

Data security

Retail companies often collect large amounts of personal data and financial information of customers for the purposes of providing goods and services through different means (at physical stores, via online shopping platforms, etc). Companies must implement appropriate security measures to protect personal data from unauthorised or accidental access. It is recommended that luxury and fashion companies regularly review their security policies and data retention practices, and align the practice internally.

Innovative technologies

What data privacy and security concerns must luxury and fashion retailers consider when deploying innovative technologies in association with the marketing of goods and services to consumers?

Some important issues to consider include:

  • Is there collection of personal data? Technologies such as facial recognition functions deployed in surveillance cameras involve the collection of biometric data, which may constitute personal data.
  • Is collection of biometic data ‘necessary and not excessive’? The collection of such data for the purpose of marketing may be considered unnecessary and amount to excessive data collection.
  • Furthermore, how secure are these innovative technologies? Do they store personal data or only capture them transiently?

Luxury and fashion retailers should also gauge consumer perception and their readiness to innovative technologies. Technologies that work well in other jurisdictions may be considered intrusive in other markets.

Finally, before using these innovative technologies, retailers should also consider whether sufficient notice has been given to customers, and whether their consent is required or desirable.

Content personalisation and targeted advertising

What legal and regulatory challenges must luxury and fashion companies address to support personalisation of online content and targeted advertising based on data-driven inferences regarding consumer behaviour?

Hong Kong currently does not have data privacy legislation targeting content personalisation and targeted advertising. However, providing personalised online content and targeted advertising often involves collecting some sort of online behavioural data. In principle, if it is reasonably practical to ascertain the identity of an individual from the behavioural data collected, then such data constitutes personal data and as a matter of prudence, companies should observe the requirements under the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance regarding the collection, handling, and use of personal data. The Privacy Commissioner has issued an information leaflet on online behavioural tracking with its recommended best practices.

Advertising and marketing

Law and regulation

What laws, regulations and industry codes are applicable to advertising and marketing communications by luxury and fashion companies?

There are no specific laws, regulations, and industry codes regulating advertising and marketing for the luxury and fashion goods industry in Hong Kong.

A key piece of legislation is the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (Cap 362), which prohibits false trade descriptions, false, misleading, or incomplete information, false trademarks, and misstatements regarding goods or services. These prohibitions would apply generally to advertising and marketing content.

Direct marketing is also regulated by the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap 486). Among other requirements, the marketer should inform the targeted individual that his or her personal data would be used for direct marketing, obtain consent from the targeted individual and provide a way for individuals to opt out of direct marketing.

There are also two codes of practice relating to advertising published by the Communications Authority in Hong Kong:

  • The General Code of Practice on Television Advertising Standards: Television programme services licensed under the Broadcasting Ordinance (Cap 562) must comply with this code.
  • The Radio Code of Practice on Advertising Standards: Sound broadcasting services licensed under the Telecommunications Ordinance (Cap 106) must comply with this code.

Under the two codes of practice, the general standard provided is that advertising should be legal, clean, decent, honest, and truthful. Indirect advertising (also known as product placement) is allowed under the General Code of Practice on Television Advertising Standards under certain criteria.

Online marketing and social media

What particular rules and regulations govern online marketing activities and how are such rules enforced?

The Trade Descriptions Ordinance is applicable to online marketing activities. The ‘Enforcement Guidelines for the Trade Descriptions (Unfair Trade Practices) (Amendment) Ordinance 2012’ provide some guidance applicable to online marketing. For instance, marketers should clearly identify the commercial intent of their posts and reviews. Non-disclosure may constitute a misleading omission offence under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance. In particular, this would catch out activities such as a business instructing its employees or marketing agency to pose as consumers and post positive reviews on e-commerce websites.

Enforcement of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance is conducted primarily by the Customs and Excise Department and (for the telecommunications sector) the Communications Authority. Contravention of the provisions may attract criminal proceedings. For less serious cases of contravention, the enforcement authorities may, as a first step, issue a warning and demand an undertaking from the business not to continue or engage in the criminal conduct.

Product regulation and consumer protection

Product safety rules and standards

What product safety rules and standards apply to luxury and fashion goods?

There are no industry specific product safety rules and standards for the luxury and fashion goods sector in Hong Kong.

As consumer goods, luxury and fashion goods are subject to the Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance (Cap 456), which imposes a statutory duty on manufacturers, importers, and suppliers to ensure consumer goods they supply are reasonably safe. Although the Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance does not prescribe mandatory safety tests on products before they are put up for sale, suppliers are encouraged to have their consumer goods tested by an approved laboratory to ensure reasonable safety.

The Consumer Goods Safety Regulation (Cap 456A) provides that any warning or caution regarding the safekeeping, use, consumption, or disposal of any consumer goods should be legible, placed in a conspicuous position and written in both Chinese and English.

Product liability

What regime governs product liability for luxury and fashion goods? Has there been any notable recent product liability litigation or enforcement action in the sector?

Product liability could arise under common law contract and tort law. This includes potential negligence or breach of contract.

The Sale of Goods Ordinance (Cap 26) implies certain terms into contracts for sale of goods, for example:

  • the goods sold should be of merchantable quality;
  • they should be fit for purpose, including any particular purpose mentioned to the seller by the buyer;
  • they should be as described on the packaging or display sign; and
  • they should correspond with a sample (in cases of bulk purchase).

In addition, breach of the general standard of reasonable safety under the Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance could also attract liability.

There have not been notable product liability litigation cases or enforcement actions in the luxury and retail sector in recent years. However, there have been some Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance enforcement cases in recent years by the Customs and Excise Department in relation to children’s clothing – a particular area of concern is whether cords and drawstrings on children’s clothing may constitute a strangulation hazard.

M&A and competition issues

M&A and joint ventures

Are there any special considerations for M&A or joint venture transactions that companies should bear in mind when preparing, negotiating or entering into a deal in the luxury fashion industry?

It is important to select an acquisition strategy that is appropriate to the maturity of the business and the objectives of the integration. Common acquisition strategies include horizontal acquisitions of competitors or owners of similar brands and vertical acquisitions of distribution channels or suppliers. Owners of more mature brands may seek to strengthen their brand and increase market share through a horizontal acquisition of similar companies. A company wishing to expand into a new market sector or region may do so by acquiring a company or brand in that sector or region. For a younger brand, it may be more appropriate to consider partnerships or licensing arrangements in order to strength its presence. A brand owner wishing to maintain brand integrity and strengthen their control of the supply chain could consider acquiring their distribution channels or suppliers. Other contractual arrangements may also be considered in lieu of acquisitions, such as licensing arrangements, joint ventures, or partnerships.

Proper due diligence should be undertaken prior to any acquisition or joint venture. Specifically for the fashion industry, care should be taken to identify and verify the target’s or joint venture party’s intellectual property rights, including its copyrights, trademarks, and registered designs. It is important to ensure that designers involved in the development of a brand or product have appropriately assigned any intellectual property they may have acquired personally. It is may also be advisable to conduct a supply chain audit in relation to the business of a proposed target or joint venture partner.

A key part of a successful acquisition strategy is likely to involve retaining and incentivising key personnel to help maintain and enhance the brand. This may be achieved through a combination of earn-outs, options, performance bonuses, and non-cash incentives. It is also important to consider how much involvement and influence talent will retain over the business going forward. Acquirers should consider including restrictive covenants in employment contracts to limit the potential for key personnel to compete with the business or solicit its customers or employees in future.

For joint ventures, companies should ideally be incorporated in a jurisdiction which provides specific performance as a legal remedy. This is particularly important for companies in the fashion industry to aid the enforcement of provisions in a joint venture agreement relating to brand protection and equity transfers. To the extent possible, brands should also consider the possibility of contributing only a limited licence of their assets into the joint venture vehicle and have tight controls over how their intellectual property rights can be used. Companies should also ensure that exit provisions are well developed to facilitate an orderly unwinding of the business and adequate protection of their rights and assets. This could involve the termination of intellectual property licences or a retransfer of intellectual property assets to the relevant parties, the de-branding of goods and premises and arrangements for the handling of any remaining inventory.

There are no Hong Kong foreign investment restrictions relevant to the fashion industry and Hong Kong’s merger control regime is not applicable.

Competition

What competition law provisions are particularly relevant for the luxury and fashion industry?

In general, the luxury and fashion industry in Hong Kong is highly competitive. While luxury and fashion companies should abide by the Competitions Ordinance (Cap 619), generally speaking it should be relatively less likely for the luxury and fashion sector in Hong Kong to commit ‘serious anti-competitive conduct’ specified in the Competitions Ordinance such as cartel and bid-rigging. It may also not be straightforward to determine whether a particular luxury and fashion player possesses the required ‘substantial degree of market power’ in Hong Kong to be accused of abusing that power by engaging in conduct that has the object or effect of harming competition in Hong Kong (Second Conduct Rule). That said, it is not uncommon for the luxury and fashion industry to enter into franchise or distribution agreements for the Hong Kong market, hence they should pay special attention to topics such as retain price maintenance.

Employment and labour

Managing employment relationships

What employment law provisions should fashion companies be particularly aware of when managing relationships with employees? What are the usual contractual arrangements for these relationships?

The Employment Ordinance (Cap 57) governs almost all employment relationships in Hong Kong with limited exceptions, and stipulates the benefits and entitlements that employers have to provide to their employees, such as payment of wages, sick leave and sickness allowance, annual leave, and termination payments. However, only employees engaged by ‘continuous contracts’ of employment will be entitled to full protection under the Employment Ordinance. Employees who are employed by the same employer for a continuous period of four weeks or more, working for a minimum of 18 hours each week, are considered employed under a continuous contract of employment. Workers who do not qualify under a ‘continuous contract of employment’, typically part-time workers and freelancers who work less than 18 hours each week, are only afforded limited protection under the Employment Ordinance (for example, they are not entitled to paid annual leave or sickness allowance).

In addition to the benefits and protections under the Employment Ordinance, employers in Hong Kong are required to enrol their employees, within 60 days of employment and subject to certain exceptions, to a Mandatory Provident Fund scheme (which is a compulsory retirement scheme for employees that is governed by the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance (Cap 485)). Both employers and employees are required to contribute monthly to the Mandatory Provident Fund accounts of the employees.

The Employees’ Compensation Ordinance (Cap 282) requires employers to maintain insurance to cover their liabilities for injuries at work for all their employees, irrespective of the length of employment or hours of work of the employees.

Fashion companies should also be mindful of the Minimum Wage Ordinance (Cap 608), which provides for the minimum hourly rate (currently set at HK$37.5) payable to any employee with limited exceptions, such as those engaged under a registered contract of apprenticeship, student interns and work experience students.

The common categories of workers are employees and independent contractors. Employees are engaged under contracts of employment, which are often, but not legally required to be, in writing. Independent contractors are engaged under contracts for services, and are usually appointed for specific assignments, often on a short-term basis. Independent contractors are not subject to protection and benefits under employment laws and regulations, but the appointing entity may nonetheless still have obligations to such individuals under statute (ie, occupier’s liability) and common law (ie, duty of care in tort).

Trade unions

Are there any special legal or regulatory considerations for fashion companies when dealing with trade unions or works councils?

Article 7 of the Basic Law guarantees freedom of association and the right to form and join trade unions. The Trade Union Ordinance (Cap 332) stipulates the rights and duties of trade union members, and the Employment Ordinance (Cap 57) protects employees against anti-union discrimination. However, unlike many jurisdictions, collective bargaining rights are not recognised by law in Hong Kong. Hence, where employees intend to rely on the relevant collective bargaining provisions, those provisions must be clearly stated in the employees’ employment agreement such that normal contractual principles can apply for them to take effect. In reality, there is a relatively low level of employee participation in trade unions. It should be noted that there is no requirement to conduct collective consultation when carrying out redundancies in Hong Kong.

The Employment Ordinance prohibits employers from dismissing employees for trade union membership and activities.

The Labour Relations Ordinance (Cap 55) also aims to improve labour-management relations and settle trade disputes via mediation, arbitration and other means.

Immigration

Are there any special immigration law considerations for fashion companies seeking to move staff across borders or hire and retain talent?

Employers are required under the Immigration Ordinance (Cap 115) to ensure that each of their employees in Hong Kong are lawfully employable. This requirement applies as long as the employee is working in Hong Kong, irrespective of who the employee is, even if it is a foreign entity or individual. Being lawfully employable means that the employee must have the right of abode, right to land in Hong Kong with no condition of stay which prohibits him or her from taking up employment in Hong Kong, or holds a valid employment visa. The Director of Immigration has complete discretion to decide whether to grant an employment visa. Employers should be mindful that employing a person who is not lawfully employable may constitute an offence and expose the employer to a fine of up to HK$350,000 and to imprisonment of up to three years.

While overseas nationals cannot commence their employment in Hong Kong until they are granted an approval or a valid employment visa by the Director of Immigration, they would not require any such approval or visa if they are not physically working in Hong Kong, even if employed by a Hong Kong company.

For business travel, the Immigration Department has published a FAQ, which gives examples of activities that may be conducted by business travellers without an employment visa, such as, to attend an event and deliver speeches or presentations as long as certain conditions, such as the individual will not be remunerated for speaking or presenting at the event, are met; making presentations on products or services, negotiations and signing of contracts during the process of concluding contracts; and supervision of the construction of exhibition booths (but they are not allowed to construct the booths).

Update and trends

Trends and developments

What are the current trends and future prospects for the luxury fashion industry in your jurisdiction? Have there been any notable recent market, legal or regulatory developments in the sector? What changes in law, regulation, or enforcement should luxury and fashion companies be preparing for?

It remains to be seen how the luxury and fashion industry will emerge from the pandemic. It is foreseeable that at least in the short term, the number of visitors to Hong Kong will remain low, hence the luxury and fashion industry in Hong Kong may have to restructure its focus to local residents and e-commerce. On a broader level, there have been legislative movements and enforcement cases in Hong Kong which concerned national security, for example, the implementation of the National Security Law. While these legislative movements and cases do not specifically target the luxury and fashion industry, nonetheless they should keep themselves apprised of these changes and ensure compliance.

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

What emergency legislation, relief programmes and other initiatives specific to your practice area has your state implemented to address the pandemic? Have any existing government programmes, laws or regulations been amended to address these concerns? What best practices are advisable for clients?

There are no specific reliefs or subsidiaries tailored for the luxury and fashion industry. Among other general measures, the Hong Kong government has offered financial support via its employment support scheme to provide financial subsidy to employers (including employers in the luxury and fashion industry) to retain employees. It was also reported that some landlords have offered rent concessions to their tenants.

Fashion

Celebrities in the Boardroom: Pros and Cons

Emily walpole

Published

on

Celebrities in the Boardroom: Pros and Cons

Last week, Italian luxury shoemaker Tod’s appointed the globe-trotting mega-influencer Chiara Ferragni to its board, making her the latest celebrity-entrepreneur to become a corporate director, like Oprah Winfrey and basketball star Shaquille O’Neal who sit on company boards in the US.

Ferragni, whose ascent began with her blog The Blonde Salad, now has more than 23 million followers on Instagram and oversees a budding fashion empire that includes her digital publishing business TBS Crew and a multi-category fashion label, Chiara Ferragni Collection.

“Chiara’s knowledge of the world of young people will certainly be extremely valuable,” said Tod’s chairman Diego Della Valle. Investors agreed, sending shares soaring by 12 percent.

Tod’s has struggled to keep pace with a fast-moving fashion market and build relevance with young consumers. In recent years, it has launched initiatives such as its Moncler Genius-like Tod’s Factory to rejuvenate its brand. And Della Valle appears to be betting that hiring Ferragni will not only boost awareness and send a positive signal to shareholders, but help fundamentally transform the company’s business model for a digital, direct-to-consumer world.

There is little precedent for a celebrity board member driving this kind of transformation at a company, though the right partnership between Della Valle, who controls the company, and Ferragni could deliver results for Tod’s, according to executive search specialist Anne Raphaël.

Once upon a time, brands hired celebrities as little more than faces for advertising campaigns. But in recent years, as more entertainers, athletes and other celebrities have become entrepreneurs and built their own sizable businesses, more companies have recruited them to their boards, hoping the combination of star power and marketing savvy will pay off.

Winfrey joined the board of Weight Watchers after buying a 10 percent stake in the company, while O’Neal is a director at pizza chain Papa John’s. In fashion, Emma Watson was appointed to Kering’s board of directors last June, while tennis champion Serena Williams has served on Poshmark’s board since 2019.

But celebrity directors can come with risks as well as rewards.

To be sure, celebrity board appointments bring immediate marketing value to a company, generating buzz with consumers. Celebrities can drive impact by appearing in advertising and representing the company at events, but also by offering valuable behind-the-scenes insights on popular culture and consumer behaviour, as well as fresh thinking on communications.

Celebrities are good at getting attention. Many have built formidable sales and marketing machines of their own and have far greater fluency with social media than typical directors.

Famous board members also come with high-level connections and can help to open doors. They can boost efforts to recruit top talent to a brand. And for companies increasingly under scrutiny on the racial and gender composition of their leadership, the right celebrity appointments can bring greater diversity to boards that are often stacked with white men.

But the disruptive energy that celebrities bring to a board can present challenges.

Managing celebrities can be tough. They typically have limited time to dedicate to their directorships and regular attendance at meetings can be a problem.

Celebrities can also bring challenging dynamics to the boardroom, attracting those angling for some of their stardust, while repelling those who doubt their credibility.

When push comes to shove, celebrities will always put their own personal brands ahead of the interests of the company. And, of course, their skill at generating public attention can backfire spectacularly if they become entangled in scandal.

It’s critical that companies think strategically about celebrity directorships and carefully carve out roles that play to specific profiles and relevant experience. For example, at Kering, actor and activist Emma Watson, known for being a champion of ethical and eco-conscious fashion as well as portraying Hermione in the Harry Potter films, chairs the company’s sustainability committee.

But board roles aren’t the only way to derive value from working with celebrities. Beyond simple marketing deals, companies can work with celebrities as “brand ambassadors” or hire them as consultants. Companies can also invite celebrities to advisory boards.

Celebrity directorships can offer real value. And there’s no doubt they are trendier than ever. But companies should consider the alternatives before plunging into a flashy board appointment.

THE NEWS IN BRIEF

FASHION, BUSINESS AND THE ECONOMY

Bernard Arnault leaves the Louis Vuitton spring 2021 womenswear show in October 2020. Getty Images.

Bernard Arnault leaves the Louis Vuitton spring 2021 womenswear show in October 2020. Getty Images.

LVMH’s fashion sales surge, setting high bar for rivals. LVMH was the first luxury company to report first-quarter revenue Tuesday, and a sharp jump in its fashion division’s sales not only points to a return to pre-pandemic health for the conglomerate, but has raised the stakes for its competitors.

Gucci presents its centenary collection, “Aria.” Creative director Alessandro Michele incorporated nods to the Italian fashion house’s past, in particular, the Tom Ford era, as well as Balenciaga co-branded pieces, inspired by the brand’s creative director, Demna Gvasalia. The collection was presented online on Thursday.

Growth in China, US fuel more retail optimism. After a dismal year for retail, consumers seem ready to get back to the shops amid signs of strength in key markets. China’s economy grew 18 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, with retail sales up 34 percent in March compared to a year earlier. Meanwhile, US retail sales accelerated in March by the most in 10 months, while UK shopper numbers surged as shopping districts reopened this week.

The Met Gala will return in September. The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced on Monday that its next major exhibition will open on September 18 with a theme focused on American fashion. As part of the exhibition’s opening, the Met Gala will also return as a smaller event on September 13, “timed to coincide with the close of what will hopefully be an in-person New York Fashion Week,” according to Vogue.

CFDA plans for in-person New York Fashion Week in September. The CFDA said it anticipates “a return to in-person shows” between September 8 to September 12, following health guidelines. Some designers, the council said, will still choose to present digitally.

American Eagle forecasts sales above estimates on full-price selling. The company has recorded stronger sales as more customers spent their stimulus checks on its jeans, trousers and tops. American Eagle also forecast operating income of about $120 million for the first quarter, compared with $48 million in 2019.

JD Sports reinstates dividend as online boom lifts forecast. Britain’s biggest sportswear retailer struck an optimistic tone as stores reopened across the UK this week. The company has performed well during the pandemic and has embarked on at least three big acquisitions in the US and Europe in the past few months. More deals are expected to follow after the company raised £464 million ($638 million) in equity in February.

German fashion e-tailer About You cracks €1 Billion in revenue. The company is widely reported to be preparing for an IPO. Revenue grew 57 percent to €1.2 billion ($1.4 billion) in the year to February, while in the last quarter the company turned its first profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation since its launch in 2014.

The Hut Group upbeat after profit jumps on online demand. In its maiden set of annual results since market listing in September, the company operating retail brands such as Lookfantastic and skin care group ESPA posted a 36 percent jump in annual underlying profit to £46 million ($63 million).

Kohl’s to add two activist group nominees to its board. Kohl’s Corp said on Wednesday it has reached a deal with a group of activist investors to avoid a proxy fight, agreeing to add two of the group’s nominees to its board as independent directors.

US companies and executives unite for voting rights. In a full page advertisement that ran Wednesday in GFN, the signatories called for “all Americans to join us in taking a nonpartisan stand for this most basic and fundamental right.”

THE BUSINESS OF BEAUTY

The deal values Beautycounter at $1 billion. Courtesy Beautycounter

The deal values Beautycounter at $1 billion. Courtesy Beautycounter

Carlyle Group take a majority stake in Beautycounter. The investment values Beautycounter at $1 billion, and marks a major bet by Carlyle that the brand’s philosophy of avoiding many common synthetic ingredients, and its reliance on customers to sell its products, has staying power.

L’Oréal revenue recovers thanks to help from China. Lancôme maker L’Oréal on Thursday reported a stronger-than-expected 10 percent rise in comparable first-quarter sales from a year earlier.

Report: Indian beauty start-up Nykaa taps banks for $500 million IPO. The online cosmetics retailer is reportedly working with Kotak Mahindra Capital Co. and Morgan Stanley on the potential offering. A listing could value the TPG Capital-backed start-up at about $4 billion.

Courtin-Clarins family invests in clean skin care brand Pai. Pai Skincare, a London-based beauty label known for its clean and vegan products, will use the funding to expand its development and manufacturing.

Guangzhou builds ‘Beauty Park’ to boost Chinese cosmetics industry. The park is expected to generate 8.6 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) worth of cosmetics and skincare products annually and will set up more local brands to compete with international giants in a beauty market valued at $52 billion last year.

PEOPLE

Todd Kahn, CEO at Coach. Coach.

Todd Kahn, CEO at Coach. Coach.

Todd Kahn appointed Coach CEO. Thursday’s announcement made Kahn’s appointment to the position, which he has held on an interim basis since last July, permanent. He will report to Joanne Crevoiserat, chief executive officer of Coach parent Tapestry Inc.

Anthropologie names Tricia Smith global CEO. Smith joins the brand from clothing retailer Tilly’s, where she served as chief merchandising officer from 2019. Before that, Smith spent over 26 years in merchandising roles at Nordstrom. She succeeds Hillary Super, whose last day at the company was April 9.

Almost half of Shopify’s top execs to depart company. Three of the e-commerce platform’s seven top executives will be leaving the company in the coming months, Tobi Lütke, Shopify’s chief executive and founder said in a blog post on Wednesday.

Stitch Fix’s founder Katrina Lake is leaving the CEO post. Lake, who launched the company a decade ago, will remain at Stitch Fix as executive chairperson. The fashion subscription platform’s current president, Elizabeth Spaulding, will assume the top role effective August 1.

MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY

Instagram launches test where users can choose to see likes. Shutterstock.

Instagram launches test where users can choose to see likes. Shutterstock.

Instagram launches test where users can choose to see likes. The photo-sharing site, which is owned by Facebook Inc, said this latest test came after seeing mixed responses to its experiments in which it removed likes.

Karla Otto doubles down on influencer marketing with new acquisition. On Thursday, the global fashion agency’s parent, The Independents, announced the acquisition of marketing firm Lefty, deepening its offerings in the influencer space, a bright spot during the pandemic.

Robin Meason, PR for Paris Indie Brands, sells agency to OBCM. Olivier Bourgis’ OBCM agency will acquire Ritual Projects, the Paris-based public relations firm which helped to establish Vetements and its then-creative director Demna Gvasalia, as well as brands including Y/Project, Ottolinger and GmbH. Financial terms of the deal, which is set to close May 1, were not disclosed.

Southeast Asian ‘super app’ Grab set for US IPO. Softbank-backed Grab is gearing up to merge with a blank-cheque vehicle in a deal that will value the technology group at about $35 billion, according to a report in The Financial Times.

Kakao reportedly eyeing fashion e-commerce app Zigzag. A deal, said to be in the works by local media outlets last week, could see the South Korean tech giant acquire a controlling stake worth around $1 billion in Zigzag, a six-year-old start-up.

Compiled by Darcey Sergison.

Continue Reading

Fashion

44 of the chicest Amazon fashion finds under $100, according to stylists

Emily walpole

Published

on

44 of the chicest Amazon fashion finds under $100, according to stylists - CNN Underscored

 

From cleaning supplies to personal care products to even groceries, Amazon has it all. And after some extensive perusing through the site, want to know what our latest obsession is? Amazon fashion.

“Amazon has done a great job of breaking down the trends — from utilitarian options, retro prints and women’s suits,” says celebrity stylist Erin Noël, who styles clients for red carpet events, music videos and commercials.

But what should you buy this season? Celebrity stylist Alyssa Sutter, who is known for her work with Rachel Zoe and looks on the red carpet, commercial and editorial shoots, encourages everyone to start with a trench coat, a statement piece of jewelry and a chic sneaker — all of which can go with anything.

Creative manager and celebrity fashion stylist at Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment Kelvin “K.J.” Moody recommends people get their hands on a pair of fitted shorts, some basic T-shirts, lightweight dresses and pops of color — noting that basics and monochromatics are having a serious moment. “These are easy to make into a nice high-low look,” Moody says, a method of styling he calls ‘seesaw.’ “Fashion is most aesthetically pleasing when something is weighted more heavily than something else,” he explains. “It gives it a focal point, looks cohesive and balanced, but adds excitement and interest because something is different.”

Ahead, we’ve rounded up some of their favorite fashion finds at Amazon, all under $100, along with some top-rated options we couldn’t help but show you.

R.Vivimos Summer Long Dress (starting at $29.99; amazon.com)

R.Vivimos Summer Long Dress

Amazon

R.Vivimos Summer Long Dress

Yes, this is the “it” dress of the season, and we aren’t mad about it. The nap dress is equal parts comfortable and feminine, making it practically irresistible.

___________________________________________________________________________

The Fifth Label Collared Short Sleeve Utility Shirt Dress (starting at $62.96; amazon.com)

The Fifth Label Collared Short Sleeve Utility Shirt Dress

Amazon

The Fifth Label Collared Short Sleeve Utility Shirt Dress

Noël loves this utility dress because it’s an on-the-go option that’s easy and fashionable. What more could we ask for when we’re forced to leave the house, not wearing pajamas.

___________________________________________________________________________

Franco Sarto Maiva Sandal (starting at $28.02; amazon.com)

Franco Sarto Maiva Sandal

Amazon

Franco Sarto Maiva Sandal

What should you wear with a utility dress like the one above? Noël recommends these cute sandals by Franco Sarto. Although the tangerine shade would be her pick, we think the black or white pairs would be stunning too.

___________________________________________________________________________

R.Vivimos Summer Floral Print Puff Sleeve Midi Dress ($31.99; amazon.com)

R.Vivimos Summer Floral Print Puff Sleeve Midi Dress

Amazon

R.Vivimos Summer Floral Print Puff Sleeve Midi Dress

If you want to incorporate florals into your spring wardrobe, this puff sleeve midi dress is for you. Pair it with your favorite sneakers for that casual, cool-girl vibe.

___________________________________________________________________________

The Drop Faux Leather Long Shirt Jacket ($59.90; amazon.com)

The Drop Faux Leather Long Shirt Jacket

Amazon

The Drop Faux Leather Long Shirt Jacket

Designed in partnership with influencer Lisa DiCicco Cahue, this faux leather shirt jacket is giving the ultimate New York vibes, and is one of our favorite trends of the moment.

___________________________________________________________________________

Lack Of Color Wave Terrycloth Bucket Hat ($99; amazon.com)

Lack Of Color Wave Terrycloth Bucket Hat

Amazon

Lack Of Color Wave Terrycloth Bucket Hat

Accessories are a necessary fashion statement too. Sutter loves the texture and color options of this bucket hat. She can image the hats paired with swimsuits on a beach day or paired with a dress and flats for an everyday look.

___________________________________________________________________________

Kendall + Kylie Double Breasted Cropped Blazer (starting at $32.71; amazon.com)

Kendall + Kylie Double Breasted Cropped Blazer

Amazon

Kendall + Kylie Double Breasted Cropped Blazer

Moody thinks this cropped blazer is a great piece for your everyday wardrobe, recommending to pair it with this ribbed tank top and these bike shorts from the collection as well.

___________________________________________________________________________

Kenneth Jay Lane Gold Link Chain Bracelet ($45; amazon.com)

Kenneth Jay Lane Gold Link Chain Bracelet

Amazon

Kenneth Jay Lane Gold Link Chain Bracelet

Sutter believes that “Amazon is a great place to find on-trend jewelry without the splurge.” She loves this chunky gold bracelet to elevate any spring look.

___________________________________________________________________________

Lionstill Long Sleeve Tie Waist Sweater Dress (starting at $18.76; amazon.com)

Lionstill Long Sleeve Tie Waist Sweater Dress

Amazon

Lionstill Long Sleeve Tie Waist Sweater Dress

We’re finding any way to transfer the comfort of our sweats to other aspects of our wardrobe, which is why we want this tie-waist sweater dress is every color.

___________________________________________________________________________

Floerns Frill Neck Puff Sleeve Blouse ($18.99; amazon.com)

Floerns Frill Neck Puff Sleeve Blouse

Amazon

Floerns Frill Neck Puff Sleeve Blouse

Noël recommends updating your typical white t-shirt this spring, and try puff sleeves instead. “Wear these with the wide leg jeans I already know you added to your cart.”

___________________________________________________________________________

The Drop Fitted Cutaway Racer Tank Sweater ($39.90; amazon.com)

The Drop Fitted Cutaway Racer Tank Sweater

Amazon

The Drop Fitted Cutaway Racer Tank Sweater

This sweater by The Drop, designed in partnership with influencer Suyapa Lucy, is easily one of our favorite Amazon finds. The racer tank fit sets it apart from other pieces we have our eyes on.

___________________________________________________________________________

Fossil Wiley Leather Flap Crossbody Handbag ($95.31; amazon.com)

Fossil Wiley Leather Flap Crossbody Handbag

Amazon

Fossil Wiley Leather Flap Crossbody Handbag

Your handbag is just as important as the outfit at hand. You can’t go wrong with this crossbody by Fossil that’s available in five colors and even features a large front buckle that gives it a sophisticated touch.

___________________________________________________________________________

London Fog Single Breasted Long Trench Coat (starting at $93.87; amazon.com)

London Fog Single Breasted Long Trench Coat

Amazon

London Fog Single Breasted Long Trench Coat

A trench coat is proven to stand the test of time. Invest is a well-fitted option like this by London Fog that can easily transition through all four seasons.

___________________________________________________________________________

Dokotoo Deep V-Neck Ruffle Long Sleeve Mini Dress (starting at $13.98; amazon.com)

Dokotoo Deep V-Neck Ruffle Long Sleeve Mini Dress

Amazon

Dokotoo Deep V-Neck Ruffle Long Sleeve Mini Dress

Some dresses are seriously love at first sight. “This bohemian dress will take you from the beach to dinner in style. Throw it on with sandals and some gold necklaces and you are ready to go,” says Noël.

___________________________________________________________________________

The Drop Ilana Sleeveless Wide-Hem Poplin Maxi Dress ($59.90; amazon.com)

The Drop Ilana Sleeveless Wide-Hem Poplin Maxi Dress

Amazon

The Drop Ilana Sleeveless Wide-Hem Poplin Maxi Dress

Available in sizes XXS to 3X, this poplin maxi dress will suit a wide variety of body types. Better yet: It’s so roomy that you won’t ever feel restricted while you’re out and about.

___________________________________________________________________________

Puma Carina Sneaker (starting at $49.99, originally $60; amazon.com)

Puma Carina Sneaker

Amazon

Puma Carina Sneaker

Now introducing your new everyday white sneakers. Don’t be surprised when you want to wear them with everything.

___________________________________________________________________________

Daily Ritual Relaxed Fit Wide Leg Crop Jean ($39.90; amazon.com)

Daily Ritual Relaxed Fit Wide Leg Crop Jean

Amazon

Daily Ritual Relaxed Fit Wide Leg Crop Jean

“Ditch your skinny jeans, and not just because Gen Z said so, but because a wide leg is in style for spring,” says Noël, noting that the fit is more comfortable and chic. “Wear these with an oversized blazer, or your favorite T-shirt, and you’ve quickly updated your look.”

___________________________________________________________________________

Franco Sarto Chania Heeled Sandal (starting at $44.29; amazon.com)

Franco Sarto Chania Heeled Sandal

Amazon

Franco Sarto Chania Heeled Sandal

“These lime green heels will look great with all of the neutrals you picked up in 2020,” says Noël. The pop of color this spring and summer is sure to turn heads.

___________________________________________________________________________

Baggu Standard Reusable Shopping Bag ($36; amazon.com)

Baggu Standard Reusable Shopping Bag

Amazon

Baggu Standard Reusable Shopping Bag

We totally agree with Sutter when she remarks that reusable tote bags can go beyond the grocery store for a cool everyday bag. She loves ones from Baggu like this one because the brand “makes really fun prints and colors to match all your looks this spring.”

___________________________________________________________________________

The Drop Alice Crewneck Back Slit Ribbed Pullover Sweater ($31.52; amazon.com)

The Drop Alice Crewneck Back Slit Ribbed Pullover Sweater

Amazon

The Drop Alice Crewneck Back Slit Ribbed Pullover Sweater

“Knitwear is a big trend this coming season,” says Sutter. “Try a full knit set, which is a great way to stay comfortable but still look put together.” That’s why she recommends this pullover sweater by The Drop. If you want the full set, pair it with the matching ribbed shorts.

___________________________________________________________________________

Levi’s Ribcage Straight Ankle Jeans (starting at $47.70; amazon.com)

Levi's Ribcage Straight Ankle Jeans

Amazon

Levi’s Ribcage Straight Ankle Jeans

“I personally always buy my jeans from Amazon, specifically Levi’s,” exclaims Sutter. “Their styles are always so flattering and never boring, plus they are under $100!”

___________________________________________________________________________

Tonjori High Waist Palazzo Pants (starting at $19.79; amazon.com)

Tonjori High Waist Palazzo Pants

Amazon

Tonjori High Waist Palazzo Pants

Headed back into the office? These roomy palazzo pants, available in 24 colors, are sure to even impress your most stylish coworker.

___________________________________________________________________________

Astr The Label Embroidered Nava Midi Slip Skirt (starting at $45; amazon.com)

Astr The Label Embroidered Nava Midi Slip Skirt

Amazon

Astr The Label Embroidered Nava Midi Slip Skirt

According to Sutter, “this celery-colored slip skirt is perfect for spring’s pastel trend, especially when paired with a matching kitten heel for a tonal look.” She recommends completing the look with a faux leather shirt in a camel color to mix in the utilitarian vibe that’s super on trend.

Stacy Adams Short Sleeve Knit Polo Shirt ($49; amazon.com)

Stacy Adams Short Sleeve Knit Polo Shirt

Amazon

Stacy Adams Short Sleeve Knit Polo Shirt

This shirt is a favorite by two of our fashion insiders. Sutter says that this “hits a couple different trends for spring — retro and knitwear all in one.” Noël recommends pairing it with some cropped black pants.

___________________________________________________________________________

Fizili Waterproof Wrist Watch ($28.96; amazon.com)

Fizili Waterproof Wrist Watch

Amazon

Fizili Waterproof Wrist Watch

Looking for a new watch without breaking the bank? How sleek is this matte black wrist watch that just screams luxury.

___________________________________________________________________________

Goodthreads Soft Cotton Crewneck Sweater (starting at $10.93; amazon.com)

Goodthreads Soft Cotton Crewneck Sweater

Amazon

Goodthreads Soft Cotton Crewneck Sweater

“Stripes are classic, and this option from Goodthreads would look great with a pair of pants or denim,” says Noël, which obviously makes it a good choice from your Zoom meeting to dinner.

___________________________________________________________________________

Amazon Essentials Relaxed Fit Stretch Khakis (starting at $16.01; amazon.com)

Amazon Essentials Relaxed Fit Stretch Khakis

Amazon

Amazon Essentials Relaxed Fit Stretch Khakis

If you have to ditch your sweats, the replacement pants should at least be comfortable right? One reviewer wrote that “the relaxed fit shape of these combined with the slight stretch in the fabric makes them super comfortable,” so you know these are a great choice.

___________________________________________________________________________

Tommy Hilfiger Short Sleeve Button-Down (starting at $29.17; amazon.com)

Tommy Hilfiger Short Sleeve Button Down

Amazon

Tommy Hilfiger Short Sleeve Button Down

We’re obsessed with the blue striped pattern of this Tommy Hilfiger button-down, vibrant but classic enough to be worn year after year.

___________________________________________________________________________

Birkenstock Essentials Arizona EVA Sandal (starting at $29.43; amazon.com)

Birkenstock Essentials Arizona EVA Sandal

Amazon

Birkenstock Essentials Arizona EVA Sandal

Not only are Birkenstocks comfy, but they can also be a powerful accessory — especially in a fun color. “I would style these with a straight leg trouser in beige, white tee and printed short sleeve camp shirt,” explains Sutter.

___________________________________________________________________________

Swag Point Hip Hop T-Shirt (starting at $19.59; amazon.com)

Swag Point Hip Hop T-Shirt

Amazon

Swag Point Hip Hop T-Shirt

A graphic T-shirt is a great way to let a more casual outfit make a statement. Check out this one that’s at the top of Moody’s list.

___________________________________________________________________________

Tommy Hifiger Hooded Rain Trench Jacket ($77.10, originally $89.99; amazon.com)

Tommy Hifiger Hooded Rain Trench Jacket

Amazon

Tommy Hifiger Hooded Rain Trench Jacket

A trench coat is a quintessential wardrobe staple for warmer temps, for both men and women. Sutter calls this one a “perfect, timeless” option.

___________________________________________________________________________

Levi’s 569 Loose Straight Fit Jean (starting at $38.48; amazon.com)

Levi's 569 Loose Straight Fit Jean

Amazon

Levi’s 569 Loose Straight Fit Jean

“This style from Levi’s is giving me serious ‘90s skater nostalgia,” says Sutter. She’s loving the loose fit denim trend for men.

___________________________________________________________________________

Amazon Essentials Polar Fleece Shirt Jacket (starting at $24.60; amazon.com)

Amazon Essentials Polar Fleece Shirt Jacket

Amazon

Amazon Essentials Polar Fleece Shirt Jacket

Noël let us know that shirt jackets are in as a great lightweight jacket style, so we couldn’t help but find the perfect one on Amazon.

___________________________________________________________________________

Adidas Performance Samba Shoe (starting at $39.99; amazon.com)

Adidas Performance Samba Shoe

Amazon

Adidas Performance Samba Shoe

According to Sutter, the Adidas Samba shoe “is making a major comeback in neutrals and fun color combos.” She says you can’t go wrong with this classic pick.

___________________________________________________________________________

Amazon Essentials Regular Fit Short Sleeve Print Shirt ($17.80; amazon.com)

Amazon Essentials Regular Fit Short Sleeve Print Shirt

Amazon

Amazon Essentials Regular Fit Short Sleeve Print Shirt

This palm tree print just screams vacation, right? You’ll surely reach for this number to frolic around in this summer. ___________________________________________________________________________

WT02 Jogger Pants (starting at $20.99; amazon.com)

WT02 Jogger Pants

Amazon

WT02 Jogger Pants

Want to dress on trend, but don’t want to sacrifice comfort? Luckily Noël is loving a relaxed feel for menswear this season, so a pair of joggers like these definitely fits the bill.

___________________________________________________________________________

Goodthreads Standard Fit Oxford Shirt (starting at $12.13; amazon.com)

Goodthreads Standard Fit Oxford Shirt

Amazon

Goodthreads Standard Fit Oxford Shirt

An oxford shirt is essentially an elevated basic. These bad boys should be your go to for that work event or even date night.

___________________________________________________________________________

Billy Reid Quilted Knit Bomber Jacket (starting at $49.05; amazon.com)

Billy Reid Quilted Knit Bomber Jacket

Amazon

Billy Reid Quilted Knit Bomber Jacket

In case you haven’t heard, bomber jackets are back and better this season, according to Noël. She says that “this Billy Reid sweater bomber jacket is great with a white tee and jeans.” The thing that sets this apart from other bomber is the quilted knit material. She says this “is a nice change from leather or heavier outwear that you may have picked up this winter, in a softer color for spring.”

___________________________________________________________________________

Goodthreads Soft Cotton Quarter Zip Sweater (starting at $13.43; amazon.com)

Goodthreads Soft Cotton Quarter Zip Sweater

Amazon

Goodthreads Soft Cotton Quarter Zip Sweater

Noël loves a quarter zip sweater like this one because it can “polish up a T-shirt and provide a nice layer under a jacket for both style and warmth.” She remarks that because this option is available in a variety of colors, you can totally pick one that best fits your wardrobe.

___________________________________________________________________________

The Hat Depot 100% Cotton Packable Bucket Hat (starting at $10.99; amazon.com)

The Hat Depot 100% Cotton Packable Bucket Hat

Amazon

The Hat Depot 100% Cotton Packable Bucket Hat

Moody recommends adding this 100% cotton bucket hat to your casual everyday outfit. Grab one in an unexpected shade, if you want to add a pop of color like he advises.

___________________________________________________________________________

Champion Basic Short Sleeve T-Shirt (starting at $8.77; amazon.com)

Champion Basic Short Sleeve T-Shirt

Amazon

Champion Basic Short Sleeve T-Shirt

“Casualwear is big right now because of the pandemic,” explains Moody, and what’s more casual than a basic short sleeve T-shirt like this one by Champion.

___________________________________________________________________________

Goodthreads Standard 9-Inch Inseam Stretch Canvas Short (starting at $16.50; amazon.com)

Goodthreads Standard 9-Inch Inseam Stretch Canvas Short

Amazon

Goodthreads Standard 9-Inch Inseam Stretch Canvas Short

What would Moody pair with a basic T-shirt and the bucket hat above? A pair of shorts by Goodthreads. We love that these are made of a canvas material that’ll remind you of lounging around at home.

___________________________________________________________________________

Lee Uniforms Modern Fit Short Sleeve Polo (starting at $8.35; amazon.com)

Lee Uniforms Modern Fit Short Sleeve Polo

Amazon

Lee Uniforms Modern Fit Short Sleeve Polo

Can’t go wrong with adding another polo to your collection, especially when you can take your pick of 12 different color options.

___________________________________________________________________________

Goodthreads Slim Fit Long Sleeve Linen and Cotton Blend Shirt (starting at $6.96; amazon.com)

Goodthreads Slim Fit Long Sleeve Linen and Cotton Blend Shirt

Amazon

Goodthreads Slim Fit Long Sleeve Linen and Cotton Blend Shirt

Imagine all of the possibilities with this linen and cotton blend shirt. Available in 12 colors, this is sure to become a wardrobe staple for $30 or less.

Continue Reading

Fashion

Carolina Herrera’s creative director on fashion post-pandemic

Emily walpole

Published

on

Carolina Herrera's creative director on fashion post-pandemic

In this episode of Facing Forward, Margaret Brennan talks to Wes Gordon, Creative Director of Carolina Herrera, to discuss what the post-pandemic fashion industry will look like.

HighlightsOn what changes the fashion house made to reflect the pandemic economy: “The first decision we made was to reduce the size of the collection. And that greatly influenced the way I design. My goal is always to give a woman something that’s glamorous and exciting and takes your breath away and makes your heartbeat a little bit faster. But now I wanted to do that with an added layer of comfort and ease and wearability. And by having a tighter collection offering, I really need to make sure that each piece we’re creating serves all of those purposes.”On scrutiny of women in fashion: “I think clothes are incredibly powerful and what people wear can convey so much and there can be so many levels of meaning and communication about what a man or woman is wearing and how he or she is presenting themselves. And I don’t think it’s that we over-scrutinize women, perhaps it’s that we don’t discuss enough the symbolism of what men are wearing and that we should be a little more equal in that because we have a tendency not to talk about the men, but really only focus on the women–and there are extraordinary communication messages that happens in- that happen in a man’s wardrobe as well. And then so- so talk about fashion, I think. You know, I think it’s OK to- to discuss what was the symbolism of the White when Vice President Harris took that stage. I think these are important things. And I don’t think in any way, shape or form that’s a negative conversation. But don’t just do it for the women, you know, I think do it for everyone, be equal about it.”On markets seeing a surge in fashion post-pandemic: “We absolutely saw a correlation, you know, between geography and- and sales numbers, particularly in North America. The regions that, as you pointed out, were less locked down and were opening earlier, we saw those- the spending habits and the retail activity accelerate much more quickly.”

Download, rate and subscribe here: Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher

“Facing Forward”: Wes Gordon

Producers: Richard Escobedo, Anne Hsu, Kelsey Micklas

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: Fashion designer Wes Gordon walks the runway at the Carolina Herrera Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 10, 2018 in New York City. / Credit: IMF Photo/Joshua Roberts
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 10: Fashion designer Wes Gordon walks the runway at the Carolina Herrera Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 10, 2018 in New York City. / Credit: IMF Photo/Joshua Roberts

MARGARET BRENNAN: Wes Gordon, welcome to the pod.

WES GORDON: Thank you, MARGARET. I am delighted to be here. It’s an honor and privilege to be chatting with you.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, I think it’s fun- you know, one of the things that people may or may not know is my first official beat as a cub reporter was covering consumer and the retail business. And one of the reasons why I liked it so much is, you know, consumer spending is 70% of economic activity in this country. So it’s a huge part of the economy. But fashion and parts of it are also kind of the more fun, artistic expression of these, like, moments in time. They kind of give windows, I think, into how people are experiencing things, how comfortable they are spending, what they want to look like. And we’ve just gone through this incredible period of time. I’m wondering, coming into this spring, this has been a really long, tough period. What are you looking for for inspiration these days?

GORDON: I love everything you just said. I think the way you just summarized the fashion industry, I think is so beautiful, because in addition to being a reflection of what people are feeling in a moment in time, fashion is also an insight into what people are dreaming and what their hopes are for the future and their level of optimism about what lies around the corner. And all of those things, I think, are- are what we’re witnessing and focusing on right now. The past year was extraordinary, horrible, you know, knock on wood, fingers crossed, something we will never live through again, but we certainly learned a lot from it. And how I design changed over the past year in many ways. But in answer to a question right now, sitting here in my office sketching, I’m focused on the magic that our women are looking forward to, again, coming out of- of the darkness.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I love that, coming out of the darkness. Well, so- so what is it we’re all going to be sort of aspiring for? How is it that you are visualizing what’s to come in?

GORDON: I think what we’re all aspiring for are the very essence of our humanity, you know, laughter, togetherness, family, joy, love, all the things that we’ve been de- deprived of in so many ways over the past year. You know, it’s- it’s- it’s those things that make us human, and it’s not in our nature to live 24/7 in fear and- and sadness and isolation. Right now, you know, everyone’s excited about getting back to life, getting back to being humans, it’s getting back to their friends, their families, celebrations that were postponed, a summer of joy.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So does that mean, like, long hair and long beards, those are all going to get shaved and cut? I mean, are people going to drop their sneakers and put on their stilettos?

GORDON: Listen, it’s not that black and white, because I think what happened over the past year wasn’t just a surrender, right? It wasn’t that we all just stopped caring about how we looked. I think in many instances people did a lot of soul searching and better understood what makes them unique and who they really are. So I think, I hope, that there are some expressions of individuality and uniqueness that will remain. But I certainly think that in instances where people maybe stop making the effort, we will see- we will see that resume.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So I read that you cannot keep evening gowns in stock. How is that possible? Who is wearing an evening gown in America right now and where are they wearing it to?

GORDON: So it’s- it’s been an incredible thing, and one of the great signs of optimism for me is when I see this data. You know, it’s not just the idea of an evening gown. It’s- it’s celebration clothes and the clothes that mark those milestone moments and occasions. And you have to remember that for 12 months, so many events and celebrations had to be put on hold, weddings in particular, birthdays, anniversaries. So, of course, the format of those occasions has changed. It’s no longer big groups of hundreds. It’s smaller. It’s more intimate. But in no ways has that minimized the importance of those occasions and those celebrations, and a woman still wants that dress that makes her feel her most beautiful and empowered to mark that day with.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So the hottest markets I read were Florida and Texas for you. Is that- I mean, these are two states that opened early. They really kind of shirked some of the health restrictions that the rest of the country did. Does that mean, like, that’s just where events were being held, therefore, that’s where sales were taking place?

GORDON: We absolutely saw a- a correlation, you know, between geography and- and sales numbers, particularly in North America. The regions that, as you pointed out, were- were less locked down and were opening earlier, we saw those- the spending habits and the retail activity accelerate much more quickly. Right now, at this point in time, you know, I’m sitting here in New York and New York State is doing a very good job with vaccinations. There’s definitely an optimism on the sidewalks. It’s- the weather’s beautiful. So we’re seeing those numbers, that- that improvement certainly work its way north. But, yes, we saw our first signs of life, let’s say, in the southeast.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think that from what you’re seeing now and what customers are buying, that that signals were like around the corner from this Roaring Twenties moment where it’s just going to go super glam to swing back from pandemic sweatpants wearing?

GORDON: I want to see all the people I haven’t seen for the past year. I want to have dinner with my friends. I want to have drinks with my friends. I want to dance. I want to celebrate. I want to have a great time. And I think there are so many people who are in that same boat. You know, it’s been- it’s been a terrible year, and we’re all so lucky to- to, you know, that what we’re complaining about is that we were isolated and sad and that we kept our health and- and survived it. But it’s- we all want fun right now and color and joy and dancing. We’re a brand about embracing life and treating every moment as a celebration and and being grateful for the here and the now and the people you’re with and your family, and I think that’s never been truer than- than right now.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you’ve had a pretty remarkable career. You worked with Tom Ford, Oscar de la Renta, you took the reins at this house, Carolina Herrera, about two and a half years ago. You’re only 34 years old. That’s pretty incredible.

GORDON: Thank you. I mean, I went to design school and then as soon as I graduated, I started a small collection and did that for nearly eight years and then had the great fortune of coming to Herrera to consult. And it was right around the time that Mrs. Herrera was stepping down from her role. And I became creative director. So I feel incredibly fortunate to have identified at an early age what it is that that brings me joy and what I feel passionate about, and then to have had, you know, supportive parents and opportunities to- to kind of make that a reality.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But it’s an incredible time to try to also keep a business going. Right? I mean, we had a really horrific contraction in the economy this time last year.

GORDON: Yes.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We saw big bankruptcies of big names and layoffs across major brands. What was that like for you? Did you feel, at a point that- that this was coming to an end?

GORDON: I never felt it was coming to an end in the sense that I am the most aggressively half glass- glass half-full person you’ll ever meet. I’m very optimistic. But there were very trying moments throughout the past year, and we- I, you know, the president of Herrera, Emilie Rubinfeld, is an incredible leader and did a brilliant job navigating us through it. We’re incredibly grateful to have a parent company, Puig, which is a remarkable group of people. And I think, you know, we did what- what many businesses at the time were doing, which is trying to simultaneously adjust for that immediate moment and also plan ahead, because if you focus too much on that immediate moment and kind of went too far into survival mode, you know, it’s going to make it more challenging, I think, to- to resume activity quickly, which is what we all need to be doing right now.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You said you learned a lot over the past year and, like, changed some of what you were doing. Like what do you mean by that? What- what changes do you think are going to stay with you?

GORDON: The first decision we made was to reduce the size of the collection. And that greatly influenced the way I design. My goal is always to give a woman something that’s glamorous and exciting and takes your breath away and makes your heartbeat a little bit faster. But now I wanted to do that with an added layer of comfort and ease and wearability. And by having a tighter collection offering, I really need to make sure that each piece we’re creating serves all of those purposes. So rather than having a beautiful cotton shirt and a fabulous, over-the-top cocktail dress, can I fuse the two of them? Can I take the versatility and ease and, you know, kind of sportswear chic of the shirt with that magic and spice of the cocktail dress and kind of morph them into one product that- that a woman is able to wear many times and always feel great and maintain that comfort and lifestyle component that she’s become so accustomed to over the past year. So that’s something that has definitely been a learning from the past year, a fantastic improvement to our business, I think a more focused articulation to our clients of my design vision and something that we absolutely will be carrying forward.

MARGARET BRENNAN: OK, Wes, stay with us. We’re going to take a quick break.

(BREAK/SOUNDBITE)

MARGARET BRENNAN: So that was Kamala Harris giving the victory speech, becoming the first woman Vice President of the United States, and you dressed her for that speech. What was that like?

GORDON: I mean, I just- just hearing that sound bite. How cool was that moment? I- I, for one, will never forget watching that. And- and it’s not just because she was wearing a suit that I designed. It was just because it was an extraordinary moment to be an American, to be a human, and I had the great opportunity to- to play a tiny, tiny part in that evening by making her a Carolina Herrera suit and blouse, and Vice President Harris has- frequently now wears Herrera suits, which is so exciting to me. And it’s just- you know, in a year of a lot of sadness and darkness, that evening was so extraordinary.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, it was a historic moment. I mean, tell me, what was the image you thought you were helping to project?

GORDON: You know, I- I was incredibly lucky to have met Vice President Harris, and I will say that there are very few people you encounter, and you can probably agree who when you become accustomed with their media image and their social media image and the idea of that person, very often reality is a letdown, unfortunately. And in the case of Vice President Harris she’s even cooler and more brilliant and more amazing and more spectacular and more inspiring in person than you possibly could imagine her to be. So I was so excited at the prospect of creating that shell and that wardrobe and that outer expression of her inner super powers, and that’s really how I thought of it. You know, it wasn’t- it was just about what’s going to make her feel like the best version of herself on this extraordinary night for humanity.

MARGARET BRENNAN: There’s a lot of scrutiny about- over what women wear, right? And unfairly women in the public eye. I mean, I- I get it. I- I get the incoming myself just being on television. But like, do you feel as someone who is helping to craft presentation for women at one of the top fashion houses in the country, do you feel responsibility in that, in like how you set trends, and how you source things that you have to somehow become either protective of the women you’re dressing, but also of the industry that you’re representing. You know, there’s so much scrutiny these days over environmentally conscious sourcing and things like that. How much of that do you actually digest when you sit down and design?

GORDON: I think, starting with the- the scrutiny level and what’s appropriate and what’s OK of women in the spotlight and powerful women in particular at this moment in time where we have the second-highest office in the nation occupied by a female. I think that’s a really valid question to ask is what’s OK and what’s not OK to talk about when it comes to fashion?

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mhm.

GORDON: And Dr. Jill Biden has taken a particular stance right now about not- not wanting the focus to be on what she’s wearing and something really important that I believe is, number one, it’s up to the woman herself how much she wants to talk about what she’s wearing or not. That’s every woman’s choice. That’s every first lady’s choice. And I think we should respect that. That said, I’m- I’m biased, I work in fashion. I think clothes are incredibly powerful and what people wear can convey so much and there can be so many levels of meaning and communication about what a man or woman is wearing and how he or she is presenting themself. And I don’t think it’s that- that we over-scrutinize women, perhaps it’s that we don’t discuss enough the symbolism of what men are wearing and that we should be a little more equal in that because we have a tendency not to talk about the men, but really only focus on the women–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mhm.

GORDON: –and there are extraordinary communication messages that happens in- that happen in a man’s wardrobe as well. And then so- so talk about fashion, I think. You know, I think it’s OK to- to discuss what was the symbolism of the White when Vice President Harris took that stage. I think these are important things. And I don’t think in any way, shape or form that’s a negative conversation. But don’t just do it for the women, you know, I think do it for everyone, be equal about it. So that was kind of the first part of that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.

GORDON: Then the next one about, do I feel a responsibility for- for operating with integrity, let’s call it, and- and- absolutely. I’m enormously concerned about the climate crisis and global warming and- all- and- and- unfair treatment of- of workers around the world and all of these things right now that are directly affected by the fashion industry and that are issues that we’re seeing already the consequences of. So it’s critically important to everyone at Herrera that we be the best global citizens possible and that we make a product that represents beauty and joy and celebration and life and color, inside and out.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you feel that that- you said that was like your own internal pressure, but like, do you feel like there’s pressure in the market from people who are out and shopping? I mean, how much do people actually think about that? Like- like you said, there isn’t a lot of scrutiny of men. Like I haven’t heard many people worry about whether Joe Biden’s tie was made by a environmentally sustainable line or a responsible manufacturer. Like it’s- it’s really kind of pick and choose when people seem to put that weight behind it.

GORDON: Absolutely, I- I absolutely agree. You don’t see that same level of GFN and scrutiny. And you should, because, you know, there’s- there’s an equal impact from those decisions in terms of the consumer, what they care about and do they care? Had you asked me that, say, three years ago, I would have had a very different answer. Right now, the consumer cares definitely more than ever.I think the idea of sustainability in textiles and fashion has very quickly gone from being kind of a fringe concept to something that is on the top of everyone’s minds, whether they’re designers or consumers or fashion executives or retailers, and that’s great. And we’re seeing just- just from my end and internally the rate of acceleration that fabric mills are quickly now offering, you know, maybe they would have had two or three out of a thousand fabrics previously available sustainably with organic cotton or with a sustainable finish. Now, suddenly we’re seeing that’s gone up several thousand percent. I mean, now we have dozens and dozens of options from each mill of sustainable fabrics. And you’re only seeing that because there’s that consumer demand. So it’s definitely a real thing. And, you know, I- I think was heightened and expedited by the experiences of the past year. And is another great example of something I hope remains people looking for integrity and purpose in the products that they buy and the pieces they bring into their lives.

MARGARET BRENNAN: What is- what do you mean by sustainable? You said organics, is- is that–

GORDON: So–

MARGARET BRENNAN: What does that mean?

GORDON: Yeah, sustainable is complicated because textiles are made up from so many different components. Right. So we have viscoses. We have silks. We have cottons, wools. And the criteria and classification for what makes each of those different fibers. Be deemed sustainable varies tremendously and how you measure whether something sustainable varies tremendously. Are you talking about it being sustainable because the cotton in the dress was organic or you talking about it being sustainable because it was, you know, included in a bulk shipment rather than shipped piecemeal with more carbon footprint? So there are- there’s so many different levers and- and mechanisms for labeling something sustainable.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mhm.

GORDON: And it’s very gray at the moment, I would say. But what matters is that people are trying and I really do believe that they are. And it’s- it’s- it’s thanks to some designers who kind of really stuck their neck out there in the past and were saying that this was something that was possible and they believed in that now the entire industry, I think, is really understanding that this can work, that- that you can make a beautiful product and it doesn’t have to be, you know, bad for the world, let’s say. And you’re as a result, you’re seeing tremendous change happening very quickly.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So I want to end with kind of a fun prediction, if you can give it to us.

GORDON: OK. OK.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So everyone wants to know what normal is going to look like. What do you think Fall Fashion Week will be like? Will we be back in-person and gathering?

GORDON: OK, I don’t have a crystal ball, but I’m going to tell you what I hope is the case. I hope that come September for Fall Fashion Week, which will be Herrera’s fortieth year of New York Fashion Week. I hope that we are presenting a live fashion show. I imagine it will be to a smaller group than it was in the past. Last February, so a year ago from February, we did a fashion show with nearly 800 people in the audience.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Wow.

GORDON: So do I think we’ll be doing that in September? Absolutely not. But am I hoping for, let’s say, 50 to 200 people, you know, very safely assembled? Yes, because there is a magic to a fashion show that I miss. The industry as a whole has come up with so many creative, exciting ways to tell fashion stories over the past year, digitally on social media, with video, with photography. But that in-person experience and seeing the clothes and sharing with people, the clothes in person and the models and the music and the hair and the entire ambience, there’s a magic to it. And New York Fashion Week is- is that goosebump moment that American designers love, and it’s something that I think is- is we should all, as Americans, be proud of and hoping to return to.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Wes, thank you so much for your time. Fun talking to you.

GORDON: Thank you. So fun talking to you as well. I really appreciate it. And this has been a- this has been a blast.

At least 8 killed at FedEx facility in Indianapolis

2 years after Notre Dame Cathedral fire, rebuilding remains a monumental task

Americans living below poverty line disproportionately impacted by pandemic

Continue Reading

Trending