AMERICAN FASHION IN CRISIS? NOT AT THESE SHOWS | Kanebridge News
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AMERICAN FASHION IN CRISIS? NOT AT THESE SHOWS

By RORY SATRAN
Mon, Feb 19, 2024 4:34pmGrey Clock 4 min

In the 1990s, New York fashion had the Big Three: Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. Of them, only Lauren remains a fashion force. Klein’s brand now only calls to mind Jeremy Allen White in boxer briefs. A recent reboot of the Donna Karan brand, sans Donna, drew yawns. In their heydays, these designers set the fashion agenda for the United States, and to some extent, the world. But in recent years, many have bemoaned the state of American fashion and wondered whether its fashion week should even exist.

Crisis of confidence no more! This past week, several New York designers made compelling cases for a new era in American fashion, one ruled more by a rigorous approach to separates than splashy marketing campaigns. As the luxury industry slows its roll , designers here showed the value of playing it safe, with investment-worthy coats, work-appropriate tailoring and go-everywhere dresses. Of course, in fashion, “safe” might also include sans-pants looks and four-figure shearling coats, many of which were also on display.

“I thought it was a really strong season for New York,” said independent fashion critic Jeremy Lewis. After years of streetwear, irony and everyone wanting to be “extra,” he said, “It’s led to more sober and grown-up clothes.” Lewis, like many of the commentators and retailers I spoke to, named Proenza Schouler as a standout. He said that its “exquisite tailoring” was “relevant to a daily, city-centric wardrobe.”

The new energy around realistic wardrobing was visible in many collections, from downtown darlings Eckhaus Latta and Kallmeyer all the way up to megabrand Michael Kors. On fashion runways, it’s more common than one would think to see unzipped zippers, nipple slips and faulty shoes (or abandoned shoes, which happened at at least two shows). The most successful designers working in New York today—highlighted below—are the ones that are focusing on fit, integrity and a connection to their customer.

Altuzarra’s Calculated Whimsy

For his 15th-anniversary show, Joseph Altuzarra revealed his strongest collection perhaps ever by zeroing in on idiosyncrasy and eschewing influencer culture. To a room of about 100 editors and buyers, he presented unique looks with notes of equestrian culture, harlequin-inspired whimsy and Princess Diana polished quirk. Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, who styled the collection, said that it “felt like the kind of wardrobe we dream to collect over years of our lives.” That mix looks like: a pair of jodhpurs found in an attic; a sweater from Portobello Road; wool joggers stolen from an ex-boyfriend.

“People’s wardrobes are not merchandised,” Altuzarra explained about this way of dressing. “When you walk into your closet, there’s this feeling of eclecticism.” He wanted to emphasize that one-of-a-kind feeling. It’s creating a wardrobe, he said—not of basics but of “preciousness and emotion.”

It’s a strategy that could have a positive effect on the brand’s business, as fashion becomes, in Altuzarra’s words, “more item-driven.” Rather than offering an overwhelming array of options, he said, “I want there to be a unique proposition.”

Proenza Schouler’s No-Nonsense Manifesto

Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough have always made clothes for the women of their own generation, with muses including artist Olympia Scarry, entrepreneur Lauren Santo Domingo and creative director Jen Brill. They’ve followed these women from their it-bag and party-dress days into their 40s . Today, those muses (like many of us) are far more likely to require a bag that holds a computer and a warm coat they can wear for 10 years than a pair of super-high boots to pose in.

Liane Wiggins, head of womenswear for retailer MatchesFashion.com, has told me how crucial coats are to the women’s designer business these days. A good coat can last forever. You can throw it over a simple WFH outfit. It keeps you warm in today’s weird, ever-changing weather. Proenza Schouler’s coats, in hand-sheared shearling, leather and double-face cashmere, are superlative. Hernandez and McCollough describe them as “strong and soft layers of protection.” Which you will certainly need if you decide to try one of the brand’s more risqué sheer-organza tops.

Willy Chavarria’s Character-Driven Separates

Willy Chavarria, who cut his teeth at legendary American brands Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, presented a sprawling show, including a short film and staged banquet recalling “The Last Supper,” in a warehouse in Brooklyn. Although his work is categorised as menswear, the show featured models of all genders, and a diverse range of backgrounds. The signature look—broad-shouldered blazers with nipped-ankle pants—would truly work on anyone.

While Chavarria’s collections have veered costumey in the past, this one struck a more wearable note. In his second season of wholesaling the brand, he said he was happily becoming more commercial. His cable-knit sweaters, camel suiting and aviator leather jackets are positioning him as a new-gen Ralph Lauren.

Michael Kors’s Pitch-Perfect Restraint

Although Kors sometimes gets a bad rap for being too commercial, his recent collections have had a smidge of an edge. Much in the same way that Tory Burch has recently gone from safe to cool, Kors is primed to reach a new audience with his canny sampling of 1990s and early 2000s minimalism. Unlike many of the designers that are mining that pared-back period, Kors was actually designing clothes back then. His work for Celine during that period , including straight knee-length skirts, animal prints and simple coats, is finding new lift on the resale market among younger women. undefined undefined So he’s smart to go full Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy for his eponymous multi-billion-dollar business. Shown in the old Barneys building in Chelsea, a temple of bygone chic, his dark skirt suits, pleated trousers and lace slip dresses felt convincing. And 50-year-old supermodel Amber Valletta, bare-legged with a leopard-printed coat and black pumps, is a contender for look of the season.

Sergio Hudson’s Unapologetic Power Dressing

As the Lox’s 1990s rap anthem “Money, Power & Respect” boomed from the loudspeaker, Sergio Hudson’s boardroom babes strutted defiantly down the runway. Hudson, a favorite of Kamala Harris and Michelle Obama, has built a solid reputation on monochromatic dresses and 1970s-inflected suiting. Hudson said that his vision was about presenting “that boss diva that we aim to please.”

This collection, Hudson’s most cohesive in recent memory, made me think that the fashion world hasn’t been taking Hudson seriously enough. Tom Ford, vulnerable after Peter Hawkings’s derivative debut last season, might do well to pay attention to Hudson, with his strong tailoring and unabashed sensuality.

The designer, who had attendees smiling and bopping in their seats, said that he aimed to “bring back the joy of New York fashion week.” And what’s more, “to bring back the great days when New York sportswear was held in high regard across the world. That’s been a bit lost.”



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Saudi Arabia’s 2024 Summer TOURISM Plans Unveils New Incentives and Global Attractions

“Saudi Summer is Next Door” plans to boost tourism in the Kingdom over four months across seven destinations.

Wed, May 22, 2024 4 min

Saudi Arabia has unveiled its plan to attract international tourists this summer. The strategy includes appealing visa options, complimentary airline tickets for families, a lineup of major events, and opportunities for tax-free shopping.

The initiative, organized under the guidance of Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), is named “Saudi Summer is Next Door.”

Jeddah

Extensive Summer 2024 Tourism Activities

The initiative will span four months, ending in September, and will be hosted across seven key destinations: Aseer, Al Baha, Taif, the Red Sea, Jeddah, Riyadh, and AlUla.

It features over 550 tourism products and more than 150 specially tailored offers and packages for families and various interest groups including adventure enthusiasts, luxury seekers, and cultural and heritage buffs.

The launch event of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 was attended by notable figures such as Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, in addition to more than 250 key partners from both public and private sectors, prominent media personalities, and influential opinion leaders.

Showcasing Global Events and Cultural Richness

This year’s program will also welcome back the Jeddah Season and introduce the Aseer Season, each filled with various activities and events for families. The Kingdom will host several significant events as part of the summer program, including the first Esports World Cup in Riyadh, an eight-week competition featuring top esports athletes, and various boxing tournaments in Riyadh and Jeddah.

During the event, Al Khateeb highlighted the latest global tourism trends, the Kingdom’s growth in the tourism sector, and the record-high tourist numbers that have propelled Saudi Arabia to the top of the UN World Tourism list and the G20 nations list.

Al Baha

Al Khateeb emphasized, “Saudi Arabia is witnessing a transformative period in tourism, driven by our vision to position the Kingdom as a premier global destination. The Saudi Summer Program 2024 is our commitment to showcasing the rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and unparalleled hospitality that Saudi Arabia offers. “We invite local and international tourists to experience the diversity of our seven unique destinations and take advantage of the exceptional offers and packages designed to create unforgettable memories. “This initiative, supported by our strategic partnerships and groundbreaking efforts like the eVisa and increased flight connectivity, demonstrates our dedication to making Saudi Arabia more accessible and appealing to tourists worldwide. “We look forward to welcoming visitors from all corners of the globe to explore and enjoy the vibrant experiences that await them this summer.”

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, also remarked, “Saudi tourism is witnessing unparalleled development at all levels, achieving great leaps in recent years, which I witnessed during my multiple visits to this hospitable country.”

Riyadh

“Saudi Arabia has global indicators related to the number of tourists, which has qualified it to top the UN World Tourism list of significant tourist destinations.”

“All of these great achievements for Saudi tourism would not have been possible without proper planning by those in charge of the sector in the Kingdom and the great potential it possesses in terms of diverse climates, stunning natural landmarks, and the generosity of Saudi people who are distinguished by their hospitality, raising the ceiling of ambitions for new achievements.”

STA CEO Fahd Hamidaddin said: “While temperatures in the region rise to high levels during summer, temperatures in the highlands of Saudi Arabia in the southern region decrease to the extent that we even witnessed snowfall in Al Soudah yesterday.” “Through the promotional campaign for the Saudi Summer Program 2024, we seek to highlight the uniqueness of our destinations and their climatic, natural, and cultural diversity, along with the exceptional events and activities happening during summer. “This year’s summer program includes more than 550 tourism products and 150 special offers designed in collaboration with STA’s partners, which include attractive offers from hotels, airlines offering free tickets for children in partnership with major travel, tourism, and aviation companies, and exceptional products in the Aseer Season and Jeddah Season like tax-free shopping offers and many new and exciting experiences such as private beaches for tourists and ladies’ beaches.”

“The campaign slogan “Saudi Summer is Next Door” embodies an open invitation to explore the magic of Saudi destinations and their diversity. This diversity is expressed with simple words that reflect the uniqueness of each destination, such as “Closer,” “Cooler,” “More Beautiful,” and “More Affordable.”

The private sector is a very important component of the success of tourism programs and initiatives, and the Saudi Tourism Authority is committed to empowering it by fostering demand for products and offers that align with the aspirations of tourists globally.

The launch of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 marks a period when visiting the Kingdom has become easier, smoother, and safer through measures such as the availability of the eVisa to citizens of 66 countries, a 20 percent reduction in eVisa prices, and a significant increase in the number of weekly flights from

Gulf cities to Saudi summer destinations, now totaling 1,100.

Residents of the GCC can also benefit from the GCC residents visa, which allows them multiple entries and a stay of up to 90 days in the Kingdom over a year. Moreover, the number of hotel rooms available to travelers is set to increase, with an additional 25,000 rooms expected to be added this year.

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