Review: ‘Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge,’ starring Diane von Furstenberg

June 7, 2024

by Carla Hay

Diane von Furstenberg in “Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge” (Photo courtesy of Hulu/Disney)

“Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge”

Directed by Trish Dalton and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Some language in French with subtitles

Culture Representation: The documentary film “Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge” features a predominantly white group of people (with a few black people and Asians) from the fashion and entertainment industries discussing the life and career of fashion designer/mogul Diane von Furstenberg.

Culture Clash: Diane von Furstenberg battled against sexism and antisemitism and became one of the few female owners of a major fashion company in the 1970s, but her complicated personal life has had a lot of chaos and heartbreak.

Culture Audience: Besides appealing to the obvious target audience of Diane von Furstenberg fans, “Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in watching documentaries about the fashion industry, celebrities and feminists who conquered a male-dominated field.

Diane von Furstenberg, Talita von Furstenberg and Morgan Hill in “Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge” (Photo courtesy of Hulu/Disney)

“Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge” is a definitive visual biography about the trailblazing fashion designer/mogul Diane von Furstenberg, who is candid about her personal life and career. Her charisma and unconventionality make this very conventionally formatted documentary shine. Because she’s been open about many aspects of her life over the years (including her 2014 memoir “The Woman I Wanted to a Be”), there isn’t too much revealed about von Furstenberg in this movie that she hasn’t already revealed about herself. However, von Furstenberg’s hindsight gives the documentary a richer perspective of her life, as she is equally comfortable discussing her past and her present, while looking ahead to her future.

Directed by Trish Dalton and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, “Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge” had its world premiere at the 2024 Tribeca Festival. “Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge” is also the name of an installation that went on display in New York City in June 2024. The installation could be considered an extension of the documentary and vice versa,

The documentary begins by showing a 1980s clip from an interview that von Furstenberg did with David Letterman. In the interview, he’s somewhat condescending, as he tries to make it sound like von Furstenberg was a “one-hit wonder,” whose claim to fame was inventing the wrap dress and being previously married to a prince (Egon von Furstenberg). The rest of the the documentary shows that Diane was far from a one-hit wonder but has actually been a master of reinvention and staying relevant in fickle industries. And even though she was married to a prince, her life has been far from being like a fairy tale.

Born to Jewish parents on December 31, 1946, in Brussels, Belgium, her birth name was Diane Simone Michele Halfin. Her mother Liliane, also known as Lily, is discussed a lot in the documentary as Diane’s biggest life mentor, but von Furstenberg barely mentions her father. As a child of Holocaust survivors (Lily survived the notorious Auschwitz death camp), von Furstenberg said the Holocaust wasn’t discussed in her family, but she learned from her mother what would become a lifelong motto about survival: “Fear is not an option.”

In the documentary, von Furstenberg (who is an only child) talks about how her mother was told by doctors that her child wouldn’t live. In a sense, von Furstenberg’s entire life snce birth has been about beating the odds and defying people’s expectations. She says in the documentary that her mother taught her to be fearless and independent. “She wanted to equip me, in case I needed to live the way that she lived.” And that meant growing up fast.

Here parents’ marriage fell apart when Lily left the family to be with another man. Diane, who was a teenager at the time, was sent to live in a boarding school. In the documentary, Diane doesn’t express any bitterness about this family turmoil and says that being sent to boarding school was probably the best thing that could have happened to her during this time. It was at boarding school where Diane (who describes herself as sexually fluid) says she fell in love for the first time with a man and with a woman and had affairs with both sexes.

A recurring theme in the documentary is that Diane is someone who doesn’t like restrictions placed on her, whether these restrictions are traditional gender roles, monogamy or whatever she wants to do with her life. She has gotten pushback and criticism from some people for how she has lived. However, even with her constant battle to retain these personal freedoms, she has a tendency to want to escape or be in denial when life gets too difficult for her, by her own admission.

In the documentary, Diane describes her first husband Egon (a German prince), whom she married in 1969, as a magnetic charmer who swept her off of her feet in a passionate love affair. At the time, it was considered somewhat scandalous for this German prince to marry a middle-class Jewish woman. Diane also describes the antisemitism of Egon’s father, who would refer to Diane’s and Egon’s two children—Alexander (born in 1970) and Tatiana (born in 1971)—as the “little Jews.” Diane says when she was pregnant with Alexander, also known as Alex, she told her unborn child, “We’ll show them.”

Alex and Tatiana are both interviewed in the documentary. They describe their mother as not beng very attentive when they were children, but she taught them to be more independent than most kids their age. Tatiana says that Diane’s style of parenting can ether be considered “neglectful” or “free.” Diane admits that she was a very non-traditional mother whose was busy running a business and having a very active social life where her children were not necessarily her biggest priority, even though her love for them always existed. Lily has the main child caretaker of Alex and Tatiana. Diane also shares painful memories about Lily having a mental breakdown.

In the early 1970s, Diane says she and Egon (who was also openly bisexual) were living in New York City and were fully immersed in a celebrity lifestyle of parties and swinging in their open marriage. Diane describes Egon as being more promiscuous than she was and the reason why they separated in 1972 eventually got divorced in 1983. Egon died of AIDS in 2004, at age 57. In the documentary, the family’s devastation over his death is discussed by Diane, Egon and Tatiana.

Alex says in the documentary that it wasn’t unusual to see famous people spend the night. Diane doesn’t name drop a lot about who her famous lovers were, but she mentions that she slept with Ryan O’Neal and Warren Beatty separately on the same weekend. And she says that Mick Jagger and David Bowie propositioned her to have a threesome with them, but she turned down this offer.

Diane says of the end of her first marriage: “Divorce, for me, was freedom … I became the woman I wanted to be … I was the woman in charge.” Her split from Egon also coincided with the rise of Diane as a designer and a business mogul in the fashion industry during a period of time when it was highly unusual for a woman to be either or both.

The documentary retells the well-known stories behind the wrap dress (which Diane invented in 1974) and Diane’s meteoric rise in the fashion industry with her self-titled fashion brand, also known as DVF. Diane says she initially got the inspiration for the wrap dress from wrap blouses that ballerinas would wear. When Diane saw Richard Nixon’s daughter Tricia Nixon wear a DVF wrap blouse over a skirt during the 1973 Watergate scandal, Diane got the idea to make a wrap dress. It became worldwide sensation and was popular because it looked like high fashion but was affordable.

And for someone who considers herself a fiercely independent feminist, a few close friends (such as writer Fran Lebowitz) say in the documentary that there have been periods in Diane’s life when Diane transformed herself to be more compatible with whichever man she was in a serious relationship with at the time. When Diane was married to Egon, she was the jetset and glamorous princess wife that she was expected to be.

Later, her photographer friend Peter Arnell says that when Diane was having problems with her business and her love life in the 1980s, she escaped from her problems by doing a lot of traveling. Her love affair with Italian writer Alain Elkann resulted in Diane dressing differently, by changing her wardrobe from her signature bright prints to more toned-down and conservative clothes that university intellectuals tend to wear. In her current phase, she has been part of a power couple since her love affair with billionaire entertainment mogul Barry Diller, who is interviewed in the documentary and whom Diane describes as her “soul mate.” Diane and Diller (who also identifies as sexually fluid) eloped in 2001, after meeting in the mid-1970s and being in an on-again/off-again romance since the 1980s.

Even though Diane preaches having a fearless attitude, she also expresses some vulnerability when she says that she doesn’t like going back to Brussels. “I feel really sad in Brussels,” she says. “Every time I come back, I feel small again.” She is vague about how she overcame business difficulties. (The closure of DVF stores in 2020 is not mentioned at all in the documentary.) However, she gives credit to good timing that wrap dresses became popular again in the 2000s.

“Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge” has an eclectic mix of people interviewed. They include media mogul Oprah Winfrey, former U.S. first lady/politician Hillary Rodham Clinton, artist Anh Duong, model Karlie Kloss, Diane’s friend Olivier Gelbsman, former British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, makeup artist Gigi Williams, former Interview editor Bob Colacello, fashion designer Christian Louboutin, former DV creative director Nathan Jenden, author Linda Bird Franke, New York Times fashion writer Vanessa Friedman, “Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge” installation curator Nicolas Lor, “Diane von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped” author Gioia Diliberto, Nobel Prize winner Nadia Murad, George Washington University international affairs professor Muqaddesa Yourish, spritual guru Deepak Chopra, TV host Seth Meyers, and Diane’s grandchildren Talita von Furstenberg, Tassilo von Furstenberg and Antonia Stenberg.

At an age when most people have retired, Diane says she has no intention of retiring anytime soon. In the documentary Close friends and family members describe her as having more energy than most people who are decades younger than Diane is. Unlike many people in the fashion/beauty industry, Diane also says she’s not afraid of being old.

There’s a scene early on in the movie where Diane climbs into a bathroom sink while she does her own makeup. She declares, “I do not understand why people do not embrace age. You shouldn’t say how old you are. You should say how long you have lived. If you take away wrinkles, you take away the map of your life. I don’t want to erase anything from life.”

in the documentary, Diane also says that her decision to sell her products on QVC, as of 1996, was one of the best business decisions she could’ve made—even though she got a lot of criticism for it by many people at the time who thought this QVC association would ruin the DVF brand. Nowadays, it’s not unusual for a designer with haute couture experience to partner with a low-priced retailer for business ventures. Diane’s ability to be relatable to the “1%” in high society and the rest of the “99%” of society has a lot to do with her longevity and popularity. “Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge” is a reflection of this wide appeal, since it’s a documentary that can be enjoyed for its celebration of the human spirit—regardless of how much or how little viewers care about fashion.

Hulu will premiere “Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge” on June 25, 2024.

L’Oréal launches Big Bang Beauty Tech Innovation Program in South Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa

May 30, 2024

(Photo courtesy of L’Oréal)

The following is a press release from L’Oréal:

To spur the next era of beauty, L’Oréal has launched the Big Bang Beauty Tech Innovation Program in the South Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa (SAPMENA) region, including India. The biggest open innovation competition of this scale for the beauty sector, it offers promising startups the chance to develop their innovation in a commercial pilot and potential exposure to 35 markets of the SAPMENA region.

The competition emphasizes the co-creation and co-development of innovative beauty technology and marketing solutions. Startups will address one or more of the five challenge themes: Consumer Experience, Content, Media, New Commerce and Tech for Good. Through their participation, startups will have the opportunity to connect with commercial and digital leaders, including strategic partners and mentors who can offer insights to test new ideas and potential to scale.

First launched in China in 2020, the competition now extends across Asia and MENA, tapping into the dynamic startup ecosystem and immense consumer potential of these regions. From a handful of investors and companies a little over a decade ago, these regions today have grown into a dynamic hub with increasing deal flow within the global startup ecosystem.

Home to 40% of the world’s population, the SAPMENA region covers 35 markets including many of the world’s fastest growing, most populous and young markets. Its consumers are young digital natives, having an average age of 28 years (compared to the global average of 33 years) and with more than 60% purchasing online every week. Innovative e-commerce and social commerce business models and technologies are needed to reach and engage these consumers, who are leading the beauty acceleration with diverse beauty ideals and a dynamic digital culture of on-demand, always-connected and hyper social. Across Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East, the combined startup ecosystem includes over 40,000 startups, with more than 180 unicorns (startups valued US$1 billion+) and a deal flow that reached US$20 billion last year.

Vismay Sharma, President of L’Oréal SAPMENA Zone, said, “Asia and the Middle East are young, vibrant markets with a strong and dynamic startup ecosystem and opportunities for growth. Leveraging Beauty Tech, L’Oréal wants to uncover better and more novel ways of connecting with consumers and answering unmet needs through beauty innovations. We are on the lookout for unique solutions that leverage data and tech – we believe augmented tech, online platforms and digital services have great potential to elevate the consumer experience.”

Saloni Shah, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer, L’Oréal India, said, “India is home to successful start-ups that has resulted in an incredibly dynamic ecosystem. The vibrant energy, entrepreneurial spirit, and advanced digital landscape make it conducive for innovation across industries, especially in Beauty Tech. L’Oréal is committed to supporting this ecosystem, fostering collaboration, and seeking opportunities with innovative startups to shape the future of beauty.”

About the Big Bang Beauty Tech Innovation Program in SAPMENA

The Big Bang Beauty Tech Innovation Program regional open innovation competition seeks to discover, support and nurture promising startups from across the South Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa region, from countries including United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam. These startups will be given the opportunity to develop their pilots in Beauty Tech innovation in one of five challenge themes: Consumer Experience, Content, Media, New Commerce and Tech for Good. The top three SAPMENA Grand Finale winners will win a L’Oréal-funded commercial pilot opportunity and a year-long mentorship program with senior executives from L’Oréal and the program partners including Accenture, Google and Meta.

Startups who prove successful pilots in SAPMENA could have the opportunity to work with L’Oréal globally. With L’Oréal SAPMENA as a launchpad, startups could tap into an extensive network of partners and market insights.

The three regional online semi-finals for the GCC, India and Southeast Asia will culminate in an in-person SAPMENA Grand Finale. Up to ten startup finalists across SAPMENA will vie for the top prizes at the Grand Finale in Singapore on 23 October 2024. Judges will comprise senior executives from L’Oréal and the program partners.

Key dates:

  • Submission deadline: 13 July 2024
  • India online semi-final: 11 September 2024
  • Southeast Asia online semi-final: 30 September 2024
  • SAPMENA in-person Grand Finale in Singapore: 23 October 2024

Startups passionate about creating the future of the beauty industry with L’Oréal are encouraged to apply now on the competition website by the submission deadline of 13 July 2024.

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About L’Oréal South Asia Pacific, Middle East, and North Africa (SAPMENA) Zone

Home to 3 billion people and 40% of the world’s population, the South Asia Pacific, Middle East & North Africa (SAPMENA) Zone is a major growth engine for L’Oréal and a global talent hub. The SAPMENA Zone was formed in 2021 to drive focus on consumer needs and growth in many of the world’s most populous, young and fast-growing economies. Across 13 entities and 35 markets spanning New Zealand to Morocco, the L’Oréal SAPMENA Zone is reinventing beauty experiences for our consumers through a portfolio of over 30 international brands and game-changing Beauty Tech innovations. Our business model is built on responsible and sustainable growth, with commitments which focus on three key areas – the planet, the people and our products.

About L’Oréal

For 115 years, L’Oréal, the world’s leading beauty player, has devoted itself to one thing only: fulfilling the beauty aspirations of consumers around the world. Our purpose, to create the beauty that moves the world, defines our approach to beauty as essential, inclusive, ethical, generous and committed to social and environmental sustainability. With our broad portfolio of 37 international brands and ambitious sustainability commitments in our L’Oréal for the Future program, we offer each and every person around the world the best in terms of quality, efficacy, safety, sincerity and responsibility, while celebrating beauty in its infinite plurality.

With more than 90,000 committed employees, a balanced geographical footprint and sales across all distribution networks (e-commerce, mass market, department stores, pharmacies, perfumeries, hair salons, branded and travel retail), in 2023 the Group generated sales amounting to 41.18 billion euros. With 20 research centers across 11 countries around the world and a dedicated Research and Innovation team of over 4,000 scientists and 6,400 Digital talents, L’Oréal is focused on inventing the future of beauty and becoming a Beauty Tech powerhouse.

2024 Met Gala: Event Photos and Videos

May 6, 2024

The 55th annual Costume Institute Gala, also known as the Met Gala, took place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on May 6, 2024. The event’s theme in 2024 was “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.” The Met Gala is an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. This year, the Met Gala was co-chaired by entertainers Jennifer Lopez, Zendaya, Bad Bunny, Chris Hemsworth and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Here are photo and video highlights from the event.

Hari Nef, Paloma Elsesser, Adwoa Aboah, Ann-Sofie Johansson, Stefon Diggs, Quannah Rose Chasinghorse, Victor Glemaud and Awkwafina dressed for the Met Gala in New York City on May 6, 2024. (Photo courtesy of H&M)

 

Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Zac Posen at the 2024 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on May 6, 2024. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

 

Review: ‘High & Low – John Galliano,’ starring John Galliano

April 22, 2024

by Carla Hay

John Galliano in “High & Low – John Galliano” (Photo by David Harriman/MUBI)

“High & Low – John Galliano”

Directed by Kevin Macdonald

Some language in French with no subtitles

Culture Representation: The documentary film “High & Low – John Galliano” features a predominantly white group of middle-class and wealthy people (with a few black people and one Asian) who are interviewed about controversial British fashion designer John Galliano, who has worked for fashion brands such as Givenchy, Christian Dior (also known as Dior) and Maison Margiela.

Culture Clash: In 2011, Galliano had a fall from grace after a December 2010 video surfaced of him going on an antisemitic and racist rant, but he has attempted to clean up his reputation since then.

Culture Audience: “High & Low – John Galliano” will appeal primarily to people interested in documentaries about the fashion industry and controversial famous people.

John Galliano in “High & Low – John Galliano” (Photo courtesy of MUBI)

When all is said and done, “High & Low – John Galliano” is really about answering this question: “Does someone who was exposed for being antisemitic and racist deserve to make a career comeback?” This biographical documentary works better as a “where are they now” story than as a convincing argument that disgraced fashion designer John Galliano deserves to make a comeback. The movie has indications that Galliano’s sincerity can be doubted. Even with some celebrities praising Galliano in the movie, what really matters is what Galliano has done to make amends for the harm that he has caused and prove that he is truly reformed.

Directed by Kevin Macdonald, “High & Low — John Galliano” (which has exclusive interviews that were filmed from January 2022 to March 2023) includes the participation of Galliano, who ostensibly agreed to do this documentary so that it could be a showcase or platform for what he clearly wants to be his full redemption. According to the production notes for “High & Low — John Galliano”: “Galliano and Macdonald started talking on Zoom during the first lock-down in the summer of 2020. They first met in person in the spring of 2021 and that led to a ‘trial interview’ in August 2021.” “High & Low — John Galliano” had its world premiere at the 2023 Telluride Film Festival and made the rounds at several other film festivals that year, including the Rome Film Festival and BFI London Film Festival.

Born in the Britsh territory of Gibraltar on November 28, 1960 (as Juan Carlos Antonio Galliano), he was at the top of the fashion industry as artistic director of fashion brand Christian Dior when he was fired in 2011, after a December 2010 video surfaced of Galliano making antisemitic and racist remarks to a stranger at an outdoor cafe in Paris. It wasn’t an isolated incident. When asked about other bigoted comments that that he allgedly made in public, Galliano admits in the documentary that it’s possible he could have made other hate speech comments in his life, but those incidents weren’t recorded. Using drunken blackouts as an excuse, Galliano says he doesn’t remember a lot of horrible things that he’s done that people said that he did.

In the antisemitic rant that was caught on video, Galliano said to a woman whom he thought looked Jewish: “I love Hitler … People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers would all be fucking gassed.” For his antisemitic and racist rant that was caught on video, Galliano made public apologies, partially blaming being drunk at the time that he made these hate speech comments.

Because making antisemitic commentary is illegal in France, Galliano was charged with this crime and went to trial in 2011. He was found guilty and got a sentence of €6,000 in suspended fines. Galliano also talks about voluntarily receiving sensitivity training and education from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). This information is confirmed in the documentary by former ADL director Abraham Foxman, who says he was one of the few ADL leaders who wanted to meet with Galliano.

After getting fired from Dior for this bigotry scandal, Galliano became a pariah in the fashion industry for a few years. And then, he was hired in 2014 to be creative director of Maison Martin Margiela, now known as Maison Margiela. Although Galliano was able to crawl back to the industry for this lower-profile job, it’s obvious from watching the documentary that he wants to be back among the A-list designers. It’s unlikely he will ever return to the career heights that he had when he torpedoed his career.

“High & Low – John Galliano” will give viewers a lot of information about Galliano’s personal life and career, which the documentary tells in chronological order. Galliano admits that he’s a recovering alcoholic who’s been sober for “years.” (Galliano doesn’t get more specific about how long he’s been allegedly sober.)

He also hints at having many other addictions (he admits to abusing cocaine during the height of his career), but alcoholism, plastic surgery and a physical workout craze are the only addictions he fully admits to on camera. Even with these admissions, it’s hard to be convinced that Galliano is truthful in his claims to be clean and sober, when he is sometimes slurring his words and appears glassy-eyed and occasionally unfocused during his interviews in this documentary.

Galliano also apparently never personally reached out to say he was sorry to the people who were the targets of his illegal insults in that notorious December 2010 rant. Galliano claims that he was advised by his attorney at the time not to speak to the victims before the case was resolved. However, the court case has been resolved since 2011. He’s had plenty of time to make these amends, but he hasn’t done that, according to Philippe Virgitti, a dining companion of the woman who was the target of Galliano’s antisemitic and illegal rant in the December 2010 video.

Virgitti, who is interviewed in the documentary, was dining with this woman when Galliano spewed this bigoted hate in that December 2010 incident, so Virgitti saw firsthand what happened. Virgitti says that what wasn’t caught on video was Galliano saying other racist and antisemitic things to Virgitti (who has Asian heritage) and Virgitti’s dining companion. Although Galliano claims that he eventually made personal apologies to his victims by reaching out to them privately, Virgitti and Virgitti’s attorney Jean-Bernard Bosquet-Denis say that claim it isn’t true, and Galliano never made these private amends. Virgitti says the only apologies that he and his female companion got from Galliano were public and impersonal statements, which Virgitti believes are insincere apologies.

To the documentary’s credit, the movie’s very first scene addresses the controversy about Galliano by showing the notorious video. In an interview for the documentary, Galliano says of his antisemitic rant: “It was a disgusting thing, a foul thing that I did. It was just horrific.” Macdonald (who is also one of the documentary’s producers) can be heard off-camera asking, “Can you tell me how you ended up in that place?” Galliano replies, “I’ll tell you everything.” Galliano then pauses to light a cigarette and says, “I’ve got the shakes, so I need a cigarette.”

It’s compelling way to start the documentary, which then goes into telling the story of Galliano’s career rise, fall and attempted comeback. What emerges is a portrait of someone who’s had issues with addiction and anger for years—even before he was famous—but he was enabled by too many people because of his artistic talent, because he had a very charismatic side to his personality, and because he was making tons of money for a lot of people. In the documentary, Galliano says his workload was insane at the height of his career, and he turned to various addictions to cope.

Galliano grew up in a family consisting of his father Juan Galliano (of Italian heritage), who was a plumber; John’s mother Ana “Anita” Guillén (of Spanish heritage); and John’s two sisters. The family moved from Gibraltar to the United Kingdom when John was 6 years old. John’s older sister Rosemarie Husband, one of the people interviewed in the documentary, remembers their childhood this way: “I always had to look after John. He was quite disruptive. He wanted attention all the time.”

John says that he knew from a very early age that he is gay. One of the earliest indications of his interest in fashion was that he used to wear his mother’s makeup and clothes when he was a boy. John had a troubled relationship with his father, whom John describes as “very straight” and physically and emotionally abusive. John says his father could be violent if “I stepped out of line.” John remembers an incident when his father beat him up after John made this offhand comment about a young man he saw on TV: “Oh, he looks gorgeous.”

Just like many LGBTQ people with homophobic family members, John found a family of friends who accepted him and his sexuality. John’s first “found family” was in the fashion and artistic community in London, in the early-to-mid 1980s, when he attended and graduated from St. Martin’s School of Art. It was a life-changing experience for him.

John explains in the documentary: “During the [Margaret] Thatcher years, I wasn’t joining marches and things like that. I was into sketching and drawing. I ended up prepping a portfolio for St. Martin’s School of Art. They took on few people. The competition was really strong, but they gave me a place and a grant. I saw like-minded people. It was like, ‘My God, I’m not the only one.'”

David Harrison, a painter artist who was one of John’s friends at St. Martin’s School of Art, remembers: “He was very shy when I first met him. And I sort of loosened him up a bit. I always felt like I was his big sister.” (John claims that former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren had once wanted Harrison to be the lead singer of the Sex Pistols, but Johnny Rotten, now known as John Lydon, ended up with the gig.)

Harrison says that he influenced John to go from having very suburban, designer-label taste in fashion to wearing vintage clothes. Harrison also talks about the dark side of John as an “out-of-control drunk. You’d have to sort of look after him.”

It was during his years at St. Martin’s School of Art that John says he became obsessed with the 1927 documentary “Napoleon,” directed by director Abel Gance. Napoleon Bonaparte and the 1800s fashion during this French leader’s reign also heavily influenced John’s fashion aesthetic for years. John took the advice of a St. Martin’s School of Art teacher to cut clothes like he draws, which is how John says he learned how to be a fashion designer.

His 1984 graduation fashion show “Les Incroyables” (“The Incredibles”) showed these influences in genderless clothes. The show was a big hit and got John noticed by many influential people in the fashion industry. In the documentary, fashion journalist/editor Hamish Bowles describes “Les Incroyables” as “one of the top five fashion shows I’ve ever seen. It was absolutely astonishing … You thought, ‘Here’s someone who was touched with genius.'”

Suzanne Von Aichinger—a former model who says she was John’s muse for years—makes a comment about John that probably inspired the title of this documentary: “He really had the high/low [sense of fashion]. He really knew how to balance the two.”

Even with some financial rough patches in the early years, high-profile work came fairly quickly for John, who worked as an in-demand independent designer with his own label, which he maintained, even after he was hired as the director of corporate-owned fashion brands. In 1989, he relocated to Paris, where his career soared to new heights. He became the head designer for Givenchy from July 1995 to October 1996, when he was named artistic director for Christian Dior, also known as Dior. Givenchy and Dior are both owned by luxury goods corporation LVMH.

But behind the glitz and glamour of this success, John still had a reputation for being a hellraiser with a nasty temper. Marie-Sophie Wilson, a former model who was one of John’s friends in the 1980s and 1990s, says that when he moved to Paris, she gave him a place to stay with her because he couldn’t afford rent for his own place. “He camped on my settee and destroyed my washing machine,” Wilson remembers.

Wilson comments: “There are definitely two Johns. There is a shy John and there is a quite mad John. He was a bad drunk. He really wants to get wasted until he drops.” Fashion editor Tim Blanks remembers John urinating on people without their consent in a nightclub. “He was just so off it,” Blanks says. “I just thought, ‘Boy, this guy is unhappy.'” Later in the documentary, John admits that even after he became a rich and famous designer, he was permanently banned from some hotels because of the awful things that he did.

Despite all of these warning signs, John continued to thrive in the industry. And it’s easy to see why. The documentary has several people who make excuses for him or won’t comment on his troubling actions that would get most people arrested if they don’t have fame, wealth and connections. Most of the people who have a financial incentive to praise John do nothing but praise John in the documentary.

One of his most vocal supporters is Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of the U.S. edition of Vogue and chief content officer of Condé Nast, who has her own problematic history of self-admitted racism. She says, “If you think of the great designers who really changed the way women dressed or look or how we think about fashion, immediately, you knew what John was doing. You realize he was one of them, so you had to help him.”

Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Amber Valletta are among the past and present supermodels who consider themselves to be John’s fans and say so in the documentary. Adding their commentary are Oscar-winning actresses Charlize Theron and Penélope Cruz, who just stick to flattery about John’s fashion designs. Also interviewed are several of his former business associates. They include Sidney Toledano, CEO of Dior from 1998 to 2018; Katell Le Bourhis, former advisor to LVMH founder/chairman/CEO; and Johann Brun, who describes himself as John’s first financial backer.

Other people interviewed in the documentary are DJ/musician Jeremy Healy, who found brief fame in the early 1980s as a member of the British pop duo Haysi Fantayzee; jewelry designer Vicky Sareg; John Galliano publicist Mesh Chhibber; Vogue editorial executive Edward Enninful; New York Times fashion director Vanessa Friedman; fashion writer Colin McDowell; fashion editor Sally Singer; John’s personal assistant Evelynne Tissier; John’s agent Anne Nelson; Condé Nast chairman Jonathan Newhouse; psychiatrist Boris Cyrulnik; addiction special Dr. Phillipe Bates; and John’s friends Paul Frecker and Tricia Ronane.

John’s personal life is described as a lot of co-dependent relationships, although he seems to have found contentment with his longtime love partner Alexis Roche, who is also interviewed in the documentary, but he doesn’t say anything insightful. It’s not surprising because most live-in partners or spouses are not going to say something brutally honest in a documentary that could ruin their relationships. John does not mention the names of any other significant lovers he’s had in his life.

The documentary has stories about Steven Robinson, John’s design assistant who died of a cocaine overdose in 2007, at the age of 38. Robinson (who worked with John for more than 20 years) is described by various people in the documentary as an intensely loyal gatekeeper, cocaine addict, and John’s best friend, who was in love with John, but they never had a romantic relationship. John’s personal assistant Tissier says of the relationship that Robinson had with John: “This co-dependency had some very toxic aspects.”

Parts of the documentary are meant to pull at the heartstrings. There’s a scene where John describes his mixed emotions over the end of his father’s life. John claims that his ailing father, who rarely expressed his approval of John, told John that he loved John before he died. However, John’s sister says in the documentary that she had to beg John to attend the funeral because John was busy with fittings for his next big fashion show. John says he took a private jet to the funeral and flew right back to work as soon as he could.

A “dramatic” part of the documentary is toward the end when John is invited to look at a special Dior archive collection. It’s the first time that he’s been allowed to set foot in this part of Dior headquarters since he was fired in 2011. John is visibly nervous and emotionally touched, but he also expresses pride and wonderment when he looks at the Dior clothing that he designed.

Viewers can look beyond these misty-eyed moments and lavish praise of a celebrity to see the heart of the matter. The measure of someone’s true character isn’t how talented that person is or how much money that person can make but how that person treats others and how that person reacts when caught doing something wrong. By those standards, people who watch “High & Low – John Galliano” can make up their own minds on what type of character he really has and how sincere he is.

MUBI released “High & Low – John Galliano” in select U.S. cinemas on March 8, 2024. MUBI will premiere the movie on April 26, 2024.

U.S. Hair Wigs & Extensions Market – Focused Insights 2024-2029 report reveals major trends

February 28, 2024

The “U.S. Hair Wigs & Extensions Market – Focused Insights 2024-2029” report has been added to  ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

The U.S. hair wigs and extensions market was valued at USD 2.79 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach a value of 6.34 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 14.69% from 2023-2029

The U.S. hair wigs and extensions market is growing significantly due to the rising trend of Halloween parties, the growing popularity of new hairstyles, technological developments in the production and design of synthetic hair wigs, the rising demand for natural-looking wigs & extensions, the rising popularity of personalization, increasing use of wigs in the entertainment & fashion industry, rising demand for false hair as a beauty accessory, and increasing hair fall issues among men & women.

The toupee product segment in the U.S. market is witnessing significant growth with a CAGR of 15.60% during the forecast period compared to hair extensions. The driving factors are rising hair loss issues, increasing demand for synthetic hair products, and the growing popularity of personalization.

In the U.S. hair wigs and extensions market, the demand for custom hair extensions is rising among consumers as per their needs and affordability. The synthetic hair segment is growing significantly due to factors such as synthetic hair’s affordability, technology improvement, and the rising popularity of cosplay.

The individual end-user segmentation segment of the U.S. market is significantly growing during the forecast period due to the trend of customization of wigs, rising acceptance level of hair products, and increasing demand for more attractive hair wigs and extensions.

Online stores have captured over 60% of the U.S. hair wigs and extension market share. Online retailers sell a wide range and versatile selection of hair wigs and extensions compared to retail stores. This selection helps consumers select products according to convenience, budget, and hairstyles.

All Virgin Hair, Beauty Forever Hair, Her Hair Company, Indique, Jon Renau, Nadula Hair, Superhairpieces, and UNice Hair are the leading players with intense market penetration. Vendors such as Cinderella Hair Extension, Evergreen Products Group, Great Lengths, HAIRLOCS, KLIX HAIR EXTENSIONS, LOCKS & BONDS, ONYC Hair, PAULA YOUNG, Shake-N-Go, Inc., and XUCHANG PENGHUI and many others are the prominent players in the market with a noteworthy presence.

MARKET STRUCTURE

  • Market Dynamics
  • Competitive Landscape of the U.S. Hair Wigs & Extensions Market
  • Key Vendors
  • Other Prominent Vendors

VENDORS LIST

Key Vendors

  • All Virgin Hair
  • Beauty Forever Hair
  • Her Hair Company
  • Indique
  • Jon Renau
  • Nadula Hair
  • Superhairpieces
  • UNice Hair

Other Prominent Vendors

  • Cinderella Hair Extension
  • Evergreen Products Group
  • Great Lengths
  • HAIRLOCS
  • KLIX HAIR EXTENSIONS
  • LOCKS & BONDS
  • ONYC Hair
  • PAULA YOUNG
  • Shake-N-Go
  • XUCHANG PENGHUI
  • ADERANS
  • ALERIANA
  • Anton’s Hair
  • AY HAIR PRODUCTS
  • Bellami Hair
  • BOHYME
  • DIAMOND HAIR COMPANY
  • Divatress
  • Donna Bella Hair
  • EasiHair Pro
  • Eva Hair
  • FN LONGLOCKS
  • GLAM SEAMLESS
  • HAIR ZONE
  • Hairdo
  • Hairdreams
  • Hairline Illusions
  • Halocouture
  • Hidden Crown
  • INDIA HAIR INTERNATIONAL (IHI)
  • INDO HAIR
  • Irresistible Me
  • Judy Wigs
  • JUST EXTENSIONS
  • LORDHAIR
  • Mayvenn
  • New Times Hair
  • REMY NY
  • SO.CAP.USA
  • Super Hair Factory
  • The Hair Shop
  • XUCHANG HAOYUAN
  • YINNUOHAIR

SEGMENTATION & FORECAST

Product (2023-2029)

  • Hair Extensions
  • Hair Wigs
  • Toupee

Hair Extensions (2023-2029)

  • End-use
  • Lengthening and Volumizing
  • Coloring
  • Styling
  • Fitting Type
  • Clip-in
  • Micro Link
  • Tape-in
  • Glue-in

Hair Wigs (2023-2029)

  • End-use
  • Functional
  • Beautification
  • Leisure
  • Cap Type
  • Lace
  • Monofilament

Toupee: Gender (2023-2029)

  • Men
  • Women

Hair Type (2023-2029)

  • Human Hair
  • Synthetic Hair

End-User (2023-2029)

  • Entertainment & Fashion Industry
  • Individual Consumers

Distribution Channel (2023-2029)

  • Online Stores
  • Retail Stores

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/an5fb8

Review: ‘Donyale Luna: Supermodel,’ starring Dream Cazzaniga, Luigi Cazzaniga, Beverly Johnson, Omar K. Boone, Lillian Washington, David Bailey, Juan Fernandez and David Croland

September 13, 2023

by Carla Hay

Donyale Luna in “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” (Photo by Luigi Cazzaniga/HBO)

“Donyale Luna: Supermodel”

Directed by Nailah Jefferson

Culture Representation: The documentary film “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” features a group of white and black people (with one Latino) discussing the life and career of model Donyale Luna, who broke barriers for black female models in the fashion industry.

Culture Clash: After being bullied through her teenage years in her hometown of Detroit, because of her unusual physical appearance, Luna reinvented herself and quickly became an international supermodel, but she experienced career-damaging racism and had ongoing personal problems, such drug abuse, mental health issues, and a career that burned out almost as quickly as it lit up.

Culture Audience: “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in biographies of unusual and underrated celebrities; the fashion industry in the mid-1960s to mid-1970s; and people who broke racial barriers in their industries.

Donyale Luna in “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” (Photo by Luigi Cazzaniga/HBO)

When people think of the first black woman to be on the cover of Vogue, they might think that supermodel Beverly Johnson holds that distinction. Johnson was actually the first black woman to be on the cover of American Vogue, in 1974. The first black woman to be on the cover of any Vogue was Donyale Luna, who achieved this milestone by gracing the cover of British Vogue, in 1966. Luna (whose first name was pronounced “dawn-yell”) was also the first black woman to be on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, in 1965, but as an illustration, not in a photograph.

If you’ve never heard of Luna, you’re not alone. The documentary “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” shines a deserving spotlight on this often-overlooked model, who died of a heroin overdose in 1979, at the age of 33. Johnson, whose modeling career benefited from Luna’s racial breakthroughs, is interviewed in the documentary. Johnson admits that early on in Johnson’s career, she had never heard of Luna.

Directed by Nailah Jefferson, “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” (which had its world premiere at the 2023 American Black Film Festival) follows a traditional celebrity documentary format of having a mixture of archival footage and interviews that are exclusive to the documentary. However, Luna is such an unusual subject, and there’s such a great variety of people who are interviewed, the movie doesn’t ever feel too formulaic. It’s a riveting and well-rounded biography about a trailblazing model who never became a household name but whose impact and influence resonate for generations after her untimely passing. This documentary also explores generational trauma and pop culture.

“Donyale Luna” is artfully told in five chapters named after the cities that each defined a certain era in Luna’s life. Chapter One begins in Detroit, followed by Chapter Two in New York City, Chapter Three in London, Chapter Four in Paris, and Chapter Five in Rome. Detroit is where Peggy Ann Freeman (Luna’s real name) was born in August 31, 1945, as the middle of three sisters. She lived in Detroit through her teenage years. Her favorite movie was “West Side Sory.” Much of her childhood was scarred by bullying that she got from her some of peers because she was very tall (reportedly growing to 6’2″), slender and had big eyes. She was often called “ugly” by people who thought she didn’t fit their standard of beauty.

Adding to her unhappiness, her strict parents had a volatile on-again/off-again marriage that ended in a tragedy that won’t be described in this review, so as not reveal too much information that’s in the documentary. There’s a lot about Luna in the documentary that viewers will be finding out for the first time. There are some people interviewed in the documentary who break down in tears when talking about her, so viewers should not be surprised if they get emotional too when they watch this documentary.

Several of Luna’s family members are interviewed, including Luna’s younger sister, Lillian Washington, who says that her parents had a “history of domestic violence.” Her father Nathaniel Freeman (a longtime Ford Motor Company employee) physically abused their mother Peggy Freeman (a longtime YWCA employee), according Luna’s Detroit childhood friend Omar K. Boone, who’s interviewed in the documentary. Boone also says that when he knew Luna in her teen years, she was “unsophisticated” but a “quick learner.”

Washington and many others in “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” describe Luna as having an other-worldly beauty that would make people stop what they were doing and stare at her if she was in their presence. People who knew her best also describe her inner beauty of radiating kindness and love. However, Luna also had lifelong insecurities about the way she looked and about being accepted by other people. Several people in the documentary say that Luna habitually made up stories about herself and sought to escape in fantasy worlds that she fabricated.

The combination of these insecurities and the bullying she got as a child led her to invent the Donyale Luna persona for herself when she was a teenager. She started speaking in a European accent and pretended to be multiracial, even though she and her parents were African American. The documentary’s archival footage of her from the late 1960s shows that Luna wore piercing blue contact lenses that didn’t look like human eyes. It’s mentioned that Luna’s father disapproved of this invented persona because he felt that she was denying her African American heritage.

Washington says of Luna’s childhood and teenage years: “All the black guys thought she was crazy. They called her ‘skinny’ and ‘bony.’ They called her Olive Oyl. They hurt her to her core. I think that encouraged her to create her own persona.” Josephine Armstrong, Luna’s older sister, confirms about Luna: “She would pretend and tell stories.”

Luna’s life would change when she was discovered in Detroit by photographer David McCabe, who urged her to go to New York City (where he was based) to become a fashion model. McCabe, who is one of the people interviewed in the documentary, believes that Luna lied about her racial identity (at various times, she claimed that she was part-white, part-Latino, part Asian and/or part-Native American) because she probably felt that if people knew she was fully African American, she would experience more racism. It’s also mentioned in the documentary that Luna often talked about wishing that she had blonde hair and blue eyes.

Armed with her invented persona, Luna took McCabe’s advice and moved to New York City, in 1964. Within a few months of living in New York City, Luna was featured in the pages of major fashion magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar. She also began hobnobbing with artsy and avant-garde types. For example, McCabe says that he introduced Luna to Andy Warhol. Luna is described as someone who kept in touch with family members but also publicly denied or lied about many things about her family. The documentary mentions that she showed no interest in going back to the United States to visit her biological family after she moved to Europe.

Luna soon branched out into acting in some films, mostly supporting roles in middling movies, such as 1966’s “Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?” and 1969’s “Fellini Satyricon.” Her filmography as an actress was not extensive. According to the Internet Movie Database, Luna had credited roles as an actress in only five feature films from 1965 to 1972, with 1972’s “Salome” being the only movie where she had a starring role. She appeared as herself in several other movies.

Although she was in the public eye, Luna kept many things about herself very private and was able to fool a lot of people with her lies about her background. “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” does not mention that while she was living in New York in the mid-1960s, she was married for less than a year to an unknown actor. Very little is known about this 10-month marriage except that it ended in divorce, and Luna refused to publicly talk about this ex-husband. It says a lot about the times that she lived in, long before the Internet existed, that she was able to keep up her charade of pretending to be an exotic, multiracial European and hide many facts about her personal life.

One of her closest friends during this time was David Croland, an artist who freely admits that heavy drug use was part of their friendship and lifestyles. In the documentary, Croland says that he and Luna would regularly use marijuana, hashish and LSD. Other people in the documentary also talk about Luna’s drug abuse, which they believe was part of her need to mentally escape from her problems and try to avoid her insecurities. Family members and friends say that Luna often used drugs but was never addicted. However, it’s hard to know if that’s true, or if it’s denial from loved ones who don’t want to publicly admit that Luna could have been a drug addict.

Even with her very quick success in the fashion industry, Luna still experienced many racial barriers as a black model in the mid-1960s. It was one thing to be in some fashion spreads. It was another thing to get on the cover of major magazines or get lucrative endorsement deals, which at the time were still privileges given only to white models. The documentary mentions that Luna eventually became disillusioned with the racism she experienced in the United States. The U.S. civil rights movement was going on at the same time, but she didn’t get involved in this movement or any political activism.

Luna’s career skyrocketed after she moved to London in December 1965. She would later live in Paris and then Rome. She was living in an isolated part of Italy and was in semi-retirement at the time of her death. During her years in London, she continued to hang out with the rich and famous and dated some celebrities, including Rolling Stones lead guitarist Brian Jones and actor Klaus Kinski. Luna can be seen as an assistant to a fire eater in the music variety film “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus,” which was filmed in 1968, but wasn’t released until 1996.

Two very famous photographers are mentioned in the documentary as having the most influence on Luna’s supermodel career: Richard Avedon (an American who died in 2004, at the age of 81) and David Bailey, a Brit who is interviewed in the documentary. Bailey says that he was vaguely aware of racism in the fashion industry, but he claims that he wasn’t one of the racists. Bailey comments about Luna: “I didn’t think about her being black. She was just someone who was beautiful.”

The general consensus is that Luna found greater acceptance in Europe than she did in the United States. However, that doesn’t mean that she never stopped experiencing racism. The documentary includes a heartbreaking account of racist decisions made by Diana Vreeland (American Vogue’s editor-in-chief from 1963 to 1971) that blocked Luna from getting major career opportunities. In the documentary, former supermodel Johnson begins to cry when she hears the details. “It’s an accumulation of all the pain,” Johnson says of her crying over the racism that she, Luna and many other black people have experienced.

Other emotionally touching segments in the documentary have to do with Luna’s only child: a daughter named Dream Cazzaniga, who was only 18 months old when Luna died. Cazzaniga, who was raised by her father’s parents in Italy, reads many of Luna’s journal entries in the documentary. Luna was a talented illustrator, and the documenatry includes some of her art. Cazzaniga also candidly shares her thoughts on her memories of her mother and how she felt growing up without her mother, whose death is a “taboo” subject for the Cazzaniga family.

Because “luna” means “moon” in Spanish and in Italian, Luna often told people she had a special connection to the moon. Near the beginning of the documentary, Cazzaniga can be heard in a voiceover saying, “Growing up in Italy, I remember seeing the moon. My nanny was telling me, ‘Oh, look, that’s your mom looking from the sky.’ I never doubted that whenever I was looking at the moon, I thought that was my blessing from her.”

Later in the documentary, Dream’s Italian father Luigi Cazzaniga, who was a photographer when he married Luna in 1976, is shown being interviewed and going with Dream to visit a few of the places where he and Luna made their lives in Italy. He describes Luna as someone who loved being a mother but she was feeling increasingly unhappy with living in a remote area where she had little or no contact with her friends she used to know as a model. Luigi’s family members, whom Dream describes as conservative and religious Catholics, rejected Luna and wouldn’t allow her inside their homes. Luigi had to frequently travel because of his photographer job, so Luna was often left home alone with Dream.

Former supermodel Pat Cleveland, whose career blossomed in the 1970s around the same time as Johnson’s career, tells a harrowing story in the documentary about how Luna seemed to be mentally unraveling over all the lies and the fake persona that Luna created for herself. Cleveland describes Luna as someone who was desperately lonely and literally begging for help in the last year of Luna’s life, when Luna confessed to Cleveland that she was really an American from Detroit. Cleveland says she felt powerles to help someone whom she didn’t know every well and who was already on a downward spiral. It’s not said out loud, but it’s implied that Luna was not getting any therapy or other professional help for her mental health issues when she was living in Italy.

Several people interviewed in the documentary give cultural and historical context to why Luna’s accomplishments in the fashion industry also came with racial burdens that might have been heavier in her lifetime but still exist for many people today. Constance White, an author and former editor-in-chief of Essence, comments on white Euro-centric standards of beauty that dominate in Western culture: “It’s something that Black women have a singular experience with.” White adds that these beauty standards often have this direct or indirect message for Black women: “Everything about you is wrong.”

Other interviewees in the documentary include fashion designer/activist Aurora James, Vogue editor-at-large Hamish Bowles, Duke University art history professor Dr. Richard J. Powell, talent agent Kyle Hagler, Richard Avedon’s former assistant Gideon Lewin and fashion designer Zandra Rhodes. Three of Luna’s close friends interviewed in the documentary are Sanders Bryant, a pal who knew her from high school; actor Juan Fernandez; who describes his relationship with Luna as being like a sibling relationship; and artist Livia Liverani, who says that Luna was frequently misunderstood.

“Donyale Luna: Supermodel” is certainly not the first documentary to be about someone who had troubles coping with fame and who eventually faded into near-obscurity. However, this documentary makes a clear case for people to learn more about Luna’s legacy—not just as a model in the fashion industry but also as a loved one who changed the lives of the people who were closest to her. Fame and money can be fleeting. The areas where Luna made the most impact cannot be measured by magazine covers or monetary amounts.

HBO premiered “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” on September 13, 2023.

Donatella Versace and Dua Lipa team up for La Vacanza collection for women

May 4, 2023

Dua Lipa and Donatella Versace (Photo courtesy of Versace)

The following is a press release from Versace:

The Versace “La Vacanza” fashion show, will take place on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, in Cannes, France. The show will feature a women’s collection co-designed by Donatella Versace and Dua Lipa.  The “La Vacanza” collection will be available in store and on-line on Versace.com immediately following the show.  

“I have always been inspired by a collaborative design process. Working with Dua on this collection has been very exciting and I love the dynamic between us. Dua is strong, fearless, and free and her creative vision is exceptional. Summer is a magical time. We will capture this feeling and the colours of that time of the year with a truly special and intimate fashion show in Cannes.” – Donatella Versace, Chief Creative Officer, Versace

“I am absolutely thrilled to have co-designed the women’s “La Vacanza” collection for Versace with Donatella. She and I have formed such a strong bond over the years, and I’m so grateful for the support I’ve received from her and the whole team since the very beginning of my career. For her to give me the honor of co-designing this collection and letting all my summer inspirations go wild has been a dream. I am so very proud of this collection and cannot wait to debut it in Cannes.” – Dua Lipa

https://dam.gettyimages.com/universal/

2023 Met Gala: Event Photos and Videos

May 1, 2023

The 54th annual Costume Institute Gala, also known as the Met Gala, took place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on May 1, 2023. The event’s theme in 2023 was “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty,” so guests were encouraged to dress in fashion inspired by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, who died in 2019, at the age fo 85. The Met Gala is an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. This year, the Met Gala was co-chaired by actress/screenwriter Michaela Coel, actress Penélope Cruz, tennis star Roger Federer, singer Dua Lipa and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Here are photo and video highlights from the event.

Louis Vuitton appoints Pharrell Williams to men’s creative director

February 14, 2023

Pharrell Williams (Photo by Adam Rose/ABC)

The following is a press release from Louis Vuitton:

Louis Vuitton is delighted to welcome Pharrell Williams as its new Men’s Creative Director, effective immediately. His first collection for Louis Vuitton will be revealed this June during the Men’s Fashion Week in Paris.

Pharrell Williams is a visionary whose creative universes expand from music, to art, and to fashion – establishing himself as a cultural, global icon over the past twenty years. The way in which he breaks boundaries across the various worlds he explores aligns with Louis Vuitton’s status as a Cultural Maison, reinforcing its values of innovation, pioneer spirit and entrepreneurship.

“I am glad to welcome Pharrell back home, after our collaborations in 2004 and 2008 for Louis Vuitton, as our new Men’s Creative Director. His creative vision beyond fashion will undoubtedly lead Louis Vuitton towards a new and very exciting chapter.” declares Pietro Beccari, Louis Vuitton’s Chairman and CEO.

Pharrell Williams Biography

Pharrell Williams is a visionary recording artist, producer, songwriter, philanthropist, fashion designer, and entrepreneur with 10B combined global music streams to date. He has been honored with 13 Grammy Awards, including 2004, 2014, and 2019 Producer of the Year, and ASCAP’s Golden Note Award in 2012. He has received two Academy Award nominations: for his original song “Happy” (from “Despicable Me 2”) and for Best Picture-nominated “Hidden Figures” (2016) as co-producer. Williams also received a Golden Globe nomination for co-scoring the film. In 2019, Williams received an Emmy nomination for his original song “Letter to My Godfather,” for Netflix’s “Black Godfather” about legendary music executive Clarence Avant. In 2020, Williams was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame for his work as The Neptunes.

In 2018, Pharrell narrated Universal’s remake of the classic film “The Grinch,” authored the book “A Fish Doesn’t Know It’s Wet,” and released the Netflix priginal series “Brainchild” (2018) with his producing partner, Mimi Valdés. Other projects include “Dope” (2015), “Roxanne Roxanne” (2017), “Voices of Fire” (2020) and Amazon’s “Harlem” (which has been renewed for a second season_ and Lena Waithe’s “Rollin’” for HBO Max.

In 2019, Pharrell founded YELLOW, a non-profit working to even the odds for all youth through education, helping them realize their potential. In 2020, Williams launched Black Ambition, a non-profit initiative that provides a bridge to success for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs who are launching tech, healthcare, Web 3.0 and consumer products/services start-ups. A longtime advocate against racial injustice, Pharrell was an integral part in talks with Virginia Governor Northam about Juneteenth being a permanent paid state holiday. In April 2019, Williams launched his first SOMETHING IN THE WATER, a multi-day music festival and experience on the beach in his hometown of Virginia Beach. Last summer, Williams brought his SOMETHING IN THE WATER Music festival to Washington D.C. on Juneteenth Weekend (June 17 – 19). This April, SOMETHING IN THE WATER returns to Virginia Beach and will continue its mission spotlighting the community.

Pharrell excels as a fashion designer and entrepreneur with his Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream apparel among other brands. In the fall of 2019, Williams teamed up with David Grutman and opened both Swan and Bar Bevy in Miami’s Design District, and The Goodtime Hotel in 2021. In 2020, Pharrell founded Humanrace™, a product company with a mission to empower all individuals in their pursuit of well being across product and people.

A longtime advocate against racial injustice, Pharrell was an integral part in the talks with Virginia Governor Ralph Northam about Juneteenth being a permanent paid state holiday and continued to make the push for it to become a national holiday.

Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty Show Vol. 4: photos and videos

November 8, 2022

Rihanna in “Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4” on November 8, 2022 in Simi Valley, California. (Photo by Dennis Leupold for Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4 presented by Prime Video)

The following is a press release from Prime Video:

Now in its fourth consecutive year, the extraordinary fashion experience continues to challenge tradition and break boundaries. The trailblazing event is raising the bar yet again with a new all-star lineup of models, actors, some of the biggest names in music, and more, debuting the latest Savage X Fenty styles. Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4 will feature performances by global musical artists including Anitta, Burna Boy, Don Toliver, and Maxwell, and special appearances from Ángela Aguilar, Avani Gregg, Bella Poarch, Cara Delevingne, Damson Idris, Irina Shayk, Joan Smalls, Kornbread, Lara Stone, Lilly Singh, Marsai Martin, Precious Lee, Rickey Thompson, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Simu Liu, Taraji P. Henson, Taylour Paige, Winston Duke, Zach Miko, and many more.

A seductive fashion fever dream, this year’s show blends Emmy award-winning choreography, style, and music with the hypnotic essence of nocturnal nature. Featuring a star-studded cast all wearing the newest Savage X Fenty looks, the show is an un-missable visual feast.

Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4 will stream exclusively on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide beginning November 9, 2022.

With the release of Vol. 4, the last Savage X Fenty collection will be available to shop in the Amazon Fashion store and at Savage X Fenty on November 9. An homage to self-expression and personal empowerment, Rihanna’s latest collection features disparate textures, unexpected detailing, and unconventional proportions that come together seamlessly to create a boundary-bending Xperience for everyBODY. Offering bra sizes ranging from 30–46 in bands and A–H in cups (up to 46DDD/42H), and underwear, sleepwear, and loungewear ranging from XS–4X/XS–XXXXL. Customers can visit the Amazon Fashion Store and Savage X Fenty for more information.

Rihanna serves as executive producer and creative director of Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4.

About Savage X Fenty

Savage X Fenty embodies fearlessness, confidence, and inclusivity. With a team assembled from the industry’s elite, the label has disrupted and redefined the marketplace with its accessible price points, extensive assortment of styles made for everyBODY, and unique approach that celebrates individuality. “We want to make people look good and feel good,” explains Rihanna, who approaches Savage X Fenty with the same mentality she does all her projects—to make something new and fresh that everyone can relate to and feel confident in. “We want you to feel sexy and have fun doing it.” From everyday essentials, men’s underwear, and sleepwear, to elevated loungewear and more provocative pieces—Savage X Fenty has something for every mood, every vibe and everyBODY. Offering bra sizes ranging from 30–46 in bands and A–H in cups (up to 46DDD/42H), and underwear, sleepwear and loungewear ranging from XS–4X/XS–XXXXL, Savage X Fenty is available for purchase at www.SavageX.com and its retail stores.  

About Amazon Fashion 
Amazon Fashion, the fashion retail division of Seattle-based Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), is a one-stop destination for head-to-toe style. Find apparel, shoes, accessories, jewelry, watches, handbags, and luggage from a wide range of designer, contemporary, and emerging brands for any occasion, any style and any budget. Amazon Fashion continues to expand its wide selection and create new experiences on behalf of its customers, including Prime exclusive programs like Prime Try Before You Buy, allowing you to try before you buy, and Personal Shopper by Prime Try Before You Buy, a service that provides style inspiration and curated recommendations. Amazon Fashion also introduced The Drop, an innovative shopping experience that gives customers access to limited-edition street-style collections designed by fashion influencers around the world. In 2020, Amazon Fashion unveiled Luxury Stores, a destination that brings established and emerging luxury fashion and beauty brands directly to U.S. customers. Amazon Fashion aims to reinvent shopping for fashion and uses technology to serve customers with products and brands that are relevant to them. For more information, please visit www.amazon.com/fashion.

About Prime Video

Prime Video offers customers a vast collection of movies, series, and sports—all available to watch on hundreds of compatible devices.

  • Included with Prime Video: Watch movies, series, and sports, including Thursday Night Football. Enjoy series and films including Emmy winner The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Emmy-nominated satirical superhero drama The Boys, and the smash hits Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, Harlem, Reacher, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, The Tender Bar, Being the Ricardos, The Tomorrow War, and Coming 2 America. Prime members also get access to licensed content. 
  • Prime Video Channels: Prime members can add channels like discovery+, Paramount+, BET+, EPIX, Noggin, NBA League Pass, MLB.TV, STARZ, and SHOWTIME—no extra apps to download, and no cable required. Only pay for the ones you want, and cancel anytime.  View the full list of channels available at amazon.com/channels.
  • Rent or Buy: Enjoy new-release movies to rent or buy, entire seasons of current TV shows available to buy, and special deals just for Prime members.
  • Instant access: Watch at home or on the go with your choice of hundreds of compatible devices. Stream from the web or using the Prime Video app on your smartphone, tablet, set-top box, game console, or select smart TV. 
  • Enhanced experiences: Make the most of every viewing with 4K Ultra HD- and High Dynamic Range (HDR)-compatible content. Go behind the scenes of your favorite movies and TV shows with exclusive X-Ray access, powered by IMDb. Save it for later with select mobile downloads for offline viewing.

Prime Video is just one of many shopping, savings, and entertainment benefits included with a Prime membership, along with fast, free shipping on millions of Prime-eligible items at Amazon.com, ultrafast grocery delivery and pickup, unlimited photo storage, exclusive deals and discounts, prescription savings, and access to ad-free music, books, and games. To sign up or start a 30-day free trial of Prime, visit: amazon.com/prime


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