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Fashion

Raf Simons Leaves Calvin Klein, Effective Immediately

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Raf Simons
PHOTO: Slaven Vlasic

Just when the fashion world couldn’t imagine another departure of a high-profile designer in 2018, Raf Simons has stepped down from Calvin Klein as its Chief Creative Officer.

His exit is more than eight months ahead of the end of his contract and effective immediately.

Simons first joined the American brand in August 2016, when he was given the title of CCO. TheBelgian designer, as well known for his cult eponymous menswear label as his well-regarded stints at Jil Sander and Dior, was hyped to bring some European cool to New York Fashion Week.

It is reported that the relationship between Simons and the brand was irreparably fractured last month when the chief executive of PVH Corp., the corporation that owns Calvin Klein, apparently appeared to blame him for declining sales.

Despite being well-received within the industry — Simons was named Womenswear Designer of the Year at the CFDA Awards this year — both his 205W39NYC line and recent denim collection were called out by PVH chairman and chief executive Manny Chirico for their shortcomings, like being “too skewed toward the ‘high-fashion’ consumer.”

“Both parties have amicably decided to part ways after decided on a new brand direction which differs from Simons’s creative vision,” parent company PVH Corp. said in a statement.

As a result of Simons’ departure, Calvin Klein will not be showing on the February 2019 NYFW schedule.

No successor has been named, and it’s unclear what the next steps will be for either the brand or the designer, but the news of his departure is sure to send shockwaves through the industry.

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Fashion

Sensimilla Streetwear for Mary Jane Lovers

Rachel Quiles has built a cult following with her label Vintage Redeux, a favorite of freethinking fashionistas and streetwear sartorialists.

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Vintage Redeux
PHOTOS | Vintage Redeux

Rachel Quiles has built a cult following with her successful company Vintage Redeux, a men’s and women’s apparel brand based in Los Angeles, California. The twist? All the garments she uses are vintage. Quiles sews original handmade patches sewn onto vintage pieces she has personally sourced from thrift stores across the state and beyond.

Her mission is simple: cut down on the collective waste of over-manufacturing. According to the EPA, more than 10 million tons of textile waste (e.g., clothing and linens) is added to landfills every year. That rounds out to around 60 pounds per person, per year.

Her Dutch army spirit animal jackets put Vintage Redeux on the radar of all good streetwear sartorialists and freethinking fashionistas. Now, the talented designer has turned her attention to cannabis with her Mary Jane Gang, paying homage to the heritage scene with a fresh, modern vibe. The Mary Jane line has also extended from the iconic Dutch army jackets to include luxurious smoking robes and denim jackets.

We spoke to Quiles about her inspiration, sustainable fashion choices and changing the stigma surrounding cannabis.

When, where and how did the idea for Vintage Redeux begin?

Vintage Redeux came to fruition after I was laid off from a dream job in 2011. Little did I know, it would be a blessing in disguise because I was forced to face what I wanted my future to look like. I’ve always loved vintage clothing and had a knack for finding it, so I slowly started buying vintage and selling on Etsy. After a while, I was bored with online resale and turned to all the local markets in Los Angeles. That was all fine and dandy but I didn’t feel that I was challenging myself. That’s when the idea sparked to update all this high-quality vintage clothing.

Tell us the story behind the name Vintage Redeux.

After having success with my little shop for a few years, I thought it was best to create a name for all these pieces that were being reworked. Vintage Re-Do came to my mind immediately but I didn’t love the look of it written out. At the time, I had a partner in this venture and came up with “deux” — the French word for two. So it’s a bit of a made-up spelling but it looked cool. I no longer have a partner but there’s no way I would ever change the name.

What makes Vintage Redeux unique in the marketplace?

Vintage Redeux is unique because it’s not trying to follow trends, fads, or seasons. I make timeless pieces that transcend any box it should be confined to. I create and design artwork for me and just happen to be lucky enough that it speaks to other people, too. I love what I do because it doesn’t have any specific demographic. I’ve seen Vintage Redeux on all genders young and old, all body types, and all styles making it a unique piece for everyone.

Tell us about the craftsmanship that goes into a typical Vintage Redeux piece.

Take the Dutch army jacket for example. Every jacket is from the Seventies and Eighties and handpicked from a military warehouse. It’s chosen for quality; no holes, no stains, all snaps intact, no parts missing, etc. Then, the chosen jackets are thoroughly washed. I silkscreen the Mary Jane patches, cut them out, and place them on the jacket. Everything is sewn onto the garment along with a custom tag inside. From there it either goes to the store or the customer.

What inspired you to develop a Mary Jane line?

A while back, around Christmas time, I was trying to come up with a gift for a dear friend of mine, who had also been my one and only weed dealer in L.A. He was such a special person to all of us in our solid, little group. I was already making Dutch army jackets at the time with different patches but I liked the idea of creating a cheeky patch set to make us an unofficial Mary Jane gang.

When he received the gift, he was blown away by how cool it was! Being the biggest cheerleader for my company, he insisted that I sell this jacket to everyone, not just as a one-off for friends. Little did he know that it would be such a hit and synonymous with my company. I lost my dear friend last year to cancer, but he would be so proud to see how much our little “gang” has grown!

How do you think your clothes help change the opinion of cannabis-inspired fashion?

My biggest challenge with creating the Mary Jane patches was breaking down the stigma of wearing “cannabis branded clothing” without being tacky. My friend I created this for was 52, so he wasn’t about to wear some kid shit. I wanted to produce a tasteful design that anyone could wear without it being overly in-your-face. Thus, the creation of a beautiful, classic-looking woman named Mary Jane, smoking a joint, was born.

How important are sustainable practices to you in the current eco-conscious climate?

If only people could see the amount of vintage clothing, second-hand clothing, and military surplus the world is sitting on. They would be shocked. It doesn’t make sense for me to create new pieces with possibly unethical overseas practices, sell for nothing, and have it fall apart tomorrow. Rather, I can find these authentic pieces that are perfectly faded and worn-in, that other companies would struggle to reproduce and charge premium prices. Why not contribute to supporting recycled clothing companies, all the while not sacrificing your standard of quality?

How do you want people to feel when wearing your clothes?

I want people to feel comfortable, feel confident, and know that they’re wearing a piece of history. All of my clothes come with a previous story and it feels good to know you are continuing that story for many more years to come.

Do you have any design heroes?

Norma Kamali. I want to look and feel like her at 74 and accomplish as much as she has in her lifetime. She’s an incredible inspiration because she’s still continuing to create and do what she loves successfully.

Where can we follow you?

Instagram: @vintageredeux

What don’t you leave the house without?

My Mary Jane jacket! It’s the perfect complementary piece to every outfit.

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Fashion

J-Lo Shut Down Milan Fashion Week in Iconic Versace Dress

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J-Lo
PHOTO | @versace

Remember back in 2000 when Jennifer Lopez wore a Versace dress to the Grammy Awards and the world lost its mind? So much so that former Google CEO Eric Schmidt revealed there were so many searches for photos of the dress it inspired the creation of Google Images?

Well, she’s done it again, walking a tribute of the dress down the runway to close out Versace’s Spring 2020 show at Milan Fashion Week, paying homage to the tech giant.

 

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So this just happened…🌿✨ @donatella_versace #jungledress @versace #stillgoingstrong #20yearanniversary #catwalk

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At the end of the show, in what has become one of the most talked-about moments from fashion week, Donatella Versace’s voice filled the room asking Google’s Alexa to show her the green dress from J-Lo’s 2000 Grammy appearance. Then, Donatella asked to see the real thing. Cue J-Lo storming the runway to a standing ovation in a modern version of the gown that helped launch her to superstardom.

Footage of J-Lo strutting has been viewed more than two million times on social media.

As they say, classics always make a comeback.

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Fashion

Mary Jane Swim Will Keep You Cool, Even When It’s Hot

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Mary Jane Swim
PHOTOS | Mary Jane Swim

Founded by Diane Walker and Stacey Demar, Mary Jane Swim is a lifestyle apparel brand dedicated to normalizing cannabis. The two women founded their swimwear company, Sweenie Manufacturing in 2008, producing swimwear for other companies. After discovering the healing potential of cannabis for themselves, they decided to help change the perception of the plant for themselves and Maru Jane Swim was born.

We spoke to them about their fashion-forward styles, beautifully subtle cannabis prints and earth-friendly fabrics and production.

What inspired you to launch Mary Jane Swim?

The idea came about in late 2017 after our rediscovery of cannabis, specifically CBD for wellness, on a trip to Telluride, Colorado. We thought about how we could help destigmatize the plant in our own way.

Diane had been working in fashion and Stacey in fitness for many years, which organically led to the creation of Mary Jane Swim. It showcases both of our expertise and we focused on cannabis base printed apparel.

We launched a very small capsule “OG Kush “collection summer 2018 and just launched our full “Seven Leaflets “2019 SS line this past April which also includes activewear and accessories for both men and women.

What makes Mary Jane Swim unique in the marketplace?

Our focus is to bring elevated cannabis apparel to the market that has historically been promotional items. We have created a line that incorporates fashion-forward styles, beautifully subtle cannabis prints and earth-friendly fabrics and production.

Do you design the prints yourselves or do you source them?

Yes, we design each print ourselves inspired by current world trends and interpret them through the flower and leaf and our perspective.

How do you think Mary Jane Swim helps normalize the opinion of cannabis?

The more that the plant shows up in every day products, the more society starts to see it as a beautiful and beneficial plant and not as an evil gateway drug.

Any plans to develop a collection made from hemp and other more sustainable, eco-friendly products?

We have been researching hemp blends in both woven and knit bases for future products, as well as recycled fabrics.

Mary-Jane Swim

You donate a portion of each sale to Athletes for Care. How did you become involved with them?

After using CBD daily for everyday use for wellness and pre/post workouts and realizing how powerful it is.

We came across their mission to help promote cannabis in sports and help alleviate the opioid crisis. A portion of the profits will be donated.

How do you want people to feel when wearing Mary Jane Swim?

Empowered and healthy.

What don’t you leave the house without?

CBD of course and a swimsuit!

Shop Mary Jane Swim here.

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