Naomi Campbell is putting African fashion center stage
Decades after making her name on the most watched runways of Paris and Milan, supermodel Naomi Campbell has decamped for new ground: Lagos, Nigeria.
In April, the British supermodel was the most talked about face at the city’s Arise Fashion Week, one of Africa’s most respected fashion showcases.
For her second season at Arise, Campbell modeled for several brands, including Tiffany Amber and Kenneth Ize, bringing her signature walk and a touch of international glamor to their catwalks.
“Africa is very rich in so many ways and has been so untapped for it — most of all for their people and what they can give. So, this is the time,” she said. “Now, we’re not asking, we’re telling: You have to pay attention to this continent.”
Campbell isn’t the only one setting her sights on Lagos: Fellow models Liya Kebede and Alton Mason (of Ethiopian and Jamaican-Ghanaian decent respectively), British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful and former American Vogue editor-at-large André Leon Talley also added international fashion cred to the week’s events.
This is good news for local designers like Folake Folarin-Coker, creative director of Tiffany Amber.
“I’m not saying African fashion is having a moment. It’s not a moment anymore. We have a strong identity,” she said. “There is a new type of look that’s made in Africa and is made for now and is made for everyone.”
Watch the video above to find out more about the African fashion scene, and why it’s attracting international attention.
Prada to go fur-free in 2020
Prada has announced it will stop using fur in its products and design beginning in February 2020. The decision applies to all of the Italian fashion house’s brands, including Miu Miu, Church’s, Car Shoe and Prada itself. It will come into effect after the Spring/Summer 2020 women’s collection.
The announcement is the result of a collaboration with the Fur Free Alliance, a coalition of more than 50 animal protection organizations from 40 countries, which led a campaign to pressure Prada to go fur-free in 2018. Prada has also worked with The Humane Society of the United States and LAV, an Italian organization for animal rights.
“The Prada Group is committed to innovation and social responsibility, and our fur-free policy (…) is an extension of that engagement,” head designer Miuccia Prada said in a statement. “Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design while meeting the demand for ethical products.”
A Prada look from the Autumn/Winter 2016 Milan Fashion Week. Credit: GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
“With the Prada Group’s fur-free announcement, one of the biggest names in fashion just became a leader in animal welfare and innovation for generations to come,” PJ Smith, director of fashion policy at The Humane Society of the United States, said in a statement.
Joh Vinding, chairman of the Fur Free Alliance, applauded the decision and noted that “The Prada Group with its brands now joins a growing list of fur-free brands that are responding to consumers’ changing attitudes towards animals.”
Prada has clarified to CNN that the decision is limited to fur and that it will continue to sell leather and other products that are considered to be a by-product of the meat trade.
Commenting on the decision, PETA said in a statement that while it applauds Prada for joining the list of fashion houses that are dropping fur, it now urges the brand to “follow in Chanel’s compassionate footsteps by also removing cruelly obtained exotic skins — including crocodile, lizard, and snake skins — from future collections. Most shoppers no longer wish to wear anything from any animal who was electrocuted, bludgeoned, and killed.”
Among the fashion houses that have given up fur, according to the Humane Society International, are Burberry, Armani, Versace, Gucci, Chanel, Coach, Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, Diane von Furstenberg, Furla and Bottega Veneta. Designers that are still selling fur in the UK include Fendi, Max Mara, Celine, Valentino, Saint Laurent and Dolce & Gabbana.
Cannes Film Festival 2019: The best celebrity red carpet fashion
This month, Hollywood’s brightest stars are descending upon the French Riviera for the annual Cannes Film Festival. Against the idyllic background of the sun-soaked Riviera, this is where some of the world’s most high-profile directors premiere the films that they hope will excite critics and viewers alike — and, if they’re lucky, win awards.
A brief history of the red carpet
It’s also where celebrities opulent gowns and priceless jewels to daily red carpet premieres.
So far, we’ve seen Bella Hadid in sheer Dior, Priyanka Chopra in sequined Roberto Cavalli, Penelope Cruz in Chanel couture and Deepika Padukone in statement-making Dundas, among other incredible moments. Look through the gallery above for the best fashions from each day of the festival.
What it means to be a mixed-race model in Japan
This article was originally published in November 2017.
For 18-year-old model Rina Fukushi, Tokyo is home. But growing up as a mixed-race child in Japan wasn’t always easy. With a Japanese-American father and a Filipina mother, Fukushi was one of a growing number of biracial individuals identifying as “hafu” — a phonetic play on the English word “half.”
“I was teased when I was in elementary and junior high school because I looked foreign,” she recalled in an interview with CNN.
Successful hafu models like Fukushi — and contemporaries like Kiko Mizuhara and Rola — have become fashion week regulars, their faces regularly splashed onto international fashion campaigns and magazine covers. Here, Rina poses for Vogue Japan. Credit: VOGUE JAPAN/Angelo D’Agostino
The term hafu was first popularized in the 1970s as Japan loosened its approach towards foreign residents, giving them better access to public housing, insurance and job opportunities. An increased number of US soldiers in the country also contributed to an upsurge in mixed-race marriages and biracial children.
Despite increasingly progressive attitudes towards race in Japan, the country’s immigration numbers have remained comparatively low. Foreigners and their hafu children often live as outsiders, a topic explored in the 2011 documentary “Hafu: The Mixed Race Experience in Japan
“I was teased when I was in elementary and junior high school because I looked foreign,” Rina Fukushi recalled, in an interview with CNN. Credit: Photo: Yuji Watanabe
“As much as hafus try to immerse themselves, they still feel like foreigners and are treated as such,” said Lara Perez Takagi, co-director of film. “The constant topic of people being bullied because they look different, the stereotype that all hafus speak two languages, the stereotype that all hafus are beautiful and are models (and) the topic of hiding your heritage.”
Successful hafu models like Fukushi — and contemporaries like Kiko Mizuhara and Rola — are using some of these stereotypes to their advantage. They have become fashion week regulars in recent years, their faces splashed across international fashion campaigns and magazine covers.
“I guess Japan has changed,” Fukushi said. “It might be because I’m doing this job, but people now say ‘being mixed is cool.’ I suppose the number of those who have confidence and their own style has increased.”
Hafu models’ chameleon looks have helped defy categorization — and even national identity. Editorial director of Numéro Tokyo
, Sayumi Gunji, estimates that 30% to 40% of runway models in Japanese fashion shows now identify as hafu.
“Almost all top models in the their 20s are hafu, especially the top models of popular fashion magazines,” Sayumi said in a phone interview.
“(In) the Japanese media and market, a foreigner’s flawless looks aren’t as readily accepted — they feel a little distant. But biracial models, who are taller, have bigger eyes, higher noses (and) Barbie-doll-like looks, are admired because they are dreamy looking but not totally different from Japanese. That’s the key to their popularity,” added Sayumi.
It is apt that Fukushi, one of the most popular hafu models in Japan, is interviewed at Frescade
, a vintage store in central Tokyo. Vintage shops have been popular in the country since the postwar influx of Western pop culture, from music to fashion. Carefully procured items by Frescade’s well-traveled owner, Kaori, present a mix of cultural influences and eras.
“Young people are attracted by one-off pieces, as opposed to mass-produced clothes,” Fukushi explained, wearing a dress she found on an earlier visit. The dress, inspired by the cut of a kimono and bearing a print of hinomaru — the Japanese motif of the red sun — wasn’t actually made in Japan.
“It surprised me at first, but I guess the slightly different take on the traditional kimono makes it more charming,” she said. “It’s Japanese-ish — but not exactly.”
Gucci, Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen to stop using models under 18
Gucci, Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen are among leading fashion brands who have pledged to work only with models aged over 18.
Young men and women under that age will no longer represent the brands owned by French luxury group Kering from 2020 onwards, according to the company’s chairman and chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault. The new guideline will apply to both fashion shows and photo sessions.
In a press release, Pinault explained that the move sought to inspire others within the industry. He said: “As a global Luxury group, we are conscious of the influence exerted on younger generations in particular by the images produced by our Houses. We believe that we have a responsibility to put forward the best possible practices in the Luxury sector and we hope to create a movement that will encourage others to follow suit.”
The fashion industry is no stranger to controversy, having faced much criticism in recent years over its over the use of ‘size zero’ models.
Why model Leomie Anderson is fighting for change
Two years ago, Kering and rival conglomerate LVMH — which owns Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Givenchy, among other brands — published a charter on models’ well-being, which set the minimum working age at 16. It aimed to introduce a range of guidelines to safeguard the health and well-being of models, including a pledge to only employ models with a valid medical certificate.
These changes were introduced a month before Vlada Dzyuba, a 14-year-old Russian model, fell ill and suddenly died while working in China in October 2017. The tragic episode sparked a debate about underage models and their working environments.
But the new policy, which will come into effect in time for the Autumn-Winter 2020 collections, goes beyond that.
Russian model Vlada Dzyuba, 14, who died after taking part in Shanghai Fashion Week in 2017. Credit: Zhu jiahao/Imaginechina via AP
“In our view, the physiological and psychological maturity of models aged over 18 seems more appropriate to the rhythm and demands that are involved in this profession,” Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs at Kering, said in the company’s statement.
“We are also aware of the role-model element that images produced by our Houses can represent for certain groups of people.”