Input analyses Kanye West's career as it was mirrored in his fashion: "Kanye has curated his aesthetic universe to be one of the most recognizable in the music industry. His relationships with music and fashion have not only been symbiotic within his own life, but with the streetwear landscape around him. While the Yeezy label carves Kanye’s imprint within luxury fashion, he uses his merch as a creative playground, transforming each album into collectible garments. The lasting impact of Kanye’s merch has less to do with the artist himself, but more so with the creative ecosystem he creates around each project, and the aesthetic footprint it leaves behind". West's listening event for his still-unreleased album on August 5 proves the point - with 40,000 ticketed guests, it raked in $7 million from merch sales, breaking the record for highest-grossing U.S. tour.

Hip-Vuitton
August 17, 2021

Trapital: LVMH is now a hip-hop company

"Luxury world leader LVMH has acquired a stake in Virgil Abloh's Off-White LLC. It bought 50% of Jay-Z's Ace of Spades. A few months ago, Travis Scott collaborated with LVMH's Dior on its 2022 Men's collection. LVMH backed Fenty Beauty and launched the unsuccessful Fenty Maison. Beyonce and Jay Z were named brand ambassadors for Tiffany & Co. LVMH is a hip-hop company. LVMH may not position itself that way, but now it's too reliant on the culture not to be. European fashion houses looked down on the early 2000s hip-hop fashion brands like Enyce. Now hip-hop is the driving force behind European brands" - Trapital's Dan Runcie makes a relevant point about the European fashion powerhouse.

The biggest umbrella in the world
August 05, 2021

Rihanna officially becomes a billionaire

Rihanna has officially entered the billionaire’s club, with Forbes estimating her dollar worth at $1.7 billion. The pop star and business mogul - founder of fashion house Fenty as well as makeup line Fenty Beauty - is now the wealthiest female musician in the world and the second-wealthiest female entertainer in the world after Oprah Winfrey.

Solange Knowles has created and written 'Pasage', a motion portraiture and celebration of the six 2021 International Woolmark Prize finalists. Scored by Standing on The Corner, it stars Dionne Warwick, Dominique Jackson, SahBabii, Joi and KeiyaA, and it goes into a deeply thoughtful exploration of sustainability, and the stages of creation: contemplation, courage, optimism, vulnerability, discipline and strength. Through 6 acts of concentrated motion between stage, nature and surrealism, the film echoes themes of conjuring and ceremonious celebrations, and creates abstraction to embody the various expressions of each designer.

Co-founder and namesake of Vans shoe company, Paul Van Doren has passed away at age 90, NBC reports. Van Doren launched Vans in 1966 and has since built the Anaheim, California-based company into a global sneaker and streetwear brand. Last month, Van Doren released his memoir 'Authentic'.

"She enjoyed fashion and had a performer’s joy in being looked at, in satin, silks, heels and hairstyles" - the Guardian writes about the fashion choices Billie Holiday made, and what they meant. "For a Black woman in the US at that time, this glamour could be seen as a kind of resistance, too... People said, ‘How dare she wear diamonds, how dare she wear fur,’ but she dressed as a woman of her stature should have. She represented herself exactly as she wanted to and that in itself was revolutionary”. Lee Daniels’ film 'The United States Vs Billie Holiday' is released this week.

Money is really funny in this case
September 18, 2020

A method to the madness - how ABBA got their costumes

An amusing article on the Messy Nessy blog about ABBA's outlandishly-designed stage-clothes. It's all about the money - according to the Swedish law regarding costumes, as long as the outfits were too impractical for everyday wear and couldn’t be worn outside a performance, they were tax-deductible. The legal loop hole thus encouraged ABBA's designer Owe Sandström to make ABBA’s costumes as colourful and unwearable as possible. And did he!

Lauryn Hill provided the musical accompaniment for Louis Vuitton's spring-summer 2021 menswear show in Shanghai, which was captured on video for an accompanying video presentation. The black-and-white video finds Hill and her full band perform her contribution to the 'Queen & Slim' soundtrack, 'Guarding the Gates, as well as 'Everything Is Everything', 'Lost Ones', 'Ex-Factor', 'Black Rage', and the classic 'Doo Wop (That Thing)'.

Yama in the stardust
July 28, 2020

David Bowie's designer Kansai Yamamoto dies

Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto, known for styling musician David Bowie, has died at the age of 76, the New York Times reports. Yamamoto designed some of Bowie's most famous outfits including those of the singer's alter ego Ziggy Stardust. His clothing was also worn by Elton John, Stevie Wonder and John Lennon. More recently, singer Lady Gaga had been pictured in Yamamoto designs. Yamamoto was known for his colourful creations and incorporating traditional Japanese designs into fashion.

Kanye West has partnered with Gap to launch a clothing line called Yeezy Gap where the musician will act as creative director, designing “modern, elevated basics for men, women and kids at accessible price points”. According to the New York Times, Yeezy Gap will arrive in stores in the first half of 2021, and Gap hopes the new line will be generating $1 billion in annual sales within five years.

BTS

Watch any K-pop music video and you’ll likely be met with loud hair colors, elaborate outfits, flawless skin, heavily made-up eyes and painted lips. To South Korean stars - or idols as they're called there - it’s not only the norm, it’s also specifically calibrated for audience appeal - Rafinery 29 writes in an analysis of young beautiful South Korean boy bands.

Yet another college dropout billionaire
April 25, 2020

Kanye West is a billionaire now

Based on financial documents reviewed by Forbes, Kanye West’s net worth has recently reached $1.26 billion dollars. It's a tremendous change - less than five years ago, West publicly announced himself to be $53 million in debt. After striking a deal with Adidas to expand his Yeezy apparel brand, his income skyrocketed. Last year alone, West’s Yeezy sneakers sold $1.3 billion, with West himself personally pocketing $140 million in royalties. On the music side, West’s recordings and publishing rights are valued at around $90 million.

Slippers industry is doing great, for sure
April 21, 2020

Fashion industry hurt by the big lockdown

The big lockdown has erased the festival and live music industry for this season, but it has also badly hurt the fashion industry as well, the New York Times reports. “For some brands, festivals aren’t just a season like summer or fall, but the season of the year to build relationships with a certain kind of shopper, who buy fun new extra additions for their wardrobe that they wouldn’t normally be tempted by” - said Lucie Greene, a trend forecaster and the founder of the Light Years consultancy. “They define an entire aesthetic of collections and products for some labels”.

St. Vintage
February 27, 2020

St. Vincent announces new clothing line

St. Vincent has confirmed that she has a new clothing line STV.OV on the way. She provided a phone number for fans to call to receive “more information”. In a new Tweet, Annie Clark confirmed that she’s collaborated with Outdoor Voices on a new sporting collection.

Funny and clever as always, NME's Mark Beaumont delves into questions of fashion and identity in his latest Mark, My Words post: "Metallers' image has been assimilated deep into the mainstream. They’ve undergone painful surgeries at the hands of their drunkest mates in order to declare their extreme tastes and lifestyle to the world, yet if you wander into a record shop (remember them?) in 2020 with piercings through your pancreas and Cannibal Corpse lyrics tattooed across your eyelids, you’re more likely to be recommended a Post Malone, Billie Eilish or Lil’ Jaily record than anything that might even slightly melt your face. The ultimate signs of personal non-conformism have become the New Normal. Luckily, there is an answer – if the mainstream has stolen your identity, why not steal theirs?".

The French fashion giant Chanel presented its Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2020 collection this week with a soundtrack of well known electronica. The show took place inside Paris’ nice Grand Palais, the models are gorgeous, of course, the collection pretty, and the music made it - cool. The show opened with Opus III’s 1992 cover of Edward Barton’s ‘It’s a Fine Day’, Blanck Mass’ ‘Creature / West Fuqua’ added a bit of rawness, and the biggest part was taken by The Orb’s 1990 hit ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’.

Various Caterina Barbieri tracks, Coil’s ‘Ostia’, Claudio Simonetti’s Phenomena OST and Marilyn Manson’s iconic cover of ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)’ provided an atmospheric soundtrack to the 2020 Menswear show from Gucci at Milan Men’s Fashion Week. Gucci designer Alessandro Michele’s explained the show was intended as a statement against toxic masculinity.