"This Stuff" is a twice weekly newsletter that examines how fashion and style impact the world. You can find all of the past stories here.
The fashion industry has a lot of news and not all of it makes it way to the mainstream. I think there is an assumption that it’s too “insidery,” which is bullshit. Fashion often tells one side of a larger story, and usually, it impacts us all. Every Wednesday newsletter, I’m going to break down a few stories that you should know about and why.
You probably heard about Fendi X Skims because well, Kris Jenner. I’m kidding. But seriously, the collaboration was a long time coming with rumors swirling for months. On Monday, the official announcement was made highlighting a collection that looks exactly like you think it would: body-con looks with Fendi logos. “The innovation in fabrics and fit typical to Skims paired with the luxury and quality of Fendi may feel unexpected to some people, but the similarities between our creative vision and goals are so closely aligned,” Kardashian said in a press release. “It’s that tension that excites me.”
As far as I can tell, the reviews are mixed. It seems like the collection is wearable if you have upwards of $600 to drop on leggings, but for the most part, it’s very similar to her lower-priced Skims looks. I think what’s important to note about this is how brands use each other to bring in new audiences. Kim’s influence on style is unmistakable and her fans, whether they admit it or not, want to dress like her. Add in the thrill of a luxury logo like Fendi and you have a winning combination. Now do we need MORE logos and MORE body contouring bodysuits? I would say no.
Fast fashion giant H&M announced that they are launching their first ever animal-free collection. According to a press release, the Co-Exist collection which launches on November 4th, contains 45 pieces of new items made from VEGEA which they say is “an innovative vegan material partly made from grape skins, stalks, and seeds discarded during winemaking” and ECONYL® fiber which is regenerated nylon.
I will certainly give credit to any brand for going cruelty-free. However, it’s important to note that H&M is adding 45 new styles to their already massive garment output. Using more ethical material does not always make the product more ethical when it contributes to a cycle of waste.
If you, like me, were wondering how the hell Shein keeps their prices so cheap, a new report may have just given us some insight. A new 99-page report from Morgan Stanley (reported on by The Mail on Sunday) alleges that the brand is taking advantage of tax exemptions, allowing them to price clothing around 20% lower than competitors like Boohoo and H&M.
It’s worth noting that Shein is also vertically integrated, meaning they own parts of the supply chain and can pivot quickly to trending styles. Between that and the ability to charge customers significantly less for similar products, profits have grown to close to $20 billion. Of course, the issue with this unheard of growth is how much it is encouraging unnecessary and wasteful consumption of clothing.
The CFDA (Council Fashion Designers of America) has long recognized the contributions of up and coming designers and influencers in fashion. For the first time, they will honor changemakers who are fighting for inclusivity in the industry. This year’s award will go to The Model Alliance, an organization founded by Sara Ziff, which aims to make work environments for models safer.
Importantly, issues like sexual assault and pressure to lose weight are not new, and have been spoken about and then swept under the rug for decades. Recognizing the Model Alliance’s work toward ending it on one of the fashion industry’s biggest nights is a big step forward in making the necessary changes.