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Must Read: Robin Givhan on Blackface, Kanye West's Philipp Plein NYFW Performance Was a Scam

Plus, Net-a-Porter welcomes four new designers to mentorship program.
The Gucci sweater criticized for resembling blackface. Photo: Screengrab from Twitter

The Gucci sweater criticized for resembling blackface. Photo: Screengrab from Twitter

These are the stories making headlines in fashion on Friday.

Blackface is more than just a thoughtless costume 
Blackface is, in essence, a kind of fashion — one rooted in the dark, arrogant insecurity of white supremacy, one inspired by this country's original sin — that keeps evolving year after year until each iteration is just a little bit different from the previous one," writes Robin Givhan for The Washington Post. Givhan, who weighed in on blackface following the release of Gucci's controversial sweater earlier this week, points out that it's more than just a thoughtless costume: "It's painful, shared history, of course. But it's also the horrible present. And it's likely part of a crummy future. Blackface is denial and ignorance. It's narcissism, willfulness and disdain. {The Washington Post

Kanye West's Philipp Plein NYFW performance was a scam
Philipp Plein's NYFW show on Monday will not feature a Kanye West performance, as the invitation had previously stated. According to TMZ, a guy West knew secretly contacted the designer and pretended to be the his rep. Plein fell for it and made a nearly $1 million deal for West to perform. Sources close to the matter said the guy also forged West's name on the contract and then had a $900,000 advance wired to an account. Now, Plein is out a Kanye and a large sum of money. {TMZ

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Net-a-Porter welcomes four new designers to mentorship program 
Net-a-Porter launched a comprehensive mentorship program for emerging labels in August 2018, called The Vanguard. On Friday, the e-tailer announced that it has invited Peter Do, Commission, Anne Manns and Ratio Et Motus to be a part of the program this season. Peter Do, Ratio Et Motus and Anne Manns were all Insta finds, while Commission was passed on via industry contacts, thanks to the brand's original take on shirting and tailoring. {British Vogue

Are influencers to blame for Fyre Festival? 
Influencers were paid hundreds of thousands — and in some cases millions — of dollars to promote Fyre Festival. They seemingly completed what they were obligated to do and, judging by the thousands of people who showed up to the failed fest, it worked. But with great power comes great responsibility, and part of being a responsible influencer is being able to defend your position. {WWD

Black stylists break barriers, but face challenges along the way 
Stylists' careers take off when their client lists boast at least one in-demand actor or actress. But making the leap to A-list stylist still has plenty of obstacles for people of color. "Publicists and agents, who play matchmaker between stylists and celebrities, often assume Black stylists are only right to style Black clients," writes Melissa Magsaysay for Business of Fashion. "That bias — conscious or not — makes a stylist's race, rather than their aesthetic or relationship with designers, a primary factor in determining their clientele. It's also why reaching the top tier has proven so elusive." {Business of Fashion

Why Louis Vuitton had a very profitable 2018
Louis Vuitton had an exceptional 2018: The luxury label passed the $10 billion mark for annual sales and exceeded annual growth expectations. How did it get there? High space productivity, as well as scale, allowed the company to efficiently absorb the fixed costs of stores and headquarters. The LVMH-owned brand has also widened its assortments of higher-priced leather handbags, which has helped secure its market position. {WWD

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