Must Read: Virgil Abloh and NikeLab Launch Chicago Re-Creation Center, Farfetch Partners With Gucci to Generate Original Content

Plus, what Rihanna's LVMH partnership says about the future of fashion.
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Virgil Abloh in the Re-Creation Center in Chicago. Photo: Courtesy of Nike 

Virgil Abloh in the Re-Creation Center in Chicago. Photo: Courtesy of Nike 

These are the stories making headlines in fashion on Friday.

Virgil Abloh and NikeLab launch Chicago Re-Creation Center 
Virgil Abloh has teamed up with NikeLab to open a cultural hub in Chicago, called the Re-Creation Center. The community space will cater to Abloh's youthful fanbase by way of mentorship opportunities, hands-on workshops, exclusive drops and panel discussions hosted by local creators selected by Abloh himself. The space will also kick off Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe initiative, which transforms worn-out athletic footwear into Nike Grind. The sustainable textile, which Nike has cultivated for over two decades, will then be used to create new facilities, like an Abloh-designed community basketball court set to open in Chicago ahead of NBA All-Star 2020. {Fashionista inbox} 

Farfetch partners with Gucci to generate original content 
Farfetch launched its "Farfetch Communities" initiative earlier this year with content curated by influencers and tastemakers, and now the shopping platform is collaborating with Gucci on an eight-month-long series that invites users to meet the brand's biggest fans. "The project sees Farfetch and Gucci go into the homes of its community to explore how the city and culture around them influences their personal styles looking at each person's fashion choices in the context of their home and city environments, allowing lovers of Gucci to discover new season pieces from the brand in an entirely new way," reads the official press release from the e-tailer. {Fashionista inbox} 

What Rihanna's LVMH partnership says about the future of fashion 
Rihanna isn't the first pop star or celebrity to break into luxury fashion, but she is the first to partner with LVMH, one of fashion's most powerful groups, under the leadership of Bernard Arnault, who is one of the most powerful people in fashion. "Arnault is a brilliant man, with a fabulous track record for identifying talent and directing LVMH, both in response to and anticipation of cultural shifts," writes Bridget Foley for WWD. "Given the rarity with which he goes all-in on an untested designer, one might infer that he sees celebrity crossover as the way of the future, and even that creativity is a secondary consideration." {WWD

Fashion needs to remove toxic chemicals from clothing 
Many of the chemicals used in clothing to create stain repellency and fight odors are potentially hazardous and pose a variety of health risks. But brands have yet to eliminate them due to a lack of alternatives. Moving forward, the fashion industry needs to invest more in eco-friendly chemicals and less on creating new materials. {Vogue Business

Sarah Burton reflects on her time at Alexander McQueen
In assuming the role of creative director of Alexander McQueen in 2010, Sarah Burton has grown intent on bringing out aspects of herself on the runway that compliment Lee Alexander McQueen's sartorial vision. The designer, who will receive the CFDA International Award on Monday, sat down with Vogue to discuss how she's managed to do just that, as well as what values she wants to express through her collections and how her approach to design has changed over the past 10 years. {Vogue

How brands are navigating the the cost of returns 
According to software company Appriss Retail, U.S. consumers returned $369 billion worth of unwanted merchandise last year, or about 10% of total retail sales. And the problem is getting worse as more people shop online, where the return rate is nearly double that of in-store purchases. To keep the cost of returns from spiraling out of control, brands are doing everything from providing more detailed product descriptions and fit guides to asking their customers to split the cost. {Business of Fashion

Kanye West launches fashion grant for young designers
Kanye West, who has boosted the careers of several fashion creatives over the years, will now do it in an official capacity. He's reportedly launching a fund to provide financial assistance and mentoring to young designers, beginning with Maissie Schloss, a member of the Yeezy design team who will launch her brand next week. Further details about the fund, like the amount, the people involved, or how to apply, remain scarce. {Vogue}

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