Hanging Chads, Whoops, We Mean Hangtags

June 25 2014

Slowly, but surely it seems the fashion industry is joining the 21st century in terms of social awareness. From racial diversity on the runway, to more body types being shown in ads, to accountability in manufacturing conditions—there seems to be a glimmer of change.

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Which is why when I recently bought a dress from the ultra-cool Swedish collective brand, Acne Studios, I was taken aback by their hangtag design. Acne’s tag uses plastic and two heavy pieces of paper, which seems like (or rather—is) a total waste of resources. It’s overkill. For a brand known for such a modern, sleek, and minimalist aesthetic, the wasteful and environmentally unfriendly tag presents a weird brand disconnect. And Acne is not the only brand to overdo, or rather overuse, in this arena.

left & right

Now, no one is equating runway racism with eco-unfriendly waste in terms of fashion injustices. However, the oddity of the whole issue stems from the lack of thought and consideration. It’s 2014! Our cars can are programmed to stop before they crash. We order our groceries online. We trustingly buy our life insurance online. Therefore it can’t be that hard to design a green and eco-friendly hangtag. Ethical Fashion, an online forum that addresses a wide range of issues within the industry, recently posted about some underground labels using tags that are washer ready. The tags are made of a soap mixture that disintegrates in the washer and rids the fabric of any chemicals added during manufacturing. So it can be done!

Hangtags are an applied expression of a brand’s positioning and design aesthetic. A more thoughtfully designed and produced hangtag can be a win-win for a fashion brand, and a small but easily achievable step in protecting our natural resources.

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Brand Meld: Fashion at its best, and most curious

August 14 2013

What happens when you have two brilliant designers with similar sensibilities, one who has rarely made a misstep in his storied career, and the other a rebellious, self-destructive genius? Obviously, you put the two of them together, mix it up, and come out with some extraordinary, unbelievably desirable evening wear.

                                  Images via www.thefashionspot.com and www.winterbellskw.files.wordpress.com

John Galliano and Oscar de La Renta are both about all-out glamour, both with a deep understanding of what makes a woman look and feel like Rita Hayworth or Ava Gardner. Galliano has always been more subversive, dark, and gothic than de la Renta, but the clothes that come out of the melding of his dark and light attributes are always spectacular, modern and yet with a deep reverence and knowledge of the past. His evening gowns can be theatrical – theatre married with the Duchess of Devonshire married with a sex club in some dark corner of the world.

De La Renta, on the other hand, has always called upon his Latin roots and love of women to inform his designs. He lives in the same sophisticated, refined world as the women he sells to – socialites around the world, women who want to look feminine and desirable. His work is meticulously adorned and often filled with a color and fire not frequently seen at the highest levels of haute couture.

De la Renta always claims that he won’t retire, but now in his 80s, he needs to plan for the future of his brand. The whole fashion industry has waited to see what would happen after Galliano’s try-out earlier this year, as at their roots, these two designers have a tremendous amount of crossover in their brand sensibilities. Fashion is the best place to study how brands are constructed and maintained, and in this regard, de la Renta would be making a smart move for his brand legacy and its ability to survive. Galliano will take the de la Renta brand and sex it up in a darker way, but he has the same understanding of how fantastic a woman feels when she is dressed, and desired, like a goddess.

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