If I ask you to think of some luxury brands you know of, the majority of us would say Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Hermès. These are indeed some of the most popular brands that rule the fashion industry, but I would like you to step out of the mainstream world for a second and explore for the hidden fashion brands that perhaps will become the future influential brands of the industry.
About two months ago, out of curiosity, I decided to search up for the schedule of February's NYWF. Looking through the schedule, I had no idea who any of these designers were, but I came across to these two designers: Kim Shui and Sandy Liang that caught my eyes. I never heard of them before, but from reading and looking at their names I could already tell they are badass designers. It was their last names, Shui and Liang, that caught my attention because I knew these last names came from my motherland, China. Kim Shui and Sandy Liang gave me hope about the fashion industry. They are my role models in the industry that I been looking for; I can tell myself that if Shui and Liang made it to the fashion world by sharing their creativity and passion then I can do it too.
The following week PFW happened and looking through the stories on Instagram, I found this designer named Simon Jacquemus. I thought his FW 19/20 LA COLLECTIONNEUSE was brilliant because of the monochromatic outfits and the little Jacquemus’ bags.
Alright, enough about me talking about how I discovered these designers. Scroll down to see what is so unique about each of them.
Kim Shui is a New York based designer and out of most designers, I know of, her clothes are super unique because she turns ordinary fabrics into something new and fresh. I love the fact that she is not afraid to experiment with different fabrics that have different textures and colors. It’s crazy how on the surface some of the fabrics she uses seem to juxtapose each other, but Shui is able to complement them together. She’s a true genius.
Simon Jacquemus is a French fashion designer and I found him through Instagram fashion influencers, Aimee Song. What caught my attention was his designs, specifically his teeny tiny hand bags presented at his Paris fashion show. They are not like anything you have seen before. Some might say it’s brilliant while some might think it’s quite necessary because well what can you fit inside a teeny tiny bag? While it is a statement piece I also believe Jacquemus pose a question, what are the real necessities for our handbags?
Looking at Liang’s Instagram, her fleece jackets and sense of style immediately caught my attention. Her designs can be described as a cool modernistic granny, and in fact, her inspiration came from her Chinatown grandma. Her inspiration is unique compared to other designers out there. Normally, our grandparents would the last people to look up to for fashion inspiration. However, Liang made granny fashion cool and was able to incorporate it to street style.
MY EXPERIENCE AT YOUTH INSIGHT ARTISTS PROGRAM
My Experience at Youth Insight Artists program
Before I go on talking about my whole experience about this program I would like to thank the staffs at the Whitney Museum for allowing me to join this amazing opportunity. Manuela Gonzalez and Ronny Quevedo, the teachers, for teaching us and pushing our creavities to the fullest.
For 3 months straight, every Wednesday at around 3:20 pm I would dash out of our school building walk to the train station, take the downtown 1 to 14th Street, making my way to the Whitney Museum before class starts at 4. Even though junior year has been loaded with a lot school work, I was able to manage my time and never regretted going to Whitney Wednesdays. The biggest reward for attending this program is the fact that students get to work with an actual artist whose work is displayed in the museum. This program isn’t only about making art, but about focusing on the process of the creation.
Ronny Quevedo was the artist I got to learn from and work with; Ronny’s art focuses on playing around with games rules as well as the concept that goes into creating games. Whether it’s about the rules, the uniform, or the set up of the game, he would modify elements to connects with his personal life. Visiting Ronny’s studio was an honor and it opened my perspective towards the question: What is art? Visiting his studio allowed me to see his process and the hard work which went into his finalized pieces.
To summarize this whole experience, I would say it’s worth it because I learned so much about the process and the idea behind art pieces. I have always been into making art itself, but never paid attention towards the process and steps it takes to achieve the final art piece. I totally would recommend this to anyone who’s interested in trying something new, curious about the meaning behind that art piece you don’t really understand, social connections, and most importantly having the eagerness to learn.
By: Junior Sally LI
NYC winter is no joke. During winter season, the temperature outside can drop from anywhere around 35°F to 16°F especially during the snow days. I personally can’t handle the cold and often give up my sense of fashion to keep myself warm. However, here are some tips for you guys to help you stay cozy AND stylish this winter
HEAT THERMAL CLOTHES- I cannot exaggerate how great and useful heat thermal clothes are for the winter. They are your best friend for this season; they’re designed to be soft, thick, and comfortable even in extremely cold weather. These thermal clothes traps your body heat from escaping, keeping your body nice and cozy. You can totally wear them like your normal clothes, but I like to wear them as the base layer of my outfit. Shop for them here:
PUFFER JACKET- I love puffer jackets not only because it’s stylish and trendy, but it can also keep you really warm- this may vary depending on the quality . It compliments well with every outfit which is a bonus. Bringing back the 90s vibe! I would style them with your favorite pair of denim (I prefer straight jeans or mom jeans), cozy knitted baggy sweater, and a pair of boots (chelsea, ankle, combat, platform).
The ReNew Short Puffer (Everlane, color: Black, Brick, Emerald, $125)
Padded Jacket (H&M, comes in four different colors, $39.99)
ASOS DESIGN borg paneled padded jacket (ASOS, color: Hunter Green, $103.00)
DOWN COAT WITH WRAP COLLAR (Zara, color: Green, Navy Blue, Black, Camel, $149. 00)
The ReNew Long Puffer (Everlane, color: Black, Surplus, True Navy, $175)
CORDUROY PANTS- Corduroy are making a great back with a big nostalgic vibe. The texture, comfort, and aesthetic given off from wearing them.They are usually thicker than denim which makes it a wardrobe staple. Instead of wearing denim switch it up and play around with these. They are not hard to pull off with the rest of your outfit.
BDG Color Corduroy Mom Pant (Urban Outfitters, colors: Olive, Brown, Light Mauve, Blue, $59)
CORDUROY Z1975 PANTS (Zara, color: Light Camel, $49,90)
Wedgie Fit Straight Corduroy Pants (Levi’s, colors: Marshmallow, Purple, Evergreen, $98.00)
COZY BAGGY KNITTED SWEATERS- This is a must for my fall/ winter wardrobe. Usually when I go for them, I look for how well the sweater is knitted. You want to make sure the sweater is knitted tightly. You can however, wear your heat thermal shirt underneath the sweater to keep yourself warm.
ETHICAL CLOTHES? SUSTAINABLE CLOTHES? NEVER HEARD OF IT.
WHY SHOULD WE CARE?
Factories, poor workers, horrible environments, low wage, & long hours perfectly describe the fast fashion industry. According to Merriam-Webster, the definition for fast fashion is: “an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers.” Some of the fast fashion brands are H&M, Zara, Topshop, Forever 21, Uniqlo, Old Navy, Gap, Mango, and Urban Outfitters. Many of us live on the other side of the world where we don’t physically see the real life horror. It’s not that we don’t care but have a very limited knowledge about this topic. There are much more to it then the horrible conditions and low wage. This industry contributes a lot of harm to our environment as well.
Harm to our food chain: many of our clothes are made from polyester which has the biggest impact on our environment mainly because it takes a long time for it to decompose. When we are washing our clothes, tiny microfibers are pass through our sewage into the ocean. These microfibers are eaten by small creatures and would eventually make its up way the food chain to larger fishes. Most of our diet depend on eating fish, so by eat them we are adding harm to our body.
Other Health problems: the toxic chemicals used for growing cottons and dying jeans cause brain tumor for the farmers and birth defects to children of the farmers. Endangering their health and birth defects of young children, is that what we really want for the world? Our future generation? Robbing their hopes and dreams?
Water, water, water: According to an article from bettercotton.org, “a typical pair takes 7,000 litres of water to produce. For a t-shirt, it takes 2,700 litres of water to make just one.” Imagine how much water we are wasting in a year just to make our clothes. Meanwhile, there are countries out there that experience droughts and barely have any water. We must take into consideration that water is a very limited and valuable resource.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
As a high school student, it’s understandable that we all can’t afford ethical and sustainable clothes because they aren’t cheap. I’m somewhat guilty the fact that I shop at some fast fashion brands. Don’t take immediate action and throw out every piece of fast fashion clothing item you own. Take time to learn about this issue and reflect before taking any action. By learning about this, you already taking action.
The solution is simple: SHOP LESS, CHOOSE WISELY, FIND TIMELESS PIECES. If you really love shopping, an alternative solution would be to shop for ethical and sustainable clothes. I found some brands selling their products at reasonable prices along with some discounts. The choice are in your hands to change the future for the world.
Ethical is all about the process of making the clothes. From the quality of cotton used to the workers environment as well as getting paid at a fair wage.
K O T N - their clothes are the basic essentials to your closet. Very minimalist, high-quality, and timeless. They use Egyptian cotton for their clothes and provide fair-wage for workers. Their style is very similar to Uniqlo. Their turtlenecks are the perfect stable for the fall season.
Price range: $20- $80
Style Available: Women & Men
Products: T-shirts, dresses, turtlenecks, sweatshirts, long sleeves
Shop here: https://us.kotn.com
Evenlane - one of the most popular and well known ethical brands. Their missions focus on radically transparent, ethical factories (building a good relationship with the owner making sure every worker have fair wages and work in a clean environment), exceptional quality. While their sweaters might be a bit pricey for your budget, their jeans and bottoms shouldn’t be too expensive if you shop at Zara, Urban Outfitters, or even at Gap. The price for Evenlane’s bottoms start at $68.
Price Range: $20-$150.
Style Available: Women & Men
Products: Women & men apparels, shoes, accessories
Shop here: https://www.everlane.com
Melie Bianco - one of the hidden gems for luxurious vegan handbags. Not only are they leather free but they are sweatshop free as well. Melie Bianco believe in fair wages, paid vacations, breaks, gender equal opportunities, etc. They have variety of bags with a classical and chic feel to everyone of them. Since it’s not made out of leather, it’s cheaper and saving animal lives. **If you sign up for their newsletter, you received 50% off your first order.**
Price Range: $50- $89
Style Available: Women
Shop here: https://www.meliebianco.com
Sustainable clothing is about the care for the environment. Companies make sure no harmful chemicals were used on the cotton to the process of dying clothes. They also use recycle materials, energy reduction, and better water and waste treatment.
Alternative Apparel - they focus on sustainable materials & processes making a better impact for the world. All of their clothes are made out of organic cotton, so no harmful chemicals are involved. They use 120,000 recycled plastic bottles in their Alternative- Eco fabrics.
Price Range: $30-$160
Style Available: Women, men, & youth
Products: Women’s, men’s, youth’s comfort wear, accessories
Shop here: https://www.alternativeapparel.com
Mayamiko - the textile used to make your clothes are handmade from local fabric markets in Malawi. This means there are limited amount of fabric produce and they believe in zero waste. By using local fabrics, they produce less carbon footprint. Some of their products are made from organic cotton. Their women’s appeal consist of colorful and unique patterns adding a pop to your closet.
Price Range: $16- $110
Style Available: Women
Products: Tops, jumpsuit, dresses, skirts, shorts, trousers, jackets
Shop here: https://www.mayamiko.com
MATT & NAT - They also sell vegan luxurious handbags. The scientific term for vegan leather is PU (polyurethane) and PVC (polyvinyl chloride). They use sustainable materials like recycled rubber, cork, and nylon. The linings for all their bags are made of 100% recycled plastic bottles. According to their page, every bag is made with approximately 21 recycled plastic bottles. Their handbags are designed to be timeless, simply, and durable. Each design comes with variety of colors.
Price Range: $40-$200
Style Available: Women & Men
Products: Handbags, accessories, footwear
Shop here: https://mattandnat.com
“Cotton's Water Footprint: How One T-Shirt Makes A Huge Impact On The Environment.” Better Cotton Initiative, bettercotton.org/about-bci/cottons-water-footprint-how-one-t-shirt-makes-a-huge-impact-on-the-environment/.