“Iran’s New Wave of Women Fashion Designers ” (Global Voices Online)
Years ago, Iranian women, especially the younger generation, avidly sought the right “brands” – meaning foreign, most preferably western labels. Foreign brands seemed cooler, more fashionable and were therefore more expensive. There were few domestic brands out there, and the ones that were, weren’t regarded as tasteful by the young generation’s standards.
But a few years ago, things began to change. Domestic designers emerged with their own unique ideas. Colourful local designs for women started to appear and catch interest.
Nowadays, there are dozens of local brands, registered and unregistered, in Iran. Like others in the global fashion industry, the new designs hit the market every season. Like other fashion designers, they have their own models, but unlike others in the business, they are not so much into advertising around town. Their professional photos have instead made a home on social media.
“US Firms Hail Defense Policy Change” (WWD)
The new U.S. Department of Defense policy mandating American-manufactured athletic shoes for service members could be a financial windfall in the short term — and a driver of the domestic supply chain in the longer term, brands told Footwear News.
Last week, the DOD announced it would begin requiring that the stipends provided by military branches for their recruits to buy new athletic shoes be used for wholly American-made styles, where they exist. (In categories where no American-made shoe exists, foreign-produced shoes will continue to be offered.)
The decision was hailed by Boston-based New Balance and Rockford, Mich.-based Wolverine World Wide Inc., both of which have U.S. manufacturing capabilities and have been lobbying for the policy to be changed.
“Design Museum honours Prada” (Fashion United)
Miuccia Prada’s pop-art prints and sporty details for Spring/Summer 2014 has won the fashion category at this year’s Design Museum’s Design of the Year awards. Prada beat off competition from Raf Simons’ first ready-to-wear collection for Dior, featuring teams of female step-dance crews, and a collection of 3D embossed dresses designed by Sadie Williams to win the prestigious accolade.
Other fashion collections shortlisted included a magazine curated by Stephen Jones, Dubai-based DAS Collection’s abaya line, Brazilian designer Ronaldo Fraga’s Hinterland line, and Tracey Neuls Bike Geek’s hybrid dress-and-casual shoe.
The annual awards celebrate “cutting-edge innovation and original talent” and name the best across seven categories: architecture, digital, fashion, furniture, graphic, product and transport design. The seven winning names will now compete for the overall Design of the Year accolade, which will be announced at an award ceremony on June 30. All of the 69 nominated designs are on display in the Design Museum until August 30 and visitors can vote for their favourite.
“French retailer sued over Rana Plaza disaster” (Fashion United)
In a first, French supermarket giant Auchan has been sued by three organizations for its involvement in the deadly Rana Plaza building collapse in Dhaka that killed more than 1,100 workers a year ago.
Though Auchan denied ever having placed orders at any of the five garment factories housed at Rana Plaza, labels of the chain’s “In Extenso” range were found among the debris during an investigation.
Three lobby groups – Sherpa, a non-profit organization for the “victims of economic crimes”, Peuples Solidaires (People’s Solidarity) and the collective Ethique sur l’etiquette (Ethics on Labels) – accuse Auchun of misleading customers about working conditions overseas and have filed a complaint with a public prosecutor in France. They are calling on a number of witnesses in Europe and Bangladesh to provide evidence and are keen to carry out a preliminary investigation as soon as possible.
“Making Wearable Tech More Wearable” (The New Yorker)
This week, Ahrendts will join Apple as its head of retail. With her pedigree, she has a chance to solve tech companies’ fashion dilemma: how to create wearable technologies that people actually want to wear. (Ahrendts also has considerable experience in China, where Apple currently has thirteen stores and plans to triple that number within two years.) Although Apple stores are still a big draw, devotees are becoming impatient for new products worth lining up for; on Wednesday, the company said that it sold forty-three million iPhones during its most recent quarter, but the iPhone has been around for seven years now, and Apple’s last major new product, the iPad, was released four years ago. Rumors have been building about an iWatch, which would be Apple’s first attempt at a computer disguised as a fashion accessory. (Apple declined to comment.)
If Ahrendts’s appointment is a signal that Apple is seriously considering building technology into clothes and accessories, a newish category of tech products known as “wearables,” the company wouldn’t be alone in Silicon Valley. Last year, investors put four hundred and fifty-eight million dollars into companies that make wearable products like fitness trackers and baby monitors; last month, Facebook agreed to pay two billion dollars to buy Oculus VR, a virtual-reality technology firm whose Oculus Rift gaming headset looks like a scuba mask with a metal plate bolted on the front. Companies love the idea of wearable technology because that constant data stream would be a bonanza for marketers, measuring what people are doing every second, even while they’re asleep.