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Notes from the silence by Alessandro Michele
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Notes from the silence by Alessandro Michele

Fashion ROME - 29 MARCH, 2020 - WE TURNED OUT TO BE SO SMALL These days of confinement, in a suspended time that we can hardly imagine as free, I try to ask myself what is the meaning of my actions. It’s a vital and urgent questioning for me, which demands a careful pause and a delicate listening. It’s trying to name, with the precision of love, my fears and my desires. It’s the possibility to face the aphasia that every trauma provokes. After all, the tragedy we are living is providing new reflections. We could never have imagined to feel so connected to life through a bond of trembling and heartbreaking tenderness. We could never have thought to reconnect, so deeply, with the fragility of our creatural destiny. Our need for reciprocity. We turned out to be so small. A miracle of nothing. Above all, we understood we went way too far. Our reckless actions have burned the house we live in. We conceived of ourselves as separated from nature, we felt cunning and almighty. We usurped nature, we dominated and wounded it. We incited Prometheus, and buried Pan. So much haughtiness made us lose our sisterhood with the butterflies, the flowers, the trees and the roots. So much outrageous greed made us lose the harmony and the care, the connection and the belonging. We ravaged the sanctity of life, neglectful of our being a species. At the end of the day, we were out of breath.     ROME - 7 APRIL, 2020 - ABOUT WHAT WE WOULD NOT WANT TO BE THE SAME AS IT WAS Now that the devastation caught us unprepared, we have to think about what we would not want to be the same as it was. Because the greatest risk, for our tomorrow, is abdicating our responsibility for a true and necessary discontinuity. Our history is littered with crises that taught us nothing. With economic collapses and social devastations that were tackled by imposing the same recipes from which they originated. With wounds that were not able to regenerate our minds. With a mourning that we were not able to live in order to change ourselves and our relationships. This crisis represents a fundamental test for us all. It’s a test, because there is sorrow, exertion, danger. But also because there is an evaluation and a judgment. Through sorrow we can look at our recent past with a critical eye. At our list of debts, misunderstandings, false notes, mistakes. At our missteps and recklessness. At the thunderous absence of thoughts we dared not express. This present, then, entrusts us with important responsibilities. Everyone can take on responsibilities, according to one’s role and actions, to play a part in a constellation of molecular and widespread changes. As for me, in my own small way, I feel the urgent need to change a lot of things in the way I work. I have always been professionally inclined to change, after all, bringing with me a natural and joyful creative restlessness. But this crisis has somehow amplified such transformative urgency, which can’t be deferred anymore.     ROME - 27 APRIL, 2020 THE MOTIVE OF A CHOICE The change I imagine involves the capacity to reconnect with the deepest reasons that inspired my entry into the fashion realm. I feel the need to renew a bond, purifying the essential by getting rid of the unnecessary. I crave the authentic motive of a choice. The full set of reasons that set me on my way. I understood, as time went by, that these motives have different names and different intensities, but they inevitably gather around the same urgency: the possibility to tell. This possibility, so ancestral and powerful, always gave me the chance to build expressive passages, to make room for that core of the unspeakable that shakes my dreams, to celebrate the nostalgia for the imperfection, to praise the beauty that blossoms from shape to shape. This possibility allows me to catch, with bites of infinity, the daily falling in love with the existence.   ROME - 2 MAY, 2020 - A NEW CREATIVE UNIVERSE I am fully realizing though, that this possibility to tell cannot be constrained by the tyranny of speed. Now we know that too furious was our doing, too insidious was our ride. In this renewed awareness, I feel the need of a different time, released from other-imposed deadlines that risk to humiliate creativity. A time that can stand still, awaiting; that can go through the gift of inactivity, slowly. A time that can bring forth the promise of an epiphany, and that can linger on the dream, on the play, on the prefiguration. A time that now, more than ever, is necessary to build new and more powerful narrations. That is why I decided to build a new path, away from deadlines that the industry consolidated and, above all, away from an excessive performativity that today really has no raison d’être. It’s a foundational act, audacious but necessary, that aims at building a new creative universe. A universe that essentialises itself in the subtraction of events and that oxygenates through the multiplication of sense.     ROME - 3 MAY, 2020 - THE SACRED POWER OF PRODUCING REVERBERATIONS Therefore, I will abandon the worn-out ritual of seasonalities and shows to regain a new cadence, closer to my expressive call. We will meet just twice a year, to share the chapters of a new story. Irregular, joyful and absolutely free chapters, which will be written blending rules and genres, feeding on new spaces, linguistic codes and communication platforms. And beyond. I would like to leave behind the paraphernalia of leitmotifs that colonized our prior world: cruise, pre-fall, spring-summer, fall-winter. I think these are stale and underfed words. Labels of an impersonal discourse that lost its meaning. Containers that progressively detached themselves from the life that generated them, losing touch with reality. I believe that we can build our tomorrow also starting from a renewed capacity of denomination. Here comes the desire to baptize our new encounters by naming them after a language that has marvelously ancient roots: classical music language. Accordingly, there will be symphonies, rhapsodies, madrigals, nocturnes, overtures, concerts and minuets in the constellation of my creative path. Music, after all, has the sacred power to produce reverberations and connections. It travels beyond the borders, reconnecting the fragility to the infinity.     ROME - 5 MAY, 2020 - COMMUNITY OF PURPOSE In this silence, that is a living thing, my listening embraces all the extraordinary people that I’m connected with. Recalibrating time, to set the pace at a human level, wants to be a promise of revived care towards this amazing community of purpose I proudly belong to. It’s my project, pro-jectum: the art of extending the existence in the future. A plural future, where “we” provides a foundation. A future that contains the hug that today we cannot give each other, but to which we will return with an expanded comprehension. With a herd understanding and recovered breath. It will be the time when we will learn to listen for the sound of the forest growing, at night.     ROME - 16 MAY, 2020 - IN THE THROES OF WHAT IS MISSING Now that we are still apart, my love for fashion burns. Our species, after all, is like that: we love like crazy in the throes of what is missing.     Images courtesy of GUCCI ROME - 29 MARCH, 2020 - WE TURNED OUT TO BE SO SMALL These days of confinement, in a suspended time that we can hardly imagine as free, I try to ask myself what is the meaning of my actions. It’s a vital and urgent questioning for me, which demands a careful pause and a delicate listening. It’s trying to name, with the precision of love, my fears and my desires. It’s the possibility to face the aphasia that every trauma provokes. After all, the tragedy we are living is providing new reflections. We could never have imagined to feel so connected to life through a bond of trembling and heartbreaking tenderness. We could never have thought to reconnect, so deeply, with the fragility of our creatural destiny. Our need for reciprocity. We turned out to be so small. A miracle of nothing. Above all, we understood we went way too far. Our reckless actions have burned the house we live in. We conceived of ourselves as separated from nature, we felt cunning and almighty. We usurped nature, we dominated and wounded it. We incited Prometheus, and buried Pan. So much haughtiness made us lose our sisterhood with the butterflies, the flowers, the trees and the roots. So much outrageous greed made us lose the harmony and the care, the connection and the belonging. We ravaged the sanctity of life, neglectful of our being a species. At the end of the day, we were out of breath.     ROME - 7 APRIL, 2020 - ABOUT WHAT WE WOULD NOT WANT TO BE THE SAME AS IT WAS Now that the devastation caught us unprepared, we have to think about what we would not want to be the same as it was. Because the greatest risk, for our tomorrow, is abdicating our responsibility for a true and necessary discontinuity. Our history is littered with crises that taught us nothing. With economic collapses and social devastations that were tackled by imposing the same recipes from which they originated. With wounds that were not able to regenerate our minds. With a mourning that we were not able to live in order to change ourselves and our relationships. This crisis represents a fundamental test for us all. It’s a test, because there is sorrow, exertion, danger. But also because there is an evaluation and a judgment. Through sorrow we can look at our recent past with a critical eye. At our list of debts, misunderstandings, false notes, mistakes. At our missteps and recklessness. At the thunderous absence of thoughts we dared not express. This present, then, entrusts us with important responsibilities. Everyone can take on responsibilities, according to one’s role and actions, to play a part in a constellation of molecular and widespread changes. As for me, in my own small way, I feel the urgent need to change a lot of things in the way I work. I have always been professionally inclined to change, after all, bringing with me a natural and joyful creative restlessness. But this crisis has somehow amplified such transformative urgency, which can’t be deferred anymore.     ROME - 27 APRIL, 2020 THE MOTIVE OF A CHOICE The change I imagine involves the capacity to reconnect with the deepest reasons that inspired my entry into the fashion realm. I feel the need to renew a bond, purifying the essential by getting rid of the unnecessary. I crave the authentic motive of a choice. The full set of reasons that set me on my way. I understood, as time went by, that these motives have different names and different intensities, but they inevitably gather around the same urgency: the possibility to tell. This possibility, so ancestral and powerful, always gave me the chance to build expressive passages, to make room for that core of the unspeakable that shakes my dreams, to celebrate the nostalgia for the imperfection, to praise the beauty that blossoms from shape to shape. This possibility allows me to catch, with bites of infinity, the daily falling in love with the existence.   ROME - 2 MAY, 2020 - A NEW CREATIVE UNIVERSE I am fully realizing though, that this possibility to tell cannot be constrained by the tyranny of speed. Now we know that too furious was our doing, too insidious was our ride. In this renewed awareness, I feel the need of a different time, released from other-imposed deadlines that risk to humiliate creativity. A time that can stand still, awaiting; that can go through the gift of inactivity, slowly. A time that can bring forth the promise of an epiphany, and that can linger on the dream, on the play, on the prefiguration. A time that now, more than ever, is necessary to build new and more powerful narrations. That is why I decided to build a new path, away from deadlines that the industry consolidated and, above all, away from an excessive performativity that today really has no raison d’être. It’s a foundational act, audacious but necessary, that aims at building a new creative universe. A universe that essentialises itself in the subtraction of events and that oxygenates through the multiplication of sense.     ROME - 3 MAY, 2020 - THE SACRED POWER OF PRODUCING REVERBERATIONS Therefore, I will abandon the worn-out ritual of seasonalities and shows to regain a new cadence, closer to my expressive call. We will meet just twice a year, to share the chapters of a new story. Irregular, joyful and absolutely free chapters, which will be written blending rules and genres, feeding on new spaces, linguistic codes and communication platforms. And beyond. I would like to leave behind the paraphernalia of leitmotifs that colonized our prior world: cruise, pre-fall, spring-summer, fall-winter. I think these are stale and underfed words. Labels of an impersonal discourse that lost its meaning. Containers that progressively detached themselves from the life that generated them, losing touch with reality. I believe that we can build our tomorrow also starting from a renewed capacity of denomination. Here comes the desire to baptize our new encounters by naming them after a language that has marvelously ancient roots: classical music language. Accordingly, there will be symphonies, rhapsodies, madrigals, nocturnes, overtures, concerts and minuets in the constellation of my creative path. Music, after all, has the sacred power to produce reverberations and connections. It travels beyond the borders, reconnecting the fragility to the infinity.     ROME - 5 MAY, 2020 - COMMUNITY OF PURPOSE In this silence, that is a living thing, my listening embraces all the extraordinary people that I’m connected with. Recalibrating time, to set the pace at a human level, wants to be a promise of revived care towards this amazing community of purpose I proudly belong to. It’s my project, pro-jectum: the art of extending the existence in the future. A plural future, where “we” provides a foundation. A future that contains the hug that today we cannot give each other, but to which we will return with an expanded comprehension. With a herd understanding and recovered breath. It will be the time when we will learn to listen for the sound of the forest growing, at night.     ROME - 16 MAY, 2020 - IN THE THROES OF WHAT IS MISSING Now that we are still apart, my love for fashion burns. Our species, after all, is like that: we love like crazy in the throes of what is missing.     Images courtesy of GUCCI

Christian Louboutin expands the Nude Collection for 2020
300

Christian Louboutin expands the Nude Collection for 2020

Accessories Widely regarded as a pioneering act in the world of fashion, the Nudes collection has always embodied the ever-present idea of diversity in Christian Louboutin’s designs. For the designer, Nude isn’t just a colour – it’s a concept. Originally launched in 2013 with five shades, the collection has steadily evolved into something much bigger, becoming an ode to inclusivity, regardless of gender, and a core part of the Maison’s values.        “The Nudes shoe doesn’t dress the leg but continues to undress it. The shoe disappears in favor of the silhouette of the leg, like an illusion. The leg is no longer wearing a shoe: it simply dissolves into a shoe and that’s what gives it its radiance.” -Christian Louboutin     From five shades to eight, the Nudes family is now bigger than ever, with Spring-Summer 2020 introducing new styles for women and for the first time ever, a selection of men’s pieces, including two unisex models. Designed to make the perfect companion for this year’s summer adventures, the first is the Pool Stud, its thick rubber soles and signature studs ideal for pool-side lounging. Back in the city, the Louis Jr low top sneaker keeps things chic with its pared back lines and sleek contours. Over on women’s, the Cheeky Point booty is sure to win hearts over with a mesh upper, patent toe cap and dainty bow, its ladylike appeal an elegant twist on the Nudes theme.      No collection would be complete without a range of bags for stashing those all-important essentials, and this year there’s something for everyone. Designed for both the masculine and the feminine wardrobe, you can always count on the Nude LoubiLab bag to provide style on-the-go with its signature studs and contrasting Louboutin red body strap. Broadening the offer further, three of the Maison’s most iconic women’s styles including the Elisa, have also been given the Nudes treatment.     Launching exclusively online worldwide from May 27th , the Nudes collection will be available on Christian Louboutin’s European and US online boutiques, as well as in the new boutique opening in mid-July in rue Saint-Honoré, in Paris. And believe us when we say, everyone will be welcome! Widely regarded as a pioneering act in the world of fashion, the Nudes collection has always embodied the ever-present idea of diversity in Christian Louboutin’s designs. For the designer, Nude isn’t just a colour – it’s a concept. Originally launched in 2013 with five shades, the collection has steadily evolved into something much bigger, becoming an ode to inclusivity, regardless of gender, and a core part of the Maison’s values.        “The Nudes shoe doesn’t dress the leg but continues to undress it. The shoe disappears in favor of the silhouette of the leg, like an illusion. The leg is no longer wearing a shoe: it simply dissolves into a shoe and that’s what gives it its radiance.” -Christian Louboutin     From five shades to eight, the Nudes family is now bigger than ever, with Spring-Summer 2020 introducing new styles for women and for the first time ever, a selection of men’s pieces, including two unisex models. Designed to make the perfect companion for this year’s summer adventures, the first is the Pool Stud, its thick rubber soles and signature studs ideal for pool-side lounging. Back in the city, the Louis Jr low top sneaker keeps things chic with its pared back lines and sleek contours. Over on women’s, the Cheeky Point booty is sure to win hearts over with a mesh upper, patent toe cap and dainty bow, its ladylike appeal an elegant twist on the Nudes theme.      No collection would be complete without a range of bags for stashing those all-important essentials, and this year there’s something for everyone. Designed for both the masculine and the feminine wardrobe, you can always count on the Nude LoubiLab bag to provide style on-the-go with its signature studs and contrasting Louboutin red body strap. Broadening the offer further, three of the Maison’s most iconic women’s styles including the Elisa, have also been given the Nudes treatment.     Launching exclusively online worldwide from May 27th , the Nudes collection will be available on Christian Louboutin’s European and US online boutiques, as well as in the new boutique opening in mid-July in rue Saint-Honoré, in Paris. And believe us when we say, everyone will be welcome!

At home with Alessandro Calzoni
301

At home with Alessandro Calzoni

Men   At home with Alessandro Calzoni, exclusively photographed by Zeb Daemen.   Who are you and what is your profession?   Who am I ahah, the most difficult question you can ask to a person. It reminds me a bit of the first days at university when in order to impress your classmates or the professor you had to come up with something cool, but at the end you always start with your name and conclude with a clumsy “that’s it ahah”.  Generally speaking I don’t like to define myself but I’ll give you few adjectives my closest friends used to describe me, should I consider that cheating ahahah? They see me as an honest person, a loyal one. Extremely stubborn and determined. Too altruist, I usually tend to not put myself first and yes, it can be good but it has its side effects.  What I can tell you from my side is that I’m a kind of a mixture between a strategic mind and an aesthete. This caused lot’s of trouble in my life but I’m so grateful to be who I am and to had to deal with this kind of a contrast. It shaped me, it pushed me to explore. I have started university 3 years later compared to my peers, I never believed in it’s entity, in it’s structure. I’m not saying that studying is not fundamental of course. It’s more a critique to the system. I come from a small village in Umbria, Italy, composed of 1000 souls maybe even less. I couldn’t find my way.  So at a certain point of my life, 6 years ago, also due to lot’s of health problems that were hitting my family, I decided to leave Italy, I needed to breath fresh air. I didn’t know a word of English. It was my first time taking a flight (I was 19) and I could have lost my hearing due to problems I had when I was a child, so I called my doctor few moths before and I said, “I have to take a flight to go to London”. Of course he was quite concerned but I decided to rick it and.. yeah it was quite painful for 4 days I could barely hear people talking. But that’s another long story. After years of attempts now I’m working at Startupbootcamp FashionTech in Milan while I’m attending my last year at university. I’m focusing on Marketing and Business Development and now you may ask yourself where’s creativity in all this and to reply to that question I will ask the help of a superior entity: Albert Einstein “Creativity is intelligence having fun”. I love what I do and considering that I’m just at the beginning I’m sure it will get better and better every day.      How do you think Covid-19 will affect the fashion industry both long-term and short-term?  How do you see the impact of Corona crisis on the general perception of fashion? Do you believe everything will just go back to normal after Covid-19, or how do you see it will be?   I guess there are already lot’s of people heavily expressing themselves on this topic, everyone from Fashion “experts” to politician trying to predict, trying to say something, but the funny thing is that nobody knows what the future will look like I’m not talking about weeks, moths I’m talking about seconds.  I don’t want to add another prediction or opinion on that pile.  I can maybe tell you what are my wishes, what I will try to sustain in the future through my work and my projects, what I believe could be a great ecosystem to live in. I was walking to meet a manager from Prada 2 year ago and I was listening to the words of Kate Raworth, professor at Oxford University, on a TED talk titled “A healthy economy should thrive not grow”.  That morning I understood what leader should do, what visionary leaders do. I understood how badly involved we are in this system built upon consumerism and false values. I understood how dependant we are from growth, financially, politically and socially speaking. I believe now we have the chance to restart from zero. Now that we are experiencing the cracks in our society. Now that we are rediscovering the human value. We should stop treating economy and finance as a science. We should stop depending on growth. We should choose a higher ambition, as Kate R. says: “humanity's 21st century challenge is clear: to meet the needs of all people within the means of this extraordinary, unique, living planet so that we and the rest of nature can thrive”. I strongly believe we need a financial, political and social innovation in order to overcome this structural dependency on growth and instead focus on finding the right balance between us and this planet.     How do you spend your Quarantine time and are you still able to create while being quarantined?   Before the lockdown started I moved back to my hometown, I was going through a though time personally and professionally speaking and I could have never stand the life in Milan. This months have been crazy. Work and my last exams are taking it all, but I promised myself that as soon as I finish my thesis I will restart to dedicate more time to my creative side and my body.  I kind of need it.      What is in your planning or was in your planning for this year and how will Covid-19 effect that?   Luckily, my plans didn’t change that much. Apart from the fact that I will have a digital graduation ceremony, nothing really changed. I’m trying to focus on what I have and thankfully I’m surrounded by nature and so when I have 10 free minutes I just get out and enjoy it.      What is your daily beauty routine like? And what beauty products you cannot go without?   Ahaha I guess you will be disappointed by this but, I do not have a specific beauty routine and I don’t use any product apart from lukewarm water 2/3 times a day to deterge my face. I have a close friend that works as beautician and well, she tried multiple times to give me advices and tips but.. still, I toil on.     What is the coolest new thing you have learnt since being quarantined and how did you learn it?   I don’t know if we can define it cool, but.. I’ll leave it to you to judge. As I was saying before, few months ago I started to face quite a though period, but though from my point of view doesn’t mean negative, it’s just part of the game of life.  In the past 4 years I have been sacrificing a lot. I never went on vacation and I didn’t get out on Friday nights just to have fun. It sounds surreal and you may not believe me but that’s what happened. I have dedicated every second I had to accomplish good results in my professional career, zeroing my personal life.  This past December I was quite exhausted, so I decided to spend 4 days with few friends and my former partner in Corvara in the Dolomites. I promised I wouldn’t have touched anything regarding work or university. So I did. It was good being there, but at the same time I felt more like a “spectator” of the scene instead of “character”. I wasn’t active, it wasn’t me. I wasn’t able to be silly, to be light. I was trapped in the cage of duty.  This and other events made me think a lot. …and to go back to your question I guess during this quarantine I’m learning how to balance my professional and personal life. I’m reshaping my way of intending success.  I’m defining what I would love my future to look like, but this time including also my personal life. I’m rethinking my way of approaching life.        Tell us something about yourself that isn't on your resume.   Mmmm I guess I have to think about this one. I’m really good at gardening ahaha. Since I was a child I’ve always been close to nature, I lived most of my childhood with my grandparents and they plunged me in their world that was composed for the 98% of agriculture.  My uncleenvy me so much because he says everything I plant, even a dry branch come to life ahah.  He doesn’t know the trick: I just exchange the almost dead wood with a new one after few weeks that nothing happens ahaha.     What's the first place you'd want to go when it's safe again to travel and go out of our homes and why there?   I guess I will not value the physical place that much.  I want to meet again with people I haven’t met in a while.  I also hope to meet a special person that lives a bit more far from my hometown.  Instead if we want to talk about places I want to visit in the future, I love to go and explore those places where nature is extreme, in colors, shapes and weather. I would love to visit Shiprock,  New Mexico – Wadi Rum, Jordan – the Namib desert.  But I guess I will have to wait a bit more for all this.     9. What is your favorite song at the moment and why? Do you have a playlist that you would like to share with us?   Few weeks ago I was writing the first part of my thesis and I bumped into an album from Milky Chance, called Mind the Moon. Since then I never stopped listening to it. Go check it out.      What is the first thing you like to do when you wake up, and last thing you like to do before going to bed?   First thing I do when I wake up, even before breakfast, I try to understand how I will split my time in relation to my to do list. So I take a peace of paper and I start to separate it in 3 columns, one is about university, another one about work and the third one is about my IG profile and everything that’s related to that.  But if I have to stick to the question “what I would LIKE to do..” everything changes: I would love to wake up, maybe close to someone special, eat something and then workout before the day starts. At night, before bed time, I usually dedicate what’s left of the day, so between 8.30 and 10.30, to my close friends. I’m not the most social person on earth even if I know lot’s of people I have the tendency to get quite close just with the chosen few ahah. These are the people who pushe me to do always better, the ones I’m working hard for, the once I would love to share the best and the wort of my entire life.       Have you ever been to Amsterdam? If yes, describe your experience of Amsterdam in one sentence.   Unfortunately not! But I would love to. Soooo.. I’ll wait for your invitation now.        What is your go-to work-out for staying in shape? What does working out mean to you?   It can have so many meanings. I believe it really depends on the mood and on the phase of the life you are in.  Usually for me it’s a mixture of personal aesthetic and a way to get distracted. Let’s say 80/20%.  I don’t enjoy it that much but I know it’s important in order to balance myself and given my nature I can’t stand my body falling apart. It’s been 4 years since the last time I worked out properly, consistently.     What is your favorite painting and has it inspired you for any of your work thus far?   I have discovered just 2 years ago this New York based artist: Leonardo Drew. I love his way of juxtaposing materials. It’s exactly what I usually try to express through my aesthetic.  I love everything that’s raw.        INSTAGRAM: @alessandrocalzoni    At home with Alessandro Calzoni, exclusively photographed by Zeb Daemen.   Who are you and what is your profession?   Who am I ahah, the most difficult question you can ask to a person. It reminds me a bit of the first days at university when in order to impress your classmates or the professor you had to come up with something cool, but at the end you always start with your name and conclude with a clumsy “that’s it ahah”.  Generally speaking I don’t like to define myself but I’ll give you few adjectives my closest friends used to describe me, should I consider that cheating ahahah? They see me as an honest person, a loyal one. Extremely stubborn and determined. Too altruist, I usually tend to not put myself first and yes, it can be good but it has its side effects.  What I can tell you from my side is that I’m a kind of a mixture between a strategic mind and an aesthete. This caused lot’s of trouble in my life but I’m so grateful to be who I am and to had to deal with this kind of a contrast. It shaped me, it pushed me to explore. I have started university 3 years later compared to my peers, I never believed in it’s entity, in it’s structure. I’m not saying that studying is not fundamental of course. It’s more a critique to the system. I come from a small village in Umbria, Italy, composed of 1000 souls maybe even less. I couldn’t find my way.  So at a certain point of my life, 6 years ago, also due to lot’s of health problems that were hitting my family, I decided to leave Italy, I needed to breath fresh air. I didn’t know a word of English. It was my first time taking a flight (I was 19) and I could have lost my hearing due to problems I had when I was a child, so I called my doctor few moths before and I said, “I have to take a flight to go to London”. Of course he was quite concerned but I decided to rick it and.. yeah it was quite painful for 4 days I could barely hear people talking. But that’s another long story. After years of attempts now I’m working at Startupbootcamp FashionTech in Milan while I’m attending my last year at university. I’m focusing on Marketing and Business Development and now you may ask yourself where’s creativity in all this and to reply to that question I will ask the help of a superior entity: Albert Einstein “Creativity is intelligence having fun”. I love what I do and considering that I’m just at the beginning I’m sure it will get better and better every day.      How do you think Covid-19 will affect the fashion industry both long-term and short-term?  How do you see the impact of Corona crisis on the general perception of fashion? Do you believe everything will just go back to normal after Covid-19, or how do you see it will be?   I guess there are already lot’s of people heavily expressing themselves on this topic, everyone from Fashion “experts” to politician trying to predict, trying to say something, but the funny thing is that nobody knows what the future will look like I’m not talking about weeks, moths I’m talking about seconds.  I don’t want to add another prediction or opinion on that pile.  I can maybe tell you what are my wishes, what I will try to sustain in the future through my work and my projects, what I believe could be a great ecosystem to live in. I was walking to meet a manager from Prada 2 year ago and I was listening to the words of Kate Raworth, professor at Oxford University, on a TED talk titled “A healthy economy should thrive not grow”.  That morning I understood what leader should do, what visionary leaders do. I understood how badly involved we are in this system built upon consumerism and false values. I understood how dependant we are from growth, financially, politically and socially speaking. I believe now we have the chance to restart from zero. Now that we are experiencing the cracks in our society. Now that we are rediscovering the human value. We should stop treating economy and finance as a science. We should stop depending on growth. We should choose a higher ambition, as Kate R. says: “humanity's 21st century challenge is clear: to meet the needs of all people within the means of this extraordinary, unique, living planet so that we and the rest of nature can thrive”. I strongly believe we need a financial, political and social innovation in order to overcome this structural dependency on growth and instead focus on finding the right balance between us and this planet.     How do you spend your Quarantine time and are you still able to create while being quarantined?   Before the lockdown started I moved back to my hometown, I was going through a though time personally and professionally speaking and I could have never stand the life in Milan. This months have been crazy. Work and my last exams are taking it all, but I promised myself that as soon as I finish my thesis I will restart to dedicate more time to my creative side and my body.  I kind of need it.      What is in your planning or was in your planning for this year and how will Covid-19 effect that?   Luckily, my plans didn’t change that much. Apart from the fact that I will have a digital graduation ceremony, nothing really changed. I’m trying to focus on what I have and thankfully I’m surrounded by nature and so when I have 10 free minutes I just get out and enjoy it.      What is your daily beauty routine like? And what beauty products you cannot go without?   Ahaha I guess you will be disappointed by this but, I do not have a specific beauty routine and I don’t use any product apart from lukewarm water 2/3 times a day to deterge my face. I have a close friend that works as beautician and well, she tried multiple times to give me advices and tips but.. still, I toil on.     What is the coolest new thing you have learnt since being quarantined and how did you learn it?   I don’t know if we can define it cool, but.. I’ll leave it to you to judge. As I was saying before, few months ago I started to face quite a though period, but though from my point of view doesn’t mean negative, it’s just part of the game of life.  In the past 4 years I have been sacrificing a lot. I never went on vacation and I didn’t get out on Friday nights just to have fun. It sounds surreal and you may not believe me but that’s what happened. I have dedicated every second I had to accomplish good results in my professional career, zeroing my personal life.  This past December I was quite exhausted, so I decided to spend 4 days with few friends and my former partner in Corvara in the Dolomites. I promised I wouldn’t have touched anything regarding work or university. So I did. It was good being there, but at the same time I felt more like a “spectator” of the scene instead of “character”. I wasn’t active, it wasn’t me. I wasn’t able to be silly, to be light. I was trapped in the cage of duty.  This and other events made me think a lot. …and to go back to your question I guess during this quarantine I’m learning how to balance my professional and personal life. I’m reshaping my way of intending success.  I’m defining what I would love my future to look like, but this time including also my personal life. I’m rethinking my way of approaching life.        Tell us something about yourself that isn't on your resume.   Mmmm I guess I have to think about this one. I’m really good at gardening ahaha. Since I was a child I’ve always been close to nature, I lived most of my childhood with my grandparents and they plunged me in their world that was composed for the 98% of agriculture.  My uncleenvy me so much because he says everything I plant, even a dry branch come to life ahah.  He doesn’t know the trick: I just exchange the almost dead wood with a new one after few weeks that nothing happens ahaha.     What's the first place you'd want to go when it's safe again to travel and go out of our homes and why there?   I guess I will not value the physical place that much.  I want to meet again with people I haven’t met in a while.  I also hope to meet a special person that lives a bit more far from my hometown.  Instead if we want to talk about places I want to visit in the future, I love to go and explore those places where nature is extreme, in colors, shapes and weather. I would love to visit Shiprock,  New Mexico – Wadi Rum, Jordan – the Namib desert.  But I guess I will have to wait a bit more for all this.     9. What is your favorite song at the moment and why? Do you have a playlist that you would like to share with us?   Few weeks ago I was writing the first part of my thesis and I bumped into an album from Milky Chance, called Mind the Moon. Since then I never stopped listening to it. Go check it out.      What is the first thing you like to do when you wake up, and last thing you like to do before going to bed?   First thing I do when I wake up, even before breakfast, I try to understand how I will split my time in relation to my to do list. So I take a peace of paper and I start to separate it in 3 columns, one is about university, another one about work and the third one is about my IG profile and everything that’s related to that.  But if I have to stick to the question “what I would LIKE to do..” everything changes: I would love to wake up, maybe close to someone special, eat something and then workout before the day starts. At night, before bed time, I usually dedicate what’s left of the day, so between 8.30 and 10.30, to my close friends. I’m not the most social person on earth even if I know lot’s of people I have the tendency to get quite close just with the chosen few ahah. These are the people who pushe me to do always better, the ones I’m working hard for, the once I would love to share the best and the wort of my entire life.       Have you ever been to Amsterdam? If yes, describe your experience of Amsterdam in one sentence.   Unfortunately not! But I would love to. Soooo.. I’ll wait for your invitation now.        What is your go-to work-out for staying in shape? What does working out mean to you?   It can have so many meanings. I believe it really depends on the mood and on the phase of the life you are in.  Usually for me it’s a mixture of personal aesthetic and a way to get distracted. Let’s say 80/20%.  I don’t enjoy it that much but I know it’s important in order to balance myself and given my nature I can’t stand my body falling apart. It’s been 4 years since the last time I worked out properly, consistently.     What is your favorite painting and has it inspired you for any of your work thus far?   I have discovered just 2 years ago this New York based artist: Leonardo Drew. I love his way of juxtaposing materials. It’s exactly what I usually try to express through my aesthetic.  I love everything that’s raw.        INSTAGRAM: @alessandrocalzoni 

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At home with McKenna Hellam
298

At home with McKenna Hellam

Fashion At home with McKenna Hellam at IMG, exclusively photographed by Xavier Avery.     Who are you  and what is your profession?   I am mckenna Hellam, a typical southern girl next door. I also am an independent business woman that is in fashion marketing by playing dress up!   How do you think Covid-19 will affect the fashion industry both long-term and short-term?  How do you see the impact of Corona crisis on the general perception of fashion? Do you believe everything will just go back to normal after Covid-19, or how do you see it will be?   I think things in th fashion world will change and lead more toward social media and creative type shoots from a distance. Face masks will become a fashion accessory for sure! I think the world return to a new normal-I’m not sure what that will look like but I hope the distancing rules lighten some, I’m going to an aunt and I want to be there for everything!     How do you spend your Quarantine time and are you still able to create while being quarantined?   I have been spending my time quarantined with my best friend and my family. Ive been able to do a few FaceTime photoshoots! While they are a great way to still create, they don't compare to shooting in person.      What is your first memory with fashion? And how did you start modeling?   My first memory of fashion is playing dress up in my mom and older sisters clothes. Especially trying on their heels if they had any.     What is your daily beauty routine like? And what beauty products you cannot go without?   My beauty routine is fairly simple. I wake up wash my face, moisturize, and put sunscreen on. Sometimes ill put makeup on for something to do. I wash my face at night and then moisturize. If I'm feeling like wanting to do a little more I'll put on some type of face mask.     What is the coolest new thing you have learnt since being quarantined and how did you learn it?   In quarantine I have kinda learned how to do a headstand. I learned by watching someones video on instagram and just kept practicing. I'm still not very good at it yet.      Tell us something about yourself that isn't on your resume.    I can do voices, especially a really good stitch impersonation.     What's the first place you'd want to go when it's safe again to travel and go out of our homes and why there?   Back to my apartment in Brooklyn. I'd go back there because I'm starting to miss NYC and my comfortable bed!     What is your favorite song at the moment and why? Do you have a playlist that you would like to share with us?    One of my favorite songs at the moment is Freakin' Out On The Interstate by Briston Maroney. I just love the way it sounds and it's just super cute. I have a few playlist on Spotify of my favorite songs and artists!     What is the first thing you like to do when you wake up, and last thing you like to do before going to bed?    The first thing I like to do when I wake up is make coffee! Before bed I like to try and read a book!     Have you ever been to Amsterdam? If yes, describe your experience of Amsterdam in one sentence.   I have been to Amsterdam a couple of times but unfortunately it was just a fly into a job then leave right after, but I definitely want to return and explore it more!     What is your favorite painting and has it inspired you for any of your work thus far?   My favorite painting is the creation of man by Michaelangelo. Soft colors and the simple suggestion of human touch and beginning of time with way bigger implications.     What made you start creating masks with your mother for the nurses and everyone on the front lines?    We started creating masks because my mom came home from her doctors office where she works and said that they were have to reuse masks and protective gear. So, we took it upon ourselves to help and makes some masks to temporarily use! At home with McKenna Hellam at IMG, exclusively photographed by Xavier Avery.     Who are you  and what is your profession?   I am mckenna Hellam, a typical southern girl next door. I also am an independent business woman that is in fashion marketing by playing dress up!   How do you think Covid-19 will affect the fashion industry both long-term and short-term?  How do you see the impact of Corona crisis on the general perception of fashion? Do you believe everything will just go back to normal after Covid-19, or how do you see it will be?   I think things in th fashion world will change and lead more toward social media and creative type shoots from a distance. Face masks will become a fashion accessory for sure! I think the world return to a new normal-I’m not sure what that will look like but I hope the distancing rules lighten some, I’m going to an aunt and I want to be there for everything!     How do you spend your Quarantine time and are you still able to create while being quarantined?   I have been spending my time quarantined with my best friend and my family. Ive been able to do a few FaceTime photoshoots! While they are a great way to still create, they don't compare to shooting in person.      What is your first memory with fashion? And how did you start modeling?   My first memory of fashion is playing dress up in my mom and older sisters clothes. Especially trying on their heels if they had any.     What is your daily beauty routine like? And what beauty products you cannot go without?   My beauty routine is fairly simple. I wake up wash my face, moisturize, and put sunscreen on. Sometimes ill put makeup on for something to do. I wash my face at night and then moisturize. If I'm feeling like wanting to do a little more I'll put on some type of face mask.     What is the coolest new thing you have learnt since being quarantined and how did you learn it?   In quarantine I have kinda learned how to do a headstand. I learned by watching someones video on instagram and just kept practicing. I'm still not very good at it yet.      Tell us something about yourself that isn't on your resume.    I can do voices, especially a really good stitch impersonation.     What's the first place you'd want to go when it's safe again to travel and go out of our homes and why there?   Back to my apartment in Brooklyn. I'd go back there because I'm starting to miss NYC and my comfortable bed!     What is your favorite song at the moment and why? Do you have a playlist that you would like to share with us?    One of my favorite songs at the moment is Freakin' Out On The Interstate by Briston Maroney. I just love the way it sounds and it's just super cute. I have a few playlist on Spotify of my favorite songs and artists!     What is the first thing you like to do when you wake up, and last thing you like to do before going to bed?    The first thing I like to do when I wake up is make coffee! Before bed I like to try and read a book!     Have you ever been to Amsterdam? If yes, describe your experience of Amsterdam in one sentence.   I have been to Amsterdam a couple of times but unfortunately it was just a fly into a job then leave right after, but I definitely want to return and explore it more!     What is your favorite painting and has it inspired you for any of your work thus far?   My favorite painting is the creation of man by Michaelangelo. Soft colors and the simple suggestion of human touch and beginning of time with way bigger implications.     What made you start creating masks with your mother for the nurses and everyone on the front lines?    We started creating masks because my mom came home from her doctors office where she works and said that they were have to reuse masks and protective gear. So, we took it upon ourselves to help and makes some masks to temporarily use!

#ProudInMyCalvins
297

#ProudInMyCalvins

Fashion Pride isn’t just a month, it’s a year-round celebration.   For Pride 2020, Calvin Klein will have an ‘always on’ approach. As brands continue to saturate Pride, we aim to break throughthe rainbow clutterwith an authenticcampaign that engages, inspires and supports conversion through a multi-channelprogram. They are excited to launch #PROUDINMYCALVINS together with an authentic, personal and motivating year-round storytelling. #PROUDINMYCALVINS   CALVIN KLEIN is excited to closely collaborate with the LGBTQIA+ community highlighting individuals who are writing their own story and reshaping the industry in their own right.     CALVIN KLEIN’s latest campaign #PROUDINMYCALVINS, is a celebration of self-love and identities across the gender spectrum. It encourages unfiltered self-expression and embracing each person’s interests, quirks, passions, personalities, flaws, beauty, sexuality, gender, and pride.     The campaign features many cool  talents: Pablo Vittar, Chella Man, Mary V, Reece King, Jari Jones, Gia Woods, Tommy Dorfman, Mina Gerges, Ama Elsesser.   Shop the collection now on calvinklein.nl - https://www.calvinklein.nl/pride   “Calvin Klein, Inc. partners with a consortium of LGBTQ+ organizations around the world both in celebration of its Pride collection, and in an ongoing capacity.” Pride isn’t just a month, it’s a year-round celebration.   For Pride 2020, Calvin Klein will have an ‘always on’ approach. As brands continue to saturate Pride, we aim to break throughthe rainbow clutterwith an authenticcampaign that engages, inspires and supports conversion through a multi-channelprogram. They are excited to launch #PROUDINMYCALVINS together with an authentic, personal and motivating year-round storytelling. #PROUDINMYCALVINS   CALVIN KLEIN is excited to closely collaborate with the LGBTQIA+ community highlighting individuals who are writing their own story and reshaping the industry in their own right.     CALVIN KLEIN’s latest campaign #PROUDINMYCALVINS, is a celebration of self-love and identities across the gender spectrum. It encourages unfiltered self-expression and embracing each person’s interests, quirks, passions, personalities, flaws, beauty, sexuality, gender, and pride.     The campaign features many cool  talents: Pablo Vittar, Chella Man, Mary V, Reece King, Jari Jones, Gia Woods, Tommy Dorfman, Mina Gerges, Ama Elsesser.   Shop the collection now on calvinklein.nl - https://www.calvinklein.nl/pride   “Calvin Klein, Inc. partners with a consortium of LGBTQ+ organizations around the world both in celebration of its Pride collection, and in an ongoing capacity.”

Gucci announces a partnership with the world's favorite mobile tennis game: Tennis Clash.
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Gucci announces a partnership with the world's favorite mobile tennis game: Tennis Clash.

Things to do Created by Wildlife, Tennis Clash is the closest mobile game to the real experience of playing tennis. Through this new collaboration, starting from June18th, players will discover exclusive Gucci outfits and be able to participate in a special Gucci tournament.   In an innovative move, Tennis Clash fans will also be able to buy for themselves outfits that mirror those on screen for themselves from the Gucci website, which brings the virtual and real worlds together.   Wildlife will create outfits for two characters based on Gucci designs; there will be two looks for ‘Diana’, and two for ‘Jonah’, which players can adopt for these virtual competitors. The special Gucci wardrobe will include shoes, socks, headgear, and clothing. From the Tennis Clash game, players will be allowed to directly land on Gucci.com where they will be able to discover and buy the garments.     Users will be able to play in a new in-game tournament branded as the Gucci Open. Tournaments are a limited-time game mode where you compete against other players to score the most points in a series of matches. To complete the experience, during these tournaments, players will also be able to use a new Gucci branded tennis string. Tennis Clash is consistently featured in the Top 5 Sports Games on the App Store and was recently selected as one of Google Play’s ‘5 Best Competitive Games of 2019’. Tennis Clash is available for download on the App Store and Google Play.   The House already pioneered the relationship between the world of fashion and that of gaming through Gucci Arcade, a section of the Gucci App launched in July 2019 which is dedicated to games – such as Gucci Bee, Gucci Ace and Gucci Grip, Gucci Lips, GG Psychedelic and Gucci Mascara Hunt - that allow users to play with the brand’s characters. Created by Wildlife, Tennis Clash is the closest mobile game to the real experience of playing tennis. Through this new collaboration, starting from June18th, players will discover exclusive Gucci outfits and be able to participate in a special Gucci tournament.   In an innovative move, Tennis Clash fans will also be able to buy for themselves outfits that mirror those on screen for themselves from the Gucci website, which brings the virtual and real worlds together.   Wildlife will create outfits for two characters based on Gucci designs; there will be two looks for ‘Diana’, and two for ‘Jonah’, which players can adopt for these virtual competitors. The special Gucci wardrobe will include shoes, socks, headgear, and clothing. From the Tennis Clash game, players will be allowed to directly land on Gucci.com where they will be able to discover and buy the garments.     Users will be able to play in a new in-game tournament branded as the Gucci Open. Tournaments are a limited-time game mode where you compete against other players to score the most points in a series of matches. To complete the experience, during these tournaments, players will also be able to use a new Gucci branded tennis string. Tennis Clash is consistently featured in the Top 5 Sports Games on the App Store and was recently selected as one of Google Play’s ‘5 Best Competitive Games of 2019’. Tennis Clash is available for download on the App Store and Google Play.   The House already pioneered the relationship between the world of fashion and that of gaming through Gucci Arcade, a section of the Gucci App launched in July 2019 which is dedicated to games – such as Gucci Bee, Gucci Ace and Gucci Grip, Gucci Lips, GG Psychedelic and Gucci Mascara Hunt - that allow users to play with the brand’s characters.

In conversation Tarek Müller
292

In conversation Tarek Müller

Fashion Exclusive interview with Tarek Müller​ Co-founder and Co-CEO of ABOUT YOU.     What is the key message ABOUT YOU wants to deliver?   When we launched ABOUT YOU in Germany five years ago, fashion discovery happened offline: while taking a stroll through the streets for classic window-shopping. Most online shops were just clickable warehouses. We started with our vision: create the first online destination, where you can discover fashion, get inspired and find relevant products that really fit your style – no matter, how small the screen is. Online shopping should be fun and inspiring, and more than just clicking an item into a shopping bag. ABOUT YOU is the first fashion online shop that knows exactly what the customer wants and transfers the inspirational window-shopping experience to ecommerce. The user-friendly shopping app offers a complete webshop experience for the 18–49 olds, therefore, 75 per cent of the purchases are made via the mobile app.     What is the best part of your role within ABOUT YOU?   Being surrounded by great people – that is what makes me happy at ABOUT YOU. We have many great people in our team and doing business is always more fun if you’re surrounded by great and smart people while working on something you really believe in. I always feel like I’m living my dream. I’m very blessed to do what I do and sometimes I feel like it’s a hobby which became a job for me.       How does ABOUT YOU distinguish itself from other big online retailers?   ABOUT YOU is a fashion online shop with an award-winning app that offers customers an assortment of more than 300.000 products from more than 1.500 international brands. We also offer free shipping and 100 days for return, which we know always thrills customers. Moreover, an important feature of our website and app is the personalization. The more you use ABOUT YOU, the more personalized your feed will be, in terms of brands, colors, materials or price range. Additionally, ABOUT YOU inspires our customers with a lot of inspirational content and outfits from international celebrities and influencers.      How old were you when you first started a company and what inspired you to start a business at such young age?   It wasn’t really planned. With 13, I started with creating websites and earning money with putting up ads. When I was 16 years old, I started my first online shop selling poker suitcases and this was pretty easy actually, I did it in my childhood room. I used to buy goods and pack them on my own. I was also doing the delivery – by going to the post office on my bike – so it was pretty small in the beginning.        If you look back at your career, what are you most proud of so far?   I think the main challenge was finding the right people to work with, especially in the beginning. You never do anything alone, you need to have a good team by your side for having success. Recruiting the best people without being well-known as start-up in the very beginning is a very hard challenge.       Tell us something about you that is not on your resume (secret skill, a hobby, fun fact)   My secret super power is, that I can instantly fall asleep in basically every situation at any time.          How do you spend your time in quarantine and how do you stay motivated?   Most of my day, I work as usual and that takes most of my time. Due to many virtual meetings, it isn’t hard for me to stay motivated. Despite that I eat healthier and even cook at home.       What was your first reaction when you became aware of Covid-19 and how did ABOUT YOU adapt to the impact of this virus?       At the beginning in February, I thought that the Corona crisis would not hit Europe as hard as China, however, I was proven wrong. We reacted very quickly however and changed to home office with the whole company already in the beginning of March, before the official governmental restrictions. That worked very well and the team performs great at home. Of course, we had to cancel all our events this year and focus even more on digital marketing and content as we did already before.        How do you think Covid-19 will affect the fashion industry both long-term and short-term?  I believe that it results in a faster and bigger increase of the share of online vs. stationary fashion retail.       What was the main reason for ABOUT YOU to distribute facemasks and what are the first reactions of consumers?   The trigger was that my colleague Sebastian Betz, co-founder and co-CEO of About You, had seen about four weeks ago that face masks are sold at Ebay and Amazon for sometimes 50 euros each. We then asked our manufacturer what a face mask would cost in production and found out that the production costs are between one and five euros - depending on the quality and printing. The offers on Ebay and Amazon seemed to us like abnormal surcharges and crisis usury. There was no mandatory masking in Germany, but it was already clear that the demand for face masks would be relatively high. We thought it wasn’t right that people try to take advantage of the crisis and people's fear and to make a profit with that what goes far beyond normal margins. That is why we decided to change our own production to face masks. We asked our suppliers and brand partners so that we can offer the masks at cost-price. In doing so, we wanted to counteract usury in the crisis and ensure that such people were deprived of their business basis. Regarding the customers, we can say that we are not doing any marketing at all, because we are actually already seeing massive sales through word-of-mouth propaganda. There were times when we sold more than 100.000 masks per hour without spending an euro on marketing. I would claim that we are probably Europe's largest face mask retailer and probably Europe's cheapest online mask retailer, only by selling it at cost-price.       Which steps does ABOUT YOU plan to make in the future?   We are leading the growing market of online fashion discovery. Until 2020/1 we will reach the following goals: become one of the top 3 fashion players in Europe, generate more than 2.5 billion € GMV per annum and to be present in more than ten European countries. Furthermore sustainability in e-commerce and the fashion industry is a very serious topic and we want to be part of the solution, not a part of the problem. We take a lot of measures in this field. To mention just three: We try to optimize our whole value chain towards more sustainability and fewer emissions, and we also recently changed our packaging to material that can be fully recycled. Secondly, we want to push the circular economy by starting to sell second-hand products. In the long-term we also plan to make it easier for our customers to return old clothes they’re not interested in anymore, to basically complete the circle. The third aspect is promoting products that have been sustainably produced. So if customers are looking for new items we want to push products that they can wear with a clean conscience, and we’ll be doing that by giving these products a much higher visibility.     WEBSITE: aboutyou.nl   INSTAGRAM: @aboutyou_nl Exclusive interview with Tarek Müller​ Co-founder and Co-CEO of ABOUT YOU.     What is the key message ABOUT YOU wants to deliver?   When we launched ABOUT YOU in Germany five years ago, fashion discovery happened offline: while taking a stroll through the streets for classic window-shopping. Most online shops were just clickable warehouses. We started with our vision: create the first online destination, where you can discover fashion, get inspired and find relevant products that really fit your style – no matter, how small the screen is. Online shopping should be fun and inspiring, and more than just clicking an item into a shopping bag. ABOUT YOU is the first fashion online shop that knows exactly what the customer wants and transfers the inspirational window-shopping experience to ecommerce. The user-friendly shopping app offers a complete webshop experience for the 18–49 olds, therefore, 75 per cent of the purchases are made via the mobile app.     What is the best part of your role within ABOUT YOU?   Being surrounded by great people – that is what makes me happy at ABOUT YOU. We have many great people in our team and doing business is always more fun if you’re surrounded by great and smart people while working on something you really believe in. I always feel like I’m living my dream. I’m very blessed to do what I do and sometimes I feel like it’s a hobby which became a job for me.       How does ABOUT YOU distinguish itself from other big online retailers?   ABOUT YOU is a fashion online shop with an award-winning app that offers customers an assortment of more than 300.000 products from more than 1.500 international brands. We also offer free shipping and 100 days for return, which we know always thrills customers. Moreover, an important feature of our website and app is the personalization. The more you use ABOUT YOU, the more personalized your feed will be, in terms of brands, colors, materials or price range. Additionally, ABOUT YOU inspires our customers with a lot of inspirational content and outfits from international celebrities and influencers.      How old were you when you first started a company and what inspired you to start a business at such young age?   It wasn’t really planned. With 13, I started with creating websites and earning money with putting up ads. When I was 16 years old, I started my first online shop selling poker suitcases and this was pretty easy actually, I did it in my childhood room. I used to buy goods and pack them on my own. I was also doing the delivery – by going to the post office on my bike – so it was pretty small in the beginning.        If you look back at your career, what are you most proud of so far?   I think the main challenge was finding the right people to work with, especially in the beginning. You never do anything alone, you need to have a good team by your side for having success. Recruiting the best people without being well-known as start-up in the very beginning is a very hard challenge.       Tell us something about you that is not on your resume (secret skill, a hobby, fun fact)   My secret super power is, that I can instantly fall asleep in basically every situation at any time.          How do you spend your time in quarantine and how do you stay motivated?   Most of my day, I work as usual and that takes most of my time. Due to many virtual meetings, it isn’t hard for me to stay motivated. Despite that I eat healthier and even cook at home.       What was your first reaction when you became aware of Covid-19 and how did ABOUT YOU adapt to the impact of this virus?       At the beginning in February, I thought that the Corona crisis would not hit Europe as hard as China, however, I was proven wrong. We reacted very quickly however and changed to home office with the whole company already in the beginning of March, before the official governmental restrictions. That worked very well and the team performs great at home. Of course, we had to cancel all our events this year and focus even more on digital marketing and content as we did already before.        How do you think Covid-19 will affect the fashion industry both long-term and short-term?  I believe that it results in a faster and bigger increase of the share of online vs. stationary fashion retail.       What was the main reason for ABOUT YOU to distribute facemasks and what are the first reactions of consumers?   The trigger was that my colleague Sebastian Betz, co-founder and co-CEO of About You, had seen about four weeks ago that face masks are sold at Ebay and Amazon for sometimes 50 euros each. We then asked our manufacturer what a face mask would cost in production and found out that the production costs are between one and five euros - depending on the quality and printing. The offers on Ebay and Amazon seemed to us like abnormal surcharges and crisis usury. There was no mandatory masking in Germany, but it was already clear that the demand for face masks would be relatively high. We thought it wasn’t right that people try to take advantage of the crisis and people's fear and to make a profit with that what goes far beyond normal margins. That is why we decided to change our own production to face masks. We asked our suppliers and brand partners so that we can offer the masks at cost-price. In doing so, we wanted to counteract usury in the crisis and ensure that such people were deprived of their business basis. Regarding the customers, we can say that we are not doing any marketing at all, because we are actually already seeing massive sales through word-of-mouth propaganda. There were times when we sold more than 100.000 masks per hour without spending an euro on marketing. I would claim that we are probably Europe's largest face mask retailer and probably Europe's cheapest online mask retailer, only by selling it at cost-price.       Which steps does ABOUT YOU plan to make in the future?   We are leading the growing market of online fashion discovery. Until 2020/1 we will reach the following goals: become one of the top 3 fashion players in Europe, generate more than 2.5 billion € GMV per annum and to be present in more than ten European countries. Furthermore sustainability in e-commerce and the fashion industry is a very serious topic and we want to be part of the solution, not a part of the problem. We take a lot of measures in this field. To mention just three: We try to optimize our whole value chain towards more sustainability and fewer emissions, and we also recently changed our packaging to material that can be fully recycled. Secondly, we want to push the circular economy by starting to sell second-hand products. In the long-term we also plan to make it easier for our customers to return old clothes they’re not interested in anymore, to basically complete the circle. The third aspect is promoting products that have been sustainably produced. So if customers are looking for new items we want to push products that they can wear with a clean conscience, and we’ll be doing that by giving these products a much higher visibility.     WEBSITE: aboutyou.nl   INSTAGRAM: @aboutyou_nl

In conversation with Rodney Lam
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In conversation with Rodney Lam

Fashion Special  exclusive interview with Rodney Lam.   Who are you  and what do you do?   Wow, You guys aren’t saving the difficult question for last. I always struggle to tell people who I am, or what I do, because I don’t know where to start. In the first conversation I might tell them I’m a serial entrepreneur. Later I might tell them about Daily Paper. Then that person asks me: did you make a movie? To which I confess that I produced, wrote and played the lead in my own movie. I guess, I take my inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci. He was an artist, engineer, inventor and a scholar. I think he just did what he loved with the people he liked. And to me that’s a great philosophy to live by.      How do you think Covid-19 will affect the fashion industry both long-term and short-term?  How do you see the impact of Corona crisis on the general perception of fashion? Do you believe everything will just go back to normal after Covid-19, or how do you see it will be?    In the short-term it will be very hard for some Brands to survive. If they were already struggling this could be the nail in the coffin. But a lot of companies reinvented themselves during this crisis. Like people, business also had time to think about who they are. Some redesigned their collection; others changed their marketing strategy; and we all got a lot greener. Let’s hope that we don’t go back to normal. We owe it to ourselves, our customers, and last but not least, to the environment to be better.       What is the coolest new thing you have learnt since being quarantined and how did you learn it?   People need less management than we assume. As managers we like to think the work stops without our direct involvement. However, workers can we very effective on their own. Working from a distance forced us to look at performance and it made other things like attendance and effort less important.      What is your favorite painting/work of art and has it inspired you for any of your work thus far?   I don’t have a specific artist or work that directly inspires me. I like the playfulness of Kaws. And especially the effect it has on fashion. I get my inspiration from music. At the Daily Paper Office, we listen to a lot of hip-hop. But in my home office I listen to Ludovico Einaudi. It really doesn’t matter if I’m crunching numbers or writing a script. It gives me the focus I need.   What has been longtime dream of yours? After already achieving so much.    I have two dreams that I still want to achieve. I hope that I will see space tourism become a real thing. I would love to go into space and see the earth from a distance. And the second thing I really want to do is build a successful movie franchise.      As a fan and a regular customer of Daily Paper, I would love to know what is in store for DP next, besides opening stores in Amsterdam, New York and London?  We’ve recently started the Unite Hub: https://www.dailypaperclothing.com/pages/unite-overview   A place where we share our inspiration online with our community. This was a great success from the beginning. It would be great to see that grow in the near future.       How do you see your entrepreneurship as a way to make difference in society?   It’s important to me to think about the legacy of what we are building. How do we change our society to give our next generations the fundamental chances that we had to work very hard for? To me it isn’t enough to inspire. I want to facilitate people achieving their dreams.     What is your advice to young entrepreneurs who are starting their own business ventures? Be patient my young padawan. Don’t be in a hurry to grow your company too fast. Work a solid foundation first. Don’t overestimate what you can do in a year. But also, don’t underestimate what you can do in five years. So instead of making a plan for a year, make a plan for five years. Think tall, start small.   What makes a successful business in your own words?   A successful company is based on a good and healthy cashflow. If you have a big company without profit or even operating on a loss, you’ll be stressed all the time. And if you only have profit on paper but not in your account, that’s even more frustrating. A friend just gave me the book: Scaling up from Vern Harnish. It will tell you everything you need to know about cashflow. My mentor always said: You keep the profit; I’ll take the cash.      Tell us something about yourself that isn't on your resume.   A lot of people are shocked when they hear I used to be a Pastor. I preached for fifteen years. And did a lot of personal coaching. I still use this in my management style. My objective is always to help other achieve their goals in business or their personal lives. The fastest way for your company to grow is to nurture employees and help them grow first.     Photo credits: Mark Bolk   You can follow Rodney on INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/rodneylam/ Special  exclusive interview with Rodney Lam.   Who are you  and what do you do?   Wow, You guys aren’t saving the difficult question for last. I always struggle to tell people who I am, or what I do, because I don’t know where to start. In the first conversation I might tell them I’m a serial entrepreneur. Later I might tell them about Daily Paper. Then that person asks me: did you make a movie? To which I confess that I produced, wrote and played the lead in my own movie. I guess, I take my inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci. He was an artist, engineer, inventor and a scholar. I think he just did what he loved with the people he liked. And to me that’s a great philosophy to live by.      How do you think Covid-19 will affect the fashion industry both long-term and short-term?  How do you see the impact of Corona crisis on the general perception of fashion? Do you believe everything will just go back to normal after Covid-19, or how do you see it will be?    In the short-term it will be very hard for some Brands to survive. If they were already struggling this could be the nail in the coffin. But a lot of companies reinvented themselves during this crisis. Like people, business also had time to think about who they are. Some redesigned their collection; others changed their marketing strategy; and we all got a lot greener. Let’s hope that we don’t go back to normal. We owe it to ourselves, our customers, and last but not least, to the environment to be better.       What is the coolest new thing you have learnt since being quarantined and how did you learn it?   People need less management than we assume. As managers we like to think the work stops without our direct involvement. However, workers can we very effective on their own. Working from a distance forced us to look at performance and it made other things like attendance and effort less important.      What is your favorite painting/work of art and has it inspired you for any of your work thus far?   I don’t have a specific artist or work that directly inspires me. I like the playfulness of Kaws. And especially the effect it has on fashion. I get my inspiration from music. At the Daily Paper Office, we listen to a lot of hip-hop. But in my home office I listen to Ludovico Einaudi. It really doesn’t matter if I’m crunching numbers or writing a script. It gives me the focus I need.   What has been longtime dream of yours? After already achieving so much.    I have two dreams that I still want to achieve. I hope that I will see space tourism become a real thing. I would love to go into space and see the earth from a distance. And the second thing I really want to do is build a successful movie franchise.      As a fan and a regular customer of Daily Paper, I would love to know what is in store for DP next, besides opening stores in Amsterdam, New York and London?  We’ve recently started the Unite Hub: https://www.dailypaperclothing.com/pages/unite-overview   A place where we share our inspiration online with our community. This was a great success from the beginning. It would be great to see that grow in the near future.       How do you see your entrepreneurship as a way to make difference in society?   It’s important to me to think about the legacy of what we are building. How do we change our society to give our next generations the fundamental chances that we had to work very hard for? To me it isn’t enough to inspire. I want to facilitate people achieving their dreams.     What is your advice to young entrepreneurs who are starting their own business ventures? Be patient my young padawan. Don’t be in a hurry to grow your company too fast. Work a solid foundation first. Don’t overestimate what you can do in a year. But also, don’t underestimate what you can do in five years. So instead of making a plan for a year, make a plan for five years. Think tall, start small.   What makes a successful business in your own words?   A successful company is based on a good and healthy cashflow. If you have a big company without profit or even operating on a loss, you’ll be stressed all the time. And if you only have profit on paper but not in your account, that’s even more frustrating. A friend just gave me the book: Scaling up from Vern Harnish. It will tell you everything you need to know about cashflow. My mentor always said: You keep the profit; I’ll take the cash.      Tell us something about yourself that isn't on your resume.   A lot of people are shocked when they hear I used to be a Pastor. I preached for fifteen years. And did a lot of personal coaching. I still use this in my management style. My objective is always to help other achieve their goals in business or their personal lives. The fastest way for your company to grow is to nurture employees and help them grow first.     Photo credits: Mark Bolk   You can follow Rodney on INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/rodneylam/

CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN X MYTHERESA: EXCLUSIVE LAUNCH OF THE ‘’NUDES’’ COLLECTION
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CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN X MYTHERESA: EXCLUSIVE LAUNCH OF THE ‘’NUDES’’ COLLECTION

Accessories Luxury online retailer Mytheresa will exclusively launch the renowned French fashion designer Christian  Louboutin’s Nudes collection, available globally on May 27, 2020 on both Womenswear and Menswear homepages.   Widely regarded as a pioneering act in the world of fashion, the Nudes collec on has always em-bodied the ever-present idea of diversity. For Christian an Louboutin, “The Nudes shoe doesn’t dressthe leg but con nues to undress it. The shoe disappears in favor of the silhoue e of the leg, like an illusion. The leg is no longer wearing a shoe: it simply dissolves into a shoe and that’s what gives its radiance‘’.   True to Louboutin’s elegant aesthetic, the Nudes collection is an ode to inclusivity reinterpreting the brand’s signature styles in now eight nude shades, all featuring the designer’s iconic glossy redsoles. The Nudes collection comprises stilettos os adorned with a bow, pumps embellished with shimmering silver crystals, as well as thick rubber sole slides and low top sneakers with slick contours. A range of bags and accessories also got the Nudes treatment, including the LoubiLab bag and its signature studs and contrasting Louboutin red body strap, ensuring that the exclusive collection will make the perfect companion for this year’s summer adventures. The Christian Louboutin Nudes collec on will be available exclusively online on Mytheresa from May 27th within a dedicated editorial story campaign directed by Mytheresa Global Crea ve Director Ju-lian Paul and shot by Patrick Houi, featuring models Ronja Furrer, Nur Hellmann and Carl Schultz. Luxury online retailer Mytheresa will exclusively launch the renowned French fashion designer Christian  Louboutin’s Nudes collection, available globally on May 27, 2020 on both Womenswear and Menswear homepages.   Widely regarded as a pioneering act in the world of fashion, the Nudes collec on has always em-bodied the ever-present idea of diversity. For Christian an Louboutin, “The Nudes shoe doesn’t dressthe leg but con nues to undress it. The shoe disappears in favor of the silhoue e of the leg, like an illusion. The leg is no longer wearing a shoe: it simply dissolves into a shoe and that’s what gives its radiance‘’.   True to Louboutin’s elegant aesthetic, the Nudes collection is an ode to inclusivity reinterpreting the brand’s signature styles in now eight nude shades, all featuring the designer’s iconic glossy redsoles. The Nudes collection comprises stilettos os adorned with a bow, pumps embellished with shimmering silver crystals, as well as thick rubber sole slides and low top sneakers with slick contours. A range of bags and accessories also got the Nudes treatment, including the LoubiLab bag and its signature studs and contrasting Louboutin red body strap, ensuring that the exclusive collection will make the perfect companion for this year’s summer adventures. The Christian Louboutin Nudes collec on will be available exclusively online on Mytheresa from May 27th within a dedicated editorial story campaign directed by Mytheresa Global Crea ve Director Ju-lian Paul and shot by Patrick Houi, featuring models Ronja Furrer, Nur Hellmann and Carl Schultz.

Ultra-Matte Accessories
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Ultra-Matte Accessories

Accessories The emblematic Lady Dior, the Saddle bag and belt, and the 30 Montaigne glasses and bag now come in an ultra-matte finish for ultimate elegance. With Dior’s timeless signatures, these accessories reinvent precious uniqueness, revealing their versatility and an endless potential for variation. Dressed in captivating colors – immaculate white, pink, gray, green and blue – they bring a touch of audacity to every look.    more on Dior.com The emblematic Lady Dior, the Saddle bag and belt, and the 30 Montaigne glasses and bag now come in an ultra-matte finish for ultimate elegance. With Dior’s timeless signatures, these accessories reinvent precious uniqueness, revealing their versatility and an endless potential for variation. Dressed in captivating colors – immaculate white, pink, gray, green and blue – they bring a touch of audacity to every look.    more on Dior.com

Louis Vuitton opens a newly designed store  in Rotterdam’s department store de Bijenkorf
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Louis Vuitton opens a newly designed store in Rotterdam’s department store de Bijenkorf

Fashion Louis Vuitton announces the opening of a new store in Rotterdam’s department store de Bijenkorf.   Two years after opening its pop up store at de Bijenkorf Rotterdam, Louis Vuitton unveils a new permanent store located on the ground floor of the city’s historical department store. Enriched and rejuvenated, the new space will now showcase Louis Vuitton’s latest women’s and men’s products, including leather goods, small leather goods, shoes, accessories and Les Parfums Louis Vuitton. In addition, the House’s perfumed candles collection by Master Perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud are collectable for the first time in the Netherlands.     Travel Destination: Bordered by a lavish garden of wildflowers, the store’s façade echoes Louis Vuitton’s iconic monogram flowers and blows a breath of springtime. Adorned with bright latticework panels, the transparent walls open the interior to the exterior and invite clients to immerse themselves into the House’s history. At the entrance, the womens- and menswear reveal themselves in a dynamic interior concept, embellished with handpicked designer furniture and modern elements. The modular architecture and the combination of diverse materials and textures make the space elegant and contemporary: the subtle use of Louis Vuitton leather, along the shelves with different shades of woods, reflects the House’s savoir-faire.  Art finds space inside the store and complements the interior architecture. Local elements from Dutch designer Dirk Vander Kooij, as well as vintage furniture from the 1950s by Louis van Teeffelen and Friso Kramer, bedeck the men’s space. A piece from Piet Hein Eek takes centre stage at the women’s universe, lightened by a sunset photograph by Sølve Sundsbø.    Bespoke Offer: In addition to the complete collection of Les Parfums Louis Vuitton and scented candles, the store will also feature the Colognes perfumes collection, including the latest creation California Dream, which will be exclusively pre-launched in Rotterdam. Clients can also discover the House’s personalisation services such as hot-stamping for leather goods, My LV Heritage and My LV World Tour. A special stamp has also been produced, paying tribute to Rotterdam and representing the Erasmus bridge. The stamp can be imprinted with the hot-stamping technique for leather goods in the men’s universe of the store.      Store Information: Louis Vuitton Rotterdam de Bijenkorf Coolsingel 105 3012 AG, Rotterdam Louis Vuitton announces the opening of a new store in Rotterdam’s department store de Bijenkorf.   Two years after opening its pop up store at de Bijenkorf Rotterdam, Louis Vuitton unveils a new permanent store located on the ground floor of the city’s historical department store. Enriched and rejuvenated, the new space will now showcase Louis Vuitton’s latest women’s and men’s products, including leather goods, small leather goods, shoes, accessories and Les Parfums Louis Vuitton. In addition, the House’s perfumed candles collection by Master Perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud are collectable for the first time in the Netherlands.     Travel Destination: Bordered by a lavish garden of wildflowers, the store’s façade echoes Louis Vuitton’s iconic monogram flowers and blows a breath of springtime. Adorned with bright latticework panels, the transparent walls open the interior to the exterior and invite clients to immerse themselves into the House’s history. At the entrance, the womens- and menswear reveal themselves in a dynamic interior concept, embellished with handpicked designer furniture and modern elements. The modular architecture and the combination of diverse materials and textures make the space elegant and contemporary: the subtle use of Louis Vuitton leather, along the shelves with different shades of woods, reflects the House’s savoir-faire.  Art finds space inside the store and complements the interior architecture. Local elements from Dutch designer Dirk Vander Kooij, as well as vintage furniture from the 1950s by Louis van Teeffelen and Friso Kramer, bedeck the men’s space. A piece from Piet Hein Eek takes centre stage at the women’s universe, lightened by a sunset photograph by Sølve Sundsbø.    Bespoke Offer: In addition to the complete collection of Les Parfums Louis Vuitton and scented candles, the store will also feature the Colognes perfumes collection, including the latest creation California Dream, which will be exclusively pre-launched in Rotterdam. Clients can also discover the House’s personalisation services such as hot-stamping for leather goods, My LV Heritage and My LV World Tour. A special stamp has also been produced, paying tribute to Rotterdam and representing the Erasmus bridge. The stamp can be imprinted with the hot-stamping technique for leather goods in the men’s universe of the store.      Store Information: Louis Vuitton Rotterdam de Bijenkorf Coolsingel 105 3012 AG, Rotterdam

Exclusive Editorial "Home Office"
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Exclusive Editorial "Home Office"

Men Working from home is currently the new norm for almost all of us. Between video calls and conference calls we suddenly have time for yoga and other relaxation exercises or other small freedoms.   Exclusive editorial photographed by Kapturing.   Team Credits:  MODEL: BRUNO SHARIF at MODELWERK   STYLING: JUAN CAMILO RODRIGUEZ    H&M: FRANCESCA VIGLIAROLO at BIGOUDI    PHOTO & VIDEO: KAPTURING at STOEVERARTIST  Working from home is currently the new norm for almost all of us. Between video calls and conference calls we suddenly have time for yoga and other relaxation exercises or other small freedoms.   Exclusive editorial photographed by Kapturing.   Team Credits:  MODEL: BRUNO SHARIF at MODELWERK   STYLING: JUAN CAMILO RODRIGUEZ    H&M: FRANCESCA VIGLIAROLO at BIGOUDI    PHOTO & VIDEO: KAPTURING at STOEVERARTIST 

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