New York , May 30 (AP/UNB) — From a tiny bottle of nail polish, a luxury fashion empire was born.
Designer Christian Louboutin says he was experimenting in his factory one day when he suddenly seized his assistant's bottle of red polish to blot out the usual black soles and try some bright color.
The experiment stuck, obviously. And now Louboutin's red-soled stilettos, featuring sky-high heels and fetching sky-high prices, are "utterly iconic as a symbol of erotic femininity," says Valerie Steele, director of The Museum at FIT — explaining why Louboutin has been chosen as this year's honoree of the museum's Couture Council.
The prestigious honor, awarded each year at the beginning of New York Fashion Week in September, usually goes to a clothes designer. But, Louboutin told The Associated Press this week, fashion lovers have a special relationship with shoes — more than with clothes, or at least different.
"The woman carries the clothes. But the shoes? They carry the woman," the Paris-based designer said Tuesday in a telephone interview. "So it's a very different interaction." The shoe, he said, "is a pedestal. But this little thing on your feet is also making you a different person, in a lot of ways. It's affecting the entire silhouette and the way you're going to walk and move."
There's another advantage, he adds, to footwear: The wearer can see it. "If you have a dress, you can't see it unless you have a mirror. But if you have a pair of shoes, you can still look at your feet. All the time."
Steele, at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), says shoes have always been an important part of the museum's voluminous collection, which includes some 4,000 pairs "and counting."
"People really obsess over their shoes," she says. She calls Louboutin's red soles "a stroke of genius — what a simple and yet effective thing, because red is coded for us as the color of passion and seduction and love ... but who would have thought to have put it on the sole of a shoe?"
Louboutin also designs men's shoes, but it's women's footwear he's famous for, especially the heels (though he designs flats, too). They range from hundreds of dollars per pair well into the thousands, depending on the adornment. They're loved by celebrities; "I'm throwing on my Louboutins," goes the chorus of a 2009 Jennifer Lopez song.
Louboutin, 56, says his career began with a childhood hobby of sketching shoes.
"When adults asked what I wanted to do when I grew up, I said I wanted to draw shoes," he says. "But I didn't think it was a real job."
He'd been designing for several years when he discovered the red-sole idea in the early '90s. A few weeks after the nail polish experiment, he says, he was in his Paris shop, watching a couple consider a pair of shoes with typical black soles. His female co-worker felt the man was "very handsome," Louboutin says, and watched as he turned over a pair of shoes to find nothing interesting on the soles. When the couple left, the co-worker remarked that she should have put her phone number on the soles.
Louboutin took that as a sign, he says, "that the sole should have its own identity."
He considered changing the color every season, but then realized that red — the color of blood, he points out — was unique. "I had many customers who would only wear black, but they wore red on their lips or on their nails," he says.
Louboutin's shoes are worn by fashionistas around the world — first lady Melania Trump seems to be a fan, often photographed in Louboutins like a towering yellow pair she wore recently in Japan.
Louboutin says only that he enjoys seeing who wears the shoes, and how. "My job is designing shoes and producing an object of desire for women," he says. "After that it's no longer in my hands, and I'm no one to judge who is wearing them or how you should wear them."
He adds that although celebrities are obviously good for business, his preference is to discover someone he doesn't know, looking good, in his shoes.
"I'm walking in the street, and I look at the shoes and they look good and I'm almost jealous," he says. "And then I look and it's a red sole, and I go woo-hoo!"
The Couture Council luncheon on Sept. 4 coincides with a new exhibit at The Museum at FIT: "Paris, Capital of Fashion," running Sept. 6 to Jan. 4.
Cannes, May 17 (AP/UNB) — Elton John and his biopic "Rocketman" landed Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival, where the 72-year-old pop star came dressed in a tuxedo with "Rocket Man" emblazoned on the back and regaled attendees with an after-party performance on the beach.
John, an executive producer of the film, hadn't spoken much about the movie before it made its premiere at Cannes. But donning heart-shaped, red-tinted glasses he gave the movie his hearty blessing Thursday. At the post-premiere party, he called it "an emotional night."
"Even if the movie doesn't make one penny at the box office — which will kill (Paramount Pictures chief) Jim Gianopulos — it is the movie I wanted to make," John said from the stage.
At the party John performed "I'm Still Standing" before being joined by Taron Egerton, who plays him in the film for a rendition of "Rocket Man." Egerton was visibly moved to tears after the premiere.
"Rocketman" is directed by Dexter Fletcher who also took over directing duties on last year's hit music biopic, "Bohemian Rhapsody," after Bryan Singer departed mid-production.
"Rocketman" isn't so dissimilar from "Bohemian Rhapsody." It's a glossy music-stuffed biopic with a star-making turn from Egerton. But "Rocketman" is R-rated and less cautious about its star's homosexuality.
Paramount Pictures hopes "Rocketman" can also mimic the box office of "Bohemian Rhapsody." It grossed $903 million worldwide.
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New York, May 11 (AP/UNB) — Rihanna certified her status as a cultural fashion icon with her groundbreaking new deal with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world's largest luxury group.
The pop star, born Robyn Rihanna Fenty, announced Friday that she will debut a line called Fenty this spring through LVMH. Her luxury house will be based in Paris.
The 31-year-old singer becomes the first person since 1987 to launch a new house with LVMH (the last person was Christian LaCroix). Rihanna is also reportedly the first woman to create an original brand at LVMH and the first woman of color at the top of an LVMH maison.
"Designing a line like this with LVMH is an incredibly special moment for us," Rihanna said in a statement. She added that Bernard Arnault, the chairman and CEO of LVMH, "has given me a unique opportunity to develop a fashion house in the luxury sector, with no artistic limits. I couldn't imagine a better partner both creatively and business-wise, and I'm ready for the world to see what we have built together."
LVMH's leather and goods division includes Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior Couture, Celine, Kenzo, Givenchy, Fendi, Marc Jacobs and more, while its wine and spirts includes Moët & Chandon and Dom Pérignon. The company has also backed Rihanna's ultra-successful cosmetics brand, Fenty Beauty.
Arnault said "everybody knows Rihanna as a wonderful singer, but through our partnership at Fenty Beauty, I discovered a true entrepreneur, a real CEO and a terrific leader."
"She naturally finds her full place within LVMH," he continued. "I am proud that LVMH is leading this venture and wish it will be a great success."
Fashion has been synonymous with Rihanna's name since the Grammy-winning superstar launched her music career in 2005. She has collaborated with brands like Armani, Puma, Dior and more to launch products and lines, and she debuted her lingerie line, Savage X Fenty, last year. Her Fenty Beauty collection disrupted the beauty industry when it launched in 2017, offering 40 foundation shades and bringing in more than $500 million by the end of last year. The success of it forced other cosmetic brands to be more inclusive and launch more foundation color shades, while Fenty even extended to 50 shades.
A release date for Rihanna's new Fenty line with LVMH was not announced, but a website where consumers can eventually purchase the line launched Friday. The new line "is centered on Rihanna, developed by her, and takes shape with her vision in terms of ready to wear, shoes and accessories, including commerciality and communication of the brand," according to a press release.
"Celebrity fashion brands have been around a long time and led by singers, but in the past they've tended to be done via licensing, wholesale distribution and often more with mass retailers or department stores. What's different about this Rihanna project is her partner, which is the world's largest luxury group, which has expertise across a range of leather goods, perfumes, fashion, beauty — so it really raises the bar for celebrity-led fashion brands," Miles Socha, editor-in-chief of WWD, said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Rihanna, a native of Barbados, expressed her excitement about the epic new deal in an Instagram post Friday.
"Big day for the culture," she wrote. "Thank you Mr. Arnault for believing in this little girl from the left side of an island, and for giving me the opportunity to grow with you at @LVMH. This is proof that nothing is impossible. Glory be to God."
Dhaka, April 18 (UNB) - The second Bangladesh Fashionology Summit will be held here on May 2, aiming to firm the footings of Bangladesh to fetch its share in the $130bn global market.
Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE), the organizer of the summit, unveiled this at a press conference at a city hotel on Thursday.
The summit has been titled ‘Digitalization-the Next Destination’ which is aligned with the government’s goal - ‘Digital Bangladesh Vision’.
A total of 41 speakers from 15 countries will speak at various sessions of the summit to be held at International Convention City, Bashundhara.
Organizers said smart clothing is the fourth industrial textile revolution which will reach a sales volume of more than US $130bn by 2025.
“The recent increase of wages and the cost of production have made it inevitable for the apparel manufacturers to concentrate on value added products. The $130 billion smart clothing market is an area we need to focus on to survive and thrive,” said founder and CEO of BAE Mostafiz Uddin.
The shift from producing basic to smart clothing will not be so easy and it has to be done gradually with proper planning and preparation. The objective of the summit is to facilitate the shift, he said adding that all have to work together if they want to do something better.
Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque will attend the summit as the chief guest.
Ambassador and Head of Delegation, Delegation of European Union to Bangladesh RensjeTeerink, Danish Ambassador to Bangladesh Winnie Estrup Petersen, Honorary Consul General, Consulate of Greece in Dhaka and Senior Vice President of BGMEA Faruque Hassan, Managing Director, KDS Group MdSalimRahman and Director, Pioneer Denim Limited Md. Mohiuddin Ahmed, among others, will address in the inaugural session of the event.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi will attend the closing session as the chief guest. DNCC Mayor M Atiqul Islam, FBCCI President M Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, BGMEA President-elect Rubana Huq, Dutch Ambassador Harry Verweij, Pacific Jeans Ltd Chairman Naser Uddin will also attend.
Dhaka, Apr 8 (UNB) - April showers bring May flowers! We are well into monsoon and it’s time to update our wardrobes with the change of the seasons. The weather in Dhaka can be quite unpredictable with heavy rain pouring down on us one minute and a surge of heat wave hitting us the next. However, you can still stay trendy while remaining comfortable to fight all the storms (or the lack thereof).
Street style has had a great impact on the fashion scene all around the world and Dhaka is no exception. It is the perfect gateway for minimalistic and sleek fashion. Mixing up elements from both cooler and warmer seasons may help you execute the perfect outfit for a transitory season like this. While many suggest wearing brighter colours to stand out in the dull and gloomy days, it is better to make the transition smoother by choosing the best of both worlds. You can opt for basic crew neck t-shirts with breezy wide-legged denims and accessorize with a pop of colour, adding some light to the darker hues. So, darker fabrics but brighter accessories – the perfect mix!
You can also wear long sleeveless dresses with a plain black, grey or white tee to stay warm yet breezy. Culottes, flared jeans, bell bottoms and maxi skirts are the best options for this season. Pair these with fitted tops – maybe in pastel or floral prints and you will look divine thanks to the flattering proportions.
Never underestimate the power of accessories! As I mentioned earlier bright colours are the way to go. Boho rattan bags were all the rave last summer but this year we saw a shift to micro bags. Yes, we are channeling the early 2000s fashion and summoning the tiny handbags and sunglasses. You can wear a pair of perky statement earrings and carry a small messenger or hobo bag for that retro feel. In terms of shoes – you can easily pair up all of these looks with a pair of sneakers. The ‘ugly’ sneaker trend is still peaking but you can also style up these with a pair of Old Skool Vans or any white sneakers. If you want a more feminine touch, then go for a pair of peep toe wedges to stay classy. The most functional accessory that you can carry is your umbrella and a transparent one would be super cute!
In terms of makeup, less is definitely more this season. It is best to wear a breathable base e.g. concealer and powder or just BB cream and powder with a pinch of coral blush. For eyes, matte eyeshadows and volumising mascara would be the dream team. You can add brighter colours to the inner corner of your eyes for highlighting e.g. mustard yellow or salmon pink making the look much more interesting. Another major trend in makeup which is returning are monochrome tones – one single shade instead of lighter to darker transitions. You can simply add a wash of matte rose gold eyeshadow for some added warmth to your subtle base. For highlighter, glossy ones are the way to go instead of super shimmery ones. It is best to stick to warmer nude tones for lipstick and save the dramatic and loud shades for summer.
Let’s not surrender ourselves to the impulsive weather but embrace it in our own style. Dress up, show up and don’t let anyone dull your sparkle!
By: Nazila Nihad