Jeremy Lindberg is the owner of agent 011 showroom in New York City. Headquartered in the middle of SoHo, Lindberg’s team retails fashion to department stores such as Saks, Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys. Founded in 2005 agent 011 is one of the most successful retailers in the field of fashion BtoB sales. The showroom carries brands like Ruthi Davis, Fenton & Fallon or S.W.O.R.D.
Speak Fashion talks with Lindberg about the difference between trend and fashion, the future perspective of online sales and why the missing intellectual property in fashion doesn’t really matter.
During World War II fashion responded to the restrained mood and economy of the war. Many fashion houses closed during occupation of Paris.
Fashion History from 1940 – 1950
During the World War II (1939 – 1945), all types of cloth were needed for a variety of wartime purposes, and material for clothing was severely rationed and limited for each year and its number decreased steadily as the war progressed. From 1940 onward, no more than thirteen feet (four meters) of cloth was permitted to be used for a coat and a little over 3 feet (1 meter) was all that allowed for a blouse. No belt could be over 1.5 inches (3 centimeters) wide. Despite this, haute couture tried to keep its flag flying. Fashions of the era emphasized shorter skirts than ever before, buttons for any type of clothes were limited to three per item, evening wear was also shortened and women were encouraged to make do with ankle socks and bare legs.
Among young men in the War Years the zoot suit became popular. After the war, the “American Look” became very popular among men in Europe. Certain London manufacturers ushered in a revival of Edwardian elegance in men’s fashion, adopting a tight-fitting retro style that was intended to appeal to traditionalists. This look, originally aimed at the respectable young man about town, was translated into popular fashion as the “Teddy boy” style.
By the late 1940s and early 1950s, designers were tired of the utilitarian, minimalist clothing of the wartime era. Paris fashion, which had fallen from its position as the capital of the fashion world after World War II, made a strong comeback after the war in part due to the international success of couturier Christian Dior’s first women’s collection “Corelle” which went down in fashion history as the “New Look” in February 1947. His new clothing styles which emphasized rounded shoulders, full skirts, and narrow waists was so successful that it went down in fashion history. The “New Look” became revolutionary, strongly popular and influenced fashion and other designers for many years.
Christian Dior’s New Look from 1947:
Fashion History from 1950 – 1960
The 1950s were years of nuclear anxiety, economic expansion, social conservation and the rise of American popular culture. Yet even as bourgeois standards of propriety and “good taste” were expressed in fashion through girdles, hats and gloves, young people were developing fashions of their own.
As the installation of central heating became more widespread the age of minimum-care garments began and lighter textiles and, eventually, synthetics, were introduced. A new youth style emerged in the 1950s and changed the focus of fashion forever. During the same period of the time, in men’s fashion ‘plaid’ was very common, both for shirts and suits, which was often viewed as a symbol of rebellion and banned in schools.
Three of the most prominent of the Parisian couturiers in the 1950s were Cristobal Balenciaga, Hubert de Givenchy, and Pierre Balmain. Balenciaga is well known as one of the few couturiers in fashion history who could use their own hands to design, cut, and sew the models which symbolized the height of his artistry. In 1951, he totally transformed the silhouette, broadening the shoulders and removing the waist. Followed by the tunic dress which he designed in 1955 and which later developed into the chemise dress of 1957. The French designer Givenchy created a sensation with his separates, which could be mixed and matched at will. His first couture house was opened in 1952. Balmain liked to dress up sophisticated women luxurious elegance, simple tailoring, and a more natural look. His clientele was typified by the tailored glamor of the “New Look”, with its ample bust, narrow waist, and full skirts. Along with his haute couture work, the talented businessman pioneered a ready-to-wear range called Florilege and also launched a number of highly successful perfumes.
In 1954, after closing different boutiques in the war years, Coco Chanel’s strong comeback went in history. She detested the “New Look” to the fashion world and presented a collection which contained a whole range of ideas that would be adopted and copied by women all over the world: her famous little braided suit with gold chains, shiny costume jewelry, silk blouses in colors that matched the suit linings, sleek tweeds, monogrammed buttons, flat black silk bows, boaters, quilted bags on chains, and evening dresses and furs that were marvels of simplicity.
By the end of the decade off-the-peg clothing had become much more popular than in the past. It was literally the start-shot for the general public to access the fashionable styles for affordable prices.
See some beautiful designs of the most influental fashion designers of the 1950′s:
Whytes, the Lifestyle Brand for Men on the Quest of Designing the Perfect White T-Shirt.
What makes the perfect white T-shirt? We put this question to the co-founders of the German lifestyle brand whytes. Read on what the fashion experts have to say about their start-up, fabric quality and design.
Interview by speakfashion.us
Nadia, Thomas you’re both the Co-Founders of the German Lifestyle Brand Whytes. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Nadia: I’m a Tunisian-born, professional Fashion Designer, who’d been working in New York’s bustling Fashion Industry since 2009. I started my fashion career as a Sales and Marketing Consultant at “agent 011″, one of New York’s finest lifestyle showrooms located in the fancy neighborhood of SoHo. When John Richmond, one of England’s top tier ready to wear designers, offered me to lead his US-Sales Department out of New York, I took the opportunity with both hands. A career step that got me acquainted with the who’s who of New York’s fashion scene. Today, I advise several European fashion brands in all aspects of their sales strategy and market my own collection throughout selected retail boutiques across Europe. I hold a business degree from the “University of Cooperative Education (UCE)”, a Fashion Illustration Certificate from “FIT” and I’m fluent in Arabic, French, English and German. An advantage that I’m eager to use, in order to establish “whytes” as an exclusive lifestyle brand for fashionable men around the world.
Thomas: I’m a German-born award-winning Information Architect, who’s been developing digital products for over a decade. I started my career in 2001, when signing up to work as a Marketing Manager for Hubert Burda Media, one of the biggest publishing houses in Europe. In 2009, I took a leap of faith and moved from Munich to New York City, where I started to work as a Digital Consultant for renowned agencies and freelance clients. During my career, I’ve been developing products and services for brands such as Audi, Mercedes, Microsoft and Fujitsu. I hold a Marketing Degree from the “University of Cooperative Education (UCE), several Marketing and User Experience Certificates from New York’s General Assembly and I’m fluent in English and German. For me, nothing is more sinister than poor quality and bad craftsmanship. I’m eager to eliminate both of these pet peeves by putting all of my career learning’s into beautiful physical products for lifestyle-loving men.
That sounds great. So, tell us how you came up with the idea of starting your own business. Why white T-Shirts for men?
Thomas: At first I was in doubt. Could it really be? I mean, it’s the 21st century after all. We are about to invent the self-driving car but can’t tackle the problem of designing a white, slim fit T-Shirt for fashionable men? I started to dig deeper, chatting up fashion bloggers from around the world, asking them for advice. The more I talked to those guys, the more obvious it became: there was no such thing as a slim fit, well sewn white T-Shirt. At least not one, that wouldn’t break the bank for the regular guy.
So what happens when you realize you can’t find something you’d like to have? Right: you start creating it yourself – or at least, tinkering with the idea. Especially when you have a partner in crime that’s been working in New York’s fashion industry for years and knows a thing or two about design, quality fabrics and cuts. And so we did. Over the course of 18 months we’ve gathered feedback from a couple of hundred men, by asking them one simple question: “What does the perfect white T-Shirt look like for you?” We tested as much as 22 fabrics and more than a dozen patterns until we came up with something we believe is the perfect white T-Shirt – for now. Because we won’t stop here and hope our audience won’t either. With their help we’d like to make our product even better over time.
Ok, what makes your white T-Shirt perfect?
Nadia: Well, it’s the fabric and cut of our T-Shirt. Let me dive deeper into it. Finding the perfect fabric was a rather hard nut to crack. After we’ve put 22 different jersey fabrics to an intense washing test, there was only one that matched our ambition: A European made premium lightweight blend of Combed Cotton and Micromodal. Combed Cotton is a refined version of cotton, where slim brushes are used to pull out any impurities and short cotton fibers to obtain only the purest material. Micromodal is a rather new fiber made from beech wood and spun into ultra-fine yarns to give our T-Shirts the perfect fineness and a super-soft feeling. Micromodal is feather-light and makes the shirt almost feel like a second skin. Our luxurious blend is more absorbent than regular fabrics and ensures that our T-Shirts don’t shrink or stretch.
During an extensive 18 months prototyping session, we’ve created over a dozen different patterns. Our pre-final product was put to the test last summer, when we had 150 random guys in Munich’s English garden to finally try it on for the first time. Our research obviously paid off: we’ve gathered great positive responses on the overall slim fit style – especially the mid-length slim cut sleeves. But the real stunner for our testers was the fact that we are offering two different lengths for each size. Something so many of them had been looking forever. We also got a thumbs up on our signature black collar ribbon – which obviously isn’t only a distinctive design element but also stabilizes the cut and keeps the shirt in shape after so many washes.
Wow, that’s impressive. And you guys produce your Shirts in Germany, right?
Thomas: That’s absolutely right. High quality and expert craftsmanship are the core values of our brand. If you’d have to think of a country that stands for exactly those principals, what would you come up with? See, there obviously is no alternative, is there? And since one of us (laughs) was born and raised in this quality loving land of perfectionism, it felt even more natural to find a local manufacturer for the production of the perfect white T-Shirt. Especially since our fabrics are made in Western Europe as well – a fact that guarantees an easy, fast and emission-conscious supply chain.
Made in Germany. That sounds expensive. What does a perfect white T-Shirt cost and where can I get it?
Nadia: (laughs) – Our perfect white T-Shirt won’t cost you a fortune, even though it is “Made in Germany”. It’s a premium T-Shirt and can be worn as an undershirt as a basic or a stand alone shirt both in summer and winter. It’ll cost you 32 EUR plus shipping (depending on what country you’re living in) and can always be bought on our eCommerce website: whytes.co. Right now, you’ll find us at several offline retailers as well, for instance at Daniels Moden in Munich and Cologne. There we offer our fashionable interested men two different shirt styles: our V-neck and crew-neck in 10 different sizes.
You guys really thought this through, didn’t you? What are your future plans, anything you want to share with us today?
Thomas: Sure. First of all, we’d like to share with you that our start-up whytes made it into the February issue of the German Playboy. We’re really happy about it and appreciate their trust in recommending us. That’s just great. Of course, we’re working on getting more press coverage from other magazines as well.
Nadia: With that being said, we’ll keep up the hard work Marketing- and Sales-wise to spread the word of our start-up. From the design perspective, we’d love to extend our white T-Shirt to more different fashion products on the long run.
Awesome, we’ll keep the fingers crossed for you guys. Hard work pays off. Good luck to you and thank you for the interesting interview!
Today, we’d like to introduce you a special woven cotton fabric that’s an essential in every fashion production’s day to day business.
Must known fashion term #54: Muslin
A muslin is a woven cotton fabric made in many weights from light to heavy and is usually produced from carded cotton yarn. It typically comes as a white fabric and is often used in dressmaking to make sewing patterns.
The muslin has its origin in the Middle East and was first introduced in Europe in the 17th century.
Gianvito Rossi’s over-the-knee boots are crafted from sand suede and trimmed with beige shearling for a cozy, textured finish. They’re lined in supple leather for the smoothest fit. Try styling this Italian-made pair folded at the cuffs.
“For me there ain’t no heel high enough”. Christian Louboutin. Curious to know who our 4 favorites are?
In case you are missing one of your favorites or would love to dive deeper into the realm of shoe labels a bit deeper, check out FAD – The Ultimate Fashion Dictionary. Our very own iPhone Fashion App lists all notable shoe designer in great detail.
Christian Louboutin, French footwear designer, born 1964 in France. He founded his namesake high-end women’s shoe label in 1991. His designs are widely known for its shiny, red-coated soles. Louboutin’s professed goal is ‘to make a woman look sexy, beautiful and to make her legs look as long as [he] can.’
Manolo Blahnik, Spanish fashion designer, born 1942 in Canary Islands, Spain. He is the head designer and founder of his namesake high-end shoe brand that was founded in 1972. Blahnik started off his fashion career after graduation from the University of Geneva in 1965, before he worked at a fashion store called ‘Zapata’ three years later in London. The young and talented designer had the opportunity to show his portfolio of self-made fashions to then famous fashion editor of Vogue Magazine, Diana Vreeland. She was the one who talked Blahnik into designing footwear only. In 1972, the designer got an assignment to design shoes for Ossie Clark’s fashion show and gained immediate attention in the fashion world. That same year, he took a loan and opened his very first own shoe boutique. Today, Manolo Blahnik’s are internationally known and adored by women not only due to the popular TV series “Sex and the City” but also because of his very unique and sophisticated shoe artwork and craftsmanship.
Jimmy Choo, Malaysian shoe designer, born 1952 in Penang, Malaysia. Choo founded his namesake shoe label in 1986 which he is best known for. Based in London, Choo designed his first pair of shoes at age 11 before graduating at the Cordwainer Technical College in 1983. Only five years later, his gifted talent, craftsmanship and designs were featured at Vogue Magazine which helped him get immediate attention in the fashion industry. Choo’s is best known for his high heels, often with unique decoration such as beading’s, spikes and feathers.
Giuseppe Zanotti, Italian shoe designer, born in 1957. In 1994, Zanotti felt the need to create styles without any bounds, so he bought the Vicini shoe factory, where he devoted his time to designing and manufacturing his own shoes. Zanotti saw that factory as something more akin to a fashion house set up to meet the needs of every woman’s foot, and not as an industrial concern that mass produces tedious shoes. In 2000, the designer’s first collection was presented in New York, where buyers immediately welcomed his talent of making remarkable jewel shoes. Zanotti still remains as one of the best high-end shoe designer.