Tuesday, 27 August 2019 13:31

ChicGeek Comment Fashion Pact Mañana

Fashion Pact G7 Pinault FrancoisA large bulk of the fashion industry is feeling pretty smug with itself. The just-gone G7 summit in Biarritz, France, a meeting of the world’s largest economies, saw French President Emmanuel Macron, accompanied by Economy and Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Labour, Muriel Pénicaud, and Deputy Minister of Ecological and Solidary Transition, Brune Poirson, launch the ‘Fashion Pact’. An initiative to minimise the environmental impact of the fashion industry, the Fashion Pact, signed by various fashion companies and brands, made numerous commitments regarding sustainability, renewable energy and biodiversity.

Left - Tall glass of Pinault?! The 'Fashion Pact' launch at the recent G7 summit

Making plenty of noise, and, while anything in the right direction, particularly while the Amazon rainforest is burning, is welcome, it’s worth looking at some of the detail.

Thirty two companies representing around 150 brands and roughly 30% of the fashion industry committed to:

“100% renewable energy across own operations with the ambition to incentivise implementation of renewables in all high impact manufacturing processes along the entire supply chain by 2030.”

“Protect the oceans: by reducing the fashion industry’s negative impact on the world’s oceans through practical initiatives, such as gradually removing the usage of single-use plastics.”

“Restore biodiversity: by achieving objectives that use Science-Based Targets to restore natural ecosystems and protect species.”

“Stop global warming: by creating and deploying an action plan for achieving the objective of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, in order to keep global warming below a 1.5°C pathway between now and 2100.”

These all feel like the least they can do. Words like ‘gradually’ and ‘ambition’ make most of this wishful thinking. But, waiting until 2050 to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions is laughable. Most of the signatories will be dead by then. It’s 31 years away!!! Who’s to say any of these companies will still be in business?

We live in a very stressful and confusing time. Environmental paralysis is understandable amongst consumers not sure exactly what they can do to combat climate change. But, waiting until 2050 to ‘possibly’ make that new handbag zero carbon emissions ain’t one of them. Green lip service is becoming increasingly frustrating and brands are going to have to give definite and distinct decisions while updating consumers on progress and fact based information much faster than this. People want to see something.

The brands involved include adidas, Bestseller, Burberry, Capri Holding Limited, Carrefour, Chanel, Ermenegildo Zegna, Everybody & Everyone, Fashion3, Fung Group, Galeries Lafayette, Gap Inc, Giorgio Armani, H&M Group, Hermès, Inditex, Karl Lagerfeld, Kering, La Redoute, matchesfashion.com, Moncler, Nike, Nordstrom, Prada Group, Puma, PVH Corp., Ralph Lauren, Ruyi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Selfridges Group, Stella McCartney and Tapestry.

In April 2019, ahead of the G7 meeting, Emmanuel Macron gave François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kering, a mission to bring together the leading players in fashion and textile, with the aim of setting practical objectives for reducing the environmental impact of their industry. And the Fashion Pact was born.

This goes someway to explain the most noticable luxury absentee from the list, the LVMH group. LVMH, Kering's main luxury competition, announced in May that it was partnering with Unesco on a five-year deal, allowing the fashion houses in the group access to “a network of experts at the regional level and in different disciplines to drive the development and success of their initiatives to protect biodiversity” and secure transparent supply chains. They’ve also recently cemented a tie-up with British designer Stella McCartney to lead their charge in sustainable luxury.

The majority of these brands don’t know what the eco-future looks like, but they know they need to start making the right noises yet want to continue to generate billions of dollars in yearly turnovers. Signing up to things like the ‘Fashion Pact’ focuses minds, but the time frame makes it a case of we’ll start tomorrow, which goes against the current urgent 'Climate Emergency' feeling felt within the wider population.

Kering issued a statement saying, “Private companies, working alongside nation states, have an essential role to play in protecting the planet. With the Fashion Pact, some leading players in the fashion and textile sector are joining forces for the first time to launch an unprecedented movement. A collective endeavour by its nature, the Fashion Pact is open to any company that wants to help to fundamentally transform the practices of the fashion and textile industry, and to meet the environmental challenges of our century.”

If these luxury companies worked as quickly as they did when chucking money at Notre-Dame, after its fire, then we’d really be getting somewhere. Pinault found €100m (£90m) down the back of the sofa and the Arnault family stumped up €200m within hours of the flames being put out.

Governments will need to bring in legislation much sooner to force these companies to do more. We’re going to look back at this period of history and wonder how we got through it sanely, but what we know is, we have to start today.

Published in Fashion
Monday, 05 December 2016 16:42

ChicGeek Comment Brands Need The 90s Back

1990s fashion revival backThe 90s are back!!!! I thought I’d get in there early before all the headlines, like these, hit the internet when Raf Simons shows his first collection for Calvin Klein in February. See more here

Left - Pulp - Something Changed!

Kurt Cobain fashion menswear revivalThe 90s revival has been bubbling along for a while now. It was inevitable, everything else has comeback, after all. Over the last few years we've seen a few grunge or washed denim throwbacks. Looking back, it was something of a golden era. Sandwiched between the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9/11, the 90s was a time of minimalism, Britpop and dance music. While it didn't feel particularly original, at the time, what with the large ‘Groove Is In The Heart’ 1970s revival and the return to live music, it still had enough original music and fashion to be distinctive when looking back retrospectively.

Right - Where did I leave my cardy? Kurt Cobain, the poster boy of American grunge

It was also the start of designer fashion as we know it today. This period of rapid expansion and no internet was a golden era of shopping centres and brands reaching their zenith with a purity that almost looks like nothing, today.

90s fashion nineties Noel GallagherThe landscape has changed. What was fresh and rare in the 90s is now tired and saturated. People’s attention spans are shorter and what was sexy and provocative then is just an Instagram away.

Left - Noel Gallagher - The 1990s was a mix of 70s, sportswear & minimalism 

What could just be hype or a fresh start, it’s not just Calvin Klein that needs the 90s back. Brands like Gap and DKNY require a time when it was cool to wear a simple white T-shirt and a pair of washed jeans. What no tigers or themed gimmick? How will 2017 deal with that?!

It was easier then to impress. There was less competition and it was a slower pace of ideas and consumption.

DKNY just let their design team and Chief Ex. go and Gap has been trying to stem the decline in their sales for many years, closing stores and reducing its retail footprint. The basics market has been a race to the bottom in terms of price and the competition keeps those prices low. Will 2017 see the big 90s revival wave that these brands will ride back to popularity? Or, will it be all hype trying to shift a few pairs of overpriced pants?

So, what did we like about the 90s? I think we’re about to find out. Get ready for curtains, again!

Published in The Fashion Archives

American Apparel Death of the hipsterAm I premature or too late, but does the closure of American Apparel signal the beginning of the end of the hipster?

Left - American Apparel is disappearing from British high-streets

This Terry Richardson-type wank fantasy of sports socks and short shorts, with a dash of the ethically made, didn’t quite make it. It had potential. It rode that early wave of ethical consumerism and sold items people need and use in volume. Basics.

Death of the hipster socks american apparelIt shoulda/coulda been a Gap for hipsters, but thought itself too cool for that and in the process shot themselves in the foot. If you didn’t wear gold meggings and a towelling headband you weren’t going to quite cut it in an average branch of American Apparel. 

Right - Ironic? Were you cool enough to wear these?

You can aim for hipsters, but, ultimately, you want everybody, something that Uniqlo seems to have mastered. And, if you're charging a premium you need to remind consumers what the extra is for, in this case, it was made in the USA. Selling basics is a tough job, these days, as it is so price sensitive. Retailers, like Gap, are struggling to reinvent themselves in this post-hipster market. Maybe they should adopt the best bits of American Apparel and add some contemporary sex appeal to their image.

American Apparel was like one of those scowling cool kids who doesn’t say much, looks the part, but you realise, quite quickly, they have nothing to say.

Published in The Fashion Archives
Monday, 30 May 2016 10:34

#OOTD 81 White Out Blue

ootd white menswear chic geekTrue blue, TheChicGeek uses bold aquas and sky blues to create pops of colour on a clean and fresh base of white. Never one to blend into the background, TheChicGeek stands out amongst the background of brilliant white chalk by mixing the primary shades of blue. How big, how blue, how beautiful!

Get involved #WhiteOut 

Credits - Shoes - Blue Sebago Docksides Ariaprene, White Jeans  G-Star RAW, Bomber Jacket - Villain, Jean Jacket - GAP, Watch - Nixon, Bum-Bag - UTC100, Bag - UTC00, Shirt - Topman, Blue Neckerchief With Piping - Thomas Pink, Blue Neckerchief - John Lewis, Blue Fragrance - Marc Jacobs ‘Rain’, Fragrance - Miller Harris Étui Noir

Shot by Robin Forster on Olympus PEN

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Published in Outfit of the Day
Monday, 09 May 2016 10:46

#OOTD 78 White Out Green

summer white menswear chic geek style iconTheChicGeek uses the freshness of green to add bold accents on a base of white in this OOTD. From the quilted gilet to the rucksack to the neoprene boat shoes, deep forest green in men's accessories look great in both the city and at the coast. 

Who said Summer whites were just for tennis or cricket? Take a trip to the coast and feel those elements. As TheChicGeek can testify, it rocks!

How do you wear you Summer whites? Get involved #WhiteOut 

Shoes - Green Sebago Docksides® Ariaprene, T-Shirt - GAP, Rucksack - Eastpak, Gilet - Puffa, Shorts - Energie, Jean Jacket - Replay, Watch - D1, Body Wash - Frederic Malle ‘Cologne Indélébile’, Headphones - Urban Ears, Scarf - Scott Fraser Collection, Sunglasses - Guess

Shot by Robin Forster on Olympus PEN

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Published in Outfit of the Day
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 10:05

#OOTD 77 White Out Navy

white menswear chic geek ootdNothing is as classically masculine and maritime as the colour combination of navy and white. Not one to flinch at a challenge, TheChicGeek decided to take the difficult route of getting to the top. Wearing sporty stripes, chalky whites and the new Sebago Docksides Ariaprenes, this style chameleon looks more like a rock lizard!

Get involved #WhiteOut

Shoes - Navy Sebago Docksides® Ariaprene from Sebago & Size?, Bag - Eastpak, Shorts - Hamilton & Hare, T-Shirt - GAP, Zip Top - Le Coq Sportif, Sweater - G-Star RAW Marc Newson, Blue Jacket - Pepe Jeans, Card Holder - Uri Minkoff, Watch - D1,  Neckerchief - Scott Fraser Collection, Sunglasses - Police, Spectacles - Guess, Grooming Tool - Philips 'One Blade', Thickening Conditioner & Hair Fibres - Mr by Jamie Stevens, Fragrance - Davidoff 'Horizon'.

Shot by Robin Forster on Olympus PEN 

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Published in Outfit of the Day
Monday, 01 December 2014 17:20

#OOTD 21 – Pinstripe Day 3/4

the chic geek ootd men's style fashion bloggerThe only thing predictable about the British weather is its unpredictability. Teaming a warming roll-neck with his double-breasted pinstripe, TheChicGeek is always prepared, whatever the weather. The geek means business and never leaves home without a stylish umbrella to ward off those raindrops and stop his ginger paint from running!

Credits – Suit – Marks & Spencer ‘Best of British’, Roll-neck - GAP, Watch – Maurice Lacroix, Umbrella – London Undercover at MR PORTER.COM, Bowler Hat – Hackett, Shoes –Church’s, Socks – Thomas Pink

Shot by Robin Forster

With thanks to Rocket Gallery

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Published in Outfit of the Day