I honestly feel like every blog post I start I always somehow manage to refer back to my childhood but that’s only because my mother made sure that I was a fashionista from birth! PERIOD. Like I remember I used to have a collection of sunglasses and I kid you not I had every single colour of the freaking rainbow because I loved matching my sunglasses to my outfits. I don’t know why I thought that was even appropriate at the time but back then, I really thought I was onto something but now, of course, I know better. A lot better for that matter.
Like clothing and shoes, sunglasses have trends too and this year 70s inspired frames are dominating the scene – I’m talking the return of oversize frames of all shapes, from round to square, yellow tints and of the map – tiny sunglasses. That’s the vibe for our 2020 summer, however, who really follows trends when it comes to sunglasses, no one! The key to finding the perfect sunglasses for you, of course, depends on your style but most importantly your face shape. NOT EVERY PAIR OF SUNGLASSES is for you so please try them on before buying.
I think out of all the brands, this was my oldest brothers favourite! I kid you not, there would be days that I’d see him in head to toe ROCAWEAR. I have the photos to prove it but I don’t want him to hate me hahaha. From its beginnings, ROCAWEAR planned on being the biggest player in this game we call fashion – but more specifically streetwear. They were on the way to becoming an international company that would compete with the biggest brands of our generation. I am talking Supreme, Dsquared, Comme des Garcon, bathing ape etc. So my question is, where did it all go wrong? Right now ROCAWEAR should be dominating the streetwear scene, we should be looking to them for our urban style outfits, not the likes of Givenchy and off white.
This brand had so much potential because ROCAWEAR was more than just your average fashion brand but a lifestyle. A lifestyle that everyone aspired to – one including; private jets, yachts, and penthouse suites but on top of that, it was also a community that was all about goodwill, and never forgetting your roots. That is what ROCAWEAR stood for. Style, music, the high life, sex appeal. They instinctively knew the definition of the latest trends and fashion because they lived them. From the streets to the design studio, they knew trust started with the people, so that’s where they took their inspiration from. They watched the trends on the New York City streets, then translated these into fresh looks that rocked that fashion world. Showing up on the runways in Milan, New York, London and Paris, ROCAWEAR introduced a new, casual glamour with a streetwise sensibility. They didn’t just sell clothes, they sold an image—and the brand took off, becoming one of the hottest in 90s fashion and an international sensation!
This was ROCAWEARS 20th anniversary collection;
The crazy thing is that I don’t hate the collection, everything about it actually has potential. But it’s the same thing with Akademiks. The entire team need to be FIRED. The design team, the branding team, marketing team, social media team. EVERYONE. They all need to get in the bing because how can they disgrace a brand that was once the king of the game like this!! Personally, I think if Jay Z gives me the opportunity to handle his brand, with my team of creatives, I could take ROCAWEAR to different levels. And the crazy thing is that I’m literally not even being cocky. I’m just speaking straight facts.
Times like this where people are coming to support black-owned brands, where streetwear and urban wear is dominating the scene, where 90s fashion is prominent in everyone’s wardrobes. Right now ROCAWEAR should be taking advantage but they’re here just making clothes for the purpose of making clothes. There is ZERO passion and that’s the thing that pisses me off. You can tell that no detailed market research has been done whatsoever because these are clothes that my dad and uncles would wear, not people of this generation. It’s sad really. The core values of ROCAWEAR that I previously describe in this post no longer live in the brand we see today.
Now let’s compare it to past campaigns
ARE YOU GUYS SEEING THE DIFFERENCE!!!!! Look at the passion that was placed in their old campaigns! Look at the lifestyle, the brand image, everything. I mean they had Naomi model for them yet in 2019 they think it’s appropriate to make DJ Khaled the brand ambassador??? You really can’t write this shit. I just pray that ROCAWEAR finally wake up one day and become the brand that it was set to be back when it first launched because really and truly this is not it!
Hey! It’s me, Ivis and I am just here to remind you that athleisurewear is still very much a thing and that’s on PERIODT!
I feel like as the years go by athleisurewear just keeps getting cuter and cuter and it’s getting to the point where I’m like, “the gym doesn’t deserve this outfit, EVERYONE needs to see it.” I don’t know what it is, but when I wear cute ‘gym wear’, I really feel like I’m that BITCH. Do you know what I mean? And the thing I love most about athleisure wear is it’s versatility; I can wear it to the gym, I can wear it to my lectures, whilst running errands or even use it as loungewear at home and no matter where I choose to wear it I’ll still look cute AF.
I thought this trend had hit its peak back in 2017 with Vetements and champion fueling the entire thing but boy was I wrong! In a sense for celebrity fashion it hit its peak around that time, however, now mainstream fashion has jumped on the hype and I am seeing a lot more people sporting the look (pun intended). Never has it ever been more acceptable than it is now to wear your workout clothes outside of the gym.
I can’t believe I’m not going on vacation at all this year, it still hasn’t quite hit me yet and I think the moment it actually does I’ll go insane. I mean who doesn’t like a holiday? Time to refresh, be at peace. This staying in the country for an entire year thing isn’t really my vibe. SOMEONE NEEDA TO PUT AN END TO THIS AND GET ME OUT OF THIS COUNTRY!!!
For some of you, online shopping has become an addiction and I’m only here to make it worse!
If you don’t go to the airport with a carry on or as we call it in the U.K. then I’d assume that you are a certified serial killer. How can you just go on holiday and not have any hand luggage?? You gotta be prepared, what if your actual luggage gets lost or something? where do we go from there? Ever since I started travelling myself, I always but the most valuable items in my carryon/ my favourite pieces to wear because lord knows if I lost an entire suitcase and ended up with nothing to wear on a holiday, I would genuinely murder somebody.
For when we are ready to travel, here are some of my favourites;
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the coronavirus pandemic has taken a huge hit on the fashion industry – especially in terms of luxury fashion. Donatella Versace herself said, “THE WORLD IS OVER AS WE KNOW IT.” And I cannot say that I disagree with her, COVID19 has put a stop on so many things; fashion weeks have been cancelled and moved to virtual runways, designers like YSL have pulled out, stores have been forced to close, orders have been cancelled, factories have shut or repurposed to make PPE. Fashion, for the first time in history, was and has been put on hold for the foreseeable future. But was this a blessing in disguise? Did the industry need this to rethink their purpose? What is the future of fashion? What will emerge? Could a more responsible sector — one less damaging to the environment be the future?
For the last few years, seasonal trends have slowly been disappearing with designers choosing more classical items for their runways and collections, items which can be worn all year round, items that we would all call staple pieces, items that stay on store shelves longer and can be sold for years rather than just a season. Think about all the trends that have made a come back in the last few years and have stayed dominating the fashion scene for not only a season but for the last 5 years – think blazers, cycling shorts, leather jackets, flared jeans – staple items that everyone needs! With the pandemic, I ‘m sure that more designers will realise the importance of this as I can imagine that they have so much excess stock that won’t even be sellable after this is all over because, they’ll essentially be out of fashion, by the time this is over, we’ll be going into a new season and what’s fashionable will be different – Burberry famously burnt £28.6m in bags, clothes and perfume in 2017 to prevent them from being stolen or sold for too little (a practice it has since halted). So what’s going to happen to unsold items that can only be found and sourced in luxury boutiques because last time I checked the likes of Chanel, Dior and Hermes don’t do online delivery?
VOGUE GLOBAL CONVERSATIONS
I recently watched an episode of vogue’s global conversations and they brought up some very important points that we need to assess when it comes to this industry;
We Still Need Catwalk Shows—But We Also Need to Invest In Digital Experiences
Fashion Needs to Slow Down, and Designers Can Lead the Way
Sustainability Is A Growing Conversation, But Action Is Needed, Too
Now’s The Time To Share Your Creativity With The World, Especially If You’re A Young Designer
The Industry Has To Change, And Much Of It Comes Down To Doing Less
To summarise for you guys; ideally, fashion weeks will be smaller mainly because many designers won’t actually be able to host them and magazines won’t be able to afford to send editors to attend them, instead most of the seats will be filled with influencers. It’s sad really, that something like this has caused such a detrimental effect on an industry I love.
In addition, unable to host showroom appointments, brands will invest in better showroom software, leaving buyers with less reason to travel in the long-term which will be good in helping to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. And to no surprise, shopping habits will change – with less disposable income, consumers will be more conscious of what they buy, treating luxury items as investment pieces that will serve them for years — or at least hold their resale value. The shift in spending from high-end handbags to health — skincare, supplements, boutique fitness classes — already on the rise pre-pandemic, will continue. Online shopping will become more of a habit. Similar to the 2008 recession, there will be more support for buying second-hand and directly from small businesses who manufacture responsibly whilst others will turn to fast fashion for cheap thrills.
Fun Fact; Akademiks is well and truly still alive and unlike the other brands that I have included in this series, I couldn’t find any sufficient information on the brand – it’s like it never existed, even the pictures I saw, they did not look good enough to put on my blog! The only information I could find on it was on Wikipedia and we all know how unreliable that is as a web source. I have spent the last week trying to ensure that this will be as informative as the rest, but I had no luck, so I thought why not give you guys the reasons why today I would not buy from Akademiks. Let’s just say that they have a lot of rebranding to do!
The label was founded by two brothers, Donwan and Emmett Harrell in 1999, along with a group of partners. They gained popularity just like any other brand, through celebrities wearing their clothes – the brand is described as the intersection of art, music and fashion. Worn by style icons including Jay-Z, Kanye West and tastemakers worldwide. The collection is always evolving and is always first to set the trend with distinctive graphics, and fabric innovation.
Akademiks, an intentional spelling of the word “academics” makes a lot of sense for a brand that rose to fame in the time that it did. This was the era that men believed it was acceptable to mix preppy styles and urban fashion together, I still can’t believe that people were pairing Ralph Lauren polo’s with dropped baggy jeans, has everyone stopped dropping their jeans or is that still a thing? I originally thought that this was the main idea behind the name because that is what makes sense to me, however, it actually turns out that the name Akademiks was based on the idea that education was essential. This was as we know it, is, of course, an American brand among the urban legends that I mentioned in the first blog post of this series, with devotees of hip hop music, art and fashion but why did the reign of Akademiks not see past 2005?
On the front page of their site, you’ll see that “Akademiks continues to add to the celebrity roster of brand enthusiasts.” However, I highly disagree, when was the last time you heard someone say I’m wearing Akademiks, me, myself being the fashion enthusiast I am, I couldn’t find anything to wearable on their and everyone knows that I am the queen of making a bad item fashionable, but that just wasn’t possible with this brand. They have not evolved correctly for the times, in all honesty, I am surprised that they are still active because really and truly who is buying from them?? As you can all see from the screenshots below they are still in the early 2000s era of fashion, they are not in 2020 like rest of us. Personally, I would love to speak to the in house designer and really ask them what is going on because this is not it, right now it’s so easy to brand as fashion label – with menswear, simplicity goes a long way and they just have not understood this.
Then we have their Instagram which has not been active in 156 weeks, which is basically 3 years. As we speak influencer and social media marketing is now part of the marketing mix so the fact that they are not utilising this is a shame really, because people of my age demographic who grew up with social media, most of the clothing brands I wear is because I have seen my favourite influencers wearing them! During the 2000s Akademiks utilised celebrities as they were the influencers back then so why are they not doing the same now. They also have to ask themselves why the same celebrities that wore their clothes back then, are not wearing them now and the answer is simply because they have lacked, they don’t wanna change – look at fubu, they have adapted to the times and are still making sales! If it’s money, why still sell if you cannot brand/ market yourself. They simply need to shut down and that’s that.
I can’t lie to you guys, the bags on the high street are really not it, I literally tried so hard and could only find a few, when in reality I was expecting to find a bunch of super cool bags! I spent hours looking and I’m so disappointed! Even Topshop which is usually my holy grail destination for bags disappointed me. I’m actually so annoyed, why is it hard to find cute affordable bags, why are all the nice one’s designer?? Can the Hugh street please step up their game because us uni students want to look adorable on a budget, not break into our overdraft!
I’ve realised that lately, over the last few years unless they’re huge shopper bags, the high street only does fashionable mini’s and shoulder bags, which of course are on-trend but what about us uni students who want a cute bag to carry our books in?? Or the workaholics who are fashionable queens. We’re suffering here. River island even tried doing a dupe to the Dior book tote and I have never hated a bag so much in my life, it was so disgraceful.
But any who, these are my favourites and deffo the best on the high street, a lot of them are dupes but still cute af
Every time I wear a bralette or a cute slip dress my mum LOVES asking me if I’m going to sleep or if I’m going outside. Does anyone else’s mum do this thinking they’re funny, because I know I can’t be the only one who suffers from these jokes??? It’s so annoying 🤣
I feel like I say this all the time using different words but this has to fashion’s cutest trend and by far my all-time favourite. I know for a fact it’s here to stay – it’s been popular since the 90s and to this day it continues to reinvent itself. Whoever came up with the idea to wear underwear as outerwear and then made it mainstream honestly deserves the world and more! I used to be one of those people who would literally buy the most basic bras and bralettes because in my head i was like “who else is gonna see this but me?” and then lingerie became acceptable to wear as clothing again and now I pride myself in owning cute lace bras because one day they could contribute to a cute outfit, so technically underwear companies owe fashion for this!
A BRIEF HISTORY OF UNDERWEAR AS OUTERWEAR
1984 – Madonna wears a lace bustier on the album cover for Like A Virgin 1990 – Madonna dons the (now infamous) John Paul Gaultier corset bustier during her Blonde Ambition tour 1996 – Princess Diana gives slip dresses the royal seal of approval 1996 – Sporty spice makes wearing a sports bra as a top a thing 1998 – Carrie Bradshaw (styled by Patricia Field) makes a visible bra a must-have style 2002 – Christina Aguilera releases the video clip for Dirrty and flaunts her underpants 2018 – Kim Kardashian popularizes the trend for wearing lingerie bodysuits with trousers and skirts 2019 – Kim again wears her underwear outside, this time popularizing the current trend for lace bike shorts
All I am going to say is, the key to this trend is to make it look intentional!
Founded in 1992 by Daymond John, J. Alexander Martin, Keith Perrin, and Carlton Brown as a hat company FUBU ( “For Us By Us”) became a fashion staple during the 1990s street-wear scene. By the early 2000s, it was known globally as the “IT” brand for many black teens. So where did the idea come from? During the 80s, wool hats with cut tops were very popular amongst rappers. Huge companies sold these hats at an average price of around $20 which you can imagine at the time for a wool hat was a little 😬. This is where John spotted an opportunity. He went home and shared the idea with his friend Carlton Brown. They both made around 80 hats and went out in New York the next day selling each hat for $10. They managed to sell out the same day ending up with $800 in revenue. That same day John went home and persuaded his mother to take out a loan, mortgaging their apartment. They borrowed $100, 000 in start-up cash and invested the money into the business. And that is how FUBU was born.
In the beginning, they were sewing the FUBU logo on t-shirts, jackets and other clothes trying to make the brand popular. However, they didn’t see the same success as they had had with their hats. Things were tough. The clothing line was not an instant success. In an interview with Hot97 in 2017, John explained that for three years— from 1989-1992— FUBU didn’t make any money. In fact, the company was closed down three times before it began to generate income. However, In 1994, things began to pick up, John exposed his clothing on the popular trade show Magic, held in Las Vegas. Despite FUBU couldn’t even afford to rent a booth, they got orders for around $300 000. They were about to become really popular. In the next years, FUBU signed some decent contracts with big names like NBA, JC Penny, and some others. By the year 1998, the company declared around $350 million in sales. Today, FUBU’s sales are around $6 billion, Daymond John’s net worth has reached $250 million in 2015.
In 1995, a few years after John mortgaged his house for $100,000 to invest into FUBU with his business partners (and run the company out of that same house), Samsung became investors of the company after seeing John’s ad in the NY Times which read”A million dollars in orders, need financing.” By 1998, FUBU was totalling $350 million in yearly sales.
Then by luck, John managed to convince LL Cool J (who lived in the same neighbourhood as him and was a good friend of his) to wear a promotional t-shirt with the FUBU brand on it on some of his videos (around 40). Later, LL Cool J wore a FUBU hat while shooting a short video clip for The Gap which gave the company there exposure they needed!
“He was wearing a pair of Gap jeans and a Gap shirt, but he was somehow able to sport one of our hats during the commercial. Then during his thirty-second freestyle rap, he looks directly into the camera and says, ‘For Us, By Us, on the low.’ No one at Gap nor any of their ad execs thought anything of it. It wasn’t until a month later that someone at the Gap found out, pulled the commercial, and fired a whole bunch of people after they had spent about $30 million running this campaign.”
But the damage was already done.
However, just like the other brands in this series, their reign didn’t last after a few missteps and investing $5 million into a compilation album titled ‘the good life’, FUBU left the U.S. market completely in 2003. In a book he co-authored, The Brand Within, John explained that one of the major factors that led to the company’s demise is that they had too much product. “Once you hit mark-down bins, it’s tough to climb out, because you’ve lost the sense that your clothes are fresh and vibrant,” he writes.
Having said that, FUBU did make a comeback and last year they paired with Sorella Boutique for a collaboration, releasing a new 90s inspired women’s collection. They also came out with a Black lives matter capsule collection in late 2019 and patent suits under their name too. So hopefully FUBU can be the brand that it once was “for us by us”