Homerun with Umit Benan


Racism in the fashion world has always been a taboo. Last year, supermodels, Naomi Campbell and Iman, put the industry on front street with the deprived positions obtained to black people in the fashion world (i.e. designers, models, buyers, editors, etc). Indeed, we are one of the top consumers in every industry! Now in 2014, fashion designer, Umit Benan, created a nostalgic collection inspired by Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball. Although blacks have always been the unsung hero on style, swag, and taste-making, Benan recapture those classical moments one would see at their grandparents photo album to the runways with his all black modeling cast. A solid nod to the rich and grounded colors hue in varsity jackets, wide lapel sportcoats while the relaxed silhouettes provided easy suiting. Besides avant-garde Maison Martin Margiela and Rick Owens, there has not been many who are seeking to embrace more ethnic beauty (i.e. black, asian, arabic, hispanic, etc.) to capture a universal audience!

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Be Owt!! SS14 rick owens womenswear collection

There has been talk about fashion designers who neglect to allow black women enough opportunity to strut the runway as their counterparts. Beauty is not determined by collection. Do they fear their label shall become a liability to attract ratchetness and diminish their hard work and efforts to become a powerhouse? Well, Christian Louboutin and Michael Kors are still relevant; therefore, the annotations shall be seated. Needless to say, it took an American fashion designer who felt ostracized from the American ideology to migrate to Paris. His name is Rick Owens..

Rick Owens has always executed stunning collections. He is the forefather of the Goth Ninja movement. His avant garde aesthetic is shown gratitude from fashion enthusiasts to celebrities such as Jay Z, Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas, and especially A$AP Rocky. This time he has taken a left turn from the norm by showcasing his Spring/Summer 2014 womenswear collection with black models. Keep in mind, these models are not your typical models who look like superficial barbie dolls..The runway show was already shown at an intense start as the models began a militant charged synchronization. The stepping reminds me of my days being on the yard in college! Stomping down the runway beautifully structured garments in neutral tones of gray, black and ivory.

These models are from all shapes and sizes. A designer who lacks integrity who never dare to compose a collection with a high number of black models (let alone if they are past a size 6)! Garments were not walked in human hangers. These are women walking. Women who are being represented as you are walking down the street, at the store or in the office. Rick Owens is taking the Yeezus approach to break the system of what art and fashion should be represented. The shackles are beginning to break thanks to an American fashionable outcast such as Rick Owens. However, I am concerned if this was executed with pure generosity. It would be ashamed if this solely used as shock value. In the meantime, I salute to you sir! Job well done!!


Black Scale – Fall 2013 lookbook

81565x423After releasing a summer 2013 lookbook that caught everyone off-guard, Black Scale returns with a fall 2013 lookbook that’s a little less weird. Edgy imagery depicting borderline occult themes and dark vibes put the brand back on track to what we know them best for. The upcoming season offers a strong selection of varsity jackets and sweaters that fans should get excited about. There are plenty of plays on prints, including of-the-moment paisley, snakeskin, stained-glass patterns, knit prints, and leopard patterns.

As fall gets near, closer and more detailed images of the items should appear. Don’t sleep on any of these pieces. Judging by this lookbook, the collection looks solid.


The trailblazers of “All Black Everything”

yoI find it amazing how much this street goth or “all black everything” trend has been spreading like wildfire! One thing about fashion (particularly modern fashion) is the shit isn’t new. For example, we always commend the leaders of pop culture to decide what we should wear to adjust to modern-day cultures. We never acknowledge those designers who were daring to go against the norm such as pastel colors in the spring or luscious colors that radiates as you strutting across the room. Designers such as Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo, and among others who took the anti-fashion (in their terms) route injecting abyss hues to their collections long ago. Are designers like Yohji Yamamoto seen as influential regards the “all black everything” movement? Absolutely!

Afterall, they were very important in the evolution of modern fashion throughout the 80s by crediting the predominance of black color palettes. Rei and Yohji’s exploration of black essentially defined the all-black, ‘art-world’ look going on in New York during that time. Today, people don’t know the influence people like Yohji have had on the clothing they all wear. there are certain kinds of cuts, fits (e.g. over-sized and deconstructed garments, elastic waist pants, etc.) that have been swept up by American manufactures and are seen in everything, an example would be sweat clothes.

I believe Japanese designers are the reason it’s cool to wear over-sized all black outfits that people like Rick Owens or Gareth Pugh are expressed at the magnitude it does today.

Zero Underscore – fall/winter 2012

Zero_Underscore, a fashion label from South Korea with debut their collection this fall/winter. The focus of this lookbook is nothing necessarily out of the ordinary. The ensembles have a contemporary cut with hints of leather.The looks are incredibly in proportion. After all, many cuts from Asian labels are super slim compared to their American and European counterparts. Outside of the tailoring, I felt like I have seen something like this before. The brand may have not occurred to me for moment, which upsets me. I suppose I can give this label a benefit for them to grow.


Julius – 2012 A/W Collection

Julius, oh how much I love that name (it was my brother’s name)! cult Japanese brand JULIUS has established an avant-garde look that retains the gothic styling of past signature collections. With an all black palette, designer Tatsuro Horikawa tends to give a somewhat Rick Owens approach with its futuristic looks. I love the draping on the Top garments! It really delivers an androgynous feel.

Ann Demeulemeester fall collection 2011 (Pafw)

Talk about all black everything! Seems this fall, black history month is going to be adding another month in the world of fashion. “Weavable” outerwear is going bananas!! Ann Demueleester showcasing its garments consist of feathers, fur, and leather. The essence of this collection seriously give me Black Swan. A white backdrop in the campaign is a great idea to demonstrate a contrast (however some may believe its too cliche). Nevertheless, the collection is totally off trend, but whose to say you can’t do that. You have to applaud the daring individuals who takes risk as such. Now I am pondering how many DIY’ers will make some outwear with hair weave. Only time will tell.