Gwyneth Paltrow and Valentino Release Capsule Collection

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Gwyneth Paltrow models pieces from her collaboration with Valentino (Terry Richardson for Valentino)

With the recent success of Gwyneth Paltrow’s online lifestyle empire, Goop, the actress has decided to expand her talents to fashion. As Paltrow descends into the fashion industry, she is definitely in good hands, for her partnership is with legendary fashion house Valentino. Paltrow has been longtime friends with creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli since her time starring in Shakespeare in Love. Together, they have collaborated in a 25-piece capsule collection to be sold on Paltrow’s website and in a pop-up shop in the Time Warner Center.

Drawing inspiration from Wonder Woman, the design team and Paltrow have created an opportunity for all involved to move out of their comfort zones. Paltrow was interested in the retail landscape and reached out to Valentino over social media to establish the partnership. The line, which ranges from accessories to shoes to clothes, the designers were able to expand past their romantic, delicate aesthetic the brand is known for and evolve into something a bit more edgy. This capsule collection was launched on Nov. 23 and is available now.

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Sleeveless tulle dress, $9,900
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Military jacket, $7,800

Employees Go on Strike Against Roberto Cavalli

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Roberto Cavalli storefront (Sloane Street)

More than 200 employees of Roberto Cavalli’s flagship store on Florence’s luxury shopping street Via Tornabuoni on Nov. 19. These employees are protesting the decision to mobilize 66 employees, as mandated by the parent company Clessidra. Backed by the RSU [Unitary Union Representative], Filctem-CGIL, CISL and Femca Uiltec UIL, the employees of Roberto Cavalli strongly disagree with the operation to mobilize their peers. It was announced in Oct. 2015 that chief executive officer Renato Semerari would begin to reorganize and restructure the Cavalli company, which would result in the downsizing of the Florence factory location. With the strike, employees hope to gain transparency from the board of the company and emphasis the lack of employee support within the Roberto Cavalli business.

Monique Lhuillier Teams Up With Pottery Barn Kids

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Designer Monique Lhuillier is partnering with Pottery Barn Kids in her first venture into home decor (Monique Lhuillier)

Fashion and bridal designer Monique Lhuillier announced on Nov. 18 her latest partnership – with Pottery Barn Kids. Lhuillier has designed a nursery, bedroom, and playroom collection of 70 pieces for the home furnishing line. Inspired by her own children’s nurseries and bedrooms, this is the designers first attempt at home decor. The line will be released in March and will be available for purchase at Pottery Barn Kids stores and online.

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Lhuillier announces her collaboration with Pottery Barn Kids on Instagram

Pottery Barn Kids is delighted to welcome such a prestigious designer into their company, after successes in the past with other designers. “Monique has beautifully translated her fashionable runway designs and luxe details into a stunning collection for baby and kids’ home furnishings,” said Pottery Barn brands president Sandra Stangl, “we cannot wait to share the new collection with our customers this spring.”

Designers Partner With Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

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Christian Siriano will be one of the many designers helping the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center this December (The Curvy Fashionista)

13 major designers will participate in a two-day shopping event to benefit the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), giving a new meaning to shopping with a cause. Companies, such as Christian Siriano and Oscar de la Renta Furs, will donate 20 percent of all sales to MSKCC.

Sponsored by Little Black Dress Wines and Cocktail Caviar, the event will directly benefit MSKCC. The Cancer Center is one of the largest private and oldest research organization devoted to investigating 400 types of cancer and helping over 137,000 families annually.

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The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center helps 137,000 families annually (MSKCC)

Harrison Calvert Boutiques, a Louisville, KY.-based company, organized the event which is planned for Dec. 11 and 12. The event will take place at Blue Jean Studios 149 West 24th Street in New York City. Among the 13 designers participating in the event, all of their 2016 collections will be available to shoppers for pre-order in addition to their current collections.

Fashion As Self-Defense

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Avita Ziesler is changing the way females fight for themselves (New York Times)

Avital Ziesler, a hand-to-hand combat trainer, is revolutionizing female self-defense in Manhattan – one pair of shoes at a time. Ziesler has popularized a form of self-defense for women that surrounds high heeled shoes. Women are trained to use their high heeled pumps as weapons against an attacker, through kicks, jabs, and chokeholds. Passionate about women learning to defend themselves, Ziesler teaches course in this new form of self-defense as a way to empower women.

The women who started the trend of fashion as a form of defense back in 2007, with her class entitled Stilettos and Self-Defense, Jennifer Cassetta stated, “Women feel very empowered wearing heels. But most women can barely walk in them, let alone run. If you can’t run away, you better know how to fight off an attacker.” Since women wear heels frequently and being attacked is a worry of many, this form of self-defense will transform how females fight back.

Green is the New Black

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An example of fast fashion, H&M, as it continues to pose a threat to the environment and garment workers’ lives (NPR).

With rising popularity, new documentary, The True Cost, emphasizes creating a more sustainable fashion industry. The film is spurring the involvement of many leading fast fashion companies in building a more eco-friendly environment. With the widely received documentary, director Andrew Morgan, stresses the underlying corruption of the fashion industry. This corruption is having grave impacts on the environment and on workers across the world.

Discussion Begins

Fast fashion companies, while effective in business and a resource of most consumers, are slowly destroying the environment and the lives of its workers. Fast fashion can be defined as companies that produce their inventory at incredibly fast turnover rates, selling their products for fairly inexpensive and creating the products for even cheaper.

Morgan’s The True Cost has effectively encouraged major fashion news outlets to begin discussing what can be done in order to revolutionize how consumers shop, specifically in regards to fast fashion. The documentary generates transparency of the injustice of the fashion industry, the fair trade movement has risen in importance.

A Preventative Measure(ments)

H&M has recently partnered with Kering to create fibre-recycling technology that will help reduce the amount of textiles filling landfills around the world. With this technology, fibers from old clothing will be extracted and used in new garments available at H&M. Advancements in fashion, like what H&M and Kering’s, will eventually help stop the otherwise disastrous issues facing the world.

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This infographic describes the current effect of the fashion industry on the world (Sandra Negron)

An Evolving Industry

With the increase of fast fashion companies, clothing has become disposable. From the beginning of production of many of mainstream goods, there are harmful variables that are destroying the lives of the workers creating garments and the environment they are disposed in. Throughout the last decade, there have been many fatal garment factory collapses. Most recently, 1,100 lives were taken in the falling of a garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The extreme and unsafe conditions garment workers are forced to operate under, sometimes claiming their lives, illustrates just how dangerous the industry has become.