Week in Review | Fashion’s Image Problem, SXSW, Critiquing the Critics, Joe Richards, Patrick Li, Brian Atwood

BoF editor-in-chief Imran Amed recaps the week in the business of fashion.

Skinny Model Backstage | Source: Kenneth Lyngaas, Campaign Against Eating Disorders

LONDON, United Kingdom — There’s nothing we love more at BoF than to spark an intelligent debate. That’s exactly what happened this week when I recounted the conversation I had with a London cabbie about the body image that the fashion industry projects and how industry outsiders often see fashion as being deeply out of touch with reality. Since the post went up on Monday, it’s been fascinating to watch the comments flood in and see the story picked up on sites around the world, where the debate raged on. As Bullett magazine’s Fiona Duncan wrote in her own review of the piece: “the comments thread that followed the post was, for internet standards, brilliant, capturing the varying vantage points of the debate.” I highly recommend you read them all.

And then there were our trusted friends Diane Pernet and Susie Bubble, who also shared important opinions on issues close to their hearts. Susie, who has an uncanny (and often under-recognised) ability to surface and discover amazing creative talent says that the London College of Fashion should receive more credit for its young graduates, one of whom, Octo Cheung, told her that “everyone thinks Central Saint Martins is the creativity of heaven, but LCF is the creativity of reality, as clothes need to be worn on the human body eventually.” Susie clearly agrees. As for Diane, her polemic on the state of fashion critcism, which was originally published on vintage e-tailer Byronesque, sparked a vigorous debate of its own.

Everyone in fashion seems to have their own unique fashion journey. And this week we lifted the veil on three fascinating people impacting the fashion industry in their own ways. Yasmin Sewell first told me about the designer Joe Richards in the back of a taxi during London Fashion Week. His experience in designing at Lanvin and Céline have set him up to be our latest BoF Spotlight. A few weeks later in Paris, I sat down with Patrick Li, the highly respected art director and new creative director of The New York TimesT magazine to learn about how he went from biology student to architecture grad to fashion media maven. And, speaking to our New York-based contributor Tommye Fitzpatrick, Brian Atwood recounted how he started his own professional fashion journey as a model before becoming an internationally recognised footwear designer.

Finally, on the Fashion 2.0 front, we got a lowdown on all the fashion-relevant happenings at SXSW Interactive from guest contributor Rachel Arthur and found out how Mr Peter Som has built a following of a staggering 3.3 million followers on Pinterest with no apparent strategy at all, but rather just by being himself and sharing the things he likes, from both inside and outside the world of fashion. Pretty impressive stuff.

That’s all for this week, but there’s plenty for you to catch up on over the weekend. See you next week!

Imran Amed, Editor-in-Chief