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Week in Review | Fashion's Race Problem, Menswear, CFDA's New Strategy, M/M (Paris), Street Style

BoF editor-in-chief Imran Amed recaps the week in the business of fashion.
At Umit Benan's Jackie Robinson-themed men's collection | Source: BoF
  • Imran Amed

LONDON, United Kingdom — BoF has always aimed to spark intelligent conversation and debate about the sometimes controversial issues shaping the fashion industry. From sustainability to the rights of garment workers, and body image to globalisation, we believe that providing a platform for opinions, backed up by reasoned arguments, expertise and experience, is part of our responsibility and role at heart of the global fashion community.

This week, two Op-Ed pieces sparked passionate debate, far and wide. First, longtime friend and supporter of BoF, Jason Campbell, shared his thoughts on the "Vogue Black" section of Vogue Italia's website. Though conversation about this controversial section has been percolating for years, Jason's Op-Ed piece was sparked by a new series on "Vogue Black" dedicated to street-style which singles out black people attending the shows.

He wrote: "I had a visceral reaction to this discovery. Do viewers require a different lens to appreciate our sense of style? Is it to say that we’re less or more fashionable? Why separate coverage of us at all?"

In fashion media and on social networks, the response was fast and, in some cases, furious. The Telegraph in London, Fashionista, New York magazine, The Fashion Spot, streetwear blog, Styleite and many others weighed in. And while many websites and commenters agreed with Jason's conclusions that the new "separate but equal" series smacked of segregation, others, including Ms Sozzani herself, said that these sections were designed to "raise public awareness on often neglected themes." What do you think?

Then, yesterday, in another Op-Ed penned by Max Berlinger, we explored the evolution of street style, which, about five years after it first hit the fashion scene, has gone on to reshape fashion advertising and editorial, giving rise to a slew of new industry photographers and streets style stars, and, in some cases, becoming a marketing platform. Mr Berlinger argued that all of this has destroyed street style's original, authentic appeal.

"While street style used to represent the frontier of self-expression and do-it-yourself spirit," he wrote, "now it looks as constructed as the runway." Thousands of people jumped in on the debate and the article fast became one of the most read articles on BoF this week. Have a read and let us know what you think.

Here are some of our top articles from the week gone by:

Japan's Pal Building 'IKEA of Fashion'
Japanese retail group Pal is investing in growth-focused, large-format stores, seeing a market for what it calls an "IKEA of fashion."

Op-Ed | It's Time to Address Fashion's Race Problem
The fashion industry is still plagued by a troubling lack of diversity and racial sensitivity and too little is being done about it, says Jason Campbell.

12 Fashion Experts Look Back at the Menswear Season That Was
BoF speaks to industry insiders about the menswear season that just wrapped.

BoF Exclusive | CFDA Reveals New Strategy
Last year, the Council of Fashion Designers of America tapped the Boston Consulting Group to help define its mission for the next half-decade. Today, BoF can exclusively reveal the key elements of the CFDA's new strategy, built around education, partnerships, local manufacturing and, of course, revamping New York Fashion Week.

Fashion Panel Talks Omni-Channel Retail at DLD 2014
Imran Amed discusses omni-channel retail strategies with Paula Reed of, Chris Kyvetos of Sneakerboy and Ulric Jerome of at the annual DLD (Digital-Life-Design) Conference.

The Creative Class | Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag, Art Directors
Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag of acclaimed graphic design duo M/M (Paris) speak to BoF about their professional journey and inventing the unique visual vocabulary that has become an indelible part of fashion.

Op-Ed | What Happened to Street Style?
Today, the fashion that appears in "street style" imagery too closely resembles the constructs found on the catwalk and in magazine editorials, and no longer reflects true personal style, argues Max Berlinger.

And if you are looking for a more visual, lean-back experience this weekend, check out our newly launched BoF Weekly, a week in review published with Flipboard and updated every Saturday.

Imran Amed
Founder and Editor-in-Chief

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