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Condé Nast creates new fashion and beauty networks

Condé Nast has been forming fashion and beauty networks across its platforms. Celia Ellenberg, Vogue’s beauty director, and Jenny Bailly, Allure’s executive beauty director, will be in charge of the beauty network. Rickie de Sole, W’s fashion market and accessories director, and Virginia Smith, Vogue’s fashion market and accessories director, will be in charge of the fashion aspect. All the directors will continue to hold their original titles but with additional duties.

The new structure is set up as a resource for Condé to help smaller brands that don’t have their own fashion or beauty departments, such as their brand Condé Nast Traveler. The idea closely resembles the way the company combined its creative, copy and research teams across all titles back in 2016. In 2017, the company reorganized its business side and cut around 100 jobs. Back in November, Condé Nast cut around 80 positions, reduced the number of print titles and closed off Teen Vogue’s print edition.

It has been very apparent that new editors in chief Radhika Jones and Samantha Barry want to make staffing changes. One of the upcoming tasks awaiting the new hires will be finding ways to reduce budgets even further.

GQ name new Fashion Director and Style and Grooming Director

Dylan Jones, editor of British GQ and Editor in Chief of GQ Style announced today an array of new hires, set to further invest in their high-end-agenda-setting journalism and fashion coverage as the magazine is heading into their 30th anniversary year. The appointments include a significant number of additions to the fashion team.

GQ started off by appointing Luke Day Fashion Director with immediate effect. Day will also continue to be Editor of GQ Style, a role he has been a part of since February 2015, and before that he was Fashion Director of the same title.

Dylan Jones said, “I’m delighted that Luke will now be working across GQ, as well as continuing to edit GQ Style – his ability to speak visually to a wide audience while also showcasing cutting-edge creativity and finding the most exciting new talent is a rare combination. I’m also thrilled to be welcoming Teo to the team, who will bring his considerable experience to both print and digital. As the most important luxury men’s title in the country, with fashion at its heart, all these additions to the British GQ fashion team will further reinforce the brand’s position in the market place.”

Prior to working at GQ, Day was Fashion Editor of Arena Homme+ and Fashion Director of Attitude magazine. He has also been responsible for rekindling the image for many top global brands such as Topman, MSGM, and Tommy Hilfiger.

Luke Day commented, Teo van den Broeke added, “GQ is the foremost men’s media brand in the world and I am both excited and honoured to join the brilliant British team as Style and Grooming Director. I look forward to a long and illustrious tenure at this prestigious magazine.”

Teo van den Broeke has also been announced today as the new Style and Grooming Director of British GQ. Broeke is currently Style Director of British Esquire, Deputy Editor of Esquire’s luxury biannual the Big Black Book, and the title’s annual Big Watch Book. Broeke in the past has worked for Wallpaper and has also spent some time writing for Times, the Evening Standard, the Telegraph, the Guardian, Matches Fashion and Mr Porter, as well as also giving regular talks and seminars about men’s style for a number of brands such as Louis Vuitton and Gieves & Hawkes. Broeke will assume the position January 2, 2018.

Elgar Johnson has been promoted to the position of Deputy Editor of GQ Style. He will maintain his position of Fashion Director of the title. Johnson has a background in modeling, but also began his career assisting the legendary Simon Foxton before joining i-D Magazine, where during the course of four years, he has moved up through the ranks to become Senior Fashion Editor. Johnson joined GQ Style from Man About Town, where he previously held the position of Fashion Director.

Sophie Clark has been promoted to Fashion Editor of GQ Style. Clark was previously a Junior Fashion Editor for the magazine.

Grace Gilfeather will remain Fashion Editor of British GQ and Carlotta Constant has been announced as Junior Fashion Editor, a step up from her previous position of Acting Style & Grooming Editor.

GQ reveals its best and worst dressed men

Fashion can be confusing and difficult to keep up with at times. What’s hot and up and coming one minute is out the next, with almost no reasoning behind any of it. Even with this, there are still mass amounts of people out there who dedicate their lives to fashion and always seem to look perfect. There are also mass amounts of people who could care less about what is on their body.

For both groups, there always seems to be a list, a list that is always new every year to praise and highlight the best dressers. The list is published in GQ’s January edition annually, but it can always change every year. 12 months is a long time in fashion terms.

GQ’s top editorial staff help decides who made the cut for both, after all, they’re a men’s fashion magazine who constantly write about the fashion world for a living. However, they are not the only ones casting votes. There are also top names in the fashion industry doing the voting. These names include Giorgio Armani, Christopher Bailey, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, and Sir Paul Smith.

Those who made the top ten best-dressed lists contain; Famous English actor Matt Smith, critically acclaimed rapper A$AP Rocky, Oscar-nominated actor Jeff Goldblum, recent solo artist Harry Styles, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 actor Andrew Garfield, grime artist Skepta, Rogue One actor Riz Ahmed, infamous actor Ryan Reynolds, son of the one of the England’s best soccer player Brooklyn Beckham, and Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele.

Those who made the list of worst dressed contains; Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington, famous writer Paul Merton, supercar driver/youtuber Shmee150, British politician Jacob Rees-mogg, Singer Morrissey, most subscribed youtuber PewDiePie, filmmaker Louis Theroux, musician Marshmello, Tesla founder Elon Musk, and British fitness trainer Joe Wicks.

Unless you spend your whole life studying fashion it is quite hard what to make of the list in terms of conclusions. Bottom line from the best dressed is that they all have their own unique style that also somewhat fits their personality.

When it came to the worst dressed list, you can easily tell that all of the men on that list dress in the most basic attire with not a lot of personality behind it. There are jumpers over shirts, plain suits, or in the case of British fitness coach Joe Wicks, all gym shorts. These men are not dressing to impress but just dressing to get the job done.

One big conclusion that can be drawn is that all the top ten on the “best dressed” list are mostly actors and singers with the exception of Brooklyn Beckham and Alessandro Michele but those two are heavily tied with the menswear fashion world. The top ten from the “worst dressed” list are from all different types of fields like politics, business, fitness, and non-scripted television like YouTube.

GQ editor Dylan Jones criticizes cover star

GQ editor Dylan Jones has criticized the newest issue cover star, Jeremy Corbyn. Jeremy Corbyn is the leader of the labour party in the England.

Dylan Jones told BBC news that Corbyn’s photoshoot was “as difficult as shooting any Hollywood celebrity”. Jones has claimed that despite the Labour leader’s “rock star persona” he was “underwhelming” in person.

The editor was then faced with backlash on Twitter with various Corbyn supporters and others accusing Jones of being politically bias. Jones in the past has written about his support for the Conservatives and was the author of “Cameron on Cameron” which was a series of interviews with the former Tory leader before he then went on to become to Prime Minister in 2010.

Corbyn’s former spokesman Matt Zarb-Cousin said Jones had not been in the room for the interview and said the editor’s political views were “well known”.

One Twitter user said, “might have actually bought the @BritishGQ for the first time in a blue moon for the Corbyn feature but the cheap takedown attempt by Tory boy editor Dylan Jones has convinced me to keep my money.”

According to Jones the Labour leader was “adamant” that he would wear a Marks and Spencer suit for the photo shoot. In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Jones said, “The actual shoot itself was quite tortuous. It was as difficult as shooting any Hollywood celebrity.”

“We’ve shot many politicians for our cover … but never have we encountered such a ring. Obviously [Labour director of communications] Seumas Milne and his crew are very particular gate-keepers.

“They didn’t really seem to understand the process at all, didn’t understand (a) that he would have to be photographed in the first place (b) that he would need to be presentable or that he couldn’t just turn up in his anorak.

“When he actually turned up for the shoot it was almost like he was being pushed around like a grandpa for the family Christmas photograph. He wasn’t particularly aware of what was going on. But we’re very pleased with what we ended up with.”

Nonetheless, Corbyn joins David Cameron and Boris Johnson on the list of politicians to feature on the cover of men’s “fashion and style” magazine of GQ.

When asked whether he had a falling out with Corbyn’s team, Jones said: “We haven’t fallen out with anyone, we are just describing the process of what we went through to get the cover, which I found very intriguing.”

GQ Creative Director Jim Moore stepping down

Jim Moore, the longstanding editor for GQ, will be transitioning into the role of creative director r-at-large following a long series of departures from the Condé Nast men’s title. The longtime Condé Nast editor is finally stepping away from the legacy publisher.

GQ’s creative director Jim Moore established the magazine as being the go-to style guide for American men for over four decades. He held the creative director position since 1998. Will Welch, who is the editor-in-chief of GQ’s quarterly, will be taking over in January of 2018.

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Just like Vogue’s creative director, Grace Coddington, reduced her role at the magazine in January 2016 while still being able to maintain an office and a large commitment to the publisher, Moore will take the title of creative director-at-large and will still be an active contributor to the magazine’s pages and some projects. The details of Moore’s future contract is still being under discussion.

“[Editor-in-chief Jim Nelson] has been a big advocate for me, so he wants me around and he wants my hand on every issue going forward,” Moore tells Business of Fashion, explaining that the difference will now be that his involvement will vary from project to project. “One of my favorite things is being an ambassador for the magazine. That’s a really important part of what I want to continue, the video series — teaching is really important for me.”

At Condé Nast, the responsibilities of the creative director-at-large role will vary from title to title. At the same time, the publication will be able to cut costs as the print industry continues to struggle to adapt to a more digitally focused media environment. This past November, Condé Nast announced that GQ would reduce its issues from 12 to 11 and lay off around 80 people across the company. During this cost cut, GQ lost high profile positions in the Condé Nast department, including the executive digital director and fashion director.

Moore says the new arrangement worked for him and GQ. ““I’m sure when you get slightly pushed out of the nest, it’s a wobbly feeling — especially for me, it’s been my life for four decades,” he said. “I’m really excited about staying connected to this but looking out there for other projects.”

“I don’t know any one person who’s had more effect on the way men dress in America,” says Nelson. “Jim’s is an almost mythic influence. When we threw an anniversary party several years back where Kanye West performed live on stage, even Kanye rapped about the talent and legend of Jim Moore.”

The Casualization of Men’s Suitable Attire

Designers and customers are breaking the rules. Formerly functional and drab, menswear is now undergoing a renaissance. And social media is catalyzing the shift.

“Fashion is the first and universal language,” said Kenneth Cole Mar. 25 to open a panel on the casualization of menswear sponsored by Fashion Group International and GQ magazine.

GQ Vice President Chris Mitchell moderated the panel, which included Cole, GQ Senior Style Editor Will Welch, Saks Fifth Avenue Vice President and Fashion Director Eric Jennings and designer Todd Snyder.

A Menswear Renaissance

A few years ago, men relished taking off their suits after eight hours at the office. That ship has sailed – more than half of American men have included formal wear in their casual aesthetic. Now that they do not have to wear a suit uniform everyday, they have more opportunities for sartorial creativity than ever.

“Men’s dressing has changed drastically from five to ten years ago,” Cole remarked, starting off the discussion.  In fact, the growth of men’s fashion has outpaced women’s over the last ten years. The shift in lifestyle has caused a shift in fashion awareness and aesthetic – particularly for the millennial generation, which has adopted a youthful, casual yet polished look.

“The blazer is the basis of men’s fashion, said Cole, as it doubles as formal and casual wear. Because form exclusively follows function in this piece, designers can do anything they want – make it as drab and office-like as the suit of old, or make it modern, with shoulder patches and unexpected colors, patterns and fits.  The blazer (and trousers) have been updated and are more tailored and fitted than ever before.

The well-dressed dandy from the 1800s has truly returned, and wears suits with pocket squares, ties, topcoats and vests  to go to clubs and on dates – men actually want to have their clothes tailored. Jennings attributed this to the increasing visibility of such accouterments on celebrities and NBA players, whom we see leaving the locker rooms dressed as a menswear designer’s dream, and increasing number of rappers singing in part about suits.

“The appetite is like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” Welch noted.

 

Separates are Key

Men’s fashion is like a chef (carefully) throwing ingredients together to create a chef d’oeuvre. “We are limited to the number of pieces we have,” Snyder said of man’s fashion plight. So men have to mix the things they know together to have an edge. How would one do this?  He suggested combining a formal blazer with a sweatshirt or military-style pieces. “I’m really trying to push my customer to try new things,” continued Snyder, who currently retails a suit at Nordstrom for $795.

“Take suits and dress them down,” said Welch. He proposed jeans paired with a suit jacket and tie. “There are always new directions … no end of things you can do.”  Designers need to give people what makes them feel good, but is also unexpected – something dynamic but also true to them, said Cole. He boldly claimed that “They want your interpretation of what they want.”

 

No Longer Afraid of Fashion

A designer’s success or failure hinges on timing. For men as much as for women, designers cannot introduce novel styles so soon that they alienate the customer. But they have to introduce them early enough to be a leader.

When people hear “blazer” they immediately think: preppy, private school, gold crest. But we need avant-garde to change us. Today, men want something other than the traditional preppy look – they want something a little more edgy, something that will identify them rather than lose them in the fashionable yet anonymous crowd.

You would be surprised by how many men – even quote-on-quote manly, “I don’t care what I look like” men – are actually converting to the casualized formal menswear phenomenon. Jennings visited a group of over 100 new recruits for the NBA earlier this year to give a tutorial on how to dress well and follow the NBA’s dress code. Amazingly, every single audience member – all around 19 or 20 years old, ‘macho’ football players who spend most of their waking moments sweating profusely and downing protein powder shakes – were highly interested in fashion, and knew exactly who their favorite designers were.

Millenial men are just “not afraid of fashion anymore,” said Snyder. With social media and men’s magazines like GQ and now NBA players, whom Snyder calls them “basically the best dressed men nowadays,” men have access to so many people’s personal styles – from designers to their peers. Street style and the music world are having a huge impact on men by demystifying fashion and making it more accessible. Looking like well-dressed NBA players and other guys on the street is a lot less terrifying than feeling like you’re part of a runway show or an androgynous man in a glossy airbrushed ad.

 

The Price Point.

Snyder attributes part of this aesthetic shift to the recession of 2008. “Guys are realizing that the better dressed you are, the more likely you are to succeed, whether it be in business or in dating.”

Men buy suits for a reason – a big event, a job, for longevity. They have no problem investing and choosing new things if they know it will last. So it is the company’s job to tell the story of why a piece is the best quality, fit and cut. Hot items like sneakers have no price resistance, whereas tailored, better quality and more expensive items like suits have much higher price resistance. “The make, fit and brand of the suit defines its price,” said Cole. The brand, in particular, defines expectations with its consistent quality, aesthetic, and acceptability. “Price is important… I want to dress a lot of people,” said Snyder. And the way to do that is by selling menswear at affordable prices – like his $795 suit.

Many young men get into suits through fast fashion – buying a $100-200 suit and then “graduating” to one of better quality.  Indeed, “the more trendy, the less pressure on tailoring,” said Cole. “Suit tailoring is a different mindset, a different purchase,” Welch concluded. Today’s man is starting to buy tailored items the same way he buy sneakers for the season.

 

The Future

Now that the spark has been lit in so many men’s minds, and is being stoked by increased social media exposure and designers’ attentive to the sartorial transition, the trend may turn into a way of life. As it is particularly affecting the younger generation, it is likely that this fashion-aware mindset will travel with them through their careers. Will we continue to see men buying their milk in ratty old shirts and sagging sweatpants? Certainly. But start keeping a tally of the blazered and pocket-square-wearing men in your grocery store. I guarantee the number will surprise you.

 

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Men Blazer with Jeans / MACY’s
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Men Blazer Casual look with Jeans / MACY’s
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Men Blazer with Pants / MACY’s

 

Knit Ties

The tension generated by modern standards of dress is nowhere more severe than when it comes to adorning one’s neck.  The necktie was of old a casual element of dress, but as the lounge suit found its place in the business world, the necktie became an element of more formal dress.  Now, with the workplace growing increasingly casual, the tie finds itself in an awkward position.  There are certain situations which seem to demand the formality of a tie, and there are certain ensembles which seem incomplete without a tie.  How to unite a casual world with a formal accoutrement?  There is an answer, more simple than you might think.  If you feel compelled to knot up, but don’t wish to seem too formal, don’t abandon the necktie; rather, reach for a necktie that manages to be casual.  We refer you to the knit tie.

Knit ties, as their name suggests, are neckties made from material that has been knitted together, rather than woven.  The knitting process results in a rough, open texture, leaving many gaps in the tie’s construction; knit ties are often squared off at both ends to finish the sewing.  The coarse and visible knitting helps defang the usual seriousness that accompanies a necktie.  A knit tie looks almost like something your grandmother made for you; it has a relaxed and decidedly casual elegance, while still invoking the appearance of control that is always gained when a man knots up.

A knit tie merges the professional and the casual so well that we eagerly recommend it in casual settings, even settings that might not seem to call for a necktie.  In navy silk, pair it with a white or light blue shirt and a brown sport coat, along with light gray pants- you will have an ideal first date outfit.  Weekend office workshops are the perfect environment for the knit tie- try a brightly colored one with an oxford shirt and a cardigan.  Whenever you feel ready to wear a necktie, but then have second thoughts, that is precisely the moment when you should tie on a knit tie.  It is a tie for a world gone tieless.