Posts tagged with "fashion industry"

How the Fashion Industry Made Running Cool

The fashion industry is hugely influential to the point that it can make or break trends in all sorts of arenas, even in those only tangentially related.

One of the biggest examples of this occurred when the rise of stylish sportswear suddenly made it cool to run. This fashion trend elevating running above the straightforward form of exercise that it had been seen as in the past.

Here’s a look at what enabled the running revolution and the role that fashion brands had in catalyzing it.

The Power of Celebrity

It is impossible to talk about the rise of fashion-focused sportswear without touching on the rich and famous turning functional clothing into must-have garments.

Starting in the 1980s, professional athletes, as well as the stars of stage and screen, began to be seen in branded, designer sportswear. Manufacturers realized that if they could get their logos noticed by the public, they would inevitably sell more.

This time also coincided with an increased interest in health and fitness, especially amongst the middle classes. Of course, if you see celebrities out and about in the latest training tops, shorts and sneakers, then you will not only want to emulate their exercise routines, but also their workout wardrobes. In the modern age, celebrity endorsements and tie-ins take this even further.

The Affordability & Timelessness

Another aspect of why the fashion industry was so eager to push sportswear once it got its first taste was because of the inexpensive production costs. From the best sunglasses for running on the road to the top training shoes for the track, the relative simplicity of the designs – combined with the minimal materials needed to make them – meant that manufacturers could make a mint on the markup of designer sportswear.

Meanwhile, another perk from a design perspective is that while fashion in the sportswear sector does cycle quite quickly, the underlying designs for the key pieces required for running or any other activity do not need significant change. This timelessness continues to pay dividends from a cost-saving perspective for manufacturers, while also meaning that people who pick up gear can then keep using it for years without feeling like they are falling behind the times.

The Comfort

Sportswear did not just became fashionable because activities like jogging and running were made into mainstream hobbies for millions. The sheer versatility of this type of clothing allowed it to become accepted in a lot of other contexts too.

It is perfectly normal to see people wearing garments that are ostensibly designed for exercise in bars, restaurants and even business meetings. This is not just because of changing trends, but also as a result of how comfortable sportswear tends to be in comparison with traditional garb.

People who picked up running gear to fulfill their fitness goals can also happily slip into it for everyday errands and other occasions, while still feeling cool and en vogue.

The Tribalism

There is one final talking point relating to sportswear, fitness and the fashion industry – the kind of tribalism which is innate to humanity.

By designer brands entering the market and promoting their products against rivals, this could rub off on consumers, creating a kind of product fueled war of loyalty. Nike, Adidas and Reebok have all capitalized on this, but high end fashion houses are equally invested in this approach.

Running remains a pastime which is unavoidably associated with being seen by others, and if you can wear the colors and designs of a brand you love while doing it, then it’s all the better. And so, fashion and sportswear look set to maintain their close relationship indefinitely, even if specific brands may rise and fall.

illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

Netflix’s Halston Recap

“You are only as good as the people you dress” – Halston.  

To the world, he is better known as Halston: the first American fashion designer who changed fashion forever. The new Netflix limited series Halston tells the story of fashion legend Roy Halston Frowick.

Created by Ryan Murphy and directed by Daniel Minahan, the five-episode series is adapted from the 1991 book Simply Halston: The Untold Story by Steven Gaines. It focuses on the rise and fall of the late designer (played by Ewan McGregor) known for dressing socialites and celebrities–notably Babe Paley, Liza Minnelli, and Jackie O.

With being the designer that brought American fashion onto the grid, many have been interested in Halston’s life. It is not the first time that his glamorous and tortured story has been put in the spotlight (2019 documentary Halston). But Ryan Murphy takes Halston and produces a version of him that does not try to escape his queerness. Some might not agree with this version of him, but Halston definitely shows us that with fame and status, stardom can also be very lonely.

Episode 1: “Becoming Halston”

The opening shot brings us to Halston’s hometown in 1933: a farm in Evansville, Indiana. Quite creative since his early days, Episode 1 shows Halston taking feathers from the chicken coop and making a hat for his mom. By 1961, he is known for designing Jackie Kennedy’s pillbox hats. Unfortunately, by 1968 Jackie O stops wearing them, and Halston’s hats become an afterthought.

The intro shows us how quick trends fade, and Halston sets out on his journey to rebrand himself. He tries to take a page from Ralph Lifshitz (now globally known as Ralph Lauren). Halston tries to create an exclusive American couture line for Bergdorf Goodman. However, the fashion world is not interested in his black and white dresses and not a single piece sells.

Unfazed, Halston meets up with illustrator Joe Eula (played by David Pittu), convincing him to join the Halston team. Eula tells Halston, “You want to be Balenciaga. There’s already a Balenciaga. What we need is to figure out your signature.” At the same time, Halston is introduced to Liza Minnelli (Krysta Rodriguez), who compares Halston’s pillbox hats to her famous mother Judy Garland: “You and me are living under the shadow of something, and we’re both trying to do the same thing.” Minnelli becomes Halston’s first muse, shaping her into a friend and collaborator over the course of the series.

Securing funding of $100,000, Halston gathers a small crew to set up shop: Joe Eula, model Elsa Peretti (Rebecca Dayan), and junior partner Joel Schumacher (Rory Culkin). Halston takes Schumacher’s idea of a flowy, dyed fabric and makes dresses out of them. Though the show doesn’t lead to any sales, it gains American socialite Barbara “Babe” Paley’s interest. During the meeting with Paley (Regina Schneider), Halston shows her Ultrasuede synthetic trench coats, claiming “It’s sexy. It’s comfort. It’s freedom.” She takes one in every color.

Episode 2: “Versailles”

The star of this episode is the iconic Battle of Versailles, which pitted French designers against American designers. In the French establishment is Yves Saint LaurentPierre CardinEmanuel UngaroMarc Bohan (Dior), and Hubert de Givenchy. The American establishment is composed of Oscar de la RentaStephen BurrowsBill BlassAnne Klein, and Halston.

Though at first, Halston was not interested in the 1973 fundraiser for the Versailles, which also doubled as a means to get the American fashion name out to the world. Despite every woman in Central Park wearing his Ultrasuede, Halston tells publicist Eleanor Lambert (Kelly Bishop) that he can’t do a fundraiser because he’s broke. Trying to balance art and commerce, Eleanor sets Halston up with David Mahoney who wants to buy Halston’s licensing, proposing mass production. However, Halston initially refuses, saying “you’re only as good as the people you dress.”

Norton Simon sponsors Halston’s team to go to the Versailles show, and Halston convinces Minnelli to tag along and perform for him. With his entourage, they travel to Paris with 24 designs in an attempt to show their worth to the fashion industry. While nothing seemed to be going right at first – the backdrop size is wrong, costumes have not arrived, looks need to be designed – Minnelli forces Halston to pick himself up as his nerves get the better of him. And Halston does, slaying the runway with a 70s purple sequin dress, topped with a feathered hand fan that gets him a standing ovation. Original designs can be seen here.

By the end of the episode, we see a glimpse of Halston wanting protection from his “magical” childhood that was actually lonely and scary. He signs the contract with David, “If I sign that contract, I must never, ever, be left to feel unappreciated, underfunded, unprotected, unsafe. Promise me that, David.” While not everyone agrees with him selling his name, Halston gets new cash flow at the expense of his trademark name, pushing him through to stardom.

Episode 3: “The Sweet Smell of Success”

Focusing on Halston’s first fragrance, the third episode reminds us of Halston’s roots and the scents that created him. In the opening scene, we watch Elsa design a sensual perfume bottle for Halston, though the gravity defying perfume stopper is not sold to Mahoney. In an interesting conversation about phallic symbolisms, Halston is told the stopper is impossible to manufacture.

Arguing that creativity wins commercialism, Halston writes a check for $50,000 to pay for his own manufacturer, unwilling to compromise the exclusivity of the design. To create his scent, we are met with Adele (Vera Farmiga), who forces Halston to dig into his past for scents that evoke emotions. Adele bends Halston to her demands, and we get to see Halston’s inner, broken child more than ever in this episode. They discuss different scents and the memories Halston has connected to them: his fascination with scentless orchids, spring grass, tobacco, and his lover’s jockstrap.

Liza is off getting married and Halston has a breakdown. His lover boy, Victor Hugo (Gian Franco Rodriguez), points out that Halston just wants yes men and loyalty, and not everyone can do that for him. While work-life balance is not something that Halston achieves, his perfume becomes one of America’s best-selling perfumes, achieving $85 million in sales within the first two years. This led Halston to launch a plethora of new products–including suitcases, sunglasses, and carpets.

Despite all his success, we see that Halston does not find much love at Studio 54. In the heartbreaking final scene, we watch Hugo witnessing his lover having sex with another partner. While people are lined up buying products by Halston, he does not seem to have anything for himself.

Episode 4: “The Party’s Over”

Studio 54-era of Halston’s life: This episode shows Halston’s spiral into drugs and partying. The surplus and gluttony in overwhelming success and his cocaine addiction has him dropping the ball on his business, Liza faints on the dancefloor due to her drug habit, and there is a vent death at Studio 54.

Calvin Klein takes reign as top designer, and Halston spends his time cursing his competitor out. David Mahoney believes that jeans could be Halston’s next best creation and proposes the idea to Halston, in which is declined. As he loses his self-control, Halston designs have stopped selling at a growing rate. On the other hand, Elsa starts to be successful at Tiffany’s as a jewelry designer. Halston’s ego takes a problem with this, as he thinks he is the only one with talent and that Elsa should be thankful for him and give him credit. Belittling everyone around him due to jealousy, Halston pushes everyone away, left with nothing but his own name.

Halston’s mother dies unexpectedly, and this changes his mind about designing jeans when he sees a Calvin Klein commercial (starring Brooke Shields, originally from the 1980s). His ego takes a beating when David tells him he is “six months too late,” and Halston is no longer setting the fashion trends.

Things don’t look up for Halston either, as Mahoney tries to take Norton private and fails, resulting in a change of management. The AIDS pandemic is seen through the lens of Victor who tests positive for HIV, and Liza checks into rehab. Unsurprisingly, Halston is left in isolation by the end of it. With no other choice, he becomes the inhouse designer for JCPenney for some petty cash, and we no longer see the Halston that believed in exclusivity and creative control.

Episode 5: “Critics”

With designing how JCPenney, Halston is no longer having any fun. With pushing everyone around him away, he is only left with his assistant by his side and that is only because she is “getting paid to do so.” Halston begins showing up to the office at dinner, pushing off his deadlines, all while snorting large amounts of cocaine.

The company replaces Halston with designer John David Ridge (Jack Mikesell), the first person that lets Halston know he is an embarrassment, “How dare you be so irresponsible with the empire you spent your whole life working for?”

After being diagnosed with HIV and forced to retire, Halston’s life is put into perspective, and he really thinks about what he wants out of this life. Perhaps afraid that he might die without a final design to call his own, he seeks out his friend Martha Graham, and designs a spandex collection for her show. The reviews for this design gives Halston the acceptance that he was searching for the entire life and he finally admits that “Halston” was not just him, it was his entire team.

The series ends with Halston leaving to the West Coast and spending the rest of his days along the Pacific Ocean, mixed with tearful snippets of him watching Graham’s Persephone.

“We’re given one name… just one. And that’s all we have when we’re on the earth. And that’s all we leave behind us when we’re gone. I wasn’t precious enough with mine.” – Halston to Joe Eula, Halston Episode 5.

While five episodes is not enough to talk about Halston’s magnificent life, we get to see the grandeur of Halston’s reign in Ryan Murphy’s rendition. Captivating and intoxication, we see his friendships and intimate scenes unfolding in the series. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, you cannot deny the legacy that is Halston.

“Halston” premiered May 14 on Netflix.

Armon Hayes image via Armon Hayes for use by 360 Magazine

Armon

Armon Hayes is an editor for 360 Magazine and the creative director for Ace of Haze Style of Ace (AOHSOA). Armon’s innovative eye for detail allows him to create long lasting partnerships with clientele as he helps them develop their personal brands. His design brand offers styling, design services, brand management, and lifestyle products. AOHSOA’s brand motto, “It’s not who you wear, how” encompasses the thoughtfulness with which Armon addresses each individual client to best emphasize their strengths and build their brands. This personalized approach to brand management and styling allows for AOHSOA to stand out in the field of design.

Armon describes his career aspirations regarding AOHSOA: “I’ve always dreamed of being an entrepreneur in the retail/fashion industry. In addition to feeding my own design sweet tooth, I enjoy developing design ideas and working with others to help them fulfill their own creative dreams. I have married these passions with the creation of Ace of Haze Style of Ace (AOHSOA) in 2017. My brand offers not only a street-luxe clothing line, but also styling and design services, home and children’s decor options, and brand management–all with the goal of motivating and empowering other creatives to look, feel, and produce their best. Our goal is to express creativity through fashion, art, and lifestyle, encompassing all creative endeavors. The focus at AOHSOA is elevating our lifestyle and transitioning our mindset. We live on the cutting-edge and believe that the key to brand success is being a part of–and influencers within–movements of change. Our motto is “It’s not who you wear, how.” This approach means that personal style should transcend past fashion trends to reflect your personality and your brand: you. Whether you’re getting back into the workforce or celebrating a milestone, when you look good, you feel good, and the world around you recognizes such. With this in mind, anyone and everyone can benefit from my brand. My clients include individuals, retail clothing brands, non-profit organizations, an independent recording artist, beauty brands and a pop culture and design magazine. Through our products, events and services, each client’s brand has been elevated. In turn, clients have been empowered to dream, create and develop their potential as they share their gifts with the world.”

Armon originally worked his way up in the retail industry, and now has created his own brand. He explains his journey to reaching his current achievements: “To me, success is measured as any opportunity from which I’ve had to learn and grow. In 2015/2016, before creating AOHSOA, I had the opportunity to participate in a spring product review when employed by True Religion as a store director. This experience sparked ideas in me for my future and gave me a raw understanding of the inner workings of a successful brand. My creativity and marketing sense was ignited in a way that I still look back on with gratitude. This experience led me to working as the assistant stylist for Toure Designs’ fashion show in 2018. At the fashion show, I had an idea that I felt would elevate a look just moments before the model was to walk the runway: having the model walk while shirtless. Fortunately, it was a very well received style suggestion. In that moment, I learned to trust my instincts, which has helped, and will continue to help, my endeavors with AOHSOA.

“More recently, I worked on several projects with independent recording artist, LaJune. As her personal stylist and creative director for three years, this is truly a passion project. During the pandemic, we collaborated on two live performances and two music videos. Additionally, we worked on an editorial shoot featuring Land Rover’s Defender to be featured in 360 Magazine. More recently, I hosted my second pop-up shop activation, The Bodega. The relaxed shopping event featured AOHSOA trunk options, and introduced a new assortment of blouses & dresses called “Onesie”. The one-size-fit-most offerings were a success, selling out of samples and having many orders placed. 2020 highlighted my need to develop a multifunctional living space, which has been an integral piece to my growth and development as a business owner. With the help of talented friends, family and supporters, we developed a space for myself and other creatives to come to develop their art and conduct business, with a twist. This living space has proved successful for both LaJune, AOHSOA, and my partners, as they may continue working, producing and creating safely during the uncertainty. The space, #360TRAP, has led to invaluable collaborations and partnerships.”

“While the pandemic has weighed heavy on small business owners, Armon found a way to take advantage of his downtime. He continues explaining how 2020 affected his career path and personal vision: “The pandemic has helped me realize the need for businesses and artists to pivot and evolve in order to overcome challenges. It became important to use the down time of lockdown wisely so that I wouldn’t lose the momentum I’ve generated, nor plateau creatively. I found myself unemployed and unable to operate AOHSOA in the traditional way. However, I felt even more committed to making AOHSOA successful and on the front lines of a movement of change. With the time the pandemic afforded me to commit myself to this passion full-time, I developed my administrative and brand management skill set in preparation for a resurgence. Additionally, the social justice movement gave people like myself an opportunity to reflect on the times and ways in which we can impact the world and its ecosystem. AOHSOA is committed to progress in diversity and inclusivity – it’s who we are. Expressing myself creatively supported me with a clearer perspective, and more importantly, an outlet for my process. I began sewing more, creating merchandise, and focusing on building my inventory and my social presence through blogging. I strategized around ensuring AOHSOA could survive and thrive in a pandemic, and set goals for the next six months. After creating a space, #360TRAP, in partnership with 360 Magazine, I developed concepts and ideas that mutually benefitted my business and my clients. I grew my client list and increased sales by $515 over this time last year. I honed in on social media engagement, adding a layer to my brand by sharing lifestyle aspects via my blog. On the blog, I discuss all things fashion, music and lifestyle, with elements of design. I am also working toward evolving this business into a bespoke brand with customized curations, as well as capsule fashion.

“As a precursor to World Blood Day and my birthday in June 2021, AOHSOA hosted a pop-up shop called the Bodega that featured several clients and sponsors. These collaborators included Respire by Design, The 6th Clothing Co., a local NYC tattoo artist,  Chinelos Tacos NYC food truck, CocoOil, and Zavor. The event was a direct response to realign and reconnect with my community post-isolation. I continued to develop concepts for LaJune, including a streetwear collection of merchandise for her third EP, Mind. The merchandise collection is titled #mindmerch, and has been made available to her fans and supporters of AOHSOA. Our partnership, live performances, and music videos led to a collaboration with Viacom and a video shot at Smash Studios. These challenging times have taught me to pivot (sometimes at a moment’s notice), adjust, and be consistent in executing my plans. Having a network of talented supporters and friends has allowed for delegation and shared responsibilities, and most importantly, resources. All of these efforts resulted in a 47% increase in site sessions over 2020, with 51% representing unique visitors retaining 38% of existing traffic. As we enter the fourth quarter of this year, at my digital shop we anticipate an increased in traffic shy of 26% of last year’s visitors. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, I committed myself to elevating my brand with proven success. I embrace future challenges with an open heart because I know they will only make me smarter and stronger.”

Armon continues to work to grow his innovative, fashionable design brand, Ace of Haze Style of Ace. Through conducting SWOT analyses and evaluating his business practices, Armon looks to the future with determination and his signature creative flair. He is committed to inclusivity and actively works to pay forward his successes. Armon looks to use the platform AOHSOA has granted him to continue to pursue his own dreams, and help others do the same. He looks to not only building his brand empire, but also giving back to his community through charitable endeavors and his design abilities. Through creating opportunities for and mentoring the next generation of future fashion entrepreneurs, Armon aims to aid other young creatives in finding their own personal brands.

In describing his brand’s business model, Armon remarks that ” I believe that newly formed corporations should add activations for their diverse team members to feel comfortable and accepted no matter their color, creed, belief, sexuality or religion, and I aim to have AOHSOA be a leader in this effort. I want to position my organization to reflect the “Ballroom” culture within the LGBTQ community, by fostering a movement in life & style and allowing creatives a safe space to hone their skills and talents while they build their network. I am also looking forward to becoming more active in charitable endeavors, specifically working with kids/teens to help them find their brand within.”

Follow AOHSOA on Instagram and check out their website.

Armon Hayes image via Armon Hayes for use by 360 Magazine

Book illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

ICONS WITH ATTITUDE SERIES

The Life, Work and Legacy: ICONS WITH ATTITUDE

Discover the life, work and legacy of Coco Chanel and Alexander McQueen in these snappy and stylish biographies about artistic spirit, influence and attitude.

WHAT COCO CHANEL CAN TEACH YOU ABOUT FASHION (Frances Lincoln / September 7, 2021 / $ 16.99) breaks down Chanel’s life and work into memorable mantras that epitomize her ground-breaking perspective – including Poverty Can Be Luxury, Rebel Against Your Rivals, Find Your Spirit Animal and Twist Textile Traditions. This book uncovers Chanel’s creative approach, her inspirations, her business acumen and the details that make her designs so timeless.

WHAT ALEXANDER MCQUEEN CAN TEACH YOU ABOUT FASHION (Frances Lincoln / September 7, 2021 / $ 16.99) is also available in the Icons with Attitude series. It breaks down McQueen’s life and work into memorable mantras – including Don’t be Scared of Fear, Challenge Gender, Add Volume, Then More Volume and Show Skin. This book uncovers McQueen’s creative flair, his inspirations, his business acumen and the details that make his designs so arresting.

Fireworks by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Independence Day Must Haves

Tangy Floral Spritz

The biggest birthday party of the summer is right around the corner and Cavit Wines knows the perfect way to celebrate! Toast to America with a refreshing cocktail that sparkles and shines like the fireworks on the Fourth of July. Below you will find a super easy recipe featuring Cavit’s bright and fruity Prosecco that can be made in under 5 minutes!

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) grapefruit juice
  • 2 oz (1/4 cup) Chase Elderflower Liqueur
  • Ice cubes
  • 6 oz (3/4 cup) Cavit Prosecco
  • 2 grapefruit wedges
  • 2 edible flowers

How to mix:

Divide grapefruit juice and liqueur between 2 glasses; fill glasses with ice cubes; top with Prosecco. Garnish each serving with grapefruit wedge and an edible flower.

Tip: Edible flowers can be found in gourmet food markets in the produce section with herbs or can be ordered and purchased online.

Cavit Wines' Tangy Floral Spritz via Kayleigh Dietz at Berk Communications for use by 360 Magazine

1800 Coco Swizzle

With the summer solstice right around the corner on Sunday, June 20th, cocktail enthusiasts will be looking for delicious, interesting new cocktails to pass the time on the longest day of the year. Fortunately, 1800 Tequila offers the perfect mix of summer tequila cocktails made with their 1800 Silver, 1800 Cristalino, and 1800 Coconut expressions – ideal for unwinding during long summer days, whether enjoyed on vacation or kicking back after a long work week! Please find below three solstice-ready 1800 cocktails and links to purchase 1800 Silver (Drizly & ReserveBar), 1800 Coconut (Drizly & ReserveBar), and 1800 Cristalino (Drizly & ReserveBar).

  • 2 oz. 1800 Coconut
  • ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
  • ¾ oz. simple syrup
  • 6-8 muddled fresh mint leaves 
  • 2 oz. club soda

Directions: In a cocktail shaker, muddle mint leaves before adding the remaining ingredients (sans club soda) and shaking with ice. Pour into a Collins glass over fresh ice and top with soda. Garnish with a mint sprig.

1800 Coco Swizzle 1800 Tequila image via Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

Soul Insole Gel Insoles

Who says adorable sandals or flip flops can’t provide foot support? Say goodbye to foot pain and hello to comfort thanks to Soul Insole. This company which makes memory gel insoles that are designed to relieve foot, back and other body pain and gently guide the foot into proper alignment.

You can’t even see these insoles in sandals or flip flops, as they stick to any surface and are clear. They can easily be removed and washed too. Soul Insole gel insoles are perfect for summertime footwear. For more info, please visit Soul Insole’s website.

Soul Insole image via Lindsay Jorgenson for use by 360 Magazine

Absolutely Gluten Free’s Snacks

Absolutely Gluten-Free’s new look and feel across all products better reflects the new and delicious line of sweet and savory items that hit the market. The new line includes an assortment of scrumptious, sweet, and savory snacks that are 100% Certified Gluten-free, all-natural, OU certified kosher, grain-free, free of corn and rice, vegan, and made with only clean and wholesome ingredients. 

Whether you choose a gluten free lifestyle for health, lifestyle or wellness reason, the gourmet, innovative and flavorful Absolutely Gluten Free line of snacks and treats are perfect every gluten-free occasion.  Stock up for Independence Day with the line of Absolutely Gluten Free, which includes crackers and flatbreads, Coconut Chews, and macaroons. For more info, visit their website, Facebook, and Instagram.

Absolutely Gluten Free snacks image via Stacey Bender at Bender PR Group for use by 360 Magazine

E.Cuarenta’s Sparkling Tequila Sunrise

This refreshingly delicious cocktail is great to sip on at cook-outs and picnics. The Sparkling Tequila Sunrise starts with Bay area rapper Earl “E-40” Stevens’  E. Cuarenta tequila mixed with orange juice, then topped off with prosecco and Grenadine. The cocktail is perfect for a hot summer day. 

Sparkling Tequila Sunrise:

  • 2 oz of Tequila
  • 3 oz of orange juice
  • ¼ oz of Grenadine
  • Earl Stevens Selections Prosecco

Method: Add tequila and orange juice into a shaker, add ice, and shake. Pour into a champagne flute and add grenadine slowly. Top with prosecco. Garnish with orange slice.

Walden Farms

Walden Farms just relaunched their amazing zero calorie, zeros fat, zero sugar and zero carbs products. These products sound too good to be true, but Walden Farms has found a way to deliver healthy and delicious dips, spreads, sauces, dressings, condiments, syrups, and coffee creamers.

For those looking to replace their favorite unhealthy dressings with guilt-free alternatives, try Walden Farm’s new Ranch Dressing, Thousand Island, or Honey Dijon. Other tasty options include their BBQ Sauce for grilling, Caramel Dip for dessert, and Alfredo Sauce, which is perfect for healthy family dinners. Walden Farms helps customers find nutritious options that don’t compromise taste.

product images via Stacey Bender at Bender PR group for use by 360 Magazine

Mighty Sesame Co. Tahini

Mighty Sesame Co. offers delicious, healthy, creamy tahini. Their newest launch includes the spicy Harissa tahini favor. Tahini can be used on and in so many recipes, such as in vinaigrettes, dressings, and truffles. With a variety of options– from organic tahini, to whole seed tahini to harissa tahini– customers are sure to love this nutrient-dense, high protein sesame paste.

For those looking to stock up on Might Sesame Co’s deliciousness, the company offers the classic Tahini tub. For no-mess meal prep and easy storage, squeeze-able tahini in a bottle is available. Mighty Sesame Co. ensures that their products are sustainably sourced from Ethiopia.

Mighty Sesame Co. product images via Stacey Bender at Bender PR group for use by 360 Magazine

Andrew & Everett Cheese

Andrew & Everett offers all natural, anti-biotic free, non-cloned sourced cheese. Their American cheese stands apart from other brands with it’s uncompromised quality and taste. Customers can order cheese shredded, pre-sliced, grated, or in bricks. The company also offers butter and seasonal cheese balls.

All of the milk in the company’s cheese is sourced from self-sustaining, family-run farms in America’s heartland– promising consumers with high-quality cheese from free range, grass fed cows. Andrew & Everett products are produced in a gluten free facility and contain no preservatives, binders, or fillers.

Andrew & Everett cheese product images via Stacey Bender at Bender PR group for use by 360 Magazine

Indigo Wild Clothing Biodegradable Apparel

Indigo Wild Clothing creates biodegradable clothing and swimwear that is revolutionizing the fashion industry. The brand‘s unique fabric decomposes in less than five years, while most swimwear sits in a landfill for 40–200 years. Indigo Wild Clothing’s fabrics leaves zero chemicals or microplastics behind. Their brand produces zero waste and uses only biodegradable packaging materials.

Indigo Wild’s bathing suits are made for those with active, on the go lifestyles. These handmade, Hawaiian suits are becoming increasingly popular, and were recently showcased at Miami Swim Week 2021. Indigo Wild Clothing’s suits are priced at $65.00, and consumers will feel good knowing that their money is going towards an innovative and eco-friendly brand.

Indigo Wild Clothing bathing suit image via Lindsey Hytrek at ChicExecs Brand Development for use by 360 Magazine
Mena Garcia illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Mena Garcia

By: Katherine Fleischman

Argentine-born “it” girl, stunner, and globe trotter Mena Garcia is in the process of launching her sustainable, vegan, and cruelty free fashion and beauty brands, as she searches to keep mother nature at the top of her priority list. Gone are the days of harmful damage to our beautiful earth as we move towards ensuring a green future and Mena wants to play her part in proving that fashion doesn’t have to be harmful to the planet. “In the past technology and the science of materials was limited to just niche sectors such as medical clothing, technical clothing, and sportswear. I’m here to put my spin on things and bring the fantastic technology we have to the forefront and prove that we can all wear sustainable clothing,” said Mena.

As scientists, researchers and designers join forces to try to reduce the carbon footprint that the fashion industry currently stamps, independent designers like Mena will be crucial to leading the way and showing fashion giants that if she can do it, so can they. “I believe we can really make a difference by using our voice on social media platforms and by setting online trends to really catch the attention of the largest fashion brands around the world. Independent brands like mine can truly make the difference here.” Mena, who has been modeling since her teens, has almost three-quarters of a million Instagram followers and this platform will undoubtedly help her cause. 

She talks passionately about using “waste from oranges to make silk,” or “pineapple leaf for a leather alternative” and spectacularly “agricultural waste bacteria.” As Mena continues to learn more, she’s using her education to find out interesting new ways to create sustainable fashion in a term she coins as “trash fashion” – using literal waste to create something new. “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure certainly comes to mind!”

“I’ve been studying with expert Mila at Estudio MG in a special collaboration with Closet Sustenable in Argentina. I’ve learned so much, including some incredible things. One of the main focuses is creating materials inspired in nature where cells and proteins are being used to create different types of real leather but in a totally sustainable, vegan and cruelty-free way.”

However, it’s not all smooth-sailing or simple. To be true to the cause, it is essential to be sustainable throughout the whole process. Everything from material sourcing, grading, dyes, and packaging needs to be clean and green. Mena said “I want to also make sure that workers during the production process are treated fairly, with respect, are safe, and paid fairly. To be truly sustainable, the entire process needs to be true to the terms “sustainable, cruelty-free, and vegan.”

Mena is certainly one to watch in 2021 and 2022. She says “it will take some time because piecing it all together perfectly is crucial, but I’m ready for the challenge and encourage everyone to join the cause! You can follow Mena on Instagram or her website for more about her modeling, image-consulting, and her upcoming brands.

Mena Garcia image courtesy of  Do-Tell Publicity
Promotional Photos for Noorullah Line for 360 Magazine

Noorullah

By Hannah DiPilato


With a line that unites sustainability and style, Noorullah is a brand to watch. The timeless collection features unique and versatile pieces that appeal to everyone. 

Recently, we caught up with designer Noorullah Amiri who explained what makes the line different from the rest of current-day high fashion. 


Where did you pull inspiration from for this line?


I pulled inspiration from the Ancient Egyptian wardrobe, which is a white linen fabric that has drape. Linen fibers create a very functional fabric that is breathable and good for temperatures all year round. For the pajama styles, I took inspiration from Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s stained glass window in the St. Peter’s Basilica from 1660. It was fitting to use that print for the pajamas, which you can lounge and meditate in.


The tracksuit is inspired by Ancient Greek Olympians, who would participate in the Olympic events. The idea was to create a comfortable and functional tracksuit also for lounging or exercising in cold weather. I also made use of genuine snake leather for small leather goods in relation to Ancient Greek biblical artworks: “Adam and Eve” and “Laocoon and His Sons”.  And also, lamb leather in relation to “The Sacrifice of Issac”.


What made you want to create sustainable fashion?

In the fashion industry, 85% of textiles go to the dumb each year and bits of fibers from the washing machine pollute the ocean. Producing new clothes causes pollution and there is post-consumption pollution as well. The best way to be sustainable is to close the loop in the fashion cycle and use only recycled textiles for making new fibers and materials.


It is our duty to take care of the planet for a better quality of life. And the fashion industry needs to be more sustainable to preserve the ecosystem. Our approach currently, is to focus on style and quality to create sustainable products. Style determines how long products will remain relevant and desirable, while quality determines how long the design will hold up during its use. We fully commit to our highly detailed designs with confidence so that they can be everlasting in terms of style and durability.


Have you had any community involvement relating to your company’s purpose?

Last year in San Francisco, on Earth Day, I went to a fair to gain and spread knowledge about sustainability, and also planted redwood tree sprouts that can grow up to 300 feet.


Where do you hope to see your designs in the future?

I hope to keep the designs exclusive and desirable so they can be enjoyed for a long time. We would like to have a strong global online presence with boutiques in strategic locations.

It is a dream to be able to provide people an experience from our world when shopping inside a brick-and-mortar location. I have a passion for storytelling through visual merchandising. In addition, I hope to have a limited wholesale partnership with a luxury department store.


What is your personal favorite piece from the collection and what makes this your favorite?

If I have one pick, I am going with the Wool Overcoat because it is comfortable and warm. I can wear almost anything underneath and still maintain a modern look. Also, similar to all of the garments from the collection, I created each pattern piece custom for your body. And I like that it has 4 deep pockets for holding valuables.


What would you say is the one thing that makes you stand out against other designers?

I would say it is my confidence because my design process is functional yet artistic, producing something with its own identity. I can pull inspiration from nature, for example, to create something that is unique in design having function and playing with silhouettes or other design elements.


When did you begin designing and how did you get started?

I began designing vector artwork using Adobe illustrator in 2011. I was working on a streetwear brand with t-shirts and fleece before designing window displays and private label brands for assignments in college.

I got started with the Noorullah brand by gathering inspiration and having an end-use in mind for the products. The end-use is when the garments will be worn, where, and by who. Getting an understanding of end-use is what enabled me to get started with bringing the inspirations to life.


Why do some pieces have only limited numbers available? Is this something you plan to change or continue doing in the future?

Everything from the collection is very limited because there are so many ideas to play with for new designs. The collection is truly exclusive and there will be a fresh collection to build from the previous one. In the future, as we expand our business, we will continue to keep the merchandise exclusive in proportion to consumer demands.


What is your process of designing sustainable products to ensure they’re functional and stylish?

To have a sustainable design we begin with the yarns that make up the fabric. To have durable fabrics we select the ones made from long filament yarns which are more durable, produce less fiber waste in the washing machine, and even have a better hand. We pay attention to construction details to make products functional, comfortable, and permanent. This way the products fulfill their intended uses while providing comfort and not becoming damaged. Along with durable materials and construction, we produce designs everlasting in terms of style.


How would you summarize the goal of the line in one sentence?

To give the wearer a high sense of confidence with luxury only for them to know.


Do you believe other brands should move away from fast fashion and create more sustainable clothing?

Yes, absolutely. The biggest way to impact the planet through sustainability in the fashion industry is to not produce any more clothes, but even that will not undo the existing pollution that has already been set in motion many years ago. And since we must continue producing products, it is best to be as ethical as possible.


Although the demand for fast fashion is high because some styles are trendy and affordable, the price that the planet pays is too great. Because fast fashion produces fads, where clothing goes out of style rapidly and they are made poorly to save pennies in productions.


What advice would you give to other designers about becoming more sustainable?

To source only recycled materials, and produce clothing that is classic and high quality.

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Noorullah Wool Jacket Photograph 360 Magazine

Simonetta Lein – Entertainment’s New Fashion Icon

Simonetta Lein is the new Entertainment’s Fashion Icon. Read her interview below!

  1. Were you nervous to step outside of your comfort zone of fashion to enter the world of television?

I began being in front of cameras when I was 16. I actually started paying my bills very young as an actress. Then social media took off and it allowed me to create a name for myself that brought me to starting The Wishwall TV Show, aired through FNL Network on Amazon Prime and Apple TV and now The Simonetta Lein Show Via SLTV. I have guests such as Bob Saget, Jodi Sweetin, Tommy Chong, Jay Shetty, Leon, Kim Sledge of The Sister Sledge and many more. We are over 40 million views and counting.

  1. What does fashion mean to you in terms of entertainment? Is it more personal for you or more about sending a message to the outside world?

It gives a message to the outside world that through fashion, you can truly express your inner self.

  1. What has fashion done for the entertainment industry? Do you feel an outfit can communicate an entire story?

The entertainment industry owes a lot to fashion as it is through looks and outfits that the image gets delivered to the public. It brought me to be recognized as one of the top 5 Fashion influencers in the world by Forbes, one outfit at a time.

  1. What do you look for in a piece before you decide to wear it and make it part of your story?

I plan everything ahead thinking about what is the mood of the photoshoot or video interview or the episode for the TV show. I like to work with the same team when possible, so I want to thank Raphael Amabile, my executive producer of Ausonia Partners for making sure that everything happens behind the scenes, Kate Massih, my production manager for making sure that it all goes smoothly, Messiah Jones and Jasmine Smith respectably for my hair and makeup style and James Clark our booker producer.

Each and every one of them makes sure that my business comes to light. Only the teamwork makes it possible.

Credits:
Simonetta Lein Top Model @simonettalein
Raphael A. Amabile Of Ausonia Partners LLC Executive Producer
Kate Massih Photographer and Production Manager @klmassih
Messiah Jones #Thewigdoctor Hair @holygrailofbeautysupplyllc
Jasmine Smith MUA @facesbyjleigh
Showroom @theconfessionalshowroomnyc
Glasses Stevie Boi @sbshades
Isabella Laws

Isabella Laws x Saski QxA

Isabella Laws, the General Manager of Tammy Hembrow’s Saski Collection, shares her insights, experiences, and aspirations related to working in the fashion industry, and particularly with the up-and-coming Saski brand.

  1. How did you first get involved with the fashion industry?

I’ve actually been working in the fashion industry since my first job when I was 14 years old! I worked in retail for 10 years before Tammy hired me to work at Saski Collection. Ever since I was a kid I have been obsessed with fashion and knew it was where I was going to end up career-wise.

  1. What makes the Saski brand unique as compared to other athleisure clothing brands?

Something that’s different about Saski Collection is that all of our collections are limited edition capsules. Whenever we launch a collection it’s only available for a limited period of time and then we move on to the next – Tammy’s constantly designing new pieces for Saski and we launch new collections almost every month.

  1. It’s incredible that the exclusive Saski Collection sold out within 12 hours and it was only launched around 3 years ago. Which factors led to this success?

When Saski launched back in 2017 we did sell out almost immediately! I think the reason for our initial success was Tammy saw a gap in the market and designed pieces she loved that she couldn’t find anywhere else. She was wearing everything for months before the launch and the demand really built up.

  1. What are some of the most pressing issues within the fashion industry, and how do you work to improve them through Saski?

Sustainability is a huge issue facing the fashion industry and is something that we’ve put a huge focus on at Saski Collection. One of the biggest issues is “fast fashion” – clothes that are made cheaply and in bulk to meet consumer demands. Saski prides itself on offering limited-edition capsule collections that are made ethically with our hand-picked ethical manufacturing partners. All our collections are made in limited quantities to ensure there is no wasted product. As well as this, all of Saski Collections’ packaging and post bags are biodegradable. Of course, there is always room for more and we hope to continue to work on improving our environmental footprint as we grow.

  1. What have been some of the key challenges that come with management?

At Saski Collection we have a really close team. We’re all very collaborative and open with one another which makes for a very comfortable environment for everyone. However, a lot of the team are very close friends (including Tammy and I specifically) – and a challenge I’ve had to work through since becoming General Manager is making sure I can differentiate between work and friendship. In saying this, this is something that my team has been very good at, and we are all very transparent with each other which has resulted in us only growing stronger.

  1. Who has/have been the most supportive person/people in your life that has/have allowed you to reach your achievements?

My dad (Brett), my partner (Morgan), and Tammy. My dad was a single parent, he brought me up all alone, drove me to and from school every day, put me through university, and has just overall been the driving force behind my entire life. I’m so lucky to have him.

I’ve been with my partner Morgan for almost 10 years and he has definitely been one of my biggest supporters since the day we met.

And, of course, Tammy, who hired me back in 2017 when I was fresh out of university with no experience. Her guidance and support have been hugely important to me and I never would be in this role now without her believing in me.

  1. What is your favorite or most rewarding part about helping to run an athleisure brand?

Seeing something go from an idea in Tammy’s mind and watching it come to life. My favorite part of my job role is design meetings with Tammy. We have such a similar taste and it’s so exciting to see what she comes up with and then working through the process of fabrics, colors, and sampling to get the final product.

  1. How have the donations from your proceeds sparked real social change in women and children around the world?

We’re so excited to now be working with i=change, which means that $1.00 from every sale on saskicollection.com will go to a life-changing product. Customers can choose from three sustainable charities to donate to when checking out. This gives us a chance to give back to those who need it most.

The three charities we have partnered with are:

  • UN WOMEN, to end violence against women
  • National Breast Cancer Foundation, to prevent women from dying
  • My Room’s Children Centre, support children, and their families

We’re so passionate about these projects and are excited to be able to give our customers the chance to choose where our donation goes when shopping with us.

  1. How do you and your team plan on expanding the Saski brand, and if so, to which kinds of customers?

Tammy has huge plans for Saski Collection and how she wants to expand upon our existing collections and customer base. I don’t want to give too much away at the moment, but we’ve already moved from athleisure to our first swim range in late 2019, as well as our most recent ‘mini’ and ‘unisex’ collection which sold out in less than 2 minutes. There is definitely lots of room for us to continue on expanding Saski and we’re looking forward to showing more of that in the coming months.

Future of Retail

Report by MySize

The Future of Retail and Contactless Shopping

How Can Retailers Build Customer Loyalty – While Still 6 Feet Apart?

METHODOLOGY

MySize is a leading retail measurement technology company, used by companies such as Boyish Jeans, U.S. Polo Assn. and Intimates Uncovered. As states move to reopen, consumer trust has waned following events connected to the global pandemic. In order to better assess how consumers feel about returning to the physical retail setting, MySize conducted the following survey that outlines how consumers view the current in-store shopping experience, and their pain points with e-commerce operations.

To capture these insights, MySize surveyed 1.5k people across the United States.

The data derived from this survey revealed that consumers still crave a personalized shopping experience, but appreciate contactless tech-driven solutions. Consumers trust retailers and brands that implement new rules (i.e. private fitting rooms and requirements for holding returned clothing) in order to feel more safe about returning to stores post-COVID.

The survey also showed that the majority of consumers do not trust their clothing will fit them without physically trying apparel items on, which shows how critical contactless measurement technology will be to the future retail experience.

CONSUMERS ARE READY TO SHOP IN-STORE AGAIN

71% of consumers say that they feel comfortable shopping in-store at non-essential retail locations following the coronavirus pandemic. But, are they ready to step back in-store immediately?

TO WAIT, OR NOT TO WAIT?

The majority of those polled (30%) said they would feel comfortable shopping in-store again immediately

  • 26% of consumers will wait 2 weeks after the stores reopen to shop in-store
  • 18% of consumers will wait 1 month
  • 14% of consumers will wait 2-3 months
  • 11% of consumers will wait over 4 months after stores reopen to shop in-store again

Females are more hesitant to return to stores than men

  • The majority of women (28%) will wait 2 weeks after the stores reopen to shop again
  • The majority of men (36%) will return in-store immediately after stores reopen

Gen Z is also much more cautious than any other generation to shop in-store again

  • A whopping half of Gen Z will wait 2 weeks before shopping in-store again
  • Majority of Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers will all return in-store immediately

SO, WHERE WILL THEY SHOP?

The majority (49%) of consumers say they will feel most comfortable shopping at small, local retailers following the pandemic

  • 35% of consumers say they will be most comfortable shopping at department stores following the pandemic
  • Only 16% of consumers say they will feel most comfortable shopping at standalone specialty retail stores

Baby boomers are the most likely to support local businesses, with the vast majority (59%) responding that they will feel most comfortable shopping at small, local retailers

Will Gen Z, on the other hand, revive department stores?

  • The majority (43%) of Gen Z respondents said they feel most comfortable shopping in department stores following the pandemic

WHAT WILL CONSUMERS BE AVOIDING?

Shoppers say they are the most uncomfortable to shop in-store for the following:

  • The majority of shoppers (49%) are uncomfortable to shop for apparel now
  • 33% of shoppers are uncomfortable to shop for cosmetics now
  • 18% of shoppers say they are uncomfortable to shop for shoes now

WHAT MAKES SHOPPERS FEEL SAFE

Post-COVID-19, shoppers said that the following would make them feel the safest when shopping in-store:

  • 28% said requiring contactless payment options and purchases made via mobile devices
  • 27% said retailers holding returned clothing and/or merchandise for 48 hours
  • 26% said being able to book a private fitting room in advance that has been properly sterilized
  • 18% said retailers color coding returned clothing, based on how long ago the item was returned

SAFETY PRIORITY SHIFTS AMONGST GENDER AND AGE GROUPS

Breaking down the data from the previous question, we found the following:

  • The majority of Gen Z respondents (32%) would prefer to be able to book a private fitting room over all other options
  • Additionally, the majority of male respondents (28%) would also like to be able to book a private fitting room
  • The majority of Millennial respondents (30%) said that they would prefer that retailers require contactless payments
  • The majority of Baby Boomers (28%) would like retailers to hold returned merchandise for 48 hours
  • Similarly, the majority of female respondents (30%) would like retailers to hold returned merchandise for 48 hours

WHAT CONSUMERS WILL MISS ABOUT PRE-COVID SHOPPING

The majority of consumers (56.41%) responded saying that the most impacted aspect will be getting to try on items before purchasing

  • 19.66% of consumers responded with browsing at their own leisure
  • 13.25% said receiving recommendations from store employees
  • 10.68% of consumers responded with the social aspect of in-store shopping

Baby Boomers (24%) were the number one group who responded with browsing at their own leisure

CONSUMER TRUST & PROPER FIT

61% of consumers do not trust that their clothing will fit without physically trying it on

  • Baby boomers were the least likely to trust that their clothing will fit (34.74%), followed by millenials (19.48%)

With the majority of respondents lacking trust in retail sizing, how do the majority of consumers determine their proper fit when making online purchases?

CONSUMERS AND SIZING

The survey results show that when online shopping, the majority of consumers would proceed with their purchase by making a guess on their size for the apparel item:

  • 44.07% of respondents would make a sizing guess and hope that it fits
  • 34.27% of respondents wouldn’t buy the item all together
  • 21.67% of respondents would purchase multiple sizes and return unused merchandise at a later date

Men are more likely than women to purchase multiple sizes and return unused merchandise at a later date

  • 52.92% of men would prefer to purchase the item in multiple sizes and return the additional merchandise
  • The majority of women (61.72%) would prefer to make a sizing guess and hope that the item fits

THE REASONING BEHIND RETURNS

The majority of consumers (76.97%) reported that the most common reason behind returning clothing merchandise was that the item didn’t fit properly

  • 18.42% commonly return items because it’s not their style
  • 4.61% return clothing merchandise because it’s damaged

Millennials return items the most because they don’t fit properly

Additionally, consumers what convenience when it comes to return:

  • 53.42% prefer to return items in-store
  • 30.34% want to mail the item back
  • 15.81% prefer to curbside return
  • 0.43% wouldn’t return the item

TRANSPARENCY IN SIZING

The majority of consumers (93.54%) believe that retailers need to be more transparent about clothing sizes and the way in which items fit

  • A slim percentage (6.46%) of consumers do not feel that retailers need to more transparent about clothing sizes
  • Out of the percentage, males are the least concerned with retail sizing transparency
    • 66.67% of males do not feel that retailers need to be more transparent

Baby Boomers are the most concerned group when it comes to sizing transparency

  • 29.33% of Baby Boomers feel that retailers need to be more honest when it comes to clothing sizes