Selecting new pieces to add to your wardrobe can be frustrating for anybody, especially the ladies. You’ve got to find the right style, color, it’s gotta be in season, and it has to fit a certain way. Believe me, I understand. After sitting in waiting rooms, going in and out of seemingly every store in the mall that sells women’s clothes, hoping that the lady I’m with hurries up, and having to remain quiet about my frustration with this process. Hearing those dreaded words, “Let’s run to the mall real quick,” and cringing all over because you know that there is no such thing as “real quick” when there is shopping involved. Not to mention that you were baited by the follow up phrase, “We can swing by” whatever your favorite restaurant is, because nobody turns down that opportunity, right? So after being in the mall all day, trying to save your appetite to Hulk smash at the restaurant, and you’re on the brink of what feels like your stomach eating itself , I truly understand.

anni3Now let’s put the shoe on the other foot. How difficult do you think it would be to make something that fits the criteria that we as consumers would want to buy? This is what designer Anine Bing experienced early on, and still managed to deliver a global women’s clothing line.
Anine Bing is the name and face behind the Anine Bing women’s clothing line. Since debuting in the summer of 2012, Bing has become a very successful brand. One of the things they have set out to do is provide new items more frequently than most of the competition. Ideally, designers put out lines each season. Anine Bing, however, has stepped away from the typical season to season method and chooses to put out a few new items from week to week.

Having new material so often works pretty well for Bing, by keeping the name relevant and constantly changing things up. Another thing that Bing avoids is limiting their creativity to developing things that are in season. While this is a seemingly risky move, today’s fashion is geared for people who love to take risks and break typical rules, which makes Bing right on time for this crowd of people.

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The designer set out three years ago to make a line of clothing for women that live a life “on the go.” The kind of woman that likes to put outfits together on her own, and do so on the fly. She told Canadian based fashion publication, Style Calling, “My fabric choices are so important to me. The quality of the material I use in everything I design is important. The fabrics are very basic but luxurious. I work a lot in silk, linen and cashmere.” This line is full of pieces that are easily swapped out to suit what the customer has in mind. This allows the customer to create her own look by mixing and matching the different garments.

anni1Who exactly is the person behind the name Anine Bing? Bing is a former model, which is how she was introduced to the fashion world. Bing used her time modeling to get to learn just about everything there was to know about the fashion industry. From properly setting up photo shoots, to fitting and styling, Bing was soaking it all up trying to find what her niche would be following her career as a model. After 15 years, Bing decided to call it quits and was ready to jump into doing her own thing. During her time modeling, she had dabbled in a few separate ventures before realizing what her new calling was within the fashion industry.

During her journey finding herself, Bing also found another creative passion: music. Bing joined a group called Kill Your Darlings. Later in the interview with Style Calling she said, “Music is like therapy to me. I love writing the music, singing, and creating it. The music is good for my soul.”

During that interview, she was asked if her music influences her design. She replied, “Absolutely. It has a very similar vibe. I use my music in the videos we create for the line. They go very well together. It’s that mellow, easy vibe with a little bit of a rock and roll touch – just like the clothes.”

The Anine Bing collection can be found in hundreds of boutiques across the country, or in one of the flagship stores. By next year, there will be several more flagship stores opening overseas to add to the one already in Belgium. For Anine Bing, business is definitely booming!

– Blake Holmes

Bold materials, heavy fabrics, intricate embroideries and distinctive designs are just a few of the things you will experience when visiting the House of Balenciaga in Paris, France or any of the hundred locations around the globe selling this esteemed brand.
One may ask how is it that one business can hold onto such a great deal of style and trend for as long as a century. It seems unimaginable because there are just a handful of companies in this world that are able to do so while remaining a running business with countless successful store locations and a strong customer base. Although it maybe rare, there is a man who made it happen. Cristóbal Balenciaga created a brand that has been up-and-running since 1918 and remains extremely prestigious to this day.
The House of Balenciaga is a high-end fashion collection that has been located at 10 Avenue George V in Paris, France since 1936, 18 years after its founding and its movement to numerous locations. The history that is embedded in this fashion house is remarkable and it is still growing.

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Tom Ford, the former creative director for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, has added film director as one of his titles. Ford is the director of the A Single Man, an American drama film which was released last year. This Austin Texas native once had his eye on becoming a movie star, not a fashion designer. Ford set on a path and allowed his heart to lead the way.

“When I was young, I wanted to be a movie star. But I realized that you have no control being an actor. So I went to architecture school in NYC, because I was crazy about buildings. Then I began to realize that I got more excited about Vogue coming out each month than I was about my projects. I also realized that the way I approached architecture was with a somewhat fashion brain,” Ford said in an interview with thefashionspot.com.

tom2He went on to study interior architecture at Parsons The New School for Design in New York. During his senior year he became interested in fashion while working as an intern in the Chloé press office. During his first year of college, Ford was a model and an actor in several commercials.

By the end of his senior year Ford knew for sure that he wanted to pursue a career in fashion. After he finished up at Parsons New School for Design in France in 1986, he moved back to New York to begin his professional career in the fashion industry. After many interviews he landed his first job with Cathy Hardwick, where he worked as a design assistant for two years. In 1988, Ford began working for Perry Ellis, which is where a lot of great designers got their start in the world of fashion. But he knew that working in American fashion was not an absolute passion of his and that he would have to broaden his horizons in order to fulfill his dream of becoming a great designer. It wasn’t until 1990 that the dream would become a reality. That year he was hired on as Gucci’s brand chief for the women’s ready to wear designer. Within six months of working for Gucci he was moving at a fast pace and begin designing menswear and shoes.

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Due to his hard work behind the scenes he was promoted to the Creative Director of Gucci in 1994. Ford was credited for putting the glamour back into fashion by introducing Halston-style velvet hipsters, skinny satin shirts and car finish metallic patent boots. Ford has been known for his sex appeal, and when it comes to selling clothes the ad campaigns for the brand are very appealing to the eye.

Ford told thefashionspot.com “I suppose everything I do has sexual undertones, but I don’t set out to make everything about sex. My clothes are more about sensuality. What I do is dress and beautify the body. My feeling is, if you have something beautiful, then show it. I don’t start out by saying to myself, What can I do that’s sexy? It’s more that what I find beautiful is also sexy and sensual. That doesn’t mean that I’m necessarily making clothing to go out and pick someone up in.”

The fashion designer was also credited with helping transform Gucci when it comes to revenue. By the end of his tenure at the company in 2004, Gucci was valued at over 10 billion dollars. Leaving Gucci was something that was hard for him to do and was due to what he called a “mid-life crisis.” In an interview with CNN he discussed the emotional breakup.

“It was terrible. I think it came at a time in my life when I was possibly due a mid-life crisis anyway. I worked so hard all my life to get to a certain point. There’s a wonderful quote that says a mid-life crisis is when you get to the top of the ladder only to find out that it’s against the wrong wall. So, perhaps some of my priorities weren’t in the right place. But, I took a little bit of time and cleared my head. Even though I didn’t want to leave Gucci at that time and it was quite traumatic for me, I tried to learn something from it. The thing I learned was that I never ever in my life want to retire.”

In 2005 Ford partnered with Domenico de Sole who was the former chief executive officer of Gucci to produce his own line Tom Ford which features menswear, eyewear and a fragrance collection. He opened his first store in New York City and now has 21 stores across the world.
One thing that can be said about Ford is that he takes concepts and images that he loves and reinvents them as clothes, bags or shoes so that they will inspire similar connections with consumers.

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Tapping off his dream of being an actor, Ford decided to try his hand in film directing. Ford has his very own production company called Fade To Black. In 2009 he released A Single Man, which is based off of Christopher Isherwoods’s 1964 novel. The film is mainly about a gay professor and his struggle with suicidal thoughts after the death of his longtime partner who was killed in a car accident. Taking five years to produce the film, it was well worth the wait for everyone. The film received wonderful reviews from the Venice Film Festival.

-Markysha Cannon

Ayaan and Idyl Mohallim are twin sisters who have created their very own fashion collection called Mataano, which means “twins” in the Somali language. In 2009, after the release of their first collection, they interviewed with Oprah Winfrey to share their experience as twin fashion designers. This was the icing on the cake because this interview brought national attention to their emerging brand. Ayaan and Idyl were born in Washington, DC. Their mother felt that it was important that the girls learn the Somali language and culture, so they spent the first nine years of their lives in Somalia. Needless to say, the Somali culture ultimately inspired many of the designs for their collections. With absolutely no type of formal training in fashion design, the twins held steady to their dream and passion to create a brand that the two envisioned when they were younger.

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