De Young Museum's 'Contemporary Muslim Fashion' Exhibit Opens To Protests In Frankfurt

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San Francisco’s de Young museum presented a paradigm-busting show titled ‘Contemporary Muslim Fashions’ that opened September 22, 2018 and closed Januaryn 6, 2019. The exhibit challenged museum-goers to “explore the rich diversity of one of the fastest-growing fashion sectors today” — modest fashion.

In an examination of Muslim dress codes worldwide, trom those who cover their heads to those who do not, the exhibit sought to draw attention to contemporary Muslim life.

The exhibition was initially organized by Max Hollein, now director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New Yori. It traversed a multitude of religious interpretations, high-end luxury fashions and streetwear alike.

Writing for The Hollywood Reporter, Celine Semaan summarized AOC’s long-held position on this subject, words that were then featured on the exhibit’s website.

Ten years from now, we may look at “Contemporary Muslim Fashion” at the de Young Museum as a turning point in American history, where mainstream America, despite an angry minority, embraced its “others” at the highest institutions.”

AOC’s prior coverage of the San Francisco ‘Contemporary Muslim Fashions’ exhibit.

The exhibit has now moved to the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt. artNet writes that there were protests weeks before the exhibition even opened. An unlikely alliance of second-wave feminists, the far right, and self-proclaimed secular immigrants gathered to protest the headscarf — or hijab — on view in several exhibits as “an instrument of oppression against women’. Condemning the show as “propaganda” for Islamism and a “blast” against feminists, a small group protested “what they deemed a glorification of an oppressive tool and interrupted the opening ceremonies with an attempted slutwalk” at last week’s opening ceremony.

"This exhibition, which supposedly depicts religious dress requirements as fashion, is a slap in the face of domestic and foreign women's rights activists," says a group letter published by feminist magazine ‘Emma’. The group, composed of Iranian refugees, also reminds people that "Every year, thousands of women in Iran are punished for violating this dress code."

In a brief but articulate interview about the Frankfurt show, museum diredctor Matthias Wagner K explains how political fashion can be.

I share the opinion of the exhibitionʹs initiator Max Hollein, who holds fashion to be the exalted expression of a cultural state. The show does not ignore the issue of women's rights. On the contrary, there are many photographs and contributions by women artists such as Shirin Neshat that explicitly address the oppression of women who, if they resist these dress codes, have to fear for their lives or for their well-being.

Not one exhibit included in the show references such dress codes. You wonʹt find a single burka. And any references to burkas are couched in critical, artistic contributions or street photography. On the contrary, the exhibition shows a lot of young women who dress very self-confidently and self-determinedly in modest fashion, with hijab or not. What we are presenting is a completely new image of Muslim woman which has nothing to do with the conventional stereotypes. “

Somewhat annoyed with all the protest and criticism from people who hadn’t even seen the show, Wagner K told artnet News “I understand if criticism comes from Iranian and Arabic women because of their personal experiences with restrictive dress codes. But this is not the case for all countries with Muslim populations and minorities. The exhibition explores the interpretations of fashion by Muslim women all over the world that may be rooted in religious traditions, but change constantly,”

Max Hollein , the show’s creator had extensive museum director’s experience in Germany before moving to the de Young position in San Francisco and now the Met. His goal was to upset the idea that “Muslim clothing was forced onto oppressed Muslim women. His goal was to highlight the diversity of these modest fashions, and if nothing else, the show at least kicked off another widespread debate. But it’s also done more than that, by offering an disruption of prejudices about Muslim lifestyles—and that accomplishment is desperately needed in times of rising Islamophobia”, writes artNet.

Stella McCartney Wins 'FUR FREE FUR' Fake Fur Trademark Battle With USPTO

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Call the case Stella McCartney vs the US Govt — and Stella won.

Stella McCartney is one of most most committed voices in the global sustainability moment. In a trademark case that was a bit esoteric for the USPTO, McCartney sought to trademark the concept ‘FUR FREE FUR’ and not a specific textile composition. Stella wanted a category of existing and future fabrics not even created to live under her proposed ‘FUR FREE FUR” trademark label.

For two years, the designer’s attorneys have communicated back and forth with US trademark officials, who refused to grant her the trademark, saying the three words do not identify the source of McCartney’s products in the same way as say, an “LV” logo on a bag identifies the Louis Vuitton brand. Stella refused to yield, arguing that carefully developing materials that “incorporate the look and feel of fur but without any animal cruelty,” and then applying the “Fur Free Fur” tags on products, complete with the same font at Stella McCartney’s main logo was 1) totally congruent with her brand imagery but also 2) a word puzzle that required customers to think deeply about the product.

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The first use of the word FUR “refers exclusively to animal fur,”  stating that the goods are “animal fur free.” In the second instance, “FUR refers to imitation fur.” 

Thus, “the two different meanings of the term ‘fur’ within [McCartney’s] single mark creates a logical paradox … suggesting that the goods are both fur-free and made of fur at the same time,” and thereby, not descriptive. Therefore, the three words are not merely descriptive and qualified for a trademark.

On appeal, two of the three judges agreed with Stella McCartney’s lawyers, and the very important trademark will be given to her. via The Fashion Law.

Eastern & Oriental Express Becomes 'Tiger Express' In Bangkok To Singapore Trip For Tigers

The six-day, five-night ‘Tiger Express’ – a special trip organised aboard Belmond’s luxury train, the Eastern & Oriental Express – will pass through the tiger’s traditional habitat as it travels from Bangkok to Singapore and help to raise awareness about endangered big cats.

The six-day, five-night ‘Tiger Express’ – a special trip organised aboard Belmond’s luxury train, the Eastern & Oriental Express – will pass through the tiger’s traditional habitat as it travels from Bangkok to Singapore and help to raise awareness about endangered big cats.

LVMH + Sustainability

Reporting on the LVMH acquisition of Belmond Hotels last December, we rather tongue-in-cheek wondered if Bernard Arnault will now save the elephants. Conservation and sustainability priorities are increasingly a high priority for younger customers. Within this context, it seems that saving elephants and other big game is a perfect initiative for the LVMH group, as they expand their luxury hotel business. Bernard Arnault himself has noted the luxury consumers move towards experiences and not more possessions.

On September 7 of this year, hotel and leisure company Belmond and its Eastern & Oriental Express will embark on a luxurious six-day, five-night train trip from Bangkok to Singapore. Called the ‘Tiger Express’, the excursion has teamed up with the global tiger conservation charity initiative, ‘Save Wild Tigers, to “raise awareness about the plight of the world’s last remaining wild tigers, writes Friday’s The South China Morning Post.

Three nights during the six-day train journey will be spent on board Belmond’s luxurious ‘Tiger Express’.

Three nights during the six-day train journey will be spent on board Belmond’s luxurious ‘Tiger Express’.

The endangered big cats could be extinct within a decade, writes ‘Tiger Express’

The landing page of Save Wild Tigers features the trip. 20% of the ticket price will be donated to Save Wild Tigers, and guests will enjoy the company of each other, artists, and unnamed ambassadors from Save Wild Tigers.

Only 3,800 tigers remain in the wild worldwide, with as few as 400 in Thailand and Malaysia, Belmond says. If numbers continue to decline at their current rate, wild tigers will be extinct within the decade.

“With potentially as few as 10 years left to save this iconic species from extinction, the clock really is ticking,” says Simon Clinton, founder of Save Wild Tigers. This is not the first collaboration between Belmond and Save Wild Tigers. They first teamed up in 2014 to launch the ‘Tiger Express’.

Prices start from £3,724 (US$4,865) per person, based on two people sharing a twin cabin, which includes all meals, one night’s accommodation each at Siam Bangkok and Raffles Singapore, and three nights on board the train, plus the two excursions and transfers to and from the train. Read more information about the trip and bookings at Belmond.com.


Bernared Arnault’s Wealth Is Growing At An Astonishing Rate

Bernard Arnault recently became the richest person in Europe – overtaking Warren Buffett to become the third-richest person in the world, after Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates, according to the latest Bloomberg Billionaires Index, published on March 6, 2019. Bloomberg estimates Arnault’s wealth at $83.1 billion, making him the richest person in the fashion industry.

In January 2019, Bernard Arnault made US$4.3 billion in a single day after LVMH shares surged 6.9 per cent.

Arnault is getting richer at an astonishing rate, writes The South China Morning Post in a March review of the Frenchman’s finances. In January 2019, Bernard Arnault made US$4.3 billion in a single day after LVMH shares surged 6.9 per cent. Between the end of January and February 27, he added another US$3.9 billion to his fortune.

Arnault has built LVMH into a triumphant capitalist success story, while described by the press as “ruthless,” “able to exploit,” “famously litigious,” and “a wolf in cashmere clothing.” 

To address these headlines, Antoine Arnault, Bernard Arnault’s son from his first marriage, assumed additional new LVMH responsibilities in June, 2018 as head of the group's image and communication strategy. According to Bloomberg, Arnault “stressed the importance of the role, saying his son will be in charge of managing the ‘growing attention’ in the company from the media and public, and pointing to social media as an area of particular focus.”

LVMH's awareness of the "growing attention from the media, observers, public authorities, as well as the general public,” and specifically, the "increased exposure" – coupled with a different vision of corporate responsibilities among Arnault’s five children — suggests that the group recognizes the need to craft its reputation more carefully than it has in the past

Within this context, it seems that saving tigers, elephants and other big game is a perfect initiative for the LVMH group, as they expand their luxury hotel business. Bernard Arnault himself has noted that luxury consumers are moving towards experiences and not more possessions. .

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