Category Archives: Fashion

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Best Color You Should Always Wear on Job Interviews

You’ve prepared your answers for tough questions, updated your resume, and made of list of references. The only interview prep left to do is to select an outfit. So as you stare at your closet, scanning an overwhelming number of options, you probably can’t help but wonder what to wear. And now, there’s a definitive answer.

While we believe you should wear whatever makes you feel your professional best, there’s one particular hue that will aid you in the interview process, according to research. Black will help you be perceived as confident, according to a recent study conducted by the British retailer BuyTShirtsOnline, SheFinds.com reports.

The company surveyed 1,000 people, and according to 48% of women and 64% of men, black inspires confidence, making it the perfect option for both first dates and interviews.

What colors should one avoid for an interview? According to the study: orange and brown. Only 2% of women and 8% of men said the hues evoke confidence. On that note, you might also want to avoid red. The study revealed that most associated this color with arrogance, which isn’t a great trait to portray during an interview.

More Information About Online Retailers You Should Never Order From

Even those of us who consider ourselves savvy when it comes to online shopping may be susceptible to the latest round of compelling e-commerce scams flooding the Internet.

That’s because an array of online retailers based abroad (frequently in China) are tempting our budget-minded style consciousness with deals that appear eye-poppingly good, on clothes that are right on trend and apparently super cute… according to the photos used to market them.

But it turns out — as many recent examples have shown — that those deals can simply be too good to be true, and those persuasive photos are merely ripoffs from legit retailers.

Burned shoppers report a range of problems like receiving items way off scale from the size they ordered, waiting months for items to arrive (when the event for which they’d wanted the wardrobe had long past), to discovering the item was unsatisfactory — but finding the return process expensive or impossible. Some even report having their credit card information stolen and used abroad after the purchase.

Even the pros aren’t immune to the pull of these sites: Consumer and money-saving expert Andrea Woroch says she too fell victim: “I ordered a necklace that took almost three weeks before it arrived at my house and the cost to return ship these items made the return process nearly pointless!”

Justin Lavelle, the communications director for online background check platform BeenVerified, says buyers must beware. “There are many overseas clothing companies today offering [what they advertise as] gorgeous and trendy clothes for next to nothing,” he says. “They show images of the clothes on models that look amazing. But what you see on their site and what you get are usually two different things — cheap fabrics, unrealistic sizing, and impossible returns and refunds.”

Lavelle advises shoppers protect themselves by sticking to well-known U.S. companies — and companies with positive reviews. Then, he suggests, familiarize yourself with your chosen company’s sizing chart, as well as its return policies, to make sure the window is adequately long to complete a transaction.

Jeremy Gin, who is the co-founder and CEO of the review tool SiteJabber, adds that consumers should use caution when entering credit card info. “We always recommend that if you do decide to buy from an online merchant, use a major credit card with strong fraud protection,” he says. “Your credit card company can be an ally if something goes wrong. You can ask for a charge back and they can protect you from other unscrupulous charges.”

Gin also suggests following your gut when small details seem off. “Check all unfamiliar sites for professionalism: Typos, bad grammar and poor design can all be indicators of an online business that will not offer its customers a good experience.”

Overall, every one of the experts we interviewed echoed the same refrains: “You usually get what you pay for,” and “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

With that being said, here are some companies to steer clear of no matter what. (Of note, several are owned by the same shady and shape-shifting company Shenzhen Globalegrow E-Commerce Co. Ltd., also known as Global Egrow.)

1. TWINKLEDEALS.COM

Better Business Bureau cites nearly $15,000 in claimed losses from this retailer. On SiteJabber.com, 313 of 460 total reviewers give the company just one star. One reviewer noted, “I have ever before seen quality this poor. Garments were missing hems, sections of fabric were hanging out of seems, sizes were off by a great deal. The garments did not function as clothing on a basic level. Don’t even try to return the stuff.”

2. WISH.COM

This is not a BBB-accredited company, though the bureau registered 235 complaints for it over the last three years. They call the company out for advertising and sales issues, billing and collection problems, delivery issues, warranty problems — but most of all for problems with products (with 177 of the reviewers registering such complaints).

3. FASHIONMIA.COM

Of nearly 1,600 reviews on SiteJabber, nearly 900 give it the lowest possible rating. Among the typical complaints is sizing that’s way off scale. “Even though I ordered extra large, the clothes all looked like they were made for ten year old!” one reviewer noted.

4. SAMMYDRESS.COM

Better Business Bureau has not accredited this China-based business, and gives it an F rating (yes, on a scale that goes up to A+). The bureau has in fact issued an alert against the company after the bureau tried to contact it in an attempt to develop a report, but the post office returned the mail.

5. ROSEGAL.COM

SiteJabber reviewers slam this company, with more than 3,000 reviewers giving it a pathetic one-star rating out of five. On Reddit, people talking about the company complain of ill-fitting, poorly made merchandise, and call the whole thing a scam. “I honestly would not even donate these ‘clothes’ to Goodwill, as they are not only unfashionable, they are not even functional as real clothing,” one Redditor wrote. “Paper thin and laughably assembled, their items are the equivalent of something you might win at a roadside carnival.”

6. DRESSLILY.COM

A measly few hundred reviewers on SiteJabber give this company a satisfactory rating; more than 2,000 of 3,000 reviewers give it one star. Choice words from reviews include “trash,” “fraud,” “ugly,” and “thieves.”

7. BECKYDRESS.COM

While SiteJabber contains far fewer reviews for this site — 150 compared to several thousand for some of the other businesses on this list — most of those give the lowest rating possible. People cite receiving products that look nothing like the photos on the company’s website, constructed shoddily enough to constitute fraud.

8. ZAFUL.COM

This is not a BBB-accredited business, though it does receive an F rating from the bureau. Nearly 600 reviewers out of 830 on SiteJabber give it the lowest possible rating, citing issues like “cheap quality” and “refused to resolve an error.” Seems like Zaful should be renamed “awful” based on customer experience.

Tips to Save Money at Old Navy

Since its launch in 1994, Old Navy has become an iconic American brand. The wallet-friendly retailer is one of the few places with clothing for everyone from babies to Baby Boomers, and it’s such a well-liked shopping destination that it was named the second most popular store in the U.S. (tied with Victoria’s Secret) in 2016.

While the store is already known for its bargain prices, there are even more ways to save money there. Make sure you’re getting the best deals possible with these shopping hacks.

1. Register for text alerts. Text “6046” to 653-689 for exclusive offers and discounts. You’ll receive $5 off a $35 purchase right away.

2. Like them on Facebook. Receive notifications of sales and special deals through your Facebook feed. How easy is that?

3. Pay with a Gap Inc. brand credit card. Buy items and earn points, which you can redeem for money off. Here’s how it works: Earn 5 points for every dollar spent at Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, and Athleta, and once you reach 500 points, you earn $5 off a purchase.

4. Ask for a price adjustment. If an item goes on sale within 14 days after you’ve purchased it, Old Navy will adjust the price and give you back the difference.

5. Shop the famous $1 flip-flop sale. Mark your calendars: Many stores open early for the one-day event in June, and are often packed with customers.

6. Look for prices ending in $0.47. Clearance tags ending in this number indicate that this is the final markdown, according to The Krazy Coupon Lady. There’s no better deal than this, so scoop it up while you can.

7. Make your way to the outlet store. Yes, there are even better deals to be had. Use their store locator page to find one near you.

8. Look for markdowns on Sunday and Monday. This is when most markdowns occur, according to The Krazy Coupon Lady.

9. Buy trendy pieces. Sure, stocking up on basics is never a bad idea, but any savvy shopper knows that you shouldn’t spend a fortune on pieces that will only be in style for a season. With their relatively low prices, Old Navy is the place to buy something you’ll only wear for a short time.

10. Brave the store on Black Friday. We know this shopping holiday can be a nightmare, but it’s also one of the best days to save big money at Old Navy. Giveaways, deals for early shoppers, and serious sales (oftentimes 50 percent off the entire store) are the norm.

11. Sign up for emails alerts. Join the brand’s digital mailing list and you’ll get a coupon delivered to your inbox right away.

12. Check out the retailer’s coupon page before buying the items in your online shopping cart. The coupons, deals, and promotions page is an easy way to scout out more ways to save.

13. Make it your go-to for seasonal or special event apparel. Fact: You don’t need to spend a ton of money on a festive U.S.A. t-shirt for the Olympics or other apparel you’ll only wear for a few days a year. Each season, your local Old Navy stocks fun clothing that supports your favorite teams, colleges, and holidays.

14. Never buy anything at full price. We don’t necessarily have numbers or facts to back this one up, we just know from experience that patience pays off. Think about it—when isn’t there a sale going on at this store? Make it a goal to wait until an item goes on sale before you buy it, and you’ll never miss out on savings.

The Best Recommendation Popular Clothing Store in Every State

Even if you and your friends shop at all the same stores, it’s fun to think about where women shop in other locations across the country. What about the next town over? Or the next state? How does your style match up to women on another coast?

Refinery29 enlisted research company Social Context Lab to dig through social media and online forums to find out what stores are most talked about across the country. This data is from the first half of 2016. Here’s how the top stores stacked up!

1. Nordstrom

This chain was the top store, with 13 states favoring it: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Maine, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin.

2. Tie: Victoria’s Secret

It’s probably no surprise that the lingerie giant is a favorite of seven states: Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

2. Tie: Old Navy

Seven states love Old Navy’s affordable threads. Those are: Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Vermont.

3. Tie: Macy’s

Six states know that you can get almost anything you want at Macy’s. Those include: New York, Arizona, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Virginia.

3. Tie: Forever 21

You probably have Forever 21 on your top list! So do the following states: Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, Utah, and Florida.

4. Nordstrom Rack

Nordstrom’s more affordable sister store is favored by four states: Alaska, Colorado, Louisiana, and Minnesota.

5. Lululemon Athletica

This sporty chain is loved by three states the most: Kentucky, Massachusetts, and South Dakota.

6. Topshop

The UK store is a fave among fashionistas everywhere, but only took the top spot in two states: California and Illinois. Refinery29 points out that this is probably because the chain is only in six states, two of which are Cali and Illinois.

7. Neiman Marcus

Thanks to the companies headquarters in the state, Neiman Marcus is most discussed in Texas.

8. Dillard’s

Tennessee is the state that talks about department store Dillard’s the most!

More Information About Wash New Clothes Before Wearing

You buy a new shirt, and suddenly you want to wear nothing else for the rest of the week except, obviously, the New Thing. And you want to start right away.

You have the same familiar conversation in your head: “So maybe a few other people tried this on before me, but it’s fine. I don’t really need to wash it immediately, do I? It looks so crisp in this packaging, it’s wrinkle free and it’s just waiting for me to wear it, now.”

Before you toss the New Thing on your body and walk out the door, you might want to consider listening to another voice—that of Lana Hogue, a clothing manufacturing expert who teaches classes at Garment Industry 411. “You should absolutely wash clothes before you wear them, especially anything that is right next to the skin or that you will sweat on,” says Hogue. Even if potential germs from fellow tryers-on don’t faze you, the chemicals on the clothes themselves should certainly give you pause.

According to Hogue, almost every yarn or dyed fabric requires chemicals to make them into cute skirts or tops. Unfortunately, those chemicals can have side effects, like contact dermatitis, an itchy red rash that pops up anywhere the irritant came in contact near the skin. “Most of the chemicals used in dyeing fabric and putting those finishes on yarns that allow them to be processed through spinning equipment are known skin irritants,” Hogue says.

“Even natural fibers require caustic chemicals,” said Hogue. “Even if you buy a 100 percent cotton shirt.”
According to Hogue, fabric makers use chemicals out of necessity. “Lots of people believe that clothing is treated with chemicals,” she says. But it’s not clothing necessarily that is treated, but the textiles.” In most commercial environments, finished textiles are exposed to moisture. To prevent mold from sprouting up, yarn is sprayed with an anti-mildew agent, as well as chemicals that help the yarn slide through weaving machinery as it is transformed into fabric. To make dyes stick to fibers—so shirts and shorts can be in those royal blues and brilliant reds we all love—also requires a chemical treatment. “Even natural fibers require caustic chemicals,” said Hogue. “Even if you buy a 100 percent cotton shirt.”

As anyone who has studied the “made-in” labels on their purchases can attest, clothing comes from around the world, but components such as fabrics and trims are often stitched and dyed in a variety of countries, each with different laws about chemical use. Ingredients like azo-aniline dyes and formaldehyde resin are fairly common and cause skin irritation. “Formaldehyde is a category 3 carcinogen, which is the lowest hazard, and the amount is so small that it’s assumed that it won’t remain a threat for very long. But still, who wants to knowingly expose themselves over and over again to carcinogens?” asked Hogue. Even more alarming, a 2010 study conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found some fabrics for sale exceeded the allowable levels of the formaldehyde’s resin in the U.S.

Donald Belsito, a professor of dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, told The Wall Street Journal that the case for washing clothes extends from the textile manufacturing facility to the dressing room, which can be breeding grounds for bacteria, lice, and fungus because there’s no way to really track who’s tried on the clothes before you did. “I have seen cases of lice that were possibly transmitted from trying on in the store, and there are certain infectious diseases that can be passed on through clothing,” he told WSJ.

Luckily, washing items before wearing them can dramatically decrease the likelihood of getting a rash or lice, or being exposed to some nasty chemicals. Pay close attention to anything that is worn next to the skin or prone to getting sweated on, like summer staples. On Hogue’s must-wash list:

– Socks
– Underwear
– Undershirts
– Athletic wear
– T-shirts
– Shorts
– Summer dresses
– Swimsuits you don’t plan to wear in the water immediately
“If you’re going to wear it out and in the heat and sweat in it, you should launder it,” Hogue advises. “Sweating opens your pores and allows your skin to absorb the chemicals in clothing.”

Sweating opens your pores and allows your skin to absorb the chemicals in clothing

There are a few kinds of garments that Hogue says you can skip the pre-wash on, like:

Swimsuits, when you’ll jump in the water in immediately after putting them on (that should be enough to rinse out anything too caustic, according to Hogue)
Event wear (“You’re not going to launder your prom dress”)
Outerwear, which isn’t worn directly next to your skin
“If you have a tailored jacket, you’re not going to want to wash it,” she says. “It’s not being worn right next to your skin and it’s not going to give you skin irritation.” Hogue also says not to bother sending anything that is marked as “dry clean only” promptly to the dry cleaner. “It’s not going to do you a whole lot of good to go dry clean it, because then you are putting fresh chemicals in the fabric. But I would air it out before wearing it.”

As for the other stuff, we get it: Spending time washing your new clothes instead of promptly showing them on is a bit of a buzzkill. But it’s worth it. Quelling the instant gratification urge is a small price to pay if you don’t want to expose yourself to unknown chemicals, or walk around sporting a brand-new rash along with your brand-new clothes.

The best of autumn style tips

Boring is not a word in the vocabulary of Vetements’ designers. The brand, now three seasons old, specialises in unremarkable clothes – the five-pocket jean, the hoodie, the bomber – but transformed into something new and unusual. “We give existing pieces new life,” says designer Demna Gvasalia, 34.

Vetements picked up nearly 30 stockists in its first season and in March celebrities including Jared Leto and Kanye West traipsed to a gay sex club in Paris for its autumn presentation. The clothes – a mix of industrial colours, exaggerated sportswear, grungy dresses and oversized macs – were pieces we wear all the time, but twisted to be just weird enough, and newly cool.

The label functions as a collective, a team of 13 including seven designers, many of whom, like Gvasalia, have worked at Maison Martin Margiela, which has a similar aesthetic. “Comme des Garçons, Margiela and Helmut Lang added minimalism and deconstruction to the fashion vocabulary,” he says. “We put those ideas on a modern frame.” While “there’s an aesthetic we like, we want to make something real people will wear”. Inspiration comes from “what young people are wearing on the streets of Paris. It’s about now and today.”

Next up is menswear: “We want to go beyond fashion boys and make clothes for normal dudes.” Sounds like an admirable – and totally unboring – ambition to us. Available at matchesfashion.com

Topshop Unique for autumn/winter 2015. Photograph: Tim P Whitby/Getty Images
At the Topshop Unique show in London, the biggest takeaway wasn’t the nice chunky knits or the potential return of the high-waisted leather trouser. It was the hair. Or, rather, the undone hair. In the place of last season’s knotty ponytail trickery (see Dior spring/summer 2015), this season’s shows gave us loads of straggly hair. The sort of unkempt look you get if you’re caught in the rain or have spent one day too many at a festival.

At Gucci, Topshop Unique, Burberry and Ralph Lauren, there were tangled locks. The natural afro appeared on the catwalk at Prada, Louis Vuitton and Céline, without a hint of extensions, relaxants or straighteners. And at Roland Mouret and Chloé there was the sort of long, uncoloured, untouched hair that reminded us of being 10 years old.

This is hardly the stuff of high fashion dreams, but the natural look grows on you. It takes confidence to just wash and go. Those scruffy curls, especially combined with fresh pink cheeks, just make us think of great drizzly walks in the countryside. And, without the need to buy hair products, you can spend the cash on clothes instead. Fashion does do us a favour sometimes.

This autumn, Shinola adds men’s bags to its delectable range of watches, bicycles and leather goods, all built in America. The range includes cycling bags, totes, briefcases and duffels which come not only in the expected black and tan, but also in bold orange and Aegean blue. Leather at its best. shinola.com

“We don’t necessarily want the clothes to scream ‘vintage’. For us it’s a building tool.” So say Alonzo Ester and Alex Carapetian, designers at emerging menswear label Longjourney. The pair set up in Los Angeles in 2012 and their signature style is creating modern clothes out of repurposed fabric and old garments – think bomber jackets, sweatshirts and duvet coats in tough, ragged patchwork. The materials are mainly locally sourced and the clothes are then completed by local craftsmen for a really unique finish. The duo are proud that no two pieces are ever the same. This season, inspiration came from the concept of “veiling” and “the wrapping of everyday objects – having the familiar morph into something surprising”. available at matchesfashion.com

Fashion loves to play with fetishwear, but the fact that polyvinyl chloride is back for autumn is still a guaranteed eyebrow raiser. See Christian Dior, where it was delicately latticed on trenchcoats worn with thigh-high rubber boots worthy of a high-class dominatrix. British designer Ashley Williams, who used the fabric on dresses and coats with faux fur, bubblegum-pink collars, is destined to get a lot of play on street style blogs where the magpie-like thrill of shine is always going to rule. Maison Margiela, meanwhile, looked more Matrix than dominatrix, with floor-length jet-black coats. Sex, or at least sex shop chic, is definitely back on the fashion designers’ menus for winter. PVC is shiny, sexy and – bonus! – wipe clean. Wear it to work if you dare.

How to wear a bikini

The shortlist for outfit of summer 2016 runs something like this. Simone Biles in a leotard at the Rio Olympics, all stars and stripes and extra sparkle. Uma Thurman in a polo neck in the forthcoming Pirelli calendar. Taylor Swift on the beach with Tom Hiddleston, wearing lace-up brogues and a mustard-coloured sweater. Bella Hadid, naked but for two carefully positioned red roses, in the September issue of French Vogue.

Notice what is missing: the bikini. For half a century, the iconography of summer and the bikini have been almost interchangeable. A bikini, a tan, a beach: that was what summer should look like. But the bikini is in decline. Retailers report a rise in sales for one-piece swimsuits – 30% year on year at Selfridges, 65% at online retailer Figleaves – while Victoria’s Secret are closing their “Swim” line, which was weighted towards skimpy bikinis, and plan to use the space in store to expand the athleisure offering.

In the wake of the burkini controversy, it would be easy to pin the demise of the bikini as collateral damage in the culture war currently being fought on Europe’s beaches. That the burkini represents a level of threat such that it must be resisted with armed police reflects how the beliefs around women’s bodies for which this garment stands are, rightly or wrongly, perceived as a clear and present danger. But while it is temptingly neat to plot the bikini’s fall as a status symbol against the rise of modesty wear as a political issue, the reality is not that simple.

The problem is not that the bikini is too sexy for 2016. The problem is that the bikini represents a wholesome, respectable, entirely non-controversial level of sex appeal which simply no longer exists. This is not just about politics. It is about how the internet’s easy access to never-ending nudity rendered the bikini anachronistic: in the era of NSFW images, the sedate two-piece is losing its allure. And it is also about the escalation of hostilities in the field of body image, and how the very phrase “bikini body” has become controversial, representing an ideal we love to hate. The bikini triumphed for the second half of the 20th century because it represented an ideal of sex, summer, freedom and youth which was saucy enough to be compelling, but not fundamentally controversial.

To feel good in a bikini was an aspirational idea but – until the age of the photoshopped selfie and the Insta-model, when the body ideal became impossible – not an unrealistic or alienating concept. For all its flimsiness, the bikini stood for a consensus that is now under attack – and not from one enemy, but from all sides. The whole point of the bikini was that it was both gently provocative and entirely respectable, a line which it is increasingly difficult to walk.

The rise of the burkini was foreshadowed by that of the kaftan. As the power-tanning of the 1980s and early 1990s hazed into the bohemian, health-conscious millennium and noughties, the kaftan was added to the packing pile. Awareness about the dangers of sun damage rose, the need to maximise the surface area of tanned skin fell away, and a whole new industry of “beach fashion” – cover-ups, tummy chains, gold tattoos – grew to fill a space once occupied by the need to get brown. Simultaneously, the rise of paparazzi click-bait created a new, confidence-battering image bank. If you weren’t haunted by the photos of actresses looking ridiculously gorgeous, you were haunted by the photos which proved even ridiculously gorgeous actresses sometimes look awful on the beach. Suddenly, women were wearing more clothes on the beach. The high-street kaftan unwittingly drove modesty creep on the beach long before the burkini, but thanks to its more easily mood-boardable aesthetic – 60s bohemian Marrakesh, rather than 21st-century Saudi – nobody noticed, or cared.

Shoes tips for use

You might not pay £280 for pre-dirtied trainers, yet people are and Golden Goose the Italian brand behind these scuffed and muddied trainers is making a tidy living out of trainers that look like you’ve traipsed through an alternative, dirtier life that is probably more fun and car-less than the reality. Lifestyle appropriation, if you will.

Distressed fashion, a vulture on fashion’s horizon, is not a new practice but it is problematic. Not simply because it mimics a lifestyle, or because it rules out the important rite of passage that results in distressed clothes (getting friends to muddy boxfresh trainers, looking down at that familiar cigarette burn and remembering who burned you), but because they fetishise an alternative lifestyle, one that’s often at odds with the price point. These are expensive trainers that look like their wearer has never taken a cab, to be worn with pre-faded jeans, that suggest your job is less office-based than it probably is, your location less urban, and worse this is presumably the reasoning behind these aesthetic tics.

There are, of course, acceptable exceptions garment factories have been using sandblasters to selectively strip dye from denim to create a unique colour rather than a worn-down look (although sandblasting is a fairly dangerous technique). Equally, in cinema, most recently in Spotlight, costume designers create the pre-worn shirt look by placing a tennis ball in the wash which wears down the fibres.

But then there are the pieces that spin absurd yarns about their wearer: Japanese brand Zoo Jeans’ ripped denim suggests you once handled lions. The Adidas’ 7X750 trainers, made in collaboration with artist Ryan Gander, implies you believe in ‘handcrafted’ mud. Zoltar the Magnificent’s pre burned tees exposed you, an athlete, to actually be a 40-a-day man. In the late 90s, and just as the property boom kicked off, if you wore Helmut Lang’s paint-splattered jeans you led your friends to believe that you have had the money to buy a house and a pair of expensive jeans, but that didn’t quite leave enough capital to get it done up, too.

Alessandro Gallo and Francesca Rinaldo launched Golden Goose Deluxe Brand’s footwear in 2007 to go alongside their streetwear. Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law and Off-White founder Virgil Abloh all wear them, which, says Abloh, “makes them unique”. The other issue is precisely how distressed your trainers should be (regardless of the brand, white trainers just look better when white), and these versions suggest a solid two months skateboarding is the optimum in distressed-ness. With distressed clothes you can be whatever you want to be without putting the hours in.

Look so great on your cut hair tips

Sometimes if I’m having a bad day, I Google Image River Phoenix and study his hair. It’s like therapy and momentarily sends my brain somewhere better. This obsession is partly to do with the film My Own Private Idaho and its beautiful portrayal of youthful confusion and unrequited love. But it is also because Phoenix’s hair was at its absolute peak of amazing. Big and beautifully dishevelled, in many ways it was the embodiment of his character. Essentially, hair mis-en-scene.

Over the years, it is not just River’s up-top tangle that has reeled me in. Hair obsessing stretches from my own, which grows fast and outward, often resembling a giant mushroom. But also to (very) specific catwalks (the Raf Simons wet-look partings from spring/summer 2012 are an all-time high), via a roster of celebrities. This briefly manifested itself as a Tumblr starring the likes of actorsBen Whishaw, Jake Gyllenhaal and Andrew Garfield, the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and the Strokes singer Julian Casablancas. I even barraged my late boyfriend (himself a man of much hair prowess) to file relevant images in a specifically labelled HAIR folder on my computer desktop.

Outside work, he has a wife and two children, and I’m a single man. I might go out and have some drinks and dinner. But if it’s a barbecue at his house, we’ll hang out.

He hates the way I eat sometimes, but we were in Tokyo recently in a sushi restaurant. It was really quiet and he was taking a sip of wine. He’s not a big drinker and he was going like this [slurps and sighs]. You know when you’ve known someone for so long and it’s like a new thing? Him drinking wine… It was so weird.

Dao-Yi Chow
I remember meeting him really clearly; he came to drop something off in my office. Max has a really good spirit and it was infectious. I remember saying to myself, “Ah, that kid’s got good energy… and what the hell is he wearing in the back of his pocket?” It was a tie.

When we first started, we did pretty much everything together – design, branding, we shipped our first two seasons by ourselves from a friend’s warehouse. Now as the business has got more complex, we’ve learned to divvy up our roles. Max oversees men’s, I oversee women’s, then we’ll collaborate on everything else, from marketing to sales strategy.

Most of our disagreements come because of the difference in age and lifestyle – I think that impacts us most in terms of where we are in our lives, what we want, and our responsibilities outside the business. Ultimately, because we’re seen as a unit, we affect each other’s outcome, so all those decisions you make together, it’s like being married. It gets heated but we both know that the intent is always coming from a good place. You never have to worry about a hidden agenda. Going into business with your friends is probably not the best idea. It weighs on a relationship for sure, but we figure it out. I smacked him once with spit in my hand – he didn’t enjoy that.

Max is good at making people feel included and welcome – something in my old age I probably could do more of. There’s a good yin and yang. Max is calm; I let my emotions get the best of me. I’m more proud than Max is. Sometimes we’ll make decisions based on whether we’ve been fairly treated by someone outside the company; Max will try to see it from their point of view or he’ll be a little hesitant to pull the plug just yet – he’d rather figure it out. I’m more impetuous.

I think Max is good at the finer details, like an idea for a pocket shape or a flange on an armhole, which is his favourite detail of all time. He can look at a little thing and make it feel like a big thing.