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Andre Benjamin: Launching a menswear label is the hardest thing he’s ever done

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I saw this at Business of Fashion. I don’t think I could ever get tired of news about Benjamin Bixby. A lot is riding on his success. I feel like he’s the first rapper to legitimately break into the high-end fashion world. Sean John OR Rocawear do not count, not by a long shot. But will the high-end fashion world accept him? I hope so.

Andre says that he has learned that merchandising is, by far, the most important aspect to get right in a new fashion business. “It’s like medicine,” he quipped. “You need to wrap it up in peanut butter to make it appealing.”

He went on to talk about the importance of getting the collection assortment right — balancing the items that will bring people into the stores with the things that they will actually buy. For a newbie in the fashion business, he seems to have picked things up pretty quickly.

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10.Deep pushes stamps. Kind of.

You might remember in my one of my earlier posts about how we’d be seeing even more plaid/flannel this season, along with an almost universal resurgence – nay, regurgitance – of M65-inspired jackets.

Well 10.Deep dun went and did it. “Oh no they di’int!” Oh yes they did.

Behold:

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Not just plaid. Not just M65. But a plaid M65.

It’s like “original” to these people ain’t nothing but the name of a fried chicken recipe. Ugh.

But if you check out the rest of the lookbook, you’ll see that they’ve got a pretty stunning season in store for us.

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The Man of Steel is a decades-old icon of American strength and persistence – and a great spot for 10.Deep to start pissing on. Their “Problem Solvers” motto has never seemed more relevant. Read More »

Tobi Two Year Anniversary Party @ Mezzanine SF

I feel severely under-dressed.”

The thought skittered through my brain as the Steel Crew rolled up to the queue that had formed outside of San Francisco’s Mezzanine. With street lamps glaring down and a warm red glow emanating from the neon signage, the rest of the crowd looked pretty damn fabulous.

I guess that’s to be expected at a popular club in San Francisco. On a Friday night. At a fashion show.

The Steel Crew attended tobi.com’s anniversary party last Friday night, celebrating two years of providing customers with the luxury of personal shopping assistants along with the convenience of stay-at-home-in-your-jammies online shopping.

“I feel severely under-dressed,” I repeat out loud to the Crew.

Sartorial Rule #38: Make sure you’re dressed for the occasion.

I feel reassured as Marius, handsomely clad in dark jeans and crisp buffalo-check flannel, tells me that he’s in the same boat, having gone to tobi.com and followed their suggestions for party attire. Tobi says, “Whatever you like! There’s no dress code.” Their suggestions scream comfort, good times, non-pretentiousness. All of the Party Approved Attire Models would look equally at home holding crystal stemware at a seaside loft or red plastic Solo cups in someone’s garage.

I guess I had forgotten Sartorial Rule #1: Wear what you like. Like what you wear. As my insecurities ebbed away, I threw down for my ticket and Red Stripe voucher (HOOORAYY BEER) and managed to hide a grin while the “VIP” line didn’t budge an inch.

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DJs Danger & Spitzer on the cutting room floor.

I get the feeling that’s what tobi.com was going for with this shindig. The Red Stripe overflowedeth, with the jeans-and-tees crowd rubbing elbows with the black dresses and high heels. After a brief welcome from our hosts Cathy and Corina (dressed in black and grey numbers that reflected the casual chic feel of the evening), the models took to the runway, showing off select men’s and women’s looks for Fall and Winter 2008.

Photos by Casanova Ruffin, who sometimes moonlights as Peter Parker.

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Safe does not have to be boring. Read More »

What I Did on My Summer Vacation by Maggie Lee, Vice Magazine

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I basically spent an hour scanning these pictures off of Vice Magazine that we scored at the Tobi party because they were my favorite out of the whole issue. They really spoke to what an actual summer vacation as a kid is like. It’s not about going to the beach everyday or taking a trip to Europe with your parents. I didn’t live near enough to a beach to want to go even once in a while and my parents had work. That’s what non-rich parents do. They work. A proper summer vacation is being at home bored as fook with too much time on your hands, as posited by Maggie Lee’s photos.

And then I checked Maggie Lee’s blog and she already had scans up! And with her own commentary! An hour of work wasted! Oh well. It’s interesting to see her stories behind the photos. She’s got quite the imagination.

………………………………….

What I Did on My Summer Vacation as told by Maggie Lee Read More »

The Independent Pays Homage to 20 of World’s Most Influential Designers

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The Independent recognizes the designers who have made the hugest contributions to today’s fashion. These are the designers who do not just set the trends, they create it. Included on the list are Hedi Slimane, Christopher Bailey, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs and Rei Kawakubo.

[Photo from the Independent]

The looks that shook the world: A celebration of the 20 most influential designers on the planet | [The Independent via WATM]

The Guardian Interviews Andre Benjamin for Benjamin Bixby

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Andre Benjamin talks to Simon Mills about his favorite shopping spots in London, how his outfits have evolved, and his ambitions for his fashion line, Benjamin Bixby.

Hackett, the young Sloane’s outfitters, is his favourite stop-off. Benjamin spends a small fortune there and knows all the staff. “You might think that a rapper from the deep south of America might not be our typical customer,” admits Hackett’s co-founder Jeremy Hackett. “But the fact that Andre comes at our clothes from a different perspective, not burdened with any of the preconceptions about class and sartorial stereotypes that a British customer might have, means he looks at the clothes in a new and fresh way. He puts our stuff together in a way that we never imagined and he is totally fearless with colour combinations. He’s got a really good eye.”

Was there something subversive about a poor young black kid dressing up in the preppy duds that were the privileged mufti of the Wasps? “A little. I guess it’s all about the twist, really. Everything is slower in the south. But we wanted to educate ourselves. Every kid was a fashion victim back then, but as you get older you learn and you become the killer not the victim.”
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How Mad Men Won 6 Emmys

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It turns out that AMC relied on some clever marketing tricks to nab its 6 Emmys. It turns out that ingenious story arcs, elaborate sets, detailed costumes, and all the subtle nuances that are employed to capture the realities of a specific era in time are not enough to capture an Emmy. It takes buzz and selling your show to the right people, not particularly to a wide audience that will guarantee ratings, just to a select few who need that extra push to be convinced that your show is worth voting for at the end.

Last year, after the success of the network’s launch of its first-ever longform, “Broken Trail,” which rustled up 9.8 million viewers, AMC decided to go prospecting for Emmy gold. Shrewdly, execs hired Murray Weissman, a veteran Oscar campaigner who once had been PR chief of the TV academy, and agreed to spend generously for the necessary investment. Weissman worked closely with AMC general manager Charlie Collier, PR chief Theano Apostolou and marketing gurus Gina Hughes and Alison Hoffman, and together they struck a motherload on awards night: “Broken Trail” won four Emmys, including best miniseries and actor (Robert Duvall).
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This photo is just wrong

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This photo from Esquire, featuring writer Nam Le, is no doubt taking its inspiration from Old Boy. And for those of you who’ve seen Old Boy, you why this is messed up.

[Scan from The Sunday Best]

THE QUEUE

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  • M.I.S.S. Crew informs the ladies why his brother AND his friends are off limits | [M.I.S.S. Crew]
  • Girl Talk destroyed three laptops, including a Panasonic Toughbook, last year in the anarchy that are his performances | [Details]
  • Upgrader catches 50 Cent, Jeremy Piven, Mark Ronson, and Andre Benjamin dressing rather impeccably [PICTURED] | [Upgrader]
  • Eva Mendes’ Houston Billboard is relatively tame. No nipple slippage here. No quotables either. | [Racked]
  • Refinery votes their 10 best favorite women’s designers of London Fashion Week. | [Refinery29]

More Funky Party Pics

The Celebutante, she proceeded to tear and thrash around chaotically when someone complimented her on her dress. And everyone invited was given a gold key to present at the door to get in. Just kidding, this ain’t MTV.

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The paparazzi in my face

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