Summary of “Meet Stephanie Kwolek, the woman who gave us bulletproof vests and yoga pants”

There’s a pile of fibers that Stephanie Kwolek helped invent.
After her father passed away, Kwolek cared for her younger brother while their mother looked for work.
Ten years into her permanent career as a chemist, Kwolek was cooking up synthetic fibers in search of a replacement for the steel used in tires.
What Kwolek came up with was thin, opaque, and milky.
Though her invention is used in everything from bullet-proof vests to tennis rackets, sneakers, and even snare drums, Kwolek signed away the patent royalties to the company.
Kwolek is the only woman to have ever received the award.
Kwolek retired from DuPont in 1986, but continued consulting for the company, and served on various academic committees, including at the National Academy of Sciences.
Kwolek was honored with an Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Medal of Honor, along with induction into the National Plastics Hall of Fame and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

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Summary of “A scrappy solution to the fashion industry’s giant waste problem”

Last school year, Maione started bringing her students at Parsons School of Design here to give them a first-hand look at the current state wastefulness on the maker side of the fashion industry.
In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that individual Americans generated 16 million tons of textile waste.
Consumer kondo-ing isn’t even the biggest source of the fashion industry’s waste problem.
Although no one is keeping exact track of the scale, commercial textile waste is estimated to account for about 40 times as much fashion waste as residential dumping.
There are laws in place that are supposed to reduce fashion manufacturing waste.
New York City actually requires companies that generate waste consisting of more than 10 percent textiles to recycle rather than trash their excess fabric.
Tracking companies’ waste is challenging; making the recycling law difficult to enforce.
Companies aren’t required to report their waste streams to the city, nor does the city’s Department of Sanitation pick up trash from commercial businesses.

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Summary of “Why the NBA and the Fashion Industry Are Connected”

Some large-scale sponsorships have even created legitimate powerhouse brands-just look to Air Jordan-but the phenomenon of players bringing quantifiable business value to fashion and accessories brands that started off the court is a new one.
Magic Johnson told Esquire that the new guys shouldn’t be getting all the credit for their fashion sense: “We all wore what was hot in our day, too. The difference [today] is the players get to show people right then and there what they have. Unless you came and took a picture of me, no one would’ve known what I wore.”
“It makes news outside of basketball when a player wears unreleased, $20,000 sneakers.” Tucker wore those sneakers-the Nike Christmastime Stewie Griffin LeBron 6s-in December 2018, which were then available on Grailed for more than $20K, according to ESPN.In fact, sneakers are many players’ gateway into fashion.
These players’ relationships with sneakers not only serve as basketball’s gateway to fashion but also as fashion’s gateway to basketball.
In 2018, the NBA changed its on-court sneaker color policy so that instead of team colors, players could wear any color sneaker during a game.
“The NBA encourages players to have businesses outside of basketball,” says NBA’s Lisa Piken Koper.
Beyond the sponsorships, the collaborations, and the investments, basketball players come to fashion as many do: as a form of self-expression.
Being a basketball player is not a lifelong career, and through external interests like fashion, players can find their next chapter.

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Summary of “Allbirds and Rothy’s Beat Fashion at Its Own Game”

Tim Brown, Allbirds’ co-founder, seems aware of-and chafed by-the insinuation that his shoes are boring, or only for tech bros.
Upstairs from the shop, in an impromptu studio, some Allbirds employees were photographing the simple sneakers against an Instagram-friendly peachy background with giant Monstera leaves as props.
On the feet of the young women who worked in the office, the shoes were free of the jarring, swagless business-athlesiure aesthetic I’d always associated them with.
Fashion’s acceptance of Allbirds, like Uggs, Birkenstocks, Crocs, and Tevas before it, has started to seem both inevitable and, at worst, completely fine.
Allbirds found its first audience on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, so the associations between the brand and internet behemoths were probably unavoidable, even if improving fashion manufacturing isn’t quite as questionable as anything Facebook might be up to on a given day.
If you don’t like the idea of wearing the same shoe for all occasions, Joey Zwillinger, Allbirds’ other co-founder, says that you can blame a familiar modern villain: your smartphone.
“It’s a different experience, and you’d expect the wardrobe to evolve so it can float in and out of those activities more fluidly.” A certain portion of the population doesn’t have an opportunity to go home and change into a dinner outfit after work, or a clear border between work and not-work at all.
I spotted a pair of Allbirds on an unfashionable Millennial man in dress pants, sure, but there were also two identical pairs of Gucci loafers on women wearing post-gym mixtures of athleisure and work clothing.

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Summary of “Virgil Abloh, Menswear’s Biggest Star”

At the Tuileries gardens, in Paris, one recent evening, three cameramen trailed Virgil Abloh, the artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton, as he surveyed the runway for his Fall/Winter show.
“What do you think of that?” Abloh asked Benjamin Cercio, the Director of Press, Influencers, and Entertainment at Louis Vuitton, pointing toward a pristine sign that read “RAUL’S BARBERSHOP.” Abloh contemplated the sign.
Lawrence Schlossman, the brand director of the resale site Grailed, said, “Whether or not streetwear needs or wants it, Virgil Abloh’s appointment at Louis Vuitton is just more validation from the fashion establishment that the subculture is firmly in the driver’s seat when it comes to both aesthetics and business.” At the time, Abloh spoke of his appointment with some grandiosity, recounting that a friend had compared it to Obama being elected President-“Like the same epiphany.” He told me that he no longer likes to dwell on the time when the fashion establishment looked down on streetwear and hip-hop.
Abloh told the Times that he has always admired Jackson, not least because he was “The most important person in innovating men’s wear ever.” Abloh listens to music while he works.
Abloh had started working for Kanye West, a Chicagoan who was gaining recognition for his production work on Jay-Z’s album “The Blueprint.” West, who had first contacted Abloh as he was finishing his architecture degree, was planning to go solo and wanted to surround himself with a creative entourage.
Abloh told me that the tendency to assume that people are in competition is one of many “Pitfalls of human nature.” Another, he said, is the impulse to diminish someone by categorizing them, or “Putting them in a box.” Speaking about this, Abloh grew animated.
Many people noticed that the chair Abloh designed for IKEA’s “Markerad” line was almost identical to a Paul McCobb spindle-back chair from his Planner Group series, although Abloh’s had a red doorstop under one leg.
Simons, a menswear pioneer, has said that there are now “Too many hoodies with prints out there.” He has described Abloh as a “Sweet guy,” but said that he did not bring anything original to fashion.

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Summary of “We have to fix fashion if we want to survive climate change”

9 minute Read. Fashion brands, I’m talking to you: Enough is enough.
For the past three decades, fashion brands have perfected the art of manufacturing cheap clothing by relying on poorly paid labor in developing countries, inventing inexpensive plastic-based materials, and increasing the speed of production.
Activists, world leaders, and the public at large are just beginning to reckon with the way the fashion industry is accelerating the pace of climate change.
One thing is clear: The fashion industry is helping to propel climate change.
The vast majority of brands in the $1.3 billion fashion industry-whether that’s Louis Vuitton or Levi’s-measure growth in terms of increasing production every year.
The current state of the fashion industry is not working for consumers, or even the brands themselves.
These brands, while still small, are making durable clothes and accessories designed to outlast any given fashion trend-and crucially, they’re differentiating themselves to consumers in ways that fast fashion brands cannot.
While the eight-year-old brand is hard to compare to fashion giants, it recently announced that it was profitable.

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Summary of “Spandex for Men: How Stretch Jeans Became Masculine”

Denim is traditionally 100 percent cotton, but mixing in 1 or 2 percent elastane fibers gives jeans a softer feel and helps ease the adversarial relationship between the durable, rugged textile and tender bits of the human body.
For something as innocuous as slightly less restrictive pants, stretch jeans have caused a lot of hand-wringing among men’s-fashion types over the past couple of years.
In opposition to stretch jeans stood the popularity of selvedge denim, an old-fashioned manufacturing method whose stiff, rough product found an ardent following among menswear enthusiasts online that hit a fever pitch a few years ago-long after women had largely embraced the ability to painlessly sit down.
According to Matt Sebra, the style director of GQ magazine, the popularity of selvedge required men to buy into an overtly masochistic idea of what it means to be authentic and masculine.
Nancy Deihl, a professor of fashion history at New York University, echoed Sebra’s feeling that the slow embrace of elastane among men was at least in part the result of how it violated the belief that masculinity requires testing and achievement.
“Stretch jeans go against ideas of male authenticity-the Marlboro Man image that jeans are supposed to have,” she says.
The thinking went, what if the jeans were no longer stretch-what if they were centered around the practical advantages of having a full range of motion?
The first is recoding stretch denim as an aid in athletic performance, even though modern fashion jeans aren’t intended to be worn for anything resembling exercise.

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Summary of “How Did Athleisure Take Over American Fashion?”

As someone who doesn’t attend yoga or spin classes, my interest in athleisure doesn’t have much to do with practicality-or style.
Read: The psychology of Lululemon-how fashion affects fitness.
A fashion historian at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, she says athleisure is the culmination of three long-term trends.
Finally, the blurring of yoga-studio fashion and office attire snaps into the long decline of formality in American fashion.
“Those barriers have come down. Athleisure is the ultimate breaking down of barriers.”
To Clemente, the athleisure story doesn’t begin in the late 20th century, with the birth of Lululemon.
It is hardly an exaggeration to say that all modern fashion is athleisure.
Athleisure dropped the prefix and became, simply, leisure.

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Summary of “Imran Amed: meet fashion’s most influential man”

Ping! Six days a week, just before 6am BST, nearly half a million people receive an email from Imran Amed.
I meet Amed first at his offices in central London, and we go for lunch at a Greek restaurant, where he talks so much he scarcely eats a mouthful.
Amed gets miffed sometimes when people call BoF an “Overnight success”.
Amed’s initial idea was a bust: an incubator for young, British fashion designers.
Amed began consulting for LVMH, and writing a blog called the Business of Fashion on the side.
Looking back, Amed realises his timing was propitious: 2007 saw the launch of the first iPhone and the dawn of social media; the financial crisis of 2008 rocked everyone in the fashion industry and focused attentionon the bottom line.
Amed is clearly no longer an outsider: BoF has the ears of everyone important in the industry.
The same is true of the BoF offices: at one point Amed worked out that there were 17 different nationalities among a team of 25.

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Summary of “Chanel shoes, but no salary: how one woman exposed the scandal of the French fashion industry”

So it is likely to have been an ugly surprise to the French fashion industry that her PhD – now a book entitled The Most Beautiful Job in the World – has opened up its secretive profession in such a dramatically public way.
Mensitieri points out that working in fashion means being seen in a constantly updated uniform of beautiful, expensive clothes and accessories – paid for by vouchers such as the one Mia received instead of a salary.
One interviewee, a former fashion journalist at a glossy magazine, describes how she was dropped by her coterie of friends and colleagues one day.
“The message is, you don’t have to be paid because you are lucky to be there at all. Working in fashion is hyper socially validating, even if you’re unpaid. That’s an important point for me. Fashion presents itself as something exceptional, a world outside the ordinary,” she says.
France’s fashion industry is intensely bound up with national identity.
“The students there know they will be exploited but they don’t see themselves as exploited.” Professor Angela McRobbie, at Goldsmiths, a specialist in new forms of labour in the creative economy, who teaches feminist theory, gender and popular culture, explains, “French fashion doesn’t have some of the underground roots or edginess that British fashion does. It’s much more corporate and top heavy. Whereas critical theory is taught in fashion schools here or in the States, in France there’s none of that.” It was McRobbie who invited Mensitieri to speak at the Society of Arts, in London: “Hers is a very important book,” she says.
Who are the exploiters? LVMH, the French leader of the world’s luxury goods market, owns 70 luxury fashion brands, including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Fendi.
“I’m not an optimistic person, but there are interesting things happening at the fringes. There is a strong anti-fashion movement in the UK and, in France, models are working together for better working conditions.” It’s advice that some people working in the fashion industry may not want to hear.

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