The Genteel
April 21, 2021

Semmi W.

Graffiti duo Mint&Serf are back at it, spraying and tagging their message of #ANTIPOP in a new exhibit at New York's Bleecker Street Arts Club. But as Semmi W. came to find out, tolerating the unapologetic complexity of their work is an art form unto itself.

By Semmi W.

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Semmi W.

Toronto, New York

Semhar Woldeyesus is writer whose primary reporting interests include design, music and culture. When she is not looking for her next story, you can find her at a sample sale, or devouring a slice of cheesecake. Follow her on Twitter: @Semmiw.

New waves of fashion tech start-ups are quickly transforming NYC's fashion industry. But with so many apps and platforms to choose from, how can emerging fashion start-ups stand out to consumers and potential investors?

Nabbing the attention of male consumers is not difficult - creating a sense of connection to styling habits, however, is a whole other ballgame. A new presentation at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology, explores how one magazine in the 1980s managed to connect the dots and transform the culture of menswear reporting.

Twisted Lily, a new fragrance boutique in Brooklyn is quickly making a name for itself as the go-to spot for indie scents and hard-to-find apothecary products. While speaking with co-owners, Eric Weiser and Stamatis Birsimijoglou, Semmi W. uncovered a treasure trove of cult perfumes. 

A new exhibit at New York's Museum at FIT pays homage to Ivy Style, the bloodline of American menswear. But the show's most telling details do more than just glorify fabric and cut. Prestige and politics take centre stage, telling the story of how a particular style of dress defined a generation and transformed contemporary American society.

Hop on for a ride as Semmi W. explores the minds of fashion entrepreneurs who have rejected traditional retail models, choosing instead to make a mark on the road with their mobile fashion trucks.

Instagram NYC and W New York - Times Square teamed up during Internet Week, for one of the city's first Instagram exhibits.

In New York City, Karl Lagerfeld's latest photo exhibit showcases one of the world's most celebrated wardrobe staples - the little black jacket.

This season, fashion designers in Brazil and Australia have used daring textile mash-ups and colourful motifs on swimwear to heat up the catwalk. But there's another phenomenon making big waves: geeky chic beachwear. Semhar Woldeyesus takes a closer look. 

More than half of Burberry's marketing budget is devoted to the digital space, and as part of its strategy, the 157-year-old company will partner with Square - the first luxury brand to work with the digital payment platform. With over 500 locations worldwide, Burberry's co-sign is a clear boost for Square. But what exactly does the British fashion house stand to gain from the partnership? 

From Missoni to Linda Evangelista, a litany of designers and models have helped keep Coca-Cola relevant and, more importantly, young. As part of a three-year marketing strategy, the brand continues to woo the fashion crowd with a capsule collection from Japanese streetwear designer, NIGO.

Meet the Belgian designers who cemented the supremacy of Belgium fashion and indie consumerism.

In the name of art, photographer Tyler Shields decided to burn a $100,000 Birkin bag. Do his actions reflect a wasteful publicity stunt or a justified call to action? You decide.

Bergdorf Goodman officially celebrated its 111th anniversary in September. With an exclusive fall collection, limited edition pieces and a host of special events, the party is just getting started.

Couture muse and heiress extraordinaire, Daphne Guinness sells a healthy portion of her collection to feed a new passion - The Isabella Blow Foundation.

Detroit-based design brand Shinola recently opened its doors in New York City, and with it, a gateway to the heart of American manufacturing.  Semmi W. explores how the luxury watch company is partnering with Detroit's creative class to help improve the city's economy.

Portrait artist Kehinde Wiley reinterprets 19th century masters to highlight Black femininity in his latest exhibit, An Economy of Grace in New York City.

Continuing to inspire artists and designers everywhere, the Swinging Sixties have never actually swung out of style. Traces of the era can be seen at the Textile Museum of Canada, as it pays tribute to Marimekko, the label that gave power to flowers and bohemian block prints.

Emerging designers are not only battling to win the attention of buyers and editors, but they are also fighting to bankroll expensive showcases. Semmi Woldeyesus speaks with the masterminds behind The White Space about their desire to support young designers and their decision to set about establishing a far less crowded platform in comparison with the standard runways.

For 22-year-old Canadian designer Adrian Wu, Toronto Fashion Week is a chance to experiment. The runway morphs into a laboratory, ideas are tested live and audiences are provoked. Meeting with retail buyers is always nice, but in an interview with The Genteel, Wu explains why his business is doing just fine without them.

Couture designers will go to great lengths to tell a story. On the runway, sky-high heels routinely help deliver whimsical plotlines - no matter how impractical they appear. Meanwhile, outrageous, experimental archetypes are elevating street style around the world. But could you withstand the pain?

A new exhibit at New York's Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) pays homage to Chinese-American fashion designers who have refashioned the space that exists between East and West. Semmi W. visits the exhibit on opening day and chats with the designers involved.

After stepping down as editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, Carine Roitfeld could have called it quits. Instead, she traded one fashion capital for another, pumping out new projects and collaborations to not only build her brand, but also move on. With a trail of burned bridges behind her, Roitfeld has undoubtedly flourished in New York. But just what exactly is she trying to prove?

Yayoi Kusama has been here for years. The Whitney Museum of American Art is offering a retrospective of the pioneering artist, paying tribute to her wild world of artistic "happenings" and dotted landscapes.

Jean Paul Gaultier's touring exhibition has arrived in New York at the Brooklyn Museum. Semmi W. discovers the makings of a mastermind and his contributions to the world of fashion.

Lovers of handmade crafts, unique vintage items and emerging artists will be in their element with the Renegade Craft Fair, which recently paid a visit to Brooklyn. Semhar Woldeyesus spoke with stallholders and customers to find out what the buzz was all about.

For the past 17 years, Marcus Malchijah has been dressing the heads of churchgoers, actresses, celebrities and everyone else in between. However, it hasn't all been smooth sailing for Malchijah - as Semhar Woldeyesus recently found out.

Deal after deal, Rodarte has shown that specialising in couture and costume design is no reason to snuff collaborations with big retail chains. The label's recent Starbucks collaboration may have seemed out of left field, but make no mistake, Kate and Laura Mulleavy are in the driver's seat.

Rumours, speculation and one week in Paris: How the new hires at Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent are introducing a new era of rivalry.

Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960-1980, an exhibit currently on view at New York's MoMA PS1, showcases a group of pioneering artists who used their work to not only define a new political rhetoric, but also help cement L.A.'s status as a cultural mecca.

Carine Roitfeld's highly anticipated magazine, CR Fashion Book, will launch in September, but not everyone is thrilled. In fact, her former employer has gone on the defensive, using questionable tactics to wage a war of words.

Victoria Beckham and Katie Holmes are set to square off during New York Fashion Week. Craftsmanship aside, in true celebrity fashion, both women are showing the world how to "hone the hype" on status alone.

Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, shopping is the ultimate expression of choice. A new study uncovers the retail divide along party lines, and explains how going red or blue can determine the kind of brands you rally behind. Which side of the department store aisle has your vote?

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