The Genteel
April 21, 2021

Justine Iaboni

Are customised, limited-edition watches by renowned graffiti artists worth the jaw-dropping price tag? The artistic value add is as enticing as it is speculative, and the fine print screams buyer beware. Justine Iaboni looks into two recently released customised watches.

By Justine Iaboni

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Justine Iaboni

Toronto Canada

Justine Iaboni is known around Toronto as Eurotrash.   After graduating from UofT with a Master’s degree in Cinema Studies she started a blog, Whatever Eurotrash, and began to write about fashion, lifestyle, and la dolce vita. You can find her work in Dress to Kill Magazine, The Torontoist, Style Notebook, |FAT| blog and FILLER magazine - and you can find her watching a Barbara Stanwyk movie on TCM while writing up a storm. You can also find Justine on Twitter: @EurotrashGirls

Dear Canada, the world's largest fashion retailer is finally accessible online. As Canadians rejoice, The Genteel spoke to the first fashion insiders that tested out before the site launched to the public on March 6. Justine Iaboni reports (but not before doing some online shopping for herself).

Only a month after Coachella 2012, an announcement for Coachella's multiple 2013 weekends is expected today. Over the years, Coachella's musical line-up has increasingly been accused of being too commercial. But fashion - not music - may actually be to blame for creating an illusory image of Coachella that has been mass-marketed to cool hunters looking to channel their inner hippies.

Fashion trends often reflect broader economic and social currents; the "arm party" comes at a time when countries across the globe are recovering from a worldwide recession whilst facing the threat of even more economic hardship ahead. Is there more to the arm party than meets the eye? What message are we sending by collectively stacking our wealth along our wrists?

The French Presidential election is reaching its apex, and France will soon choose her new Head of State and First Lady. For the occasion, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy has undergone a fashion "make-under" in an attempt to sway voters. What does Bruni-Sarkozy's sudden championing of the ordinary housewife archetype say about the role of a First Lady? 

Conceived in Ubud, Bali, Vitaly Design is a Toronto-based jewellery brand that has accumulated a cult following in just over a year. Founder and designer, Shane Vitaly Foran, and his business partner, Jason Readman, tell The Genteel about their journey thus far and where they see Vitaly in the future.

Moda Operandi received US$36m in funding from the industry's most elite players just last month. However, its choice to move towards a more traditional e-commerce platform has me wondering: will fashion buyers adapt to the changing landscape or with they become obsolete?

If the Michel Goulet installation piece in a condo lobby was required to be there by law, would it suddenly lose its charm? Would you feel duped by the development company that successfully sold its cover-of-Vogue facade? Or is purchasing a swanky new condo unit, complete with fancy art, a one-way ticket to cosmopolitan living? 

A colourful pop-up store in SoHo marks a new direction for the 47-year-old Italian knitwear brand, United Colors of Benetton. Justine Iaboni makes a case for its business model and longstanding approach to branding in today's fashion game.

The first Decoded Fashion "hackathon" concluded this month at New York Fashion Week. The Genteel caught up with Jag Gill, founder of the grand prize-winning team that created the app SWATCHit, a B2B platform that connects emerging textile artisans in India with American fashion designers.

Is fashion increasingly becoming a behind-the-scenes industry? With the people in the "front row" making more headlines than the clothes themselves, Justine Iaboni takes a look at the industry's most iconic editors and how the runway is changing to please them.

In a new stage of fashion e-commerce, two Canadian companies are venturing offline, introducing innovative personal shopping and styling services that are bridging the gap between online and the real world, taking customers by the hand - not the mouse.

As Zimbabwe is accused of collusion and human rights abuses over diamond production in its Marange diamond field, the effectiveness of the Kimberely Process, the globally recognised body that aims to prevent the circulation of so-called "blood diamonds," is being called into question. As the Canadian diamond industry moves towards greater vertical integration, it struggles to find its place in the larger context. Justine Iaboni reports.

Paris Haute Couture Week is just around the corner, but most women can only dream of splurging four (or five, or six) figures on a couture gown - unless, you're getting married. Bridal couture is a growing market that can't be overlooked in the present climate of an haute couture comeback

Lauren Luna is an artist-turned-shoe designer based out of Houston who approaches shoe design like she does her canvas. Justine Iaboni asks Luna about working as an artist in an industry dominated by heavyweights such as Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Nicholas Kirkwood and Jimmy Choo.

Canada is one of the few remaining would-be fashion capitals without its own version of Vogue magazine. Can Canada become a global fashion leader without Anna Wintour, Condé Nast and that five-letter word that rules the fashion world?

Luxury brands pride themselves on authenticity and often build their entire image around the concept. However, I often ask myself, "how can I own an authentic Chanel bag made in 2011 if Coco Chanel passed away in 1971?" It's a riddle that precludes a solution, or so I thought. 

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