"Women can't be equal to men until men are equal to women"
Here you have it; part deux of 'talking industry', where Adrien Parry Roberts expresses his unconditional love for the colour black, alongside Lanny Israel and his attempts at creating the perfect media.
It's a shame we didn't manage to get a photo of Adrien; without a doubt the most extravagantly dressed speaker so far. He rocked up to the lecture wearing a longish, black tailcoat jacket, a mélange of silver rings on both hands and the sleekest of long silvery hair; perfectly shaven at one side. With a manner of gregariousness, he announced that his talk would be purely about his select tastes within menswear; a certain look, aptly named 'The Dark Look'. Armed with a mammoth amount of power point slides, depicting just what 'The Dark Look' entails; it was clear to us that, like Thomas, Adrien felt so strongly about this particular definition of style.
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Men who have a taste for something more adventurous within their fashion will look to this design; think draped tabards, heavy layering, monochromatic costume, experimental tailoring and every last attention to detail, all put together in an ageless and androgynous cluster.
Never lost for words; Adrien put his heart and soul into declaring his love with this certain look. Naming designers such as Gareth Pugh, Ziggy Chen & Roark; you'd have to forgive us for our lack of familiarity and perhaps yours. Here's one name to accustom yourself to; Daniel Bamdad. The poster boy for all things noir; Roberts had a gleam in his eye when he uttered this model's name.
From the apocalyptic to extremism to the homoerotic; there is nothing fancy and floral about this trend but we somewhat like that edge. Adrien described this overall style as 'breaking the boundaries and gradually moving away from what is the norm within menswear'.
Admirably, passion and obsession again played an important role in Roberts' talk; so much so that even after the '5 minutes' sign came and went he still continued to speak.
Adrien proudly announced that he continues to complete his 'Dark Look' wardrobe, even suggesting that he may have to divulge in a pair of Gareth Pugh 'Wedged Boots', because let's face it "if Lenny Kravitz can wear them, so can I".
After an almost full day of lectures; we we're feeling so much more inspired and motivated, the only thing we weren't feeling were our derrières. So, as Lanny Israel entered the room it signalled the last of the day.
Lanny was not at all what we expected; but then what do you expect from the 'Senior Vice President of Marketing & Visual Concept' for major fashion retailer Mexx? A Bio-Chemistry graduate from Ohio; Lanny's style of dress can only be described as paying tribute to 'Pee Wee Herman' but it somehow worked. What you can't see from that photo are the chestnut coloured Oxford's he also wore; accordingly without socks.
You're probably thinking the same as we were; how does a person with a degree in something completely opposite from anything fashion related, end up in a career so creative? As Lanny explained, the first step was applying for a job at Gap, just something to support him after University. At a time when the position of visual merchandiser didn't exist; it turned out the store loved his creative input and encouraged him to do more.
"They were training everyone on the cash register but me; I think they thought I was stealing or something."
Israel has a pretty impressive résumé; not only working his way towards the position of 'Global Vice President of Visual Merchandising and Design' for Gap but working for companies such as Peek & Cloppenburg and Esprit. Lanny's talents and work ethic make him valuable property within the fashion market. Although, it's not the prospect of a easy money making that spurs Lanny on, it's that word that keeps appearing; passion. The belief that fashion is a lifestyle and not just a product.
Lanny believes that 'Everything is media'; from the retailer and the advertising to the website to even the sales assistant, it should all reflect the brand or as he put it quite simply "The story has to make sense". What is the point in having a luxury clothing campaign when none of the items are available in store? A hater of pure consumerism; Lanny explained this was the problem he first encountered with Mexx but is working hard to put it straight and help the brand regain its exclusivity.
"make the consumer shopping experience effortless, memorable and a destination of choice."
When asked what three things he bases his success on, he answered; "Number one, I will never lie. Two, having the feeling of passion and the hunger to improve something; after all it's not the consumers fault if they won't buy the product it's yours and three, I'm an incredibly visual person in terms of team growth & creativity."
Quite clearly the message we received throughout the whole day was that fashion is more than just, as we mentioned, 'the outfit of the day', a quick fix or a way of making easy money. It's about the passion, the obsession, the business and everything else that goes with it.