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An Open Letter to Vogue

Dear Vogue Editors
I can deal with the fact that your magazine and online platform have basically turned into an homage to the Kardashians and that you covered The Yeezy Season 4 show like Kanye West is the second coming (if Jesus designed nude bodysuits). But for a fashion magazine you are completely unabashedly biased and pro-Hillary Clinton and quite frankly, it makes me sick. Aren’t there enough politics in the fashion industry, itself? Do you honestly believe your writers understand enough about the economy and foreign affairs and the military to deliver informed political content to readers? Why don’t you start with critiquing Hillary’s godawful pantsuits and leave the actual politics to the appropriate forums.

Sponsored Bloggers: Buyer Beware

In 2013, The New York Times published an editorial piece by legendary fashion editor, Suzy Menkes, titled “The Circus of Fashion,” in which she laments the onslaught of fashion bloggers peacocking before the shows and shamelessly accepting free gifts from designers. Peacocking refers to the bloggers wearing ridiculous outifts to get noticed by the streetstyle photographers. Menkes believes this “circus” takes away from what’s going on inside the tents and she describes a pre-Internet fashion week, where editors dressed in head to toe black moved unnoticed from show to show.

Fast forward a few years and there is a bigger problem than bloggers dressing crazy and accepting free gifts. Designers and big brands are actually paying bloggers to promote their products online, and until now there has been virtually no government regulation. Consumers browsing Instagram and Facebook or watching Youtube are being misled because their favorite bloggers generally aren’t revealing the fact that they are sponsored.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is starting to crack down on bloggers by enforcing a strict set of guidelines– and using a “#sponsored” amongst dozens of other hashtags may be insufficient. The ad agencies who pair bloggers with big brands are furious, but they had to know they could not go unregulated forever. The bloggers basically carved a new industry and the government was bound to catch on. And shouldn’t consumers know the truth?

The bloggers created jobs for themselves in a time when the government and the economy failed them. They accepted free clothing and paraded in front of the shows because they couldn’t get the traditional editorial jobs in fashion, often despite their qualifications and experience. They hustled and they posted tirelessly to gain followers and create a new branch in the fashion industry. And while I understand why Suzy Menkes is disheartened with the blogger movement, the fact remains that times change and the fashion business is no exception. That said, I believe the bloggers should want to be better than the previous generations that failed them and ruined the economy, and they should be loyal to the millions of followers that gave them a livelyhood. It’s as simple as revealing to your followers that they are viewing sponsored content.

Read more about the FTC guidelines and their affect on the fashion industry at The Business of Fashion.

The New Feminism

Thank you, Gloria Steinem, for all you have done in the past for women and the feminist movement, but I’m afraid we no longer need you. There’s a new feminism and your way of thinking is simply too antiquated. Today’s women understand that intelligence and sexuality are not mutually exclusive and we think for ourselves.

In a recent interview with Bill Maher, Steinem shamed young women who supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primaries by commenting, “When you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie.'” Steinem is implying that young women couldn’t possibly support Sanders for reasons other than they are hoping to find a date at his political events, and as women, we should automatically support Hillary Clinton.

First of all, there is nothing wrong with young women hoping to meet men who share their political beliefs. Second, and more important, the very canon of feminism is that women are intelligent enough to vote and make our own decisions. By simply voting for Hillary Clinton because she is a woman, we are making a mockery of all the women who fought for our right to vote in the first place. If you truly believe Clinton is the best candidate, then by all means, vote for her. But be a true feminist and make an informed decision.

Who Wants to Live Underground?

Blast From the Past follows the above ground adventures of a young man who grew up in a fallout shelter during the height of the Cold War. His father, a paranoid scientist, secretly built an underground replica of his home with 35 years worth of supplies. The movie’s premise is not entirely farfetched. Not only do underground homes exist, one of them was recently on the market in Las Vegas and sold for over $1 million. Take a look at this unconventional luxury home:
http://www.examiner.com/article/underground-house-for-sale-another-cold-war-bunker-with-style

Hell Hath no Fury like a Mcqueen Scorned

Alexander Mcqueen "Hell's Knuckle Duster" ring

Alexander Mcqueen “Hell’s Knuckle Duster” ring

When the tortured genius, Alexander Mcqueen, tragically killed himself in 2010, fashion devotees were quick to grab up his final collection and own a piece of fashion history. Many people don’t know that part of the collection was actually recalled and destroyed. Accessories with the “Hell’s Knuckle Duster,” including brass rings and clutches, were the focus of a lawsuit from the Hells Angels alleging trademark infringement. The Hells Angels claimed the rings were too similar to their “winged death’s head symbol,” which they trademarked in 1948, and they sued Mcqueen, as well as Saks Fifth Avenue and Zappos, who sold the products online. Other online merchants who carried the product, including Net-a-Porter, were not named in the lawsuit. As part of the settlement terms, the defendants agreed to remove the merchandise from their respective stores and websites, and to recall and destroy the products that had already sold. To my knowledge, Saks and Zappos never disclosed to the public the amount of returned inventory. How many people held onto their “Hell’s Knuckle Duster” rings and clutches as collectables?

Net-a-Porter quickly sold out of the Mcqueen "Hell's Knuckle Duster" clutches

Net-a-Porter quickly sold out of the Mcqueen “Hell’s Knuckle Duster” clutches

The Rothschilds Take over the MFA

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The Boston Museum of Fine Arts presents Restoring a Legacy: Rothschild Family Treasures, on view through June 21, 2015. The museum is exhibiting 186 heirlooms from the Baron and Baroness Alphonse and Clarice de Rothschild of Vienna, donated by their heirs. Much of the jewelry, books, and artwork on display was stolen by the Nazis during WW2 and subsequently recovered in Austrian salt mines with the help of the “Monuments Men,” but the Baroness de Rothschild was forced to give a large portion of the works to the Austrian government. The exhibit details the Rothschild heirs’ long, frustrating fight to reclaim their treasures from the Austrian government and finally bring them to the United States in 1999.

I encourage you to read Hannah Rothschild’s article for Harpers Bazaar UK, The Art of War. Decades after the war, many families are still fighting to reclaim their Nazi looted artwork from museums in Europe