Dior moves Paris fashion show to avoid ‘yellow vests’

Workers repair the Dior shop window on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on November 25, 2018 after yellow vest protestors smashed the boutique and stole a million euros worth of goods. (AFP)
Updated 11 January 2019

Dior moves Paris fashion show to avoid ‘yellow vests’

  • Demonstrators smashed up its Champs Elysees boutique on November 26 and stole goods and caused damage
  • Many Paris fashion shows traditionally take place near the Champs Elysees, which has been the focus for the ‘yellow vests’ weekly Saturday demonstrations

PARIS: Dior said Friday it was bringing forward its Paris fashion week show after its flagship shop was looted during “yellow vests” protests.
The luxury brand’s men’s spring summer show was to have been taken place a week Saturday, when more anti-government protests are likely in the French capital.
Dior refused to say if it was bringing the January 19 show forward a day to avoid trouble.
However, demonstrators smashed up its Champs Elysees boutique on November 26 and stole goods and caused damage reportedly to the tune of one million euros.
Others scrawled graffiti declaring “Screw the rich and immigrants.”
Slogans including “The people want Dior” were plastered on the building after earlier protests.
Luxury boutiques have become a frequent target of the protests, which began in November as a revolt against a rise in fuel prices but which have since morphed into an expression of general discontent.
Chanel, which protected the windows of its shops with fashionably black plywood cladding, has also become a magnet for graffiti, sprayed with slogans such as “Yellow is the new black” and “A perfume of victory.”
The US designer Thom Browne also moved his Saturday show to earlier in the day, while other brands have so far not said whether they will be affected.
Supermodel Bella Hadid set social media alight Wednesday by appearing at a Louis Vuitton dinner during New York fashion week in a luminous yellow vest designed by the creator of its men’s line, Virgil Abloh.
The American came up with the design as a part of his first show for the label earlier this year, but the model’s appearance in it still set tongues wagging.
Many Paris fashion shows traditionally take place near the Champs Elysees, which has been the focus for the “yellow vests” weekly Saturday demonstrations, which often end in violence.
Police have tried to contain protesters by closing metro stations and redirecting traffic from the area.
Paris men’s fashion week begins on Tuesday and is followed by the haute couture shows, which will run until January 24.


Lebanese designers fight coronavirus with fashion face masks

Updated 12 May 2020

Lebanese designers fight coronavirus with fashion face masks

  • Lebanon has been under lockdown since mid-March to curb an outbreak that has infected 859 people and killed 26
  • Safety rules at supermarkets, pharmacies and shops require people to wear masks

BEIRUT: Beirut-based designer Bokja specializes in making upholstered furniture with vintage fabric but the studio’s workers now dedicate their time to sewing colorful silk face masks to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
Profits from the masks, costing about $35, go to nurses on the frontline of Lebanon’s fight against the disease, which has compounded woes in a country wrestling with economic meltdown.
“I saw a nurse from the Rafik Hariri Hospital crying on TV...so we decided that part of the proceeds will go to them,” said co-founder Huda Baroudi.
Baroudi’s business is one of several that have converted production of items like furniture and clothing to masks. She said nurses have even ordered some.
“They help boost morale” said Baroudi.
Lebanon has been under lockdown since mid-March to curb an outbreak that has infected 859 people and killed 26. Authorities are warning of a new wave after cases surged in recent days, as the government eased some curbs and allowed businesses to reopen.
Safety rules at supermarkets, pharmacies and shops require people to wear masks.
“Face masks are a sad thing but when we gave it this form, and each one is different, it took us back to Bokja’s ideology which is to find beauty in ugliness,” said Maria Hibri, the second founder of Bokja.
Although the high-end store and atelier were closed, staff received sewing machines and textiles to work from home.
Beirut residents like Mustafa Ali have welcomed the colorful masks. He said traders and pharmacies hiked the prices of medical masks, so he sought a reusable option. “I wear a color based on my mood,” he said through a green mask.
Other businesses have also begun to make masks, a rare opportunity as the pandemic hammers the collapsing economy. The local currency has plummeted and unemployment, inflation, and poverty have soared since last year.
Eric Mathieu Ritter, founder of Emergency Room upcycled clothes design company, began sewing face masks for his family.
“People started asking for them so I started selling them, he said. “The reaction was positive because of the prints, patterns. They’re bright. It allowed people to feel unique.”
Ritter said he sought to keep mask prices affordable, but still enough to pay his employees. They sell for around $5 based on the parallel market rate.
“They need to be able to live off of this work,” he said.