Fashion News Recap: Phillip Plein, FEMEN Protests, COS

by Alyssa Sage, Fashion News Correspondent

Phillip Plein Runway

Phillip Plein

Fueled by a determination to dismantle traditional barriers in the fashion industry, German fashion designer Phillip Plein cast all African-American models for his spring 2014 show. Known for breaking the rules and never failing to draw attention, Plein’s daring choice was certainly not out of character. “The public expects to see pallid girls in high heels walking my show,” Plein said, “I [gave] them a fleet of black beauties in flats!” Adding to the inspiration for Plein’s mold-breaking logic was Iggy Azalea’s crowd-pumping performance prior to the show. Considered by Plein to be “one of the hottest rappers on the horizon,” Iggy represents a white presence in a black-dominated hip-hop world, adding to Plein’s fresh perspective on racial dynamics in the fashion industry and beyond. A true inspiration, one can only hope that one day we’ll witness an industry where philosophies like Plein’s are more widespread. Yet until that day comes, we will simply relish in his unique vision and applaud him for his bold unconventionality.


FEMEN Fashion Week Protests

Two topless protestors bombarded the runway of the Nina Ricci last Thursday. Known for their tendency to protest in the nude, Ukrainian feminist group FEMEN chose to target Paris fashion week for their most recent demonstration.

Yet this was not the first time fashion week got a rise out of FEMEN members. Last year, the group protested outside of the Versace show, but failed to make it past security until now.

Oddly enough, the logic behind FEMEN’s fashion week protest remains unclear. In the past, the group has fought against the stereotype which suggests that all Ukrainian women regularly engage in either sex slavery or prostitution. The slogans painted on the backs of the Nina Ricci protestors suggested that the FEMEN members were fighting for the same cause.

However, with all of that being said, the connection between the stereotype and fashion week is still a bit hazy. Perhaps even more questionable than that is how being topless strengthens the group’s message. Regardless, FEMEN sparked controversy in the industry and definitely succeeded in drawing attention to their cause.


COS to Open in U.S.

To the delight of fashionistas around the country, H&M’s higher-end sister brand, COS, announced their plan to open their first U.S. store this spring.

Debuting in New York City, the brand is hoping to establish their U.S.  presence by tackling one of the major fashion capitols of the world. However, for those of us who don’t reside in the Big Apple there’s no need to fret. Currently in the works, COS is planning to launch an online store sometime in 2014. Thus America can breathe your sighs of relief and sit tight; we’ll get our COS fix in just a matter of months.

To view pieces from the COS collection, go to


Photo Credits: Marie Claire and

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