Savoir Flair’s Strongest Op-Eds of 2017, Revisited

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From Savoir Flair’s investigative reporting series SF Investigates to our Fashion Decoded column, we’re regularly in the business of bringing you, our Dear Reader, plenty of meaty content, controversial op-eds, and fascinating long reads. From an op-ed about Zara that got our comment section on Facebook overflowing with dialogue to our Fashion Features Editor’s personal campaign to get everyone to stop buying fast fashion forever, these are the most important Savoir Flair editorials of 2017.

1

How the Broken Fashion System Conversation Got Hijacked by Big Business

The fashion system broke when it no longer valued quality, priced itself almost to the point of extinction (thereby creating the multi-billion-dollar counterfeit industry), and betrayed the very people who had created it. Instead of taking responsibility for these factors and trying to move forward in a way that addressed these problems, the fashion industry treated the “broken fashion system” like a superficial wound, rather than the deep cut that it really was. A nearly imperceptible shift took place, one that removed responsibility from the industry itself, and created a system that dealt – once again – exclusively in terms of the bottom line, instead of one that functioned at all levels and benefited all stakeholders.

Read the full op-ed here.

2

Why Has Modest Fashion Become a Movement? Savoir Flair Investigates

When women emerged as a market force, advertisers had to change their tactics, no longer able to rely on suggestive appeal. This is particularly true in the Middle East, where modest garb is adopted by many women for religious and personal reasons. Brands were forced to accept somewhat-traditional standards in advertising to the Arab woman, but instead of encouraging this growing market, they largely ignored it – until now.

Read the full op-ed here.

Shopbop Ramadan Saufeeya Goodson Shoot 10
Photo: Courtesy of Jeremy Zaessinger
3

Do We Even Need Celebrity Fashion Designers? Savoir Flair Investigates

In modern culture, the idea of a designer’s function is completely misunderstood. The average consumer has been led to believe that a single person is responsible for the creations they see before them on the rack, but nothing could be further from the truth. In many cases, designers no longer even sketch looks, create patterns, mock them up in muslin, or re-cut samples when necessary.

Read the full op-ed here.

4

Destiny’s Children: How Beyoncé Turned Her Pregnancy Into Art

No one was ready for that moment. No one was ready for a pregnant woman to surrender herself to her own miraculous nature – as a creator and nurturer of human life – and actually revel in it. For centuries, women have struggled with the pain of childbirth in rooms separated from their loved ones, in confusion as they are whisked away for emergency C-sections, while others have felt shame and isolation as their bodies changed in ways they never expected. Pregnancy is no St. Tropez vacation; it’s difficult and wonderful and complicated and sometimes even heartbreaking. In that moment, once again on the VMA stage holding her future offspring inside of her prominent belly, Beyoncé took her power back.

Read the full op-ed here.

Beyonce birth announcement
Photo: Courtesy of @Beyonce
5

Why Zara’s Latest Drop Seriously Surprised Us – and Not in a Good Way

It is a well-documented fact that Zara, in particular, is one of the worst offenders when it comes to intellectual-property theft. Not only has it gotten away with straight up stealing designs by independent artists like Tuesday Bassen, but it has also made billions in copying looks straight from the runway. It has ripped off Céline’s lunch bag, Chanel’s iconic boucle-tweed separates, Christian Louboutin’s red soles, Yeezy’s neutral streetwear basics, and Supreme’s signature logo with a knock-off version labeled ‘Surprise’. Funnily enough, we aren’t surprised at all to see Zara appropriating so many designs.

Read the full op-ed here.

6

#MeToo: Turns Out There Are Harvey Weinsteins Everywhere

Although it’s sickening to learn of the horrible abuses that powerful film producer Harvey Weinstein levied against women who were beholden to him for jobs, recommendations, and career assistance, it is not surprising. There are Harvey Weinsteins everywhere, in every industry, and at every level of society.

Read the full op-ed here.

7

Is Fashion Destroying the Environment? SF Investigates

If you’re buying clothes that are cheaper than your lunch, you have to ask where they came from and how they could be produced so inexpensively. However, peeking behind the curtain to see how your AED 80 slipdress was manufactured will shatter any illusions that you ever had about the practices of the industry.

Read the full op-ed here.

8

An American on Why This Year of Trump Was Actually a Good Thing

“America’s done it, we’ve actually elected an Internet troll as our President,” jokes Dave Chappelle on SNL. I laugh to keep from crying.

Read the full op-ed here.

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