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cosmetic, any of several preparations (excluding soap) that are applied to the human body for beautifying, preserving, or altering the appearance or for cleansing, colouring, conditioning, or protecting the skin, hair, nails, lips, eyes, or teeth. See also makeup; perfume.

The earliest cosmetics known to archaeologists were in use in Egypt in the fourth millennium BC, as evidenced by the remains of artifacts probably used for eye makeup and for the application of scented unguents. By the start of the Christian era, cosmetics were in wide use in the Roman Empire. Kohl (a preparation based on lampblack or antimony) was used to darken the eyelashes and eyebrows and to outline the eyelids. Rouge was used to redden the cheeks, and various white powders were employed to simulate or heighten fairness of complexion. Bath oils were widely used, and various abrasives were employed as dentifrices. The perfumes then in use were based on floral and herbal scents held by natural resins as fixatives.

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 Why Did We Start Wearing Makeup?

Along with other cultural refinements, cosmetics disappeared from much of Europe with the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD. A revival did not take place until the Middle Ages, when crusaders returning from the Middle East brought cosmetics and perfumes back from their travels. Cosmetics reappeared in Europe on a wide scale in the Renaissance, and Italy (15th–16th centuries) and France (17th century on) became the chief centres of their manufacture. At first makeup was used only by royalty, their courtiers, and the aristocracy, but by the 18th century cosmetics had come into use by nearly all social classes. During the conservative Victorian era of the 19th century, the open use of cosmetics was frowned upon by respectable society in the United States and Britain. French women continued to use makeup, however, and France pioneered in the scientific development and manufacture of cosmetics during that time. After World War I any lingering Anglo-American prejudices against makeup were discarded, and new products and techniques of manufacture, packaging, and advertising have made cosmetics available on an unprecedented scale.

Skin-care preparations

Understand how moisturizers work on the skin and also the types of moisturizers
Understand how moisturizers work on the skin and also the types of moisturizersSee all videos for this article

Preparations for the care of the skin form a major line of cosmetics. The basic step in facial care is cleansing, and soap and water is still one of the most effective means. Cleansing creams and lotions are useful, however, if heavy makeup is to be removed or if the skin is sensitive to soap. Their active ingredient is essentially oil, which acts as a solvent and is combined in an emulsion (a mixture of liquids in which one is suspended as droplets in another) with water. Cold cream, one of the oldest beauty aids, originally consisted of water beaten into mixtures of such natural fats as lard or almond oil, but modern preparations use mineral oil combined with an emulsifier that helps disperse the oil in water. Emollients (softening creams) and night creams are heavier cold creams that are formulated to encourage a massaging action in application; they often leave a thick film on the face overnight, thus minimizing water loss from the skin during that period.

Hand creams and lotions are used to prevent or reduce the dryness and roughness arising from exposure to household detergents, wind, sun, and dry atmospheres. Like facial creams, they act largely by replacing lost water and laying down an oil film to reduce subsequent moisture loss while the body’s natural processes repair the damage.

Foundations, face powder, and rouge

The classic foundation is vanishing cream, which is essentially an oil-in-water emulsion that contains about 15 percent stearic acid (a solid fatty acid), a small part of which is saponified (converted to a crystalline form) in order to provide the quality of sheen. Such creams leave no oily finish, though they provide an even, adherent base for face powder, which when dusted on top of a foundation provides a peach-skin appearance. Many ingredients are needed to provide the characteristics of a good face powder: talc helps it spread easily; chalk or kaolin gives it moisture-absorbing qualities; magnesium stearate helps it adhere; zinc oxide and titanium dioxide permit it to cover the skin more thoroughly; and various pigments add colour.

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Heightened colour can be provided with rouge, which is used for highlighting the cheekbones; the more modern version is the blusher, which is used to blend more colour in the face. Small kits of compressed face powder and rouge or blusher are commonly carried by women in their handbags.

Eye makeup

Eye makeup, which is usually considered indispensable to a complete maquillage (full makeup), includes mascara to emphasize the eyelashes; eye shadow for the eyelids, available in many shades; and eyebrow pencils and eyeliner to pick out the edges of the lids. Because eye cosmetics are used adjacent to a very sensitive area, innocuity of ingredients is essential.

Lipstick

Lipstick is an almost universal cosmetic since, together with the eyes, the mouth is a leading feature, and it can be attractively coloured and textured. Lipstick has a fatty base that is firm in itself and yet spreads easily when applied. The colour is usually provided by pigment—usually reds but also titanium dioxide, a white compound that gives brightness and cover. Because lipsticks are placed on a sensitive surface and ultimately ingested, they are made to the highest safety specifications.

Other cosmetics

Hair preparations include soapless shampoos (soap leaves a film on the hair) that are actually scented detergents; products that are intended to give gloss and body to the hair, such as resin-based sprays, brilliantines, and pomades, as well as alcohol-based lotions; and hair conditioners that are designed to treat damaged hair. Permanent-wave and hair-straightening preparations use a chemical, ammonium thioglycolate, to release hair from its natural set. Hair colorants use permanent or semipermanent dyes to add colour to dull or mousy-coloured hair, and hydrogen peroxide is used to bleach hair to a blond colour.

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Fashion and World Cup help UK’s sunny August retail sales to edge upwards

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Fashion and World Cup help UK's sunny August retail sales to edge upwards

Not that the figures were remotely impressive and it’s clear that UK retail sales a tough sector to operate in.

Looking at the headline sector-wide figures, retail sales volumes are estimated to have risen by 0.4% month on month, only partially recovering from a fall of 1.1% in July 2023.

That said, volumes were down 1.4% compared to a year earlier and down 1.5% compared with February 2020, the benchmark point that was the last full month before the pandemic started.

By value, sales rose 0.8%, compared to the previous month and 3.8% compared to the previous year. That’s not brilliant news given that inflation has been running at a much higher level, but values were at least up 17.3% compared to February 2020. 

retail sales



Food store stores sales volumes rose by 1.2% month on month in August 2023 and that was relevant to fashion too as so many big supermarkets are now major clothing retail sales. The rise followed a fall of 2.6% in July 2023 when supermarkets had specifically reported that the wet weather reduced clothing sales.

Non-food stores’ sales volumes grew by 0.6% this time, following a fall of 1.2% in July, again due to a change in the weather from July’s rain to August’s late sunshine.

Within non-food, clothing stores sales volumes rose by 2.3% in August, mostly recovering from their fall of 2.9% in July. This is likely to have been boosted by families buying for the back-to-school period, as well as those who felt the need to buy summer clothing due to the unexpected late heatwave during the month. Some enthusiastic shoppers could even have been investing in the new autumn collections that were starting to drop in-store, even though the weather outside was boiling.

There were also suggestions from analysts that Women’s World Cup fever had a part to play in the rise.

Meanwhile, sales volumes for department stores and other non-food stores both fell by 0.4%. retail sales suggested that consumers were still struggling with the increased cost of living and prices.

Non-store retail sales(predominantly online retailers) sales volumes fell by 1.3%, following a rise of 1.9% in July when the wet weather that had dented physical stores had helped them. 

Analysts welcomed the sight rise overall but remained cautious. Samantha Philips, Partner at McKinsey & Co, told fashionetwork.com: “Looking ahead to the golden quarter, the next three months will be pivotal. 

“Consumers are likely to spend cautiously with high winter energy bills in mind. And retail sales will need to stay in tune with the functional and emotional needs of their customers. It will be important to monitor where consumers are willing to make trade-offs and where they are willing to stretch their budgets and spend. Those that can use these insights to inform product availability, pricing and promotions will be better placed to capture a greater share of the customer’s wallet.” 

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Stuart Vevers on 10 Years With Coach and the Joy of Dressing

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Stuart Vevers on 10 Years With Coach and the Joy of Dressing

Stuart Vevers is the kind of fashion insider who could be… inaccessible. A true industry veteran, Vevers, who recently marked 10 years at the helm of Coach, cut his teeth at Calvin Klein in New York after leaving his hometown of Yorkshire, England to study fashion design in London. What followed was tenures at some of the most sought-after labels, including Bottega Veneta, Mulberry, and Loewe, where he honed a mastery in accessories and a knack for creating creating fly-off-shelves It items, like the iconic Emmy bag from Mulberry that once hung nonstop from Kate Moss‘s supermodel arm.

And at Coach, where he has held the position of creative director since September 2013, Vevers has steered the classic American brand in new directions — and into new wardrobes — by expanding the legendary accessories label’s apparel offerings and authentically reaching increasingly younger generations. (This is no accident — read on to learn about Vevers’ respect for the “next” generation.)

So, you see, Vevers could be somewhat affected by his decades of acclaim. Instead, the man who joins me on Zoom on a 35-degree September day in New York is warm, fully engaged in the conversation and generous with his responses, not to mention his time (the runway presentation for Coach’s Spring 2024 collection was just a few hours later, on the eve of New York Fashion Week‘s official Spring 2024 calendar). We related almost immediately over the concept of crafting clothes for a club kid lifestyle (his at English clubs, my fiancé’s at Toronto raves) and I quickly understood some of the ingredients to Vever’s success: He’s kind. And humble. And deeply connected to both family and history — that of his upbringing (his father attended his first fashion show ever that evening); that of Coach (he speaks with reverence about the brand’s archives and its roots in New York City); and that of his own family (he took a bow at the end of Coach’s Spring 2024 show that evening with his toddler son in his arms).

It was poetic, then, that Vevers staged his 10-year anniversary collection presentation at the New York Public Library, where so many stories are housed. There, famous faces like Jennifer Lopez and Lil Nas X gathered with editors, buyers and tastemakers to watch the Spring 2024 show where leather bowling bags and mini totes shaped like ducks dangled off the arms of models of different genders and sizes.

The collection, full of signature oversized leather jackets, fresh knit dresses, elevated suiting and leather slips, and which didn’t include a single high heel, if memory serves, felt reflective of the next generation that Vevers fondly speaks of — cool, a little edgy and entirely uninterested in dusty old rules. At a dinner after the presentation, an emotional Vevers reflected on his decade at Coach and what keeps him loving his work after all these years: “Fashion should be about joy, about celebration and, to paraphrase my hero Keith Haring, it should be for everyone.”

Here, get to know Coach creative director Stuart Vevers a little better, plus take a peek at highlights from the designer’s 10-year anniversary presentation.

Where did your interest in fashion initially came from?

That’s a great question. My grandmother was an amateur costume designer and made costumes for the amateur dramatic shows in her town, and she would always dress me and my brother and cousins up to go see her shows. There was something there; it wasn’t exactly fashion but she was creative and always making things. And I adored her. So she was my first inspiration.

I grew up in a relatively small city in the U.K., far from [any kind of ] fashion capitals. My parents didn’t go to college, so I grew up in a traditional working class family environment and I wasn’t exposed to [fashion]. But I was tall from quite a young age, so I could get into nightclubs from about 15. I started dressing up and my grandmother, who was a wizard on the machine, would help me make some of my clubbing outfits. That’s when I started to look at magazines and books around style. But even at that point, I don’t think I ever dreamt I would become a designer.

I was always as a kid drawing, painting. So it wasn’t that long until I realized that [fashion’s] where I wanted to go. But in fact my father, who’s coming to his first fashion show tonight, when I first said I wanted to study fashion, he was horrified [laughs].

How do you stay energized and keep inspiration flowing when creating for a brand with a history like Coach?

I think where I am (New York) certainly helps. I really believe New York is the most creative city in the world. There’s so much creative energy, amazing style, characters, just walking down the street is inspiration. And I think also not being from the U.S., not being from New York, there’s something in that; I sometimes feel like I’m working on a movie set and it keeps me alert to how fortunate I am to be in this city that is so inspiring. And it just happens to have always been Coach’s home, where it started in 1941. So it’s a great place to be inspired by what’s happening today, but also what happened in the past.

Speaking of the past, how do you go about mining Coach’s history?

We have an amazing archive. And it’s full of real samples, and they’re arranged chronologically, so you have things from the ’40s, all the way up to today. We’ve got drawers and drawers of catalogues and editorial from over the decades. I’ll go down now and wander through and see if anything jumps out, and sometimes an individual piece will become the starting point for something. And sometimes I’ll reference it very directly. Or sometimes it might be a combination of colours, or it sparks a memory of something. It’s amazing to have that resource. But what’s great is you never know where it’s going to take you.

You’ve been the creative mind behind quite a lot of It bags. How does it feel to see those designs walking down the street on someone’s arm?

Oh, it’s one of the best things about what I do! When we were all in lockdown not so long ago, and I was kind of trying to figure out my place in the world and I was like, Why would anyone care about fashion right now when there’s so many bigger things happening in our lives?, it actually brought me back to what I love most about fashion. And I realized that actually, it brings joy and, at its best, it makes people happy. It makes them feel more confident walking into a room, it just gives them that spark when they leave the front door.


STYLE

Stuart Vevers on 10 Years With Coach and the Joy of Dressing

“Fashion should be about joy, about celebration and, to paraphrase my hero Keith Haring, it should be for everyone.”

By Jennifer Berry 

Date September 14, 2023

Stuart Vevers is the kind of fashion insider who could be… inaccessible. A true industry veteran, Vevers, who recently marked 10 years at the helm of Coach, cut his teeth at Calvin Klein in New York after leaving his hometown of Yorkshire, England to study fashion design in London. What followed was tenures at some of the most sought-after labels, including Bottega Veneta, Mulberry, and Loewe, where he honed a mastery in accessories and a knack for creating creating fly-off-shelves It items, like the iconic Emmy bag from Mulberry that once hung nonstop from Kate Moss‘s supermodel arm.

And at Coach, where he has held the position of creative director since September 2013, Vevers has steered the classic American brand in new directions — and into new wardrobes — by expanding the legendary accessories label’s apparel offerings and authentically reaching increasingly younger generations. (This is no accident — read on to learn about Vevers’ respect for the “next” generation.)

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF COACH

So, you see, Vevers could be somewhat affected by his decades of acclaim. Instead, the man who joins me on Zoom on a 35-degree September day in New York is warm, fully engaged in the conversation and generous with his responses, not to mention his time (the runway presentation for Coach’s Spring 2024 collection was just a few hours later, on the eve of New York Fashion Week‘s official Spring 2024 calendar). We related almost immediately over the concept of crafting clothes for a club kid lifestyle (his at English clubs, my fiancé’s at Toronto raves) and I quickly understood some of the ingredients to Vever’s success: He’s kind. And humble. And deeply connected to both family and history — that of his upbringing (his father attended his first fashion show ever that evening); that of Coach (he speaks with reverence about the brand’s archives and its roots in New York City); and that of his own family (he took a bow at the end of Coach’s Spring 2024 show that evening with his toddler son in his arms).

It was poetic, then, that Vevers staged his 10-year anniversary collection presentation at the New York Public Library, where so many stories are housed. There, famous faces like Jennifer Lopez and Lil Nas X gathered with editors, buyers and tastemakers to watch the Spring 2024 show where leather bowling bags and mini totes shaped like ducks dangled off the arms of models of different genders and sizes.

The collection, full of signature oversized leather jackets, fresh knit dresses, elevated suiting and leather slips, and which didn’t include a single high heel, if memory serves, felt reflective of the next generation that Vevers fondly speaks of — cool, a little edgy and entirely uninterested in dusty old rules. At a dinner after the presentation, an emotional Vevers reflected on his decade at Coach and what keeps him loving his work after all these years: “Fashion should be about joy, about celebration and, to paraphrase my hero Keith Haring, it should be for everyone.”

Here, get to know Coach creative director Stuart Vevers a little better, plus take a peek at highlights from the designer’s 10-year anniversary presentation.

Where did your interest in fashion initially came from?

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That’s a great question. My grandmother was an amateur costume designer and made costumes for the amateur dramatic shows in her town, and she would always dress me and my brother and cousins up to go see her shows. There was something there; it wasn’t exactly fashion but she was creative and always making things. And I adored her. So she was my first inspiration.

I grew up in a relatively small city in the U.K., far from [any kind of ] fashion capitals. My parents didn’t go to college, so I grew up in a traditional working class family environment and I wasn’t exposed to [fashion]. But I was tall from quite a young age, so I could get into nightclubs from about 15. I started dressing up and my grandmother, who was a wizard on the machine, would help me make some of my clubbing outfits. That’s when I started to look at magazines and books around style. But even at that point, I don’t think I ever dreamt I would become a designer.

I was always as a kid drawing, painting. So it wasn’t that long until I realized that [fashion’s] where I wanted to go. But in fact my father, who’s coming to his first fashion show tonight, when I first said I wanted to study fashion, he was horrified [laughs].

How do you stay energized and keep inspiration flowing when creating for a brand with a history like Coach?

I think where I am (New York) certainly helps. I really believe New York is the most creative city in the world. There’s so much creative energy, amazing style, characters, just walking down the street is inspiration. And I think also not being from the U.S., not being from New York, there’s something in that; I sometimes feel like I’m working on a movie set and it keeps me alert to how fortunate I am to be in this city that is so inspiring. And it just happens to have always been Coach’s home, where it started in 1941. So it’s a great place to be inspired by what’s happening today, but also what happened in the past.

Speaking of the past, how do you go about mining Coach’s history?

We have an amazing archive. And it’s full of real samples, and they’re arranged chronologically, so you have things from the ’40s, all the way up to today. We’ve got drawers and drawers of catalogues and editorial from over the decades. I’ll go down now and wander through and see if anything jumps out, and sometimes an individual piece will become the starting point for something. And sometimes I’ll reference it very directly. Or sometimes it might be a combination of colours, or it sparks a memory of something. It’s amazing to have that resource. But what’s great is you never know where it’s going to take you.

You’ve been the creative mind behind quite a lot of It bags. How does it feel to see those designs walking down the street on someone’s arm?

Oh, it’s one of the best things about what I do! When we were all in lockdown not so long ago, and I was kind of trying to figure out my place in the world and I was like, Why would anyone care about fashion right now when there’s so many bigger things happening in our lives?, it actually brought me back to what I love most about fashion. And I realized that actuallyS tuart Vevers, it brings joy and, at its best, it makes people happy. It makes them feel more confident walking into a room, it just gives them that spark when they leave the front door.

On TikTok, I see the Pillow Tabby on someone Gen Z; I remember buying my first Coach bag more than 20 years ago. How do you approach designing for multiple generations?

Honestly, I’m most inspired by the current generation and I have a fascination with youth culture, counterculture, pop culture, through history, but also very much today. I feel like the current generation, or sometimes we call it the “next generation,” really establish what’s going to come next. And I think all of us, whatever age we are, are very inspired by that.

Today’s generation is dramatically changing the way that I think about so many things, not just fashion. And sometimes it’s challenging because sometimes they are challenging things you’ve established that you feel comfortable with. But it’s really vital to listen and to think about what they’re saying. And I think we’re all, in fact, then influenced by that

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Top Fashion Brands In The World

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Top Fashion Brands In The World

The fashion industry is home to numerous iconic and influential brands that have made a significant impact on the global fashion landscape. Here’s a list of some of the top fashion brands in the world, known for their innovation, quality, and cultural influence:

  1. Louis Vuitton: Louis Vuitton is a luxury fashion brands renowned for its leather goods, including handbags, luggage, and accessories. It’s known for its monogram canvas pattern and has a long history of craftsmanship and prestige.
  2. Gucci: Gucci is an Italian fashion brands that’s synonymous with luxury and style. It offers a wide range of products, including clothing, handbags, shoes, and fragrances. Gucci is known for its bold designs and distinctive double-G logo.
  3. Chanel: Chanel, founded by Coco Chanel, is famous for its timeless elegance and classic designs. The brand is known for its iconic Chanel suits, little black dresses, and quilted handbags.
  4. Prada: Prada is an Italian luxury fashion house known for its avant-garde designs and high-quality materials. It offers clothing, accessories, and fragrances with a focus on minimalist aesthetics.
  5. Versace: Versace is an Italian luxury fashion brands known for its bold and colorful designs. It’s famous for its Medusa logo, which is a symbol of power and glamour.
  6. Hermès: Hermès is renowned for its high-end leather goods, including the iconic Birkin and Kelly bags. The brand is known for its exquisite craftsmanship and dedication to quality.
  7. Dior: Christian Dior, often referred to as Dior, is a French luxury fashion brands celebrated for its haute couture and ready-to-wear collections. It’s known for its elegant and feminine designs.
  8. Burberry: Burberry is a British luxury brand known for its distinctive check pattern and trench coats. It offers a wide range of clothing, accessories, and fragrances.
  9. Ralph Lauren: Ralph Lauren is an American fashion brands known for its preppy and classic style. It encompasses various lines, including Polo Ralph Lauren and Ralph Lauren Purple Label.
  10. Balenciaga: Balenciaga is a French luxury brand that’s gained popularity for its innovative and unconventional designs, including oversized silhouettes and bold logos.
  11. Yves Saint Laurent (YSL): YSL is a French fashion house known for its modern and edgy designs. It’s credited with popularizing the tuxedo jacket for women.
  12. Off-White: Off-White is an Italian streetwear brand founded by Virgil Abloh. It’s known for its urban-inspired designs and distinctive use of quotation marks in its branding.
  13. Fendi: Fendi is an Italian luxury brand celebrated for its fur and leather products, as well as its iconic Baguette bag.
  14. Givenchy: Givenchy is a French fashion house known for its chic and sophisticated style. It’s famous for dressing celebrities and royalty.
  15. Valentino: Valentino is an Italian fashion brands known for its romantic and luxurious designs, including red-carpet gowns and Rockstud accessories.

These fashion brands have left a lasting mark on the industry and continue to shape global fashion brands. They cater to a diverse range of styles and preferences, making them influential and admired by fashion brands enthusiasts around the world.

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