If you were born in the nineties you will probably remember the era of the supermodels; Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Claudia Schiffer were just about everywhere. In their heyday, long before the advent of social media, becoming a supermodel was all about beauty, talent and personality. Nowadays, things are a little different.

Today’s generation of models including Cara Delevingne, Karlie Kloss, Jourdan Dunn, Joan Smalls, Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, are known as “Instagirls” - a term addressed on the cover of Vogue’s September issue starring nine supermodels with thousands, if not millions (like Delevingne) of followers on Instagram. Their social media following has helped them secure campaigns.

Vogue's September issue cover

But legendary model Naomi Campbell has admitted that if she could do it all again, she’ll do it all the same old-fashioned way, rather than becoming one of the industry’s new “Instagirls” because “easy come, easy go”. 

“Social media is definitely something that is setting models apart because it makes someone relatable,” Gigi Hadid, who has 1.6 million Instagram followers, told The Independent.

“Companies are going to look at your following and your ability to connect to different age groups and different people and if you can connect to a lot of people by just being relatable and by showing people different sides of your life and different sides of you then you’re going to be able to represent a brand because you have a voice and that’s what brands are looking for.”

However, Campbell thinks different. She told The Meredith Viera Show: “I just feel my generation of women, like Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Claudia [Schiffer], we had to earn our stripes and take our stepping stones to get to where we have gotten; to accomplish what we have achieved to this date.”

Jourdan Dunn and Naomi Campbell for Burberry's spring/summer 2015 campaign

“I kind of feel like, 'My God, we've worked so hard and we are still working at it - then it just comes like that for them.' I am actually grateful for the way I had my career. I wouldn't want it any other way. So that's for them, this is me," the 44-year-old said on the American TV show.

[By LINDA SHARKEY] [Read More]

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When Scott Schuman and Garance Doré — two of the biggest street style photographers in the game — fell in love back in 2008, it seemed like the picture-perfect relationship. They wrote online love letters to each other, shot campaigns together, and single- (double?) handedly disproved that whole “don’t mix business with pleasure” rule. If their seven-year relationship was lived publicly, though, its end was arguably even more so. 

Each made statements on their own blogs, The Sartorialist and Garance Doré, and posted announcements on social media. And, while the decision to broadcast this might seem to make the incident even more awkward, Schuman said it was done for both personal and professional reasons. As he told Isaac Likes, “It’s not that we wanted to end it on social media, we felt we had to, to make it clear that there was no scandal or anything.” 

It also had something to do with Fashion Week. As he put it, “We’d broken up a little bit before the statement, but it was the summer and Fashion Week was coming up so to make things easier with show invitations and where people were seating us we felt we had to. You know, we’re fine, but when you’re just freshly broken up you don’t necessarily want to sit next to your ex-girlfriend at a fashion show.” Point taken, Scott — it’s uncomfortable enough running into your ex on the street.

Although he points to their differences in upbringing for ultimately causing the breakup (“I can’t blame her for anything, she’s the way she is because of the way she was brought up, and I’m the way I am because of the way I grew up.”) Schuman said things are totally fine now. That's good to hear, because New York Fashion Week is coming up again...

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Lucky Blue Smith followed by fans at the Tuileries Garden in Paris | Source: Michael Dumler (On Abbot Kinney)

Lucky Blue Smith, who has been compared to both River Phoenix and a young Brad Pitt, posts the Instagram photo at 12.15pm on Sunday from a small café near Colette in Paris’s 1st arrondissement: “PARIS Here is another chance to come say hi to me! Come meet at 4pm at the Fete Foraine du jardin Des Tuileries!! Come!!! I wanna meet you all.”

It’s 4.00pm and the 6’3” sixteen-year-old is walking down a one-way lane that connects Rue Saint-Honoré and Rue de Rivoli when the first fans notice him. They lead him across the street to the Tuileries entrance, where another six girls stand waiting, iPhones at the ready. They all start snapping photos. Inside the gates, four more girls are dancing from foot to foot and tugging each other’s sleeves. “C’est Lucky!” In the distance, from over by the ferris wheel, at least 40 girls can be seen sprinting in his direction. Passersby stop and stare. Many pull out their phones to snap the stampede. Lucky smiles and waves; relaxed, engaging and effortlessly charismatic amidst the chaos. And the fans just keep coming. There are now over 100 girls huddled in a massive circle around him. Lucky laughs as they touch his hair, kiss him on the cheek and grab him in places they probably shouldn’t.

As an ‘Insta-famous’ male model with about 285,000 followers on the popular image-sharing platform Instagram, you might not know him, but teenage girls most certainly do. His fans are diverse and global, but if there’s one thing they share, it’s a near obsession with Lucky Blue. While his follower count is well below the staggering 9.2 million users who follow Cara Delevingne on Instagram, Lucky Blue boasts some impressive engagement metrics. In the last 12 hours alone, his fans have tagged him in 223 photos, some of which are modeling shots; many of which are candid shots taken from his Instagram account; others are simply screengrabbed text messages between friends talking about how much they love him. On average, his Instagram posts are liked by about 30,000 to 40,000 people each, or about 10 to 15 percent of his total following on the platform, which is significantly higher than the average rate for fashion brands, which social media analytics firm Union Metrics puts at 4.3 percent.

Lucky Blue Smith | Source: Michael Dumler (On Abbot Kinney)

Lucky Blue Smith | Source: Michael Dumler (On Abbot Kinney)

And, like Delevingne, Lucky’s fans don’t just follow him online, but in real life, too. He’s the only 16-year-old boy on the international fashion scene who has the power to make people show up in the flesh when he posts on social media. And he’s not afraid to use this power.

“A ton of fans showed up yesterday,” said Lucky Blue’s mother, Sheridan Smith, referring to the stampede of teenage girls who greeted the model when he exited the building after walking in the Sacai men’s show on Saturday morning. “But he told them a whole day ahead of time.”

Over the past couple of months, the sight has become increasingly common. Lucky Blue, with his perfect skin, flashing teeth and shock of white hair, shows up in a new city where he’s been booked for a shoot or a show — and girls swarm. In London, there were 60 waiting with signs and posters at Heathrow Airport. In Amsterdam, 20 stormed the American Hotel where he was staying. In Milan, they lurked outside the Fendi show. This kind of following is unusual for a male model.

And yet nothing had prepared Lucky and his mother for what happened on Saturday in Paris. “The crowd of girls was so big on this small street that they were literally blocking traffic,” Sheridan says. “There must have been 75 of them. Two older girls took charge and led the fans through to an open square.”

This is Lucky’s freshman show season in Europe. In London he bookedTom Ford and Dunhill; in Milan he walked Etro, Philipp Plein, Bottega Veneta and Fendi; and in Paris he walked just one, Sacai. Saint Laurent has put him on hold every season since he was 14, but is yet to book him for a show.

Lucky’s biggest jobs to date include a CK One campaign shot by Mario Sorrenti, a Gap campaign and a Tommy Hilfiger campaign, featuring an ensemble cast of models, to be released this spring. Working with a range of prestigious brands has increased Lucky’s bankability and exposure. Meanwhile, for the brands that hire him, his social media profile can increase their visibility among a new generation of post-Internet consumers (Lucky was just five years old when Facebook was first launched) who are expected to hit their earning peak in 2020.

“Before I came to Italy, I’d never heard of most of these designers,” he says. The same is true of much of his audience. “I think I’d heard of Fendi andGucci and that’s it. What’s that one I did? Botte… Venet or something? And Roberto Cavalli, I didn’t know either.” A photo he posted of himself on the catwalk at Roberto Cavalli garnered 30,464 likes and 599 comments.

“His fans love him,” says Sheridan. “He has about 20 fan-pages. The funny thing is, most of these kids don’t even know about his music. That’s the next step — I don’t think any young boy ever sees modeling as the end game. Wait till they see him playing drums.”

Yes, he’s also a musician, and it’s a family affair.

Lucky Blue and his three older sisters — Pyper America, Daisy Clementine and Queen Starlie — are in a surf-rock band named The Atomics, which they started together several years ago.

“We’re working on our first album as a band,” he says. “It’s kinda crazy because right now I’m in Europe doing fashion week and my two sisters are in LA writing with our Dad and Pyper’s in New York for fashion week, but she’s recording her harmonies over there and sending them through, then I’m flying to New York for fashion week, too.”

Pyper and Daisy, standing at 5’10” and 5’10.5, respectively, both model too. Queen Starlie (just Starlie to her family), at 5’3”, is too short to model. “She’s fun-sized,” says Sheridan. “But she’s lead singer of the band.”

Lucky Blue was 10 when his older sister Daisy Clementine was discovered by a model scout in Utah and sent to Next Models Los Angeles. Alexis, the director of the agency, asked Lucky to come back in a couple of years. Two years later, on a family road trip to California, they stopped by Next and the whole Smith clan was signed on the spot. “We kept getting called back,” says Lucky. “Next were setting up all these meetings with people about reality TV shows and Nickelodeon shows, but I just wanted to go to the beach.” A few days later they did their first shoot together as siblings and as a band. The photographer was Hedi Slimane and the photos appeared in Vogue Homme Japan. The Smiths relocated to Los Angeles soon after.

“Acting, modeling, music, we’re trying it all,” says Lucky. He’s about to start work on an indie movie directed by a family friend named Rob Diamond. It’s a love story written specifically for Lucky. His dream co-star? “Candice Swanepoel. She’s so hot.”

Lucky Blue Smith hugs a fan | Source: Michael Dumler (On Abbot Kinney)

For the moment, money is tight. The six Smiths live on Hollywood Boulevard, near the Chinese Mann Theatre, in a two-bedroom apartment. The parents are in one room, the four siblings in another. “It was a family decision to move to California from Utah,” says Sheridan. “It hasn’t been easy, but if one of us succeeds, we all succeed. We’re all working together to try and make this happen.” Is she a ‘momager’? She laughs. “I don’t like that word, but I do like to support and empower my children.”

The moment they arrived in LA, the kids, who are home-schooled, were introduced to a crew of Internet-famous teenagers who hang out together regularly and post pictures of their adventures. “Some have, like, 532,000 followers on Instagram,” says Lucky, “and others have like 2 million. They’d post pictures with me and I got like 50,000 followers straight away. Once I got up to like 110,000 it grew on its own. I’m getting like a thousand to two thousand [new followers] every day.”

Unlike traditional celebrities who protect their private lives, many Internet-famous kids, like Lucky, are endlessly open and accessible and want to interact with their fans — within reason. “I get about 150 direct messages a day on Instagram,” he says. All from girls. He doesn’t open them. “I don’t want to disappoint them by not replying,” he says, “But if I did reply to all of them I’d never have time for anything else.” As a Mormon, he’s also planning on abstaining from sex until he’s married.

Lucky says he’s equal parts thankful for, empathetic towards, and confused by his fans. He repeatedly stresses that he doesn’t want to let them down and also that he’s not entirely sure what has made him so popular.

“I don’t want to be one of those kids who gets famous and then changes and becomes cocky. That’s why it’s so important to me to try and take a photo with every girl who comes to see me. I don’t really get why they seem to like me so much, but if I can make them feel happy by sticking around and that makes their day better, then what’s an extra 30 minutes to me? What else am I going to be doing?”

Back in the Tuileries, a girl is slumped against a wall, heaving breaths and crying uncontrollably. When Lucky sees her, he asks everyone to move aside to allow him to go and talk to her. He and Sheridan crouch down next to her. He holds her hand as she looks up at him and smiles and cries. She’s so overwhelmed she can hardly talk, but she hugs him for 15 seconds and kisses him on the cheek before letting go. The moment he turns and walks away, she faints cold on the wet ground. The police run over. “This is finished!” they shout in French. “Please exit the Tuileries!”

We hustle him through the crowd and flag a cab on Rue de Rivoli. The girls beg him to stay. “Please Lucky! One more photo!” He sits in the front seat, winds down the window and tells the driver to wait so a zealous crew of three who’ve stopped oncoming traffic, can poke their heads in for a final shot. As we pull away, he slumps back in his seat. “Wow, that was way bigger than yesterday. I used to think my friends in LA who do organised meet-and-greets with security guards were just being cocky, but now I think I get it.”

He stops talking for a moment, so he can reply to a direct message sent from one of the girls who had just showed up in the Tuileries. She runs the fan page @luckysfacts and he’s thanking her for coming. “That was kinda crazy.”

[BY ISAAC HINDIN-MILLER] [Read More]

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11 Habits of Insanely Fashionable People

Working in fashion and being surrounded by incredibly stylish women inevitably means that we've picked up on a few things as HuffPost Style editors. We have mastered the sometimes difficult pronunciation of designer names, we've caught on to fashion week etiquette, but most importantly, we have adopted some of the rules that extremely fashionable editors, bloggers and even celebrities follow.

To help share our wisdom, we've rounded up 11 habits of the sartorially advanced. Follow these rules and who knows, you could be the next Miroslava Duma (or at least have a closet that rivals hers).

1. They subscribe to dozens of listservs and newsletters. Yes, your inbox might be clogged, but it's worth it to get alerts on sales and special promotions.

illustration shopping

2. They aren't scared of items that are dry clean only. Any closet worth its salt is going to have special care pieces -- whether it's a suede skirt, a neoprene top or a sequined blazer. Don't back away from something just because you can't toss it in the washing machine.

3. They have a tailor on speed dial. It may seem like a waste of money to tailor a dress from Zara, but perfect fit is the difference between looking fast fashion versus high fashion.

illustration tailor

4. They often size up. So many women get fixated on wearing a certain size, but sizing up can often completely change the look of a garment. Turning a tight tank into a loose top by going up a size will make it uniquely yours.

illustration shopping

5. They understand that the best closets are 70 percent meat and potatoes. It's always fun to buy trendy, statement pieces, but the most lust-worthy wardrobes are always made up of mostly basics. These neutral garments (think black leather pants, a perfectly tailored blazer, a classic white T-shirt) are the things you should be splurging on, as they will make up the bones of your closet and you'll be able to wear them multiple times a week.

6. They aren't afraid to buy something even if they have no place to wear it. When you find an incredible piece, just buy it. The occasion to wear it will come later.

illustration sale rack

7. They take things to the repair shop before they fall apart.When you first notice that a pair of shoes is starting to deteriorate, run to the nearest cobbler. If you wait until they are on their last legs (pun intended), it could be too late.

8. They try things on, even if they are out of budget. It can be disheartening to fall in love with something if it's out of budget. But when and if that item goes on sale, you want to know your size and whether it suits you. If you always try on pieces that are a little out of reach, when the markdowns happen, you can buy it online, even if it's final sale.

illustration sale rack

9. They befriend sales associates. Buddying up to the sales clerk has many advantages -- they will put aside items in your size, give you a heads up when a sale is happening and call you when new items arrive.

10. They are the first ones to try a trend. She who hesitates is lost -- in the style world, that is. If you notice a new trend that none of your friends have adopted yet, don't be afraid to be the guinea pig. Big risks equals big rewards (or at least a spot on a street style blog).

illustration shopping

11. They are always shopping. Even when you're in the mens section or at an antiques shop, always have your eyes peeled for things that could work in your closet -- you never know what gem you might find.

illustration shopping

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How to Join the #SmearForSmear Movement

Did you know that one million women failed to take up the offer of a smear test last year? That’s one million women risking their lives by not taking precautions against cervical cancer – one of the few cancers that is actually preventable. And it’s young women in particular that are refusing to take up the offer. Cervical cancer tests are lowest amongst women aged 25-29 and it’s this age group that really needs the encouragement to go and have a smear test done. 

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week runs from 25-31 Jan [Jo's Trust / Twitter]

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week runs from 25-31 Jan [Jo's Trust / Twitter]In aid of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (25-31 Jan), charity Jo’s Trust is aiming to raise awareness of smear tests with a new social media campaign, #SmearForSmear. People across the UK are posting selfies on social media with lipstick smeared over their face in a bid to encourage women to take part.
And a number of bloggers are doing their bit too with acclaimed make-up artists Pixiwoo just one of the names to take part.

Nicola Haste's #SmearForSmear selfie [Facebook / Pixiwoo]

Nicola Haste's #SmearForSmear selfie [Facebook / Pixiwoo]Posting a picture on Facebook of her smeared lipstick selfie, one half of Pixiwoos Nicola Haste (nee Chapman) nominated her sister Sam to get involved.

Brit beauty blogger Lily Pebbles also got in on the action, sharing a snap of her with smeared lipstick.

“I always put off booking a smear test if i'm honest but it's never as bad I think! [sic],” she wrote.

“Here's my #‎SmearForSmear to encourage you guys to book in & not put it off any longer. Take a smeared lipstick selfie & spread the word!”



Lily Pebbles gets in on the #SmearForSmear action [Lily Pebbles / Facebook]

Lily Pebbles gets in on the #SmearForSmear action [Lily Pebbles / Facebook]And lifestyle blogging beauty Rosie 'The Londoner' got involved too, encouraging her readers to get checked.

"Jumping on the #‎smearforsmear bandwagon as a nudge to get you to book in for a checkup!" said Rosie.

"Cervical cancer is preventable and the sooner you get a smear test, the better. Don't put it off, give your doctor a ring."


Rosie 'The Londoner' posts a #SmearForSmear selfie [Facebook / The Londoner]

Rosie 'The Londoner' posts a #SmearForSmear selfie [Facebook / The Londoner]Robert Music, chief executive of Jo’s Trust, said it’s time we start seeing an upward shift in cervical cancer screenings among young women.

“Every day we see the devastating impact a cervical cancer diagnosis can have on both a woman and her loved ones,” he said.

"But to know that, for those that delayed their screening before diagnosis, this could have been prevented is tragic. 

“It's now time that we see an upward shift in awareness of cervical cancer and an understanding of the importance of smear tests."

Sam Chapman's #SmearForSmear selfie [Sam Chapman / Instagram]

Sam Chapman's #SmearForSmear selfie [Sam Chapman / Instagram]We really hope this campaign helps to raise awareness of cervical cancer in women of all ages as it’s the lives of our mothers, sisters, aunties and cousins that are on the line here. Fingers crossed people don't miss the point like they did with the no make-up selfie campaign.

To donate, text CCPW01 followed by the amount you'd like to donate (including the '£') to 70070, or you can donate online.

For more information on Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, smear tests and the symptoms of cervical cancer, visit Jo’s Trust and the NHS website now.

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Today, YouTube beauty vloggers appear more influent than the main websites for women. According to a recent study by Influence4you, the leading French YouTube beauty vloggers supersede women’s sites in terms of power, endorsement and impact. However, their audience remains very focused on the 15-35 age group.

Influence4you,  a media and communication agency specializing in the relationship between brands and social media, blogging, and vlogging influencers - attempted to measure the impact of French YouTube beauty vloggers on the web. The agency scrutinised several key data: the time spent watching videos or reading articles, the presence and influence in social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. From a strictly quantitative point of view, the balance struck is heavily tilted in favour of YouTube vloggers.

The time spent (in thousands of minutes) on the main websites for women and on major YouTube beauty channels is roughly equivalent. Shortly speaking, the media influence of the leading French YouTube beauty vloggers is now as important as the leading websites for women. However, their audience is overwhelmingly aged 15-35 years, while websites for women connect with a much broader audience.

The comparison of the number of followers and of engagement rates on Facebook, also shows that YouTube beauty vloggers are on equal footing with leading websites for women. However, as far as other social media measured by the study (Twitter, Instagram) are concerned, YouTube vloggers clearly dominate. “Twitter is a privileged and popular communication channel for YouTube vloggers and for their viewers, which are younger than that of largest women’s sites. Therefore, they are fully invested in social media that allow direct communication with their followers,” say the authors of the study. Regarding Instagram, the difference is even more marked, with hardly any female sites having a number of followers matching the numbers reached by YouTube vloggers.

What about bloggers?

Beyond the comparison between websites for women’ and YouTub beauty vloggers, Influence4you also compared the influence between bloggers and YouTube vloggers. Once again, from a purely quantitative point of view, the preponderance of YouTube vloggers is undeniable: their influence on social networks seems much higher.

However bloggers, which are somewhat older, have an established relationship with their readers and attract wider age groups. Bloggers also massively invest social media and many of them became influential YouTube vloggers. From the brand’s perspective, blogs also have the advantage of an easier integration of advertisements. According to Influence4you: "Bloggers and YouTube vloggers should be opposed as they appear as being somewhat complementarity.”

To summarize, YouTube beauty vloggers now have a large audience and an unparalleled presence in social media. These quantitative assets add up to the unique characteristics of video media, which is rather well suited to the beauty and fashion sectors, and to the personal endorsement and intimacy, provided by the YouTube vlogger. However, their audience is highly targeted on the 15-35 years. For most mainstream brands, a media strategy that would only target YouTube vloggers would therefore not be optimum, as they may lose touch with large part of the market.

[By Vincent Gallon] [Read More]

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Top dog: Toast, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, stars in Karen Walker's summer 2015 eyewear campaign

A stylish Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a large social media following has landed her first major fashion campaign. Toast, a toothless dog with a drooping tongue and more than 155,000 Instagram followers, stars in Karen Walker's summer 2015 eyewear campaign alongside Ms Walker herself. The popular pooch – who has received support from a number of the fashion industry’s elite, including Lucky editor-in-chief Eva Chen and Man Repeller blogger Leandra Medine – was rescued from a puppy mill in 2011 by Josh Ostrovsky, a 29-year-old New York City comedian who goes by the name 'Fat Jew', and his wife, Katie Sturino. 

Shady behavior: The campaign sees Toast modeling various sunglasses alongside Ms Walker

Shady behavior: The campaign sees Toast modeling various sunglasses alongside Ms Walker

The campaign sees Toast modeling various sunglasses, both by herself and alongside the designer; in fact, several of the images show Ms Walker and her canine companion sporting the same shades side by side. 

The New Zealand native, 44, announced that Toast was the latest face of her brand in an Instagram post Sunday, writing: 'This gorgeous redhead’s story is a true Cinderella one. She was discovered living in cruel circumstances, rescued, and quickly rocketed to fame thanks to her wonderful looks, charming personality and inimitable sense of humour.'

The accompanying image, which shows Toast wearing some chic tortoise-shell frames, has already garnered close to 5,000 likes.

See the life of Toast, the toothless puppy of Instagram
  

Seeing double: Some of the campaign's images show Toast and Ms Walker sporting the same sunglasses

 

The right look: 'We were after a model for this campaign who could fit with our caramel-y color palette,' Ms Walker said. Toast's owners also shared an image from the campaign on her Instagram account, noting: 'None of the photos are photoshopped. I'm just that good.' 

Ms Walker told Style.com: 'We were after a model for this campaign who could fit with our caramel-y color palette and also someone whose hair would work with our three wind machines hitting her from every angle to create a slightly ’70s vibe. Toast ticked every one of those boxes.'

According to WWD, hairstylist Gavin Harwin used fans to make Toast's ears flop in the wind.

Gentle breeze: Hairstylist Gavin Harwin used fans to make Toast's ears flop in the wind

Gentle breeze: Hairstylist Gavin Harwin used fans to make Toast's ears flop in the wind

Au naturel: 'None of the photos are photoshopped. I'm just that good,' Toast's Instagram account noted

Au naturel: 'None of the photos are photoshopped. I'm just that good,' Toast's Instagram account noted

Good cause: Ms Walker has made a donation to Friends of Finn, an organization devoted to ending inhumane breeding practices in puppy mills

Good cause: Ms Walker has made a donation to Friends of Finn, an organization devoted to ending inhumane breeding practices in puppy mills

Ms Walker said that she was nervous about posing next to the famous pup.

'It’s pretty hard to compete with a toothless dog with its tongue hanging out,' she admitted.

Toast's teeth had to be removed when she was rescued because they were rotten.

Ms Walker has paid Toast's owners a modeling fee, and made an additional donation to Friends of Finn, an organization devoted to ending inhumane breeding practices in puppy mills.

Ms Walker's previous eyewear campaigns have featured other unexpected models, such as small children, Kenyan artisans and women from Advanced Style, a website that showcases the fashion of senior citizens.

[By ERIN CLEMENTS FOR DAILYMAIL.COM] [Read More]

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It may not be a huge surprise to most that sweatshops and underpaid (or sometimes trafficked laborers) are involved in the production of the clothes on our backs. It’s one of those facts that we tend to overlook in exchange for a trendy shirt that costs less than $10. Recently, the Norweigian television series Sweatshop sent three fashion bloggers to work in a sweatshop in Cambodia, and even though they vaguely knew about the conditions under which their clothes were made, the unfairness of it all didn’t really hit them until they were standing in front of the sewing machines. 

Remember the premise of the movie Zoolander? The evil guy, Mugatu, played by Will Ferrell, was in legal trouble because he was using children in Malaysia to make his clothes for unfair wages. Derek Zoolander, played by Ben Stiller, and his lawyer, Matilda Jeffries, played by Christine Taylor, teamed up with free-hug model Hansel, played by Owen Wilson, to uncover what Mugatu was doing with his new line. Not to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it, but in the end, both child labor and unfair wages were deemed illegal. Mugatu also got in trouble for other stuff, like stealing credit for that awful piano tie. It might have been a silly film, but all the issues they touch on are actually very serious in real life — issues I’m glad are getting even more attention every year.

The fashion bloggers, Annikan, Frida and Ludwig all had their own speciality when it came to the style world. They didn’t know each other prior to the trip, but were forced to spend a week together in Phnem Penh, Cambodia where the majority of the town is made up of garment workers. I recently sat down and watched the entire series; it’s definitely a tough thing to digest, but absolutely worth checking out. 

The Bloggers

Annikan

She was definitely the most emotional throughout the trip, but rightly so. Annikan hosts one of the most popular fashion blogs in Norway. Before leaving on the trip, she said she was going to learn more about the garments she posts on her site — and she certainly did.

Frida

Never without her trademarked winged eyeliner in Cambodia, Frida let the injustice turn to personal anger. She was fired up about the unfairness she was seeing in the garment district. Her blog in Norway is not as popular as Annikan’s but she knew more about sewing, so had a better understanding of how difficult a job these underpaid workers were doing.

Ludwig

Ludwig is known by his friends for traveling the world and coming back with cheap, ethnic clothes from wherever he went that week. While on the trip, Ludwig got this tattoo in “an attic in Phnem Penh.” It is a price tag on a sweater sold at a typical clothing store in Cambodia. It also is the same amount as one month’s salary for a garment worker. 

The Plot

The bloggers only worked in the sweatshop for one day. They worked eight hours, when a typical week-day work shift is 12 hours. All three were put in front of a sewing machine and sewed the same seam all day. Later, they would meet a girl who would have sewn the same seam for 14 years. 

At first, the bloggers don’t think their situation was “that bad.” They workers sit all day, when many of them don’t have chairs at home, and their job is not physically exhausting. It was not until a trip to the grocery store and market to try to make a 10-person dinner with $3, a typical day’s earning for a garment worker, did they realize how unfair the wages really were. 

Since I first really learned about human trafficking my senior year of high school, I’ve been passionate about international injustice. That same year, I stopped eating chocolate made my certain brands because I found proof they used trafficked laborers to pick the cocoa beans. The sacrifice may not make a huge difference in the scheme of things, but it was something I could do. 

I feel the same about this series. It was a very tame look into how garment workers live in Cambodia, but it will start conversations. The series, in fact, warns you that it is not even a portrayal of how bad a typical sweatshop can be because the shop the fashion bloggers worked in was the only one that accepted them to come work. When Ludwig found that out, he admitted he was afraid to see what the places that turned them down actually looked like. 

It really is because of these workers that our clothes can be as cheap as they are. Major fashion brands have since taken action regarding the workers they use in this area, but obviously not enough has been done if garment workers are holding protests are being held in Cambodia nearly every month. I can’t imagine waking up, going to work for 12 hours a day, sewing the same seam, then going home and repeating the same thing the next day — until I died. Additionally, I can’t imagine doing that for $3 a day, then being expected to provide for my family. 

As far as what we can do, it’s time to research clothing companies before we buy. It’ll probably mean you spend a little more on your wardrobe. Saving up for a week to buy a slightly more expensive (but ethically made) dress might not seem like much, but ever little bit make a difference. Plus, from personal experience, I can tell you it feel really, really good to know that each hand that touched my new garment before me was treated and paid properly while they made it.

You can watch the series here (it’s in Norwegian, but there are English subtitles). It’s definitely worth a viewing.

[By: ] [Read More

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Sisters in hits: YouTube stars Tanya Burr and pal Zoe Sugg attend the unveiling of Zoe’s

Source: Supplied

Walking into the Seven Network studios this morning, I was confronted by a sea of fans. No, they’re hadn’t gathered for Sunrise hosts Kochie and Sam. They were there to meet their idol. Not a Bieber, a Pink or a Katy Perry but a beauty ‘vlogger’ named Tanya Burr. You may not have heard of Ms Burr, but judging by the rock star reception the 25-year-old received in Sydney’s Martin Place today, you soon will.

Tanya is part of a breed of powerhouse beauty bloggers (or ‘vloggers’ when video content is added) who are making a living from sharing their tips with the rest of the world. As of August, Burr had over 2 million subscribers to her ‘Tanya Burr’ YouTube channel and over 130 million video views while her second channel ‘Tanya’s Vlogs!’ has over 500k subscribers and 24 million video views, and she puts her success down to one thing: she’s authentic.

Tanya Burr.

Tanya Burr. Source: Getty Images

“I’m really honest and what you see is the real me,’’ she says.

“As opposed to just posting Instagram pics that have been shot a hundred times, hand-picked then filtered a lot, I guess what you see with my channel is beginning-to-end tutorials and my viewers, hopefully learn something each time.

With over 1.5 million followers on Twitter and around the same on Instagram, Tanya has a social media following that some fellow beauty bloggers can only dream about and she has her own Tanya Burr Cosmetics line and books. But Tanya hasn’t always been so driven and confident.

“I was painfully shy and had no confidence when I was a teenager,’’ she says.

“So much so that I would go bright red if someone even spoke to me but it took getting into my twenties to feel happy within myself and realise that the people you try to look up to should be more similar to you as opposed to being six foot skinny girls,’’ she smiles.

“I realised that it was ridiculous to be aspiring to ‘be’ someone who is a polar opposite to what you really are.’’

Simply, Tanya is a curvaceous and diminutive dynamo.

“Sure, we all have body hang-ups and to be honest I am not the happiest with my body shape at the moment, but we need to learn to love our own bodies and make the best of what we have,’’ she adds.

Tanya Burr at a premiere.

Tanya Burr at a premiere. Source: Getty Images

It’s a refreshing point of view for a young woman and one which many teenage girls would do well to follow, and many Aussie girls are!

“I see where my fan base is and a lot are from Australia, which is great,” says Tanya.

Burr grew up in Norwich and attended Long Stratton High School before attending Notre Dame sixth form and completing a short course as a make-up artist in the UK: “When I was five I apparently wrote in a Winnie-the-Pooh book that I wanted to be a make-up artist,’’ says Tanya.

“And while I can’t remember that, or find the book it’s funny how things all work out.’’

Burr set up her self-titled YouTube channel in 2009 where she uploaded make-up tutorials providing instructions on replicating ‘celebrity’ looks before encompassing ‘beauty haul’ videos (favourite and preferred products) and vlogs.

Tanya Burr.

Tanya Burr. Source: Getty Images

In January last year Burr launched a diffusion line of “eye CANDY” cosmetics through UK retailer Superdrug, called Tanya Burr Cosmetics but it is her latest work — a book — she is here to talk about. It’s a book called ‘Love, Tanya’ and it’s a nonfiction beauty guide and part autobiography.

“It goes from being a little bit autobiographical to talking about positivity and being happy with yourself, to how to curb anxiety, beauty and make-up talk, and blogging for beginners,’’ she says.

Tanya says a ‘balanced’ lifestyle has been her saviour from her anxiety attacks.

“I avoid anxiety by trying not to even get to that place so I don’t overpack my diary even though that is a tempting thing to do.”

Tanya is also in a relationship with fellow YouTuber and vlogger Jim Chapman since 2007, and they are currently engaged.

Tanya is great mates with fellow social media star, Zoe Elizabeth Sugg (aka Zoella on YouTube) whose debut book, Girl Online, broke the record for highest first-week sales and has been tagged one of Britain’s ‘most influential tweeters’. Zoe’s fictional book — a 15-year-old anonymous blogger and what happens when her blog goes viral — broke the record for the highest ever first-week sales for a debut author since records began in 1998, selling a total of 78,109 copies.

“We have a great friendship and I guess we all ‘get’ what we are all talking about when we handout together and support each other, which is so important in this social media landscape,’’ says Tanya.

“I don’t really look at long-term or 10-year-plan in my work world as it’s more like, ‘what am I doing in the next 12 months’ but you just have to remain confident and keep learning all of the time.”

‘Love, Tanya’, $24.99 from January 29, published by Penguin.

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