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In fashion news today: Kylie Jenner’s boyfriend collaborated with Ksubi, Condé Nast announces

In fashion news today: Kylie Jenner’s boyfriend collaborated with Ksubi, Condé Nast announces LGBTQ media site

Kylie Jenner’s boyfriend and father of soon-to-be born child, Travis Scott, is collaborating with Australian denim kings, Ksubi. Named Ksubi x Travis Scott, the 10-piece limited edition collection includes jeans, T-shirts, jackets and jumpers all with Scott’s signature aesthetic — think distressed denim and plenty of statement motif T-shirts.

Condé Nast (publisher of Vogue Australia) is launching a LGBTQ-specific online platform, aimed at showcasing a variety of stories from a number of different backgrounds. Set to be led by Teen Vogue’s Phillip Picardi, the platform will be called Them and will launch later this month. “There is a cultural revolution happening that is — as always — spearheaded by young people who believe in fighting for equality, and we want to create a space that’s reflective of this moment,” Picardi said in a statement.Longtime supermodel Lauren Hutton has covered Vogue Italia, which at 73-years-old, makes her the oldest woman to ever cover a Vogue magazine. Starring on three different versions of the cover and photographed by Steven Klein, the issue — called the “Timeless Issue” — focuses on women over the

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Ryanair flight attendant lifts the lid on startling working conditions – and plans for a revolt

Ryanair flight attendant lifts the lid on startling working conditions – and plans for a revolt

ARyanair flight attendant has accused the airline of a number of startling work practises, including only paying for “flying time”, charging staff full price for water and sandwiches, and encouraging crew members to compete against each other for in-flight sales.

Writing for the Irish Times under condition of anonymity, the author wrote how the carrier’s passengers were right to be angry about the large swath of recent cancellations, but said they should direct their ire at the bosses, not the staff.

The member of the cabin crew said that some colleagues had been called in to work on a flight, waiting “three or four hours” before the service was cancelled “so they went home, and they won’t get any payment for that at all”.

The author also alleged that staff are only paid for time the plane is in the air – so the crew prep the plane for boarding without remuneration.

“As a crew member I have no base salary and I am only paid for flying time,” the flight attendant wrote. “Today, for instance, I got up at 3am and was in the airport around 5am. That was one hour before my first flight left. We had our briefings and went to the plane for the safety checks. Then there was the boarding. That is the hardest part, because you have to sort out all the bags and seat almost 200 people, and they are all tired, because it is very early. Then plane takes off, and it was only at that point I start getting paid.

“Today I clocked in at 5am and finished at 3pm, and in that time we had flights lasting a total of five hours. Those five hours are all I will get paid for even though I was at work for a total of 10 hours.”

The crew member said that any staff working at the airline’s smaller bases where flights have been cut for the winter schedule “have been told that they will have to transfer to other bases in Europe - and cover all costs themselves - or they will be forced to take unpaid leave for months”.

The author also wrote about the pressure to hit in-flight sales targets.

“Technically we are not allowed to use the public-address systems on the early-morning or late-night flights, but we are given no choice to use them, because we have to sell products to passengers, and if we don’t sell enough we will be disciplined; we will be called to Dublin and forced to explain ourselves.

“Today on my early-morning flight the average-spend-per-passenger target was just over €1. If there are 180 people on the plane that means that the four crew have to generate sales of €180. It is almost impossible to reach that target. And they tell us that if want to get back to a base in our home country, or if we want to get promoted, or if we want to swap a day with another colleague so we can go to the wedding of our brother, then we have to reach our targets..

“But they don’t give us realistic targets, because they know that if they give us realistic targets, and we reach them, then we might relax – and they don’t want us to relax. That is why on a 75-minute flight we might have three trolley services plus the gift cart plus the scratch cards.”

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Why do models always look so glum? Well, they’ve got good reason to

Why do models always look so glum? Well, they’ve got good reason to

For approximately the 17,321,212nd time, this column finds it can only answer a reader’s question with some assistance from David Sedaris. Don’t we all wish Sedaris had a weekly style column? And restaurant review slot? And celebrity gossip column? And an entire newspaper just to himself? There are not many people who you would eagerly pay money to read on anything, and even fewer who you know would bring greater wisdom to that subject than any of the so-called specialists in their respective fields. But I would pay triple for The Daily Sedaris.

So Iain’s question has reminded me of a throwaway-but-typically-genius line in one of Sedaris’ stories. (Sorry, but I can’t look up which one because if I start going through my Sedaris library then I’ll just start reading and this column will never get finished and, well, deadlines, darlings, deadlines.) Sedaris recalls the ground-shaking moment he realised as a child that the cool kids, who were the sun and moon in his youthful universe, were totally unknown to children in other schools. Those kids had entirely different gods to worship and were completely unaware of the rules of Sedaris’ childish social circles which seemed, to him, as immutable as gravity.

I feel a similar kind of astonishment when someone asks me a question like yours, Iain, one that queries the very foundations upon which fashion is built. As you have rightly noticed, and as some readers may have spotted, too, in the many photos from the fashion shows currently happening, models tend to look pretty miserable on the catwalk. And not just there, but in high-end fashion magazines; with very, very rare exception, models in fashion shoots generally look about as happy as someone who just found out that their new flatmate is Nigel Farage. Looking miserable is the facial expression equivalent of extreme thinness, in the sense that the more miserable and more thin the model, the more elite the fashion show or magazine. So, whereas in catalogues, models tend to look as cheerful and curvaceous as Holly Willoughby, in snootier publications the models have the bodyshape of prisoners of war and the traumatised expressions to match. And it is the same at the shows: in sweet little London fashion week shows, which often have the kind of budget that will probably barely buy you a Dairy Milk post Brexit, the models look healthy and relaxed. But then you go to Milan and Paris, where the fancier shows take place, and the models seem to fade away as the weeks go past, with only their scowls left behind, like the Cheshire cat but scowlier (and less stripey). I went to a Saint Laurent show years ago and Saint Laurent is a label I love, but I remember nothing of the clothes. Instead, I watched in increasing fascination as the models, each one seemingly crosser than the previous, stomped furiously up and down the runway, as though someone had promised them there would be cake and they had lied, again.

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So why is it like this? Well, as this column has discussed before, the fashion industry has the mentality of the cool kids in high school or, to be more precise, the cool kids in a 80s movie about an American high school. This means that smoking is still considered cool and looking anything other than terrifying is seen as a bit lame. Hence, while photos of Kate Moss off duty generally show her laughing and looking like great fun, in fashion magazines she is giving the camera a furious death stare. And rather like young Sedaris’s belief about the importance of the popular kids in his school, it is taken for granted by fashion people that this rule is universally known and respected.

Now, we could talk all day about an industry that is ostensibly for women but suggests that the most aspirational look for them is to look half-starved and miserable. And in fact, let’s do just that! I don’t have any other plans – do you? (Aside from re-reading David Sedaris, of course.) So mega fashion conglomerate LVMH recently announced it is “banning” size 0 models, which is one of those statements that might mean something if only size 0 meant something, which it does not. There are no standardised measurements specifying what any size actually denotes, including size 0. Also, given that most models are incredibly tall, they require bigger sizes so that the clothes are long enough to cover their attenuated limbs, so almost none of them are size 0 anyway, no matter how skinny.

In any event, no label, and certainly not the high-end ones within the LVMH family, including Christian Dior, Céline and Marc Jacobs, is going to stop using skinny models, and LVMH knows this. Statements like this are little more than – and I really hate this term – virtue signalling. LVMH knows it will make them look good to say stuff like this, but nothing will change. Have models become noticeably bigger since politicians started making their periodic statements about “taking steps” against “skinny models”? I will kindly answer my own question: no, they have not. But those statements sure sound nice, don’t they?

So, Iain, you ask me why models look so miserable? I shall tell you. They look miserable because they are sick of being disparaged by people – the media, their bosses, clueless politicians – in the name of looking woke, while simultaneously being obliged to keep their body mass index under 19 so that people don’t think they are stuck in the Littlewoods catalogue these days. Because that is how screwed up the fashion industry and the social expectations reflected by the industry now are. That would nark you off a bit, too, wouldn’t it?

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d casual: why people are dressing down for their own funerals

d casual: why people are dressing down for their own funerals

More and more, we are dressing down for our date with the reaper. First, there was the increasing popularity at funerals of Robbie Williams’s Angels, pushing aside Abide With Me. And now funeral directors are reporting the death of formal funeral attire for British corpses. Out: the three-piece suit. In: jeans, a favourite jumper, a football strip, specialist workwear, pyjamas, or hobby clothes.

Dignity, one of Britain’s biggest funeral providers, explains that “these [trends] often mirror general trends in wider society”: whereas today’s pensioners are chiefly from a “Sunday best” era, the boomers a few years below them hold no such views.

“I think it’s probably about 50/50,” says Kate Short, funeral arranger at T Cribb & Sons in east London. “I tend to tell people to dress the deceased in whatever they were comfortable in when they were alive. A lot more men now are dressed in jeans and football shirts. Mainly West Ham around here.”

“With women, there isn’t quite so much of a difference between ages. I’d say the older generation would go more for a dress or a blouse and a pair of trousers. If they’re very old and they’ve been in a care home for a long time, it will often be a nightdress.”

Rosie Grant, who runs Natural Endings in Manchester, points to the sense in which we want our loved ones to feel “comfy” on their final journey. “A lot of people want to dress their relatives in something that’s snuggly,” she says. “Especially, if there has been a care-giving role, the care-giver will often try to make sure that person is warm and comfortable.”

She recently buried a man, who died in his 50s, in his Lycra cycling outfit, and a younger woman in one of her favourite cosplay outfits.

“We advise people to reflect the character of the deceased,” says Michelle Kirkman of Kane Funeral Services. “There’s probably no point putting a suit on someone who never wore a suit in their lives. But some people will still go out and buy them one.”

Perhaps, as our beliefs in the idea of heavenly rewards continue to dwindle, amplifying our own character has become increasingly important; being recognised for who we are has become the measure of all things. It’s a process Grant sees as vital rather than vain.

“Even if the family isn’t going to view the deceased, I always try to dress them in some of their own clothes. It gives them their personhood back. With women, I will ask for their makeup bag if possible.” As in life, so in death: dressing up or dressing down, it’s your funeral.
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Mother-daughter bonding time! Kris and Kendall Jenner enjoy girls' shopping trip during Milan

Mother-daughter bonding time! Kris and Kendall Jenner enjoy girls' shopping trip during Milan Fashion Week

They'll soon be celebrating 10 years of reality television success when the 14th season of their show premieres on Sunday.

But Kris and Kendall Jenner took a moment between gigs to indulge in their favorite sport of shopping while in Milan on Wednesday night.

The 61-year-old matriarch joined her model daughter at the Fendi showroom ahead of Kendall's appearance during Milan Fashion Week.

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The leggy model covered up in a pair of tight blue button fly jeans as she sported a large creamy cardigan on top.

She made sure to match her outerwear with a creamy turtleneck shirt underneath the over-sized coat which buttoned around her waist.

The Keeping Up With The Kardashians star wore a pair of point black patent leather booties as she walked with her mother to a waiting car.

Mom-ager extraordinaire Kris looked cheery in a long canary yellow winter coat which featured over-sized lapels.

She paired her loud jacket with a matching buttoned-up shirt underneath the coat which sweeped near her ankles.

Never one to miss an opportunity to accessorize, Kris carried a large yellow alligator leather purse in one hand and wore soft black suede boots.

The famous family sat down with host Megyn Kelly nearly five months ago for an interview about the upcoming 14th season of their show Keeping Up With The Kardashians, which aired today on Today Wednesday morning.

Megyn was joined by matriarch Kris and her daughters Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and Kendall, but noticeably absent was her youngest child Kylie.

Kendall was fiercely protective of her little sister and pointed out that Kylie has become successful thanks to her beauty empire, Kylie Cosmetics.

'My little sister has an insane business and anyone who says they don't want their kid to be like that, and have an insane business at 19, and literally be so successful is insane to me,' Kendall said to Megyn.

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What Do Fashion Buyers Do At Fashion Week?

What Do Fashion Buyers Do At Fashion Week?

Fashion week might appear to be all glitz and glam, new-season reveals, fashion kisses and late-night parties, but in reality it's a business hub that employs far more people than those that get papped on the FROW.

One group of people who's jobs are less transparent than that of the editors writing show reviews or influencers snapping selfies is buyers. Employed by boutiques and department stores alike, these important industry-shapers decide what goes into shops, and therefore, essentially into our wardrobes.

Why do you go to fashion week?

As London Fashion Week begins, we caught up with 26-year-old Harry Fisher, senior buyer at one of our favourite Soho-based boutiques, Machine-A, to understand what it takes to break into buying and how having a signature taste can impact your work overall:As a store, Machine-A is very involved in fashion week. It’s a great time to see everyone from the industry – especially from overseas - in store and at the shows. We attend fashion week shows to see what our existing brands are showing for the coming season. And also, to scout new designers for upcoming seasons. This London Fashion Week I’m most looking forward to Fashion East, Paula Knorr, Ashish and Dilara Findikoglu.

How has see-now/buy-now impacted on buyers?

I think the idea behind see-now/buy-now is quite exciting for buyers: it generates impulsive buys, and instant hype. However, I think big brands doing this has put major pressure on younger and smaller designers.

How much does the hype an item receives on social media impact how likely you are to buy it in?

We definitely have to take into account many aspects of a collection when buying. Social media can give us an insight into what people love and will want to see move of in store. As a store, our buy is renowned for representing the catwalk looks quite literally. So, when buying we are always looking for the stand-out pieces.

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New York Fashion Week spring/summer 2018: 10 key shows – in pictures

New York Fashion Week spring/summer 2018: 10 key shows – in pictures

From the American horror movie references at Calvin Klein to motocross stuntmen flying through the air at Rhianna’s Fenty x Puma show, Observer fashion editor Jo Jones picks her 10 highlights from New York Fashion Week spring/summer 2018

Calvin Klein

Raf Simons’ second collection for Calvin Klein continued his American journey, this time with a sinister edge referencing classic American horror movies. The set by Sterling Ruby featured giant pom-poms and axes inspired by The Shining’s “Here’s Johnny” scene. This season in addition to the cool denim and colour-block cowboy shirts, Simons’ DNA for experimenting with silhouette and materials was ever evident. Nylon full-skirted Fifties skirts and dresses were a masterclass in construction. New motifs included Andy Warhol prints from the artist’s “Death and Disaster” series.

Photograph: Rodin Banica/WWD/Rex/Shutterstock

Victoria Beckham

It’s a good sign when you want to own the entire collection. This season Victoria Beckham’s collection was both desirable and wearable. “This collection shows the many powers of femininity,” said Beckham backstage, “how delicacy can be strong.” Femininity appeared in the palette of dusty rose, lilac and powder blue, picking up the pace with vibrant red. Graph paper-inspired check shirts were worn with light pencil skirts; fluid oversize shirts were teamed with wide-legged pants. The new tailoring was a boxy blazer and slim pants. A red dress with a ruffled neckline had a cutaway panel at the waist. Highly desirable were the new glitter Harper slippers.

Photograph: PR Company Handout

Fenty x Puma

You wouldn’t expect a Fenty show to be a quiet affair, but Rih Rih raised adrenaline levels through the roof as motocross stuntmen roared up a giant ramp performing electrifying 360-degree tricks over mountains of pink sand on the runway below. The collection was a mix of biker, surf and scuba influences with detailing such as sheer mesh, industrial zippers, adjustable lacing and toggles. Top of the must-have list were the motocross-inspired anoraks in poppy colours. As for the footwear, thong sandals appeared with surf-style ankle straps, stomper boots.

Photograph: Swan Gallet/WWD/Rex/Shutterstock

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Weekending up North: A-Listers Let Loose at the Toronto International Film Festival

Weekending up North: A-Listers Let Loose at the Toronto International Film Festival

Kicking off the Toronto International Film Festival’s (TIFF) first weekend of its 10-day run, Stronger stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Richard Lane Jr., Miranda Richardson, Tatiana Maslany, David Gordon Green, and John Pollono took to the Soho House Toronto for a lively post-viewing party hosted by Grey Goose Vodka.

Under the direction of Green, Stronger follows the real-life story and memoir of Jeff Bauman, a Boston Marathon bombing survivor who lost both of his legs in the 2013 act of terror. Now standing tall with prosthetics, a “stronger” Bauman raised a glass alongside his Tinseltown counterpart, Gyllenhaal, who worked the room with a smile.

Stars Stanley Tucci and Armie Hammer (in town to promote Call Me by Your Name, which is already getting Oscar buzz) also stopped by the celebration late night to lend their support.

On Saturday, following the premiere of supernatural thriller The Killing of a Sacred Deer, A-listers Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, and director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) posted up in the Soho House Toronto’s second-floor Pantry restaurant for an intimate dinner with industry friends. Kidman stunned in a colorful dress by Valentino, Chloe Gosselin heels, and jewelry by Fred Leighton. While guests to the event enjoyed roast chicken, braised lamb shoulder, and sea bream, Farrell opted for an off-menu request by way of the club’s “Dirty Burgers” and fries. Would you expect anything less from the True Detective star?

Atop King West’s expansive rooftop patio, Lavelle, on Sunday, Woman Walks Ahead stars Jessica Chastain, Michael Greyeyes, Steven Knight (writer), and Susanna White (director) participated in an early-morning Q&A-style discussion as part of Grey Goose’s cozy “Cocktails and Conversation” series. Sun shining, guests to the intimate event enjoyed customizable Caesars and a French brasserie-style brunch.

Woman Walks Ahead tells the rarely told story of Catherine Weldon—a 19th-century artist from Brooklyn—who forms an unlikely bond with legendary Lakota Sioux leader Sitting Bull. Both Chastain (who plays the film’s title female role of Weldon) and Greyeyes (who assumes the role of Sitting Bull) were outspoken about the need for more indigenous narratives in film.

Shortly after, the cast of The Current War, including Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (director), and Michael Mitnick (writer), stopped by Lavelle to discuss the relationship between electricity rivals Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse in their latest film, which premiered Saturday night. Upon being asked about understanding the more technical subject matter their famous scientific counterparts preach in the film, Cumberbatch and Shannon modestly tipped their hats to physicists past, admitting their comprehension to be less than average at best. Hoult then boasted, “I understood everything and I think that shines through in my performance,” leaving the crowd in stitches.

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Does fashion care about disabled people and the purple pound?

Does fashion care about disabled people and the purple pound?

Since childhood, fashion has always given me joy. It has allowed me to present myself to the world as the person I am and strive to be, irrespective of the physical limitations of my disability. But in the five years since severe illness forced me to use a mobility scooter to get around, online retailers have become my primary access to new trends, owing to poor accessibility on my local high street. Recently, I heard about a disability charity’s campaign to improve shop access and wondered whether navigating luxury fashion stores on four wheels would be any less challenging. It seemed logical that designer labels, which often shell out millions to create opulent showrooms, would invest in basic equipment for access. So I ventured into Mayfair – one of London’s most expensive areas to shop – to explore the AW17 collections up close.

From the moment I rode out on to New Bond Street, I was beset by obstacles. It started with attempting to enter a designer store with a stepped entrance, then performing a red-faced U-turn outside because sales staff couldn’t provide a ramp. As I continued around Mayfair, I discovered boutique after boutique with stepped entrances and no access ramps. Often staff delivered this information with an expression of bewilderment as to why anyone would require one, and nearly half of the shops I visited said they didn’t have lifts to access upper floors.

Outside one store, however, I experienced the other extreme. A trio of sales staff emerged to offer assistance, WhatsApp numbers (“should you need any help in the future”) and a ramp, ceremoniously placed to help me up the vertiginous steps.

Instead of having the freedom to choose where I shopped, these vastly different attitudes predetermined which labels I can and cannot wear.

In July, We Are Purple began its campaign, Help Me Spend My Money, to raise awareness of the obstacles facing disabled shoppers and promote disability awareness training for retail staff. Purple’s Mark Flint explains that the initiative aims to “transform thinking” and “illustrate that becoming disability-friendly is not just morally right, but makes complete business sense”. I ask whether the campaign has had any interest from luxury fashion retailers. Flint stresses that it remains in its early stages and they are “having conversations” with a number of brands. It’s not exactly a resounding yes.

Britain’s 11.9 million disabled people are acknowledged to have a spending power of £80bn. Known as the purple pound, it represents the largest untapped consumer market. A recent study by the Extra Costs Commission has found that 75% of disabled customers have left a shop because of poor service or access, and that British companies risk losing £420m a week in sales. These challenges are not unique to luxury shopping, and are a daily occurrence on high streets and in shopping centres across the country. “Recently, I was trying to help my little sister buy a dress for a dance,” says Quin, a 19-year-old wheelchair user from Canterbury, “but all the shops had items too close together for me to navigate. I was forced to sit by the door and watch as my sister walked around. It seems as though there’s an attitude that disabled people would never come in. We need and want things just the same as abled people.”

Angie, a 39-year-old with epilepsy and arthritis from Warwickshire, says that sales assistants are rude and unaccommodating towards her when she struggles to move around the shop floor on crutches. “It’s often an anxious experience, as you don’t know how you will be treated by shop staff, and, when people tend to be negative rather than helpful, it’s easier not to go out and shop online [instead]”.

Lily, a 22-year-old from south-east England, doesn’t use any aids such as a wheelchair, so it’s not always clear she has a disability. “When I’m at the till and struggling to get money out because my left hand doesn’t work as well as my right, I feel embarrassed. I usually apologise even if I know I shouldn’t.” She now looks at every shop she visits to check it has adequate provision for disabled customers. If not, she will email the company or speak to them on social media.

My impossible shopping trip underlined the radical disconnect between the real-life experiences of disabled shoppers and the fashion industry’s very visible fascination with inclusion. Diversity is the hashtag du jour in fashion circles, with many designers talking fluently about their respect for a breadth of cultures and life experiences, and using models who do not conform to the tall, slim, white, cisgender, able-bodied archetype.

Edward Enninful, British Vogue’s new editor, has expressed frustration with the industry’s reluctance to create sustainable changes in reflecting the diverse identities of its consumers. His principles on ethnic diversity – “you put one model in a show or in an ad campaign, that doesn’t solve the problem”– also apply to disability representation. Although some designers have embraced disability models – most notably Alexander McQueen in the late 90s – the fact remains that, when disabled customers are prohibited from shopping, due to stairs, lack of seating or insufficient sales support, it is hard not to draw the conclusion that the catwalk trend for disabled models is nothing more than that. It is the metaphorical millennial pink, soon to be consigned to the back of our closets.

Debate surrounding the use of disabled models was reignited at Teatum Jones’s London fashion week show earlier this year, as Kelly Knox emerged on to the catwalk in a rust-hued dress knotted at the elbow to silhouette her amputated lower arm. The label’s AW17 collection presented disability models as emblems of a backlash against ideas of the perfect form: “Why do we look at ourselves in the mirror and see ugly instead of valuable? What are you looking at?” bellowed the disabled motivational speaker Nick Vujičić on the soundtrack. After reading reportsdescribing the show as a “spectacle” and “attention-grabbing”, I approached Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones to find out whether their interest in the disabled body ran deeper than aesthetics, and found both to have a positive understanding of the practical issues affecting disabled shoppers.

In a joint statement, they say that retail accessibility should be a democratic experience: “Imagine telling a group of people that they were not allowed into your retail space because you hadn’t thought it through in the design stage? Or because you simply forgot about them or didn’t consider their spending power? You’d feel pretty awful, and so would they.” They observed that, although many designers strategically position themselves as radical: “when a fashion audience is actually faced with the reality of physical difference, there is sometimes tendency to feel uncomfortable”.While the designers don’t believe luxury brands are actively disengaging disabled shoppers, they agree that more can be done and see e-commerce as having a wealth of applications for the disabled and able bodied alike: “This should be a conversation about inclusivity, after all.”

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Munroe Bergdorf on the L’Oréal racism row: ‘It puzzles me that my views are considered extreme

Munroe Bergdorf on the L’Oréal racism row: ‘It puzzles me that my views are considered extreme’

By 8.12pm on Sunday, Munroe Bergdorf is done in. It is a week since she was announced by L’Oréal as the face of True Match, a campaign that marries makeup to social justice, and three days since she was sacked unceremoniously. A BBC 2 producer is on the phone, talking to her about an interview with Victoria Derbyshire the next morning. “It has been the worst week of my life,” she tells him, trying to deflate the tension with a laugh. Prompted to explain why it has been so bad, she reels off “the death threats, threats of rape, threats of assault, people telling me to kill myself, the general bombardment and fear that something else will happen”. She pauses, then sighs. She hasn’t left her flat in days. “The most ridiculous thing is that you call out racism and they respond with more racism. It just doesn’t make any sense.”

Bergdorf, a 30-year-old, black, queer, trans woman who models and DJs, is no stranger to abuse and ridicule. Her very existence is subversive and threatening enough to the mainstream that a trickle of racist, homophobic and transphobic bile has become par for the course in her daily life on and offline – but now it has become a torrent.

As the Daily Mail reported it on Friday, “with a dizzying fanfare, she was brought in as the ‘face of modern diversity’. But days after she was announced as L’Oréal’s first transgender model, Munroe Bergdorf launched an extraordinary rant declaring all white people racist”. The story went viral, reported everywhere from Al-Jazeera to the New York Times.

“I’m trying to think of the best ways to get across what I actually said,” she tells me, over a picnic of French fries and apple Tango at her kitchen table.

She explains that, the morning after the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where an anti-racist protester was killed by a white supremacist, she wrote a Facebook post in response to that event. “It was an epic three-parter about how racism is a social structure and how, if this is the case, what can you do to combat racism?” She says the post was deleted by Facebook for breaching its terms on hate speech; the racist, transphobic comments made about Bergdorf, however, were left up. (A Facebook representative said: “We haven’t yet got to the bottom of what happened to Munroe’s post”, but “we are looking into it.”) The post was then filleted for its most incendiary lines: “Most of ya’ll don’t even realise or refuse to acknowledge that your existence, privilege and success as a race is built on the backs, blood and death of people of colour,” she wrote. “Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you built the blueprint for this shit. Come see me when you realise racism isn’t learned, it’s inherited and consciously or unconsciously passed down through privilege. Once white people begin to admit their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth … then we can talk.”

Unsurprisingly, Bergdorf made some people uncomfortable, made some people cheer and pissed off many others, including her mother, who is white and reads the Daily Mail. “That was an awful conversation. I’m half-white. My mum thought I was lumping her in with everyone, but this isn’t about individuals. To understand my point, you have to take yourself out of the conversation – it’s not about you – and truly think about society, structurally, economically, as a whole.”

But isn’t that the trouble? Lots of people won’t and don’t understand. Not everyone reads Frantz Fanon and Patricia Hill Collins for kicks – academic theory will only go so far in convincing the average person on an average street that institutionalised, systemic racism is just as damaging as a violent, racist attack.

“I don’t regret what I said,” she says, calmly. “I’m an activist. Being an activist means calling people out, not just saying what everyone else is saying and what everyone else wants to think and upholding the common consensus. L’Oréal knew that when they hired me.”

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