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Olympia Gayot’s Vision for J.Crew Is Inspired by Getting-Ready Rituals

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Olympia Gayot’s Vision for J.Crew Is Inspired by Getting-Ready Rituals

hat happens when you have beets?” It’s a sunny afternoon in Tribeca, and Olympia Gayot and I are in a curved booth at The Odeon. She’s just informed the server that she’s allergic to eggs, and I’ve confirmed that there are no beets in the steak salad I ordered. “I have a very strong aversion to them,” I explain. “An extreme dislike.”  

“They totally could sneak into a salad,” Gayot says. She gets it. 

Of course, we’re not meeting to discuss my root vegetable preferences, but it suffices as an icebreaker for two strangers meeting over lunch. Though, as a fashion writer, I’ve been aware of Gayot since she was named head of women’s and kids’ design at J.Crew in late 2020.  

Having previously worked at the storied American label from 2010–2017, the 41-year-old Toronto native rejoined during a pivotal time for the brand, herself, and the world. “They approached me during the pandemic,” she tells me. “It was a conversation that happened over a few months, and I was pregnant by the end of it. I was like, This is going to be intense; I’m pregnant and it’s the middle of a pandemic.” Plus, J.Crew had just come out of bankruptcy. The sterling mid-aughts era marked by soaring profits, Michelle Obama–approved designs, and the Midas touch of former president and creative director Jenna Lyons was in fashion’s rearview mirror. “But I knew that I wanted it,” she says. “It was such an incredible opportunity. I was just really excited.” 

That Gayot ended up in fashion wasn’t completely coincidental, but not inevitable either. “[My mother] was one of the founders of Club Monaco,” she says. “She wasn’t an owner, but she was a designer and there from the very beginning.” For a young Gayot, this meant a wardrobe of striped T-shirts and navy blazers, and a glimpse into the “fun, bohemian” life her parents led. “They were always having parties, always going dancing, always having people over.” As Club Monaco grew, Gayot was increasingly exposed to an international group of designers who moved to Toronto to work for the brand, and spent a lot of time at her mother’s office assisting with various tasks. Her first love, however, was fine art—a pursuit her parents more than encouraged. “My mom was always saying, ‘Don’t go into fashion.’”  

“Really?” I ask. “She discouraged it?” 

“I think she just knew how fast-paced it is. And she just was like, ‘You’re a talented painter, and you can draw, so you should be doing that.’ And I loved it, probably more than anything.”  

After a stint at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts in Boston, Gayot hopped on a bus to New York, applied to the School of Visual Arts, and promptly transferred. (She filled her parents in after the fact.) “I was always studying art and painting, and then doing fashion on the side—styling, assisting; I worked at DNA, the modeling agency, filing models’ portfolio pictures.” Living in Murray Hill with a friend she met bartending, it was not the college dorm experience you see in the movies. “I didn’t want that,” Gayot says between bites of salmon tartare. “I was ready to be an adult. I really wanted to start working and live my life.”  

The drive followed her to Paris, where she moved after college with a former boyfriend. “It was always a dream of mine to live there,” she says. “I was doing portraits at the time, so I was surviving off a mix of random fashion jobs and selling paintings.”  

Describing her time there as “amazing,” Gayot maintains she was “always really happy to just go wherever the wind took me. And in the beginning, honestly, I don’t think I had a plan. I just wanted to be busy. I loved art, I loved fashion, I loved getting dressed and going out at night. All that.” 

Back in New York, the balance Gayot had struck between art and fashion began to tilt towards the latter. Painting, she says, “was very solitary,” and also “a boys’ club” that was often discouraging. She was finding more opportunities—and having more fun—doing freelance design projects, assisting on Vogue shoots, and styling retail displays. A friend she met while designing a private label for Urban Outfitters had landed at J.Crew, and encouraged Gayot to interview.  

“I came in and met Jenna and I got hired.” 

Save for a brief moment when I ask Gayot if the woman at the bar in a black crop top is Minka Kelly (I’m almost positive it is), we spend the next 20 minutes discussing what, at the time, was her first corporate job.

“I never thought I would end up at a big brand, but it was so amazing. Even though it is a big company, there’s a family style vibe to it, I think because it’s so creative. It was a really great place to be. I was there during the Jenna years. I stayed for seven years, worked my way up the ranks, and worked with her pretty closely; worked with [former CEO] Mickey Drexler closely. I did knits, I did swim, sweaters, collections—lots of different categories.” 

Recalling J.Crew’s cropped kaleidoscopic pants, glitter pumps, and elevated takes on nautical- and military-inspired dressing at the time, I’m curious to know if she had a favorite.    

“I love designing swim. Everybody’s the happiest when they’re on the beach, right? [It’s] just a joyful category.” The role also came with a welcome dose of nostalgia. “My parents had a place in Florida, so growing up we’d go there for Christmas and we’d always go to the J.Crew store in Miami, or we’d go [when we were] in New York. I loved it. It was so iconic.”  

During Gayot’s initial tenure, J.Crew reached an unprecedented level of popularity. The brand’s collections were breathlessly covered by fashion media alongside luxury counterparts, and the pieces became a favorite among celebrities. Lyons became a star herself—her every outfit snapped by street style photographers and move documented by Page Six. After getting married and having her first child (she says she wore “a tight, black crochet dress with a six-month bump” to her 2016 City Hall wedding), Gayot was ready for a change. “Seven years was a long time for me to be at one place, and I feel like it’s really important to try multiple things to keep things fresh,” she says. “I got an opportunity to leave, and I just took it.” 

That opportunity was at Victoria’s Secret, designing apparel, sleepwear, and lingerie. “Not bras and panties,” she clarifies, “but actual teddies.” It proved to be a tremendous learning experience. “Lingerie is a completely different world. It’s super technical, working with lace and constructing things that [fit close] to your body. It’s literally intimate.” Given the fabrics she was working with and the volume of product the brand was producing, there were also big financial implications tied to her work. “That gets you into business mode, which is important. You can’t just design in a bubble.”  

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FASHION

Top Fashion Influencer: Ethan Glenn

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Top Fashion Influencer: Ethan Glenn

Ethan Glenn is a fashion and lifestyle influencer who has made a name for himself in the fashion industry with his modern sense of style. He has become a go-to source for fashion advice and inspiration to many, with his over 500K followers on TikTok and Instagram.https://www.instagram.com/p/ClJ6Qz_y_Bv/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=14&wp=548&rd=https%3A%2F%2Ffashionunited.com&rp=%2Fnews%2Ffashion%2Ftop-fashion-influencer-ethan-glenn%2F2023011351691#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A502562.10000000894%7D

One of the things that sets Ethan apart from other influencers is his incorporation of streetwear and vintage into his outfits. He isn’t afraid to mix and match colors and textures creating looks that are both eye-catching and easygoing.

Ethan’s personal style can be best described as a blend of classic and contemporary. He often pairs classic tailored pieces, like shirts and trousers with trendy streetwear items such as oversized hoodies and sneakers. He also has a knack for mixing high-end designer pieces with more affordable, off-beat items. He can be seen rocking a Patagonia fleece with a pair of vintage Levi’s, or an Acne Studio scarf with a streetwear t-shirt.

Another thing that sets Ethan apart is his attention to detail. He pays close attention to fit and proportion, ensuring that every piece of clothing he wears is the right size and shape for his body type. He also pays close attention to grooming and accessories, often finishing off his looks with a stylish cap, sunglasses, or a carefully chosen piece of jewelry.

Aside from his successful career as an influencer, Ethan is also the owner and creative director of his own company called Every Other Thursday. The brand is a reflection of Ethan’s personal style and aesthetic. It offers a variety of streetwear and clothing items from card holders, to sweaters and t-shirts.

So, if you’re looking for a modest vintage lifestyle inspiration, by following Ethan you can learn how to dress in a way that is both fashionable and true to yourself.

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FASHION

The role of color in fashion

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The role of color in fashion

Fashion is one of the most important visual phenomena of our time, and in fashion, color plays a major role. In this background article, we share the difference between primary and secondary colors, discuss color combinations and contrasts, and the influence of color in the fashion industry.

  1. color
  2. decoration: such as embellishments or embroideries
  3. material: the fabric
  4. shape: the silhouette of a garment is defined by its pattern (the cut) and is described by words such as oversized or fitted
  5. A garment executed in one color is called uni or mono.
  6. A garment consisting of two colors is referred to as bicolor.
  7. Multicolor means multi-colored.
  8. Color blocking or colour blocking is when two or more different colors are used in a piece of clothing or outfit.
  9. Monochrome refers to an outfit that consists of one color from head to toe.
  10. Color Consultant gives consumers color and style advice. They advise clients on which colors and combinations suit them. The consultant distinguishes different color types based on their skin (warm or cool), hair and eye color. Sometimes the client receives a color passport highlighting the colors that suit him/her. A color passport can be useful when buying new clothes, as it can show which colors gave them a boost and which colors made a good combination. Retailers also sometimes hire color consultants to train their shop staff to give color advice to customers.

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FASHION

MassiveTop ten female runway models 2022: In Paris

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Top ten female runway models 2022: In pictures

Runway models

The spring/summer 2022 edition of the Haute Couture kicks off this week in Paris and the women’s wear collections start in February. These are the fresh faces we hope to see walking in the shows. They herald from all over the world, runway models from The USA and Europe to Japan and Angola. Not only are they fierce on the runways they slay on Instagram with thousands of followers each

.Nationality: Brazilian
Mother Agency: Canvas Management, New York
Instagram: ___valente
Followers: 24K
Recent Campaigns and Editorial: Fendi SS22 Campaign
Fashion Shows: Balenciaga FW22: The Lost Tape; Z Factory SS22: Love Brings Love

runway models

Nationality: Angolan
Mother Agency: Da Banda Model Management, Angola
Instagram: blesnyaminher
Followers: 46.6K
Recent Campaigns and Editorial: Louis Vuitton LV Holiday 2021; Zara UNA SPLENDIDA GIORNAÍA
Fashion Shows: Chanel SS22; Isabel Marant SS22; Dior SS22; Salvatore Ferragamo SS22; Alberta Ferretti SS22 runway models

Nationality: Vietnamese
Mother Agency: Elite Paris
Instagram: nnguyenjade
Followers: 13K
Recent Campaigns and Editorial: Paco Rabanne Lookbook, Paco Rabanne fragrance
Fashion Shows: Chanel Pre-Fall 22 Metiers D’Art Show; Louis Vuitton SS22; Sportmax SS22

Nationality: Vietnamese
Mother Agency: Elite Paris
Instagram: nnguyenjade
Followers: 13K
Recent Campaigns and Editorial: Paco Rabanne Lookbook, Paco Rabanne fragrance
Fashion Shows: Chanel Pre-Fall 22 Metiers D’Art Show; Louis Vuitton SS22; Sportmax SS22

Nationality: French
Mother Agency: Women Management
Instagram: lolibahiaa
Followers: 24.4K
Recent Campaigns and Editorial: Saint Laurent Winter ‘21 campaign; ‘Jeunesse Dorée’ M Le magazine du Monde

runway models


Fashion Shows: Chanel Pre-Fall 22; Louis Vuitton SS22; Stella McCartney SS22; Givenchy SS22

Nationality: Japanese/French
Mother Agency: Bon Image Corp. – Tokyo
Instagram: mikaschndr
Followers: 107K
Recent Campaigns and Editorial: Vogue Japan ‘Mika Rocks’ and cover, Feb ‘22; Moschino SS22 Campaign; Louis Vuitton Holiday ‘21; British Vogue ‘The Jean Genies’ Dec ‘21
Fashion Shows: Chanel Pre-Fall 22 Metiers D’Art Show; Louis Vuitton SS22; Miu Miu SS22; Hermès SS22

runway models

Nationality: American (First Nations)
Mother Agency: IMG
Instagram: quannah.rose
Followers: 296K
Recent Campaigns and Editorial: Elle US digital cover Dec ‘21; Porter Magazine cover Dec ‘21; ‘Gaining Ground’ American Vogue Oct ‘21
Fashion Shows: Gucci Love Parade Pre-Fall 22; Chanel SS22; Chloé SS22

Nationality: Angolan
Mother Agency: Da Banda Model Management, Angola
Instagram: blesnyaminher
Followers: 46.6K

runway models


Recent Campaigns and Editorial: Louis Vuitton LV Holiday 2021; Zara UNA SPLENDIDA GIORNAÍA
Fashion Shows: Chanel SS22; Isabel Marant SS22; Dior SS22; Salvatore Ferragamo SS22; Alberta Ferretti SS22

Quinn Mora

runway models

Nationality: American
Mother Agency: DNA Models, New York
Instagram: quinnelinmora
Followers: 16K

runway models
Recent Campaigns and Editorial: ‘High Performance’ W Magazine Dec ‘21;
Vogue Korea Cover Dec ‘21
Fashion Shows: Chanel Pre-Fall 22 Metiers D’Art Show; Celine SS22; Miu Miu SS22; Hermés SS22

Steinberg

Nationality: Angolan
Mother Agency: Da Banda Model Management, Angola
Instagram: blesnyaminher
Followers: 46.6K
Recent Campaigns and Editorial: Louis Vuitton LV Holiday 2021; Zara UNA SPLENDIDA GIORNAÍA
Fashion Shows: Chanel SS22; Isabel Marant SS22; Dior SS22; Salvatore Ferragamo SS22; Alberta Ferretti SS22

Nationality: Angolan
Mother Agency: Da Banda Model Management, Angola
Instagram: blesnyaminher
Followers: 46.6K
Recent Campaigns and Editorial: Louis Vuitton LV Holiday 2021; Zara UNA SPLENDIDA GIORNAÍA
Fashion Shows: Chanel SS22; Isabel Marant SS22; Dior SS22; Salvatore Ferragamo SS22; Alberta Ferretti SS22

Nationality: Russian
Mother Agency: Avant Models Agency – Moscow
Instagram: st.einberg
Followers: 139K
Recent Campaigns and Editorial: Givenchy Pre-Fall ‘22 Lookbook; Dior Cruise ‘22 Campaign; Christian Dior SS 22 Campaign
Fashion Shows: Chanel Cruise 22 Show Dubai; Louis Vuitton SS22; Stella McCartney SS22; Givenchy SS22; Isabel Marant SS22

Yilan Hua

Nationality: Chinese
Mother Agency: The Face Paris
Instagram: yilan_hua
Followers: 68K
Recent Campaigns and Editorial; Max Mara SS22 Campaign; Fendi SS22 Campaign; Hermès ‘Upside Down’ Nov ‘21
Fashion Shows: Celine SS22; Mugler FW 21; AZ Factory SS22: ‘Love Brings Love’FROM CATWALK TO CLOSET

Read more about the role fashion weeks play and how they influence fashion.In this extensive background article everything you need to know about fashion trends.

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