Startup of the Week: Philly Fashion Platform for Women’s Economic Empowerment

Design from LaBré’s Fall/Winter 2016 line. Photo courtesy of LaBré.

Design from LaBré’s Fall/Winter 2016 line. Photo courtesy of LaBré.

It’s true Philadelphia is becoming a fashion town: Philly Fashion Week returned for its 11th year in September and the Philly Fashion Incubator continues to churn out a handful of successful designers each year. And now, we’ve got some fashion startups that want to sustain the momentum.

One of these startups is LaBré, a fashion line started by 2015 UPenn graduate Breanna Moore. On LaBré’s e-commerce site, customers can buy chic West African-inspired women’s apparel. What sets LaBré apart is the fact that each and every piece commissioned by the company is designed by a Ghanaian designer and handmade by a seamstress in Ghana. LaBré’s Fall/Winter 2016 line showcases bright pencil dresses, voluminous maxi skirts and sharp patterned blazers. Beyond catapulting African designers into the international spotlight and bringing authentic African clothing to the states, Moore says the young company’s primary goal is to create jobs for women artisans—designers, seamstresses and tailors—in Africa.

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Look Inside 10 of Philly’s Most Enviable Closets

There isn’t much in life that’s more personal than our wardrobes — they’re where we stow our personal artifacts, pile our favorite things (and dirty laundry) and hide our skeletons. Here, a glimpse inside the closets, collections and curiosities of Philly’s coolest characters, power players and fashion plates.

Dallas Shaw

Fashion influencer

Nearly 80,000 people follow fashion illustrator Dallas Shaw’s Instagram feed for peeks at her stylish life—and into her gilt-wallpapered closet, a guest room in her circa-1905 Wilmington house that she converted into a dressing room. In the glam space, both designer and “dirt-cheap” clothes line a wardrobe rack, silk scarves hang in a vintage trunk, and part of her vast shoe collection (it spans hundreds of pairs; out-of-season styles are in storage) is displayed on salvaged window frames and along an old gate from a church. “I’m not into the cubed closet thing,” says Shaw. “Instead of a traditional closet, I wanted to have a room that I can live in.”

Photography by Christopher Leaman

Photography by Christopher Leaman

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LGBTQ&A: Rashad Corey

Rashad Corey

Rashad Corey

Rashad Corey is a fashion entrepreneur and sexual abuse prevention activist. We got to chat with the Philly transplant on how he is using his advocacy to revamp his upcoming Stomp the Runway event this Saturday.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a Baltimore native who moved to Philly in 2008 to study fashion at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. I was the president of the Fashion Organization at the Art Institute. I began my fashion career by working for BET’s 106 & Park as an assistant stylist. While interning in NYC, I landed a second internship for Oscar de la Renta, their bridal collection, as a team member of the backstage staff. This all culminated in my love to bring fashion and awareness for a greater purpose, to inspire others through the arts. This allowed me to work with multiple local celebrities as a stylist and make numerous television appearances to promote my brand, the “I Survived” T-shirt campaign. Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Diner en Blanc’s Fernando Valle

Fernando Valle

Fernando Valle

Fernando Valle is a long-time supporter of Philadelphia’s Diner en Blanc, the popular annual all-white popup dinner party. We chatted with him about the LGBTQ history of the event and what to expect this Thursday.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role with Diner en Blanc.
I’m originally from Mexico City and have been enjoying Philly since moving here in 2011. This year, I am one of the group leaders for Diner en Blanc. I have six amazing table leaders, and all together we are responsible in assisting 150 of the 5,000 guests who will attend the fifth edition of DEB in Philly. The table leaders ensure their group knows where to meet and what to bring. They also answer many questions. I was a table leader last year. Read more »

This Drexel Professor Did His Ph.D. Thesis on Cargo Pants

Joseph Hancock - Drexel professor wearing cargo pants

Drexel associate professor Joseph Hancock stands on the steps at the school’s URBN Center. Yes, he’s wearing cargo pants. | Photo: Dan McQuade

A Wall Street Journal story captivated the Internet last week.

It wasn’t a commentary on the presidential election or an investigation into corporate wrongdoing. No, the article that dominated the Journal’s web traffic for most of last week was headlined: “Nice Cargo Shorts! You’re Sleeping on the Sofa.” The story detailed the men, mostly over 40, who love cargo shorts, and the women in their lives who hate their pants.

It was a sensation. The Washington Post defended them. So did Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who called them “the most comfortable things ever.” The funniest article was probably by Vice’s Harry Cheadle, who liveblogged a reading of the Journal story.

Quoted in the Journal’s story was Drexel professor Joseph Hancock, who (the article informed us) actually wrote his Ph.D. thesis on cargo pants. The merchandising and design professor’s 2007 thesis was titled “These Aren’t The Same Pants Your Grandfather Wore: The Evolution of Branding Cargo Pants in 21st Century Mass Fashion.”

Hancock has been at Drexel since 2004. He has his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Indiana, and got his Ph.D. at Ohio State in 2007. Before that, he worked for a decade at The Gap, and also worked as a consultant for The Limited brands’ Structure (now Express Men) and as a field merchant for Target. He recently sat down with Philadelphia magazine for a talk. This interview has been lightly edited for style and condensed. Read more »

Here’s How You Can Recreate Johnny Doc’s Look

The news that Philly power broker John Dougherty’s house was raided by federal agents this morning came as a surprise, but his outfit was pretty much par for the course for Philadelphia.

Johnny Doc was in khaki shorts, a white button-front shirt (with the top two buttons undone), loafers and a 76ers hat. It’s like he gave the media a comment on the FBI raid without saying a word: “Trust the process!”

It made sense that Dougherty put on these clothes when he got up in the morning — or perhaps he wore them to bed last night, as he told Philadelphia magazine in 2014 he sleeps only four hours a night. But, when I decided I wasn’t going into the office today, I put on an outfit that almost matched Doc’s: shorts, a button-front shirt and sneakers without socks. A little bit of tweaking (I put on a white shirt instead of a blue one, and I went to the basement to find my 76ers hat) and I had it. Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Cory Wade

Cory Wade

Cory Wade

Cory Wade is a gay model, musician and activist best known for appearing on multiple seasons of TV’s America’s Next Top Model. We caught up with the Philly celebrity on his current endeavors and why he still finds it important to speak his mind on social issues.

Years ago when G Philly was a print edition, you graced one of our front covers. How has life been since then?
I look at that cover as if I am gazing into a time warp. I see a more sassy, fiery and perhaps ignorant version of myself, but with sharper eyebrows … I used to get them done ritually. Life has been oh so beautiful since then! I have experienced life for the ebb and flow of highs and lows that it is, and I have stood true to one main objective through it all: to promote free and honest self-expression through multiple artistic mediums. Read more »

Patrons Claim ICandy Nightclub’s Timberland Boots “Ban” Is Racially Motivated

Photograph by Ernest Owens

Photograph by Ernest Owens

A series of incidents at the door of popular Gayborhood nightclub ICandy in recent weeks has some black LGBT community members wondering whether the club’s apparent ban on patrons wearing Timberland boots — a brand long associated with black hip-hop fashion — is racially motivated.

The controversy began when Stro Kyle, a black queer-events promoter, posted a series of Facebook messages on the night of April 18th after a friend said he had been refused entrance: Read more »

Inside Lillyland: This Is Why Women Are Obsessed With Lilly Pulitzer

The author in a sea of Lilly. Photograph by Adam Jones

The author in a sea of Lilly. Photograph by Adam Jones

IT’S NOT PARTICULARLY WARM on the Lilly Pulitzer yacht, especially once we’re out in the middle of the Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Beach, but the style blogger in the purple-and-pink romper doesn’t care. Or at least she doesn’t show it if she does. She’s a professional, and when it’s time to film a quick video for Lilly Pulitzer’s Snapchat account, she perches on the side of the boat that has the best view of the palm trees and waterside mansions, tosses her blond hair — once, twice, the wind rippling through it too roughly for her liking — and then, on cue, throws her tawny, Twizzler-thin arms in the air and lets out a screeching “WOOOOOOOOOO!!!”

This sort of shriek has been the rallying cry of our trip — semi-staged squeals that call attention to the group (although how could you not notice a giggly cloud of highlighter-bright prints, champagne flutes soaring for constant toasts, our boat the only one in the marina upholstered in splashy pink-and-green florals?) and let more than two million Lilly Pulitzer fans across Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter know that we are having more fun than you.  Read more »

Inside a Fashion Editor’s Summer Shopping List


My (current) shopping list.

As I recently wrote on this blog, I’m sick of everything in my closet. It’s especially good timing, I suppose, as it’s a new season, one that is budding with fresh takes on old favorites. But all this newness can be overwhelming, and it’s tough to remain a smart shopper when there are very impractical things like metallic-sequin slip dresses and blouses with knee-length ruffled sleeves to tempt you.

But it is possible to nod to current trends without sacrificing your own personal style. Here is what’s currently on my To Buy list, most of which feel very of-the-moment, but not too far from the shapes and styles I already love. I’ve even included some pro shopping tips to help you decode what’s worth the splurge and what trends are better found on the cheap. Ready, set, shop.
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