Colour can be a cruel mistress. Most of us know that we could stand to win a few style points by giving hues outside our comfort zone a go, but — like finding the right haircut for your face shape — selecting hues that work with your complexion is often easier said than done.
With such a kaleidoscopic spectrum of shades on offer, it’s no wonder you’re probably scratching your head and wondering ‘what colors should I wear?’. Now, some of you are bound to disagree, saying it’s not exactly rocket science, but simply a matter of trying something on and sizing it up in a changing room mirror before you buy. And to an extent, you’re right.
But if you want to shave some time off your shopping rounds or buy more confidently online, then it’s worth acquainting yourself with a few fundamental rules when it comes to knowing the tones that are sure to complement you.
WHAT COLORS SHOULD I WEAR?
The first step to this daunting question of what colors should I wear is to delete the bookmarks you made for those online quizzes based on supposedly sophisticated algorithms. And scrap those guides that think they’re doing you a favour by labelling you with a season (seriously, WTF?). These might be fine for a little light entertainment, but knowing your skin is ‘winter’ isn’t all that useful when it comes to taking action.
Secondly, take a look at your forearm. To best judge which colours should form the core of your wardrobe, you’ll need to determine whether your skin is pale, medium/olive, or dark. Once that’s out of the way, read on for a blow-by-blow guide to finding the colours that work for you.
Find yourself constantly looking for somewhere to shade from the summer sun? More freckles than a speckled goose egg? Or, at the very least have red, blonde or light brown hair? Chances are you’re the proud owner of a milky pallor.
If you’ve got pale skin and light features, then hues that clearly contrast with your skin tone will — quite literally — bring some colour to your complexion. “I’d recommend basing your outfit around darker colours, which you can combine with lighter colours,” says Selfridges personal shopper and stylist Daniel Rhone.
Darker colours like grey, brown, burgundy, bottle green, navy and bolder shades of blue will all work well as these shades contrast with your skin tone.
COLOURS TO AVOID
Given that, in the wrong lighting at least, you could be mistaken for a cadaver, you’ll want to avoid soft, pastel shades or bright colours as these will only wash you out further. The same goes for neutrals too; so rather than white, light beige or stone, choose richer shades such as sand, camel, khaki and slate grey.
“This doesn’t mean you can’t express yourself through colour. It just means you have to mix light colours with dark ones,” adds Rhone. Red, though not best suited to the ruddier, rosy-cheeked pale person, can work for more alabaster pale skin tones when worn in bold shades like crimson.
If you’ve got olive-toned skin that tends to tan rather than toast in the sun, then you have what’s known as a ‘warm’ complexion, which suits a much wider spectrum of colours than those with fair skin or ‘cool’ complexions.
While most colours will work with a medium skin tone, you can ensure you look your best by opting for shades that are either a little brighter or darker than the middle ground. What does that mean exactly? Choose pale beige rather than warm sand if you’re opting for light neutrals, or try a bolder shade of purple (such as magenta) rather than mauve, for example.
“I’d recommend a lighter colour palette, with white being the obvious choice to accentuate your skin tone,” says Rhone. It’s good news, then, that the stark shade is no longer limited to linen. Outside of the sunny season, try a pair of white jeans with a dark jacket for a standout look.
COLOURS TO AVOID
Since your skin will likely have yellow or green undertones, it’s wise to avoid wearing shades of these colours that are too close to your skin tone. What you’re trying to avoid here is ending up looking nude i.e. having your skin blend in with your clothing.
Hues you should probably give the heave-ho include pistachio, mustard, olive and mocha brown. For trickier looks like all-white or pastels-on-pastels, make sure you’re tanned enough (closer to black rather than green olive, if you will) to carry it off without looking washed out.
Much like those with medium skin, when it comes to finding colours that suit you, guys with darker skin have won the genetic lottery and can try their hand at pretty much any hue without much need for trepidation.
The world, gentlemen, truly is your oyster. The colour of your skin is perfectly positioned to marry well with the vast majority of hues and shades, as it doesn’t run the risk of being washed out like comparatively pale skin tones. With that said, there are a couple of caveats.
“Having a licence to wear bold, bright colours like jade green or cobalt blue is great, but be mindful of adding balance to your outfit with a colour that will hold the look together,” advises Rhone. In practice, that means not spinning the colour wheel like a mad decorator who just spent half an hour huffing chemicals in a paint shop, but choosing a single pop of colour or two that complement rather than compete with each other.
COLOURS TO AVOID
Brown is pretty much a no-go. Much like how pastel shades wash out paler skin tones, brown won’t contrast clearly enough with your skin, resulting in your look ‘bleeding’ into your skin. While black and navy are two key colours in any man’s wardrobe (making up the majority of formal and corporate wear), it’s worth keeping these to a minimum to really make the most of your especially versatile skin tone.
“Personally, I don’t subscribe to a colour chart that dictates how you should dress based on your skin tone,” says Rhone. “Style is, and always has been, about self-expression, and I always advise my clients that if there is a colour you like, go and wear it with confidence. That said, it’s worth being mindful of colours that work together.”
TheMet Gala, referred to as the fashion world’s Oscar Night, usually falls on the first Monday of May. But after a year off because of the pandemic, the star-studded night returns on the second Monday of September in 2021 as an even more exclusive affair than before, and guests like co-chairs Gemma Chan, Billie Eilish, Naomi Osaka, and Lorde turned looks on the red carpet. Last week, Rihanna revealed that she is hosting this year’s annual Met Gala after-party, so there was a good chance she would steal the spotlight this evening. And then she did! Right at the end, Rihanna appeared in an all-black to save us all. Below, all the looks from the Met Gala red carpet.VIEW1/167
Afro hair has a reputation for being unwilling to cooperate: more often than not it seems determined to do the exact opposite of what its owner wants. But, while obedience isn’t this hair type’s forte, there are plenty of excellent haircuts for black men to experiment with. That’s because, when treated right, afro hair can shape up sharp and has an unrivalled ability to hold shape well.
The key to keeping afro hair in check is being a good listener, because like with any other hair type it has its own unique quirks which you need to work with, not against. Once you’ve got a grasp of what mother nature gave you though, half the battle is won.
If you’re feeling follicularly challenged and haven’t got a clue how to manage your mane then that’s where we step in. With the help of some barbers who are experts when it comes to black men’s haircuts, we’ve compiled all of the tips and tricks you need to make your afro hair majestic.
1. THE FLAT TOP
WHAT IS IT?
Of all haircuts for black men in the late eighties and early nineties, the flat top went viral, sending sales of spirit levels and hair clippers soaring (probably). “The flat top features hair on the sides of the head tapered to the skin, working up towards a flat top – think Will Smith as The Fresh Prince and you can’t miss it,” says celebrity hairstylist Jamie Stevens.Though the flat top was among the most popular hairstyles in its heyday, the cut can easily be tweaked to make it relevant for the modern man. “This style really works well on afro hair and offers such a striking look that I can’t ever see it losing its coolness in one form or another.”
HOW TO GET IT
As timeless as the flat top is, unless you’ve got the right natural hair type you’ll be fighting a losing battle. Case in point? Simon Cowell. “The most important factor here is ensuring you have very curly afro hair, because it’s those tight curls, once combed out, that gives the style its shape and definition,” says Stevens.
“For a traditional take, have your barber skin fade the sides and back, working up towards the occipital bone [the saucer-shaped bone at the lower back of the skull]. From there, they should continue to freehand cut the shape into your hair. To give the squared flat top effect, barbers often use a flat top comb to comb the hair out to stand on end so that they can freehand cut the shape for the sleekest finish.”
Unsurprisingly (because hair doesn’t grow into neat lines) maintenance of this haircut for black men is mostly a case of getting a cut on the regular, but you can take measures to keep this geometric style looking sharp in-between trips to the chop shop.
“Invest in an afro comb; this will allow you to comb your hair into shape easier and, as the teeth are long, allows more flexibility when working through the hair. You might also find a hairdryer useful to help mould the hair if necessary, and some hairspray will keep it in place, too,” says Stevens.
2. THE BUZZ CUT
WHAT IS IT?
Even those with only a passing knowledge of men’s hair will be familiar with the buzz cut : this all-over shorn style is as low maintenance as it gets, hence its popularity among recruits. “The buzz cut is a short military style usually taken to a grade 0 or skin on the sides of the head with only a little bit of length on top,” says Nick Campbell, a barber at Ruffians Marylebone. If you’re looking for the most minimal-effort hair situation, this is the one.
HOW TO GET IT
The buzz cut is one of those haircuts for black men that it’s theoretically possible to take a DIY approach to, but if you want to nail it properly, put yourself in the capable hands of a clipper connoisseur. “Ask your barber for a traditional crew cut, for afro hair specifically this involves running the clipper with the grain on the top of the hair in order to remove weight and give a clean finish. A zero or balding clipper should be taken to the sides followed by a ‘shape up’ which involves outlining the contours of the hair with a cut throat razor for a super sharp finish,” says Campbell.
HOW TO STYLE IT
For the buzz cut, you don’t need to worry about styling per se, think of the task of keeping your sparsely decorated head looking its best as maintenance. “The buzz cut is pretty fuss-free, but it’s best styled with a matt finishing product wax or a low shine oil which should be brushed through your hair or applied with an afro sponge,” says Campbell. Keeping the buzz cut looking fresh AF is a cinch, basically.
3. THE NATURAL AFRO
WHAT IS IT?
This was, of course, the go-to haircut for black men in the seventies, (incidentally, it was a time when subtlety didn’t rank high on anyone’s list of priorities). Back then afros swerved the natural look in favour of circular styling, but today the style has gone much more organic. “A natural afro is all about working with your natural hair texture, using products to enhance your curl to create length all over without too much uniformity,” says Stevens. With plenty of length but a rugged finish, the natural afro feels a million miles away from Saturday Night Fever.
As afro hair has a tendency to break more easily than other natural hair types it can be difficult to retain length. As such the natural afro haircut for black men is best suited to those who are able to grow 2-3 inches of hair without too much trouble. “Mid-length or longer hair is best as this will give the most scope for styling,” says Stevens. “The best example of this style is classic Lenny Kravitz; his is a great afro – the perfect shape and length to work with everything.”
HOW TO STYLE IT
As its names suggests, the natural afro should be the best version of what your mother gave you. “Apply a product designed to enhance curls to damp hair to define and boost its natural texture. You could also try mixing in some moisturising oil for a healthy shine,” says Stevens.
Thankfully, drying and styling your hair is a doddle here as the natural afro works best when things feel a little undone. “The best way to style an afro is to avoid heat, allowing your curl to take its natural shape. So, once you’ve applied product, allow your hair to dry naturally. And if you have a looser curl, try twisting small sections of your hair while damp to help define it.”
4. THE SHAPE-UP
WHAT IS IT?
For those men who like their journey from shower to street to be as rapid as possible, the shape up is a time-saving haircut for black men that doesn’t compromise on looking sharp. “This is a short, sharp-edged look that traditionally means the straightening of the hairline,” says Stevens. The shape-up’s closed crop (usually clippered at grade number 1 or 2) means there’s minimal styling involved, but precise cutting at the hairline saves the style from being a complete snoozefest.
HOW TO GET IT
As well as being a time-saving mop move, the shape-up is pretty democratic too, so if you’ve got hair you can get one. “There are so many variants of the shape-up that pretty much any head of afro hair can be catered for,” says Stevens. Not all shape-ups are created equal though. “To get the best out of this cut and some proper structure, ask your barber for a hard shape-up to really define your hair’s perimeter.”
Though the shape up is low-maintenance in theory, a few canny styling moves will keep this haircut for black men looking its best. “At home, you’ll want a good bristle brush to keep this look properly groomed and neat, and an oil to ensure your hair stays in good condition too,” says Stevens.
WHAT IS IT?
Though braid hairstyles have, in some form or another, been around for centuries, in relatively recent history men’s braids have reasserted themselves as a classic style worth considering again. Braids refer to any plaited style, while cornrows are braids plaited towards the head which don’t move freely. “Made up of organised rows of plaited hair, braids are a great option for guys who want a striking look while minimising day-to-day upkeep,” says Stevens.
HOW TO GET IT
No prizes for guessing that length is essential here: anything less than two inches generally won’t do, and nimble fingers are necessary, but they shouldn’t be your own. “At the risk of stating the obvious, the key to this one is getting someone who knows what they are doing. I’d recommend finding a specialist as it’s a tricky style to get right,” says Stevens. Take along a picture of the braids you want: whether that’s loose braids, cornrows or a combination of both.
HOW TO STYLE IT
Braids take a long time to fix into place, so once you get them there, you’ll need to do everything you can to keep them there. “To prevent braids from fraying or generally appearing untidy, use a hair wax to lightly hold your braids and keep them looking neater for longer,” says Stevens. Wearing a du-rag at night will also stop grime or lint getting caught up in your braids.
It’s not just your natural hair that needs to be kept in check when wearing braids either: you’ll need to keep on top of your scalp health too. “It’s essential to look after your scalp as it’s constantly on show and exposed to the elements. To minimise the weather’s adverse effects, regularly apply an oil, which will prevent dandruff and ensure your scalp doesn’t dry out.”
WHAT IS IT?
Most people associate dreadlocks with the sixties and seventies. The look is practically synonymous with Bob Marley, but the premise of the style stretches back thousands of years. Like braiding, dreads gather together hair into bigger strands, but unlike braiding, dreadlocks encourage the hair to grow into matted twists. “The hairstyle consists of twisted or tightly knotted hairs that over time form together to make dreadlocks,” says Stevens. Unlike braids though, dreads can’t be unravelled, so be prepared to commit or cut off.
HOW TO GET IT
Getting dreads right should be left strictly in the hands of the professionals: making those twisted locks look uniform is no mean feat. “Seek specialist input for dreadlocks as there are many different ways to create and maintain the style,” says Campbell. “In afro hair, creating short or long dreadlocks involves twisting and palm rolling the hair with the incorporation of gel or balm sometimes even wax in order to form the dreadlocks. There are a number of specialist shops and stylists across the UK who can help you form the perfect dreadlocks.” Whether your aim to keep your dreads short or grow a longer style, you’ll need at least two inches of hair to get this style going, so bear in mind before you book yourself in.
Once you’ve got your dreads fixed in place, you’ve got a fair few styling options which all depend on the length of your dreads. “Long dreadlocks are best worn half up half down or loosely tied up at the back or even in a bun on top of the head. It is important not to put too much tension on the dreadlocks as this can be uncomfortable for the hair,” says Campbell.
For shorter dreads, you’ve got a few more options. “Short dreadlocks can be worn loose and natural or pulled up into the top in a loose bun. The most popular way to wear short dreadlocks is to undercut them which involves shaving the sides and back of your head and wearing your dreads loose on top.”
7. THE SHORT AFRO WITH FADE
WHAT IS IT?
The short afro fade is an amalgamation of some of the greatest haircuts for black men, for those who want a bit of everything on their crown. “A combination of the classics, this style is both modern and versatile,” says Stevens. “It’s a great cut that can be tailored to suit both your look and lifestyle.” By riffing on the length of the classic afro and keeping things short and sharp on the side, the style is the afro equivalent to a short, back and sides : it’s never not a good look.
HOW TO GET IT
If your black male hair is on the short side, you’ll need to grow some inches before you can tackle the afro fade head on. “You’ll need some length on top to create the perfect contrast between the fade and your afro, but you can take the fade as tight as you like. For a sharp finish, I’d suggest a short tapered fade at the sides and back and a relatively short but still textured top.” This style looks its best when there’s a balance between what’s going on at the sides and up top: the fade should graduate into the top, which should be kept on the neater side of things for a less dramatic finish.
HOW TO STYLE IT
Adding a modern spin to the short afro with skin fades requires a textured, rather than uniform finish. “Try applying some sea salt spray to hair on the top of the head and either diffuse through the hair using a hair dryer and diffuser attachment or allow to dry naturally. Salt spray is a lightweight product that enhances texture and gives good hold – great for creating volume and defining curls,” says Stevens.
8. THE HARD PARTING
WHAT IS IT?
Will.I.Am may be a relatively solitary wearer of the hard parting these days, but way back in the eighties, the sharply defined style was routinely adorning men’s heads. Although the style may initially seem like an A-list-only style move because of its sharp lines, subtler variations can easily be pulled off without a styling team on speed dial.
“A step up from a side parting, a hard parting is a shaved line in the hair. How defined it looks is totally dependent on how deep you choose to have it shaved in, with options scaling from a neat, office-friendly parting to a deeper, edgier take,” says Stevens.
HOW TO GET IT
While most afro barbers will be familiar with the hard parting, getting this black men’s haircut exactly how you want it will take more than a forensic explanation of angles and measurements. “Your barber should consult with you on where you usually wear your parting before clippering in and shaping the hard parting,” says Stevens.
“With so many variations available, there is plenty of flexibility – you could choose a groomed, work-appropriate style or something a little more dramatic, like Tupac’s famous Juice look. It’s worth having some examples to hand, on your phone for example, so you can work with your barber to achieve exactly what you want.” In short, because of the multiple ways to wear this style, taking along an example of exactly what you want is invariably your safest bet.
Hard parting enthusiasts take heed: this is not a get-up-and-go style, working those angles takes a bit of a hands on approach. “A comb is essential to be able to separate the parting, use [an oil] to keep your hair conditioned and, for a groomed finish, apply a touch of wax, which will give hold and a subtle shine. If your hair is particularly unruly, give it a blast with a medium hold hairspray,” says Stevens.
THE LOWDOWN ON AFRO HAIR
Before you get to the business of whipping afro hair into shape, properly understanding what you’re working with will help you to make the most of your mop: here’s where it gets a bit sciency. “Curls are often dry by their nature, so without the use of products that offer intense moisture, it’s difficult to achieve shiny hair,” says Michael Lendon, advanced master creative director at Aveda “Unlike other hair types, the structure of the hair is not cylindrical, which means that it isn’t good at reflecting light needed to achieve shine. What’s more, because of this hair type’s structure and lack of moisture, breakage happens easily, so gently does it lads.
That’s not all there is to afro hair through, there’s a lot more at play which differs from head to head. “Textured hair varies between each person – no two people have the same head of hair. Curls typically vary both in thickness and how loose or tight the curls are,” says Lendon.
The bad news is that this means that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to afro and haircuts for black men. The good news is that most afro hair falls into one of three categories which will enable you to work out how best to style what you’ve got up top. To decide which hair type you have, look at a product-free strand of hair and see which of the below descriptions rings most true.
WAVY AFRO HAIR
Wavy afro hair has a loose curl pattern which forms an ‘S’ shape naturally.
COILED AFRO HAIR
Coiled afro hair forms loose or tight curls with a clearly defined shape pattern which is circular in appearance.
KINKY AFRO HAIR
Kinky afro hair has very small and tight curls which have a less defined ‘Z’ shape pattern.
AFRO HAIR DOS & DON’TS
Afro, and black male hair in general requires lots of TLC and is less get up and go than most other hair types, but by incorporating a few helpful habits into your routine, keeping your follicles fighting fit will become stupidly easy.
DON’T OVER WASH
Thinking that afro hair must be washed every day is a mistake: shampooing will strip your hair of essential natural oils and cause more dryness, so lather up once a week for optimum hair health.
DO ADD MOISTURE
Because of afro hair’s tendency towards dryness, regularly using moisturizing product is essential to ward off brittle, damaged hair and will add that all-important shine.
DON’T BRUSH AND BRUSH
Getting OCD with brushing is a fast track to terminally unhappy curly hair. Brush your hair gently with a paddle brush on shorter hair or a wide tooth comb for longer styles. Never brush afro hair vigorously or while it’s wet either.
DO CHOOSE A LOW MAINTENANCE STYLE
By choosing shorter haircuts for black men such as a crew-cut or a taper fade you’ll minimise time and effort spent on day to day maintenance, as keeping these styles in good shape is primarily down to the work of your barber.
DON’T USE TOO MUCH HEAT
Blasting afro or curly hair with heat is one of the fastest ways to cause irreversible damage so where possible, leave your hair to dry naturally or choose the lowest hair dryer heat setting when time is tight.
DO READ PRODUCT INGREDIENTS
Avoid products which offer a matte finish and instead look for products containing oils (such as coconut, jojoba or castor) which will increase shine, combat dandruff and reduce breakage. Products containing alcohol and sulphates are also no-nos for this hair type.
THE BEST PRODUCTS FOR BLACK MEN’S HAIR
Most men have to undergo plenty of trial and error before finding the best hair product but for those with afro hair, chancing on the stuff that’ll make your black hair look its best can be even more of a pain. If you’ve done your homework on the ingredients, tools and techniques to have at your disposal though, you’ll easily thwart the intentions of troublesome tresses.
SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER
No matter what cut you’re looking to achieve, before you do anything else, make sure that your washing and conditioning game is in turbo moisture mode. For this you’ll need a shampoo and conditioner (you should never skip the latter) which are full of ingredients to nourish parched locks. Avoid drying ingredients such as alcohol and sulphates and make sure natural oil and cream-based products are high up on your shopping list: jojoba, castor and coconut oils are all good shouts as is shea butter.
As dryness and breakage are the most common complaints for afro hair, every last strand needs to be treated gently. To reduce damage, make sure that you’ve got an afro comb and a paddle brush to hand which will go easy on your hair and will let you tame long and short styles respectively. Make sure that you invest in a dryer with a very low heat setting too which will ensure that intense heat doesn’t sap your strands of life.
The best styling products for afro hair should add plenty of moisture without weighing hair down. The golden standard here is a moisturising oil (again, jojoba, castor and coconut oils and shea butter are ideal ingredients) which will add shine without weight and can be applied to wet or dry hair. For onger hair which need to be held into place though, opt for a water-based pomade which will offer hold and a non-greasy shine.
Like your clothes, haircuts aren’t one-size-fits-all. But unlike your clothes, you can’t take a crap haircut off after a day of fielding abuse from your colleagues. Which is why—before going under the barber’s scissors—it’s worth knowing which styles best suit your face shape. After all, an extra inch here or a smattering of facial hair there can make all the difference.
WHAT FACE SHAPE AM I?
But how can you actually determine what shape your face is? It’s simple. First, arm yourself with a flexible tape measure. Then, take the following measurements, recording each as you go.
Forehead: Measure across your face from the peak of one eyebrow arch to the peak of the opposite arch.
Cheekbones: Measure across your cheekbones, starting and ending at the pointiest part below the outer corner of each eye.
Jawline: Measure from the tip of your chin to below your ear at the point at which your jaw angles upwards. Multiply that number by two to get your jawline measurement.
Face Length: Measure from the centre of your hairline to the tip of your chin.
Once you’ve taken these measurements, note which is the largest of the four, and then compare this to the seven main profiles to find out where your face falls.
Oval:Face length is greater than the width of the cheekbones, and forehead is greater than the jawline. The angle of the jaw is rounded rather than sharp.
Rectangle:Face length is the greatest measurement. Forehead, cheekbones, and jawline are similar in size.
Triangular:Jawline measures greater than cheekbones, which measure larger than the forehead.
Round:Cheekbones and face length have a similar measurement. They are larger than the forehead and jawline, which also have a similar measurement. The angle of the jaw is soft and much less defined.
Heart:Forehead measures greater than the cheekbones and jawline. The chin is pointed.
Square:All measurements are fairly similar. The angle of the jaw is sharp rather than rounded.
Diamond:Face length measures largest. Then, in descending order: cheekbones, forehead, and smallest is jawline. The chin is pointed.
HAIRCUTS FOR OVAL FACES
Seen as the genetic jackpot for women, an oval may not be the most alpha of face shapes for men, but it’s a good canvas for experimentation. Symmetrical and well-proportioned, an oval face shape does pretty much any hairstyle justice, so—you lucky boy—the choice is very much yours. That said, there are a couple of minor caveats to ensure you optimise your ovalness. “The trick with an oval face shape is to wear your hair off the forehead to create some volume and angles on top,” says Aveda master barber Stelios Nicolaou. “The most suitable style is a classic short back and sides and slightly longer on the top, with a side-swept parting.” You’ll also want to avoid a forward fringe. “Too much heaviness on the forehead softens features and increases roundness of the face,” says celebrity hairstylist Jamie Stevens. And feel free to ditch the beard, says Ruffians creative director Denis Robinson. “You don’t need facial hair to fill out any disproportionate gaps in this case, so feel free to go clean-shaven.”
Considered the masculine ideal, a square face shape is characterised by a razor sharp jawline, even proportions and an overall chiselled appearance. Grrr. Like the oval, it’s a great foundation for most styles and is versatile enough to work with both extremely short and longer hairstyles—from buzz cuts to French crops to quiffs. Just bear in mind that the shorter you go, the more you look like you’ve just been conscripted. Not that that won’t serve you well. “Classic, neat haircuts complement a square shape best—think close fades, side partings and short layers,” says Stevens. Some light stubble also gives the sharpness of your jawline a little welcome texture without blurring its line.
HAIRCUTS FOR RECTANGLE FACES
The longest of the face shapes, a rectangular face falls somewhere between an oval and a square, but requires a subtly tweaked hairstyle to ensure the face doesn’t appear even longer than it is. “Because a rectangular face looks longer, it’s important to avoid taking the sides too short if keeping length on the top, as this would only accentuate the length of the face,” explains Nicolaou. “Try a well-proportioned style that doesn’t take the sides too short or leave too much length on top.” Taking that advice, try a style that lets the hair fall to the sides and/or across the forehead to add width and ensure your face doesn’t appear narrower than it is. Finally, never pair with a Duck Dynasty beard, says Robinson. “A full beard only elongates the face, so instead try facial hair that ranges in length from stubble to a short beard to fill out any gaps.”
HAIRCUTS FOR ROUND FACES
Circular with a rounded chin and no obvious lines or angles, a round face shape benefits from a haircut that lends it some definition. “If you’ve got a round face shape, think square,” says Stevens. “Since round faces have little in the way of natural angles, you need to create the illusion of structure with your hair. A style with height on the top that’s taken tight at the sides such as a pompadour or a flat top works well to add structure, as do front fringes.” “Square corners in the high recession area of your hair will sharpen up any soft edges,” adds Robinson. “A full square beard will also help thin the chin area, giving the appearance of a more chiselled jaw.”
Narrow in the chin and brow, with width in the cheeks, the diamond is one of the rarer face shapes. Because of that, it has some specialist requirements to ensure it looks its namesake. “Hairstyles that add width at the forehead and chin area are your best bet,” says Stevens. “Fringes work well to add texture to the forehead, while longer styles that can be tucked behind the ears are great for accentuating a diamond shape’s bone structure.” Don’t, however, take the sides too short—given the width of the cheekbones, a hairstyle that’s particularly short at the sides will only make your ears look bigger. Softer lines and layers are better for this face shape, working to soften its natural angles. Try a side sweep or deep side-parting, and consider growing a 5 o’clock shadow if you want to add some size to a narrower chin.
HAIRCUTS FOR HEART-SHAPED FACES
Wide at the temples and hairline, gradually narrowing to a point at the chin, the (fairly rare) heart face shape benefits from a few optical illusions to make it appear better proportioned. “Avoid cuts that are very tight, as these will accentuate the narrowness of the chin and the width of the forehead,” says Stevens. “A medium-length swept look is the safest bet.” Mid-length and long hairstyles that are kept reasonably thin and light soften the heart shape’s strong forehead. Facial hair is also key in this case, adding some much-needed bulk to a narrow chin and jawline, says Robinson. “As with the diamond face shape, a beard helps a heart shape gain fullness in the lower, narrower half of the head.”
HAIRCUTS FOR TRIANGLE FACES
Due to its narrow forehead and wide jawline, a triangular face requires the opposite treatment of a heart shape. “A style with volume is king with this one,” says Stevens. “Opt for longer, nose-length haircuts with fuller sides, which work to add depth.” As for the beard, the most you’ll look good with is some light stubble. But really, given the prominence of the jawline in this case, it’s best to steer clean-shaven. Grab the razor, fellas.
THE BEST LEAVE-IN CONDITIONERS YOU CAN BUY IN 2021
Some grooming products are just too good to be true: like that 3-in-1 shower gel, face wash and shampoo that claims to reverse ageing, hide dark spots and generally turn you from a four out of ten to a straight-up seven. Leave-in conditioner doesn’t fall into the category of snake oil. Whether you dread the post-wash fluff, like to be in and out of the shower faster than an F1 pitstop, or just want to streamline your bathroom clutter, this is one piece of kit that genuinely could be the answer to a good handful of your grooming dilemmas. But what exactly is it, which ones are best and how do you use them? Here, with the help of six experts behind the locks of Hollywood actors, athletes and pop icons, is everything you need to know.
“Leave-in conditioner is a lighter version of a regular hair conditioner as it is free from oils,” explains Davide Barbieri, a hair stylist with a client list that includes Ansel Elgort, Anthony Joshua and Robbie Williams. “It typically comes in spray or cream format, and it is used after shampooing on towel-dried hair. It helps hair to retain moisture all day long, keeping it soft and shiny without weighing it down. It is also a very good detangler, so if you wear your hair mid- to long-length, it will cut down time spent brushing out any knots.”
WHO DOES IT WORK FOR?
“Leave-in conditioner is good for all hair types as it’s lightweight, doesn’t weigh fine hair down and can simultaneously add volume to limp locks. It’s also ideal for coarse, curly or afro hair, which are prone to dryness,” adds Davide. “It’s great for those who live an active lifestyle, those who go to the gym or travel frequently, or are just generally on the go.”
HOW SHOULD YOU USE LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER?
“After shampooing, towel-dry your hair thoroughly – if hair is still too wet the product won’t be absorbed properly and won’t be as effective. Apply your leave-in conditioner to the lengths, avoiding the roots as this is where your hair is naturally oiliest. If your hair is longer, apply it to the lengths and brush it through with a wide tooth comb to the ends to help detangle. It really is a fool-proof hair product,” and one you could do with adding to your rotation.
THE BEST LEAVE-IN CONDITIONERS
LABEL.M PROTEIN SPRAY
Not a fan of heavy styling products but want smooth hair? Use Label.m Protein Spray, a favourite of session stylist Lee Machin, who’s groomed Colin Firth, Jeremy Irvine and Benjamin Clementine. “It’s lightweight and works well as a styling tool for people who don’t like too much product, and for those with drier hair.” BUY NOW: £11.81
KIEHL’S CREME WITH SILK GROOM
Grey hair loses its lustre and often looks dull. To bring back a healthy shine reach for Kiehl’s Creme with Silk Groom. The non-greasy grooming aid has a thick consistency, and you only need to use a little to reign in frizzy ends, meaning it goes a long way. BUY NOW: £20.00
PANKHURST LONDON STYLING CONDITIONER
Want your hair to smell nice at the same time as looking good? Soho barber Brent Pankhurst’s award-winning Styling Conditioner has a signature bay rum scent that’ll no doubt win you over. Better yet, it contains wheat protein to nourish hair and is excellent for taming flyaway strands. BUY NOW: £18.00
KEVIN MURPHY THICK AGAIN
For receding hairlines, choose Kevin Murphy Thick Again. “It’s a leave-in treatment specially designed for men with fine or thinning hair,” says Davide. It achieves this with a blend of ginger root, parsley and nettle which work together to invigorate the scalp and promote, fuller, healthier hair while smoothing out any dry or wiry bits. BUY NOW: £28.00
SASSOON PROFESSIONAL HALO HYDRATE
Heading somewhere hot? Joshua Gibson, a hair stylist with over two decades’ experience, suggests Sassoon Professional Halo Hydrate. “It preps the hair excellently before styling, enhancing the quality of the blow dry through its anti-static technology. It’s never heavy and has a UV filter, so it’s great for protecting your hair and scalp on holidays.” BUY NOW: £19.40
These days, it’s not uncommon for guys to have chemically treated or highlighted hair. If you fall into this category, Tim Pateman, director of London salon The Lion and The Fox, recommends Pureology’s Colour Fanatic Hair Beautifier Spray. “This is a good one for protecting coloured hair, especially from regular heat styling. It’s vegan, too.” BUY NOW: £18.91
PHILIP KINGSLEY DAILY DAMAGE DEFENCE CONDITIONING SPRAY
Good for all hair types, Philip Kingsley’s Daily Damage Defence Conditioning Spray is one of the best all-rounders on the market. It also has UV filters, so it protects against environmental damage and heat styling. “It instantly boosts overall condition, manageability and shine,” says Davide. BUY NOW: £16.50
REDKEN EXTREME ANTI-SNAP TREATMENT
Hair prone to breakage? Award-winning barber Carmelo Guastella likes Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Treatment. “This really nourishes and strengthens the hair, especially if it’s very dry or stressed. It gives hair a healthy feel.” BUY NOW: £12.35
MEN-Ü SLIC SMOOTH LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER
The sky is a desert. Inside an aeroplane cabin, humidity levels drop to lower than the Sahara, which can be bad news for your hair. That’s why Bradley Smith, of Bradley Smith Hair at Heathrow Terminal 5 Arrivals, is a fan of Men-Ü Slic Leave-in Conditioner. “It leaves hair recharged, nourished and hydrated for a natural shiny finish while adding texture. It’s enriched with nutrients, and the formula has a long-lasting effect. It also comes in 100ml, so it’s fine to stick in your hand luggage.” BUY NOW: £12.95
It’s official, Tom Selleck fans, now is finally the time to put your stubble where your mouth is and try on the manliest face mask available: the moustache.
While the grooming world has been happy to pay lip service to beards for over a decade, this season it’s the turn of nose curtains to have their moment. Which is why we’ve put together a comprehensive how to grow a moustache guide, from picking the right style for you to maintaining the beast.
So, if your idea of manual labour is chopping veg without the need for a blender, but you want to at least look like you know your way around a tool shed, this is how.
WHY GROW A MOUSTACHE?
Until recently, growing a moustache was a relic of its time. A trend started by King Charles in the early 1600s, rakish whiskers once adorned the faces of men across the globe, reaching their heyday in the 1930s and ‘40s, with leading men such as Clark Gable and Errol Flynn opting for one both on-screen and off. Spurred by Hollywood and the appeal of the armed forces British troops were at one point all required to sport one as part of their uniform the look filtered down to the general public, coming to represent hardy masculinity and a certain suavity.But along with the monocle, bowler hat and cane items that were immensely popular in their own right once upon a time the moustache fell out of favour in the 1980s, having been hijacked by the adult film industry. Soon enough it was seen as quaint, unnecessary and at best creepy, which begs the question as to why you’d want to grow one today. Well, like with fashion trends such as the cross body bag and bucket hat, the moustache is trending unexplainably.
Perhaps it’s down to stylised films such as The Nice Guys or Netflix’s Narcos, or maybe because of the new wave of actors who’ve adopted them – Henry Cavill, James Franco; we blame you. Either way, it’s won over the style set and is now creeping down the high street, one wisp of hair at a time. So don’t let your lip get left behind.
HOW TO GROW A MOUSTACHE
Here’s our five step guide for how to grow a moustache:
There are men in this world who were born to have a moustache Hulk Hogan, for example and those who were not. It’s important to establish early on which group your face falls into.
The aim is to have as much to work with as possible before you decide on a shape or style – it’s like pruning a hedge: you wouldn’t start cutting it into a shape before the bush is a proper size.If you already have a beard, you have a head start. If you don’t, grow one. This helps to avoid that awkward in-between stage and will reveal any patchy areas that could be a problem.
STAGE 2: PREP THE GROWTH
The main thing you need when growing a moustache is patience.
Facial hair grows at a rate of about 0.4mm a day, so it can take several weeks before you’re ready to start trimming.If while growing a beard in anticipation you find that your stubble barely grows beyond 6-8mm, it’s unlikely that your moustache will be anything more than a thin line on your upper lip.
If, though, you can cultivate a beard relatively easily, after a couple of weeks you’ll start to see which way the hair is growing so you can decide whether you want a toothbrush moustache (Tom Selleck), a handlebar (George V), or something else entirely.
STAGE 3: THE EARLY DAYS
Persevere through the early awkward stages by keeping your beard neat and uniform. This will ensure your facial hair looks good even before you get to the business of growing a moustache.
Once the hairs below your nose start to descend over your upper lip, grab the clippers and trim a line to remove the strays. Or, if you would like a handlebar and the hair further up is longer, you can train it out to each side in order to maintain the length.
Ideally you want the moustache hair growing just underneath the nose to be longest so that it eventually catches up with hair on your upper lip.
This is where things get serious. Where you go from here all depends on what moustache style you’re aiming for and how realistic you are being with your growth.In addition to not maintaining it, one of the biggest mistakes when it comes to lip ticklers is not choosing the right style, which will largely be dictated by your face shape As a general rule, guys with a strong jaw (see Mr Superman himself) will find it the easiest to carry off a full moustache, while others, particularly those with square- and oval-shaped faces, should opt for more subtle ‘beardstache’ instead,
FIVE KEY MOUSTACHE STYLES
1. THE FULL PACKAGE
If you’re going for a ‘tache, you may as well go all out. The full moustache shows commitment, because why do things by halves? You’ll need good length here – aim for no less than 10mm – and plenty of density for it to work. You don’t want it too shaped, however – the idea is for it to look natural and borderline unruly. Think Robert Redford as Butch Cassidy, and you’re on the right track.
2. THE BEARDSTACHE
Grow a beard, and then take everything down to a grade one (3mm) with a pair of clippers, but leave the moustache for a rugged look with less contrast. This is a good entry into the world of growing a moustache and an easy way to sample it before committing to clean-shaved cheeks.
3. THE PENCIL MOUSTACHE
Grow stubble, then use detail trimmers to shave around a thin line of hair above your lip to achieve an elegant, refined moustache. This was the look favoured by golden age Hollywood stars, and is, admittedly, slightly more tricky to pull off today but is perfectly possible with a devil-may-care attitude.
4. THE STANDARD MOUSTACHE
The moustache that you kind of don’t notice – it just is. There’s no dramatic shape or style here, it merely looks like it’s always been there. Wet shave your face every other day for a finer finish.
MOUSTACHE MAINTENANCE TIPS
USE THE RIGHT TRIMMING TOOLS
Depending on the moustache style you’ve gone for, you’ll need a good beard trimmer , a pair of facial hair scissors, or a combination of the two. Just as you would with a full beard, once you’ve grown your ‘tache to the desired length, trim it every three to four days, ensuring pesky stray hairs are tamed. Always do this when your moustache is dry, as hair expands and relaxes when wet, contracting to its original length after.
Sure, a moustache comb screams hipster – and we’re certainly not suggesting you use one in public – but for longer styles it’s a helpful tool, particularly for straighten out the hairs before trimming. It also comes into play when styling, allowing you to spread any wax used evenly while brushing the hairs in the desired direction.
Moustache wax isn’t a necessity, but it will add definition to your ‘tache and give the individual hairs a healthy looking sheen. It’s always wise to start with a small amount, working the product through with a comb, and adding more if needed. Go overboard, and your lip appendage will look greasy and weighed down.
TREAT IT LIKE REGULAR HAIR
Just as you would with a beard, or indeed the hair on your head, it’s important to shampoo and condition your moustache regularly. Facial hair is coarse and can become dry if ignored. You should also look after the skin underneath – for shorter styles apply moisturiser to nourish the skin, and with longer moustaches use a beard oil, which will seep through the hair where a thicker moisturiser wouldn’t. Above all, keep it clean. Hair likes clean skin.
MUST-HAVE MOUSTACHE PRODUCTS
To keep your moustache in tip top shape, these are the products we recommend you keep handy to stay looking your best.
A trimmer is what you’ll need to keep your moustache hairs at a good length. It’ll help you clip hairs along your lip and keep things looking nice and tidy. You’ll also find a trimmer especially handy if you plan on dabbling further in the world of facial hair, as they’re pretty essential for beards, too.
FACIAL HAIR SCISSORS
A small pair of sharp scissors will be your best friend when shaping your moustache, so long as you don’t get scissor happy. Keep things neat with a little snip here and there, and get an ultra precise cut with this must-have moustache product.
For styling your moustache, you’ll likely need a comb, especially when you’re gearing up for a trim. Bonus points for a folding comb that you can keep in your back pocket for styling on the go.
When it comes to holding your moustache in place or creating twisted tips, you’ll be grateful to have some moustache wax. Just a little bit of this product should create an all day hold, keeping each of your moustache hairs exactly where you want them.
If your moustache hairs start to get scraggly (which they will), use a couple drops of beard oil on a daily basis and your facial hair should become less coarse. Beard oil will also make your moustache smell good and considering it sits below your nose, we’ll call that a big win. Just don’t overdo it or you’ll end up with a greasy looking ‘stache. If you have a naturally oily face already, you may prefer to use beard balm instead.
There are enough rules in life as it is. Some, however, are there to help. Like the rules that govern how to dress well. Of course, every man or woman that has an opinion on such things speaks from personal experience – and no doubt what works for one doesn’t always work for another; or what works for one is considered too pedestrian or too avant-garde by another.
So, when it comes to dressing, they always have to be taken at face value. They’re solid suggestions rather than the last word on style. But good advice is never to be sniffed at, and, as menswear becomes ever more rich and varied, ever more experimental and abundant, ever more trend-aware, in moments of confusion and self-doubt, it can help to have a valuable fall-back position that cuts through the clutter.
These ‘rules’ tend to be founded in history – they’ve worked for generations, so might well be assumed to work well today too. And they tend to be founded in the obvious, so obvious they’re often overlooked: a preference for good fit, high quality, versatility, good value, lack of extremes and keeping it sober.
There are certainly many other rules out there than are presented here. Some of these you may have already discovered for yourself. That, after all, is part of the pleasure of clothing, which no rule should hamper: trying new kit out, seeing if it suits you, seeing how it makes you feel. But, these rules have stood the test of time and, when used in conjunction, act as a failsafe guide on how to dress well today.
1. WEAR A SUIT WELL
The key to a suit looking good is fit. If you’re buying off-the-peg, focus on the fit across the shoulders because getting the chest and waist altered is a relatively easy job according to Davide Taub, head of bespoke suits at Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes. “Be cautious about wearing a period suit unless you’re pursuing a total period look because in isolation the suit starts to look like a novelty,” he adds. Classic is best and most useful – dark, two-button, single-breasted, moderate in details. “It’s not boring. A suit is a uniform. The idea is to think of this suit as a canvas to build different ideas of individuality around. It’s the way you wear it, not the label inside, that impresses.”
2. INVEST WISELY IN A WATCH
“A watch is like a piece of art,” argues Don Cochrane, managing director of British watch brand Vertex. “Choose it because you love it, not because you think it might make money. Watches are personal, it marks your passage through time. But you also have to be practical.” Aesthetic, functional, rugged sports models go with anything and can take the hard knocks of everyday wear. Yet, a watch still has to fit you. It should feel comfortable and be right in terms of size and depth relative to your wrist as well – 40mm is considered the ‘Goldilocks’ size.
3. DON’T SHY AWAY FROM COLOUR
Whether it’s on casualwear or formalwear, indulge in a bit of colour. “Most men are unjustly scared of it – they’re intimidated by anything that isn’t navy or grey,” says menswear designer Oliver Spencer. “But colour can be timeless too.” A green suit, for example, can look particularly rakish, while Spencer also recommends pinks, greens, mustard and brighter shades of blue as especially versatile year-round shades that will lift your entire outfit. But he adds that, when it comes to colour, less is still more: “You just need a bit of it, in one garment.”
4. WEAR IN YOUR JEANS UNTIL THEY ARE YOURS
The all-time most useful cut of the world’s most popular garment, according to Alex Mir, co-owner of Sheffield-based label Forge Denim, is ‘slim-tapered’. “It’s wider in the thigh, so it’s comfortable, but narrows, so it works with either smart shoes or sneakers,” he advises. “It’s the best year-round, wear-with-anything, dress up or down style.” The wise will wear dark, raw denim too and give the pre-distressed a wide berth. “The whole pleasure of denim is that it ages with the way you wear it. Why miss out on that?”
5. LOOK AFTER YOUR APPEARANCE
It’s the kind of advice your mother might offer, but if you’ve invested money and thought in your clothing, look after it. Use wooden hangers for shirts and shoe trees for your best shoes; have your suit dry-cleaned and pressed; wash your clothes regularly and, ideally, don’t tumble dry them (it can degrade the fabric); and polish your shoes. Equally, it’s not just the skin of your leather jacket that you need to care for, the same goes for the one you wear every day. Establish a simple, but no less solid, grooming regime, brush your hair and cut your nails. After all, the devil resides in the details.
Style isn’t only what everyone else can see. When it comes to men’s underwear, there are two rules to follow. One, novelty prints are not for grown men – “your underwear is not the place to express your ‘personality’,” as shirt and underwear-maker Emma Willis notes. And, two, heavily-branded underwear lacks sophistication. “Of all places where you might have the confidence not to have branding, your underwear should be it,” adds Willis. The style that has best stood the test of time, of course, is the cotton boxer short, likely because (as is the case with linen) they take repeated washing, breathe well and are comfortable against your skin.
7. SPEND MONEY ON SHOES
“Timelessness is about simple design and all the more so with shoes,” argues Tim Little, owner of heritage shoe brand Grenson. “The colour, the pattern, the sole – you don’t want it fussy. Anything fussy may look good now but will look strange very quickly.” Quality shoes — the gold standard being re-soleable Goodyear welted examples — are the kind of investment that should last 15 years or more. Opt for classic styles such as brogues, loafers, or a plain, dark, five-eyelet Derby on a round-toe last. “It’s the shape of the toe that really counts – and round never goes out of fashion,” says Little. “It’s pointy toes or square toes that look obviously impractical. Nobody has feet shaped like that.”
8. KEEP ACCESSORISING TO A MINIMUM
Accessories like ties and pocket squares bring individuality to classic clothing, but be careful how you use them. “It’s best to harmonise them with what you’re wearing by picking out a colour or two. Or even to juxtapose them entirely,” says Michael Hill, creative director of men’s accessories brand Drake’s. “What you don’t want is to match them up.” When it comes to curating shirt and tie combinations, wear your tie or pocket square in a darker shade than your jacket. And don’t overdo the accessories either – if in doubt, think less is more and take one element away. “You’re aiming for an air of nonchalance,” adds Hill. “You just need one point of interest.”
9. KNOW THYSELF
There’s are few things less stylish than a man dressed as he thinks he should dress rather than in what he genuinely feels suits who he is. There are caveats to that, of course: there are no prizes for dressing like a rodeo clown unless indeed you are one. But whatever you’re wearing, you have to own it. Genuine style icons are those who go their own way with a self-confidence that comes from their clothes being a second skin, not a costume.
10. DRESS FOR THE SETTING
Style is not merely about self-expression; it’s also about being dressed appropriately for your environment. Think of clothes as being codes: you need the right combination to work with the setting you’re in – and that’s whether it’s a formal dinner or a lazy Sunday in the pub. The worst style is one which is out of place. Is this a kind of conformity? No, as one of Tom Ford’s oft trotted out fashion quotes explains, it’s a mark of respect for others. And about feeling comfortable in yourself. When in doubt, overdress.
Invest time into finding the right spectacles for you. “People spend an average of seven minutes picking a pair that will define them for the next three or more years,” notes eyewear designer Tom Davies. “Poor choice and poor fit are why so many people learn to hate their glasses.” Buy what you feel good in, taking into account your face shape but considering the top line of the frames’ relation to your eyebrow shape – team straight with straight, curved with curved – and your hairstyle. Buy wisely too, says Davies: there’s no point buying cheap frames and being up-sold on expensive lenses because the frames will look tatty soon enough anyway.
12. CHOOSE VERSATILE OUTERWEAR
The temptation may be to wear a classic style, but modern technical fabrics in darker shades and easy cuts are making coats what they should be – lightweight and breathable but also properly protective. “Changes in seasonality, the climate and buying habits are making heavy wool coats seem out of keeping now,” suggests Adam Cameron, owner of outerwear specialist The Workers’ Club. “Think of a coat instead as being your final layer – one you can wear as much or as little under as required.” A field or bomber jacket jacket is a good all-rounder but if you need to dress up, go for a short mac.
13. BUY A DINNER SUIT, NEVER HIRE
Occasions for the height of formal dressing may be rare, but they’re all the more exacting for that. So, while it feels like an extravagance, owning a dinner suit that fits you rather than hiring one makes more sense after years of use. “With hiring, there’s always the risk of the wearer looking almost childlike while dressed in some oversized, boxy ensemble,” warns Toby Lamb, design director of contemporary tailoring label Richard James. Own as classic a dinner suit as possible: in midnight blue, single-breasted, with satin lapels and trousers seams. And it goes without saying you should learn how to tie a bow-tie yourself.
14. WITH SHIRTS, STICK TO THE CLASSICS
“It sounds silly,” says James Cook, head of bespoke shirtmaking for Turnbull & Asser, “but any men’s shirt can be made to look expensive if it’s well-pressed.” All the same, Cook is particular about the details. Strike a middle line, he recommends: avoid bold styles unless you think you can carry it off, and, for a collar that works with or without a tie, and that always sits properly under a jacket, opt for a semi-cutaway.
15. KNOW WHEN TO BREAK THE RULES
Know when to adhere to dress codes such as black tie and know when to break them. Some are there for a good reason, typically because the occasion demands it or some higher authority – your boss, perhaps – expects it. But, likewise, as Drakes’ Hill notes, “we can get too hung up about rules as well, and there’s always a case for ripping them up”. That, after all, is how style advances, little by little. “Enjoy the freedom there is now to make mistakes.”
Around a third of Vietnam’s textile and garment factories have reportedly halted operations following a surge in cases of Covid-19 in the Southeast Asian country. About 30 to 35 percent of textile and garment factories in Vietnam are currently closed, the Business of Fashion reports, citing figures from the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS).
The country plays a key role in the world’s fashion industry. According to the World Trade Statistical Review 2021 published in July by the World Trade Organization (WTO), it overtook Bangladesh as the world’s second-largest exporter of ready-made garments.
Vietnam’s clothing exports grew 6.4 percent in 2020 with a market value of 29 billion dollars. The country has been hit hard in the past two months by the pandemic, prior to which it was largely successful in keeping infection numbers low. New cases are now trending at around 7,000 and 8,000 each day.
Vaccination rates among textile workers in the country are still very low, according to VITAS.
Payment technology company Afterpay has announced its New York Fashion Week events calendar, bringing a new world of accessibility for consumers nationwide.
Over the course of this NYFW season, Afterpay will be host to a number of online and offline activities that allow viewers and consumers to interact with fashion week through live shopping experiences and interactive events. Consumers will also be able to use the ‘See-Now-Buy-Now’ tech at a number of shows giving them the ability to shop the collections from their couch.
The week kicks off with Afterpay’s Dropshop located in Times Square, combining Snapchat technology with the Dropshop concept. Launched in April, Dropshop allows Afterpay customers early access to purchase limited edition collections, with virtual try-ons through the use of Snapchat augmented reality. Afterpay will be bringing the concept to the streets of New York, with a physical shopping event in a Dropshop way.
Throughout the course of NYFW and beyond, consumers can also attend the House of Afterpay, a pop-up store with a number of exclusive products on offer. It will also be home to educational talks and styling workshops, designed to get the consumer involved in the retail experience. Other events will include celebrity styling sessions, an Empire State Building light change and an Afterpay after party.
Co-founder and co-CEO of Afterpay Nick Molnar said in a statement: “This September, Afterpay is championing the city that never sleeps, igniting New York City retail and opening fashion to the consumer in a way that has never been done before. With a week of interactive events, Afterpay is proud to support New York City’s economy and jumpstart a fresh future for the fashion industry across the globe.”
Viola Davis is one of the greatest professionals in Hollywood today. In addition to being an actress, she is a producer and director. Her talent has been recognized several times by the film industry and has received an Oscar, Emmy, and two Tony Awards. She is the first African-American and the youngest actress to win the Triple Crown of Acting with these three awards.
Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2012 and 2017. Also in 2017, Viola received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Three years later, the New York Times ranked her at #9 on the list of “The 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century.”
In addition to an illustrious film and television career, Davis is a prominent advocate for human rights and equal rights for Black women.
Today, the actress celebrates her 56th birthday and, to celebrate, L’OFFICIEL has selected several styling tricks Davis has used on and off the red carpet.
Adidas has sold sportswear brand Reebok to Authentic Brands Group (ABG) “for a total consideration of up to 2.1 billion euros” with the deal expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.
The German sportswear giant said in a statement that ABG would pay the majority in cash at closing of the transaction and the remainder comprised of deferred and contingent consideration. Adidas adding that it will share the majority of the cash proceeds with its shareholders.
Kasper Rorsted chief executive of Adidas AG said: “Reebok has been a valued part of Adidas, and we are grateful for the contributions the brand and the team behind it have made to our company.
“With this change in ownership, we believe the Reebok brand will be well-positioned for long-term success. As for adidas, we will continue to focus our efforts on executing our ‘Own the Game’ strategy that will enable us to grow in an attractive industry, gain market share, and create sustainable value for all of our stakeholders.”
Adidas acquired Reebok in 2006, which at the time included the Rockport, CCM Hockey and Greg Norman brands that the sportswear brand later offloaded. In 2016, Reebok initiated a turnaround plan called ‘Muscle Up’ to significantly improve its growth and profitability prospects, and following an evaluation from Adidas, it confirmed in February 2021 that it would sell Reebok as part of its ongoing efforts to strengthen the Adidas brand globally.
Adidas sells Reebok to Authentic Brands Group
ABG will own and manage the intellectual property of Reebok and plans to “employ its core playbook, connecting strong brands with best-in-class licensees and a network of partners that seek to optimise value in the marketplace”.
Reebok’s world headquarters will remain in Boston and ABG will work closely with Adidas, Reebok’s president Matt O’Toole and the entire Reebok team to transition the brand to ABG’s platform. Reebok’s operations will continue in the US and Canada, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe and Russia.
Jamie Salter, founder, chairman and chief executive of ABG, said: “We’ve had our sights set on Reebok for many years, and we’re excited to finally bring this iconic brand into the fold. Reebok not only holds a special place in the minds and hearts of consumers around the world, but the brand also has expansive global distribution.
“Adidas has been an incredible steward of the Reebok brand, and we look forward to working with the Reebok team to continue their great work and further its position as one of the world’s leading consumer brands.”
Reebok currently operates in 80 countries, with approximately 70 percent of its business hailing from outside of the US and Canada, and ABG has stated that its goal is to maintain the brand’s global footprint across retail, wholesale and e-commerce channels.
ABG, a brand development, marketing and entertainment company, recently acquired US outdoor brand Eddie Bauer with retail enterprise SPARC Group and snapped up Barneys New York and Brooks Brothers. Other brands in its portfolio include Juicy Couture, Forever 21, Spyder, Greg Norman, Aéropostale and Volcom.