Weekend Reading is a weekly rundown of our favorite stories from around the web.

The Botmakers Who Rule the Obsessive World of Streetwear
Early on a steamy June morning in Plantation, Florida, Matt Steiner sits working at his parents’ 10-person dining room table. It’s the start of summer vacation, and he is joined by his buddy Chris, who is freshly home from his first year at college. Between yawns the two send tweets and check emails, but mostly they wait for 9 am. That’s when the pair will open access to their website for 60 minutes, just as they do every Thursday. During that hour, and that hour only, people can buy the use of Matt and Chris’ web bot.

via: Wired

Why Museums Around the World Are Celebrating Fashion's Great Rebels
Growing digitalization and the explosive rise of social media have not only led to new forms of communication, making for a different perception, experience and consumption of fashion, but have also put the existing business models under pressure. The rhythm of presentation, production and communication steps up a notch season after season, putting the squeeze on creativity. The artistic direction of fashion houses switches at breakneck speed, as brands fight for relevance and resonance. The Internet creates a constant stream of images and information, but despite this, there seems to be little room for deeper insights, analysis and historical contextualisation.

via: CNN

Remembering Nicolas Ghesquière’s Revival of Balenciaga
As the fashion world prepares for this Saturday’s unveiling of the V&A’s new blockbuster, Balenciaga: Unveiling Fashion, we take a look at one of the key turning points in the brand’s history: creative director Nicolas Ghesquière’s debut collection. The epic new exhibition charts the brand’s 100-year story since Cristóbal Balenciaga – known as the Master of Haute Couture – opened his first, eponymously named fashion house in San Sebastian, Spain. The brand has since enjoyed numerous incarnations at the hands of Balenciaga’s multiple successors since the founder’s death in 1972, including Josephus Thimister, Alexander Wang and today’s creative director Demna Gvasalia. However, it’s Ghesquière’s first collection for the brand that marks a particular renaissance in the fashion house’s history, a moment where, according to WWD, Ghesquière began the ailing label’s rebuild and became 'one of the stars of the brand reinvention era'

via: AnOther

Budding Business Leaders Learn The Importance Of Aesthetics
'Aesthetics cannot be outsourced to the creative department; it has to start with the leader,' says Brown, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School. She joined the faculty in 2016, following a tenure as Chairman of North America at the French luxury goods conglomerate, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
According to Brown, it’s important for senior executives to possess a combination of what she calls 'aesthetic intelligence' and 'aesthetic empathy'— good personal taste combined with a good understanding of what pleases others. They need to understand how to engage the senses and elicit delight. 'People do not need more stuff, but they do need pleasure, and aesthetics is a powerful way to deliver it,' Brown says.

via: Forbes

How Trump and Brexit Could Reshape Asian Fashion
Globalisation has been good to the world of fashion but isolationist trends following Britain’s Brexit vote and the election of US President Donald Trump have sowed some seeds of uncertainty. Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May both appear committed to a new era of patriotic nationalism in which country comes before corporate interests. And to keep voters happy, they will need to be seen to be pursuing policies that halt the tide of global integration and fuel employment growth at home.

via: South China Morning Post

Better Late Than Never: Fashion Belatedly Embraces Hackathons
In fashion, the relatively recent rise of hackathons — a practice long ingrained in Silicon Valley — can be attributed to the sluggish digitization of luxury retail. Liz Bacelar, founder of Decoded Fashion and currently the chief content officer at The Current, created the first highly publicized fashion hackathon in 2013, an event that convened 650 fashion and technology professionals to solve digital challenges of major fashion brands. Over the course of 24 hours, participants separated into groups and used their combined skills to tackle real-world requests from executives at brands including Rachel Roy, Michael Kors and DKNY. A team of industry judges scored their efforts, granting cash prizes to top teams.

via: Digiday

The Ugly Problem of Pretty Packaging
There’s a certain thrill that comes with an online delivery landing at your doorstep, and that thrill is only amplified when the packaging is pretty. Stickers! Glitter! Brands like Glossier and Net-a-Porter are heavily invested in beautifying e-commerce, providing shoppers with brightly covered boxes, ribbons, and other cutesy delights that make the purchase feel extra special. Whimsical packaging has even ignited a popular, albeit strange, genre of unboxing on YouTube and Instagram. But at what expense do these extras come? And is any of it even worth it if it ends up in the trash 20 seconds later?

via: Racked

The Lessons of Rihanna
On Monday night, late in the program for the 69th annual benefit and student fashion show at Parsons School of Design, a group of graduating seniors stood onstage and extolled the talents of one of the evening’s honorees. She was 'inspiring.' Her style was 'amazing.' Her brand was 'amazing.' (There were a lot of 'amazings.') Who was this fashion paragon, role model for all of the young would-be designers in the room thanks to her creativity, philanthropy and talent? Not, as it happened, a fellow graduate who had fought her way to the top of the industry through perseverance, sweat and imagination. Not a retailer who had promoted and facilitated the growth of multiple businesses over the years. Rihanna

via: The New York Times

As a Young Designer, What Happens After You Win a Design Competition?
The 2016/2017 International Woolmark Prize awards ceremony, held at the cavernous Palais de Tokyo in Paris' 16th arrondissement this past January, only lasted about 20 minutes. Strobes flashed, music blared and models emerged wearing a handful of looks crafted from wool by each of the 12 nominated designers — menswear and womenswear regional winners from the U.S., Europe, Asia, the British Isles, Australia and New Zealand, as well as India and throughout the Middle East. The panel of judges, which included Victoria Beckham, Hood by Air founder Shayne Oliver and singer Lou Doillon, handed the womenswear prize to Gabriela Hearst and the men's award to Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty of British label Cottweiler. Houselights on.

via: Fashionista

Fendi’s Gift to Rome: A Sculpture Shaped Like a Tree
Shading his eyes from the warm Tuscan sun, the artist Giuseppe Penone watched as a crane hoisted a bronze tree trunk into position to cradle an 11-ton carved marble block. It was the first time that all of the elements of the sculpture, “Leaves of Stone,” had been fitted together as a sort of dress rehearsal, before it would be transferred to Rome. There it was unveiled on Monday in Largo Goldoni, in front of a downtown palazzo owned by Fendi, which commissioned the work.

via: The New York Times

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