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Why Fashion Shouldn't Be Cheap

Accessories

The founder of A-Morir explains the cost of doing business—ethically

Not too long ago, someone slid into my Instagram DMs (on my brand A-Morir's business account, to be clear: I'm married!) to explain to me that the actual cost of a certain pair of sunglasses I make was $8 to $12, so selling them for $400 was ridiculous. Now, Internet Survival Rule #1 is never feed the trolls. And I keep it professional on IG. But I was tired and having a moment.

Look, I understand that, thanks to overseas slave wages, stolen photos, and shady manufacturers selling hot knockoff garbage, you maybe think that your favorite independent designer's prices are too high. But that's exactly why I'm here to remind you that there is an actual person behind the products you're coveting, a person who has continually worked their ass off and sacrificed a lot, only to be told their product should be sold for pennies. I know A-Morir price points aren't for everyone. But premium materials and expert construction (by hand!) have a tangible cost. Buying knockoffs—and buying into knockoff pricing—has actual consequences for independent businesses like mine.

If you've ever been curious about why things cost what they do, let's go back to that DM. A few weeks prior to that, I noticed the number of pending messages on my business account went up. I always have a few in there; I don't know what happens if you delete a pending message (does it block the sender? Can they ever message you again? Why do I care about this so much?) but when I finally checked, a woman was asking about my Currie tassel glasses. After confirming the price—and letting her know about our mailing list discount—she asked, "Why so expensive?" Allow me to explain.

These glasses are $440. Which isn't inexpensive. But they also aren't cheaply made, and so their price point is fair. They also aren't out of line with the price of other designer brands (do people ask these questions to Chanel? Versace?), and that's why these kinds of questions frustrate me. But I do understand that not everyone gets how the sausage—or the sunglasses—gets made. Like all of my pieces, the Currie is made with premium materials. In this case, a crystal chain that is custom made with specific stone colors and unique black metal plating. Plus, there are accent stones in six sizes that I have to special order, along with the cost of frames and lenses.

The second cost factor, which I pride myself on, is that each one of my pieces is hand-embellished in my NYC studio. The Currie frame has an original hanging tassel design with six different points of execution for assembly. The entire piece requires over two dozen individual steps to complete. It takes a long time to do this perfectly. Hours! Someone gets paid for that labor. I pay the artisans who work for me well—because they deserve it—and when I make a piece, which I genuinely love doing, I get paid for my work, too.

Of course, I told her to reach out if she had any more questions. Well, she did—and I lost it. Even after having had me tell her why I need to charge the prices I do, she replied that she'd seen a product that was identical to the Currie selling for $8 to $12 wholesale, so charging $400 is "a bit much."

Excuse me?

What?

ARE YOU TELLING ME IT COSTS $8 TO MAKE WHAT I MAKE?!

I've been in business for 10 years, and I've been getting knocked off for nine of them. I know how these shady bootleg manufacturers work. It's why that meme of "what you ordered vs. what came in the mail" exists. I let her know that anything that looks "identical" to my designs is a case of someone stealing my image, that I had personally taken, to sell their bootleg goods. This woman asking me these questions worked in the beauty industry, so I asked her: How would you feel if someone stole photos you took of your work and used them to imply that quality of work was available for pennies on the dollar? She apologized. Hopefully, she understood. I should have felt better, right?

WRONG. I couldn't let this go without a reverse image search (thanks, Google). There I found 10 (!!!) pages of sellers using a stolen photo of mine to sell knockoffs that might be passable to the legally blind; these web hustlers were using my photo at the top of a carousel to sell mass-produced, poorly made, glue-covered sunglasses with cheap crystal chains for $20 tops. And I was livid.

I wasn't mad at the stolen photos. That's the nature of the beast. (Before you say "Hire a lawyer!" know that almost all of these companies are international, and it would cost tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to get the photos removed, only so more could pop up in their place.) What hurt me—really hurt me at my core—was the idea that, thanks to fast fashion culture and knockoffs, someone would think that my original work should cost $8.

The problem with knockoffs is both ethical and economical. If you're buying a pair of shoes for $30, for instance, there are two things happening: the materials are crap, and whoever made them is getting paid like crap for their work. Slave labor runs rampant in the fashion industry, and it's something I have no interest in supporting. I have always kept my supply chain local, have hired and trained artisans who are paid well for their skilled work, and do my own bespoke work with a husband and wife in Canada who built their own eyewear workshop from scratch—and I have paid a lot of money to do so!

Each A-Morir piece takes hours to execute perfectly. Beyond mere materials and construction, these designs don't come out of thin air. I have been painting and sculpting for over 30 years, and designing eyewear professionally for the last 10 of them. Three decades of active creativity and research have made my designs what they are. I call my work museum quality because my work has been in museums multiple times (currently at the NMNI's "Fashion & Feminism" exhibit for any Irish readers!) Listen, I understand that a $200-to-$1,000 price point isn't for everyone. But I hope everyone who reads this understands why my pieces cost what they do, and hopefully understands why independent brands don't charge fast fashion prices.

So, yeah, when someone slides into my DMs to "well, actually" my business practices, I can't let it slide. If one person thinks that way, there are others who think it too. If you want to pay $8 for knockoff A-Morir—or any other hardworking independent business—that's completely up to you. We've all been suckered by the ease of fast fashion at one point. Just know that you are without a doubt supporting art theft and sweatshops.

And if that's not bad enough, I promise you: You'll look like a bootleg fashionista, too.

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Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube www.youtube.com

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FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB
Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

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Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale youtu.be

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

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Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.

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