The incredible history of Audrey Smaltz and the Ebony Fashion Fair

This story originally appeared in i-D’s The Darker Issue, no. 365, Winter 2021. Order your copy here.

There are a rare class of entertainers whose voices are embocrated with an electricity that rushes out their throats, with the power to lift you out of your seat and your very skin. Audrey Smaltz, the legendary and masterful commentator for Ebony Fashion Fair – the world’s longest running travelling fashion show – has a wide-open tap to that divine energy. She might be the keeper of its flame. At an ageless 84, she has still got me hyped just from a phone call. Audrey made me scream for fashion without ever seeing a thread. She made me feel the Black excitement, the Black excellence and the soul and sublime trickery of the performance of Black style. She leaned on some words, pumping others like a golden era freestyle rapper, a ringmaster,

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The 10 best beauty advent calendars for 2021

I accept that it is completely bizarre writing about beauty advent calendars this month. I’ve tried to put it off for as long as possible. But the truth is, many of the best ones are often sold out by mid November, and I wanted to share the Stella favourites with you while you can still get your hands on them.

Beauty advent calendars didn’t really exist as a category five years ago, but they are now one of the top sellers for beauty brands and retailers every year. Our enthusiasm for miniature products behind advent doors shows no signs of waning, either. When chocolate doesn’t quite cut it, these provide little moments of luxury in the days ahead of Christmas.

Probably the most covetable of them all is Liberty’s, which has a cult-like following. It commands waiting lists online and physical queues around the London store when it goes on

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Fashion Designers Pivot to Interior Design

In just three short years, Bessie Afnaim Corral and Oliver Corral had achieved what many young designers only dream of. By February 2020, their label, Arjé, known and beloved for its trophy-status shearling jackets and coats, was being carried by every major retailer, from Net-A-Porter to Selfridges. Then the first wave of Covid-19 lockdowns hit. No one was shopping for clothes, let alone a $3,000 shearling; everyone was stuck at home. As retailers started canceling orders, the Corrals, who met as co–head designers of Donna Karan’s Urban Zen (and are now married), made a radical decision: They would pivot to selling homewares and ultimately liquidate their clothing archives.

Despite having no formal interior-design training, the Corrals channeled their creative energies into gut renovating the Manhattan one-bedroom duplex that previously served as their design studio and living space. Their Instagram Stories from the past year look like what the Magnolia Network

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