Note: All images featured in this post are property of Playboy Enterprises and their respective photographers. This post serves only to recognize the legacy of Hugh Hefner, editor-in-chief of Playboy magazine and chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises.

This post is not meant to pirate or plagiarize the work of the Playboy team, including, but not limited to, publishers, editors, creative directors, photographers, stylists and models.

The following editorials are not shown in full, and the images featured are in no particular order. They were chosen solely based on my personal preferences and they reflect the work of the Playboy team that inspired me during my time as a media professional.

I have no affiliation with the Playboy Enterprise, and I have no affiliation with any models or photographers mentioned in this post. 

Kelly Gale, Miss September 2016, photographed by Chris Heads

kelly Gale, Miss September 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

kelly Gale, Miss September 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

kelly Gale, Miss September 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

Kelly Gale, Miss September 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

kelly Gale, Miss September 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

kelly Gale, Miss September 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

“Midday Swim With Beate Muska” (playboy.com), photographed by Asher Moss

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

From “Midday Swim With Beate Muska” for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

“The Beate Goes On” (playboy.com), photographed by Christopher von Steinbach

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Camille Rowe, Miss April 2016, photographed by Guy Aroch

Camille Rowe, Miss April 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

Camille Rowe, Miss April 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

Camille Rowe, Miss April 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

Camille Rowe, Miss April 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

Camille Rowe, Miss April 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

Camille Rowe, Miss April 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

Camille Rowe, Miss April 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

Eugena Washington (Playmate of the Year 2016) in Playboy magazine, June 2016, photographed by Jason Lee Parry

Eugena Washington (Playmate of the Year 2016), June 2016 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Eugena Washington (Playmate of the Year 2016), June 2016 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Eugena Washington (Playmate of the Year 2016), June 2016 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Eugena Washington, Miss December 2015, photographed by Josh Ryan

Eugena Washington, Miss December 2015 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Eugena Washington, Miss December 2015 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Eugena Washington, Miss December 2015 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Eugena Washington as Cassandra from video game Mafia III, Playboy magazine, October 2016, photographer unknown

Eugena Washington, October 2016 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Eugena Washington, October 2016 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Eugena Washington, October 2016 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Kate Moss, January/February 2014, photographed by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott

Kate Moss, Jan/Feb 2014 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Kate Moss, Jan/Feb 2014 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Kate Moss, Jan/Feb 2014 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Kate Moss, Jan/Feb 2014 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Kate Moss, Jan/Feb 2014 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Kate Moss, Jan/Feb 2014 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

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Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend the launch party for Danielle Guizio’s new Footwear collection in New York City.

Earlier this year, when I first fell in love with the up-and-coming streetwear designer, I never imagined I’d be a guest at the launch of her footwear line, so I was super excited when I received an invitation to this exclusive event.

The celebration was held in Manhattan’s trendy Meatpacking District at the High Line Hotel in The Refectory–known as one of the most beautiful rooms in New York City–and it definitely delivered. (Seriously, can I have my wedding reception there?)

Front and center were some of the new GUIZIO footwear designs: five pairs of spiky-heeled booties.

In white, red and black, these shoes definitely make a statement–even when worn with the designer’s signature sweatsuits and track pants. Unique textures like patent leather and python, along with details like crisscross laces, o-ring pulls, zippers, grommets, buckles and straps, truly add to this footwear collection’s one-of-a-kind steez.

Still, they’re versatile. They look effortlessly fab with anything from denim to leather to knitwear. And, they can easily be dressed up or down; they’re stilettos, but like I said, they pair perfectly with athletic-inspired pieces like Guizio’s.

Guizio’s footwear designers [source: Coveteur.com]

For the event celebrating these babies, I sported all black with pops of pink. Of course, I just *had* to wear my DG fishnet bodysuit 😉

Underneath I layered a strapless balconette-style bra for a feminine touch, then paired it with Adidas Originals track pants to play up GUIZIO’s athleisure vibes.

For a little height I sported a pair of black heeled booties (although they aren’t from Guizio’s namesake line) for my night out in the City, along with a customized coordinating bag from Pop & Suki.

And to polish everything off, I added my (vegan) leather jacket with pale pink and baby blue embroidered flowers. This jacket is absolutely gorgeous, and definitely one of my main go-to’s for a night out. I love how its long fit brings some structure to my otherwise relaxed look.

I also went for a bold makeup look to match the flashy getup, so I went a very minimal route in terms of other embellishments–just my rose gold nameplate necklace for a subtle sparkle, as well as undone hair with a middle part. (More on all that in a future post.)

Shop my look:

Jacket, Blank NYC, $168

Bodysuit, Danielle Guizio, $63

Bra, Free People, no longer available (similar here)

Track pants, Adidas, $70

Booties, Free People, no longer available (similar here)

Bag, Pop & Suki, $195

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I can hardly contain my excitement for this post because I’ve teamed up with Summersalt, an up-and-coming, eco-friendly swimwear label!

Summersalt launched earlier this year, but that hasn’t stopped big-name publications like GlamourAllure and Elle from raving about it. Committed to sustainability, Summersalt constructs its swimwear (as well as its poly mailers, accent labels, postcards, notecards and envelopes) from recycled materials.

“Since our fabrics are 5-times stronger and more durable than ordinary suits, we hope you will wear it for longer and recycle it when it’s time for something new,” Summersalt’s website reads.

“It’s an industry standard that each suit arrives in a poly bag to ensure freshness and sanitation. The poly bag that your Summersalt suit arrives in is completely recyclable, and we are actively looking for a vendor that makes them out of completely recycled materials…Our resealable pack is 100 percent recyclable and reusable…Use it for wet bathing suits when you travel.”

Last week, the label generously sent me a few pieces from their collection! Being so heavily invested in the fight against fast fashion, I could not be more thrilled to share my new goodies with Haute Mess readers just in time for summer.

Summersalt’s swimsuits are both comfortable and stylish without being overly revealing; they’re made for active beach goers who spend more time moving around than lying in a lounge chair.

“Our durable fabrics retain their shape to withstand even the grandest adventures and activities,” the site continues.

Not only do their swimsuits provide UPF 50+ protection, they are able to withstand the effects of sand, sweat and chlorine–aggressors that can wreak havoc on other swimsuits.

As their too-cute packaging states, the only thing more eco-friendly is skinny dipping. (Plus, nothing is over $95!)


The Cabana, $50

The Mesh Low Rider, $45

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From a young age we are taught that copying our peers’ work is wrong. Their intellectual property–whether it’s a kindergarten macaroni necklace or Pulitzer Prize-winning literature–is just that: their property.

Federal law mandates that intellectual property receives copyright protection from the moment it is fixed in a medium, according to the United States Copyright Office. In short, the second an idea leaves your mind and becomes something tangible (i.e., perceptible to at least one of the five senses), it is copyright protected under U.S. law.

But, that didn’t stop the classroom bully, and it certainly does not stop big-name fashion and beauty retailers. The rise in fashion and beauty bloggers and YouTubers has created a new environment in which dupes can not only breed, but thrive.

Beauty gurus (and aspiring beauty gurus) share countless dupe guides on social media platforms like Pinterest. Dupe guides compare high-end products their low-end counterparts. [source: Pinterest]

“Everyone has gotten so fucking lazy in [the beauty] industry. There. I said it. There are some beautiful things out there that the labs are doing, but no one bothers to do it,” writes Glossible‘s Sonia Roselli.

“Why? Why bother? Copycatting is big business and it’s faster to get to market. There is no better time than now to be in the cosmetics manufacturing game. Cosmetic labs are working at full capacity and some aren’t even taking new customers, thanks to social media.  But because of social media, I find that we are going down a path that is bad for all of us.”

According to Roselli’s post, the biggest names in beauty knockoff products from small brands such as Viseart, Melanie Mills and PPI. Their motive?

“If I were being completely honest, in my opinion, most big cosmetic companies don’t even TRY anymore. And it’s not just the cosmetic companies, it’s the labs and manufacturers too who take direction from these companies.  I imagine the chemists are crying in their glass beakers because they WANT to create innovative products but the companies won’t let them. Why? Because copycatting is big business and easier to do.”

Roselli also notes that copycatting runs rampant in the technology industry, as well, citing Apple’s recent lack of innovation.

“What happened to luxurious textures and colors that were perfect for skin tones? What happened to a brand being known for their foundation colors? What about a brand being known for their skin products? It’s all the same shit just a different day,” Roselli asks.

“To me the beauty industry looks a little something like this: We are the lions and the cosmetic companies just throw us a carcass.”

Viseart’s multicolor eyeshadow palette, which retails on Sephora.com for $80, has been duped by web-based retailer Morphe. Morphe’s so-called Picasso Palette retails for $14.99.

W-7, a UK-based cosmetics company, has not one, but three blatant knockoffs of Urban Decay’s famous Naked eyeshadow palettes. Naked, Naked 2 and Naked 3 retail for $54 each, while W-7’s dupes go for $12.95 each. The company also sells a bronzer called Honolulu ($5.30) eerily similar in color and packaging to Benefit’s Hoola bronzer ($29), a cult favorite.

There is also e.l.f., a drugstore beauty brand also known as Eyes, Lips, Face. Roselli notes the similarities between e.l.f.’s Pink Passion blush ($5.30) and Nars’ Desire blush ($30), and mentions that the brand is a notorious industry-wide copycat.

W-7 In The Buff: Lightly Toasted palette versus Urban Decay’s Naked palette [source: Pinterest]

“Most people don’t realize how or why copycat imitation hurts our industry, or for that matter, even care,” Roselli writes.

“As a pro makeup artist, I can go our right now to any Ulta or Sephora and tell you that 85 percent of all makeup is complete and utter bullshit. Don’t believe me? Go on any Facebook group that caters to professional makeup artists and you will see a surge in going back to old brands…Graftobian, Ben Nye, RCMA just to name a few…Why? Because the big brands are not listening to working pros. They are listening to beauty bloggers.”

While some beauty bloggers and vloggers are truly trustworthy and informative, Roselli insists there are many who are quite the opposite:

“I think [bloggers] have an interesting place in the industry [because they] allow people to discover new products. While a lot of bloggers out there are great (especially the ones that have worked in the industry for years), these aren’t the ones I’m talking about here. I’m talking about people who have no clue about beauty.”

These bloggers care more about making money than they do about creating quality content or sharing what they’ve learned with a larger community.

“Over the last few years, beauty bloggers have become puppets for the cosmetic companies,” Roselli continues.

“Last year, I sat in on a big meeting with some higher up cosmetic level execs who were giving a talk on how they utilize social media influencers.  The story went a little something like this: A very popular Youtube beauty blogger was given $100,000 to blog about a new product that was coming out.  (Yes, you read that correctly: 1 video. 15 minutes long. $100k). But, guess what? Her videos drove over $2 million in sales in one day! As a matter of fact, [in] minutes. [The blogger] said exactly what [the cosmetics company] wanted her to say (in her own words of course).”

As long as cosmetics companies can rely on big-name beauty bloggers and YouTubers, they can continue to make shoddy dupes of high-end products an end up with a pretty spectacular return on investment.

“That means these cosmetic companies can make absolute bullshit products and not care about the actual product they produce because they have beauty bloggers to drive the sales. So, they rip each other’s products, have a pissing match on who can knock it off better and play this game of cat and mouse to see who has the bigger balls,” Roselli writes.

Jenn Im, YouTuber behind Clothes Encounters, sports a slip dress by Necessary Clothing, a trendy fast fashion retailer. [source: Instagram user @imjennim]

Crushed Velvet Zillah Slip Dress in Blush by Are You Am I, $675 [source: Are You Am I]

However, Roselli doesn’t blame any beauty blogger for what they do; in fact, she applauds their ability to be so influential.

“Secretly, I laugh and say, ‘go girl!’ to the beauty blogger and wanna high five her after she hits ‘publish’ on her YouTube channel. It’s this double edge sword that is creating a sea of mediocrity in the marketplace. And who loses? We do, the pro and the consumer. ”

Nonetheless, it is the process in itself that perpetuates the lack of quality products currently on the market; Roselli insists it is a vicious cycle.

“The cosmetic companies watch social media trends, give the masses what the think they want, and use the beauty blogger to promote the sales. What are we left with? Subpar bullshit,” she writes.

“If beauty blogger tells you that the Waffle House yellow foundation she is using is the best thing since Netflix on a cold rainy day, well guess what? People believe her. Then, women are left with crappy products that don’t perform and are constantly shopping for something that works, leaving us in a constant state of searching for the next hero product for ourselves.”

And, the same can be said for fashion. It doesn’t matter anymore what’s on the runway or what’s in the most esteemed fashion magazines. Consumers are more likely lust after looks they see on the most influential bloggers and vloggers, who in large part promote fast fashion (whether they realize it or not!), according to The Fashion Law.

In addition to being a violation of intellectual property, fast fashion negatively impacts both garment workers and the environment, as well as consumers. From an article published in 2014, The Huffington Post notes a number of toxins found in garments from several popular fast fashion retailers.

“According to the Center for Environmental Health, Charlotte Russe, Wet Seal, Forever21 and other popular fast-fashion chains are still selling lead-contaminated purses, belts and shoes above the legal amount, years after signing a settlement agreeing to limit the use of heavy metals in their products,” Shannon Whitehead writes.

“Lead exposure has also been linked to higher rates of infertility in women and increased risks of heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure. Many scientists agree there is no ‘safe’ level of lead exposure for anyone. The lead contamination is all in addition to the pesticides, insecticides, formaldehyde, flame-retardants and other known carcinogens that reside on the clothes we wear.”

[source: takepart.com]

Whitehead also goes on to explain the impacts the fast fashion industry has on the environment:

“The average American throws away over 68 pounds of textiles per year. We’re not talking about clothing being donated to charity shops or sold to consignment stores, that 68 pounds of clothing is going directly into landfills. Because most of our clothing today is made with synthetic, petroleum-based fibers, it will take decades for these garments to decompose.”

Fast fashion retailers also exploit garment workers in developing countries, because these countries do not offer labor laws that protect their workers.

“Industry estimates suggest that 20 to 60 percent of garment production is sewn at home by informal workers, according author Lucy Siegle in her book, To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?

While there are machines that can apply sequins and beading that look like handiwork, they are very expensive and must be purchased by the garment factory. According to Siegle, it’s highly unlikely that an overseas factory would invest in the equipment, particularly if the clothing being made is for a value-driven fast-fashion label,” Whitehead continues.

“Carrying out her own investigation, Siegle learned that millions of desperate home-workers are hidden in some of the poorest regions of the world, ‘hunched over, stitching and embroidering the contents of the global wardrobe…in slums where a whole family can live in a single room.’

Often with the help of their children, the home workers sew as fast as they can and for as long as daylight allows to embellish and bedazzle the clothes that end up in our closets. Siegle goes on to say, ‘They live hand to mouth, presided over by middlemen, tyrannical go-betweens who hand over some of the lowest wages in the garment industry.'”

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Often the object of criticism for environmental advocates and enthusiasts, a handful of fast fashion retailers launched green initiatives earlier this year.

Last month, Haute Mess reported that retail giant Target announced a sophisticated plan to revamp its stores and increase sales, which includes a series of goals to better the environment.

Target revealed a new forest products policy and goals, including having full visibility into the wood contained in or used to make products sold by Target or used in its operations; implementing policies, practices and tools that facilitate the management of raw materials throughout the supply chain and across operations, and actively supporting efforts that prevent the destruction of forests and other natural resources,” reports WWD.

“Last year, Target introduced its reliable sourcing aspirations, which included a commitment to sourcing wood from well-managed forests. The retailer pledged to source for Target’s own brands wood from well-managed and credibly certified forests, and whenever possible, from post-consumer recycled materials.”

WWD also reports that Target will implement its policies beginning in 2018, with “a goal to have six of Target’s owned brands fully compliant with the forest products policy by 2022.”

The first products the retail giant plans to revamp are those containing wood or paper-based materials, like tissues and paper towels, wrapping paper, furniture components and clothing, according to WWD. This includes brands such as Cat & Jack, Pillowfort, Threshold and Smith & Hawken.

“This policy comes after Target announced its commitments to responsible sourcing, which focuses on improving worker well-being, achieving net-positive manufacturing and deriving key raw materials from ethical and sustainable sources. The retailer in January announced a chemical policy,” WWD continues.

Kelly Caruso, president of Target Sourcing Services, tells WWD that the retailer also plans to “target the rayon used in apparel, which comes from viscose, a forest product.”

“We’ll be working on the brands’ packaging, too,” Caruso continues.

The new forest policy comes a couple years after the retail giant announced that palm oil, which is “used in its owned brand food, personal care and household cleaning products, will be fully traceable and sustainably sourced by 2018, or sooner, according to WWD.

“When the retailer moves from raw materials to commodities such as beef and soy, it will look for ways to achieve zero net forestation.”

In 2012 Target also aimed to reduce the environmental impact of its production practices.

“Target piloted 10 best practices in three high-volume textile mills in China for a year. Realizing significant savings in water energy and materials, Target expanded the pilot to two additional Chinese cities in 2013 and is hoping for similarly positive results,” WWD writes.

Target’s forest products policy goal at a glance [source: A Bullseye View, Target’s official blog]

Swedish fast fashion giant H&M launched its Bring It On campaign in January 2017 as part of its Garment Collecting program, which began in 2013.

“Nothing is too torn, worn or used to get a second life. Not your lonely sock, your worn-out dress or your ripped sheet. Yet tons and tons of textiles—that could’ve been reused or recycled—are thrown away with household waste. Being one of the world’s largest fashion companies comes with great responsibility, and that’s why we launched our global garment collecting initiative in 2013. You bring your garments, we give them a new purpose. Together we can close the loop on fashion,” H&M’s website explains.

“We believe that clothes deserve better than to end up in landfills. So, for our newest conscious initiative we made two new designs in 500 unique pieces – entirely out of used denim. Because great fashion can be made from old clothes.”

Consumers can bring their unwanted garments to any H&M store to be repurposed.

“The garments collected that cannot be distributed as second-hand goods will either be converted into other products, such as cleaning cloths and upcycled items, or ground down and used in the construction or automotive industries as padding and insulation. Some garments get a new chance as textile fibers. They will be spun into yarn and used in the new H&M Conscious range,” the site continues.

“During the process, nothing goes to waste. The metals from buttons and zippers are also recycled. Even the dust is taken care of. It is pressed into cubes that goes to the paper industry as a co-product to cardboard. The very last remains of the collected garments are burned and turned into new energy.”

Garments part of the retailer’s Conscious range are denoted with a green label that reads “CONSCIOUS” on H&M’s website. The company insists it does not profit from any of the returned textiles.

“Revenue generated from collected items is donated to charity and invested in recycling innovation,” the website reads.

[source: H&M]

But, attorney and famed fast fashion critic Julie Zerbo, the voice behind The Fashion Law, argues that this is all a part of greenwashing: “the promotion of green-based environmental initiatives or images without the implementation of business practices that actually minimize environmental impact (or any of the other negative effects of fast fashion).”

“[Greenwashing often includes misleading customers about the actual benefits of a product or practice through misleading advertising and/or unsubstantiated claims. And swearing off the use of animal products.”

Last year, Nasty Gal, a web-based fast fashion retailer and notorious copycat, announced it would no longer continue to sell any items made with angora rabbit fur, after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) “conducted an investigation of the angora wool industry, leading to allegations of harsh and inhumane conditions in which the rabbits used for angora are treated,” according to The Fashion Law.

“Much like H&M’s well publicized recycling efforts and its ‘Conscious’ Collection, and Zara’s new eco-friendly stores, such green efforts–including those involving animals–tend to come with downsides of their own, such as alternative motives, aimed at creating a pretty picture in the face of significant problems at the foundational level of such business models.”

Zerbo insists that fast fashion inherently has a negative environmental impact; eye-catching campaigns that claim to be environmentally conscious are really marketing strategies aimed at attracting consumers.

“Fast fashion is a dirty industry, second only to the oil industry, according to recent reports. In order to keep costs low, fast fashion suppliers and even the big-name retailers, themselves, operate in ethically questionable ways. As we have seen in a number of recent lawsuits, they fire pregnant employees to avoid paying health insurance costs (hey, Nasty Gal). They discriminate against transgender employees (hey, Forever 21). They target shoppers based on race (that’s you, H&M) and employees based on religion (and you, Zara),” The Fashion Law writes.

“Their suppliers routinely bypass important quality control and manufacturing health/safety standards because these practices are costly to implement and monitor and that would cut into their bottom line. Hence, the toxic chemicals in clothes, the frequent employee hospitalizations and the increasing number of fires and buildings collapsing.”

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