Monthly Archives: September 2010

Skirts are not the only thing getting longer this season; so, apparently, are job titles. Tom Florio, the ex-VP of the Vogue Group (which once consisted of four magazines but shrank during the recession to two magazines and some web sites) has just landed at IMG, the sports/fashion management monolith, as “Senior Advisor for Fashion to the Office of the Chairman.” It’s a mouthful.

It also sounds awfully like those Minister Without Portfolio titles beloved by so many heads of state, and almost always disliked by everyone else (like cabinet ministers), who feel said minister is spending too much time interfering in other people’s official and titular business.

Certainly the fact that Mr Florio’s job “will be…identifying new, high margin product offerings across all of IMG’s Fashion related businesses” (this from the press release) cannot be encouraging for the folks currently at IMG’s fashion-related business, who apparently were not so good at identifying those opportunities themselves. To allay such fears Florio told the New York Post that when you work with an entrepreneur like IMG chief Ted Forstmann, titles were “irrelevant.”

How reassuring. If you believe that, you might be interested to know Hermes is for sale. Read more

Though Nicholas Sarkozy, for obvious reasons, is generally regarded as the most fashion-forward French politician (there’s his wife, for one, and his close friendship with LVMH chieftain Bernard Arnault, who was a witness at the Bruni-Sarkozy wedding, not to mention his penchant for flashy watches), it turns out the French left is just as intertwined with the fashion world, although in a rather more discrete, long-term sort of way.  Read more

So Milan fashion week is over, which means I can finally report back on a little theory vs. reality experiment I’ve been conducting. As part of its new, improved fashion week, the Camera Nazionale (the organising body for Italian fashion) was offering attending editors the change to “Go Green!” via bike sharing. The Camera was very pleased with itself about this. Check out their announcement:

“Since 2008, the Milanese people can use Bike-MI, a fast, ecological, and easy way of moving in the city and Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana wants to promote the bike-sharing service in the all Fashion World. CNMI always aware of the environmental issue, wish to those who has chosen to be environmental friendly a nice ride!”

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One of the more surprising collaborations of the season was unveiled last night in the gardens of the Bulgari Hotel in Milan, amid tinkling champagne glasses and tiny lacquered pots of mozzarella and steamed Branzino. Read more

This sculpture was just installed in the piazza in front of the former Milanese stock exchange. It’s by the Paduan artist Maurizio Cattelan, who’s having a big exhibit in the Palazzo Reale.  Read more

Catherine Walker, the Frenchwoman who became one of Princess Diana’s favourite designers and helped modernise British royal couture, died last Friday, age 65. On Sunday, the news reached the fashion flock in Milan, and the mood off the runway was dim. Read more

The expansion of Jimmy Choo continues apace as its owner, the private equity firm TowerBrook (which bought the company 3.5 years ago), mulls over the options for recapitalisation with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Whether they decide an on IPO, a sale to another private equity firm, or to keep their investment for another 3-5 years, all options on the table according to an insider, is to be decided, but in the meantime the product side of the business under Chief Creative Officer Tamara Mellon has sprouted another extension: travel bags.

Here they are: Read more

Diego Della Valle, chairman of italian luxury group Tod’s, just threw down a gauntlet in the war against off-shore manufacturing at a press conference at La Scala in Milan.

Announcing Tod’s partnership with the opera (they are underwriting all productions for two years; in return, the choreographer Gianluca Schiavoni created a ballet for La Scala dancers filmed at the theatre about the making of a Tod’s loafer) he said, “this could be a breakthrough that allows large companies and cultural institutions to work together to convey the high quality of craftsmanship in Italy. This was a way for us to confirm our leadership of the Made in Italy movement, and we are going to take it to China and Japan, as well as to students to convey the message of our values in Italy: high quality, moral, ethical, and artistic.” Read more

Something interesting is percolating up in Milanese fashion, and it has nothing to do with runways.

It has to do with things like “sustainability” and “long-term thinking” and “self-preservation” – also “procreation”, with emphasis on the latter part of the word.

To be specific, it has to do with the industry finally thinking about its own future, and the fact that if it’s going to have one, it has to start working on the logistics. Which means, at its most basic level, supporting young designers. Read more

As London Fashion Week draws to a close, an email arrives from the Search Engine for Domain Offers, aka SEDO, aka “a one-stop-shop for domain investors with over 16 million domains in its database, facilitating the sale of approximately 3 million domains each month. Read more

London Fashion Week is drawing to a close today but not without a final finale from luxury fashion house Burberry. Live streaming their show to hundreds of eager consumers in stores across the world, it was the ticket of the week. Read more

Over the last few days I have become increasingly struck by what seems to me a serious shift in the US political weather – and no, I am not talking about the Tea Party (I think everyone else has talked enough about that). I’m talking about Hillary Clinton’s hair.  Read more

It takes something fairly monumental to stop the juggernaut of a fashion week. Well that happened today – Monday – at 11am. Bang went the momentum that was building in the British fashion capital, and in came the memorial for deceased designer Alexander McQueen, at a venue he could have only dreamed of, St Paul’s Cathedral. Read more

The Interbrand 100 best global brands list 2010 just came out, and there was some interesting (or depressing, depending on your perspective), movement in the luxury rankings.  Read more

London-based designer Duro Olowu has been in New York this past week, even though he’s actually showing his very smart, in both senses of the word, collection at London Fashion Week in a day or so. Here’s an early peek:

The print is sunglasses – or spectators. It’s like a suit, with humour: now you see it, now you don’t. The reason I got to see it, though, is because unlike most other London designers, Mr Olowu is savvy enough to understand that the earlier you get your wares before giant American retailers, the earlier they place their orders, and the bigger those orders are – but that if you save your show statement until London, it doesn’t get lost among the New York megaliths like Ralph Lauren. Weirdly, he seems to be the only one who realises this. Read more

Q: What do you get when you put hundreds of fashion people in a room and make them wait 30 minutes for a show? A: Lots and lots of acquisition rumours. Read more

The revolt against Google’s democratic, do-gooding image continues apace, with the fashion world joining the privacy advocates in questioning the search company’s policies in a way that suggests Google may not be as concerned with the general welfare as with their own pocketbook.  Read more

This morning Bain & Company released a study, in conjunction with American Vogue, on the shopping habits of the “style-conscious” US consumer.  Read more

Fashion darling Olivier Theyskens, a Belgian designer with a strong physical resemblance to a Hollywood version of Jesus in Galilee, who was latterly attached to Nina Ricci and Rochas but fired from both despite critical kudos (something to do with sales), has resurfaced. His new home? American contemporary brand Theory, where he has a new collection entitled – surprise! – Theyskens’ Theory. Read more

On Sunday night Tom Ford provided what was perhaps the most naked demonstration of power I have ever seen in the fashion world.

It began with his decision to hold a tiny, hush-hush show for his debut women’s wear collection, complete with phone-only invites and a ban on photography, which then created a frenzy among editors desperate to be included in the inner circle; segued into a debate among said invitees about whether or not they should go to young designer Thakoon’s show, scheduled for 6 pm when Ford was scheduled for 6:30, and miss seeing Ford (streaming is a great justification for missing shows — designers might re-think its benefits); and culminated in a store show of about 32 super-luxury looks on 32 women like…actress Julianne Moore; painter Rachel Feinstein; singer Beyonce Knowles; wife of Tom Hanks Rita Wilson; ex-supermodel Amber Valletta; social muse Daphne Guinness, and so on. Read more