We all know children are the future, but at least two brands in Gucci Group apparently think they will play a significant role in the conglomerate’s financial future too. Today Gucci announced they will launch kids’ collections in November, while earlier Stella McCartney spilled the same news. Stella, of course, already had two very successful test runs with kids’ collections for Gap, so her decision to take the profits in-house isn’t really a surprise. Gucci, on the other hand, is entering the market with a splash — and a couple of big assumptions about consumer behaviour that may, or may not, be true.
Jennifer Lopez for Gucci — copyright Gucci
When announcing severe spending cuts, it helps to present a united front – literally. To look, if not exactly the same, very much on the same sartorial page. Certainly, this seemed the Tory modus operandi this morning as Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander set off for Parliament to present their plan for reducing the British deficit in almost-matching dark blue single-breasted suits, white shirts, and blue ties. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
PPR is putting luxury on hold and charging forward into sportswear and sustainability. Yesterday, the French conglomerate displayed its trademark dispassionate ability to end (or suspend) industrial dalliances it feels may become less than productive by announcing the creation of – and concentration on — a new “sport and lifestyle” division run by Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz, who has also been promoted to Executive Chairman of Puma. Still, I’m more struck by the lead the group buried: the fact Mr Zeitz is becoming not only Puma’s Executive Chairman, but also PPR’s Chief Sustainability Officer.
Tonight, Tamara Mellon is being honoured by the Elton John Foundation at their 9th annual “Enduring Vision” benefit, for having raised $3.5 million for the charity. It’s a big deal. Still, as much as I admire Ms Mellon’s accomplishment, as I mull over her appearance this evening and consider the piece in today’s FT about the fact women have made surprisingly few incursions into contemporary boardrooms, I can’t help thinking that in many ways, her real pioneering achievement has to do less with monies raised (where she’s successful, but not singular) and more to do with, well, appearance. Specifically, challenging accepted ideas of how a female member of the c-suite needs to appear.
Over the weekend the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore reported that, two years after it began, the tax authorities’ probe into Dolce & Gabbana’s business has been closed, and the upshot is…silence from the prosecutors. Has the government decided they were wrong? Or is something more dramatic coming? The fashion world is on the edge of its seat!
Mayor Bloomberg’s love affair with fashion (and what it can bring to the local economy) continues apace. After cutting the ribbon on the Armani flagship store on Fifth Avenue, celebrating Burberry’s new store on Madison, and opening New York Fashion Week’s new home at Lincoln Centre, the Mayor has turned his affection to Ralph Lauren, who was awarded the key to New York City last night during a celebratory cocktail at the new RL womens’ flagship on Madison Avenue.
It was a real-life fairy tale to see the rescued Chilean miners rise from the ground yesterday — about as far from a manufactured fashion moment as you could get, you’d think. Yet fashion was a part of it.
A few years ago during a Mulberry presentation I was talking to chief executive Godfrey Davis, when he asked me what I thought of the brand. I said I thought they should be Coach, the American handbag company having huge success by combining fashion with middle-market pricing – that I thought there was big opportunity in that space. Apparently, so does Coach.
It never rains but it pours (and in Brooklyn, where I live, it just hailed). After the Gap on-line logo hoo-ha at the end of last week comes a report from the Stern business school at New York University and the think tank L2 entitled “Digital IQ Index: Luxury,” looking at how 72 luxury brands are handling themselves on-line, on their websites, social media, digital marketing and mobile apps. Guess what? They’re stuck in the mud!
Today, Alexander McQueen announced it was taking control of its second line, McQ, after the current spring/summer 2011 collection. For the last five years since its launch, McQ has been produced under license by an Italian firm, SINV SpA. Its current creative director, Pina Ferlisi, will continue in that role, under the guidance of Sarah Burton, current creative director of the main line. This is interesting, for a few reasons.