Monthly Archives: May 2011

As promised, I’ve been thinking more about the LVMH/Hermes war of the words, and what Pierre Godé said yesterday at the Hermes AGM, and whether or not it should be taken at face value, and my answer is…not entirely. 

Ooooh, things are heating up in the heavyweight bout of name-calling that is the LVMH/Hermes relationship. At the Hermes AGM in Paris on Monday, Pierre Godé, Vice-Chairman of LVMH, and one of Bernard Arnault’s closest and oldest advisors, stood up and made the following statement, which LVMH then emailed around for those of us who sadly could not be there. It’s reproduced in full.

“This morning, Le Figaro published an interview with Hermes Président Bertrand Puech, in which he accuses LVMH of wishing to destabilise family shareholders, staff and suppliers – all allegations which I formally deny.  In fact, this AGM is as good an occasion as any to discuss these points, dispel some myths and correct misconceptions.

 

When did fashion become the go-to second career for celebrities in need of an Act II? It has crept up on us, like all trends, starting with a sighting here – Sarah Jessica Parker prolonging her role in the public eye between Sex and the City via Halston Heritage – and a campaign there: Björn Borg finding life after tennis in athletic wear. Then, suddenly, it’s everywhere: Emma Watson growing up via niche collections with Alberta Ferretti and People Tree; Justin Timberlake getting elegant with William Rast; Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen re-inventing themselves as serious designers with The Row, and ditto Victoria Beckham.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who has the best fashion week of all?

Such appears to be the refrain of the moment in Paris and Milan. Perhaps it is because of the historic rivalry. It’s like siblings: Who is better? Bigger? More creative? Who knows more powerful people? Who gets more attention? Perhaps it is because lately it seems as if every country is starting at least one, if not two, fashion weeks of their own, but Milan and Paris seem to be doing their utmost to add more designers to their schedule, thereby increasing their reach and power and asserting their primacy in this notably hierarchical world. 

Diego Della Valle, chairman of Tod’s Group, has just taken the race for the new Chinese consumer, aka the Great Eastern Hope of the luxury industry, to a new level, and claimed them for – well, not just himself, but his country.

 

Very interesting comment from a reader yesterday, noting that as Michelle Obama has become more established in her role, she has adopted more establishment designers. 

Last night Michelle Obama wore white Tom Ford to the Buckingham Palace banquet. Once again, she matched the Queen! I have to say, though, I’m not entirely convinced by the choice. And the more photos I see of it, the more it niggles.

 

If the Obamas trip to the UK isn’t the most sartorially co-ordinated opening of a State visit in history, I’ll eat my Philip Treacy hat.

 

The news that the strange and controversial Philip Treacy creation sported by Princess Beatrice at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton has been sold on eBay for almost gbp 80,000 is both generally shocking (although very nice for UNICEF, who gets the money) and also shockingly educational.

 

One love affair ends and another begins: after three (count ‘em) relationships with private equity firms, Tamara Mellon, chief creative officer and founder of Jimmy Choo has hooked up with a long-term partner in the form of Labelux. Or at least that’s how she sees it.

“It feels like we have finally come home,” she said, when I called her hours after the commitment ceremony that was the private group’s acquisition of the luxury accessory brand. “They are in this for the long-term,” she continued happily. “Ten years is a short horizon for them.”
According to Ms Mellon, this is a huge relief after the upheaval that was her brand’s various private equity pairings, each of which lasted the usual three to five years.