Monthly Archives: May 2011

I just got an email inviting me to a super-secret announcement over lunch tomorrow — which is rumoured to be an announcement of their partnership with Vente-Privee, the french flash sale site that was at the forefront of the current etail consumer phenomenon.

If this is true, it will be the third in a rash of investment in the latest fashion fad that began at the end of April with Ideeli’s raising $40 million of Series C funding, followed tuesday by Gilt Groupe’s raising $168 million. And you know what they say: three examples of anything is a trend. Welcome to the new internet investment bubble: shopping!
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Chanel shows are about maintaining the myth that the surrounds the brand as much as revealing the clothes, so it was appropriate that the venue for this season’s Cruise collection on Monday night was immortalised in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night. Read more

A notable report arrives from the Journal of Commerce/PIERS, a trade publication for the shipping industry. Apparently, container shipments from China to the United States of apparel and footwear have dropped Read more

By Carola Long, FT deputy fashion editor

Cannes is on the brink of film festival fever. The superyachts are lining up in the harbour, film posters are being slapped onto the sides of hotels and a giant pair of pirate boots have appeared on the pier outside the Carlton hotel – presumably to promote Pirates of the Caribbean 4. Read more

Well, the rumours have proven true, and Hannah MacGibbon has left Chloe, to be replaced as creative director by yet another English woman, the fourth in a line that began with Stella McCartney: Clare Waight Keller.  Read more

In one way, the answer to the above question is a definite yes. Yesterday Patrick Robinson, the brand’s creative director and a man whose arrival after stints at high-end brands like Paco Rabanne and Perry Ellis seemed to signal a new, fashion-forward direction for the mass market name, was ousted from the company.

“After spending the last three months in New York with the Creative team, I’ve made the decision to make a change within our Gap Adult design team,” said Pam Wallack, head of the Gap Global Creative Center in New York.

Getty Images

That’s pretty anodyne.

And thus ended Mr Robinson’s brief era – he joined in 2008 – where Gap engaged in mini runway shows, staged presentations for glossy magazine editors and last year actually sponsored the Met’s Costume Institute ball, dressing Diane Kruger, among other celebrities. Is this the end of that approach?

Though there was some buzz post-Met, it never coalesced into a specific image for the brand. Mr Robinson himself is relatively mediagenic, but whilst GAP at first seemed interested in the idea of a frontman to represent them, a classic strategy of high-end brands that use their designers to humanise their name and connect it to consumers, they never seemed fully committed to the approach. Read more

I’ve spent the last day playing around on, the flash fashion sale site Amazon sprang on the world Tuesday afternoon. There we were, shopping happily at Gilt and Rue La La and Ideeli, and the next thing you know: BAM! The elephant had entered the arena, ready to crush all in its path.

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You can understand why Pierre Cardin thought this would be a good time to put his eponymous company on the block (and it’s not just because at 88, and the CEO/sole designer, he’s getting tired). Read more

The Bain luxury goods “worldwide markets study” spring update is out and – wow, things are looking good. Market growth for 2010 was 12% — 2% more than the most optimistic predictions! But wait: don’t be fooled into thinking all you have to do is ride the coming gold-plated wave.
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I was struck by the fact, watching President Obama’s speech last night announcing the death of Osama Bin Laden, that for the occasion he had donned classic commander-in-chief mufti. Read more

When French billionaire François-Henri Pinault arrives on Monday night at the fashion industry bash at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, photographers will likely be keen to take solo shots of his glamorous film star wife, Salma Hayek.