Monthly Archives: June 2011

Today a new report called “Uplifting the earth: the ethical performance of luxury jewellery brands” is being published by Lifeworth Consulting. Authored by Jem Bendell and Ian Doyle, and self-funded, it is geared towards encouraging luxury brands to embrace transparency in regards to their CSR practices by analysing and assessing ten high end brands. More startling, however, is the fact that the report says Chopard, Graff, and Piaget all sell – or say they could sell – rubies from Burma.
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Prada did it. Moncler almost did it. Ferragamo is about to do it and so, at some point, is Renzo Rosso of Diesel and Brunello Cucinelli. But Giorgio Armani thinks no one should do it – and Diego Della Valle, chairman of Tod’s, has now taken him to task. “It,” of course, is a public listing, currently the trendiest way to raise funds among Italian fashion brands.
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Tonight is the annual Serpentine summer party, aka “the height of the summer party season” according to vogue.co.uk. This year it’s sponsored by Burberry, which is a good thing, since it looks like it is going to rain. Expect trenches, as far as the eye can see!

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Fashion, I understand, is a seductive target. It’s hard to resist attacking such a big, glossy, seemingly superficial industry. But please, can we stop now? Yesterday, reading yet another giant treatise (this one by Tom Sykes in the Sunday Telegraph) blaming fashion for John Galliano’s descent into addiction, I wanted to rip my hair out. Come on, guys. Can we get a little perspective here?

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I have weddings on the brain this week. Not just because my parents have been married 50 years today – mazel tov – but because we are approaching the second big wedding event of the summer: the nuptials of the other Kate the Great, and all the designer-related opportunities therein. Whether Kate Moss marries her fiancé, Kills guitarist Jamie Hince, next Saturday as announced or this coming Friday as rumoured (to throw off all those photographers, who aren’t Mario Testino, hiding in the bushes), or some other time entirely (always possible), you can be sure of one thing: whatever she wears will set wedding dress trends for the foreseeable future.

Wardrobe diplomacy – aka the practice of a national leader (or leading representative) wearing clothes from the country they are visiting as a form of economic and cultural outreach – is back. Diane von Furstenberg just told me she had learned from the folks at Harrods and Selfridge’s that the newly minted Duchess of Cambridge had bought two of her dresses to take with her on her North American tour, which begins at the end of next week.  Read more

The Boston Consulting Group has released an exciting new report: “Navigating the New Consumer Realities,” which involves spending movements and approaches they have been tracking across the globe over the last three-five years, plus a survey of over 24,000 consumers. Guess what? Consumers are not so optimistic about their financial future and spending after all!
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São Paulo has just wrapped up its 30th fashion week, predictably notable for both its bikini offerings and celebrity appearances – film star Ashton Kutcher made it, but model Gisele Bundchen did not. Read more

John Galliano appears before a Paris court

John Galliano appears before a Paris court – AFP

And so John Galliano’s trial has started in Paris, and one question has been answered: would the designer appear in court in full-fledged character-bedecked glory – as, say, Napoleon, or an urchin, or the artist Rene Grau, as he did after many of his most famous shows for his former brand, Christian Dior – or would he play himself?

 

Mr Galliano is standing trial for allegedly making anti-Semitic remarks to customers in a Paris café  this year. Read more

In the wake of the Prada IPO, where some investors balked at having to pay Italian taxes on their share purchases, according to Guangzhou Daily the government has announced plans to cut their taxes on luxury imports to the mainland by 2-15%. Brands all over Europe must be celebrating. Ooooooh the possibilities! The mind boggles.

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