Monthly Archives: June 2011

In all the rumours floated about who would be the next big creative director at Dior, from names old (Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz, Vuitton’s Marc Jacobs) to new-ish (Haider Ackerman and Sarah Burton) one that hasn’t been mentioned but has, I discovered, actually been called, is perhaps the most surprising of all: Azzedine Alaia. I had heard whispers, but he just confirmed it.

To be fair, from a sheer talent point of view, this is not surprising: Mr Alaia is often voted by his peers one of the most influential designers ever (really ever; not just of the 20th century), and has been building a house of singular vision for decades.

He is also one of the last hands-on couturiers, beloved by his atelier. Part of the conundrum facing Dior is they need a designer who can work with the couture, and most youngsters, brought up on ready-to-wear, don’t have the know-how. 

The fact that Father’s Day coincides with the start of the men’s wear shows in Milan might be fortuitous but, somehow, I’m not surprised. I feel that, lately, everywhere I turn I keep hearing about the importance of men.

The first thing I thought when I heard the news a few weeks ago that Conde Nast had signed a 25-year, $2 billion lease for a million feet in the new One World Trade Center building was: but where will they shop? Where will they eat? What will they do with their free time? Today the question was answered: they will shop at the new mall in the World Financial Centre!  

Rick Perry, the Texas governor who is apparently exploring the idea of a 2012 presidential bid, has at least one thing going for him, other than his catchy “Texas job creation” theme: his hair. It’s lush! It’s long! It’s electable! 

I was struck this morning by the news that Ron Johnson, head of retail at Apple, is becoming CEO of JC Penney. He’s the third fashion CEO I’ve heard of that got his start at Apple, and learned according to The Book of Jobs. Think that’s a coincidence? I don’t.

 

VF Corp’s $2.3 billion acquisition of Timberland, and the fact that the see the brand as one way to “up their apparel content,” as CEO Eric Wiseman said to Women’s Wear Daily, has my trend sensors all-aflutter. After all, it was one thing listening to Francois-Henri Pinault talk about his acquisition of California surf brand Volcam earlier this year in a bid to increase the “sports lifestyle” component of PPR. But now there’s another big group getting pro-active in the sector. We have competition!

 

There’s a new report out from Walpole, the British luxury consortium, and Ledbury, the British luxury consultancy, with a jaw-dropping discovery in it: Americans are the most important luxury shoppers in England! Who knew?

 

Once upon a time, children used to want to grow up to be doctors and lawyers. Or, at least, policemen and famous rock stars. Admittedly, speaking of the latter, as those of us forced to sit through the Justin Bieber docu-bio will know, that rock star actually dreamed of being a crossing guard but – well, we’ll ignore that. Because nowadays it seems the thing to be, whether you are a person, place or thing, rock star or editor, is a brand.

The rumours that Hillary Clinton wants to be the next president of the World Bank have now gone public thanks to Reuters, and though they’ve also been publicly denied by her camp, I can’t help keeping my fingers crossed. After all, if she did want/get the post, and Christine Lagarde does succeed in her quest to head the IMF, think what this will do to the image of bankers around the world!
 

Labelux has splurged on yet another brand, though “splurge” might be an exaggeration – they wouldn’t disclose how much it cost. But just two weeks after snapping up Jimmy Choo from TowerBrook, Labelux, the private, Vienna-based luxury group owned by Joh A. Benckhiser SE, a holding company owned in turn by the reclusive Reimann family, has bought Belstaff, of biker leather chic fame.