Monthly Archives: June 2012

The question of “what will they do the next?” has been answered: after collaborations with Stella McCartney, Roberto Cavalli, and, most recently, Marni, H&M has unveiled what is perhaps its most counter-intuitive creative partner to date: the brand famed for its deconstructivist approach, Maison Martin Margiela. You could say it has mystique, but it’s a mystique of the conceptual, and this is, by definition niche. H&M is by definition not niche, so it seems to me we are faced with something of an oxymoron here. Read more

There was an interesting point that didn’t make it into the story today on J Crew’s. expansion into Asia (it was a little too colloquial) that I wanted to pass on. This is the first wholesale arrangement the brand has ever had, a fact I found surprising because when Mr Drexler and I had lunch last year, he told me one of the most important lessons he ever learned – and he learned it in his youth, when he worked at Bloomingdale’s, and then applied it to the Gap, with now-famous success –was that you need to control your brand, from image to product to pricing, which means no wholesale.
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Rebekah Brooks enters Westminster Magistrates’ Court this Wednesday – along with her husband Charlie Brooks, her PA, her chauffeur, and two more News International employees – for a hearing following charges of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in regards to the News International hacking scandal, aka the latest morality tale of Masters of the Universe brought low. Pens will be poised, judgments will be rendered (granted, not by the judge), portraits will be drawn – and all this before the most mediagenic of all the defendants even opens her mouth.

Fashion is about to descend on Rio, but not to shop: to talk. Specifically about “Good Business Models for a Sustainable Future”, which is kind of vague, but which will focus on “clothes, bags, shoes”: how to make money while making them and also make change. For beyond Rio, there’s a growing underground attempting to use what is generally regarded as the most self-centered and value-bereft of industries to actually affect the economic and thus political and personal situation of some of the most challenged global communities. You know, fashion has always appreciated a good dose of irony Read more

For so long, fashion was so good for the Obamas: it clothed them, made Mrs O into a celebrity whose every outfit was lovingly tracked, and won them kudos for promoting new business and helping young entrepreneurs. The way they looked – the labels they wore — positioned the First Couple as global, youthful, daring: a new brand to rebrand the country. And then, this week, it bit them. Read more

I was struck yesterday, watching the Duchess of Cambridge at the culminating jubilee ceremonies in her cream lace Alexander McQueen dress, that had I not gotten a zillion emails telling me it was an Alexander McQueen, I never would have guessed it – and that this what-you-see-versus-what-you-assume-gap may become something of a problem for the brand. Read more

Today two different reports were issued on the state of the luxury industry that read together suggest something kind of significant may be about to occur in the relationship of the luxury industry to the countries where it resides.  Read more

The assertion that exclusivity is no longer a criteria for luxury came from PPR chief Francois-Henri Pinault when he opened our luxury conference last Thursday, and I have to say, it made me sit up in my seat. Not that that was the only striking insight to come out at the end of last week. Here, in no particular order of importance, are the top five items that stayed with me the most Read more