Today Lyst, the fashion site that allows you to personalise your own wanna-be closet, is adding a feature that its founder, Chris Morton, hopes will throw a big wrench into the e-shopping experience as we know it, and change the status quo. Specifically, it is introducing a universal shopping cart. Imagine it: you surf the web, find stuff from all over, and buy it in one place, with one card, in one stage.
So after the Louboutin vs YSL tangle over the use of red soles, we have Thomas Pink vs Victoria’s Secret over the use of pink. See, Pink likes to refer to itself as…well, PINK. And VS, since 2001, has had a secondary line aimed at tweens and 20somethings called (under 32 different trademarks, including “Pink Beach,” “Aolha Pink” and “Oh what fun is Pink”) VS Pink. And therein lies the conflict.
Today, downtown at the Pace Gallery, Tamara Mellon finally unveiled her new brand – not mention plans for the business, which is based on a model that that rejects a lot of the basic conventions of the fashion industry. It tosses, for example, the whole idea of seasons out of window, as well as shows.
News that the Hudsons Bay Company is buying Saks Fifth Avenue for $2.9 billion may take many by surprise (recent rumours focused on Neiman Marcus and NY real estate mogul Barry Sternlicht), but it also throws a new light on Canada’s relationship to the luxury industry.
Regular readers will know that every once in a while I like to pause for a moment from tracking the visual economy and think, instead, about another phenomenon I call the fashionisation of life. This is the tendency of those outside the fashion industry to apply its principles to their own products, whatever they may be.
Forget reality TV; nothing has been more mesmerising than the Dolce & Gabbana soap opera of summer. I mean, first they were convicted of tax fraud. Then they appealed. But not content to appeal to the court, they also appealed to the court of public opinion, closing their Milan stores “in indignation,” and announcing they would be bankrupted if they had to pay their fine.
President Obama has just nominated Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg as the ambassador to Japan. Assuming the Senate confirms her, you know what this means: the crowning of a new style icon. It’s not quite as big a deal as a royal baby, but it’s going to take Prince George awhile to grow into his Look and start influencing clothing sales, while Mrs Kennedy-Schlossberg will have to unveil her own pretty soon. Let the who-will-dress-her wars begin!
So the other day I was talking to Josh Abram, who was showing me around his new luxury co-working venture Neuehouse and whom I have decided is potentially the most-quotable person I have yet met, when he mentioned that the guiding principle of Neuehouse (or one of them, anyway), was the opportunity to combine the best of the hospitality industry with the drive for co-working spaces for entrepreneurs. It gave me a weird sense of déjà vue. Because lately, I feel like almost every luxury strategist I run into keeps bringing up hospitality as the secret sauce of their success.
If ever there was an event that highlighted the complicated politics of fashion nationality in a global world, it was something that happened last night. Specifically, there was a big party in Medellin attended by the mayor, his wife, the First Lady of Colombia, and other assorted luminaries in honour of designer Haider Ackermann, who held a retrospective catwalk show to mark 25th anniversary of inexModa, Colombia’s fashion and textile industry showcase, and who was given the keys to the city. Now, Mr Ackermann was born in Colombia, but adopted as a baby by a French couple who raised him all over the world, but mostly in the Netherlands,trained in Antwerp, and has based his brand in Paris where he shows. Which makes him…what exactly?
Apparently a potential pawn in the fashion game of a number of countries.
Today Style.com is expanding its contributors list by about oh, say, 10 times, adding 60 new names at one blow (to its 6 person edit staff) by introducing a whole new section that presumably it hopes will 1) set it apart from all those other sites that now have on-line magazines; and 2) reposition it as not just a fashion news site, but a creative hub. Fine; we hear this sort of thing all the time. But what’s really interesting about this is what it reveals about the celebrity-fashion paradigm, and the way the web may be changing it.