Today, I have learnt an important lesson: when it comes to fashion, last week’s inside joke is this week’s exciting new initiative. After all, there I was a few days ago, giggling with a friend about the Kanye West show, saying “Why did he want to start a fashion line? He’s just a great singer; it would be like Karl Lagerfeld wanting to be a rapper”, when, lo and behold, the information arrives: Burberry is releasing a single: “Rose Unplugged at Abbey Road for Burberry.”
In the “can’t-see-the-forest-for-the-giant-branded-oak-tree” category I would like to nominate all luxury industry watchers (myself included), who have been so distracted by Burberry’s public assumption of tech-God status, recently met by Gucci, that they have TOTALLY OVERLOOKED the real challenger to both those thrones: Estee Lauder.
As summer draws to a close (wah!) and September looms, with all its related back-to-school and back-to-work associations, I have a prediction to make for those who may still be at the beach/in the woods (yours truly) but are nonetheless getting a jump on things and readying themselves mentally and organisationally for The Return: this will be the autumn of Elizabeth Taylor. 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.
There’s a highly amusing and perfectly-timed, given the current DSK scandal and the subject’s own pecccadillos, profile of Silvio Berlusconi by Ariel Levy in this week’s New Yorker. Among all the gossip, political and personal, and exploration of his myth-making, however, one fact stood out for me: Levy’s observation of Berlusconi’s makeup techniques.
When the celebrity hair mogul Vidal Sassoon – or, to be entirely accurate, when the celebrity hair mogul Vidal Sassoon’s people – told me he wanted to have lunch at the Monkey Bar in Manhattan, my cynical self leapt to certain conclusions: that, for example, Sassoon had chosen this restaurant because of its fame as a people-watching schmooze fest, thanks to owner Graydon Carter, aka editor of Vanity Fair magazine and the host of a mega Oscars party, who presides over meals from a banquette; that Sassoon would take a walkabout as he entered, past regulars such as author Fran Lebowitz and TV anchor Charlie Rose, meeting and greeting. In conclusion, that the whole point of choosing this place was to demonstrate, in the short space between hostess and table, the extent to which Sassoon has transcended shampoo to become a celebrity. Read more
The other day I was talking to Bernd Beetz, the chief executive of Coty, in his office high over Park Avenue, and he noted that “fragrance is now a crucial building block of a brand.” In other words, it’s the base, not the capstone, of a business. I was thinking about this today because Puig Beauty and Fashion Group just announced a truncated version of their 2010 results and they are pretty good.
According to the NY Post, Aerin Lauder, the current family standard bearer of the Lauder cosmetic empire (so much so that she actually was the face of the relaunch of her grandmother Estee’s favourite fragrance, Youth Dew), as well as an SVP, is Leaving the Company to Start her Own Brand. This is a big deal. Read more
Turns out, while LVMH’s mouth was busy with its results announcement last week, insisting once again they had nothing but cuddly-wuddly intentions toward Hermes, their hands were busy shelling out for Ole Henriksen, the LA-based “botanical beauty brand.” Read more
Well, they said it was coming. You know those teasers Coty CEO Bernd Beetz kept dropping last week about plans for a purchasing trifecta before year end? He came through, and yesterday announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Tjoy, the Chinese skincare company, thus completing the third leg of a Philosophy-OPI trinity. Read more