Luxury goods

Last night, the trailblazers of the British luxury fashion industry gathered at the V&A for the 13th annual Walpole Awards. Held in association with Coutts, the event, attended by key figures from across the British luxury industry and presented by Jodie Kidd, saw 11 brands win awards for everything from digital innovation to international branding.

This year has seen record export successes for British luxury to date: Stella McCartney currently exports to 70 countries, while winner of the emerging luxury brand award, Charlotte Tilbury, broke into the US beauty market last month. “British brands have never been more sought-after on a global scale, spurred on by the wealth of creativity, craftsmanship and talent we have, right here in Britain”, said Michelle Emmerson, who was celebrating her first year as CEO of Walpole. It is estimated that by 2017, the British luxury industry will be worth £12.2 billion. Read more

Sporting a classic trench and cashmere scarf, Romeo Beckham takes a lead role in Burberry’s new festive campaign, unveiled today. Marking the start of the holiday adverts, the campaign, titled ‘From London with Love’, sees Beckham playing a tartan-clad cupid to a young couple (played by new British models Anders Hayward and Hannah Dodds) who take him on a journey through the streets of London to the sounds of British musician Ed Harcourt. Read more

There has been a recent slew of big-name brand entrants to the $90bn beauty sector, all keen to capitalize on designer star power in order to score soaring sales via the most accessibly priced luxury products on the market.

It makes commercial sense – a pyramid-style business model where a luxury collection at the “pinnacle” rests on a base of less expensive diffusion lines and offerings that provide the bulk of a company’s profits. Lipsticks, mascaras and fragrances are the lucrative entry point upon which to target the aspirational consumer, building up an appreciation of a brand and its heritage that increases over time – and possibly alongside a budding bank balance. Read more

Katy Perry in Versace at the MTV Video Music Awards   © gettyimages

Two of the biggest events in the Hollywood calendar took place in LA last weekend, the MTV Video Music Awards and the Primetime Emmy Awards. And with it two red carpets to gaze upon. From Katy Perry’s denim homage to Britney (circa 2001 at the MTV Video Music Awards) to Claire Danes’ scarlet woman, we look at the top trends: Read more


The luxury M&A rumour mill has gone into overdrive yet again amid reports that LVMH is looking to acquire a minority stake in bright young New York fashion brand Proenza Schouler.

Although the terms of any potential deal have not been disclosed, people familiar with the situation said that LVMH was looking to take as much as 40 per cent in the label, which was founded in 2002 by designer duo Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez.

Proenza Schouler’s current group of investors is spearheaded by Theory supremo Andrew Rosen and John Howard of Irving Place Capital, also the powerhouses behind cult contemporary label Rag & Bone. Read more

Natalie Westling, Parabal Gurung Autumn Winter 2014

In October The Met will open its doors in New York on a showstopping new exhibition of works which, when given to the museum last April by cosmetics billionaire Leonard Lauder, set the record for the largest single art donation in history.

The 78-strong collection of Cubist masterpieces – which includes 33 Picassos, 17 Braques, 14 Légers and 14 works by Gris – is widely considered the most eminent of its kind in the world. And the price tag? A cool $1.1bn. Read more

Earlier this week Hermès’ womenswear designer Christophe Lemaire announced his impending exit from the ultra-luxe label to focus on his namesake collection.

This news, coming just days after the company undershot expectations in its latest quarterly performance, got me thinking about the rapidly evolving status quo forming for one of the star brands in the luxury galaxy. Read more

Another day, another high-profile auction house hits the headlines with a juicy legal scandal. Weeks after a 6-month siege of the Sotheby’s boardroom by Dan Loeb ended in a trip to the courthouse and the activist hedgie getting a seat at the top table, Christie’s is facing a $60m lawsuit filed by a rival for allegedly poaching its luxury handbags experts.

Does this mean that accessories could be the new flashpoint in the fight for market share in the auction world?

Papers were filed in Manhattan last Friday by Heritage, a Dallas, Texas-based company that specialises in auctioning ultra-luxe accessories. It was behind the sale of the world’s most expensive handbag in 2011 (this $203,150 scarlet red crocodile skin Hermès Birkin bag below in case you are interested, and the price included a juicy buyer’s premium of almost 20 per cent.) Read more

After months of hype and incessant drum-rolling, the recipient of the inaugural LVMH Young Designer Prize was announced in Paris today – and rather refreshingly, its not who I would have expected.

The winner? Canadian-born, London-based Thomas Tait.

Who, I hear you ask?

Well you’ll certainly be hearing more from him from now on, after some of the fashion world’s biggest names decided he was the worthiest young designer out of an incredibly strong shortlist of a dozen international names and some very stiff wider competition. Read more