Oooh, the trash talk out of Milan. Having finally woken up to the fact that London Fashion Week is getting buzzier, and that such a development could be a threat to Milan, its collections, and the related economic windfall that comes to a city during showtime, Milanese designers are joining forces to defend their territory – but the infighting has already begun. The gossip and name-calling is fun to watch, but behind it is a real issue currently afflicting every fashion week: the tension between national industry interest and a brand’s self-interest. Read more
Not only did Hermès report notably good Q2 revenues today – sales growth was 21.9%, certainly more positive than the gloom from Puma and Burberry – but yesterday I discovered something even more shocking: they’re outfitting an Olympic team too! Specifically, the French Equestrian team. Who knew? Read more
Does anyone else feel like suddenly everywhere they turn, another erstwhile satisfied luxury brand is re-christening themselves a “luxury lifestyle” brand, talking about their “global universe” and otherwise attempting to own every aspect of a consumer purse? It’s like The Birds: you see one example circling and think, “oh, that’s interesting,” and the next thing you know the whole flock has obliterated the sky.
But here’s what I want to know: why? And what, exactly, do these brands mean when they attach the word “lifestyle” to themselves? Read more
If there were an Olympic medal for retail (and why not, given the ever-burgeoning sponsorship opportunities?) Stella McCartney would win the first one by a mile.
British athletes, triple jumper Phillips Idowu (L) and heptathlete Jessica Ennis (R) pose with designer Stella McCartney (C) as they unveil the new British Olympic Team GB kit. Getty Images
While the rest of London is complaining about queues at the airport, queues for the tube, and queues for queues, the “Creative Director” of Team GB’s kit is leveraging her moment in the athletic sun far beyond her competitors. Indeed, I’d venture to say a new record has been set that will be a benchmark for years to come. Read more
When the iPad 3 went on-sale at midnight last friday night it provoked the usual frenzy — miles of lines, ecstatic buyers — as well as one very interesting blog that somehow seems to have fallen through the cracks over the weekend. It takes a good, analytic look at the general perception that Apple is a luxury brand and points out that it does tick all the luxury boxes save one: exclusivity. But here’s what I wonder: is exclusivity really a luxury value these days?
Adele in Giorgio Armani at the Grammy Awards (AP)
The perils of betting on celebrity dressing were potently illustrated at the Grammy awards. The night’s superstar, Adele, wore — wait for it — Giorgio Armani to accept her six gongs, before changing into Clements Ribeiro for her performance and Burberry for her finale.
I say “perils” because yesterday, as I made the rounds of New York Fashion Week, I heard two separate design camps claim she would be wearing them.
The first time was at the Zac Posen show, when an insider mentioned that, fingers crossed, Adele was going to be wearing one of their dresses. It wasn’t 100 per cent sure, she said, but it looked good.
Posen is a red-carpet favourite, and both Reese Witherspoon and Elle MacPherson wore him to the Golden Globes last month, so this seemed plausibe. Read more
So far the hands-down best moment of New York fashion week (for me, of course) has been the Miguel Adrover show, a mad romp back in time to the days when there was an actual underground in this city’s designers, and men and women existed who just Had to Make Fashion, with nary a care for a commercial component. Read more
And so the McQueen blockbuster has finally come to an end, the most successful fashion show the Metropolitan Museum has ever put on. So where, inquiring minds want to know, will it go next? No where. Apparently, unlike almost every other cultural arena, from theatre to musicals to music to books to film to other museum shows, a sell-out fashion show is not a transferable proposition. Yeah, right. And I have a bridge I can sell you. Read more
Prada did it. Moncler almost did it. Ferragamo is about to do it and so, at some point, is Renzo Rosso of Diesel and Brunello Cucinelli. But Giorgio Armani thinks no one should do it – and Diego Della Valle, chairman of Tod’s, has now taken him to task. “It,” of course, is a public listing, currently the trendiest way to raise funds among Italian fashion brands.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced its next great Costume Institute theme: Alexander McQueen! And the underwriter of show as well as the opening night party, aka the Party of the Year, aka the ultimate nexus of fashion and celebrity and society (chairs are Stella McCartney, Colin Firth and Anna Wintour; honorary chairs are PPR chief Francois-Henri Pinault, owner of McQueen, and his wife, Salma Hayek), is…Alexander McQueen! What a surprise.