Jimmy Choo

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. 

Theoretically, faced with earthquakes, bankruptcy, etc., a name should be the one thing you can always hang on to. Not in fashion. Here is a short and non-comprehensive list of living designers who have lost their names in recent years:Herve Leger; Roland Mouret; Jil Sander; Helmut Lang – and so on. This is a big question mark over John Galliano, whose brand is owned by Dior, — will they sell his name back to him? Can he afford it? Will they close it? Or what? And now rumours are circlign around Jimmy Choo.

 

Luxury leaves 2010 on a high note. Most analysts see good things for 2011 – the folks at HSBC, noting the positive performance of watches and jewellery last month, even say: “It is hard to find industries with better fundamental prospects than luxury for 2011.”

Indeed, post-end-of-year auction on December 14, Christie’s reports they had “a record-breaking year for fine and rare watches” with an estimated “$91.2m in total sales – the highest annual total ever achieved for watches.” Meanwhile, Tom Murry, ceo of Calvin Klein, told me they were having a very good Christmas season, and plan to open double-digit stores next year, and Tamara Mellon, chief creative officer of Jimmy Choo, has world domination in mind, and plans to expand into ready-to-wear, watches, and jewellery, after launching mens’ shoes. 

PPR is putting luxury on hold and charging forward into sportswear and sustainability. Yesterday, the French conglomerate displayed its trademark dispassionate ability to end (or suspend) industrial dalliances it feels may become less than productive by announcing the creation of – and concentration on — a new “sport and lifestyle” division run by Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz, who has also been promoted to Executive Chairman of Puma. Still, I’m more struck by the lead the group buried: the fact Mr Zeitz is becoming not only Puma’s Executive Chairman, but also PPR’s Chief Sustainability Officer.

 

Tonight, Tamara Mellon is being honoured by the Elton John Foundation at their 9th annual “Enduring Vision” benefit, for having raised $3.5 million for the charity. It’s a big deal. Still, as much as I admire Ms Mellon’s accomplishment, as I mull over her appearance this evening and consider the piece in today’s FT about the fact women have made surprisingly few incursions into contemporary boardrooms, I can’t help thinking that in many ways, her real pioneering achievement has to do less with monies raised (where she’s successful, but not singular) and more to do with, well, appearance. Specifically, challenging accepted ideas of how a female member of the c-suite needs to appear.