New York Fashion Week

Skirts are not the only thing getting longer this season; so, apparently, are job titles. Tom Florio, the ex-VP of the Vogue Group (which once consisted of four magazines but shrank during the recession to two magazines and some web sites) has just landed at IMG, the sports/fashion management monolith, as “Senior Advisor for Fashion to the Office of the Chairman.” It’s a mouthful.

It also sounds awfully like those Minister Without Portfolio titles beloved by so many heads of state, and almost always disliked by everyone else (like cabinet ministers), who feel said minister is spending too much time interfering in other people’s official and titular business.

Certainly the fact that Mr Florio’s job “will be…identifying new, high margin product offerings across all of IMG’s Fashion related businesses” (this from the press release) cannot be encouraging for the folks currently at IMG’s fashion-related business, who apparently were not so good at identifying those opportunities themselves. To allay such fears Florio told the New York Post that when you work with an entrepreneur like IMG chief Ted Forstmann, titles were “irrelevant.”

How reassuring. If you believe that, you might be interested to know Hermes is for sale. Read more

Q: What do you get when you put hundreds of fashion people in a room and make them wait 30 minutes for a show? A: Lots and lots of acquisition rumours. Read more

On Sunday night Tom Ford provided what was perhaps the most naked demonstration of power I have ever seen in the fashion world.

It began with his decision to hold a tiny, hush-hush show for his debut women’s wear collection, complete with phone-only invites and a ban on photography, which then created a frenzy among editors desperate to be included in the inner circle; segued into a debate among said invitees about whether or not they should go to young designer Thakoon’s show, scheduled for 6 pm when Ford was scheduled for 6:30, and miss seeing Ford (streaming is a great justification for missing shows — designers might re-think its benefits); and culminated in a store show of about 32 super-luxury looks on 32 women like…actress Julianne Moore; painter Rachel Feinstein; singer Beyonce Knowles; wife of Tom Hanks Rita Wilson; ex-supermodel Amber Valletta; social muse Daphne Guinness, and so on. Read more

Fashion, especially during show time, is not politically correct. This we know. It is, despite momentary urges to prove itself otherwise, sexist (when it comes to models, there’s a big gender imbalance in pay, though not necessarily the way you think); ageist; and size-ist (the latter two do not really need explanation).  Read more

Today Mayor Bloomberg is going to open New York Fashion Week. This is an exciting thing. Not so much because breath is bated as to what suit he will wear, or because of the nominal reason for the executive appearance (the move of the shows from Bryant Park to Lincoln Centre), but because of what it says about money and politics. You didn’t think he was just doing it for the skirts, did you? Read more

So there I was, in my physical therapists office, waiting for my reconstructed Achilles tendon to be pummelled and pinched, when the receptionist started chatting away about fashion week. “I’ve been hearing about nothing else,” she said. “My boyfriend is in construction, and he’s been working like crazy on this renovation of the third floor of Tom Ford’s store, to get it ready for his first women’s wear show next week.” In this world, you never know where the leaks are going to come from.
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