Nina Ricci

So stylist/creative director/friend of Gaga Nicola Formichetti is leaving Thierry Mugler after two years. This is one of those insider fashion stories that will barely register outside the glossy environs of the industry. So why do we care? Well, because his fame was partly the point: his famous friendships and access to celebrity; his hundreds of thousands of twitter followers; his ability to reach out via Facebook and livestream and so on and exploit new media to an old brand’s advantage. He is not a designer, after all, so putting him in charge of a design house was an experiment, much ballyhooed, in whether all that other stuff was actually more important in brand revival that ye traditional stuff.

 

Shoes by Nina Ricci. Image by Vanessa Friedman

It seems the YSL/Christian Louboutin red sole suit has had some unexpected consequences. Yesterday, during the Nina Ricci pre-fall mini-show, what I was most struck by among the neat little tweed day suits and very pretty cocktail frocks was an aside from designer Peter Copping that the brand had decided to start using a signature shell pink on the soles of all its shoes, as a sort of shorthand fashion semiology.

Could this be the start of a new trend: fashion houses known by the soles of their shoes? 

And then there were six — annual collections, that is. Last season Nina Ricci introduced a capsule collection called “Les Envies” as a sort of lead-in to its pre-spring, and this season they’ve made it official: they now offer spring/summer and autumn/winter (what we see on the runway); pre-spring and pre-fall (mini shows); and pre-pre-spring and pre-pre-fall(aka Les Envies). Monty Python couldn’t have one-upped this if they’d tried. Not that this is a joke: it’s a brave new reality!
 

By now it’s a truism of the Facebook age that social media allows relatively small brands or individuals to attain audiences far larger than they would traditionally have reached; the barriers to entry are so low, and the potential users so high. So it’s a bit of a shocker to see the latest study from L2, the digital think tank, which looked at small-to-mid-size European luxury fashion brands and their “digital IQ” (ie, how well they use the digital space for etail/communication/marketing) and discover they pretty much…suck.