Watching Francois Hollande be sworn in as French president today, I was struck by how incredibly color-coordinated the hand-over of power was. I know it wasn’t planned — the Hollande and Sarkozy camps are not that friendly – but Tim Gunn couldn’t have styled it better if he’d tried. Read more
I’ve been thinking recently of a conversation I had with Rodrigo Bazan, President of Alexander Wang, about the problem of pricing in a global luxury world – and his rather clever way of addressing the issue. The trigger was the news that European brands (well, mostly LVMH brands) are raising the prices of their products in Europe to compensate for the slight slowdown of business in Asia – caused, it seems, by Chinese buying luxury brands abroad, where they are notably cheaper than they are locally – which reminded me of something Mr Bazan had said of the luxury consumer in Asia: “when they see something they like, the first thing they do is Google it on the US web site of the brand, to see what the prices are in dollars.”
Aquascutum show at London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2012. Image by Getty
“Due to unforeseen circumstances the Aquascutum autumn/winter 2012 press day has been cancelled until further notice.”
That was the email that went to the fashion press yesterday, ahead of news that the British label has gone into administration. To be blunt, the autumn issues of glossy magazines aren’t going to collapse if stylists can’t get their hands on an Aquascutum trench to feature in their shoots. The wheels of fashion aren’t going to stop turning.
However, while Aquascutum isn’t one of the labels that shape the style landscape, like a Prada, or a major advertiser, like Armani, because there are few major British designer labels, when one is under threat it’s a big deal. Read more
It’s my belief that the iPad, for all its marvelous abilities to show films, make it look like you are reading actual books, and otherwise replace most electronics in your life, is actually beloved of the majority of men I know because it lets them play Angry Birds, or Zombie Smash, or Hungry Shark no matter where they are. And I do not think I am alone in this, judging by a new Prada video, which taps into exactly those gaming urges.
Looking back over 2011, which I am currently doing for a Christmas Eve column, I’ve been struck by the fact that one trend dominates all others by a significant margin, having held true from last March through year end: the IPO. Read more
Art and fashion have had a notoriously long affair, with the former attracted to the glamour and glitz of the latter, and the latter attracted to the former for the creative legitimacy it can bestow on an essentially commercial endeavor, but rarely has one actually crossed over into the territory of the other. As of this Christmas season, however, Marc Quinn — he of Saatchi Young British Artists, “blood head”, and Traflager Square plinth/disabled marble bust fame – is breaking the rules.
The next big spring Costume exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art – the one that has the difficult job of following in the footsteps of “Savage Beauty,” this year’s Alexander McQueen show that broke every record for a costume show – will focus on Elsa Schiaparelli, the surreal designer from the 1930s, and Miuccia Prada, the intellectual of the late 20th/21st century, and be underwritten by none other than Amazon. This makes it the first costume show not to be sponsored by a fashion brand. Unless…Amazon wants people to think of it as a fashion brand?
So, back from my August vacation two days late thanks to Hurricane Irene, to discover, at least as far as NY fashion goes, things seem pretty much business as usual — except for Marc Jacobs, who apparently has decided he has to move his show from its usual slot at 8pm Monday the 12th, to a new closing slot on Thursday the 15th at 8:30 pm, thus extending the show week for a good five hours. Apparently, needed the extra sewing time thanks to the hurricane, which reveals a lot about the last-minute nature of what goes on the runway. 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.
In the wake of the Prada IPO, where some investors balked at having to pay Italian taxes on their share purchases, according to Guangzhou Daily the government has announced plans to cut their taxes on luxury imports to the mainland by 2-15%. Brands all over Europe must be celebrating. Ooooooh the possibilities! The mind boggles.