So after all the chat about the current economic situation driving a polarisation of price-points – either super-high-end luxury or cheapo Uniqlo – Euromonitor has come out with some research that begs to differ.  

Prada CEO: “We don’t want to be a brand that nobody wants to copy.” This is a quote from an interview Patrizio Bertelli, aka Mr Prada, gave yesterday to Bloomberg TV, and it is probably going to set off something of a hoo-ha in fashion, which has of late become very publicly litiginous when it comes to copying. 

Introducing the best argument I’ve heard yet about why skinny models are not, actually, ideal selling agents for fashion brands – -and the only one that may actually have some effect on the industry. 

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. 

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

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. 

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. 

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?