The other day I was talking to Bernd Beetz, the chief executive of Coty, in his office high over Park Avenue, and he noted that “fragrance is now a crucial building block of a brand.” In other words, it’s the base, not the capstone, of a business. I was thinking about this today because Puig Beauty and Fashion Group just announced a truncated version of their 2010 results and they are pretty good.
There has been much talk at the beginning of New York fashion week (whoopee!) about the incredible shrinking of the shows. Not the number of shows themselves, which is still alarmingly high, but the shrinking of the show spaces: the purported embrace of new, intimate catwalks that only allow a few hundred, instead of many hundred, attendees.
Y-3, for example, has a “new, intimate” venue downtown instead of the Park Avenue armoury; ditto Yeohlee Teng, who only has room for – count ‘em – 50, as opposed to 500. This is being blamed, variously, on:
There’s a big Tom Ford interview in this month’s interview magazine, by the artist and FoT John Currin, in which Mr Ford makes two pretty provocative statements.
Which companies will get a business bounce from last night’s Golden Globes? The pictures have been sent round the world, and will play out not just today, or throughout the week in various newspapers and weekly gossip mags, but for months as other glossies re-visit celebrity looks of the year.
Now that Tom Ford’s super-secret women’s wear collection has been unveiled in every single glossy magazine there is, and a video of his super-secret runway show has made it on-line, the last super-secret The Great Stubbled One had left was where he got that brilliant idea to keep everything so super-secret the rest of the world couldn’t help talking about. Well, thanks to the New Yorker, it’s not a secret anymore.
A pretty provocative paper comes from a group of INSEAD professors, albeit with a less-than-pretty title: PERFORMANCE IMPLICATIONS OF OUTWARD PERSONNEL MOBILITY IN CREATIVE INDUSTRIES. It looks at the question of whether the talent drain in fashion houses – or the tendency of designers to occasionally jump ship – is actually, as has been posited in the past, a bad thing, and concludes….wait for it…not necessarily.
Yesterday Ruth La Ferla wrote a provocative story in the NYT about the rise of the fashion editor as star. That’s a big deal, but what she didn’t say was what this meant for the glossies that employ them: bad news.
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.
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?
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.