PAUL SURRIDGE HAS RESIGNED

According to a well-informed source in London, Paul Surridge would have resigned, or is closed to taking that step, leaving his role as creative director of the Roberto Cavalli brand. An announcement is expected to come as early as this weekend.

Sources said the designer over the past few months has grown increasingly frustrated because of the lack of investment in the development and refurbishment of the store network as well as in marketing and communications. He is also said to feel the design team has not been supported, as resources have been scarce.

“The decision last summer to look for an external investor and, more recently, to not provide any more funding have made the original project impossible, and therefore triggered Paul’s decision to look elsewhere,” said one source.

Committed to chief executive officer Gian Giacomo Ferraris and his team, Surridge agreed to stay on to design and present the Spring 2019 and Fall 2019 collections. However, sources now say that Surridge has been approached for another project and wants to distance himself from the company in order to be in the position to evaluate freely the next step in his career. The Roberto Cavalli company made no comment.

SALMA AWWAD NEW EDITOR

Harper’s Bazaar Arabia is bringing in a new lead editor with a design-laden background.

Salma Awwad will next week take up the role of editor in chief of the fashion magazine, one of the only U.S. fashion titles in the region. She succeeds U.K.-born Louise Nichol, who spent about four years at the title and ended her tenure with the March issue. Before that, the title was led by founding editor Rachel Sharp, who is Australian.

So it appears that Awwad is the first native of the region to lead the magazine in its nearly 12 years of existence, having been born in Kuwait to Egyptian parents who raised her in several places across the Middle East. She received her education in North America, and eventually went to The New School’s Parsons School of Design. Continue reading

NEW GILET JAUNES ROUND

The gilets jaunes movement shows no sign of dying down. Protests took a particularly violent turn on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, echoing the first acts of vandalism witnessed on Nov. 24.  Parts of Fouquet’s, a high-end restaurant known for having hosted former French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s election party, were set on fire.
Champs-Elysées stores including Longchamp, Zara, Swarovski and Hugo Boss were pillaged and damaged. Nearby cars and magazine kiosks were also set on fire.

"Like a huge majority of French people, today I feel a great anger wrote French prime minister Edouard Philippe on Twitter.The acts committed today weren’t done by protesters, but by looters, incendiaries and criminals. No cause justifies this violence. Continue reading

LVMH BUYS RODEO DRIVE

Louis Vuitton, is ramping up activity in the hospitality sector, eyeing three recently purchased properties on and around Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills for the opening of a Cheval Blanc hotel.

In March 2018, LVMH bought a 6,200-square-foot empty retail space at 456 North Rodeo Drive for $110 million. Then, in September, the luxury powerhouse headed by billionaire Bernard Arnault purchased 468 North Rodeo Drive, the massive 22,250-square-foot, multistory building at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard that was previously occupied by Brooks Brothers, for $245 million from the trust of the family of Margaret J. Anderson, who built the pink stucco Beverly Hills Hotel. In November, LVMH scooped up the 26,523-square-foot Paley Center for Media museum behind the store, at 465 North Beverly Drive, from New York private real estate investment firm Jenel Management for $80 million. Continue reading

NOT JUST A PRETTY FACEBOOK

Wednesday afternoon, a number of Facebook and Instagram users were having trouble accessing their accounts. According to DownDetector.com, tens of thousands of users haven’t been able to access their social media accounts since roughly noon Eastern Standard Time.

For Facebook, DownDetector.com states that out of reported problems, 34 percent can’t log in to their accounts, 33 percent can’t access their newsfeed and 32 percent are experiencing a total blackout. In its live outage map, it shows that the Facebook outage is being primarily experienced in the U.S. and Western Europe. Continue reading

JIANG LIU DIED AT 62

Jiang Liu, chairman, president and co-founder of Trends Media China and a pioneer in the Chinese fashion media scene has died at 62 in Beijing, according to multiple sources. Liu died from acute leukemia at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, one source said.

The company confirmed his death with an obituary via Wechat on Saturday evening. His successor hasn’t been announced, but the local industry speculates Feng Wang, who assumed the position of chief content officer of the group from May 2018 and later editorial director of Esquire China, would an ideal contender. Continue reading

FASHION MUST NEVER FORGET

Creation is the backbone of fashion houses, and although the artistic director is there to provide creative impetus, the brand image cannot be embodied by one person alone.

The passing of Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s genius artistic director, gives us pause to think about the dependence of luxury fashion houses on their star designers. In particular, how do we avoid sudden gaps in succession? How do we prevent turbulence from disrupting the brand and profits in an industry where creation is the heart and soul of the business? What characterizes the haute couture fashion houses that most effectively manage the risks linked to designer dependence? Continue reading

VUITTON CONTROVERSED BY NICOLA

On Tuesday evening, guests arrived at the venue to discover a reproduction of another Paris art institution, the Centre Pompidou, built by architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, in a groundbreaking style that caused an uproar when it opened in 1977.

Since Nicolas Ghesquière presented his first collection for Louis Vuitton inside the Louvre’s Cour Carrée in 2014, he has often used the historic museum as a backdrop for spectacular sets with a futuristic bent.

Why the world’s largest luxury brand would build a faithful copy of a structure that is only a mile away in real life was something of a mystery one that Ghesquière cleared after the show: The collection was inspired by his people-watching at Café Beaubourg, which overlooks the vast square in front of the Pompidou.

Indeed, the variety in the collection felt overwhelming at times, as the eye jumped from Ghesquière’s familiar jutting shoulders and ballooning sleeves, to Eighties-style power suits, to a Cyndi Lauper-esque bustier dress dotted with silver stars and polka dots. Continue reading

CHANEL SNOWBALL IN HELL

Karl Lagerfeld’s last show for Chanel opened with a moment of silence, and the vast Grand Palais was as hushed as the mountain village depicted in the set, rows of wooden chalets, their chimneys smoking, set among pine trees and mounds of fake snow.

Lagerfeld loved snow  he would rush out to take photos whenever it dusted Paris and his finale looks were white “snowball” sweater dresses with fluffy skirts, the first modeled by Penélope Cruz, who strolled out smiling and twirling a flower.

Chanel tucked a sketch into the press kits on each seat in Lagerfeld’s inimitable hand. It shows him standing with Gabrielle Chanel, and his handwritten caption read “The beat goes on…”

Claudia Schiffer, Janelle Monáe, Kristen Stewart, Stella Tennant, Ellie Bamber, Brandi Quinones and Naomi Campbell were among the bold-faced names to attend the show, along with international press and VIP clients