DIAMOND ARE FOREVER

Boucheron’s Hélène Poulit-Duquesne Takes the Positive View. Forging deeper, personal ties with high-end clients, the executive has also launched e-commerce systems in France and Japan.

As the world emerges from a stringent lockdown period a changed place, folks are taking stock, reconnecting with others and surveying the new lay of the land including Boucheron chief executive officer Hélène Poulit-Duquesne. She has also been busy building the future landscape for the storied French jewelry house she runs forging deeper, personal ties with clients, launching e-commerce systems and gearing up for the resumption of business in stores, already under way in Asia and gradually returning in Europe. Continue reading

ABUSE OF PACKAGING IS DANGEROUS TO HEALTH

The artist Christo, known for wrapping buildings including Berlin’s Reichstag, and also swathing areas of coast and entire islands in fabric, has died aged 84.

Born Christo Vladimirov Javacheff in Bulgaria, Christo studied in Sofia and then defected to the west in 1957, stowing away on a train from Prague to Vienna. Two years later he met Frenchwoman Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, who would become his artistic partner and wife until her death in 2009. Continue reading

GIVAUDAN ACQUIRE ALDERYS

Alderys develops innovative approaches to the micro-organic biological engineering of profitable chemical compounds from renewable plant resources.

Maurizio Volpi, President of Givaudan’s Fragrance Division said: “The acquisition of Alderys aligns with our long term strategy for Active Beauty and more specifically, their expertise in biotechnology is fully complementary to our Fragrance and Active Beauty businesses. It will allow us to expand our portfolio of natural and biosourced products, thanks to their strong research and development bio-engineering platform. It will be an additional tool to drive our future development and innovation in the active cosmetic ingredients space and beyond. It will also reinforce Givaudan’s capabilities to support our customers in developing sustainable, performant and safe products.” Continue reading

RUPERT IS NOT MEURT DOC

Richemont’s and the Rupert View again, “We are lucky in that we prepared for an economic downturn,” said Johann Rupert, Richemont’s chairman and founder. “COVID-19 merely sped up what was probably going to happen in any case.

Diamonds are forever, as are other jewels made from precious rocks and minerals, and their long-term appeal will outlast any damage that COVID-19 may inflict on sales of hard luxury. So says Compagnie Financière Richemont’s Johann Rupert, who is paving the way for better years ahead.

The short- to medium-term may be grim but, as usual, Richemont’s founder and chairman is taking the long view. He believes his company, home of brands including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Montblanc, is run with enough "caution and cash" to emerge in a much stronger position post-pandemic. Continue reading

NOT JOHNNY CASH BUT COCA

A Coco in Vuitton. Return to Vuitton for Coca, who started his career as a leather goods designer at Vuitton from 1996 to 2000. Adding more design muscle to a linchpin category, Louis Vuitton has snared acclaimed leather goods designer Johnny Coca.

Johnny Coca acclaimed leather goods designer, who recently exited as Mulberry’s creative director after a successful five-year stint, is also known for his work under Phoebe Philo at Celine.

Born in Seville to Spanish parents, Coca later moved to Paris, where he studied art, architecture and design at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts, École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-Malaquais and École Boulle in Paris, respectively.

The hire further reinforces the upscaling drive spearheaded by Vuitton chairman and chief executive officer Michael Burke and adds to a steady addition of top creative.

It’s with great pride that I join Nicolas Ghesquière and the Louis Vuitton teams to further develop the women’s handbag collections. Continue reading

LANVIN A MILLION DOLLAR BABY

As with many fashion executives the world over, Joann Cheng the chairwoman of Fosun Fashion Group, had a litany of urgent challenges brought to her desk by the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The owner of fashion brands including Lanvin, Caruso, St. John Knits and Wolford, among others, was facing widespread production delays, order cancellations from multiple wholesalers, not to mention a general plunge in retail sales as mandatory stay-at-home orders were issued across numerous countries.

It’s a challenge honestly, said Cheng, sitting in her office on a high floor of the Bund Finance Centre here.

The country was first hit in January by COVID-19 but four months later, the nation is largely recovered and life looks remarkably a lot like it did pre-virus in Shanghai. Traffic jams have returned, and masks are no longer required by the government to be worn by people out and about. Shoppers are creeping back incrementally, she observed. Continue reading

TMALL AND SEPHORA

Sephora on Tmall the specialty beauty retailer is launching cross-border on Tmall with cloud shelves stocked with products from new-to-China brands like Natasha Denona and Sunday Riley. The store will carry 25 international brands, including Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, Bon Parfumeur, Farmacy and Dermalogica, and more than 600 products.

Based on our long-term relationships with global beauty brands, we are glad to cooperate with Tmall Global to introduce overseas brands into [the] China market," said Benjamin Vuchot, Sephora Asia president, in a statement. This initiative is very special to Sephora, as we are celebrating the 15th anniversary of Sephora in China this year. The opening of the Sephora Tmall global flagship store offers a great opportunity for Sephora to continue reinforcing its commitment to the China market by catering to the Chinese consumer’s ever-changing trends and evolving needs to enhance their beauty power. Continue reading

CHLOÉ FASHION PETITION

Chloé Signs Petition to Overhaul Fashion Calendar. “While it boasts an impressive list of signatories, the petition was for a more sensible and sustainable fashion calendar spearheaded by Dries Van Noten did not manage to rope in any brand from Europe’s three big luxury groups until now.

We has learned that Chloé chief executive officer Riccardo Bellini has signed the so-called forum letter, which aims to better align fashion deliveries with seasons and stamp out early markdowns. Chloé is the flagship fashion brand of Swiss luxury group Richemont, also parent of Cartier, Dunhill, Baume & Mercier and Net-a-porter. Continue reading

FRAGRANCE FÉCONDATION WEBINAR

The Fragrance Foundation is bringing its awards online finalists will be announced via webinar. The awards ceremony, annually held at Lincoln Center, has been postponed to September and is being planned as a livestream.

The Fragrance Foundation has also moved the consumer choice voting to August, ahead of the event. We’re hoping this will help spur retail excitement,It will also help us invigorate the category in August.

This year, the foundation is forgoing honorees and instead will introduce new categories, including those based on sustainability, gender-neutral scents and innovation.

The Fragrance Foundation, in the last few years has really looked at resources and where the community wants them. Even though we are not having the event, we need to look at 2021 to find ways to bring back events; the media coverage of the awards is so tremendous, we’ll find our way back.

ALBER SAID THANK YOU

The former Lanvin designer, now in the throes of getting his Richemont-backed start-up AZ Fashion up and running, lauded those on health-care’s front lines for “coming to work day after day with so much courage and passion, to help, to take care of us, to be there when we really really need you. You’re the best, thank you for being there.”

“Merci,” Alber Elbaz scrawls above a cluster of nurses he sketched on a T-shirt his way of thanking the health-care workers who have risen to the challenge in caring for thousands of French citizens hospitalized with COVID-19.

T-shirts, a collaboration with contemporary fashion chain Gerard Darel, are on sale in all his boutiques and his e-shop for 45 euros, with proceeds to La Fondation Hôpitaux de Paris Hôpitaux de France. Continue reading

HEAD OF ACTIVE COSMETICS

L’Oréal has named Myriam Cohen-Welgryn to head its active cosmetics division, bringing in a consumer goods veteran with experience in corporate environmental policies to run its fastest-growing business and join the group’s executive committee.

Cohen-Welgryn will report to Nicolas Hieronimus and succeeds longtime L’Oreal executive Brigitte Liberman, who will retire at the end of the year after 34 years at the beauty giant.

A graduate of the French business school ESSEC, Cohen-Welgryn joins from Mars, where she was recently a regional director of the pet food activity. The executive started out her career at Proctor Gamble in brand management in 1989. She later moved to Pepsi Co. and then Danone, where she lead the company’s environmental strategy. Continue reading

KARL AND THE FAST FASHION

It was a Big bang that the Lagerfeld for H&M project while he had never visited an H&M store himself, the designer noticed young people in his studio wearing its clothes, and he knew it eclipsed all other fashion brands withe of its mighty distribution network, then numbering about 1,000 stores in 19 countries.

Yet the designer reasoned that a sketch for a Chanel couture dress, Fendi fur coat, Lagerfeld Gallery blazer or H&M shirt involved the same process, cost and effort the design component being the most important. He proved that fast-fashion can also be creative.

Karl had never done mass market and he loved a challenge. He proved he could do an elegant line, but less expensive.

The H&M project magnified Lagerfeld’s fame, as he based the coed range on his emphatic and graphic personal style, hinged on high-collared shirts and lean black tailoring. H&M even included his fingerless driving gloves and a T-shirt bearing a sketch of his face. Continue reading

PARIS RETURN EMPIRE OF SHOPPING

The first, post-coronavirus shopping day in the French capital got off to a bumpy start on Monday, but by mid-afternoon a number of streets and some stores, too were buzzing with activity.

Tension had run high in the days leading up to France’s first opening day on Monday. People would be allowed to move around freely, without the obligatory permission form, and most stores were allowed to resume business. But shopping centers, along with restaurants and cafés, were left off the initial list of new openings to be revisited in three weeks’ time.

There was hope that the famed Boulevard Haussmann department stores Printemps and Galeries Lafayette would be given the green light, too, but at the last minute local authorities voted no, dashing the expectations of executives and store employees who had scrambled to outfit their stores, erecting plexiglass in front of checkout stands, setting up hand sanitizer stations, and taping distancing guides on the floors. Continue reading