FASHION DESIGNER ALAÏA DIED

Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, died in Paris of heart failure last Saturday.

The Tunisian-born designer  gained international fame in the Eighties because of the success of his evening dresses, snug knits and sculpted leathers. He was nicknamed “The King of Cling” because his clothes fit like a second skin.

Alaïa counted among his friends and customers Sozzani, Naomi Campbell, Tina Turner, Madonna, Michelle Obama, Grace Jones, Raquel Welch, Victoria Beckham, Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus. Continue reading

ALEXANDRE BOULAIS PASSED AWAY

This former student of ESMOD, excellent modelist, has successively been press officer of Thierry Mugler, Communication manager of Paco Rabanne in Spain and then to create a press agency called People’s Revolution.

His desire was to create an agency on a human scale contrary to large press agencies which give an impersonal and preformatted service.

Known by all those who matter in fashion, Alexandre Boulais passed away on 3 November in defeaning silence of the French Fashion Federation. We present our sincere sympathy to his family and his friend Romain.

SCHEINSTEIN BY KARL ?

Karl Lagerfeld Skewers Harvey Weinstein in Cartoon, the sketch is to appear in the monthly supplement of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

In his latest “Karlikature” for the monthly supplement of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, Lagerfeld depicts the disgraced Hollywood producer, embroiled in widening accusations of sexual misconduct, in the manner of Babe, Wilbur or Porky.

With his inimitable wit and penchant for word play in multiple languages, the headline in German reads, “Do you know Schweinstein?” schwein being the German word for swine or pig.

“I never liked this man,” Lagerfeld commented. The designer has often contributed caricatures with political themes to the monthly since it launched in February 2013. Continue reading

SIDNEY LEAVES DIOR

Sidney Toledano is leaving Dior and will take over as chairman and ceo of LVMH Fashion Group.. The longtime CEO spent almost 20 years at the helm of the fashion house. He will be replaced by Fendi’s Pietro Beccari.

In a wide-ranging reshuffle, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has appointed Pietro Beccari chief executive officer of Christian Dior Couture.

Toledano will thus replace Pierre-Yves Roussel, who held the title of chairman and ceo of LVMH Fashion Group, and who will remain with the group as a special advisor to LVMH chairman and ceo Bernard Arnault.

The heads of Céline, Givenchy, Kenzo, Loewe, Marc Jacobs, Pucci, Rossi Moda and Nicholas Kirkwood will report to Toledano.  Continue reading

SNEAKER BRANDS FACE OFF THE FUTURE

Wale, whose real name is Olubowale Victor Akintimehin, highlighted what a difference a year makes, and in 2016 Adidas seemed to own the spotlight at the shopping festival. This year, Virgil Abloh’s take on the Air Jordan 1s as part of his The Ten project with Nike won the top spot  last year Kanye West’s Yeezy 350 V2s were a top contender  and out of the 10 sneakers discussed, only one style came from Adidas, which was the Yeezy Boost 700 Wave Runner that’s yet to be released.

Nike dominated the ComplexCon show floor with a sizable booth that commemorated the 35th anniversary of the Air Force 1s. The space featured a center court speaking area, retail store and separate section where attendees could customize Air Force 1s. Other activations included Master Classes from brand partners including Abloh and Errolson Hugh, a surprise performance from Rich the Kid, and a talk between Kobe Bryant and Kendrick Lamar. Continue reading

HERMES OPENS FAKESTORIES IN FRANCE

Hermès International plan to open two new manufacturing sites to its French network by 2020.

The luxury brand will build plants in Bordeaux, in southwestern France, and in Montereau-Fault-Yonne, southeast of Paris, where it has been present since 1996 following the acquisition of the Gordon Choisy tannery. Each site will eventually employ 250 craftspeople specializing in leather goods.

Today the maker of Birkin bags and silk scarves has 15 plants in France, most of which employ between 250 and 300 people. In 2016, Hermès invested 71 million euros in its production facilities and secured its supply chain. Continue reading

COLETTE LAST CHANEL POP-UP

Karl Lagerfeld’s parting gift to Colette, the store that has counted him as its number-one customer for two decades.

Chanel will launch an Adidas Hu NMD shoe specially customized by Pharrell Williams for the house. The music star is featured in the advertising campaign for Chanel’s Gabrielle bag, has walked the runway for the brand and once composed a song for a Lagerfeld-directed Chanel film, but this marks the first time Williams has designed a product for the label.

Other exclusives include limited-edition T-shirts designed by Lagerfeld, creative director of Chanel since 1983, and a music compilation by Michel Gaubert, who designs the soundtracks for its runway shows. Continue reading

OCCITANE DECLINES

The French company L’Occitane International reported unaudited first-half sales declined by 0.6% year-over-year, dampened by business in the U.S., U.K. and Japan.  A few decade ago Reinold Geiger, former AMS company, transformed his plastic money and petroleum industry into a supposed natural perfume & cosmetic products from Provence. Lie is not always successfull!

The company, which did not disclose profit figures, said net sales in the six months ended Sept. 30 were 548.2 million euros. Revenues in the U.S. and U.K. declined by 11.1% and 11.4%, respectively. Japan, the group’s largest single market, posted a 4.8% decrease.

Emerging markets China and Brazil made up for some of the weakness, though. L’Occitane in China, its third largest market, saw a 18.2% surge in sales, continuing on from a strong first quarter. Continue reading

VUITTON TEXAS INSTRUMENT

LVMH has just signed a purchase agreement for an approximately 300 acre ranch located in Alvarado, Tex., an outer suburb of Dallas with a population of roughly 4,000.

The purchase price is estimated at 111 acres of land for $832,500 in that region.

The land acquired by Louis Vuitton is set to become the site of its newest leather goods manufacture, the third of its kind in the U.S. The first two are in California.

Bernard Arnault, LVMH’s chairman and chief executive officer, earlier this year said during a meeting with then President-elect Donald Trump that his company was looking to expand its manufacturing presence in the U.S.

While Texas may not be the most obvious choice for a luxury brand so steeped in French culture, Johnson County alone is composed of half a dozen cattle farms, and cattle ranching is one of the state’s biggest industries. Continue reading

CHINESE CURE OF YOUTH AT DIOR’S

Last Wednesday, in Shanghai, in presence of both brand ambassadors, the 29th year old actress Zhao Living and the Chinese model and actress Angelaby, Dior celebrated the reopening of its enlarged and revamped flagship in the major shopping of West Nanjing Road, which feature women’s and men’s collections, as well as fine jewelry and timepieces.

The presence of the young Ambassadors had a very positive impact on the young generation. Sidney Toledano, the CEO stated : We have seen that we are attracting more young people, but we are not a brand for teenagers. We want young people to dream about the brand.”

Far from changing Dior’s strategy in order to bow to the desires of younger consumers, Toledano counters that the brand’s heritage and authenticity that allow it to appeal to consumers of all ages in China and elsewhere. Continue reading

DUMAS OR NOT DUMAS?

Lucia Dumas (nothing to see with Dumas of Hermès) has been named Executive Vice President of Communication and Public Affairs at L’Oréal and will join the group’s executive committee in January.

She is succeeding to Isabel Marey-Semper, who will be leaving the company. Since 2012, Lucia Dumas has served as Vice President of Communication at Essilor. She formerly held the same post in the Rhodia Group during five years, and took part in the implementation of the merger with Solvay, having been in charge of its press relations.

She began her career at Moulinex Group, where she had international and external communications roles, and prior to that graduated from the European Business School in marketing and international strategies. In statement, L’Oréal highlighted Dumas’ diverse expertise and knowledge of industrial sectors where innovation and technology play a key role. Continue reading

MOROCCO AND ST LAURENT

“I am sure that they are watching us from heaven and that they are insanely proud,” said Betty Catroux, at the inauguration of the Yves Saint Laurent museum in Marrakech.

It is in Morocco that he found the range of colors he used: the zelliges, zouacs, djellabas and caftans. The boldness seen in his work is owed to this country in which he drew his forceful harmonies, his audacious combinations, to the fervor of its creativity. He absorbed the culture, transformed and adapted it.

The institution opened to the public on Oct. 19, a little more than a month after the death of Pierre Bergé.

When Yves Saint Laurent first discovered Marrakech in 1966, he was so moved by the city that he immediately decided to buy a house here, and returned regularly. It feels perfectly natural, 50 years later, to build a museum dedicated to his oeuvre, which was so inspired this country. Continue reading

V. CONSTANTIN A NEW DEAL

American consumers might have a weakness for watches that are large and geared to the outdoors, but with the right emphasis, Vacheron Constantin chief executive officer Louis Ferla thinks the dressy, upscale brand can find stronger resonance in the country.

“I think for us, with a bit more focus and explanation, we should be able to properly develop that market,” .The Swiss label, which belongs to Richemont, has just launched three new watch models, the latest additions to a two-decade practice of reissuing historic styles.

From the Twenties, the American 1921 model features a round face set in a cushion shape and was designed at a slightly skewed angle, making it possible to read the time with minimal wrist movement.

Like many players in the industry, Vacheron Constantin faces the challenge of finding the right balance between highlighting the house’s deep history and securing its pertinence in a future with a crowded landscape of offers that include models connected to the Internet. Continue reading

LÉGER BEYONG THE BANDAGE

Hervé L. Leroux, the French designer famous for creating form-fitting bandage dresses that were the uniform of Nineties models, died at the age of 60. Leroux, who was born in Bapaume in northern France, started his career as Hervé Léger but lost the commercial use of his name in 1999 after BCBG Max Azria bought the brand.

He began his career as a hairdresser before seguing into hats. In the early Eighties, he met Karl Lagerfeld, with whom he worked at Fendi and subsequently at Chanel. It is Karl Lagerfeld who first suggested him the name “Léger” and subsequently came up with the name Leroux, he told Canadian web site Canoe.com last year.

Leroux founded his ready-to-wear label in 1985, developing the signature bandage technique that sculpted the body like shapewear. Under the Leroux brand, he specialized in draped jersey, creating glamorous gowns that heightened the wearer’s natural assets, which he preferred on the curvy side. Continue reading

HERMÈS DARE THE UGLY

The Spring-Summer ready-to-wear 2017 has the smell of an old sadler. The new artistic designer Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski failed with the code of Hermès. It seems that when she conceive the collection, she completely forgot who were the clients and in due fact the clients will forget Hermès.

The ugliness of the collection reflects the ill-being of the firm. More than an ill-being, it the industrialization and the change of economic model which disrupts the culture of the company. When the culture of a firm is not respected, the group becomes a MacDonald or in Vuitton. That’s the way it is.

In my opinion, the cocktail which consists to continuously give more money to the shareholders on less quality products is a cocktail which will lead the company to an end. It cannot happen in a brand like LVMH where brands in deficit rely on profitable brands. That cannot happen in a mono brand like Hermès. Continue reading

FATIMA LOPEZ PARIS 2018

The 38th Parisian collection of ready to wear created by Fatima Lopes get its inspiration by the amazing and magical aesthetic of Birds.

Enchanted by the harmony and the elegance of the colours association, often unexpected but always graceful, the designer created aerial and colourful silhouettes which combine lightness and nobility because of the choice of the fabrics, and strong architecture of the pattern which remind the steep lines of bird’s beaks.

The colours embrace each other in an explosion of bright and fruity colours such as raspberry, grapefruit, emerald green, red and so on.
Important is as well the utilisation of more neutral ones as nude and black, bringing balance to the palette through them pureness.

Among Beach and Cocktails, the superposition of silk’s chiffon layers plays with the transparencies and engage the clothing into a game a see through which show only lightly the body shapes.

Continue reading

OSCAR DE LA RENTA

For their second runway collection, the two designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia wanted to pay tribute to Oscar de La Renta, the house founder.

Tachism or not, derived from the French word tache, stain) is a French style of abstract painting popular in the 1940s and 1950s. The term is said to have been first used with regards to the movement in 1951 It is often considered to be the European equivalent to abstract expressionism, although there are stylistic differences (American abstract expressionism tended to be more “aggressively raw” than tachism) that is the choice of Laura and Fernando.

Continue reading

RICHARD RENÉ AND GUY LAROCHE

Richard René will be the next Creative Director for Guy Laroche, a veteran of brands including Hermès and Jean Paul Gaultier, has taken the helm of the label Guy Laroche and is slated to show his first collection on Sept. 27 during Paris Fashion Week. He succeeds American designer Adam Andrascik, who had held the post since 2015.

René began his career in 1994 at Hermès as assistant to then-creative director Claude Brouet. Between 1997 and 2004, he worked at Jean Paul Gaultier as assistant on haute couture collections and accessories. He returned to the brand from 2007 to 2011 as designer of men’s collections and women’s pre-collections.

This follows recent changes in creative direction at Lanvin, Givenchy and Chloé — all of whom will be presenting collections by new creative directors in the fall. Continue reading

LA REDOUTE NO DOUBT

Amazon will be in France the new digital retailers. That is why Galeries Lafayette announced on Thursday its control over the French clothing and home furnishing catalogue, La Redoute.

It is the start of a move of Department stores to face Amazon. Department stores like Galeries Lafayette are the right balance between physical stores and digital offerings.

La Redoute, which historically belonged to Kering, is a household name in France, selling a broad selection of clothing and furniture. Kering exited the business in 2014 as part of a broader strategy to focus on brands with global appeal, selling the company to La Redoute managers. Continue reading

CHANEL NEGATIVE RESULT

Unlike its main competitors, LVMH and Kering, which last year both posted record growth, in 2016 Chanel suffered a fall in sales and profits. After years of steady growth, Chanel indeed continues to slow down. As in 2015, last year the French fashion label, led since 1983 by Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld, saw its net income plummet by 34.8%, down to $874 million (€736 million), while its revenue lost 9%, reaching $5.67 billion (€4.77 billion).

According to the group, the downturn is chiefly explained by the sale of its Chanel Limited UK subsidiary, which accounts for approximately 11% of sales, to another Chanel-owned corporation. “On a like-for-like basis and at constant exchange rates, the results were on par with 2015,” wrote the group in its yearly report, noting also how, among other reasons, in the first part of the year Chanel was affected by the terrorist attacks in Europe, which “had a negative impact on tourist flows and consequently sales.” Continue reading