PHARAOH PHARRELL WILLIAMS

This is not Elizabeth Taylor, anyway,” Karl Lagerfeld declared. Encamped in a suite at the Mercer Hotel  which the Chanel entourage took over in full in preparation for the house’s Métiers d’Art show on Tuesday night Lagerfeld quickly dispelled any preconception of a luxe cheese fest of overdone makeup and tricked-out headdresses inspired by La Liz’s (albeit delightful) turn as Cleopatra.

There’s a timelessness to it, he said of the allure of ancient Egyptian imagery, noting that the idea for the collection crystallized before the location was secured. “I always was interested in the old Egypt, from 3,000 years before Jesus Christ. And then I said it would be great to show it in the Met, but I never thought it was possible

But then, if “impossible” exists within the world of Chanel, we’ve yet to see it. Here, the house booked the Met for the show (which necessitated closing public access to the Temple of Dendur for many days prior) and a nearby expanse of Central Park for the party.

Julianne Moore, Margot Robbie, Penélope Cruz, Lily-Rose Depp and Sofia Coppola. One celebrity wasn’t seated: Pharrell Williams walked the show, a vision all in gold, long sweater atop leather pants. Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE HOTEL BOUCHERON

Boucheron is set to open its newly restored Place Vendôme flagship Wednesday.

With its sweeping views of the famed Paris square and its spiraling column, the mansion, which covers nearly 20,000 square feet of space, now has a winter garden and an intimate perch to observe it from in addition to a succession of distinct, refurbished salons. Moving past the traditional realm of a high-end boutique, the upper floors house the label’s design studio and workshops, as well as an entire floor that can serve as an apartment to host its most elite clients overnight stays included.

For the Boucheron project, which coincided with the house’s 160th anniversary this year, the building’s historical stature took precedence, recounted Hélène Poulit-Duquesne, chief executive officer of the jeweler.

Least complicated, by Poulit-Duquesne’s account, was defining the mission of the Kering-owned jeweler with François-Henri Pinault, chairman and ceo of the luxury group. Continue reading

PATEK FINISH MEN ONLY

Patek Philippe chose Milan to unveil its new women’s Twenty-4 Automatic watch. Thierry Stern took the stage positioned under a glass structure erected in the courtyard of the storied 17th-century Palazzo Serbelloni. “It’s been nearly 20 years after the debut of the Twenty-4 Manchette watch and we’ve been working on this new women’s timepiece for the past five years and through 40 prototypes,” said the affable executive.

The Geneva-based company is launching the first model of the collection with a self-winding mechanical movement in a round case.

Asked about choosing Milan for the launch a first for Patek Philippe Stern highlighted the city’s link to “fashion and beauty. We have to be in Milan. If it works in Italy, it will work everywhere.” Continue reading

CHANEL IN MOVE

In a dramatic shift for the company, Chanel Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Chanel Ltd., is transforming its wholesale business into a concession model.

The company plans to operate concession departments in its major accounts, which include Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s. The process began last year with Bloomingdale’s 59th Street location, and this year several others were converted, namely Saks in Greenwich, Conn., and Atlanta and Neiman Marcus in Atlanta. The rest will be phased in over the next year.

“You might be wondering why, after 12 years of relative silence, am I doing a real interview,” said John Galantic, president and chief operating officer of Chanel Inc. “It’s a time of pretty major change here. The old saying is ‘don’t waste a crisis. But I look at it the other way more, which is when the business is very strong and the demand very desirable, there’s much more leverage and leeway to make change. Continue reading

ALAIN CHEVALIER DIES AT 87

Alain Chevalier, co-founder of French luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, has died at the age of 87. Chevalier passed away on Thursday at his home in Megève.

In 1987, Chevalier merged his Moët Hennessy group with Henry Racamier Louis Vuitton, forming LVMH. As chairman of the group in 1989, Chevalier found himself at the center of French magnate Bernard Arnault most famous corporate conquest.

Racamier, the leader of the Vuitton family at the time, had enlisted Arnault help in 1988 to ward off raiders of the LVMH leather goods, Champagne, cognac and perfume group, which was publicly traded but controlled by a jumble of bickering families.

At Racamier behest, Arnault took a minority stake. But when Racamier added new conditions to the terms of their deal, Arnault turned on him and pitted family member against family member, launching what became one of the nastiest hostile takeover bids in French history. Continue reading

HERMÈS IN ZURICH

Imagine an universe of artistic possibilities full of silk and music, where you can enjoy musical evenings and even become DJ… Yes, I am talking about the Hermès Silk Mix Pop Up store that opened in Zurich the 26th October and will last until November 3rd. I was invited to the press presentation and VIP cocktail held on the 25th October at the Nadja Brykina Gallery.

It’s totally inspired by a record shop where silk square scarfs for men illustrate disc’s sleeves and ties dress the tapes. Each disc is associated to a soundtrack’s extract of the fashion shows from the last eight years. During the event, I had the pleasure to meet and discuss with Christophe Goineau, men’s silk Creative Director. Continue reading

LUXURY FLAGSHOP

Real estate company Hines has bought Colette’s former digs on Rue Saint-Honoré, the hottest street in the property market in Paris, adding the future Yves Saint Laurent flagship to its growing list of high-profile transactions.

The Texas-based real estate firm said its fund behind the deal is an open-ended investment vehicle created in 2006 to buy and manage assets in key European cities and is the fourth acquisition in the past year following other transactions in Dublin, Amsterdam and Edinburgh. Continue reading

ALIBABA DEAL WITH RICHEMONT

Richemont said Friday it has joined with Alibaba Group in a strategic partnership to bring the retail offerings of Yoox Net-a-porter Group to Chinese consumers.

YNAP and Alibaba will establish a venture to launch two mobile apps for Net and Mr Porter, with Alibaba providing technology infrastructure, marketing, payments, logistics and other technology support to the JV.
In addition, Net and Mr Porter will open online stores on Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion. The JV will focus on serving consumers in China and extend to Chinese consumers traveling abroad.

“Chinese customers at home and abroad are an increasingly important customer base for Richemont and for the broader luxury industry said Johann Rupert, chairman of Richemont. Continue reading

COLOR BY KENZO TAKADA

Never perfumes will have been so ugly. A globally recognised leader in direct selling of beauty and related products Avon, today launch Life Colour, its second fragrance collaboration with world-famous designer Kenzo Takada.

“We’re incredibly excited about the potential of this new fragrance and the opportunities that it will bring to Avon and our Representatives around the world,” said Jonathan Myers, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Avon. “With marketing activation across 50+ markets, this collaboration will be one of the Avon’s biggest launches of the next 12 months. Continue reading

WHO IS LOUISE TROTTER?

Lacoste, without artistic director since the departure of Felipe Olivera Baptista in spring 2018, has announced the appointment of the British designer Louise Trotter. She is taking over as the new creative director of Lacoste, the sports and leisurewear brand famous for its green crocodile logo.

Trotter, 49, who left the British label Joseph in July after leading it for nearly a decade, replaces the Portuguese designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista who parted company with Lacoste in May.

In her twenties, Trotter worked in Italy and Paris. She then moved to New York, and worked for Calvin Klein, Gap and then Tommy Hilfiger. Continue reading

DIEGO SAYS NO WAY

On Tuesday, at the 2018 Milano Fashion Global Summit, Della Valle, Tod’s chairman and chief executive officer, stated : “We are buyers, not sellers”. It was clearly announced. Tod’s brand is not for sale.

As reported in February, the Italian luxury group is overturning its business model and launching a new project called Tod’s Factory, in a reference to Andy Warhol. Employing a system mirroring the streetwear drop, the company is to release a mix of capsules and limited editions in collaboration with different designers and friends of the house. Last month in Paris, Tod’s unveiled a capsule collection with Alessandro Dell’Acqua, which will hit stores in mid-November. Continue reading