RAF SIMON’S HUGE COST

The cost of making Raf Simons’ vision for Calvin Klein a reality and subsequently unraveling his designs after they failed to boost profits has been laid bare and it’s larger than previously thought.

As PVH Corp., which has owned Calvin Klein since 2002, works fast to reconnect the iconic brand with consumers, the price of the whole debacle now looks likely to add up to around $240 million, up from a prior estimate of $190 million.

In addition to the $60 million to $70 million it invested in Simons’ 205W39NYC collection, which alongside his overhaul of Calvin Klein Jeans did not provide the returns it had hoped for, PVH said in its annual report released Friday that total costs related to the restructure necessary to repair the brand are likely to total $170.7 million. Continue reading

THE LVMH PRIZE

Louis Vuitton has unveiled the names of the eight finalists for the LVMH Prize for Young Designers, and for the first time, designers from Nigeria, South Africa and Israel have made the final round of the competition.

“We are very proud of the international dimension of the prize. It’s really what sets it apart,” Delphine Arnault, the force behind the initiative. “The LVMH Prize is global. It reflects the fact that fashion is now a global market, with a capacity to reach and to touch more and more people, namely thanks to the Internet.”

Among those competing for a grand prize of 300,000 euros, plus a year of coaching from experts at family-controlled LVMH the parent of brands including Louis Vuitton, Dior and Fendi .

ASTON MARTIN DBS GT ZAGATO

To celebrate the world-renowned Italian design house Zagato reaching a century in business, and its six-decade partnership with Aston Martin, a release entitled the DBZ Centenary Collection is forthcoming. Only 19 builds will be completed, and each will consist of two vehicles, and the pairing is inseparable. The first vehicle is a DB4 GT Zagato, a track-only continuation of the DB4 GTs produced by Aston Martin and Zagato in the ’60s, while the second is a road-legal DBS GT Zagato, and here you see a first look at the renderings of the beautiful machine. Continue reading

BOBOULES ICE BREAKER GAME

This is a ice breaker game and an excellent opportunity for team building. Nowadays companies are looking for encouraging their employees to work better together, Boboules offers you this chance to enable them to know each other better. But it is also a perfect game to do business with clients. It creates conviviality and links. Your clients will never forget it.

Here is a game that can be practiced by everyone, even in Louboutin or Lobbs. It’s akin to the “bowling green or lawn bowl” Australian chic and selective that the British adore and regarding business networking, you can trust them. Continue reading

LAFAYETTE CONQUER CHINA

Galeries Lafayette believes its China operations can become a one billion euro business and the French retailer aims to have ten stores across the nation by 2025, including a new store here that soft opened Saturday and a Beijing unit.

By 2025, the retailer plans to open in some of the fastest-growing cities in China, with the brand currently looking at opportunities in Guangzhou, Xiamen, Suzhou, and Chongqing, although plans have yet to be finalized. Galeries Lafayette is still a hot brand and all the developers want to work with Galeries Lafayette.

The company’s Haussmann location in Paris has been especially successful in attracting and brand building amongst Chinese shoppers. Continue reading

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