THE MASQUERADE

Facebook and Instagram are opening up their temporary ban on nonmedical masks on their platforms to allow people to advertise them and post in IG shopping listings and marketplace.

In March, the platforms temporarily banned ads and commerce listings for masks on their apps to help protect against scams, misleading medical claims, media supply shortages, inflated prices and hoarding. Since then they have continued to monitor trends and activity around COVID-19 to better understand how people are using their platforms and advertising tools during the pandemic.

Since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, governments and authorities around the globe have evolved their guidance on the need to wear masks. Many health authorities now advise wearing nonmedical masks, and in some places, masks are required for activities such as taking public transportation or going inside a store. Continue reading

SUPER TAX EVASION FOR SUPERMODEL

Bar Refaeli has signed a plea deal in her tax evasion case in Israel to complete nine months of community service which is egal to 9 months of maternity leave.

The model and her mother, Tzipi Refaeli, signed the deal on Tuesday in the case, which alleged they hid tens of millions of shekels in earnings from Israeli tax authorities between 2009 and 2012, according to the Times of Israel. I have always thought that models had no brain. Now I am sure that they do not have heart too.

Refaeli’s mother will serve 16 months in prison and the two will have to pay a fine of roughly $720,000 as well as roughly $2.3 million in back taxes. They should have come to France where tax evasion is a national sport and less repressive.

Prosecutors in the case alleged that Refaeli lied about living abroad during the time and didn’t report her earnings to the Israeli government. Refaeli refuted those allegations, stating that at the time she was living in the U.S. with then-boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio. Everybody knows that DiCaprio is stingy. Continue reading

HO BLAZY HO BLAZA VENETA

The former design director of Calvin Klein under Raf Simons, Matthieu Blazy, has joined Bottega Veneta.

According to sources, he quietly started in a senior design role several weeks ago, reporting to Bottega Veneta creative director Daniel Lee.

Blazy spent two years and seven months at Calvin Klein working on men’s and women’s collections and was part of the inner circle that Simons brought with him to New York. That circle also included Pieter Mulier, Simons’ longtime number two who carried the title of creative director at Calvin Klein and joined Simons for runway bows. Continue reading

FASHION RATTLESNAKE BAG

A recently released study reveals that, between 2003 and 2013, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service seized thousands of products made by Gucci, Michael Kors and others. As the fashion industry scrambles to reinvent itself during the Covid-19 pandemic, it must not forget animals.

More than 5,600 fashion products made from illegal wildlife, including these reptile skin boots, were seized by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service between 2003 and 2013.

A report makes it clear that efforts to more thoroughly understand the complex trade in reptiles are often hindered by large information gaps made worse by criminals in the supply chain who forge permits, fudge paperwork and smuggle or launder animals through ranches.

But efforts to protect animals are also muddied by industry-appointed scientists who idealise the trade in reptile skins with overstated claims on conservation and job benefits. Continue reading

CHANEL AT THE CENTER OF RIOTS

Stores across the borough including Chanel in Soho and Coach in Midtown were targeted by unruly protesters in the fourth night of demonstrations over the death of Floyd. The police kept an eye on the Chanel Boutique, Probably Afro-Americans with no taste.

Surprisingly, the boutique Vuitton has not been affected by riots, probably because the brand is the only one to have two Afro-Americans in its design team. Continue reading

TIFFANY ANNUAL SHAREHOLDER MEETING

It is understood board members of the luxury giant are concerned about the impact of not only the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed more than 100,000 lives in America and wreaked widespread economic damage, but also the growing social unrest over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

In addition, these sources said, LVMH board members voiced concerns about Tiffany’s ability to cover all its debt covenants at the end of the transaction, which was expected to be concluded mid-year.

A woman walks at Tiffany & Co. and  designer boutiques of Manhattan and Paris are feeling the chill of a Chinese economic slowdown that has hammered automakers and other industries. That is jolting brands such as Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co that increasingly rely on Chinese customers who spend $90 billion a year on jewelry, clothes and other high-end goods. The industry already is facing pressure to keep up as China’s big spenders shift to buying more at the spreading networks of luxury outlets in their own country. Continue reading

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