WHY LVMH IS INVESTING IN MASS BEAUTY?

The luxury conglomerate, which reported record revenue of nearly $60 billion for 2019, is setting its sights on affordable, “clean” beauty via its investment arm, LVMH Luxury Ventures. In an unlikely pairing, the fund invested in Versed, a fast-growing mass label where most products are priced at or below $17.99, and some under $10. The brand recently closed an $11 million Series A, led by Sonoma Brands with participation from Greycroft and Marcy Venture Partners.

This marks the second time in three months that LVMH has invested in a young-skewing line. In October, the conglomerate’s venture arm led a seed round for Madhappy a direct-to-consumer LA-based streetwear line that sells $165 hoodies and promotes mental health. Continue reading

GIVENCHY THE FIRST APRIL

Givenchy, whose perfume business is said to be riding high, has tapped a new president and chief executive officer with experience in fashion and beauty, Renaud de Lesquen, currently president and ceo of Dior Americas, is to join Givenchy on April 1 and it is not a Joke.

A suave but discreet executive, de Lesquen has been in the New York-based role for four years, and previously served the same amount of time as president of Dior China. Prior to that, he spent 10 years at L’Oréal in Paris, as president and ceo of YSL Beauté, and before that as global president of Giorgio Armani Beauty.

The appointment suggests Givenchy is about to embark on a new development phase  and also underscores the penchant of parent LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton to groom and promote executives from within.

De Lesquen succeeds Philippe Fortunato, an LVMH veteran whose six-year tenure straddled two distinctly different creative directors: Riccardo Tisci, culminating with an acclaimed New York showing, and then Clare Waight Keller, who arrived from Chloé in 2017. He ramped up retail expansion, brought couture back to the runway, oversaw the brand’s arrival on e-commerce, and also put the spotlight on its men’s wear division with a slate of initiatives, including a showing at Pitti Uomo. Continue reading

GAULTIER, OTHERS’LIFE

This is a more than revolutionary idea, an idea of Francis Menuge, former President of Gaultier and Donald Potard with the complicity of Jacques Mouclier, which they had in their time. A project, which due to the lack of the house of Patou, had never come to fruition because of a sort of human counterfeit. This is how fashion men are made. With such an oversized ego, they take over other people’s ideas to take credit for them. Like D Grumler who takes credit for the creation of the investment bank: idea and realization of Jacques Mouclier, or this Mr. “J Tongue of wood” who would have had the idea of the square courtyard of the Louvre for the catwalks of Haute Couture, but in reality, idea to be attributed to Pierre Berger and Jacques Mouclier.

So here is a Gaultier who has so pricked in others that now he will make them reinterpret their own model, to top it all off! JP Gaultier becomes Alzheimer’s or this desperate soul broods about never being able to be a Karl, and continues to languish in useless effort, and depresses at never having the pains of the birth of creation. I would say that I don’t care if he produces garbage, the only trouble is that he gives it back! Now he wants to have it produced by others. Continue reading

ISSEY-MIYAKE PARIS 2020

Satoshi Kondo, Creative Director at Issey Miyake, conceived his collection by the onomatopoeic analysis of Japanese words that describe acts of making processes. Toritori (the state of being different), Konekone (kneading), Goshigoshi (smudging), Kukkiri (the condition of being sharp and clear), spah (the sound of cutting something with a sharp object) are some of the words that are used in the colloquial language to describe these manual actions, and that the designer used to create the collection. Continue reading

C’ERA UNA VOLTA IL WEST

“But I’m Kanye’s cousin,” said a woman in French at the gates of the Oscar Niemeyer Communist Party headquarters, as the building blinked bright white with light tests. To no avail: Unless she’d been in the car with North West (the real star of the evening), or was on the list, the putative cousin wasn’t getting in on Monday night for the Yeezy 8 show.

For those who did make it inside, there were three stages. A few lucky souls were ushered into the spaceship-like auditorium to preview the collection with Kanye West himself.

(Kanye West is, still, a presidential fan). Then North West grabbed the mic for an impromptu performance (later revealed to be a remix of a song by five-year-old American performer ZaZa, aka @redcarpetgirlz on Instagram, of whom North is apparently a fan),

No fashion magazine will talk about his ugly clothes. That the way it is, West is not and never will be a Fashion designer. Continue reading

HERMÈS NOTHING NEW

Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski decided to pare the women’s wear back to a graphic essence. In keeping with the Hermès 2020 theme, “Innovation in the Making,” she presented a “manifest of purity,” as she called it, on a set of striped vertical bars reminiscent of horse jump poles.

Working in Piet Mondrian’s strict vocabulary of primary colors, she created a baseline for an Hermès wardrobe, including more options in non-leather or using minimal-leather (with the growing animal-loving luxury class in mind, perhaps?).

Some looks came in both, well positioning the brand for changing values around consumption, and offering more accessible pieces as it courts customers with new product categories, including its first line of lipsticks bowing March 4. Continue reading

PACO RABANNE FASHION KNIGHTS

Flashy chain mail knights: no, we’re not in Domrémy and we’re not going to push the English out of the conciergerie. A place probably rightly chosen by Julien Dossena, given my neighbors who do not detonate with the concierges on the nearby rue St-Denis.

But Paco Rabanne’s message became grunge in a whirlwind of chivalry. Here is a plunge into the Kingdom of France with a mix of Anglican pastor’s outfits. These are the magical creatures that Julien Dossena evoked with his autumn collection for Paco Rabanne. This thirty-eight year old Breton offers a ceremony of powerful chic, with shiny leathers of military influence to chiffon dresses embroidered with metallic threads.

He has breathed new life into chainmail, but it’s true that only Maille fits me. The house shows an Indian, Eskimo and Russian woman from the steppes of Central Asia; a melting pot bathed in the medieval age of high culture that would fit very well in our time. The only shadow in the picture is the presence of the Wintour next to Nicolas Ghesquière de Vuitton after the Elysée Palace, a sign perhaps!

Anonymous

LVMH CANCELS LEADER PRIZE

The cocktail celebrating the 20 semifinalists for the LVMH Prize for Young Designers is the latest event to fall victim to the coronavirus scare.

Organizers of the gathering, to be held at the luxury conglomerate’s headquarters on Avenue Montaigne in Paris, said they have decided to cancel the event, originally scheduled for Feb. 27 at 6 p.m., though participants will still show their collections throughout the day on Thursday and Friday.

In a brief statement, LVMH gave no reason for the cancellation, although it comes on the same day that France recorded its first death from the coronavirus. Six Chinese brands have scrapped their planned events in the French capital because of the outbreak, and scores of editors from China and elsewhere are skipping the season.

DIOR PARFUMS AND CLAUDIA

Claudia Marcocci has been appointed brand general director of Parfums Christian Dior.

She took up the position on Feb. 15, succeeding Véronique Courtois, who had held the job for more than seven years before moving to steer Guerlain, another LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned brand.

Marcocci was formerly senior vice president of Gucci Beauty, beginning in 2017, at Coty Inc. She also served as vice president of global for that brand, starting in 2016, and the year prior became associate director of Gucci Beauty global design after the Procter & Gamble beauty brands were acquired by Coty.

Marcocci held numerous positions at P&G, including global digital and e-commerce director for its prestige division.

LVMH’s Perfumes and Cosmetics Division closed 2019 with sales of 6.84 billion euros, up 12 percent year-over-year in reported terms and 9 percent on an organic basis. The company cited Dior as a main growth driver for the branch, and said the brand’s business grew much faster than the beauty market. Continue reading

PRADA AND ROYAL AIR FORCE

Breaking news: Raf Simons is the new co-creative director of Prada. He is to work in partnership with Miuccia Prada “with equal responsibilities for creative input and decision making,” the company said Sunday.

Simons starts April 2, and the duo’s first co-designed collection is to be unveiled for spring-summer 2021 during a fashion show in Milan in September.

A collaboration between the Italian brand and the Belgian designer, which had been rumored for months, was announced at a press conference at Prada headquarters on the last day of Milan Fashion Week, and during the Boss fashion show.

The development suggests Prada and Bertelli are readying a succession plan at the Italian fashion house they catapulted from a historic maker of nylon accessories to a luxury mega brand albeit one whose performance has trailed its peers in recent years due to various design and business missteps. Continue reading

MOSCHINO ROYAL PUNK

Beauty looks at the Milan Fashion Week reached new heights when Bella and Gigi Hadid, walked the Moschino fall 2020 catwalk sporting baroque, pastel-toned wigs inspired by Marie-Antoinette.

Interpreting creative director Jeremy Scott’s intention to mix the 18th-century inspiration with a rock vibe, hair stylist Paul Hanlon played the modern Léonard-Alexis Autié the famed hairdresser behind the eccentric looks of the French Queen and created the intricate wigs, which required a week of work. Continue reading