NEIMAN CHAPTER HEAVEN

Bankruptcy spells a new chapter for the Neiman Marcus Group, with $4 billion of its debt wiped out, different owners and a fresh financing package to keep operating.

But according to the luxury retailer’s chief executive officer Geoffroy van Raemdonck, there is much that will stay intact, at least in the weeks and months ahead.

In an interview on Thursday, just two hours after NMG filed for Chapter 11, van Raemdonck that the existing management will remain with the company through the bankruptcy proceedings expected to last into the fall, and that based on past conversations with creditors, who are now the owners, he’s confident they’re on board with sustaining the Neiman’s transformation strategy he’s been championing for two years. Continue reading

MICHAEL BURKE CALLS STEVEN BURKE

Louis Vuitton called on French artist Steven Burke, aka Luckylefthand, to decorate the façade of its Pont Neuf headquarters in central Paris with his bright, minimalist artwork.

The artist, who hails from a surfing town on France’s southwest coast, painted bright, stylized rainbows and his signature hand motif in a nod to social distancing, the hands are symbolically placed with a meter-and-a-half space between each.

The artist said he sought to both convey the feeling of summer vacation while also capturing the current, transitory period.

The neighborhood is also home to LVMH’s sprawling Samaritaine complex, which will house a high-end hotel and small department store, which had been scheduled to open this spring before the coronavirus crisis hit. Continue reading

PARSONS VIRTUAL SCHOOL

Parsons Launches Podcast Series for Master’s Program, Public.

As students transition from the classroom to virtual learning, Parsons School of Design has launched a Retail Revolution podcast that features weekly episodes with experts from a variety of fields offering insights and perspectives on how retailers can weather the coronavirus crisis.

New episodes of the podcast, which is housed on its own web site as well as on Instagram, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn and Spotify, will air twice a week. So far, episodes have featured Meisha Brown, vice president of department stores for Kering Eyewear; Brandon Roe, marketer and author, and Noam Levavi, chief executive officer of ByondXR. Continue reading

LAFAYETTE SAME LEVEL AS SAMARITAINE

Galeries Lafayette’s Nicolas Houzé Preps the Family Store for Reopening. The fabled Parisian department store may return to business on May 11.

Century-old family business Galeries Lafayette has been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis. Stores remain shut, tourists are not likely to return to the French capital anytime soon, consumption forecasts look dicey, sales are expected to drop by 50 percent this year that’s 1 billion euros less.

Executives are rethinking store hours, given constraints of public transport and worker availability child care remains a challenge, as schools open gradually, with limited capacity. Store hours will likely be reduced both during the week and on weekends, and discussions with unions are ongoing.

The group is working to open nearly all of its Galeries Lafayette and BHV Marais stores, with the exception of flagships in shopping centers French officials have said large shopping centers will remain closed for the first phase of easing restrictions, which will be revisited on June 2. Continue reading

PARADISE ISLAND EXILE

On his island, billionaire Richard Branson confined out of reality. To live rich and happy, let’s live in hiding.” Richard Branson never liked this adage, which was a bit tampered with. The 69-year-old British billionaire has always preferred light and excitement. On Twitter, he presents himself as “a tie-allergic adventurer, philanthropist and troublemaker”. Continue reading

THE DRAGON VOGUE MADE IN CHINA

Tang Shuang, Vogue China Deputy Publisher Resigns,Tang had sold her WeChat channel and its subscribers to Condé Nast China to rebrand as Vogue Business’s regional edition.

Disagreements over the newly-launched Vogue Business in China, which is published on WeChat and had acquired her much-followed personal account and rebranded it into the trade title’s presence, appears to have played a part.

“After much deliberation, I felt that there was a slight gap between my personal style and the company and I decided to focus on my career. Instead of starting a WeChat channel from scratch, Vogue Business in China launched last December by buying Tang’s account called Quanzi, meaning inner circle in Chinese. At the time, it had around 60,000 subscribers. Continue reading

CHATEAU MARMONT NOT ABLE TO REOPEN

There isn’t a hotel as closely identified with Hollywood as the Chateau Marmont, which is probably why people have been talking a lot about its future amid the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus.

Rumors abound lately that the 90-year-old hotel and restaurant, still a favorite haunt of celebrities and industry types the world over, has been so pummeled by the coronavirus that it won’t be able to reopen, and its owner, Andre Balazs, might be forced to sell.

The hotel laid off nearly its entire staff (242 people) the same day California and Los Angeles went into lockdown and closed all nonessential business.

Employees received no severance and the layoffs are listed as “permanent” in a required disclosure filed with the state. Continue reading

FLOWER OF CRYSTAL IN MAY

Dior Celebrates Lily of the Valley With New Homewares Line. Dior’s tradition of distributing lily of the valley to its employees on May 1 has been suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Tradition has it that on May 1, Dior gifts its employees a sprig of lily of the valley a French custom said to date back to the 16th century, symbolizing good luck and happiness.

This year, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the May Day custom has been put on hold as most of Dior’s staff continues to work from home. Instead, the French fashion house is celebrating the bloom, which founder Christian Dior turned into a brand signature, with a new homewares collection designed by Cordelia de Castellane.

Currently holed up in her country house some 45 minutes from Paris, the artistic director of Dior Maison has revisited the emblematic house motif with a selection of porcelain plates, hand-painted or engraved glasses, and blown-glass decorative baubles and decanters Continue reading

BALMAIN VERY RICH BUT STINGY

Balmain Donates 12 pairs eyewear to Raise Funds for COVID-19.The frames will be sold on video commerce platform NTWRK to raise funds for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The French fashion house is donating for sale 12 pairs of prototype sunglasses customized by creative director Olivier Rousteing for its men’s and women’s shows in January and February, marking the launch of its license with Lugano-based eyewear start-up Akoni.

The sunglasses will go on sale on video commerce platform NTWRK as part of an activation by RED, the nonprofit organization founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver in 2006 to raise funds for the Global Fund’s efforts to combat COVID-19.

Balmain and Akoni are donating 12 pairs of the Wonder Boy style that Rousteing has designated as his own wear-it-everyday choice of frames. Continue reading

WINTOUR SHRED BY TALLEY

André Leon Talley has detailed the ageism and racism that he faced during his decades-long career in fashion. André Leon Talley’s new book won’t be out until September, but many are already feasting on the fallout he had with his former Vogue boss Anna Wintour.

Penguin Random House has pushed back the release of “The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir” to September. But The Daily Mail’s recent recap of the book exposed how the two high-powered friends and ex-colleagues have fallen out. In an interview Friday, Talley, Vogue’s former creative director, detailed his side of the back story, and emphasized how his upcoming tome centers on his career in fashion journalism, not just his years of Wintour.

Talley said that he and Wintour “had a conversation” and she asked that passages about her daughter Bee Shaffer’s wedding and a few other private references be removed. “This is not a vengeful book about Vogue and Anna Wintour. There are parts in the book where I say that some of the best years of my life were at Vogue.

That said, he added, “From a humanitarian perspective, she left me with psychological scars. I was often left blowing in the wind without any explanation, which I think perhaps she should have given me.” Continue reading

KERING SADE IN CHINA

Kering sales fell 15.4% to 3.2 billion euros ($3.47 billion) in the first quarter, impacted, like its rivals, by store closures. That was a 16.4% drop like-for-like, which strips out the effect of acquisitions and currency swings.

At its star Gucci label, which powers most of its profits, like-for-like sales were down 23.2% in the period, contrasting with a less pronounced 13.8% drop-off at Kering’s Saint Laurent brand.

From the start of April, we’ve seen an improvement and positive trends for most of our brands in mainland China. Kering, like rival LVMH, said it was trimming its dividend payout against 2019 earnings by 30%. The firm, which also owns Balenciaga, has been one of the big winners of a luxury goods bonanza in recent years alongside LVMH, and Gucci in particular had been booming.

That has put the cash-rich conglomerates in a stronger position than some standalone brands that were already in turnaround mode when the coronavirus crisis hit.

BRITISH FASHION COUNCIL

Following the cancellation of London Fashion Week Men’s in June, the British Fashion Council has been working to reimagine its seasonal showcases.

Today, it announced its plans to merge its women’s and men’s wear showcases into one “gender-neutral platform.” London Fashion Week: Men’s is no more and all designers will be showcasing their collections and brand stories under the London Fashion Week umbrella, starting with a three-day digital showcase on June 12, the time when the men’s wear shows were set to take place. Continue reading

GUCCI UNDER THE SKIN

Gucci’s agreement with trade unions revealed on Saturday is a first sign of a restart of fashion’s production pipeline that does not involve protective masks or medical overalls. On April 20, the Florence-based company will reopen its leather goods and shoes prototype industrial complex called ArtLab.

While Italy remains in lockdown until May 3, the reopening was made possible by government provisions issued on April 10 and following an agreement signed with labor unions. The latter is based on the Safety Protocol signed on March 15, reinforced through a collaboration with the virologist Professor Roberto Burioni from Milan's Vita-Salute San Raffaele University. Continue reading