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

LVMH DRAWS CROWDS IN PARIS

The long queues in front of leading luxury stores in Paris this weekend might suggest they were holding the high-end equivalent of a Black Friday sale.

But the crowds gathered outside Dior headquarters on Avenue Montaigne, the Guerlain flagship on Avenue des Champs-Elysées or the Chaumet salons on Place Vendôme weren’t looking to part with any cash  just to catch a glimpse behind the scenes of some of the 70 brands that form LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

The event is the brainchild of Antoine Arnault, head of communication and image of LVMH, who launched the biennial initiative in 2011 to counter a perception that the group was only interested in making money.

Antoine Arnault launched the event with a cocktail party on Thursday at the group’s headquarters in front of the new building “the Good Samaritan” where he posed with his father the lord of Luxury, LVMH chairman and chief executive officer Bernard the Great. Continue reading