HERMES WHAT ESLE

The figures add to evidence the luxury sector is on the upswing, Hermès reported that first-quarter revenue jumped 44 percent, at constant rates, beating expectations and fueling optimism for leaders in the sector.

This is a confirmation of a buoyant luxury goods demand environment worldwide, following recent reports from luxury peers LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Kering, as well as an uptick in exports of Swiss watches in March.

Asia was feeling the full brunt of the coronavirus crisis this season last year. But even as the second and third quarters bring tougher comparisons in Asia, they will become less challenging in Europe and the Americas where business declined at a later stage last year. Continue reading

MY FAVORITE DESIGNER

Brunello Cucinelli has long spoken of his admiration for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who he has hosted on several occasions to talk about humanity and the future. But who does he admire among his fellow designers?

My favorite designers,  Ralph Lauren , Giorgio Armani and Yohji Yamamoto.

Ralph Lauren tops the list, "a great master, who has created a visual merchandising unique in the world, Cucinelli said of the American designer, whom he met in 2019. He has always been a true, great inspiration for me,Cucinelli said.

Cucinelli described Giorgio Armani as "a genius," and also pointed to Yohji Yamamoto and "his shapes that are the most fascinating that I have ever known," and Chanel.

"You create style through ready-to-wear," continued Cucinelli, whose business mainly relies on apparel, "and I have been inspired by the big names that have a recognizable taste that lasts in time. [King] Edward VIII believed in a certain pleasure in dressing well, and his taste is still recognizable after so many years. Continue reading

LVMH, RICHEMONT AND PRADA JOIN FORCES

Three European rivals are joining forces in an unprecedented collaboration to help consumers trace the provenance and authenticity of luxury goods. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which in 2019 initiated the Aura platform, will be joined by Prada Group and Compagnie Financière Richemont in the Aura Blockchain Consortium, which will promote the use of a single blockchain solution open to all luxury brands worldwide.

Bulgari, Cartier, Hublot, Louis Vuitton and Prada are already keyed into the platform, which will give consumers direct access to a product’s history, proof of ownership, warranty and maintenance record.

According to a joint release revealing the creation of the consortium, it is in advanced discussions with several independent brands, and "brands within founder groups; to join soon since the blockchain offers flexibility to support companies of various sizes and to adapt to individual needs. Continue reading

KANAE PASSED AWAY

Kanae Taniwaki is entering the Pantheon of Haute Couture. This man, so discreet, came to France under the impulse of Jacques Mouclier with Kenzo, Issey Miyake, Yijo Yamamoto. He was the eminence grise of Loris Azzaro and was also the best Premier d’Atelier at Franck Sorbier.

Here is the last of the Samurai of Haute Couture who passes away. He knew all the stitches and techniques, and he was a master in the art of converting a fabric into a straight thread for a full bias garment. Like an open book on the past and on the future, he was at the same time breathing humanity. Professor at Esmod International de Haute Couture, the students he had, including my daughter, speak of him with affection and emotion.

When a loved one has just passed away, one feels the loss darkly, but the present death is disconcerting and the stupefaction closes the soul and the mouth. Incredulously at this grief, one looks at the bottom of the grave, without understanding anything, this coffin which is going to vanish under the surface of a world which was for him so poetic. It is to the first sight of his family that the fashion around his last podium will say goodbye. Continue reading

SHANGHAI INSTITUTE OF VISUAL ARTS

Founded in September, 2005, Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts is a university offering undergraduate programs distinctive for art nature. Mainly invested by state-owned enterprises,it is also sponsored by other social capital. It was affiliated to Fudan University in its initial stage. After eight years of development, it because independent of Fudan University in April, 2013 with the ratification of the Ministry of Education. Continue reading

ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES

Alibaba, China’s biggest e-commerce operator, was fined $2.78 billion, by China’s State Administration for Market Regulation for monopolistic behaviors, China's state media said Saturday morning, and has been ordered to stop its illegal conduct.

The penalty was calculated by deducting 4 percent of the group’s 2019 revenues, which totaled 455.712 billion renminbi. It is one of the largest penalties Chinese regulators have ever issued, exceeding the $975 million antitrust penalty that the Chinese government imposed on American chipmaker Qualcomm in 2015.

In years past, JD.com, a rival of Alibaba, complained of anticompetitive behavior and said brands had been pressured off of their platform by the larger firm. The firm also addressed the larger and growing trend of scrutiny around China’s tech companies. Continue reading

THE MOBILE CELLULAR SNEAKER

The T-mobile company in collaboration with “dans quelle monde Vuitton!” proposes this year the ultimate musical accessory: the Mobile Phone Sneakers, in other words, speaker sneakers, which produce a high quality sound, and which can be activated by voice so that you do not have to bend down. They are charged by kinetic energy, i.e. by your movements, and have a battery life of 15 hours. “Inspired by the past but with a vision in the future” for the firm of the Lord of the Arnault. Continue reading

TIME IS MONEY

LVMH set the pace for the luxury watch industry on Monday, kicking off the year’s events with a week of presentations from its watch labels Bulgari, Hublot and Zenith.

This is the second time LVMH labels are holding a watch week together. At the same time last year, the luxury group took to the Bulgari Resort in Dubai to test out the new presentation format after other traditional watch fairs had been pushed until later in the year.

The group prefers setting the agenda at the start of the year, and before 2020 had been known to hold events in Geneva in January, tapping into the traffic flows to the former SIHH fair, which was dominated by rival brands belonging to Compagnie Financière Richemont.

But everything has been changed by the coronavirus crisis, which upended traditional watch fairs finishing off struggling Baselworld altogether and sending labels on the search for new, effective ways of reaching their clients. New models from Bulgari included the tightly wound Serpenti Spiga and the flashy Octo Finissimo. Continue reading

SALVATOR FERRAGAMO

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic hurt Salvatore Ferragamo’s bottom line and revenues in 2020, but the Florence-based company is seeing improvements, reporting a positive performance of the brand's stores in the first nine weeks of 2021, topped by solid growth in China and Korea and an 85.6 percent gain in the digital channel.

Despite the measures taken to contain costs and the effects of the lockdowns around the world, Ferragamo posted a net loss of 72 million euros in 2020, compared with a profit of 87 million euros in the previous year. Perhaps the emperor of luxury will be interested in this acquisition.

In the 12 months ended Dec. 31, revenues fell 33.5 percent to 916 million euros, compared with 1.37 billion euros in 2020. Ferragamo reported a progressive improvement in the second half.

In 2020, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization tumbled 52.6 percent to 159 million euros, compared with 336 million euros a year earlier.

A FERRARI AT LOUBOUTIN

Exor, an Agnelli family holding, is to invest 541 million euros in Christian Louboutin to become a 24 percent shareholder in the Paris-based maker of red-soled shoes.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter, and suggests the Agnelli family, owners of Ferrari, have a growing appetite for fashion.

In December, Exor said it would invest around 80 million euros in Chinese luxury brand Shang Xia and become the company’s majority shareholder alongside Hermès International and founder Jiang Qiong Er.

Exor is also a shareholder in The Economist Group, PartnerRe, Stellantis, CNH Industrial, GEDI Gruppo Editoriale and Juventus FC. Continue reading

TILMANN WANDERER OF THE STARS

I seek the essential, because I want to live next to human people who do not swell with triumphs, and who do not feel elected before their time. Today we will talk about a creator from across the Rhine. That’s good, we were missing a famous German on the calendar! And this one comes from the schools of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, his name is Tilmann Grawe. From Louis Féraud Haute Couture to Paco Rabanne, he launched his first collection in March 2000.

The collections of Tilmann Grawe are thus, they cover with jewels also the head of women admirably, and show this madness of the years of the same name. Hair jewelry from the 1920s for the wonder of Scott Fitzgerald’s Gatsby, neither fire nor ice can reach the intensity of these creations that come directly from his heart.

The human race, as a whole, chooses to address you. Driven by an irresistible prejudice, favorable to you, and this only by the magic of your creations, you become the wanderer of the stars, and the eyes of the women gathered in a cenacle of sweetness and honey look at your work through the eye of the ineffable and exhilarating glamour of the past. Continue reading