Links of the week: Tom Ford, Fashion 2.0, Kate Moss for Top Shop and Chloe’s future

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Top fashion business links for the week of 30 April, 2007:

New York Times – No Store is a Hero to its Valet
Either the New York Times really has it in for Tom Ford (perhaps he spurned and interview request or declined an editors request for a discount?) or there is a real issue with Tom Ford’s new eponymous business. First, Cathy Horyn criticized Ford’s new business for being too niche and too grand (after Ford had provided her with a private tour – you can’t buy this woman’s vote) and today, in its Critical Shopper feature, Horacio Silva pans the store for confusing "exclusionary for exclusive."

Modabot.de – Brave New Internet World – How the Internet is changing the Fashion Universe
Fashion 2.0 is a hot topic. The Business of Fashion recently advocated that big fashion brands should consider the Internet an avenue that they should be cruising down, albeit with necessary caution. Over at Modabot.de, the Berlin-based fashion blog for avantgarde fashionistas, they delve into the topic with vigour, providing a 360 degree view of the fashion blogosphere and some of the new social shopping sites that are bound to change the way consumers shop forever, if not now, then certainly in the years to come.

Style.com – Gathering Moss
Sarah Mower at Style.com provides a witty and always insightful peek into the Kate Moss for Top Shop event this week. This is no small business. Philip Green has managed to make this line a pilot project for expanding Top Shop to other markets, particularly the US. Not only will the line bow at Top Shops around the world, it will also be sold at Colette in Paris, Barney’s in America and 10 Corso Como in Milan. Mr. Green was even on hand to provide some sales assistance himself. Clearly, this is a business he is counting on.

The Daily Telegraph – Farewell to Floaty and Flirty
Is this a harbinger of Chloe’s fast fall, after its fast rise on the fashion scene? At the Daily Telegraph, they have joined the chorus of people questioning the design direction taken by new Chloe’s new Creative Director, Paulo Melim Andersson. One can definitely appreciate a bit of Marni heritage in the collection he showed for A/W 2007, but the question is whether Chloe loyalists are brand faithful or design faithful. As the Telegraph points out, if it is the latter, then there are plenty of other places for girly girls to look for the look that Chloe has become known for over the past 10 years. Clearly, for a large fashion house like Chloe, a change in creative direction like this should be considered carefully as part of a broader strategic exercise. This is no less important to a fashion business than an airline choosing to fly to a new market (did you know Virgin flies to Nairobi?), a cola company changing their age old formulation (New Coke, anyone?), or Colonel Sanders tweaking the KFC recipe (do you like your chicken more crispy?).