African fashion influence, Brands look back, E-commerce innovation, European M&A, Mickey the Merchant Prince

Lanvin Autumn/Winter 2010 Detail | Source: Style.com

Lanvin Autumn/Winter 2010 Detail | Source: Style.com

Africa’s influence in the fashion industry (FT)
“A long way from the World Cup epicentres of Johannesburg and Durban, catwalkers in New York and Paris are already marching to an African beat… chiming with the prevailing mood makes economic as well as sartorial sense.”

Will Last Century’s Styles Open Today’s Wallets? (NY Times)
“Brands are combing their archives in the hope that old clothing styles with a classic feel will assuage consumer anxiety in shaky times… — and help pry open shoppers’ wallets.”

E-commerce: Innovation brings a touch of class to online shopping (FT)
“Fuelled by a resurgent interest in the consumer web, a raft of technological advances, and evolving opinions of the web itself, companies such as Ike Behar, Burberry and Thomas Pink are discovering ways to reach consumers without sacrificing brand integrity.”

European M&A: Economic woes may herald slew of deals (FT)
“The conviction that the international success of groups of brands such as LVMH and PPR could be easily replicated, and that luxury is an easy industry for new entrants such as private equity [is false].”

Mickey Drexler: Retail Therapist (WSJ)
“No one understands shopping like J. Crew’s Mickey Drexler. With three successful turnarounds under his belt — Ann Taylor, Gap and now J. Crew — the ‘merchant prince’ is on a roll.”