Fast fashion falters, Zappos delivers happiness, Arnault does DC, McQueen’s haunting world, Lunch with Pinault

Gisele for H&M Summer 2011 | Source: H&M

Fast fashion: Is the party over? (Telegraph)
“Following on from H&M’s shock results in the final quarter of 2010 which saw profits fall 11 per cent, fashion comparison website Stylecompare.co.uk has today reported that year-on-year sales of ‘low end’ retailers fell by 21 per cent, as consumers flock to ‘mid range’ and eco brands for their fashion fixes.”

Why Is This Man Smiling? (NY Times)
“Mr. Hsieh’s success has been built in part on his ability to anatomize the way people crave connections with others, and turn those insights into a business plan… Zappos is able to pay below market salaries for its more senior workers… Recruiters boast that it is harder to get a job at Zappos than to get admitted to Harvard.”

Bernard Arnault Goes to Washington (WWD)
Bernard Arnault hit the nation’s capital Thursday like a politician on the campaign trail. The chairman… first met President Obama at the White House — where they discussed everything from globalization to employment — and then that night received the Corporate Citizenship award from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.”

Alexander McQueen’s Haunting World (Newsweek)
“He’d never analyze what made sense or not. It was personal and emotional, and he never wanted to water it down.’ The stagecraft and technical wizardry showed off McQueen’s capabilities as a designer. He was a skilled tailor who could also drape a glorious gown without benefit of a pattern. And his personal story… made him a dangerous and magnetic presence.”

Lunch with the FT: François Pinault (FT)
“A self-made luxury goods magnate, Pinault is internationally acclaimed for his cutting-edge art collection… But in France he has never shaken off a reputation as something of a wide-boy who made his wealth through takeovers of ailing companies, aided by political friendships… ‘French people … look at Pinault as a pirate.'”