PARIS, France — This week, I write to you from Paris Fashion Week, where Nadja Swarovski, unveiled a landmark exhibition, Paris Haute Couture, curated by Olivier Saillard, showcasing the long relationship between luxury crystal manufacturer Swarovski and some of the world’s most important couturiers. Earlier, I sat down with Nadja in our latest CEO Talk to learn about her vision for positioning Swarovski as a design-led company at a time when the market is being flooded with cheap crystal from Chinese manufacturers.
The other big debut in Paris this week came from MADE, a support platform for emerging designers that is planting its flag in the French capital for the first time. We spoke to co-founder Jenné Lombardo to understand MADE’s plans for Paris and examined some of the inherent challenges at translating a distinctly New York format into the established Paris fashion system.
But just because it’s Paris Fashion Week doesn’t mean we’ve taken our attention away from other important news elsewhere. We broke down the new business models emerging from upstart fashion media sites on both sides of the Atlantic, we reached Umit Benan in Milan who gave us the lowdown on his recent departure from Trussardi, and covered Nike’s $50m donation to Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ campaign to fight childhood obesity.
Elsewhere in the world of fashion media this week, T Magazine has a fascinating profile on François-Henri Pinault, who explains why he fired Nicolas Ghesquière and brought Alexander Wang into Balenciaga. Speaking of which, Mr Wang’s debut in Paris was well-received, despite the widespread scepticism about his ability to channel Balenciaga through his downtown, urban, contemporary aesthetic. Cathy Horyn and Vanessa Friedman both gave his first collection a thumbs-up. And finally, the fashion-tech investment spree continued, as Warby Parker announced a huge round which included participation from legendary merchant mastermind Mickey Drexler and American Express, the financial services giant.
I’m diving back into Paris Fashion Week for now. We’ll be back with more breaking news and analysis next week. In the meantime, have a great weekend.
Imran Amed, Founder and Editor-in-Chief