Sophie Theallet | Uniquely Untrendy

Sophie Theallet

NEW YORK, United States — New York fashion is said to strike a balance between commerce and creativity. With few exceptions, New York designers tend to prioritise practical concerns like wearability over more frivolous concerns like the so-called wow factor. On the surface, this seems like a sound business strategy. But when designers focus too much on the practical and are obsessed with being on-trend or with what their peers are

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CEO Talk | Greg Furman, Founder and Chairman, Luxury Marketing Council

Greg Furman

NEW YORK, United States — As the recession wears on, luxury companies are beginning to realise they will have to do more than cut costs in order to survive this downturn. Indeed, for many brands, a fundamental repositioning and reevaluation of their long-standing strategies may be in order. In this kind of environment, many luxury executives turn to the New York-based Luxury Marketing Council, where their membership enables them to

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Karolina Zmarlak | Transformational value

The ever-morphing Barcelona dress, courtesy of Karolina Zmarlak

NEW YORK, United States — As global economic woes continue to wear on consumer spending, some fashion and luxury companies are teetering on the brink. Blue chip brands are halting expansion plans in order to focus on survival tactics, while smaller labels with limited resources are faced with the reality of sudden annihilation. It may not seem to be the ideal time to start a new label, but New York-based womenswear designer

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CEO Talk | Stella Ishii, President and Founder, The News Inc.

Stella Ishii, President and Founder of The News Inc.

NEW YORK, United States — At first glance, The News showroom in New York’s SoHo district looked to me like most other fashion showrooms. Rails of clothes hanging in a loft-style space with fashionable young people running to and fro, sending and receiving packages from a stream of couriers coming in and out. But on closer glance, it quickly became clear this was unlike any other showroom I had seen. For one, two young stylish

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Social Shopping at ShopStyle

Shopstyle homepage

NEW YORK, United States — Fashion brands are finally making a real effort online, launching increasingly sophisticated e-commerce sites that often do more business than flagship stores. But as usual, Andy Moss is ahead of the curve. A British transplant to California’s Silicon Valley, Andy launched fashion shopping site ShopStyle back in 2007. Then described as “a search engine devoted to fashion,” the site set a

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CEO Talk | Wen Zhou, Chief Executive Officer, 3.1 Phillip Lim

Wen Zhou, CEO of 3.1 Phillip Lim courtesy of Akira Yamada

NEW YORK, United States —Mention the name Wen Zhou to the average fashion fanatic on the street, or even ‘important’ fashion editors, and they may shrug their sh0ulders, not recognising the name. But, mention her name to fashion industry insiders, especially retailers and independent fashion brands, and invariably the words “dynamo”, “amazing” and “genius” will be volleyed right back

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CEO Talk | Bonnie Takhar, Chief Executive Officer and President, Halston

Bonnie Takhar, courtesy of Halston

NEW YORK, United States — The trend for showing collections online, in lieu of runway shows, has been gathering steam in recent seasons. But, perhaps no initiative has been as ambitious as that of Halston, which debuted its own video presentation for Fall 2009 this past week. Whereas brands like Marc Bouwer and Viktor & Rolf have previously shown online videos of looks going down the runway, Halston instead developed a bespoke,

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New York Fashion Week | Cleansing the Palate

Yohji Yamamoto, Pied Piper of New York Fashion Week

NEW YORK, United States — New York Fashion Week is always a blur of meetings, shows and parties, and this week is no exception. But there is also something different in the air for Autumn/Winter 2009 — a palpable sense that some serious change is coming, and in some quarters, the slightest hint of optimism that we may be reaching a market bottom. On Monday evening, Marc Jacobs scaled back his show significantly: there was no major

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New York Fashion Week | Designers serve up dark moodiness and optimistic colour

NEW YORK, United States — From the moment that I landed here in New York, the mood has been decidedly sombre. I bumped into a buyer from a major London fashion boutique at the baggage carousel at JFK who told me that “nobody is coming” to New York this time from the major UK fashion magazines. Budgets have been completely slashed. A few hours later, the CEO of a up-and-coming US fashion business predicted that one third

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CEO Talk | Alex Bolen, Chief Executive Officer, Oscar de la Renta

Alex Bolen, CEO, Oscar de la Renta

NEW YORK, United States – It’s a new year, but the news hasn’t changed all that much for the luxury business. In fact, as the numbers roll in from the holiday season and for the fourth quarter of 2008, many executives’ worst fears are playing out. It’s a good thing the industry has leaders like Alex Bolen around to keep us all optimistic. A few seasons ago, I received an invitation to the Oscar de la

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The rise of the online fashion film

NEW YORK, United States - Quoting Steven Kolb, executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, saying the format of showing the Fall 2009 collections this February is the “number one item on everyone’s agenda right now,” The Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Runway blog recently asked the question: "Will fashion shows survive the economy?" To answer this question, it's important to consider how fashion shows function in today's media landscape. Increasingly, images and video from runway shows, captured by the established media, as well as a new generation of fashion bloggers wielding video-enabled camera phones, reach a global audience of fashion consumers, in close to realtime, on Style.com, YouTube and fashion blogs around the world. As…

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BoF Recommends | Valentino, the last Emperor

NEW YORK, United States - In the Summer of 2007,  around the time when Valentino Garavani finally resigned from his own label after months of speculation, I would have done anything to be a fly on the wall. What, with the planning of a 45th anniversary celebration in Rome, the controversy surrounding Permira's battle with the Carlyle Group for control of the House, the never-ending will he-won't he leave debate, and the ensuing rumours about potential successors (Giambattista Valli, Zac Posen, Proenza Schouler), there was a veritable tornado of activity going on in the Italian fashion house. Today, 18 months later, I got my wish. I caught an afternoon press screening of  Matt Tyrnauer's film, Valentino - The Last Emperor,…

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New York Fashion Week | Playing it safe

NEW YORK, United States - New York already has the reputation of being the most commercial of the fashion capitals, but this New York Fashion Week has taken that stereotype to new levels. With economic uncertainty swirling through the city (Lehman Brothers is the latest Wall Street Bank whose future is in question) and footfall at department stores dropping precipitously, the mantra of the week seems to have been 'Play it Safe!" Over and over again this week, young designers have told me that the big buyers are sticking to proven silhouettes in basic colours, veering away from the fashion items. While the basics and staples of designer collections will always be important part of the product assortment, it seems…

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