Bill Blass: The Peter Som and Michael Bastian tag team

A couple of weeks ago in New York I caught up with Elana Posner, President of Peter Som, over lunch. Amongst a flurry of topics, we touched (briefly) upon the gossipy item in WWD on July 6th which leaked the news that Peter was soon to be appointed as the new womenswear designer for Bill Blass, owned by NexCen brands. What I didn't know at the time was that Michael Bastian would be designing the men's collection. So, I was excited to hear the news confirmed today, not only because it could finally be discussed on The Business of Fashion, but also because these are inspired choices made in part by NexCen. What a pleasant surprise! It's been a good…

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Links of the week: Sexless Gucci, Gianni-less Versace, Thom and Brooks Brothers

The Times of London: G-ForceFrida Giannini, the last remaining designer of the trio that was selected to replace Tom Ford at Gucci, is an advocate for Gucci without the sex. According to The Times, the results speak for themselves with a 16% increase in sales to over £1.5b - the highest in the company's history. The New York Times: The Murder on Ocean DriveGianni Versace, who was feted at a glamorous ballet last weekend in Milan, was murdered 10 years ago this month. Cathy Horyn gives us a behind-the-scenes take on that shocking week in Miami in 1997, showing a different side of Gianni's replacement, his sister Donnatella.The Wall Street Journal: Brooks Brothers tries hip line: Will it suit?As a…

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Style.com: Sartorialising

WWD reports today that Style.com has concluded an agreement to sell advertising on the Sartorialist blog maintained by Scott Schuman, a former fashion industry staffer who left a fashion sales showroom to create one of the best known blogs in the fashion blogosphere. Women's Wear Daily said: A fashion label may get the best endorsement when its wares show up on a well-dressed city dweller photographed for fashion industry veteran Scott Schuman's popular blog The Sartorialist. But for those who want more direct brand promotion, Style.com and Men.style.com will begin to sell ads forThesartorialist.blogspot.com beginning Sept. 1.... ...The partnership is the first time the CondéNet properties have sold ads for a brand outside the company stable. Schuman's blog, where he posts…

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Men’s luxury: Time for an (arm)revolution?

That oft-ignored market for men's luxury has been popping up on my radar screen a lot more often in the last few months. Up until now, men's luxury spending has been dominated by expensive watches. But, as a generation of high net-worth men with a taste for modern design is growing up, more players are reaching out to meet their sophisticated needs in innovative ways. It brings to mind a casual gathering of friends that took place in my kitchen on a recent Saturday evening. Over wine and cheese, I watched in awe as hedge fund managers, private equity investors and investment bankers from London's burgeoning financial community were comparing, discussing and examining each other's (expensive) watches in excruciating detail.…

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Tom Ford in person: Go Beta First, New York

On my last trip to New York, I finally managed to see the new Tom Ford flagship store in person. After all of the hubbub about its "Hermes and Oprah" similarities, I wanted to judge for myself. Was Cathy Horyn right in criticising the high price-points as being out of reach even for the most discerning male customers? Was Horacio Silva on the mark for panning the store for its overly-exclusive environment? I'm afraid the answer is yes. In spades. For all of the talk about the luxurious feel of the store, I have to say it all felt quite ordinary to me. That is to say, it didn't feel different from most of the other masses of luxury stores…

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Narcisco and Liz: A match made in heaven?

Narciso Rogriguez, designer of Caroline Bessette Kennedy's wedding dress, and Liz Claiborne, the purveyor of everything from Juicy Couture tracksuits to Lucky jeans, announced today that Liz Claiborne Inc has taken a 50% stake in Mr Rodriguez's namesake label. Of late, we haven't seen that many large fashion conglomerates take an interest in growing small high-end businesses. This particular partnership is also of interest because on the surface, there does not seem to be a natural match between Narcisco's target market of luxury customers (who buy his collection at Neiman Marcus, Saks, Bergdorf Goodman and Barney's) and Liz's connections and expertise with lower priced Contemporary and Bridge labels (which are distributed much more broadly in stores like Bloomingdales, Macy's and…

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Fashion Television: Sartorialist, Blogging, Ford and Mentorship

In Canada, many young aspiring fashionistas cut their teeth on Fashion Television (or FT), hosted by Jeanne Beker. I accidentally happened upon the site recently and came across a veritable treasure trove of video content that is relevant to some of the topics recently debated and discussed on The Business of Fashion: Fashion blogging Any regular readers of this blog know that I have been a big fan of the Sartorialist, aka Scott Schuman, since I first came across his site almost two years ago. His was the first blog of any sort to really catch my attention because there was something really powerful about seeing clothes that are styled by real people on the street. It brings the clothes…

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

Top fashion business links for the week of 30 April, 2007: New York Times - No Store is a Hero to its ValetEither 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…

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Tom Ford: Niche Luxury with all the trimmings

Last week, Tom Ford launched his much-awaited menswear collection at a brand new New York flagship, where he provided personal tours to the fashion elite, including Bernard Arnault of LVMH and Cathy Horyn of the New York Times. It seems that while Cathy was impressed, she didn't necessarily understand the business rationale for Tom's decision to focus solely on the most elite niche of the menswear market, i.e. men who are willing to spend upwards of $3000 on a suit. Tot top it all off, Ford has supplemented the purchase of the suit with a truly luxurious environment (read expensive capital expenditure and rent) to provide a truly unique tailoring experience. Will Mr Ford be able to work his Gucci…

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Goyard and Tory Burch: 5th Avenue Styletribe, New York

It is cliche to say that New Yorkers dress in uniform, but as with most cliches, there is a kernel of truth to this one that can't be denied. There is also no denying that New Yorkers are stylish, they just tend to be stylish in easily identifiable groups often associated with the areas in which they live and work, ie. Williamsburg hipsters in skinny jeans and hoodies, Wall Street bankers in Brooks Brothers and 5th Avenue ladies who lunch in Chanel. Sure, you could say the same is true for Londoners as there are trends that seem to capture the imagination of Notting Hillbillies, Sloane Rangers and Hoxtonites alike, but somehow these are executed with individual panache that makes…

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Barking Irons: Authentic Americana, New York

  While in New York this past week, I ended up in New York's Bowery District several times, completely unknowingly and without any forward planning. People just invited me there for dinner or lunch at the very cool restaurant called Freemans and the sweet brunch spot called the Five Points Restaurant. Once upon a time, The Bowery was home to high European culture and then was the centre of a grassroots movement of artists and musicians in America's new melting pot in the late 1800's. However, since the early 1900's the area has languished as a skid row zone of brothels, run-down buildings and grime. Today, the Bowery remains one of the few areas in Manhattan yet to be gentrified…

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Marc Jacobs: The Cult of Corporate Cool, New York

Who said that big brands can't retain the DNA of what made them interesting in the first place? This past week in New York, I visited the Marc by Marc Jacobs store on Bleecker Street, the little brother store to Marc Jacobs mainline collection. Both businesses are owned by LVMH, the world's largest luxury goods conglomerate. Marc Jacobs is also the Creative Director for Louis Vuitton, the company's largest fashion brand. So, you might expect that the company feels corporate and over marketed. Thus, it was a pleasant surprise to walk into the Marc store and see a huge yellow chicken mascot sitting in the store window. A (suitably cool) photographer named Thom was taking photos of customers posing with…

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