Colin’s Column | Are changes to fashion education crippling innovation in the world’s creative capital?

LONDON, United Kingdom — Design is generally about function leading form in a problem-solving exercise that almost always starts with a sense of discontent with what is generally available and a strong determination to make it better and even change radically a template that might have been used for many years. The result, in the hands of the right practitioner, is a completely new solution to the problem, a solution that works for

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The Fashion Trail | Modern Mumbai and Lakmé Fashion Week

Bandana Tewari at Lakmé Fashion Week | Photo: BoF

MUMBAI, India – From the minute I landed in Bombay—as everyone here still calls it—the rapidly shifting nature of contemporary India was apparent. Instead of waiting in agonisingly long queues at the airport, I breezed through immigration, customs and bag collection in only 45 minutes. That’s faster than one can make it through most terminals at Heathrow or JFK these days. Outside the airport, cranes building a new terminal towered

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Brands Experiment with Weibo, China’s Answer to Twitter

Gucci brand page on Sina Weibo | Source: Weibo

SHANGHAI, China — In the parallel internet universe behind China’s “Great Firewall,” where search engine Baidu is Google, etailer Dangdang is Amazon, and video sharing site Youku is YouTube, the microblogging service Weibo (pronounced Way-Bwah, literally microblog) — launched in August 2009 by online media giant Sina Corp — has emerged as the country’s answer to Twitter. According to brokerage and investment group CLSA Asia-Pacific

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Colin’s Column | What is Wrong with Haute Couture and Fashion Today

Mona Bismarck wedding dress by Cristobal Balenciaga | Source: monabismarck.org

Today we are honoured to welcome Colin McDowell to our team of contributing editors at The Business of Fashion. In his regular column, we will hear his personal stories, reflections, and insights from over thirty years working in fashion as a designer, educator, critic and commentator. PARIS, France — In the wake of the couture shows in Paris, I have been thinking about what is wrong with current couture and, indeed, fashion

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CEO Talk | Matteo Marzotto, Chairman, Vionnet

Matteo Marzotto, CEO Vionnet | Source: BoF

MILAN, Italy — When Matteo Marzotto, stylish scion of the Italian fashion dynasty announced in February 2009 that he was acquiring the storied House of Vionnet, owned at the time by Arnaud de Lummen who had already had a go at reviving the sleeping beauty himself, the response from the fashion industry was simultaneously one of intrigue and distaste. On the one hand, a swarm of journalists and buyers packed into Marzotto’s Milan

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Proenza Schouler says Social Media has an Extraordinary Impact on the Business

“Blogs posting things about us, going viral, spreading throughout the internet… it has an extraordinary impact on the business.” Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough, speaking to BoF Founder Imran Amed at the Independent Fashion Bloggers Conference at New York Fashion Week during a wide-ranging conversation about the power and influence of social media on their budding business

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From Brazil, 5 Emerging Talents to Watch

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — “I didn’t even know international trade fairs existed when I set up my business in 2003,” admitted Alessandra Migani, founder of Brazilian designer label Alessa. “I got a phone call from ABIT (the Brazilian clothing and textile association) telling me they wanted to show my collection at trade show Simm in Madrid,” she told BoF from her stand at womenswear show Who’s Next in Paris earlier this month, where she

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Charles Nolan | 1957-2011

NEW YORK, United States — Today, at a funeral service and celebration, the New York fashion community bids farewell to one its most loved personalities, Charles Nolan, who passed away over the weekend after a long battle with cancer. Before starting his own business, Charles played an instrumental role in the development of iconic American fashion businesses including Bill Blass, Ellen Tracy and Anne Klein. I only had the chance to

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The Fashion Trail | Fashion Rio Reaffirms Its Raison-d’Etre

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — While Sao Paulo Fashion Week kicked off on Friday, the industry’s eyes have been on Brazil and its booming fashion sector for a few weeks already, specifically on Rio de Janeiro and its own designer showcase, Fashion Rio. The weeklong run of shows in the country’s second city traditionally precedes the higher-profile Sao Paulo collections. And in the first month of the new decade and with an increasingly

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BoF Exclusive | Fashion Film Premiere: The Elder Statesman

Today, BoF is pleased to bring you the exclusive premiere of a film by The Little Squares about rising luxury business, The Elder Statesman LOS ANGELES, United States — “Ever since I was a little boy, I always gravitated towards well made things. Always. It was innately in me,” says Greg Chait, the amicable and charming founder of The Elder Statesman, in For The Record, an editorial newspaper to be distributed during Paris

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The Fashion Trail | In Italy, Digital Strategies are only Screen Deep

Hogan A/W 2011 Presentation | Source: The Business of Fashion

MILAN, Italy — In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, luxury fashion brands found themselves scrambling to develop strategies for the so-called “new normal.” Logos and conspicuous consumption were out, it was said. Customers were now looking for understated luxury, value and discretion. And so, in uncanny lock-step syncopation, brands from Louis Vuitton to Gucci to Dolce & Gabbana began a strategic march to

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BoF Exclusive | ‘China’s Oprah’ Hung Huang Picks Her Top 5 Chinese Fashion Talents

Hung Huang | Source: Hung Huang

BEIJING, China — Imagine a brand new China where modern women reject increasingly ubiquitous foreign luxury goods, and their counterfeit reproductions, in favour of raiment designed by local Chinese fashion talent. This is the vision that Hung Huang, the entrepreneurial CEO of China Interactive Media Group and the oft-described “Oprah of China” — she also runs fashion magazine iLook, frequently appears on television as a cultural

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Fashion Pioneers | Nick Knight Says Heart and Mind are the Key to Fashion Imagemaking

Imran Amed and Nick Knight at Fashion Pioneers | Photo: Samir Hussein

LONDON, United Kingdom — Ten years ago at 19:27 GMT on 27 November 2000, at a time before streaming runway shows, before Facebook, before YouTube, before the rise of Web 2.0 itself, Nick Knight’s transformative fashion website SHOWstudio.com went live. Mr. Knight, a boundary-breaking fashion photographer, had considered the internet and saw something that others did not: where many in the industry saw only ugliness and risk, Mr.

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