Friday Column | Shockvertising

Tom Ford ad

LONDON, United Kingdom — Here’s a depressing sign of things to come. According to Luxury Briefing, Trendhunter has deemed “Shockvertising” a key trend for 2009. What’s Shockvertising? Advertising that borders on porn. Yes, you can blame the credit crunch. If consumers won’t be lured be grace and beauty, well let’s give them smut and see if that works. And it could work. Just look at the success

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A Tale of Value and Three Pairs of Shoes

Dunhill Shoes

LONDON, United Kingdom — There’s been quite a lot of talk about value lately. But what does value really mean, and how are different consumers evaluating their purchases? Dunhill recently held a private sale in a discrete space in a Mayfair alley with some deeply discounted prices. It’s something many luxury companies have been doing to help shift stockpiles of their products in a way that doesn’t damage the

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Valentino | Still in the spotlight

NEW YORK, United States — While he has technically left his eponymous house, Valentino Garavani has certainly not left the public eye. Following his departure from Valentino Group, the iconic Italian designer received the Légion d'honneur in France, celebrated 45 years in fashion in an over-the-top multi-day extravaganza in Rome, and premiered a feature-length documentary, Valentino: The Last Emperor directed by Matt Tyrnaur, at important international film festivals in Venice and Toronto. Then in March, at a star-studded soiree in New York, Mr. Valentino was feted by friends like Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow, at a launch event for the film and conducted several television interviews, including ones with Oprah and this one with Charlie Rose (with his business partner Giancarlo…

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Friday Column | Credit Crunch Fashion

PARIS, France — Sitting through the Paris collections, I was struck by how unappealing much of it seemed. I find that the editors who attend shows season after season get caught up in analysing a brand in terms of its recent history. Has it moved on, they ask? Where is it going? The ultimate compliment they pay is: “I’d wear that.” Now that I’m slightly removed from the day-to-day of it all, I tend to sit

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Paris Fashion Week | Cavalli’s Clash with the Zeitgeist

Cavalli insignia projected on new flagship, Paris

PARIS, France — On Saturday night, at the grand opening fete for Roberto Cavalli’s new Paris flagship on ritzy rue St Honoré, they were giving out large, plastic-coated goodie bags in the bold, signature leopard print for which Mr. Cavalli has become known over the years. Most recently, he used this to great success in his collaboration with H&M, which effectively introduced the Cavalli brand and aesthetic to a whole new

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Friday Column | A Tale of Three Revivals

The Last Balmain, courtesy of Style.com

PARIS, France — I’m in Paris for the collections, after sitting last season out. It’s funny the way everything looks different when you’re actually here. Take Balmain, for instance. I assumed, from what I read in the press after last season’s showing by designer Christophe Decarnin, that it was the collection du jour; the one that everyone adored, adored, adored. It turns out that well, this is not really

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Friday Column | Failure to re-launch?

Matteo Marzotto, courtesy of The Sartorialist

LONDON, United Kingdom — The recent news that Matteo Marzotto and Gianni Castiglioni have bought the Vionnet brand reminded me of the old saying about second marriages: a triumph of hope over experience. Arnaud de Lummen has already had a hand at reviving Vionnet, the classic couture brand, over the past few years, but has now moved on to other projects. (You can read all about it in BoF’s exclusive interview with de Lummen.)

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London Fashion Week | Missing shoppers, bad bears, and good frocks

Four Bad Bears, courtesy of DShort.com

LONDON, United Kingdom — Last night, at a cocktail party to celebrate the opening of the Azzaro pop-up store on London’s Mount Street, I bumped into Robert Bensoussan, the highly-regarded former CEO of Jimmy Choo. The place was rammed with guests. Economic armageddon was nowhere in sight. But, more often than not, came up talk of the economy. Bensoussan told me he had been in New York visiting stores and had never seen so

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Inside the Studio | Giles Deacon | Chapter III

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“The Surprise of Collaboration…” Not everyone thinks of fashion designers as business people, but fashion ultimately requires designers, especially independent designers like Giles Deacon, to stay in touch with the realities of managing a business every day. In the third and final chapter of Giles’ story, we learn how collaborations with major partners like New Look, as well as creatives like LOVE

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