Luxury’s new king, Barneys and Holts?, Escada deadline, Samsonite bankruptcy, Norma Kamali’s internet push

Francois Henri-Pinault and Salma Hayek

The new king of luxury (Fortune) “Since taking the reins of one of the world’s biggest fashion empires, François-Henri Pinault has put his stamp on Gucci, YSL, and Puma. Now the luxury business is putting him to the test.” Barneys Said to Weigh Debt Swap Amid Buying Interest (Bloomberg) “Barneys New York is weighing a debt restructuring or bankruptcy filing that may wrest control from the Dubai

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Gucci’s CEO charts new direction, Barneys still CEO-less, Small luxury takes a hit, Samsonite’s lifeline

New Gucci store concept, courtesy of Gucci

Gucci Renews GG-Logo Purses Priced Below $3,000 Under New Chief (Bloomberg) As reported late last year on BoF, “Gucci’s new chief executive officer, Patrizio di Marco, said he’s fighting the recession by cutting production, making fewer styles to reduce costs, and bulking up the luxury label’s mid-priced range.” Lengthy Search for New CEO Dogs Barneys (WSJ) “Barneys has spent more than a year

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Giles Grows, EU tackles internet sales, UK retail rises, Barneys pulls back, Donatella blogs

Giles Deacon to quadruple sales (Drapers) Giles Deacon has announced a business partnership with Castor Srl which will help him to achieve the business aspirations he first mentioned to us in our Inside the Studio video series in February. (Watch video here) EBay May Sell More Luxury Goods Under Draft EU Rules (Bloomberg) "EBay Inc.'s traders may have fewer restrictions on selling luxury goods under European Union regulators' plans to break down barriers to Internet sales." April clothing sales strongest since 2006 (Drapers) "Retail like-for-like sales rose 4.6% in April, with clothing showing the strongest growth since late 2006, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC)." Barneys aiming to close 2 stores (Reuters) "As the impact of the global recession…

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Oscar fashions, Factors drop Barneys, London’s cool girls grow up, J.Crew launches stores

The Oscars

Oscar fashions give no hint of the weak economy (Newsday) Despite tough times, no one was slumming it at the Oscars. Factors Drop Barneys Over Sale Uncertainty (WWD) Factors are no longer approving spring orders from Barneys over its uncertain future. (Subscription required) London’s ‘cool girl’ starts growing up (IHT) The perpetual focus on an ever-renewing young generation seems to be the mark of British

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Breaking News | Is Barneys about to become a basket case?

News has been trickling in all week about confusion around the strategic direction being taken by Barneys and today, the New York Times is reporting that its highly respected CEO Howard Socol will resign next week. This is an abrupt change of tone in the buzz around Barneys, which is arguably the most influential and forward thinking luxury and fashion department store chain in America today. Bergdorf Goodman, of course is a venerable store in its own right, but it only has one location in New York and  its sister company, Neiman Marcus, based in Dallas, is far removed from the New York fashion hub. Yes, Neimans serves an unequaled luxury customer, but it just does not have the fashion…

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London Fashion Week | Tough times ahead

Everyone's talking about London's young designer set -- and the news is not good. The media has been buzzing about the wave of  familiar faces who will be missing from the front rows this season. Julie Gilhart, Ron Frasch, and Ken Downing won't be making it to London Fashion Week this season to represent major American department stores Barneys, Saks and Neiman Marcus, respectively. For Julie, a fervent supporter of London's emerging brands, it is the first time in 20 years that she won't be here. These buyers have told the press that unless London's designers produce something very special or have strong existing relationships with US retailers, they will have a hard time making up for the spiralling effect…

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