Milan Fashion Week | Commerce and creativity

While London is often the spark of new ideas and New York is confidently commercial, the Milan shows usually sit somewhere in between. They may not be the pushing the limits of fashion in terms of new ideas, but they specialise in striking the right balance between commerce and creativity. Many buyers and editors complained of an uncharacteristically inconsistent offering from Milan's usually focused designers last week. But we think there was a lot to be impressed by in Milan, especially from the some of the heavyweight brands who show there. Take Burberry, for example. Christopher Bailey is on a clear winning streak, softening his approach this season with the perfect autumnal mood for the urban birds who walked down…

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Discreet Luxury: This is slow fashion

There was quite a bit of interest our recent post  Discreet Luxury - A Segment to watch. Stealth wealth consumers want something special and discreet and therefore reject obvious logos, product ubiquity and sameness. Though the category is dominated by thousands of small, independent brands, Bottega Veneta is the one global brand that has been emblematic of how well this can work from a business standpoint. This video supplements a Wall Street Journal article entitled Inside a Salon that Serves the Logo-Phobic and takes you inside Yuta Powell's discrete luxury boutique in New York's Plaza Athénée Hotel (I didn't know New York had its own Plaza Athenee either!). The store stocks niche luxury brands like Boudicca, Azzaro and Kiton and…

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Discreet Luxury: A segment to watch

The signature red sole of an $800 Christian Louboutin pump. The trademark intrecciato weave of a $4000 Bottega Veneta bag. The colourful inner lining of a $2500 Paul Smith suit. These are the markers of a movement being described by industry watchers as Discreet Luxury. Tired of the logo-fixations of the 1990's and early 2000's, certain luxury customers, who don't feel like shouting about their wealth to the world, are shunning logos for clothes and accessories that are unmarked -- except for one usually understated detail that announces the item's provenance and brand to those in the know. Many of these consumers are in advanced luxury markets like Japan and Western Europe, and have exacting standards for quality, craftsmanship and…

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