Spring/Summer 2011 | The Season That Was

LONDON, United Kingdom — One never knows exactly what to expect from fashion month. Which designers will soar higher, which will stumble, and which will seemingly rise from the ashes? Four weeks of shows, parties and extravaganzas finally came to an end last Wednesday, and the answers to many of these questions have now been revealed. But of course fashion week isn’t just about shows and parties, it is also the time of year

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Horyn and Menkes beg to differ on designer appointments, Vuitton’s boom, Eco-friendly factories, Luxury Titanic?

Christophe Lemaire, new chief designer at Hermes | Source: Adah

Three Separate Challenges (NY Times) “With a number of companies now being run by equity-market managers, you can bet your bottom dollar that they would love to get their hands on an experienced design maestro — if more were available.” A New Pragmatism Behind the Catwalk (IHT) “A post-recession strategy likely to define luxury brand management for the early 21st century has emerged from a week packed with

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New Look scraps IPO, Superdry flotation, H&M beats forecast, Models’ age-old issue, Horyn’s fashion future

Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2010 | Source: style.com

New Look joins list of companies scrapping IPOs (Independent) “The fashion chain New Look yesterday became the third major company in as many days to scrap a planned stock market flotation, blaming the lack of appetite of potential investors.” Superdry owner SuperGroup plans stock-market flotation (Guardian) “SuperGroup, the fashion company behind the fast-growing Superdry label, is expected to unveil plans to

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Valentino | The last word

On the eve of his final couture show held in Paris on Wednesday, Valentino Garavani was telling Italian newspapers that business is ruining the fashion industry and that he wished he had had time to groom a successor before retiring. Earlier this year, Permira, the private equity company, won a battle with The Carlyle Group for control of the Valentino business, which at the time was split up amongst several shareholders who had aligned themselves with different investors, leading to a down-to-the-wire battle for the venerable Italian fashion house. This may explain why Mr Valentino chose to use particularly strong language to describe the state of the fashion industry, telling Italy's Messagero newspaper that: "The world of fashion has now…

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Marc Jacobs: Getting into the fray

In what is what is likely a first in the fashion industry when it comes to the blogosphere, Marc Jacobs has joined the ongoing online debate raging about his supposed row with Suzy Menkes, the highly regarded fashion editor of the International Herald Tribune. In his comment on Cathy Horyn's On the Runway blog, Jacobs says: I did NOT stick my tongue out at Suzy Menkes……I pulled a stupid face with my tongue out in happiness for being done with what has been a great but most stressful season for me. I am not stupid, childish or a vindictive person….I had prior to the show left a silly t-shirt and a nice note for Suzy on her seat. Why would…

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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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Cathy Horyn: Video on the Runway

It seems every few weeks I come across some interesting quotes from or video clips of Cathy Horyn of the New York Times. As one of the first major fashion critics to pen a regular blog, it's not surprising that she believes in the importance of blogging to the fashion industry. Regular readers know that this is a recurring topic on the BoF, especially after what I heard from some industry people at the Harvard Business School Retail and Luxury Conference earlier this year. This is a video I came across where Julie Fredrickson of Coutorture attempts to interview Ms. Horyn on the topic of Web 2.0 and fashion. I use the word "attempts" intentionally. As you will see, by…

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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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