Digital Scorecard | Chanel’s Unsharable Masterpiece

PARIS, France — Yesterday, Chanel launched its long awaited Chanel No.5 short film Train de Nuit, featuring Audrey Tautou, who is no stranger to the storied French couture brand. Often compared to Mademoiselle Chanel herself, Tautou has now twice taken on the role of the famous coutourière, most recently in Coco Avant Chanel, a film exploring her early life and times. Within seconds of seeing the opening shot of the 2 minute short film, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who previously worked with Tautou on the award-winning film Amélie, the viewer is struck by Tautou's alluring presence, as she rushes to catch the Orient Express which takes her from 1955 Paris to modern-day Istanbul in mere seconds. This is the Internet…

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Friday Column | How to Survive the Recession

Hollywood stars take on the red carpet

LONDON, United Kingdom – According to analysts, we’ve just come through the worst holiday selling season in 40 years. If that’s not bad enough, Chanel announced that it is laying off 200 people in Paris. Chanel! That surprised everyone I spoke to in the industry. For one thing, Chanel is not masstige — it wasn’t catering to the masses, the part of the market said to be most impacted by the recession. For another thing,

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Wal-Mart wins, Blass’ swan song, Veggies in skin care, Chanel cuts jobs

Wal-Mart, photo courtesy of

Retail Winners and Losers This Holiday Season (Seeking Alpha) “Wal-Mart is the only real retail winner during the 2008 holiday shopping season, which is presaging more retail bankruptcies in the year ahead,” reports Seeking Alpha. A long swan song for the Blass House (IHT) It was the beginning of the end when Bill Blass sold his eponymous label in 1999. Veggies invading the skin care market (IHT) The supermarket produce

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Blass closes, Nike paces ahead, Max Azria runway shows, Chanel cancels Mobile Art

Bill Blass Couture to Close (WSJ) Once the go-to house for American socialites and Hollywood elite, Bill Blass Couture will close. Nike picks ups its pace  (Just-style) Strong performance in international markets has helped the sportswear giant achieve a 9% profit increase in the second quarter.  Max Azria: The Show(s) Must Go On (WSJ) Although the BCBG Max Azria Group has taken a financial hit like so many other fashion companies,

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The rise of the online fashion film

NEW YORK, United States - Quoting Steven Kolb, executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, saying the format of showing the Fall 2009 collections this February is the “number one item on everyone’s agenda right now,” The Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Runway blog recently asked the question: "Will fashion shows survive the economy?" To answer this question, it's important to consider how fashion shows function in today's media landscape. Increasingly, images and video from runway shows, captured by the established media, as well as a new generation of fashion bloggers wielding video-enabled camera phones, reach a global audience of fashion consumers, in close to realtime, on Style.com, YouTube and fashion blogs around the world. As…

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Optimistic Chanel, Jewelry loses luster, Chinese slowdown, Kohl’s

Coco Futures (The Economist) Maureen Chiquet of Chanel remains optimistic even as Bain & Company predicts that the luxury industry will contract by 3-7% in 2009. "Even in tough times," she says "people want to see beautiful and inspirational things." Sales of high-end jewelry lose their lustre (AP) According to the Associated Press, "demand for jewelry has waned as consumers put their income toward the high cost of food and fuel." Slowdown threatens stability, says China PM (FT) China's PM, Wen Jiabao, "warned that high growth was needed to maintain social stabilit." Kohl’s on the Holiday Offensive; Campaign, Major Price-Cuts Kick Off This Week (WSJ) As a way to "win over budget-conscious shoppers," Kohl's is one of the first retailers…

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Squa.re | Chanel’s pioneering video

LONDON, United Kingdom - Last night, I caught up for dinner with Olivier Bassil, one of the co-founders behind the exclusive video-sharing site Squa.re. I have known the team behind Squa.re from its early days, and like all new Internet businesses, I have seen it go through its fair share of fits and starts. But, its core video proposition continues to hold promise and Olivier and his passionate team, which includes former Warner Music executive Paul-Rene Albertini as CEO and a key mentor, have been tweaking their original model and will unveil a re-design of the site in the early Autumn which will improve the user experience, introduce a directory feature which catalogs all the content, and establish a VIP area,…

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Rodeo and Robertson: Build it, and they will come

After having checked out some of the more up-and-coming areas of L.A, it was time to visit the king and queen of luxury and fashion here: Rodeo Drive and Robertson Boulevard. The most remarkable thing about both these streets is that the stores really are an extension of the brands themselves. In Paris, London and even New York, most brands are constrained by existing building facades and building codes which they must work around as they design their stores. In Los Angeles, it appears that the brands have complete freedom in design, and therefore, if done well, every aspect from the sparkling exteriors, the natural lighting, the size of logos outside the building, and even the dramatic entrances off the…

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