Armani loosens grip, Sheikh eyes Lacroix, Black to Boss, China’s widening wage gap, Saks offers stock

Armani Names Group of Lieutenants But Succession Questions Linger (WSJ) "Giorgio Armani, after recovering from a months-long bout of hepatitis, slightly loosened his grip on his fashion empire Wednesday, naming one of his most-loyal executives as deputy chairman, as part of a management reorganization." View the Armani S/S 10 runway video here. Sheikh's position strengthens in Lacroix auction (FT) "The sheikh of Ajman yesterday emerged as the frontrunner to buy Christian Lacroix, the loss-making French fashion house, after Italy's Borletti Group dropped out of the auction." Hugo Boss signs Graeme Black to drive womenswear (Drapers) "Hugo Boss has named London-based designer Graeme Black as creative consultant for the Boss Black women’s collection." Gucci Snake Bag Draws Ire in China as…

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Armani profits drop, PPR focuses, Puma restructures, Uniqlo thrives, Fashion embraces activism

Armani's 5th Ave. store, courtesy of Armani

Armani profits drop 14% in ‘difficult’ year (FT) “Giorgio Armani, the trend-setting Italian fashion group, reported a 14.6 per cent fall in profits in 2008 in spite of a slight rise in revenues and the opening of 50 new stores, as its owner reflected on a ‘difficult’ year for the industry.” PPR says to focus on cash and cost-cutting (Reuters) “French retail and luxury group PPR on Thursday

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Everybody’s talking about | Fashion phones

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Nokia 7900 Crystal Prism Phone"][/caption] LONDON, United Kingdom - Something is in the air. Earlier this week, we received a mysterious package in the post from Nokia. Inside, we found a 7900 Crystal Prism phone, complete with a Sapphire crystal and engraved design by French graphic designer Frederique Daubal, who has previously collaborated with Paul Smith and Colette, the iconic Paris fashion concept boutique. Not only this, the fashion and technology blogosphere has been abuzz about Tag Heuer's branded mobile phone, priced to compete with the Vertu phones, at 3900 euros (or about $6000). Previously, other fashion brands including Prada, Armani, and Levis have launched mobile phones with much hype and fanfare. To top it all…

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Everybody’s talking about | Men’s underwear

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="David Beckham billboard in Milan, courtesy of Emporio Armani"][/caption] MILAN, Italy - Every once in a while, we notice the media -- all kinds of media from blogs to arty fashion mags to the mainstream press -- talking about the same topic in a contemporaneous burst of discussion. In the past few days, the talk has been about men's underwear. Or rather, the advertising campaigns behind this burgeoning business segment. Not since the 1980's and Bruce Weber's campaigns for Calvin Klein have we seen so much media interest in men's underpants.  Tim Blanks explores the subject at length in VMAN's Fall/Winter 2007 issue in The History of the Male Supermodel. And, according to an article in today's…

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Emporio Armani: Online, at long, long last

I couldn't get over the irony of this quote from Giorgio Armani in todays WWD, which announced Emporio Armani's upcoming  e-commerce launch in the United States "In the last seven years, I have seen mounting enthusiasm for online fashion shopping in the United States through the growing success we have had with our A|X Armani Exchange site," Armani said. "Over this same period I have also observed the increasing sophistication of fashion consumers shopping online, which has encouraged me to develop this new site for my Emporio Armani lifestyle." Seven years! This is a remarkably long time for a reputed business genius to finally see the opportunity in selling luxury and fashion online to customers beyond his teeny-bopper A|X customers.…

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Crowning glory: The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund

For all of you budding young designers based in America, the CFDA has officially begun its annual search for America's most promising young designers. Each year, the CFDA awards a $200,000 grant to the winner, along with mentoring from a recognised fashion business guru as part of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.  Past winners include the intelligent and talented Doo-Ri Chung (looking super glam in this ad) who is mentored by J.Crew's legendary Mickey Drexler and the refined-beyond-their-years Proenza Schouler design duo, Jack McCullough and Lazaro Hernandez, who were mentored by Burberry's impressive former CEO, Rose Marie Bravo. This is a really great initiative from the CFDA and other venerable fashion names like Barneys New York and Vogue. That said, I…

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