Pucci sans prints, Oscar eyes London, Niche brands out of favour, Online sales up, CSM serves up drama

Emilio Pucci in his workshop, 1950s | Source: Life in Italy

Without the Prints, Can It Still Be a Pucci? (WSJ) “Under the hand of designer Peter Dundas, the six-decade-old fashion house is reinventing itself as an It brand. In the process, it is shifting its emphasis from kaleidoscopic cruisewear to cocktail dresses and sweeping gowns.” Oscar de la Renta continues expansion (Reuters) “‘We continue to offer, and continue to sell, $20,000-plus off-the-rack

…Continue Reading

H&M gains, Dior releases trailer, Esprit opens new stores, LV exhibit to open in HK, De La Renta looks to the Gulf

H&M S/S 09 ad campaign, courtesy of H&M

H&M’s 8% April Comparable Sales Gain Breaks Trend (WSJ) “Fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB Friday said April sales in comparable stores rose for the first time since July, indicating that it may be recovering from the global trend of consumers reining in spending amid the economic slowdown.” Dior Jumps on the Viral-Video Bandwagon (NYMag.com) “The House of Dior will release a short film on May 20,

…Continue Reading

CEO Talk | Alex Bolen, Chief Executive Officer, Oscar de la Renta

Alex Bolen, CEO, Oscar de la Renta

NEW YORK, United States – It’s a new year, but the news hasn’t changed all that much for the luxury business. In fact, as the numbers roll in from the holiday season and for the fourth quarter of 2008, many executives’ worst fears are playing out. It’s a good thing the industry has leaders like Alex Bolen around to keep us all optimistic. A few seasons ago, I received an invitation to the Oscar de la

…Continue Reading

De La Renta’s luxe Pre-Fall, Nautica shutters women’s, Doo.Ri’s new line, Mascara buzz

Oscar de la Renta’s Unabashedly Luxe Pre-Fall Collection (WSJ) Unlike some designers who are forgoing runway shows to cut costs, Oscar de la Renta staged a "glitzy" pre-fall 2009 show yesterday in New York. Nautica to close women’s division (CNN Money) Nautica is to shutter their money losing women's division. Doo-Ri to Launch Lower-Priced Line Next Year (WWD) Doo.Ri is launching a secondary, lower priced, yet to be named line that will take after her signature looks. Mascara Provides Buzz to The U.S. Makeup Industry (WSJ) Mascara has seen a rise in demand at a time when sales for the overall makeup industry is on a decline. Oscar de la Renta Pre-Fall 2009, photo courtesy of Oscar de la Renta.

…Continue Reading

New York Fashion Week | Playing it safe

NEW YORK, United States - New York already has the reputation of being the most commercial of the fashion capitals, but this New York Fashion Week has taken that stereotype to new levels. With economic uncertainty swirling through the city (Lehman Brothers is the latest Wall Street Bank whose future is in question) and footfall at department stores dropping precipitously, the mantra of the week seems to have been 'Play it Safe!" Over and over again this week, young designers have told me that the big buyers are sticking to proven silhouettes in basic colours, veering away from the fashion items. While the basics and staples of designer collections will always be important part of the product assortment, it seems…

…Continue Reading

New York Fashion Week | Furry optimism at Oscar, Peter Som and Proenza Schouler

The day before Super Tuesday in the American primary elections might be called Mega Monday at New York Fashion Week, with established heavyweights like Oscar de la Renta showing alongside the city's new establishment of Proenza Schouler and Peter Som. Young or old, a newfound fancy for fur (and its premium pricepoints) was a common thread, even in these recessionary times. But, Oscar is no old-fogey. His collection came out to the sweet sounds of Regina Spektor, the young hip pianist. During the show, I had the good fortune to be seated next to the company’s CEO, Alex Bolen, who also happens to be Oscar’s son-in-law. It was a great opportunity to have a pre-show chat. Before I could even…

…Continue Reading

New York Fashion Week: Oscar’s church of posh

Joyous. That's how Natalie Massenet of Net-a-Porter described Oscar de la Renta's Spring/Summer 2008 collection to Alex Bolen, the company's CEO, after today's show. The setting in an Upper East Side church, the lovely dresses in bright gorgeous hues, and music from a band-cum-gospel choir culminated in a show-stopper from this legendary designer. Roger Federer, Victoria Beckham, Anna Wintour and others were there to soak it all in. With utterly beautiful dresses targeted squarely at the ladies who lunch crowd and their daughters (many of whom were in the audience), Oscar showed that he operates in a market where you don't have to change things too much from season to season in order to make your mark. He leaves the…

…Continue Reading