BoF Exclusive | First Look at the brand new Thakoon.com and behind-the-scenes webisode

Webisode sneak peek of Thakoon Pre-Fall 2011 NEW YORK, United States — The landscape of fashion communication and commerce continues to change radically, and not just for big brand innovators like Burberry and Louis Vuitton. For a whole generation of formerly “emerging” designers — including Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang and Thakoon Panichgul — digital innovation is now a central part of their strategies for taking their

…Continue Reading

The Fashion Trail | BoF Breakfast Club

BoF Breakfast Club at Norwood Club | Photo: Drew Innis

NEW YORK, United States — When I first met Rachel Shechtman at a Harvard Business School luxury goods conference back in 2007, we quickly learned that we had much in common. Since then, we have made a point of meeting for breakfast to catch-up and discuss the state of the industry whenever work brings me to New York City. It got us to thinking. With the non-stop madness of the fashion business, many of us don’t make the time

…Continue Reading

Top 10 Fashion Films of the Season

LONDON, United Kingdom — According to network technology and services company Cisco, the number of people who watch web videos will surpass 1 billion by the end of 2010. By 2014, web video alone will account for 57 percent of all consumer internet traffic. Already, more than 2 billion videos are played each day on YouTube alone. With staggering statistics like these, it’s no surprise that fashion brands, both large and small, are investing in online video content, while agencies that represent commercial artists are urging their fashion photographers to reposition themselves as image-makers who can direct short films. But what makes a good fashion film? And are these the same primary concerns that go into a good fashion photograph?…

…Continue Reading

Autumn/Winter 2010 | The Season That Was

Alexander McQueen digital tribute at On|Off, London | Source: The Business of Fashion

LONDON, United Kingdom — The passing of Alexander McQueen and the future of his namesake brand provided the defining background narrative of the Autumn/Winter 2010 collections. Everywhere a fashionista went, in every conversation, at every show, party and presentation, the ghost of Alexander McQueen seemed to linger as the industry struggled to come to terms with its most sudden loss of creative genius since Gianni Versace was

…Continue Reading

Nestlé beauty takeover, Paris Men’s Fashion Week, Proenza Schouler stays course, Couture’s viablity

Nstle products, photo courtesy of BusinessWeek

In pursuit of beauty (The Economist) Nestlé, the Swiss food giant, may take over L’Oreal. From capitalism to communism (IHT) “From rampant capitalism to sober communism in a single year – that is the trajectory of menswear for the 2009/10 Paris season.” Proenza Schouler Stays The Course (WSJ) “While fashion labels have been trying to figure out what needs to be changed in order to survive this

…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

Breaking News | Is Barneys about to become a basket case?

News has been trickling in all week about confusion around the strategic direction being taken by Barneys and today, the New York Times is reporting that its highly respected CEO Howard Socol will resign next week. This is an abrupt change of tone in the buzz around Barneys, which is arguably the most influential and forward thinking luxury and fashion department store chain in America today. Bergdorf Goodman, of course is a venerable store in its own right, but it only has one location in New York and  its sister company, Neiman Marcus, based in Dallas, is far removed from the New York fashion hub. Yes, Neimans serves an unequaled luxury customer, but it just does not have the fashion…

…Continue Reading

Paris Fashion Week | The brand revivalists

Amongst the most anticipated collections this season in Paris were the debuts by new designers at the helm of established brands -- Stuart Vevers for Loewe, Estaban Cortazar for Ungaro, and Alessandra Facchinetti  for Valentino. Each brand has faced its own unique challenges in finding the right creative spark to sustain brand awareness and business performance. While many fashion companies are practically clambouring to establish a presence and gain legitimacy in the lucrative leather goods category, Loewe has a long, rich history in beautifully-crafted leather goods, including a strong link to the  Spanish Royal family. But despite its enviable heritage and high quality, Loewe has had a hard time breaking into the younger fashion mainstream. Enter Stuart Vevers, who has…

…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

Breaking news: Valentino is calling it quits

Following his blowout 3-day fashion fiesta in Rome earlier this summer, WWD is reporting today that Valentino and his longtime business partner, Giancarlo Giammetti, will both step down from their positions at Valentino after this season. Finally, the fashion industry's rampant speculation about Valentino's future role in the post-Permira world will come to an end. But, this will only make more room for the other question on everyone's lips: Who will replace Mr. Valentino? Zac Posen and the designers behind Proenza Schouler (which was recently injected with $3.7m of funding from Valentino Fashion Group) are amongst the names being tossed around. Over at Fashion Inc the money is on Proenza Schouler. Others are saying that Alessandra Fachinetti, the former womenswear…

…Continue Reading

Valentino: The end of new beginnings?

Many column inches and much screenspace has been dedicated to Valentino over the past few weeks. The Business of Fashion has been no exception to this trend. What with the acquisition of Valentino by Permira, the celebration of Valentino's 45th anniversary at the helm of his eponymous label in Rome last weekend, and the announcement of a 45% investment in Proenza Schouler by Valentino Fashion Group this past week, there has been much to write about -- or, more specifically, to speculate on. Will Valentino continue to design for his label or was this party the beginning of the end? How well will Permira be able to manage Valentino, their first investment in luxury fashion? What will Permira do with…

…Continue Reading

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…

…Continue Reading