Behind Comme des Garçons is Zen-Loving Contrarian

Adrian Joffe | Photo: Thomas Lohr for BoF

At a time when the art-commerce balancing act is a daunting challenge for many creative companies, Comme des Garçons chief executive Adrian Joffe, who has no formal training in either art or commerce, has become an unlikely master of juggling both.

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Exclusive First Look: Six Design ‘Iconoclasts’ Interpret Louis Vuitton’s Monogram

Karl Lagerfeld and Frank Gehry for Louis Vuitton | Photo: Karl Lagerfeld for Harper's Bazaar

Today, BoF brings you an exclusive first look at Louis Vuitton’s ‘Celebrating Monogram’ collaboration with six art and design legends: Karl Lagerfeld, Frank Gehry, Cindy Sherman, Marc Newson, Christian Louboutin and Rei Kawakubo, each of whom have re-imagined the fashion powerhouse’s iconic monogram.

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Adrian Joffe, Tending the Garden of Comme des Garçons

Adrian Joffe | Photo: Thomas Lohr for BoF

Comme des Garçons has quietly grown a global multi-brand fashion business that now generates $220 million in revenue per year. BoF talks to Adrian Joffe — president of Comme des Garçons International, retail guru behind Dover Street Market and a member of the recently launched BoF 500 — about tending the precious root of creativity from which the company’s unconventional collections and business strategies both derive.

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Arnault’s empire, Talbots buy-out, US retail sales up, Hong Kong slows, Kawakubo’s achievement

Bernard Arnault | Source: Courtesy Photo

The empire of desire (Economist) “Mr. Arnault is the chairman, chief executive and controlling shareholder of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), the world’s largest luxury group. Over the past quarter-century he has transformed a small, nearly defunct clothing manufacturer into a conglomerate that controls more than 60 luxury brands.” Talbots Accepts Lower Sycamore Bid in $369 Million Takeover (Bloomberg)

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Esquire’s survival, Gilt Groupe layoffs, Sharp silhouettes, Campaign trail, Lady Amanda Harlech

David Granger by Robert Caplin | Source: NY Times

How Esquire Survived Publishing’s Dark Days (NY Times) “Amid the plague that hit the magazine industry back then, Esquire was worse off than most. Beaten up by a crop of lad magazines like Maxim, then hammered by the flight of advertisers and readers to the Web, Esquire suffered a 24.3 percent loss in advertising pages compared with 2008.” Gilt Laid Off More Than 100 People (The Cut) “A source tells us today that

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Berlin Fashion Week rising, Westwood tax penalty, Analysing fast fashion, Absorbed in images, Rei Kawakubo

Vivienne Westwood Gold Label Autumn/Winter 2011-12 | Source: Vivienne Westwood

The Quiet Rise of Berlin Fashion (WSJ) “Twice a year, with a series of high-profile fashion shows, the couture quartet of New York, Paris, Milan and London issues style edicts for the next season: hemlines are up, charcoal is the new black. But another capital has long held its own quiet but powerful sway in the fashion world: Berlin… With a few stops and sputters, German fashion has since picked up speed and garnered attention for

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Givenchy’s pure couture, Burberry shareholder revolt, Made in Britain, Armani for Japan, Rei Kawakubo’s vision

Givenchy Couture by Riccardo Tisci, Autumn Winter 2011-12 | Source: Givenchy

Givenchy: Pure is Beautiful (IHT) “Mr. Tisci’s vision of asking the impossible from his ateliers is part of the story. But the main thread of his collection is the link to those few, rare customers who are searching for the exceptional. And that suddenly seems like 21st century haute couture.” Burberry faces shareholder revolt over ‘excessive’ executive pay (Guardian) “Burberry faces a revolt over executive pay

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Tom Ford video, Hermès-LVMH saga, Branded content, Rei’s inspiration, Tomas Maier says ‘Just have less’

Tom Ford's Private Spring '11 Show (Grazia Daily) "If there’s one man who knows how to tantalize an audience, it’s Mr Tom Ford. Because, as a New Year gift, the designer has bestowed upon us super-glossy footage of his highly-secretive, high-security showcase four months after it took place." Regulator to weigh Hermès buyout waiver (Reuters) "France's stock market regulator will examine Hermès request for a waiver on buying out minority shareholders on Thursday as the luxury goods maker tries to fend off a takeover from rival LVMH, according to a person familiar with the matter." 7 Stellar Examples of Branded Content from the Fashion Industry (Mashable) "From online blogzines to Tumblr-powered micro sites, branded content is quickly  becoming a cost…

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Luxury spending rebounds, Mr. Miuccia, Della Valle ups Saks stake, Tokyo sets sights on new gen, Return of the it bag?

Roger Vivier Miss Viv | Source: Holt Renfrew

What The Rich Are Buying Now (Forbes) “While most consumers aren’t returning to their pre-recession shopping patterns, there has been a rebound in luxury spending lately. Ultra affluent shoppers … have started to come out of hiding” Miuccia and Me (WSJ) “Bertelli, is the mastermind behind a label most people associate with his wife, Miuccia Prada, the avant-garde designer who has created global

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CDG Frenzy at H&M in Tokyo, Hosiery sales, Markdowns, Women in Luxury

Rei Kawakubo and H&M team up in Tokyo store (IHT) Die hard fans waited for 3 days outside of H&M in Tokyo to snap up goods from the Swedish fast fashion retailer's collaboration with Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, as reported in the Business of Fashion on Friday. The New Hosiery Index? Sales Crept Up as Economy Went Down (WSJ) Lipstick sales have risen in the previous downturns, but this time, hosiery is making retail moves. Mania for Markdowns: Consumers Get Benefit, But Vendors Squeezed (WWD) Due to "disastrous" sales in the month of October, retailers are cutting prices a month earlier compared with previous holiday shopping seasons. Women in Luxury (Time) Time magazine profiles 12 "women in luxury."…

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