BoF compiles the most important professional moves of the week.
The mystery of the Chinese consumer (Economist) “After decades of deprivation and conformism, Chinese consumers regard expensive consumer goods as trophies of success… The owner of a gleaming new BMW will drive around for half an hour to avoid a 50 cent parking fee. And she will hesitate to spend much on interior decoration, because only her family sees the inside of her flat.” Alaïa Opens Up His Universe (IHT)
Earning Her Stripes (WSJ Magazine) “From small-town roots in Indiana to the big time as head of Burberry, a $2 billion fashion empire and one of the most widely recognized brands in the world, Angela Ahrendts takes it all in her stride.” The Next Wave (NY Times) “It is not just six names who are making waves in New York, but an entire generation of designers who have the potential to transform what we think of as
Permira in talks to buy back Valentino debt-sources (Reuters) “Private equity investor Permira is in talks to buy back some of the debt it amassed to purchase Italy’s Valentino Fashion Group two years ago, sources close to the matter said. Permira and other shareholders of Valentino Fashion Group plan to invest up to 300 million euros ($452 million) to reduce the Italian fashion house’s debt of about 2.2 billion
Prada bankers contact Richemont on stake-paper (Reuters) “Bankers for Italy’s Prada fashion house have contacted Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA about the Swiss company taking a stake in it, la Repubblica newspaper said on Saturday. In an unsourced report, the Italian daily said the banks, including Intesa Sanpaolo SpA and UniCredit SpA, would like an industrial partner for Prada with a stake of up to 30.”
Every week there are reports of new online fashion retailers, but some of the biggest names in the UK are noticeably absent from the space. Selfridges and Harvey Nichols have essentially no online fashion businesses to speak of, while the venerable Harrods is selling a heavily edited mix of its lower-priced collections, with an emphasis on accessories, knitwear and outerwear only. All of this is even more surprising when you consider that many of the major American department stores, with similarly large profiles, have made heavy (and successful) pushes into the online space. Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Barney's all have online sites with a large fashion assortment for sale. What's more, many of the world's best known…
Roland Mouret, as part of his new partnership with Simon Fuller, is taking to the web to launch his new collection under the newly-founded RM label. With high-profile behind-the-scenes coverage of the collection's unveiling at Couture Week on Net-a-Porter, we may be seeing the first evidence of Mr. Fuller's influence and experience in having marketed such pop phenoms as the Spice Girls. He may not have fashion experience, but Fuller is a man who knows how to work with creative talent and get front-page attention. What's more, this coverage is actually going to be linked to sales to end customers. In a first for the fashion industry, the small 21 piece collection for Spring Cruise 2008 will be available for…