Richemont recovery, Menswear’s positive signals, Discount sleight-of-hand, Oligarchs tested, Ford picture perfect

Cartier Panther | Source: Cartier

Richemont reveals recovery in demand (FT) “Richemont, the world’s second-biggest luxury goods group, on Monday reinforced signs of a recovery in demand for expensive watches, jewellery and accessories with Christmas sales well ahead of expectations.” Hopes for 2010 fashion recovery at Milan menswear (Reuters) “Many executives and designers at Milan’s menswear shows said they were looking ahead with guarded

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Rupert helms Richemont, The new front row, Tom Ford’s focus, Prada pushes boundaries, Pratap weaves magic

Johann Rupert, CEO Richemont Group | Source: Connectingwatches

Rupert ready to resume the helm at Richemont (FT) “Johann Rupert said yesterday that he would retake the helm as chief executive of Richemont from April, indicating that the world’s second-largest luxury goods group still expected storms ahead.” Style bloggers take centre stage (FT) “Also on the front row… sits a slender, less familiar figure dressed in grey T-shirt, jewelled necklace and tuxedo

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Affordable luxury wins, Fighting shoppers’ guilt, Tom Ford women’s, Safilo finds investor, Jun Takahashi in profile

Tommy Hilfiger Fifth Avenue Flagship | Source: Tommy Hilfiger

‘Affordable Luxury’ Bucks the Crisis (NY Times) “Tommy Hilfiger just opened a 22,000-square-foot store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, a move that, in this economy, some might call insane. But the Hilfiger line, like many midrange designer brands, is growing, while other labels, notably at the high end, are struggling to hang on to market share.” Fighting Back Against Shoppers’ Guilt (WSJ) “Guilt

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Burberry’s blowout, Ford’s funding, Luxury rents drop, Clements Ribeiro’s comeback, Luxury expands in Calgary

London Fashion Week: Burberry (Telegraph) "A shower of silver sequins rained down on 1,500 guests in a vast white tent in the grounds of the Chelsea College of Art & Design last night (Tuesday), creating a starry climax to the Burberry Prorsum show at London Fashion Week." Burberry Jumps After Ahrendts Says U.K. ‘On Fire’ (Bloomberg) "Burberry Group Plc rose as much as 5.8 percent in London trading after Chief Executive Officer Angela Ahrendts said the clothing maker’s U.K. business has been “on fire” as demand for luxury goods improves." Tom Ford Seeking At Least $50 Million (PEHUB) "Tom Ford International is on the hunt for financial backers, two sources familiar with the situation told peHUB. The New York-based fashion…

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Stocks rise as fears subside, Uniqlo continues to build, Cavalli extends license, Ford splits, GQ embraces diversity

Dow Industrials at close 04/02/2009

Change in Bank Rules Lifts Stocks (NYT) “Hopes that the worst days of the financial crisis are retreating lifted stock markets on Thursday after government leaders pledged huge new financial rescues and a regulatory group moved to rewrite financial regulations and accounting rules.” Fast Retailing: Uniqlo Mar Same-Store Sales Up 7.9% Y/Y (WSJ) According to the brand, “same-store sales at its domestic Uniqlo casual

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Friday Column | Russians, Recession and Really, Really Expensive Jeans

Balmain jeans | Source: Courtesy Rex Features

LONDON, United Kingdom — If one wanted an indication that nothing is ever going to be the way it was in luxury, this was the week to watch. Forget about Karl Lagerfeld’s paper accessories at the Chanel haute couture show (a gimmick if there ever were one.) Consider instead the dichotomy of two of the most interesting items in this week’s fashion news. First, that Tom Ford is bringing out jeans with a $990 price tag in the midst of

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IHT Supreme Luxury: Interviews with Ford and Arnault

We are seriously enjoying these videos from the IHT Supreme Luxury Conference being held this week in Moscow. Suzy Menkes, while not a natural television interviewer, asks all the right questions and solicits some very interesting responses from her interviewees. Today she quizzes Tom Ford on his new label and asks Bernard Arnault about the impact of the credit crunch on the luxury industry. Bernard Arnault, Chairman and CEO of LVMH

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Tom Ford: Building a brand, one partner at a time

I was reading about the NexCen-Camuto acquisition of Shoe-Box and it got me to thinking about Tom Ford. Why, you ask? Because, unlike his tenure at Gucci where, as Fashion Inc points out, it was all about controlling everything, Tom has been using an innovative strategy similar to NexCen's in building his eponymous business. Nexcen (NEXC) believes that by focusing on developing the brand while outsourcing other activities to carefully chosen partners, they can capture outsize performance from their brand investments. It's certainly not an easy proposition to "fix" brands like Bill Blass and Athlete's Foot this way, but I have been intrigued by NexCen ever since I heard Craig Hoffman, an MD at NexCen, speak at the HBS Luxury…

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Links of the week: Sexless Gucci, Gianni-less Versace, Thom and Brooks Brothers

The Times of London: G-ForceFrida Giannini, the last remaining designer of the trio that was selected to replace Tom Ford at Gucci, is an advocate for Gucci without the sex. According to The Times, the results speak for themselves with a 16% increase in sales to over £1.5b - the highest in the company's history. The New York Times: The Murder on Ocean DriveGianni Versace, who was feted at a glamorous ballet last weekend in Milan, was murdered 10 years ago this month. Cathy Horyn gives us a behind-the-scenes take on that shocking week in Miami in 1997, showing a different side of Gianni's replacement, his sister Donnatella.The Wall Street Journal: Brooks Brothers tries hip line: Will it suit?As a…

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Men’s luxury: Time for an (arm)revolution?

That oft-ignored market for men's luxury has been popping up on my radar screen a lot more often in the last few months. Up until now, men's luxury spending has been dominated by expensive watches. But, as a generation of high net-worth men with a taste for modern design is growing up, more players are reaching out to meet their sophisticated needs in innovative ways. It brings to mind a casual gathering of friends that took place in my kitchen on a recent Saturday evening. Over wine and cheese, I watched in awe as hedge fund managers, private equity investors and investment bankers from London's burgeoning financial community were comparing, discussing and examining each other's (expensive) watches in excruciating detail.…

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Links of the week: Ethical plastic, Tom Ford, and Rodnik for HBS

Thisismoney.co.uk: Exposed: I am not an Ethical Bag and Susie Bubble: I am not a Smug Twat The Anya Hindmarch "I am not a Plastic Bag" PR catastrophe got worse when it was revealed that the bags were made in China and probably cost a carbon fooprint fortune to get them over to the UK. Now, in an even funnier twist, Susie Bubble has photos of ripoff bags m0cking the buyers of those bags, saying "I am not a smug twat" on sale for £19, but currently sold out. Certainly not the expected turn of events for Sainsbury's, or Anya Hindmarch, or most upsettingly, for the genuine campaigners for ethical and socially responsible consumption. BoF first discussed this issue back…

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Tom Ford in person: Go Beta First, New York

On my last trip to New York, I finally managed to see the new Tom Ford flagship store in person. After all of the hubbub about its "Hermes and Oprah" similarities, I wanted to judge for myself. Was Cathy Horyn right in criticising the high price-points as being out of reach even for the most discerning male customers? Was Horacio Silva on the mark for panning the store for its overly-exclusive environment? I'm afraid the answer is yes. In spades. For all of the talk about the luxurious feel of the store, I have to say it all felt quite ordinary to me. That is to say, it didn't feel different from most of the other masses of luxury stores…

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