Suzy Menkes: Sources Say Raf Simons To Take Over At Yves Saint Laurent

PARIS, France — We usually leave ‘breaking news’ stories to the wire services and Twitter, and don’t like to propagate unsubstantiated rumours, but sometimes the news is so big, and the source of the rumour is so credible, that it warrants immediate comment and analysis from BoF. In her rapturous review of Raf Simons’ Spring/Summer 2012 collection for Jil Sander, the highly-respected fashion editor of

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Department stores’ comeback, Karl for Macy’s, China boosts Adidas, Retail dichotomy, Louboutin victory

Karl Lagerfeld for Impulse | Source: Catwalk Queen

Dowdy Department Stores Start Looking Cool Again (WSJ) “The sector, long derided for dowdy merchandise, maze-like stores and crumbling facades, is making a comeback. Macy’s Inc., Nordstrom Inc. and Kohl’s Corp. are posting solid sales gains even as consumers remain cautious and manufacturing costs rise—and they are poised to continue the streak this fall.” Lagerfeld for the Masses, Again (On the Runway) “Macy’s unveiled its

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Miu Miu strikes a chord, ASOS global, Hugo Boss boost, Louboutin vs YSL, Rocking fashion in Berlin

Miu Miu Autumn Winter 2011 Photographed by Bruce Weber | Source: Miu Miu

Prada Woos Young Chinese With Edgier Sister-Brand (WSJ) “Aiming to cash in on China’s bulging population of young fashion-lovers, Prada is turning its focus in the Chinese market to its… Sister-brand… Miu Miu has struck a chord with China’s young luxury shoppers… Who… Don’t remember the era in which the brand was overshadowed by the Prada label.” Global growth drives ASOS sales (FT) “Online

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Commerce and content, Raw materials prices rise, M&A pressure, YSL versus Louboutin, Chronicles of Never

'Read and Shop' on Mr.Porter edited by Jeremy Langmead | Source: Mr.Porter

E-commerce Luring Top Editorial Talent (WWD) “A new kind of magazine has indeed arrived online and its bringing editors into the sales business. For the last year, fast-growing online retail companies like Gilt and Net-a-porter in the U.K. have been scooping up orphans from the magazine world with the idea that editorial content can help them drive sales.” Rising raw prices to hurt luxury margins (Reuters) “Record

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Pilati’s precarious pedestal, Sexual extremes, Cutting a new cloth, Prada shuns Milan Borsa, Anne the angel

Stefano Pilati | Source: Fashion Squad

Balanced on Fashion’s Wobbly Pedestal (NY Times) “In total, Mr. Pilati has been a designer for nearly 30 years, during which time he has had highs and lows, wrestled with drug abuse, and constantly questioned his place in fashion and whether the pressures are worth it.’I have worked and worked and worked hard again… I have been a monk here.’” It’s Hard to Be Sexy (NY Times) “Of course, all this

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Top 10 Fashion Films of the Season

LONDON, United Kingdom — The fashion film movement has hit the mainstream, with well-known brands like Prada and Y-3 running integrated, cross-channel campaigns around high-impact digital videos and a dedicated Digital Schedule for fashion films and catwalk streams now in place at London Fashion Week. But there were no signs that the medium was condensing around fixed codes. Quite the opposite. What we saw was the kind of restless innovation and constant evolution that characterises the fluid nature of digital media itself, with an explosion of new films that energised, but also transcended, the seasonal presentation schedule, speaking directly to consumers across the internet as part of in-season digital campaigns. During the Paris menswear collections, Stefano Pilati opened the Yves…

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YSL in the black, Net-a-Porter profits, Wal-Mart reflects harsh economy, Lacroix goes back to basics

[caption id="attachment_2450" align="alignnone" width="501" caption="Stefano Pilati of YSL, courtesy of Wallpaper"][/caption] Black is back at Yves Saint Laurent (Financial Times) After ten years of losses, Yves Saint Laurent breaks even amid the current recession. Net-a-Porter profits rocket (Drapers) Due to improved margins, Net-a-Porter's pre tax profits are up 300 percent to £9 million. Wal-Mart's Profits Attributable to Sad State of Economy (Seeking Alpha) "Wal-Mart is one of the few stalwarts to actually expand business amidst today's financial carnage and the glowing statistics are not to be mistaken for a grandiose harbinger of U.S. economic vitality." Christian Lacroix Heads Back to the Basics (WSJ) As a response to the economic tumult, Lacroix pulled back on his signature exuberance.

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The rise of the online fashion film

NEW YORK, United States - Quoting Steven Kolb, executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, saying the format of showing the Fall 2009 collections this February is the “number one item on everyone’s agenda right now,” The Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Runway blog recently asked the question: "Will fashion shows survive the economy?" To answer this question, it's important to consider how fashion shows function in today's media landscape. Increasingly, images and video from runway shows, captured by the established media, as well as a new generation of fashion bloggers wielding video-enabled camera phones, reach a global audience of fashion consumers, in close to realtime, on, YouTube and fashion blogs around the world. As…

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Yves Saint Laurent | The Final Farewell

PARIS, France - There was wall-to-wall coverage of Yves Saint Laurent's funeral in Paris on Thursday, but as usual, it was Suzy Menkes, in her own erudite and quirky way, who best managed to capture the mood of the moment in her article and video about Saint Laurent's final farewell. That John Galliano, Christian Lacroix, Ricardo Tisci, Valentino Garavani, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Sonia Rykiel, Stefano Pilati, Mark Jacobs, Alber Elbaz, Hubert de Givenchy and Vivienne Westwood were all there to pay homage speaks to Saint Laurent's towering status amongst his peers and YSL successors. The one notable absentee was Karl Lagerfeld. Marc Jacobs, speaking of Saint Laurent's influence on his own designs, said simply "He's the person who taught me everything…

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Yves Saint Laurent | 1936-2008

PARIS, France - The inventor of modern-day ready-to-wear, the first designer to use black models on his runway, the first to bring androgyny to high fashion, the successor to Christian Dior, the first to license his name to other businesses, and one of the youngest designers ever to be at the helm of a major Parisian Haute Couture house, Yves Saint Laurent, died at his home on Sunday evening, June 1, 2008.  Fans of YSL, or simply those who want to learn more, may want to check out the newly-opened (and, I guess, impeccably-timed) YSL retrospective at the Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal which runs until September 28, 2008 and which is being planned in conjunction with La Fondation…

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Designer skins, Copyright cash, YSL and Fashion billionaires

Pimp your Google homepage (CNet) iGoogle, the popular service from the Internet behomoth, has partnered with Oscar de la Renta, Tory Burch and Dolce & Gabbana to provide designer skins for users to personalise their iGoogle pages. Adidas wins $305m in copyright case (WWD) Following our revelations about Steve Madden's blatant copying, Adidas is awarded $305m in the largest award ever in a trademark case against Payless. Valerie talks to Vanessa (Financial Times) Vanessa Friedman interviews Valerie Hermann, chief executive of Yves Saint Laurent, to learn how she is digging the historic French house out of the red. The Fashion Billionaires (Forbes) Forbes has released a list of the world's fashion billionaires, with Amancia Ortega, Stefan Persson and Bernard Arnault…

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YSL: Interactive experimentation

For years now, the Yves Saint-Laurent brand has been a drag on the otherwise strong results posted by many other fashion brands in the Gucci Group, owned by parent-company PPR. Most recently, Bottega Veneta has been on a tear with strong financial results (eclipsing YSL's top line revenue in 2006) and a leading position in the luxury consumer league tables, making it the number two luxury brand in PPR's stable. The story for YSL is a lot less fairytale, and a lot more Nightmare on Elm Street. The brand has not been profitable since Gucci Group purchased it in 1999 and is still reportedly losing around €50m a year. The brand turned over €194m in sales in 2006. PPR doesn't…

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