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Week in Review | Charlotte Tilbury, Hung Huang, Carlos Jereissati, Kenya, Free Press, Fashion's Rumour Mill

BoF editor-in-chief Imran Amed recaps the week in the business of fashion.
Charlotte Tilbury | Photo: Thomas Lohr for BoF
By
  • Imran Amed

MARRAKECH, Morocco — It was one of those weeks where we took a veritable tour of inspiring fashion stories from around the world. Starting in our own backyard in London, we spoke to Charlotte Tilbury about her unusual — and fantastic — childhood growing up in Ibiza, where she was constantly surrounded by characters who looked like living, breathing Antonio Lopez illustrations. No wonder, then, that Tilbury has become one of the industry's most respected make-up artists. Last month, Tilbury launched her own beauty brand after working for over a year and half to build brand awareness. It seems like it has all paid off. Market reports say the business has made a very strong start. Now, the trick will be to maintain the momentum.

In China, we heard from the highly reputed industry commentator Hung Huang, who penned an interesting piece about the potential upside of the slowing growth in China. The timing of Huang's piece was impeccable, as it came during the same week when an interview in French newspaper Les Echos with Angela Ahrendts sent shockwaves throughout the industry as she described the 2012 slowdown in China as the "new normal."

The very persistent press office at Burberry took pains to underscore that Ms Ahrendts' comments were not made in the context of current trading, but were made while reflecting on the company's performance in 2012. In any case, we will find out about how the company is faring in China and elsewhere next week when Burberry reports its latest financial results.

We also met with 'The Man Who Brought Luxury to Brazil," Carlos Jereissati, one of the recently inaugurated members of the BoF 500. Mr Jereissati oversees the Iguatemi Group, one of the most important shopping centre developers in Brazil, where the primacy of mall culture and robust luxury sector growth have combined to offer a promising path for international brands to enter and exploit this fast-growing market.

Marion Hume reported from Kenya, which is still reeling from the recent terrorist attacks at the upscale Westgate Mall which left at least 67 people dead. Several industry insiders with connections to Kenya — from Suno's Max Osterweis to Edun's Ali Hewson — weighed in on the impact of the attacks on their operations in Kenya.

And finally, Colin McDowell made a compelling defense of a free fashion press, following the open letters issued by several designers in response to what they deemed to be unfair or unreasonable critiques of their collections.

But there were also some lessons for the fashion media this week, relating to the unsubstantiated, yet frenzy-generating rumours that Richemont had put the Net-a-Porter Group on the selling block and LVMH had confirmed speculation that Nicolas Ghesquière would be taking up the role of creative director at Louis Vuitton.

The Net-a-Porter rumour came as a big surprise to most industry observers and was quickly squashed by Richemont who, exceptionally, issued a statement denying the rumours. LVMH was also quick to stamp out the Ghesquière rumour, although it is by now the industry's worst kept secret that he is the frontrunner for the Vuitton role. What's unfortunate is that a slew of irresponsible websites have been reporting unsubstantiated information, based on reports published elsewhere on the web, without doing any real fact-checking or reporting themselves.

Also, don't miss my bi-annual review of The Season That Was, recapping the topics that dominated the conversation at the recent shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris.

See you all next week.

Imran Amed
Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Links:

Charlotte Tilbury's Transformative Touch (People)

The Silver Lining to China's Slowing Growth (Opinion)

Carlos Jereissati, the Man Who Brought Luxury to Brazil (People)

Fashion Hearts Kenya? (Global Currents)

In Defense of a Free Fashion Press (Opinion)

Spring/Summer 2014 | The Season That Was (Opinion)

Building Linda Farrow (Intelligence)

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