This edition of Paris Fashion Week Men's includes Abloh's in-person return to Off-White and Louis Vuitton after a months-long break, Kim Jones' Dior, plus the debut of Raf Simons' sneaker line and Vetements' first show without Gvasalia. Jacquemus' decision to stage his first co-ed show at men's week, rather than alongside the women's collections next month, is perhaps most intriguing. It's a sign that menswear is a big enough draw for editors and influencers, in Paris at least. Jacquemus, who has an uncanny ability to generate viral moments out of his shows, also has fewer competitors for the spotlight this week. Inviting 1,000-plus guests to the enormous Paris La Défense Arena is sure to garner international headlines and Instagram posts aplenty.
The Bottom Line: Paris continues to draw top international talent, in the last year adding buzzy designers from Japan (Doublet), London (Green, Kostadinov) and America (Bode, Rhude).
Prestige cosmetics sales have slumped in the US, though Too Faced and others have found success with mascara, an $8.5 billion global business according to Euromonitor
When Rihanna sets her sights on a new category, it's worth paying attention. The arrival of her beauty brand's first mascara, though likely to be a strong seller, may not have the same impact as some of her other recent launches. Prestige makeup sales are sluggish in the US, though mascara has avoided the worst of the slump (even "no makeup" VSCO girls still wear it). Fenty also won’t catch competitors asleep at the wheel, as was the case with foundation; Too Faced’s Better Than Sex is Sephora’s best-selling item in any category, and the brand’s Damn Girl mascara had a successful launch last year, thanks in part to a viral TikTok campaign. Fenty’s got a similarly suggestive name and, at $24, a similar price point, with its chief advantages being Rihanna and the LVMH connection with Sephora. Will that be enough?
Variations on this headline have been written many times before, but the trade war really does look to be winding down this time. The deal expected to be signed this week cancels apparel tariffs that were set to kick in last month, though separate 15 percent duties on clothing, footwear and leather goods remain in place. Still, the agreement means one less source of geopolitical uncertainty, leaving Australia wildfires, Hong Kong protests, French strikes, Brexit and tensions between the US and Iran. Fashion was just starting to feel the trade war's bite, with US imports of Chinese-made apparel plunging 31 percent in November compared with a year earlier, and Chinese tourists spending less at US stores.
The Bottom Line: Apparel manufacturing that left China may be slow to return, if it ever does. The trade war accelerated an ongoing shift toward Southeast Asia, where labour costs are lower.