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What Will Vetements Be Like Without Demna?

This week, everyone will be talking about the men's shows at Paris Fashion Week, an agreement to end the US-China trade war and Fenty Beauty's first mascara. Get your BoF Professional Cheat Sheet.
Models walk the lavender fields during the Jacquemus show in June | Source: Arnold Jerocki/WireImage
By
  • Brian Baskin

THE CHEAT SHEET

Paris Fashion Week Men's Highlights

Vetements will stage its first show since the departure of Demna Gvasalia | Source: InDigital

  • Paris Fashion Week Men's runs January 14-19; Virgil Abloh is expected back for Off-White and Louis Vuitton after a break from travel, Vetements shows for the first time without Demna Gvasalia
  • Simon Porte Jacquemus will show his first co-ed collection in a 40,000-seat stadium on January 18
  • New to the schedule: Clare Waight Keller's Givenchy, Craig Green, LVMH Prize winner Doublet and Kiko Kostadinov

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). 

Laure Guilbault contributed to this item

Rihanna Eyes the $8.5 Billion Mascara Market

Fenty Beauty's first mascara goes on sale January 16 | Source: Instagram/@fentybeauty

  • Fenty Beauty will launch its first mascara, Full Frontal, with Sephora on January 16
  • Rihanna's LVMH-backed beauty brand generated €500 million in sales in the year after its 2017 launch
  • 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? 

The Bottom Line: Full Frontal will be a test of Rihanna's selling power, as the product lacks the disruptive quality of her 40 shades of foundation or body-positive Savage X Fenty lingerie.

An End in Sight for the Trade War

The US and China have reached an agreement to ease trade tensions | Source: Shutterstock

  • US and Chinese officials will sign a "phase one" agreement on January 15 de-escalating trade tensions between the two nations
  • The deal cancels tariffs on $156 billion in Chinese goods set to kick in December 15, and lowers other tariffs implemented in September
  • President Donald Trump is threatening 100 percent tariffs on French goods, including wine and handbags
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.

SUNDAY READING

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