Fashion News Alert: Jason Wu Pairs with Eloquii, Gucci Invests Millions in Diversity, Tom Ford Takes Over at the CFDA, and Lacoste Celebrates Keith Haring

Image courtesy of formoptic.com

OK, it has all come to past. Tom Ford has been named chairman of the Council Federation of Fashion Designers (CFDA). His new job goes into effect on January 1, 2020.Tom Ford takes over the role of chairman from Diane von Furstenberg, who helmed the CFDA for thirteen years. Ford has been a member of the CFDA since 2000 and has won seven CFDA awards, winning the CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year in 2015.

One of the many challenges that Tom Ford will face in taking over the chairmanship of CFDA is New York Fashion Week (NYFW). NYFW is rumored to be moving to The Shed at the newly opened Hudson Yards for the spring 2020 season.

Ford will continue to helm his eponymous fashion label while he serves as chairman of the CFDA. Ford launched his namesake label in 2005.

Image courtesy of harpersbazaar.com

Gucci’s remedy for diversity issues

In response to the clap backs and the backlash around Gucci’s racially insensitive black jumpsuit with a collar image that evoked images of black minstrels, Gucci has launched the “Gucci Changemakers” program. The “Gucci Changemakers” initiative was created to have a “lasting social impact in our communities and within the fashion industry,” Gucci explained through its social media platforms.

Coincidentally, the black turtleneck jumpsuit in question was immediately pulled from stores as a result of the controversy. “We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make. We are fully committed to increasing diversity throughout our organization and turning this incident into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team and beyond,” said the house in an official statement published at the time, as reported in fashionnetwork.com.

Gucci will invest $10 million dollars into the “Gucci Changemakers.” “I believe in dialogue, building bridges and taking quick action. This is why, we started working immediately on the long-term infrastructure at Gucci to address our shortcomings,” said Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri in a press release. “And now through our Changemakers program, we will invest important resources to unify and strengthen our communities across North America, with a focus on programs that will impact youth and the African-American community.”

Hmm, time will tell!!

Image courtesy of authenticallyemmie.com

Jason Wu x Eloquii

Spring 2019 promises to be another season of fashion collaborations. Jason Wu is partnered with plus-size brand Eloquii. This collaborative effort will focus on women from size 14 and up. Jason Wu previously partnered with Eloquii for a Holiday 2018 capsule collection.

“I was so happy to work with Eloquii again on a spring capsule collection that is beautifully feminine and refined,” Wu said of the collaboration. “I especially love the freshness of the floral pieces that are perfect for the warmer season.”

The 26-piece Jason Wu x Eloquii Spring 2019 series includes dresses, tees, blouses, blazers, trousers and skirts, with special attention given to colorful motifs such as pinstripes and florals in a cheerful palette that riffs on blues, greens, yellows, and whites. Prices points range between $59.95 to$149.95.

Image courtesy of viacom.it

Lacoste looks to Keith Haring

Fashion collaborations continue to florish, from Tommy Hilfiger partnering with Zendaya and Gigi Hadid, Reebok teams up with Cardi B, Alexander Wang and Uniqlo, and the list goes on and on and Lacoste collaborating with a brand that will make fashion fans’ hearts quiver.

Lacoste, in collaboration with Artestar, is primed to launch a ready-to-wear and accessories collection celebrating the art of Keith Haring. The collaborative collection pays tribute to Keith Harings’ expressions of bold color, patterns, and pop art of the 1980s. Two of the most recognizable motifs from the collection will be Harings’ “Barking Dog” and “Heart” motif.

The Keith Haring x Lacoste capsule includes the brand’s iconic polo shirts—finished with various motifs—s well as shirts, sweaters, dresses, jackets, swimwear, sneakers, a reversible tote bag and even watches. The Keith Haring x Lacoste capsule collection launches on March 27 on the Lacoste e-commerce store and select Lacoste stores.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Diane von Furstenberg Steps Down, Virgil Abloh and Michael Jackson, John Varvatos Teams with “Games of Thrones,” and Neiman Marcus in NYC

Photo courtesy of yahoo.com

Virgil Abloh, the creative director of Louis Vuitton menswear, drew inspiration from Michael Jackson’s pop culture legacy for the brand’s fall 2019 collection. “My intention for this show was to refer to Michael Jackson as a pop culture artist. It referred only to his public life that we all know and to his legacy that has influenced a whole generation of artists and designers,” Abloh said in a recent statement.In the wake of HBO’s documentary “Leaving Neverland,” that details the alleged sexual abuse of two young men by Michael Jackson, Louis Vuitton has vehemently denied the brand’s deep relationship to Michael Jackson. The brand has stated that there were several inspirations for the men’s fall 2019 collection with the Michael Jackson inspiration being one small part of many inspirations.

“I am aware that in light of this documentary the show has caused emotional reactions. I strictly condemn any form of child abuse, violence or infringement against any human rights,” Virgil Abloh, men’s artistic director at Vuitton, said in a statement released exclusively to WWD.

Abloh referenced Michael Jackson in men’s fall 2019 collection by injecting a tee-shirt printed with an image of his loafer-clad feet and white socks paid homage to his famous dance moves. There were also some sequin-embellished jackets that referenced Jackson’s stage costumes.

In a press release Louis Vuitton explained, “that directly features Michael Jackson elements” and assured that the collection, which had multiple inspirations and that will ultimately reach stores, would “purely reflect the true values of the brand and of our artistic director.” Louis Vuitton also explained that any garments that directly referenced Michael Jackson would not be produced.

Photo courtesy of runwaymagazine.com

Bye, bye Diane

Diane von Furstenberg has been at the helm of the CFDA for 13 years. But the inside word is that she is ready to step down. Rumor is that Tom Ford is primed to take over Diane von Furstenberg’s position. The CFDA and Tom Ford have not commented on the shifts at the organization.

As chairman of the CFDA, Diane von Furstenberg witnessed unprecedented growth in the US fashion market, with international media coverage reaching its peak during her tenure. But in the second decade of her reign things have shifted. Currently, the American fashion market is experiencing a seismic shift full of uncertainty and a shrinking retail market.

The truth is that we are in a moment of everything moving…”von Furstenberg told WWD in the fall of 2018. “It’s a very unsettling moment.” 

Photo courtesy of menshealth.com

John Varvatos’ medieval fantasy

Collaborations or partnerships continue to be a motivating factor in fashion. Acclaimed luxury menswear designer John Varvatos has recently jumped into the partnership pool by teaming with HBO mega hit “Game of Thrones” for a men’s luxury capsule collection based on the show.

One month before the final season of “Game of Thrones,” John Varvatos launches his 11-piece collection. The collection is a take on the fantasy medieval world of “Game of Thrones.” Varvatos includes the shows throne motif throughout the capsule collection with tee shirts, pants, a cross-body bag, and a showstopper hand-dyed leather jacket.

Price points range from $98 to $2,698. The capsule collection launches on March 14 in selected John Varvatos stores, at Bloomingdale’s in the USA, Harry Rosen in Canada, El Palacio in Mexico, and online at www.johnvarvatos.com.

Photo of fortune.com

Neiman Marcus comes to NYC

Neiman Marcus in Manhattan, who would’ve thought? Well, it is about to come true.

Since 1907, Neiman Marcus has expanded to many cities in the US, but never in New York City. New York City has been the stomping ground of Saks, Macy’s, and Bergdorf Goodman. (Other NYC-associated stores have bit the dust, namely Lord & Taylor, Bonwit Teller, Alexander’s, and Gimbel’s.) Finally, Neiman Marcus is coming to New York City with a location at the newly opened Hudson Yards.

“We’re thrilled to be introducing Neiman Marcus Hudson Yards as a continuation of our strategy to transform the Neiman Marcus brand into a digital luxury platform,” said Geoffroy van Raemdonck, CEO of Neiman Marcus Group in a fashionnetwork.com article. “This store recognizes our brand’s history and heritage while adapting to how the next generation of luxury customers shop. Neiman Marcus Hudson Yards will be all about providing physical and digital experiences in a way not seen at other stores, creating a personal customer experience that is seamless and magical.”

The Neiman Marcus store at Hudson Yards will also include Neiman Marcus Travel Shop, an area dedicated to men’s and women’s travel apparel and accessories; the Cook & Merchant’s Kitchen, where shoppers can participate in demonstrations, tastings, and mixology classes; and Neiman Marcus Live, a performance stage offering live activations and concerts. Additionally, there will also be a BLVD beauty salon available to offer blowouts, manicures, pedicures, nail art, lash extensions, laser hair removal, waxing, brow shaping and peel services, as well as, a brow shaping lab and nail art station in the Beauty department.

The Manhattan-based Neiman Marcus is set to open this Friday.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Reese Witherspoon Partners with Elizabeth Arden, Billionaire Kylie, Diesel Files for Bankruptcy, and More Retail Store Closings

Image courtesy of Kylie Cosmetics

On Tuesday, Kylie Jenner was named the youngest billionaire of times by Forbes magazine. Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics, which debuted online in 2015, containing lip liner and lipstick kits for $29 has pushed Jenner into the billionaire class.

Kylie Cosmetics, owned 100% by Kylie Jenner, did an estimated $360 million in sales in 2018. Jenner acquired additional income from making personal appearances and appearing on the reality television show “Keeping Up with Kardashians.”

In 2018, Kylie Jenner signed a deal with Ulta Beauty Inc to put her Kylie Cosmetics’ products in all Ulta Beauty’s 1,163 US stores.

Image courtesy of Elizabeth Arden

 

Reese Witherspoon and Elizbeth Arden celebrate women

Many fashion brands are gearing up to celebrate International Women’s Day. Elizabeth Arden is celebrating by partnering with Reese Witherspoon on a new lipstick. According to the brand’s statement the lipstick’s hot pink shade “Pink Punch’ was inspired by the next generation of young female leaders.

The limited-edition lipstick, ‘March on Beautiful Color Lipstick,’ total sales proceeds will be donated to UN Women. The funds raised will continue to fuel the non-profit organization’s ‘Making Every Woman & Girl Count’ gender data initiative.

“It’s an incredible time to be a woman,” said Witherspoon in a statement. “The work we’re doing with Elizabeth Arden and UN Women is igniting real change and increasing possibilities for women globally.”  “I’m in this for all women—for my daughter, my mother, and all the amazing women in my life,” adds Witherspoon.

Elizabeth Arden has a history of working for women’s causes. Back in 1912, Elizabeth Arden provided red lipstick to suffragettes marching on Fifth Avenue. The “March On Beautiful Color Lipstick” is now available at ElizabethArden.com and in department stores globally.
 
“This campaign serves as a symbol of women’s strength and the powerful possibilities when we support one another,” said Ava Huang, General Manager, Elizabeth Arden. “We are grateful for our partnership with UN Women and their dedication and impactful work toward gender equality.”

Image courtesy of designboom.com

Trouble for Diesel USA

On Tuesday, Diesel USA Inc, the denim and accessory brand known for its jeans, filed for bankruptcy. According to the company the cause was sales decline, cypher fraud, and expensive store leasings.

Diesel USA, which is the New York-based unit of Diesel SpA filed for Chapter 11 protection for creditors in US bankruptcy court in Delaware. Diesel USA has been the sole distributor of Diesel products in the US.

Diesel USA has lost money for the past six years, as annual sales decreased by 53%. And over the last three years the company lost $1.2 million dollars due to cypher fraud. Chief Restructuring Officer Mark Samson detailed in court proceedings that Diesel USA has no intention to shutter, but will restructure by closing some 28 stores, improving its product lines and attempting to appeal more to Millennials, Generation Z, and other consumers.

Image courtesy of footwearnews.co

More store closings

2019 is already proving to be a year of lots of store closing. Payless is stacking up to be the number one company to close stores in 2019. It is reported in usatoday.com that Payless is holding liquidating sales in 2,590 stores with many stores expected to close by the end of March.

Next apparel store to close relative to number of stores in The Gap. The Gap is slated to close more than 230 stores over the next two years. Next in line is Victoria’s Secret that is projected to close 53 stores in 2019.

According to global marketing research firm, Coresight Research, more than 6,300 stores are scheduled to shutter in 2019. Though this amount of store closings is lower than occurred in 2017—a high of 8,139–this number of brick and mortar closing is still very high.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Hood by Air to Relaunch, Senior Cuts at Macy’s, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney Advocates for NYFW, and Generation Z Makes Brick and Mortars Fashionable

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New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is bereft with challenges. In recent years there is the issue of a suitable venue—though that is to change with the opening of Hudson Yards—the low attendance of many fashion industry professionals; big brands departure from NYFW; the loss of corporate partnerships, and the list goes on and on.New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has decided to do something about these challenges. “Fashion and New York go hand in hand and we need to make sure it stays that way,” said Congresswoman Maloney in a press statement. “The loss of Amazon and the jobs it would have brought to Long Island City, makes it all the more important that New York City support and continue to develop industries that stimulate our economy and promote job growth. The fashion industry has proven time and again to be a source of massive economic power for New York City,” explains Maloney.

Congresswoman Maloney has partnered with the Joint Economic Committee on reports that highlights the importance of NYFW to New York City and the fashion industry. According to the 2017 report, the fashion industry generated 4.6 jobs in New York City and generated more than $11.3 billion in wages and $3.2 billion in tax revenue.

The report also demonstrated that NYFW weeks brings in over $600 million in total income annually to New York City which is more than the US Open and Super Bowl combined. The report emphasized the importance of Millenials and Generation Z who will make up 40 percent of the consumer market by 2020.

Hood by Air spring 2017 image courtesy of dailyfrontrow.com

Hood by Air to make a comeback

Hood by Air (HBA) is making a return. According to an interview in SSense, creative director Shane Oliver is expecting to relaunch his company soon.

Shane Oliver created Hood by Air in 2004 and after winning several fashion awards, including the CFDA award in 2015, Oliver put HBA on hiatus after being named artist-in-residence at Helmut Lang for the spring/summer 2018 season. Oliver’s tenure at Helmut Lang had mixed reviews and some fashion pundits contended that Oliver was not a good fit.

With Oliver’s return to HBA, the brand will concentrate on “extracting the essential meaning of the brand, the personalization, impact, and storytelling that made HBA so refreshing in the past.” Oliver also contends that, “critical views on materialism and mass culture, offering potential solutions while proposing new models for consumerism.” 

Shane Oliver has expressed no interest in returning HBA to the NYFW calendar. “Fashion weeks, at this point, are no longer for the people that need them,” Oliver told Ssense. “Through runways, these younger kids essentially just become mood boards for bigger corporations who have the capability to push out [their] ideas at a faster, more commercial, more developed rate. I don’t feel the need to be in that conversation. I want to remove the brand from the conversation of just fashion, in general, and allow it to exist outside of the fashion system, so people can really see I am not trying to prove anything or create a vocabulary for the fashion world.”

Image courtesy of retailshoppers.com

Back to brick and mortar

Though there is much talk about the demise of brick and mortars, and how Millennials and Generation Zers prefer to do everything on their Smart phones, a new survey details that Generation Z is more attracted to brick and mortar shopping than browsing online. This survey was conducted by LIM College.

The survey also found that Generation Zers are bigger spenders than Millennials with 60% admitting they update their wardrobes monthly, compared to 44% of Millennials. If given a $1000 gift card, 40% of Generation Zers would prefer to spend the gift card on accessories and apparel, compared to 23% of Millennials.

“Gen Z seems to be more drawn to ‘things’ than the Millennials are and they are keen to buy apparel and fashion accessories for themselves,” said Professor Robert Conrad, one of the faculty members at the Manhattan-based LIM College, who conducted the survey alongside Dr. Kenneth M. Kambara. “This bodes well for the fashion industry.”

The survey interviewed 450 participants between the ages of 15 and 38.

Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Macy’s Inc. Layoffs

On Tuesday, Macy’s Inc. announced that it would cut 100 senior department positions as the company seeks to cut costs and improve profitability due to a weak holiday season. This restructuring plan will save Macy’s Inc. $100 million dollars in 2019.

“The steps … will allow us to move faster, reduce costs, and be more responsive to changing customer expectations … These actions impact colleagues who have made strong contributions to the company over the years,” Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gennette said as detailed in a fashionnetwork.com article. These cuts will eliminate over 100 vice presidents and senior management positions.

Macy’s Inc. fourth quarter was better than expected, and as of this past Tuesday Macy’s shares traded 2 percent higher at $24.88 in morning trading.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Karl Lagerfeld Transitions, Kim K Slams Fashion Nova, Nicki Minaj’s New Fragrance, and Prada’s Diversity Council

Image courtesy of USAToday.com

It has now become quite common for fashion brands to talk about diversity and inclusion. Unfortunately, most of the conversation around diversity and inclusion comes across as lip service, never translating into real hires in the fashion industry that embrace a wider spectrum of racial groups.With the wave of racially insensitive fashion product that has recently flooded the market, Prada has decided to launch its own Diversity Inclusion Council. This all comes on the heels of the brand’s “monkey key chains” that some consumers felt were a blackface parody.

“Prada is committed to cultivating, recruiting and retaining diverse talent to contribute to all departments of the company,” said Miuccia Prada, Chief Executive Officer and Lead Creative Director at Prada, in a statement posted in fashionnetwork.com. “In addition to amplifying voices of color within the industry we will help ensure that the fashion world is reflective of the world in which we live, and we are thrilled to be working with long-time collaborators, Ava DuVernay and Theaster Gates, on this important initiative. We look forward to working with the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council to help us grow not only as a company but also as individuals.”

Prada’s Diversity Council will work to increase diversity and inclusion by recruiting people of color for apprenticeships and internships. The Diversity Council will work alongside Prada Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department that focuses on community investment, sustainability, scientific research, and culture.

Still, it is questionable if Prada Group’s Diversity Inclusion is more than cosmetic posturing. The brand until less than a decade ago rarely had any black models walking in their runway shows. And more importantly why reach out to noted people of color who work outside of the fashion industry to be on its diversity council. There is a plethora of esteemed fashion industry people of color who could to this council a lot of good!!

Hmm, time will tell!!

Image courtesy of SOHH.com

Nicki’s new scent

Launching a film, a television series or a record album in contingent with a fashion product now seems to be the order of the day. That said; pop sensation Nicki Minaj is following suit. With the release of her album “Queen,” Nicki Minaj is debuting ‘Queen’ eau de parfum.

I’m so excited to be launching a new fragrance for my fans,” Minaj said in a statement. “It’s a special scent fit for a Queen, and for all the Queens in their lives.”

‘Queen’ eau de parfum features top notes of Asian Pear and Bergamot, a heart of Heliotrope and base notes of Tonka Bean, Praline and Musk for a smooth finish. The parfum vial resembles Minaj’s head and torso with a gem-encrusted headpiece that can be detached and worn as a bracelet.

This is not Nicki Minaj’s first dip in the fragrance and beauty pool. Previously Nicki Minaj collaborated with Elizabeth Arden with scents that included the floral “Pink Friday,” a fruity signature fragrance dubbed “The Pinkprint” and a bold, berry blend titled “Minajesty.”

Image courtesy of wwd.com

Counterfeit Kim

Kim Kardashian has accused online fashion retailer Fashion Nova for copying a vintage black cocktail gown with extreme bust cutouts from Thierry Mugler’s 1998 archives. Twenty-four hours after Kim K wore the gown to the Hollywood Beauty Awards on February 17, Fashion Nova produced a similar gown, priced at $50.

Kim K called out the fast fashion online retailer for its duplication, also inciting that this had happened to her husband, Kanye West in the past. (Fashion Nova has copied Kim K garments in the past—in particular, a pink Yeezy dress she wore to her sister, Kylie Jenner’s, 21st birthday party.)

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Kim K might have released an image of the gown in question to Fashion Nova days before she wore the gown to the Hollywood Beauty Awards. (We all know that fast fashion brand like Zara and Fashion Nova can reproduce a garment very quickly, but mass-producing in 24 hours is science fiction.)  

Additionally, fashion pundits contend that Kanye West’s collaborative shoes with Adidas, Yeezy Boots, looked like sneakers that appeared in Rick Owens’ runway shoes a couple of seasons prior to Yeezy Boots debut. So, Kim K what are you complaining about?

Was this just another publicity stunt for the Kardashian clan? Hmm, maybe.

Image courtesy of thefashionlaw.com

Au voir Karl

Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld has passed away. Karl Lagerfeld died on Tuesday in Paris. Rumors had circulated since January 2019 that Lagerfeld was ill. Lagerfeld did not make an appearance at Chanel’s couture show in late January.

Lagerfeld took the helm at Chanel in 1983, transforming the iconic fashion house into a global power. At the time of his death Lagerfeld also was creative director of Fendi, acquiring the position in 1965.

As one of the most prolific fashion designers of the 20th and 21st centuries, Lagerfeld, even into his 80s, was known to create 14 collections a year. Though many fashion pundits referred to Lagerfeld as a ‘styliste,’ a designer that repurposes existing looks, rather than creating original silhouettes in the vein of Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Zhandra Rhodes, Norma Kamali and the incomparable Coco Chanel, Lagerfeld singlehandedly transformed Chanel to a 4 billion dollar a year luxury brand.

Recognizable in dark shades, white powdered hair, lots of silver rings on both hands, fingerless gloves and excessively drinking Diet Coke, Lagerfeld was known for his many cutting quips. “Chanel is an institution, and you have to treat an institution like a whore—and then you get something out of her.”

One of the last of iconic fashion designers of his ilk and generation—Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Sonia Rykiel, and Azzedine Alaia—Karl Lagerfeld will be missed for his genius, his wit, eccentricity, and his prodigious talent.

—William S. Gooch

Breaking Fashion News: Another Kanye Fashion Controversy

Image courtesy of theblast.com

Kanye West is always fodder for conversation, particularly doing New York Fashion Week (NYFW). A few years back, Kanye West was the subject of a badly researched NYFW story. Almost every media outlet covered this misreported story and Kanye was blamed for being arrogant and insensitive to his fellow NYFW designers, as well as snubbing the CFDA.Kanye is once again the subject of another NYFW controversy. However, this time around the controversy is not misreported. There had been much hype around West performing at Philipp Plein’s fall 2019 runway show during NYFW. It was reported that West would be paid about $900,000 for his appearance.

Image courtesy of nytimes.com

For those who are fans of Kanye West or hope to see what crazy rhetoric might come out his mouth, this West appearance would have been a boon for Philipp Plein. Lots of press, lots of screaming hip hop fans, helping to solidly place Plein as hip-hop designer extraordinaire in the US. (Plein for the past four seasons has been gathering momentum as the premier US hip hop designer star, though he creates a totally different design aesthetic for his core consumer in Europe.) Well, all the brouhaha around Kanye West’s appearance will not come to be. According to reports on papermag.com, tmz.com, hypebeast.com, and pagesix.com, a former associate of Kanye West contacted Philipp Plein and negotiated West’s appearance at the Philipp Plein fall 2019 show. (Philipp Plein’s runway shows are some of the most coveted shows during NYFW.)

West’s appearance at the Philipp Plein show all turned out to be a scam and Philipp Plein was duped out of almost a million dollars. According to pagesix.com, West’s former associate forged West’s signature on the contract and Plein wired the money in advance of his fall 2019 runway show.

A representative for Plein issued the following statement as reported in pagesix.com, “We regret to confirm that Kanye West will not be performing at our fashion show this Monday, February 11th. We were beyond excited to work with him but unfortunately an individual pretended to be part of his management team and acted without Kanye’s knowledge, capitalizing on a former friendship with him. Unfortunately, we too were affected by this misrepresentation. We have recently been in contact with Kanye’s official team and are releasing this statement in unison to clarify that there has not been any misconduct on any of our parts. We hope to collaborate with Kanye West in the future and we look forward to our 20th Anniversary show this Monday evening.”

Philipp Plein spring 2019 images courtesy of youtube.com

Hmm, Philipp Plein’s shows, more recently, appear to be rift with musical artists controversy. Last February, many fashion pundits were offended by a hip-hop band that opened his show, spouting the N-word every other second. And this season there is the Kanye forgery. Philipp Plein, get it together,!! Maybe it times to opt out of the musical acts and just let your fashion collections be your ticket!!—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Lagerfeld Partners with Carine Roitfeld, Betsey Johnson Debuts Beauty Brand, Rachel Brosnahan’s New Gig, and Nicholas Ghesquière Goes it Alone

Image courtesy of nytimes.com

For those fashionistas who are familiar with Nicolas Ghesquière’s work for women’s wear at Louis Vuitton, and his work prior to Louis Vuitton at Balenciaga, they will be pleased to know that LVMH has decided to give Ghesquière is own namesake brand.When Ghesquière renewed his contract with Louis Vuitton in 2018 a deal was developed that promised Ghesquière that he would have his own fashion brand. He was instructed to be silent about this development and the financing of his own brand. The exact launch of the eponymous brand is not yet known.

“Delphine (Arnault) is very close to Nicolas and she is the main person behind that project,” one of the sources said. Delphine Arnault is one of Bernard Arnault five children and has recently joined LVMH.

Image courtesy of telegraph.couk

Karl collaborates

Karl Lagerfeld may be closing in on eighty years of age, but that is not necessarily slowing him down. The septuagenarian is collaborating with former French Vogue editor-in-chief Carine Roitfeld on a collection for Lagerfeld’s signature house brand.

“She knows what she wants; she has a vision and she states her vision,” says Lagerfeld of Roitfeld in a company statement. “She is actually what she seems to be; she matches her image, she fits in her universe, and she is a perfect match for KL.”

Edit by Carine Roitfeld will launch in 2019 in Lagerfeld stores; online at Karl.com, and via select wholesale partners in September. KL Fashion is carried in over 100 monobrands in 96 countries including stores in Paris, Moscow, London, New York, Dubai, and Shanghai.

Rotifeld is a long-time friend of Karl Lagerfeld and has worked with Lagerfeld on books, numerous photography projects and styling projects. “Karl is one of the smartest, most inventive, and innovative people I have ever known. Our collaborations are always such a pleasure and continue to be inspiring and exciting each and every time. In spite of this, and after all these years, Karl never calls me Carine—always Madame Roitfeld!” said Roitfeld.
 

Image courtesy of hellogiggles.com

Betsey Johnson expandsAs retailers and fashion brands are seeing a large decrease in consumers purchasing garments, many designers are looking to accessories and beauty to attract consumers. Betsey Johnson is the latest designer that has jumped into the beauty fray.

Though Steve Madden owns Johnson’s fashion brand, Johnson, at the age of 76, is not stopping there. Johnson is teaming up with Fragrance.net to produce a cosmetics line that introduces eight beauty products.

Cosmetics by Johnson will feature a ‘Blend It Babe’ 24-pan eyeshadow palette, a trio of ‘Sparkle On Down’ lip glosses, a ‘Lush Lash’ mascara, a ‘Sparkle Hard’ highlighter powder, a trio of ‘Lip Love’ liquid lip colors, and a duo of ‘Sparkle Plenty’ highlighting sticks. There will also be false lashes and a set of makeup brushes. The entire beauty line is packaged cartoon-like packaging with Betsey Johnson signature aesthetic.

Image courtesy of habituallychic.com

Rachel Brosnahan gets another job

Rachel Brosnahan is not only celebrating her recent SAG Award win for her role in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Brosnahan has been pegged as the face of Frances Valentine. Frances Valentine is Kate Spade’s latest footwear, handbag, and accessories line.

Rachel Brosnahan is the niece of the late Kate Spade. Frances Valentine is named after Kate Spade’s daughter Frances Beatrix, founded by Kate Spade, Spade’s husband Andy Spade and Elyce Arons.

Kate Spade established Frances Valentine after she left her namesake brand. “Having Rachel as the face of the spring campaign would have made Katy smile,” Spade’s college friend and Frances Valentine CEO, Elyce Arons, told Glamour.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Bebe Rexha’s Clapback, Vogue Runway’s Pay to Play, Balmain Returns to Couture Week, and D&G Model Apologizes

Photo courtesy of bbc.com

The fashion industry purports to support diversity and inclusion; however, sometimes that narrative is just idle talk. Particularly, when it comes to dressing celebrities of color that are larger than a sample size.In 2016, “Saturday Night Live” regular Leslie Jones complained that no fashion designers would dress for Award Season red carpets. Christian Siriano came to the rescue. And the red Christian Siriano red dress that Leslie Jones wore during Award Season sold out.

Now, which designer is going to rescue British songbird Bebe Rexha?

Nominated for a 2019 Grammy for her country pop duo “Meant to Be,” Rexha has been getting lots of refusals from designers to create a custom gown for her for the 2019 Grammys because she is not sample size. (The girl has some thick thighs and significant junk in her trunk.) 

I had my team hit [up] a lot of designers,” Bebe Rexha detailed. “And a lot of them do not want to dress me because I’m too big.”

“If a size 6/8 is too big, then I don’t know what to tell you. Then I don’t want to wear your [f***g] dresses,” Rexha said. “You’re saying that all the women in the world that are size 8 and up are not beautiful and they cannot wear your dresses.”

On Tuesday, Christian Siriano offered to dress Bebe Rexha for the Grammys.

Photo courtesy of fashionista.com

Couture is the charm

Balmain returned to the couture calendar after in absence of 10 years. Balmain’s couture show took place at Balmain’s new store on Rue Saint-Honoré with only 130 invited guests.

Balmain Creative Director Olivier Rousteing looked to the Balmain of the 1960s for inspiration, concentrating on architectural as opposed to his super glam embellishments of the brand’s ready-to-wear collections. There were lots of pearls, in fact, oversized pearls in this couture collection, as well as oversized bubble dresses and a bevy of Swarovski crystals. Rousteing played with a lot of shapes in this collection that referenced the avant-garde mode style of the 60s.

Rousteing can now count himself as not only a ready-to-wear designer of one of France’s most iconic fashion houses, he can also add couturier to his fashion titles.

Photo courtesy of Vogue

Pay for play

Vogue.com is now adopting a business model that has been practiced by other media companies for decades. Traditionally, fashion magazines have always given content priority to brands that have spent large amounts on advertising. The advertising packages could include editorial content, editorial photo spread inclusion, and a host of other perks based on the extent of advertising dollars.

Vogue.com has taken these advertising packages now a step farther by offering fashion brands publication of all of the images from spring/summer and fall/winter fashion collections for a fee of $20,000. This coverage does not include reviews of fashion collections. Vogue.com editors must still approve of the collection before the deal goes through.

What is unusual about this new pay for play development is that vogue.com, until recently, offered this coverage free of charge. This is so sad!!

Photo courtesy of inews.com

Loose lips sink ships

The Chinese model that was featured in the Dolce & Gabbana (D&G) controversial promotional video has apologized. The attacks against D&G for their racially and culturally insensitive video started over two months ago.

The promotional video in question shows a Chinese model eating pizza and spaghetti using chopsticks. Images of smiling poop emojis to describe China, as well as cultural insults, accompanied comments on Stefano Gabbana Instagram chats.

“For not properly interpreting the proper way of holding chopsticks, I express my deepest regret,” model Zuo Ye wrote in a post on Monday on the Weibo social media platform, as detailed in a fashionnetwork.com article.

“I appreciate the fact that this isn’t just my personal action, but that I am representing the image of our country, and of Chinese culture so I am racked with guilt, deeply apologetic, and will definitely improve my decorum in future.”

Because of this cultural insult D&G was forced to cancel a fashion show in Shanghai. D&G products were also eliminated from several Chinese e-commerce sites.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Elle Fanning Fronts Miu Miu Fragrance, Rihanna to Launch Luxury Brand, Bebe’s Revamped Site, and Bangladesh to Raise Garment Workers’ Pay

Photo courtesy of stylecartel.com

Though Rihanna is battling her father over the use of the brand name, Fenty, she is not letting any grass grow under her feet. WWD revealed today that Rihanna is in talks with French giant fashion holding company, LVMH, about launching her own luxury brand. Currently, Rihanna’s sportswear brand, Fenty, is highly successful. LVMH is the holding company of Dior, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Givenchy.If this launch works out, it will be the first luxury fashion brand LVMH has launched in three decades. LVMH feels that Rihanna is a great prospect due to her name recognition and her millions of followers on social media. LVMH is looking for talented designers to assist Rihanna with this luxury launch.

According to WWD, Rihanna is looking to time the launch of her luxury brand with the release of her ninth album. The luxury line will include ready-to-wear, leather goods and accessories.

Photo courtesy of yahoonews.com

Protests do work

After a week of violent protest, garment manufacturers in Bangladesh have agreed to raise workers pay. Bangladeshi garment workers had been striking for over a week before they reached a worker raise, with violent protest breaking with one worker killed on January 13 and 20 strikers being injured by clashes with police outside Dhaka.

Because of low wages and trade deals made by Western countries, Bangladesh has contributed to a $30 billion industry which accounts for 80% of Bangladesh’s exports. These factors have made Bangladesh the second largest garment exporter next to China.

According Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi as told to reporters, the wage increase will raise wages across 6 of the 7 pay grades, leaving the minimum wages unchanged at 8,000 taka ($95) a month. “The discrepancies in the wage structure have been resolved by the prime minister’s intervention. We welcome the new wages. As trade unions, we have the right to protest, but that does not mean [vandalizing] factories or blocking roads. Workers will go back to work,” said Amirul Huq, who represented union leaders on the panel which met with Munshi.

Photo courtesy of taynews.com

Elle Fanning’s new job

It has been happening so often that we should all be used to by now. That’s right, celebrities being the face of fragrances or launching their own fragrance. The latest celeb to do so is Elle Fanning, who is the new face of Miu Miu Twist. This new fragrance from Miu Miu will launch on January 31.

Miu Miu Twist is created by Miuccia Prada and perfumer Daniela Andrier and features notes of Vert de Bergamot and Apple Blossom, with a base of Cedar Wood and an exclusive new accord, dreamed up by Andrier and named ‘The Pink Amber.’ The accord lends a woodiness to the scent, that, according to Miu Miu, is “reminiscent of burnt sugar cane cutting through crisp air.”

Elle Fanning stars in the Miu Miu Twist campaign which includes a short film. This is not Elle Fanning first association with Miu Miu, the actress walked in the brands fall 2018 show and was the face of Miu Miu’s 2018 holiday campaign.

Photo courtesy of Bebe

Bebe’s new direction

Whatever happened to Bebe? Bebe was the go-to brick and mortar store for female consumers who wanted great fashion at affordable prices. In 2017, it was announced that Bebe was closing all of its stores by the end of 2017.

Well, in 2019 there appears to be a real turnaround for Bebe. Branded Online, an e-commerce provider, is partnering with Bebe to revamp their online presence.

“Cultivating a successful consumer lifestyle brand in the modern era requires not only astute vision and compelling product, but also personalized and connected shopping experiences, anchored by sophisticated technology,” said Jan Nugent, Branded Online’s chief executive officer in a recent fashionnetwork.com article. “With its intuitive design and newly implemented, data-driven framework, [Bebe] is well positioned to scale quickly and deliver exponential growth in the online channel.

The newly revamped Bebe’s direct-to-consumer site promises to feature “mobile-responsive design, intuitive user interface and [an] underlying analytics platform.” This dynamic site will facilitate consumers finding new product, get recommendations based on their interests, and purchase product from any device.

—William Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Rita Ora’s New Gig, Kelly Rowland Collaborates with Fabletics, Simon Spurr’s New Job, and Chico’s to Close Stores

Image courtesy of dailyfrontrow.com

Simon Spurr has been named the global director of 7 For All Mankind. Spurr will be based in Los Angeles and his duties will include leading the brand’s global teams in “[bridging] 7 For All Mankind’s heritage as a premium denim brand with a new, modern approach across classifications,” detailed in a press release.“[Spurr] brings the perfect balance of relevant experience, entrepreneurial spirit, and fashion vision to lead 7 For All Mankind® into its third decade,” said Tim Baxter, Delta Galil Premium Brands chief executive officer in a fashionnetwork.com article. “Importantly, Simon also has a strong, directional perspective on how we can modernize the brand and position it for accelerated growth while sustaining our legacy as a premium denim brand.”

Spurr’s new role at 7 For All Mankind will coincide with the brand’s 20th Anniversary. Spurr’s debut collection for the brand will launch in spring 2020.

Image courtesy of Fabletics

Kelly Rowland loves the 90’s

Kate Hudson’s activewear line, Fabletics, has a new collaboration. Pop star Kelly Rowland is the newest celebrity collaborator with Hudson’s popular activewear line.

This winter 2019 capsule collection, inspired by 90s nostalgia, is Rowland’s first activewear collaboration. The capsule collection pays homage to Rowland’s time with Destiny’s Child in the 90s and that style is reflected in the capsule collection’s range of hue of soft mauve, light bronze, black cherry and wine violet with sexy athletic detail finishes.

“[The capsule collection] truly celebrates every woman and every beautiful curve,” Rowland said of the line. “In my collection, I feel ready to take on anything that may come my way, all while looking and feeling great.” Rowland further explains that the capsule collection is “about versatility, movement, being comfortable and feeling confident,” according to the pop star. 

The capsule collection includes seven outfits with items ranging from sports bras, tops and leggings, as well as a bodysuit and hoodie, while the highlight pieces of the collection include a reversible bomber jacket. The capsule collection is now on sale online and in retail stores.

Image courtesy of wwd.com

Rita Ora expands into footwear

British popstar Rita Ora has a new job. Ora is collaborating with Giuseppe Zanotti for a footwear collection dubbed ‘GZxRita Ora.’ GZxRita Ora line will contain flats, high-heeled styles, including slides, sandals, mules and peep-toe boots with a chunky Cuban Link chain feature on the heel, according to fashionnetwork.com.

Zanotti has a history of collaborating with celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Gigi Hadid, and Rihanna. GZxRita Ora is launching on January 24 and will be priced between $795 and $2,495.

Image courtesy of AL.com

Chico’s plans to shutter brick and mortars

LA–based Chico’s has announced plans to close 250 stores over three years to focus on its digital platform. According to a press release Chico’s restructuring “will allow the company to take advantage of its lease expiration cadence, while improving profitability and return on invested capital.”

“Our focus is on implementing those initiatives that drive the greatest levels of growth and profitability of our business,” said Shelley Broader, Chico’s CEO and president. “This includes continued improvement in each of our differentiated brands, increased flexibility and efficiency across our organization, and fully leveraging the capabilities of our robust omnichannel platform.” 

To boost its digital presence, Chico’s is partnering with QVC, Amazon, and Shoprunner. Following Chico’s store closings announcement, the company’s stock rose 1.9% in premarket trading.

—William S. Gooch
 

 

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