Fashion News Alert: Brook Brothers for Sale, Martin Margiela Speaks in New Documentary, and Bye Bye Josephus Thimister

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No fashion designer could be any more reclusive than Martin Margiela. Always camera shy, Margiela has kept an extremely low profile since leaving his eponymous fashion brand in 2009.Well that has all changed, well, somewhat. In Reiner Holzemer’s new documentary, “Martin Margiela: In His Own Words,” Martin gives an audio interview. In fact, Margiela gave a 90-minute talk.

“It was clear from the beginning that we could not show his face because he wants to remain private,” he said. “I told him if we cannot show his face, we at least need something personal in the movie. For me, it would be his voice. And I love his voice. I think he has a very interesting voice, but he said, ‘no, I don’t like my voice when I hear myself. It doesn’t sound good. And when the movie is finished, I would love to enjoy watching the movie too. But when it’s with my voice, I won’t enjoy it,’” said Holzemer in a Dazed interview.

In the documentary only Margiela’s hands can be seen as Margiela expounds upon two decades of runway shows. “Martin Margiela: In His Own Words” is primarily about Margiela’s collections from 1989 through 2009 with reflections on his work and life and chronicled by interviews with Olivier Saillard, Carla Sozzani, Stella Ishii, Pierre Rougier, Cathy Horyn, models, collaborators, and other industry professionals.

“Martin Margiela: In His Own Words” premiered at the 2019 DOC NY Film Festival on November 8, 2019.

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Brooks Brothers on the auction block

Brooks Brothers may be up for sale. The Italian entrepreneur, Claudio Del Vecchio that owns Brooks Brothers is looking for a buyer.

According to Italian business newspaper Milano Finanza, “various Anglo-Saxon investment funds have already had access to the file, as well as groups operating in the same commercial sector.” Del Veccio has not confirmed that he is looking for a buyer.

Brooks Brothers was acquired from Mark & Spencer in 2001.

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Adieu Josephus Thimister

Josephus Thimister, former artistic director of Balenciaga, has passed away. He was only 57 years old.

Before setting up his own fashion design house in 1998, Thimister worked for Balenciaga ready-to-wear luxury line from 1991 to 1997. In 2005, Thimister also became head of Charles Jourdan luxury footwear.

Before working for the historic French couture house of Jean Patou and Karl Lagerfeld, Thimister completed his studies at Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts. According to the Fashion Dictionary while at Balenciaga, Thimister established his fashion voice by creating, minimalist style and great skills in cutting in modernising the house’s image.”

“It is with sadness that the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode has learned of the passing away of Josephus Thimister, whose avant-garde style, elegance and skills in cutting have, for many years, contributed to the creative momentum in Paris,” the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode said in a statement.

William S. Gooch

 

Fashion News Alert: Cher’s New Fragrance, The Met Gala’s 2020 Theme, and Kate Moss Stars in Coach 2019 Holiday Campaign

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Cher is back!! And back with a long-awaited new fragrance, Eau de Couture.

Eau de Couture launched on Monday and is her first fragrance since the 1980s. Eau de Couture is a genderless fragrance in a corseted bottle.

“I made it for people who love perfume and want to smell good and for people who feel that it’s part of who they are,” she explains. Apparently, Cher has been working on the fragrance for four years.

Eau de Couture is produced by Scent Beauty and retails for $85. Eau de Couture can be purchased online at scentbeauty.com.

2018 Met Gala image courtesy of lovemagazine.com

150 years of fashion

This is the 150th Anniversary of The Metropolitan Museum. In honor of the anniversary, the Met’s Costume Institute 2020 exhibit, About Time: Fashion and Duration, will trace 150 years of fashion along a “disruptive timeline.”

The 2020 exhibit will feature women’s fashion dating back to 1870. There will be over 160 examples of fashion throughout the ages with the counter pieces mostly in white and the timeline pieces mostly in black. The exhibit will end with projections toward the future with discussions on sustainability.

Virginia Woolf will be the ghost narrator. Louis Vuitton is this year’s sponsor, and Nicolas Ghesquière will be one of the Met Gala’s co-chairs. He’ll be joined by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, and Anna Wintour. The 2020 Met Gala will take place May 4, and About Time will be open to the public from May 7 to September 7.

Who says that a model’s career is short? There so many top models that are proving time and time again that two-decade career is possible.

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Kate Moss for Coach

Kate Moss is one such model. Moss is the face of Coach’s 2019 holiday campaign. Moss’ will have several co-stars in this campaign–Yara Shahidi, rapper Megan Thee Stallion, Spike and Tonya Lee, model Fernanda Ly, and actor Miles Heizer.

That said; Moss will be the focus of the campaign with her co-stars putting emphasis on the brand’s festive holiday jewelry. The campaign was photographed by Juergen Teller in a New York City brownstone with Moss and co-stars gathering for a non-specific party.

William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Zac Posen Closes Shop, John Varvatos x Led Zeppelin, Galliano Renews Contract, and Barney’s Deal Finalized

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No one would have predicted that Zac Posen would shut down his namesake fashion house. On Friday, that the House of Z and Z Spoke will discontinue as the company could no longer continue operations.

Launched in 2001, Zac Posen’s eponymous fashion brand became a red-carpet favorite, dressing the likes of Rihanna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Oprah Winfrey, and Katie Holmes. Posen set a standard of red-carpet glamour with his figure-hugging gowns often with long trains or flamboyant ruffles.

Posen explained, “deeply saddened that the journey of nearly 20 years has come to an end.” “The management team … worked extremely hard to navigate the increasingly challenging fashion and retail landscape,” he said in a statement as reported in theguardian.com. “We are disappointed that these efforts have not been successful and deeply saddened that the journey of nearly 20 years has come to an end. I am grateful to the team who lent their incomparable talent and commitment along the way. I remain incredibly proud of what we created and hopeful for the future.”

For several season Zac Posen was a judge of “Project Runway.” He currently serves as creative director for the Brooks Brothers women’s division.

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Galliano renews

John Galliano’s contract has been renewed at Maison Margiela. This renewal comes as no surprise as Galliano’s collections for Maison Margiela have garnered critical acclaim and commercial success.

“Five years ago, I believed that John was the only person who could take this house in his hands, and I am even more convinced of this today. John’s undisputed talent is only matched by his understanding of today’s generations, their way of thinking, their struggles, their dreams. And he is doing exactly what this Maison always did at its best–disrupt, innovate and inspire,” explained Renzo Rosso, as reported in a fashionnetwork.com article.

Renzo Rosso, the Italian billionaire and founder of Diesel, acquired Maison Margiela in 2002. Rosso hired John Galliano in 2014 to helm the women’s division of Maison Margiela. Under Galliano’s auspice, Maison Margiela has become one of the most coveted couture shows during the couture season. And the brand’s revenue had doubled under Galliano’s creative directorship.

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Varvatos teams with Led Zeppelin

The rock band Led Zeppelin is celebrating the 50th anniversary of their first album with a capsule collection collaboration with menswear designer John Varvatos. The collection gives voice to “the band’s innovative aesthetic intertwined with John Varvatos’ penchant for detail and craftsmanship.”

John Varvatos details that the collaboration “resulted in a set of enlivened styles geared for today. Each piece channels Led Zeppelin’s sonic ethos, from their signature iconography to their boundary-pushing rebel attitude.”

“Working with Led Zeppelin on this collaboration is a dream come true. Their music and style [have] had a huge influence on me,” the designer added as reported in fashionnetwork.com.

The capsule collection will be available online at johnvarvatos.com/ledzeppelin, at John Varvatos boutiques high-end specialty stores internationally.

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A new kind of Barneys New York

The Barneys New York sale is finally complete. Barneys New York has been acquired by Authentic Brands Group (ABG). ABG holds licensing for Juicy Couture, Nautica, and Frederick’s of Hollywood.

As a part of the deal, Barneys New York will be co-joined with Saks Fifth Avenue. ABG has decided that the “first order of business will be to reboot Barneys New York on the fifth floor of Saks Fifth Avenue’s newly renovated New York City flagship.”

“This is an important deal for ABG,” said Jamie Salter, the founder, chairman, and CEO of the company, in an interview with The New York Times. “It’s a luxury brand. It’s a retail brand that in my opinion is a real brand, that has a heartbeat, has a lot of emotion, can go in a lot of directions. It’s part entertainment, it’s part luxury, it’s part trend, it’s part experiential. It really is an incredible brand to add to the ABG portfolio. We are going to treat it incredibly carefully.”

It has been decided that ABG will close most of Barneys brick and mortar stores and Barneys will operate as a store within Saks. The Madison Ave flagship store will operate as a kind of ‘pop-up store experience’ that will house cultural and entertainment events, boutiques, and exhibits. This closure of a significant number of Barneys stores will result in the loss of hundreds of jobs. Liquidation sales at Barneys stores may began has early as next week.

When it comes to Barneys future Salter stated that, “[t]he brands in ABG’s portfolio continue to get stronger and stronger as the years go by. You can’t just be a retailer anymore. You’ve got to be experiential; you’ve got to be in so many different things today. You really have to offer everything to the customer. We feel that we’re off to a great start with Saks and feel incredibly confident.”

 —William S. Gooch

 

 

Fashion News Alert: “Very Ralph” Documentary, Richemont Partners with Alber Elbaz, Cara Delevinge Teams with Nasty Gal, and Biggest Mall in the Northeast Opens in the US

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Finally, there’s a documentary about Ralph Lauren’s life. And it’s about time!!

Very Ralph,” and upcoming HBO documentary about Ralph Lauren’s explores his humble beginnings in the Bronx to establishing an American fashion empire. “Very Ralph,” directed by Susan Lacy contains archival footage from the brand’s archives, as well as interviews from Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Wintour, and Naomi Campbell. Lauren was presented with the idea of the documentary by former HBO CEO Richard Plepler.

“It was my 50th anniversary.” said Lauren, whose children also encouraged him to move forward with the project. “If I’m going to do something, I might as well do it now.”

“Very Ralph” premiered in New York City at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on October 23 and was attended by fashion and entertainment industry elites. “He’s a great American hero,” Vera Wang told Reuters in a red-carpet interview. “He really brought the American experience to the whole world and I doubt that would be possible today to reproduce.”

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Another partnership for Alber Elbaz

Iconic fashion designer Alber Elbaz will partner with Richemont on a dynamic project. The Richemont group owns labels including Dunhill, Chloé, Montblanc, and Peter Millar.

“Upon hearing Alber Elbaz describe his vision for fashion and the projects it inspires in him, I was again struck by his creativity and insight. His talent and inventiveness, with his sensitivity towards women and their wellbeing, will be of great value to our Group and its Maisons,” said Johann Rupert, chairman of Richemont in a fashionnetwork.com.

Elbaz has commented that he’s,m”very happy to partner with Richemont and to establish [his] “dream factory,” which will focus on developing solutions for women of our times.” Alber Elbaz in the past couple of months has collaborated with several fashion brands on special projects.

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Cara Delevinge collaborates, yet again

Supermodel and actress Cara Delevinge has scored yet another collaboration. This time the collab is with Nasty Gal. Cara will be designing a 40-piece collection.

The collection will contain beaded jackets, overstuffed suiting, statement tees, sheer tops, and faux-leather garments. These pieces will come in mostly neutral tones. The collection retails between $30 to $300 and will come in sizes 0 to 20.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to star in Nasty Gal’s holiday campaign,” said Delevingne, as detailed in a fashionweekdaily.com. “I’ve followed the brand for years and am inspired by their approach to fashion–always rebellious and ever evolving. I love to work with brands that push the envelope on style, and this collection does just that.”

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Big mall, big crowds, well, maybe?

With retail in decline, is there room for another massive mall? Well, New Jersey state officials seem to think so.

After 20 years of stops and starts, American Dream is finally opening this Friday. American Dream will be the second largest mall in the US and the third largest in the Northeast. It will showcase three million square feet of leasable space dedicated to more than a dozen entertainment attractions like a 16-story indoor ski slope, rollercoaster, waterpark and eventually 450 retail, food and specialty shops.

“You can make it your backyard playground if you live in Manhattan or even if you’re in New Jersey,” said Ken Downing, chief creative officer for Triple Five Group, the mall’s developer in an apnews.com article. “It’s a staycation. So, it’s a little bit of competing with mindset and emotion, far more than a property or even Disneyland.”

Sounds like an incredible experience; however, what remains to be answered is if shoppers will come to this mega mall in large numbers. In 2017, Credit Suisse a report that predicted the closure of over a quarter shopping malls by 2022. Since 2015, only nine shopping malls have been built, a sharp decline from 43 malls built in 1973.

Don Ghermezian, the CEO and developer of American Dream and Triple Five conceded in a brief press statement that, “everybody talks about the future of retail and the future of entertainment, and how you merge the two. But there really isn’t a center on the planet that has done it to the degree that we’ve done in here.”

The Dream Mall, located in East Rutherford, NJ, will open on Friday. The Dream Mall will open to full capacity in the spring of 2020.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Disney Teams with Olivia von Halle, Mark Thomas Howard Leaves Helmut Lang, La Perla Segues into Beauty, and Goodbye Sophie Kokosolaki

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Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” opens of Thursday, October 18. And if you want to dress up like the characters from the film, this time around you can.

Disney has formed a fashion collaboration with British luxury designer Olivia von Halle that pays homage to the film’s contrasting personalities, Aurora and Maleficent. The 15-piece collection will be available on October 18.

“Growing up with Disney, I found from an early age that the characters I was drawn to the most were the villains, the rebels, the rule-breakers,” said von Halle in a statement. “They were dangerous, interesting, had depth to their characters —and were so glamorous and well dressed! Women are complex and powerful, and I believe that we all have a Maleficent and an Aurora within us, and I wanted to create a collection that would enable women to explore and embrace these contrasting sides of their personalities.”

According to fashionnetwork.com, ‘Lila’ pyjama and ‘Queenie’ robe, both covered in a lilac floral ‘Apple Blossom’ print inspired by the magical forest where Maleficent and Aurora met will be available in this capsule collection, as well as a floor-length silk organza dress called ‘Delphine Innocence’ and a whimsical dress called ‘Edie Aurora’  that channel the character’s costumes in the film. Issa and Aureta dresses have been modified using a shell-pink silk lurex ‘Grace’ fabric inspired by her ethereal aesthetic.

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Mark Thomas Howard moves on

Helmut Lang has lost another creative director. After only being at Helmut Lang for two years as creative director of menswear, Mark Thomas Howard is leaving to head Lacoste’s menswear and global collaborations division. Mark Thomas Howard will start his new position at Lacoste on October 21.

The embattled brand has gone through a slew of creative directors in the past decade, most notably Shayne Oliver of Hood by Air, who created a one-off collection. Isabella Hurley, editor the British Dazed & Confused, served as creative director for the 2017 relaunch of the brand. And the design duo of Michael and Nicole Colovos served as creative directors of the brand for eight years.

Mark Thomas Howard came to Helmut Lang in 2018 from Joseph and was heralded for re-establishing the brand’s design DNA of Viennese 19th century gentleman’s redingote and the brand’s signature lettering. Howard’s first collection for the brand was the fall 2018 collection that debuted during New York Fashion Week: Men’s.

Helmut Lang launched his eponymous brand in 1977 in Vienna, moving the brand to New York City by the late 90s. Lang sold control of his company to the Prada Group in 1999 and quit his own brand in 2004.

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La Perla expands

Beauty is now on the menu for La Perla. Known for their lingerie, swimwear, and nightwear, the iconic brand recently announced that it is launching a new subsidiary, La Perla Beauty. La Perla Beauty will include cosmetics, skincare, and fragrances.

“La Perla Beauty is a natural extension for the iconic La Perla brand and creates an exciting opportunity to share the modernized brand and its values with a broader consumer audience,” a statement from the company read, as reported in fashionnetwork.com.

La Perla was founded in 1954 by Ada Masotti. This is the 65th anniversary of La Perla with the brand launching a commemorative collection.

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Antio Sophia

Greece’s most successful designer Sophia Kokosolaki has died. Kokosolaki often created clothing and jewelry that was inspired by ancient Greece.

“It is extremely sad when a young person dies, a creative spirit, a dynamic and self-made woman who starred in the harsh and competitive world of international fashion for a 20-year period,” Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said, as reported in a fashionnetwork.com article. “What a great loss to the fashion world … RIP beloved … your talent was beyond the norm,” fellow designer Vassilis Zoulias wrote on Instagram.

Kokosolaki is of Cretian descent, studied Greek and English literature at the University of Athens. She later studied fashion design at the acclaimed Central Saint Martin fashion college in London.

Kokosolaki was the head designer for the 2004 Athens Olympics and dressed the likes of Kate Hudson, Cristina Ricci, Tilda Swinton, Jennifer Connelly, Anne Hathaway, Gwyneth Paltrow, Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley, Julie Christie, and Diane Kruger. Kokosolaki passed away on Monday, October 14.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Drew Elliot’s New Gig, Barneys in Negotiations with Bidder, Robbie Spencer Leaves Dazed, and Kim K Expands

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Drew Elliot is preparing to leave Paper magazine for his new job as Senior Vice President and Global Creative Director at MAC Cosmetics. Elliot will take over for Toni Lakas at MAC Cosmetics on October 28.

Drew Elliot confirmed his new appointment on Instagram, stating this new job is “a dream come true.”  Drew Elliot has been Editor-in-Chief of Paper magazine since 2014 and has also served as a judge on “America’s Next Top Model.”

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Bye, bye Spencer

After 15 years Robbie Spencer, creative director of Dazed magazine is exiting the publication. Spencer has helmed Dazed for the past six years.

I started buying Dazed as a teenager and it was one of the first magazines I discovered before moving to London age 19. I actually started working here before I even started university,” Spencer said in a dailyfrontrow.com article. “It was my first ever job, and in many ways, I feel I arrived as a kid and feel like I am leaving as an adult. Dazed has never been solely just a magazine, it has always been a community of like-minded creative people.”

“Robbie is a visionary stylist and as creative director of Dazed has crafted some of its most impactful cover stories,” said Jefferson Hack, co-founder of Dazed Media. “[He] ushered in a new generation of image makers that have defined the zeitgeist … I look forward to him making iconic stories for Dazed in the future.”

Though Spencer is stepping down as creative director, he will continue to work at Dazed on editorial shoots for Dazed Media publications as executive fashion editor. A successor to Spencer has not been named.

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Barneys gets some help, well, maybe

To prevent going into liquidation, the financially strapped Barneys is in talks with a potential buyer who is preparing a $220 million bid. According to the Wall Street Journal, Barneys’ bankruptcy hearing is on Thursday with bids extending to October 11. 

We are in advanced negotiations with a potential purchaser and intend to reach an agreement by next Friday,” said a Barneys spokesperson to the WSJ, as reported in fashionnetwork.com, confirming the talks but offering no information concerning the identity of the bidder. Those close to Barneys have intimated that the potential buyer is a group of fashion executives lead by Sam Ben-Avraham, whose success have been funding the streetwear brand Kith and Atrium, a NYC-based menswear store.

The potential bid will include an asset-based loan and cash, as well as a deal with the landlords of Barneys’ Madison Avenue store and Beverly Hills stores. In August, Barneys filed for bankruptcy on the heels of an excessive rent hike on its flagship store on Madison Avenue. Barneys has also announced the closing of its stores in Chicago, Seattle, and Las Vegas, as well as seven Barneys Warehouse stores and five concept stores.

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Kim K adds another fashion line

Kim Kardashian continues to build her fashion empire. A month after launching her shapewear line, Kim K has announced she will be launching a loungewear line. Kim K’s Skims’ shapewear line will now include loungewear separates, and cotton tees. Skims launched in September of this year.

Skims Cotton Collection will include bras, underwear, ribbed tank tops, leggings and t-shirts and come in a neutral and pastel color palette. Skims Cotton Collection launches on October 15.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Demna Gvastalia Quits Vetements, Model Pioneer Coco Mitchell Heats Up NYFWS Spring 2020 Runways, H&M to Sell External Brands, and Adios Andrés Sardá

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According to WWD, Demna Gvastalia is leaving the Zurich-based streetwear brand, Vetements, he founded with his brother Guram Gvastalia. Vetements launched in 2014.

“I started Vetements because I was bored of fashion and against all odds fashion did change once and forever since Vetements appeared and it also opened a new door for so many,” the Georgia-born creative told WWD in a statement. “So, I feel that I have accomplished my mission of a conceptualist and design innovator at this exceptional brand and Vetements has matured into a company that can evolve its creative heritage into a new chapter on its own.”

Demna Gvastalia will continue his work as creative director of Balenciaga while his brother Guram will continue at Vetements. “Vetements has always been a collective of creative minds. We will continue to push the boundaries even further, respecting codes and the authentic values of the brand, and keep on supporting honest creativity and genuine talent,” explained Guram Gvastalia.

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H&M expands

The Swedish megastore, H&M, is to begin testing out selling brands other than its namesake products. H&M is hoping that selling external brands will attract new shoppers.

“The H&M brand will now develop our offer of external brands. The purpose is to complement our offer with external brands to add excitement and energy and we see great opportunities for growth and to find new customers,” H&M said as reported in a recent fashionnetwork.com article. “We have set a first vision on what we would like to do–now we will set the plan on how to test and scale this for H&M.”

Though H&M has seen an 8% rise in sales for the third quarter, investors are concerned that this rise may not put H&M back on track.

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Coco struts her stuff

Age is only a number for Supermodel Coco Mitchell. Mitchell has a four-decade career as a fashion model and this season brought her special brand of glamour and sophistication to the runways of New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS) spring 2020 season.

Coco Mitchell strutted the runways of Christopher John Rogers, Deveaux, and Barragan for the current spring 2020 season. “I want to be remembered when I go up. To walk sort of vapid, with no look or expression, I can’t do that. You have the wrong girl,” Mitchell told AFB.

Mitchell was discovered by the legendary Eileen Ford, and very quickly the former New York City school teacher was booking campaigns for Revlon, Virginia Slims, later becoming the first African American in Sports Illustrated Swimwear edition. Mitchell has modeled for some of the most iconic fashion houses including Armani, Valentino, Princess Irene Galitzine, Sonia Rykiel, Zandra Rhodes, Patrick Kelly, Thierry Mugler, Paco Rabanne, Versace, Donna Karan, Bill Blass, Ralph Rucci, Betsey Johnson, Badley Mischka, and many, many others.

After recent campaigns for Old Navy, Macy’s and Gap, Mitchell decided this season to work with young emerging brands. “I’m one of those people that if you call me and you said we’re [are] this thing and we really need you to help, I [will] do it,” explained Mitchell. Coco Mitchell is a former creative associate of fashionreverie.com.

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Adios Andrés

Spanish fashion pioneer Andrés Sardà has passed away. Known as the King of Lingerie, Sardà broke boundaries and conventional notions around lingerie.

Coming from a family of textile experts, Sardà launched his company in 1962. Sardà was the first designer to present lingerie on the runway. And believing that underwear should empower women, not restrict, Sardà was one of the first designers to create lingerie in unusual fabrics.

Sardà expanded his company to include swimwear in 1970, garnishing contracts with leading European retailers Printemps, and Galeries Lafayette. In 2006, Sardà was awarded the Salon International de la Lingerie in Paris, and ten years later, he was recognised with Spain’s National Fashion Award.

Sardà’s company was acquired by Belgian lingerie manufacturer Van de Velde in June 2008. Andrés Sardà passed away on Sunday, he is survived by his daughter Nuria.

William S. Gooch

 

 

 

Fashion News Alert: Margot Robbie Fronts Chanel’s New Fragrance, Forever 21 Prepares for Bankruptcy, Lord & Taylor Sold, and Goodbye Isabel Toledo

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Margot Robbie has a new job. She is the face of Chanel’s new fragrance ‘Gabrielle Chanel Essence.’

Chanel has released the advertising campaign for the new fragrance with Margot Robbie in a long, white floating gown with gold and white veils swirling around her. The white and gold in the ad campaign reference the notes of the fragrance.

Images for the campaign were photographed by famed photographer Nick Knight. Knight also directed the campaign’s video with Beyoncé’s song “Halo” in the background.

Gabrielle Chanel Essence is based on four flowers that Coco Chanel loved, jasmine, ylang ylang, tuberose, and orange flower. The fragrance is now available online or through authorized vendors.

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The $100 million-dollar deal

Hudson’s Bay Co. announced on Wednesday that the financially strapped mega retail store, Lord & Taylor, will be sold to Le Tote, a seven-year old clothing rental company start-up. The price of the acquisition is a mere $100 million dollars with $25 million to come in a promissory note to be paid over two years. In addition, Hudson’s Bay Co. will get a 25% stake in Lord & Taylor with two board members on the board of Le Tote.

Le Tote will manage and keep 38 Lord & Taylor stores open, closing five locations. According to Hudson’s Bay Co. CEO Helene Foulkes, the deal brings together “fashion rental subscriptions with traditional retail.”

Le Tote, based in San Francisco, and founded in 2012, offers monthly boxes of apparel items that users can purchase or return after use. Le Tote is backed by Lerer Hippeau, Azure Capital, and Simon Ventures.

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Another one is about to bite the dust

As reported by Bloomberg this past Wednesday, Forever 21 Inc. is preparing for a possible bankruptcy filing. The clothing retail giant has been experiencing dwindling cash reserves and a slew of unprofitable stores for some time.

Founded in 1984, Forever 21 established itself has a fashion chain store that sold fashionable clothing at low prices, mainly for a consumer base of 18 to 35-year-old shoppers. In recent years, Forever 21 has seen its consumer base dwindle and the store chain in now making a last-ditch effort to restructure its debt so that a bankruptcy filing will not be necessary.

Forever 21 currently has 600 stores in the US with additional stores in Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

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Adios Isabel

Cuban-born fashion designer Isabel Toledo has passed away. The 59-year old independent designer died of breast cancer in a New York City hospital on Sunday.

Toledo moved to West New York, New Jersey as a teenager from Cuba. She studied at Parsons School of Design and Fashion Institute of Technology with her first collection in 1985 picked up by Fiorucci and Bergdorf Goodman.

“I really love the technique of sewing more than anything else … the seamstress is the one who knows fashion from the inside,” she said in a 1989 interview as reported in fashionnetwork.com. “That’s the art form really, not fashion design, but the technique of how it’s done.”

For several years, Isabel Toledo was creative director for Anne Klein; created accessories for Payless ShoeSource; and collaborated with MAC Cosmetics, the latter project launched in 2005. And with her husband and collaborator Reuben Toledo received the 2005 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award and were also bestowed the Otis Critics’ award. She was also honored with the 2008 Couture Council of the Museum of FIT’s Award for Artistry of Fashion.

Perhaps, Isabel Toledo most shining moment was when she dressed First Lady Michelle Obama in a lemongrass yellow wool lace shirtdress with matching overcoat for President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009. Minutes after watching the new First Lady in her outfit, Toledo told CNN: “We’re levitating—we really are.”

Isabel Toledo is survived by her husband Ruben and her two sisters, Mary Santos and Anna Bertha Izquierdo.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Naomi Campbell’s Charitable Controversy, Anna Wintour’s New Title, and Changes to New York Fashion Week: The Shows Calendar, and Christy Brinkley Joins DWS Cast

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Fashion Reverie frequently does stories on Naomi Campbell. And it not because we are Naomi fans, well, we are, it’s because she is always making headline news.

This week Naomi Campbell’s charitable and philanthropic work came under criticism. Though her heart is in the right place, London’s Daily Mail has cited that Campbell is often seen in the company of less-than stellar wealthy folks.

Campbell has been slated to receive an award for the British Fashion Council for all of her charitable over the years. This award has caused some controversy because Campbell has been seen being festive and frolicky in the company of Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged madam pimp Ghislaine Maxwell. In fact, Campbell was known to fly on Epstein’s private jet. Campbell has also been seen in the company of Harvey Weinstein, former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, and glock gun magnate Gaston Gluck.

Campbell has clapped back at the Daily Mail by releasing a response on youtube, defending her charitable work and claiming that the Daily Mail has not given her an opportunity to respond. “For me it’s a distorted piece of journalism,” she said. “And I do love great journalism, but this is a direct character assassination.”

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Anna expands

Condé Nast keeps piling on the titles for Anna Wintour. Not only is Wintour Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue, a few years ago she was named Condé Nast artistic director.

Condé Nast announced a few days ago that Wintour will oversee Vogue International. She will also advise executives on global content opportunities.

This new position comes on the heels of lots of changes at Condé Nast. With the advent of Roger Lynch as the new CEO of Condé Nast, replacing Bob Sauerberg, Condé Nast is seeking to increase their declining revenue and redefine Condé Nast in the 21st century.

Lynch detailed that top priorities [have] been to define our organizational structure so that we can take full advantage of our unique growth opportunities and exceptional content around the world.”

“I’m confident that our new global structure will better enable us to collaborate across teams and markets and, ultimately, deliver unparalleled experiences for our consumers and clients,” he added in a fashionnetwork.com article.

Image courtesy of by WWD/Shutterstock

NYFWS spring 2020 update

IMG-WME and the CFDA released the complete fashion calendar on Monday. Contrary to the dictates of incoming CFDA president Tom Ford and lots of press releases to the media, New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS) spring 2020 season will not be reduced from eight days to five days. According to the recently released updated calendar, NYFWS will span the usual 8-day cycle.

Additionally, many of the designers that did not appear on the Fashion Calendar’s preliminary list—as reported on Fashion Reverie—are now showing during NYFWS spring 2020 season. That includes Tadashi Shoji, Libertine, Elie Tahari, Michael Costello, and many others.

What is interesting about this NYFWS spring 2020 season is the number of designers that have chosen to show off-site, that is not showing at Spring Studios or Pier 59. And though The Shed at Hudson Yards was intended as a new venue for NYFWS, there are next to no fashion designers/brands showing at The Shed. This is probably due Hudson Yards co-owner Steve Ross’ fundraising activities for Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential bid. Prabal Gurung and Rag & Bone declined show their collections at The Shed because Ross’ affiliation with Trump.

Image courtesy of justjaredjr.com

Christie shakes her groove thang

Dancing with the Stars” (DWS) has announced its cast for season 28. That cast includes supermodel Christie Brinkley.

“I’m so excited! I think it’s going to be so fun,” Brinkley, 65, said before adding, “I literally don’t know how to dance. Seriously, it’s true … I really don’t have the moves. So, I’m really excited to learn with the pros. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me.”

“I think whoever I get has his work cut out for him,” she continued. “I think they need to give me a really good one because I need a lot of work … All of the dancers on the show are incredible, really amazing.”

DWS season 28 airs on September 16.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Kendall Jenner’s Top Ranking, Coach and Givenchy Controversy, and Naomi Campbell’s New Calvin Klein Campaign, and Rag & Bone and Prabal Gurung Pull Out of Hudson Yards

Images courtesy of ragandbone.com

More and more fashion designers are pulling themselves out of Hudson Yards for New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS) spring 2020 season. Add Prabal Gurung and the Rag & Bone to the growing list of exiting designers. Rag & Bone has not revealed where they will show their spring 2020 show.

In a statement Prabal Gurung, who pulled out of Hudson Yards on August 7, stated “I was previously in conversation with Hudson Yards’ The Vessel as the venue for my brand’s upcoming 10-year show during NYFW. When I heard about this fundraiser, I chose to pull my participation.”

Like Prabal Gurung, Rag & Bone has decided not to present their spring 2020 collection at The Shed, Hudson Yards’ cultural space. In protest of the fundraiser for Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign hosted by Stephen Ross in The Hamptons last weekend, Rag & Bone has pulled out of showing at Hudson Yards. Stephen Ross is the primary owner of Hudson Yards. Ross’ company, The Related Companies, owns Hudson Yards, Equinox, and Soul Cycle. Ross’ affiliation with Trump’s 2020 presidential bid has prompted protests and boycotts of Ross’ companies.

The August 9 Hamptons fundraiser raised $12 million for Trump’s 2020 presidential bid. Tickets went for $100,000 or $250,000 for a roundtable, lunch, and photo with Donald Trump.

Image courtesy of fashionista.com

Naomi’s new gig

As ubiquitous as Naomi Campbell’s fashion career has been, it is surprising to learn that she has never had a campaign for Calvin Klein. Well, that is about to change.

Naomi Campbell has been unveiled as one of the new faces for Calvin Klein’s fall 2019 underwear campaign. Other celebs and top models for the fall 2019 underwear campaign include Bella Hadid, Odell Beckham, DJ Diplo, musician Beth Ditto, actor Jacob Elordi, and Asian pop star Lay Zhang, and others.

“Who would have thought I’d be saying this after 33 years. Proud to be in #MYCALVINS,” Campbell wrote on Instagram.

Image courtesy of buzzfeednews.com

Givenchy and Coach misstep

Givenchy and Coach are in hot water over identifying Hong Kong and Taiwan as countries, violating China’s sovereignty over the Taiwan and Hong Kong. The items in questions are tee shirts from both brands that identified Taiwan and Hong Kong as countries. Taiwan and Hong Kong should be now identified as Chinese territories.

Some Chinese brand ambassadors, because of Coach and Givenchy’s inaccuracies, have declined to continue to represent said fashion houses. Chinese supermodel Liu Wen has severed her endorsement deal with Coach.

“I apologize to everyone for the damage that I have caused as a result of my less-careful choice of brand!” she said in a Weibo post that was ‘liked’ hundreds of thousands of times. “I love my motherland, and I steadfastly safeguard China’s sovereignty.”

“We also reviewed our assortment to ensure compliance and have strengthened our internal product development process to avoid the occurrence of a similar issue in the future,” Coach detailed in a statement, as reported in fashionnetwork.com. “Coach respects and supports China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Chinese boy band idol Jackson Yee has severed ties with Givenchy for a similar incident. Givenchy has not responded.

Image courtesy of herworld.com

Kendall Jenner’s social media proliferation

How important is social media in advancing your modeling career? If you speak with supermodel Kendall Jenner social media is still very important.

Currently, Kendall Jenner ranks at the top of the heap of models with followers on social media. Kendall Jenner has a total following of 159 million followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter combined. Kendall regularly walks in the shows of Alexander Wang, Versace, Fendi, and Moschino.

Following a distant second is Gigi Hadid with just 62 million followers. And in third place is Cara Delevigne. Rounding out the top ten is (4) Chrissy Teigen: close to 37 million followers; (5) Emily Ratajkowski: more than 31 million followers; (6) Tyra Banks: more than 30 million followers; (7) Bella Hadid: more than 26 million followers; (8) Gisele Bündchen: more than 26 million followers; (9) Miranda Kerr: more than 25 million followers ; and(10) Hailey Bieber: more than 21 million followers.

William S. Gooch

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