Fashion News Alert: Adrien Brody’s New Gig, “Rupaul’s Drag Race” Miss Fame Launches Cosmetics Line, and Eloquii Acquired by Walmart

Image courtesy of AFB

Adrien Brody has a new job. In celebration of Mango Man’s 10th anniversary, Brody will be the front man in a special campaign for the brand’s 10-piece capsule collection.This limited-edition capsule collection will contain some timeless pieces essentials, as well as some sophisticated garments.

The capsule collection will be comprised of a white shirt, a cashmere sweater, denim pants, slim-fit suit pants in either wool or Italian cotton, and outerwear pieces including an unstructured wool blazer and a shearling jacket. Accessories include a pair of polarized sunglasses and Italian leather sneakers.

The Mango Man capsule collection will be available in select countries beginning the first week of October.

Image courtesy of allure.com

Miss Fame’s new venture

Kurtis Dam-Mikkelsen, known as Miss Fame, launched a cosmetic line on Rupaul’s Drag Con NYC, an e-commerce store. In 2014 Dam-Mikkelsen competed on “Rupaul’s Drag Race.”

This has been a journey and a dream come true,” wrote Dam-Mikkelsen on his Miss Fame Instagram account on Sunday night in a post with over 16,000 likes. “3 days into my launch and you’ve all been so incredibly supportive.”

As reported on fashionnetwork.com, Miss Fame Beauty collection features five lipsticks that retail at $19. The shades are named ‘Flash of Flesh’, ‘How’s your Head?,”Fame Whore,’ ‘The Other Woman,’ and ‘Dirty Couture.’ The lipsticks are also available as a complete collection for $95. ‘On Top,’ an experimental glitter, is also available as a lavender glitter designed to be layered on top of other lipsticks in the collection.

Image courtesy of ELOQUII

Eloquii acquired

Walmart has acquired plus-sized clothing brand, Eloquii for an undisclosed amount. As a four-year old startup, Eloquii sold clothing starting at size 14 through five of its own stores and its own e-commerce sites. The acquisition is expected to close this quarter.

The plus-size clothing market is a $21 billion dollar market and is also one of the fastest growing segments of the retail market. Eloquii was originally launched in 2011 by The Limited, but discontinued a year later. Eloquii CEO Mariah Chase with the Eloquii team relaunched the brand three years later, growing Eloquii to one of the most popular e-commerce brands.

Walmart is looking to expand its consumer demographic by looking to tapping into the plus-size market. “We are laser focused on developing a portfolio of direct to consumer brands with a unique assortment you can’t find anywhere else,” said Andy Dunn, senior vice-president of digital consumer brands at Walmart U.S. e-commerce.

—William S. Gooch

Weekend Fashion News Alert: Michael B. Jordan’s New Gig, Versace for Sale, and Bye Bye Henri Bendel

      Image courtesy of thecut.com

The House of Versace is up for sale. The company has declined to comment; however, the company, founded by the late, great Gianni Versace with sister Donatella now as vice president and creative director, could be sold to Tiffany & Co, or US fashion group Michael Kors Holdings Ltd’s as earlier as Monday morning.

Donatella has called a staff-wide company meeting for Tuesday morning. Versace is valued at $2 billion dollars.

Image courtesy of GQ.com

Another celeb brand ambassador

Actor/Producer Michael B. Jordan has a new job. Michael B. Jordan has been named Coach’s first menswear brand ambassador.

“Michael is cool and authentic, and he really embodies the Coach guy,” said Vevers in a press release as reported in fashionetwork.com. “I’ve had the chance to get to know Michael over the last couple of years. He always looks great in Coach, so it felt really natural to build our relationship.”

Michael B. Jordan will be featured in Coach’s spring 2019 global advertising campaigns for the brand’s ready-to-wear, accessories and fragrances. The job will also include special design projects with Creative Director Stuart Vevers and philanthropic endeavors with the Coach Foundation.

  Image courtesy of lasplash.com

Another store bites the dust

All good things must come to an end. And after 123 years, it is the end for Henri Bendel New York. The iconic Fifth Avenue luxury retail store will close its doors and all of its 23 stores and online store in January 2019.

Opened in 1895 by women’s hat maker Henri Bendel after he moved to NYC from Louisiana. Henri Bendel quickly began catering to NYC’s elite with its recognizable brown and white stripped shopping bags. Henri Bendel moved from its first location in Greenwich Village to the current flagship store later in the 20th Century.

Henri Bendel was the first retail stores to create its own fragrance, offer in-store makeovers, and stage its own fashion shows. And at one time Andy Warhol worked at Henri Bendel as an in-store illustrator. In the 80s, Henri Bendel opened more than two dozen stores, selling high-end handbags, jewelry and accessories and became a favorite store of celebrities.

Acquired by L. Brands Inc in 1985, in recent years Bendel’s has struggled to keep with consumers’ evolving shopping habits.

—William S. Gooch

 

Fashion News Alert: Rihanna’s New Fragrance, Thom Browne’s Acquisition, Nike and Supreme’s Sneaks, and Goodbye Ruth Finley

                                 Image courtesy of wwd.com

Ruth Finley, regarded as the ‘godmother of fashion week,’ by some industry professionals, passed away on Monday. Perhaps, no other person has contributed to fashion week in more of a unique way as Ruth Finley.In 1945, understanding that editors were having a hard time attending fashion shows in NYC due to conflicting scheduling shows at Saks Fifth Avenue and Berghdorf Goodman, Finley borrowed $1000 from a college friend launced the Fashion Calendar. Four over six decades the fashion calendar became the go-to calendar for industry professionals with contacts for fashion weeks and fashion events around the globe.

“Ruth Finley was the phone call that made a designer legitimate. It would mean you were listed in THE Fashion Calendar,” commented Diane von Furstenberg. “We worked with Ruth for a number of years—she was out go-to for Fashion Week,” explains Prabal Gurung. “Ruth was a female industry leader, something so rare and still so impactful and special in our industry. She helped make this city the place where I was able to achieve my American dream. Ruth was a fearless industry leader and a true inspiration. It was an honor to have known her, and she will be missed.”

Ruth Finley sold the Fashion Calendar to the CFDA in 2014; already in her 90s the task of running this very important part of fashion weeks had become too much for her. A documentary about her life has been made into an upcoming film, “Ruth Finley’s Fashion Calendar. Ruth Finley was 98 years of age.

Image courtesy of hintmagazine.com

Thom Browne acquired

Gildo Zegna, CEO of Ermenegildo, has acquired Thom Browne. In the half a billion acquisition, Zegna will have an 85% stake in Thom Browne. Prior to acquiring Thom Brown, Zegna had started to manufacture parts of the American designer’s collection.

“I suppose we got a little head of ourselves! But in the past few months we did start producing a small of part of Thom’s summer 2019 spring-summer collection. So, we have already taken the first steps,” laughs Zegna in a phone call from his office in south Milan as reported in fashionnetwork.com.

“Obviously, we were looking for something and this came along in an almost casual way. It’s a good time to do a deal and we were quick and determined. Thom Browne really knows what he wants and has a great team; with a very strong CEO Rodrigo Bazan and a great marketing and communications director in Tomaso Galli,” added Zegna.

Acquiring Thom Browne was a natural progression for Zegna in that Ermenegildo, as a brand, is known for their fine fabrics used in classic men’s wear. Zegna and Thom Browne started talks in the spring of 2018, and with Thom Browne’s yearly profits nearing $150 million, Zegna realized that Thom Browne’s business was a well-oiled machine.

“But when I saw an opening we got together immediately. I met Thom a few times and then things moved quickly—silently and efficiently. We want to keep Thom independent. Our job is one of support,” explained Zegna. Thom Browne will show in Paris on September 30.

Image courtesy of fashionnetwork.com

Rihanna adds to the family

There is a new fragrance in Rihanna’s family of fragrances. Reb l”Fleur Always is the sister fragrane to Ri-Ri’s Reb l’Fleur which was released in 2011. Rihanna’s current family of fragrances includes ‘Nude,’ ‘Kiss,’ ‘Riri’ and ‘Rogue.’ 

As reported in fashionnetwork.com, Reb’l Fleur Love Always is a richer version of the original perfume. It features fruity top notes of red berries, purple plum and peach, with a heart of Hawaiian hibiscus flower, violet and tuberose, and base notes of vanilla, patchouli, amber and musk.

Image courtesy of footwearnews.com

A good team

Nike and street wear brand Supreme are teaming up again. This seasonal collaboration will drop the newest version of their sneaker ‘Gato’ on August 31. The ‘Gato’ silhouette was introduced by Nike in 2011 and has been reinvented several times.

Now, Supreme has jumped into the fray, reinventing ‘Gato’ for Nike. The new Gato features a calfskin leather upper with cushion midsole, gum outsole, and lenticular side panels. It will be offered in four-color ways including red, white, black and light blue. 

The Supreme/Nike ‘Gato’ will retail for $110, releasing in the US on Thursday. The sneak will release in Japan on September 1.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Serena Williams Teams up with Virgil Abloh, Christy Turlington Celebrates 150, and The Hush at Condè Nast

                          Image courtesy of eonline.com

OK, Serena Williams is back!! She proved that by making it to the finals at Wimbledon this year. However, she is also returning in the fashion industry in a big way. Then again, she never went away with continued collaboration with HSN.Add to her tennis return success, Williams has teamed up with Nike Lab in a collaboration with Virgil Abloh on a chic, new tennis collection, entitled “Queen.”

“When I was thinking about outfits for Serena, I was thinking about her playing the game and her aesthetic while she is [playing],” said Abloh in a Vogue article. “Also about the confidence that’s needed while playing the top level of tennis.”

Images from the collaboration were released over the weekend on Off-White’s Instagram account. The “Queen” collection contains a range of shoes and athletic wear.

Image courtesy of designscene.net

150 is the charm

It is rare indeed for a fashion model to land over 50 magazine covers. Even more rare is 100 covers, and almost unheard of is appearing on 150 magazine covers.

Well, supermodel Christy Turlington has done the almost unheard of. Christy Turlington has now appeared on 150 magazine covers, and even more unusual this new accomplishment is Turlington’s 150th Vogue cover.

Earlier in the week, Turlington posted on Instagram her 150th Vogue cover that is the cover of the Polish addition of Vogue. “When it rains, it pours” Turlington wrote on Instagram. “I assure you, this is NOT a comeback.”

Image courtesy of Conde Nast

Mum is the word

It was revealed last week that Condè Nast would not make a profit until 2020. On the heels of this revelation, employees of Condè Nast have been ordered to follow a script when questioned on the future of Condè Nast and stay “on message.”

The leaked email revealed that on the wake of the consolidation of the US and UK Condè Nast Traveller magazine and the company wide, unveiled restructuring of Condè Nast, pressure is being put on staffers to follow company designed speech when speaking to the press. Hmm, I guess that means no clap back!!

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Beyoncè Calls for Curvier Bodies, Juicy Couture’s New Fragrance Campaign, and Joanna Coles’ Replacement

         Image courtesy of vogue.com

Beyoncè has once again posed for the September issue of Vogue. And in this upcoming issue Beyoncè has posed without much makeup, wigs or hair extensions. “I think it’s important for women and men to see and appreciate the beauty in their natural bodies,” she said in an accompanying essay in a fashionetwork.com article.Beyoncè in the Vogue September issue also talked about her recovery after giving birth to twins in 2017. “During my recovery, I gave myself self-love and self-care, and I embraced being curvier. I accepted what my body wanted to be,” she said. She added, “I was patient with myself and enjoyed my fuller curves.”

Image courtesy of elle.com

Elle Brasil bites the dust

More and more fashion print publications appear to be falling by the wayside. Elle Brasil is another tony fashion magazine that has been disposed to the publication junkyard. The August issue currently on the newsstands will be the last issue.

Editora Abril, the media company that owns Elle Brasil announced on Tuesday that they are not only shuttering Elle Brasil, but also Cosmopolitan Brasil as a part of its wide-ranging restructuring plan. The announcement was made via Instagram. This financial restructuring will result in the closure of 10 magazines with a loss of 500 jobs.

Image courtesy of fashionnetwork.com

Juicy’s new fragrance

Juicy Couture has teamed up with Revlon to produce its latest fragrance, Oui Juicy Couture. Oui Juicy Couture combines tart notes of waterlemon (or Jamaican honeysuckle) accord and acai tea accord with fruitier elements like fresh pear, and floral notes of wild tuberose, jasmine buds absolute and dewy honeysuckle. Notes of Amber resins and captive musks are also added.

Photographer, director, and illustrator Quentin Jones shot the Oui Juicy Couture campaign. The pop art–inspired campaign is peppered with brand ambassadors Devon Windsor, India Graham, Gizele Oliveira, and Luping Wang.

Kate Lewis image courtesy of twitter.com

Joanna’s replacement

We all know that Joanna Coles is leaving her position as Hearst’s Chief Content Officer. And tongues have been wagging about who will replace her.

Hearst president and CEO, Steven R. Swartz announced that Kate Lewis will replace Joanna Coles. “With her strong background in both worlds, Kate is ideally suited to help our editors and producers take their products to the next level of excellence by finding new ways to collaborate,” explained Swartz in a fashionweekdaily.com article.

Kate Lewis joined Hearst Magazines Digital Media in 2014 as vice president of content operations and editorial director. Lewis was promoted to senior vice president in 2016. In her new position, Lewis will direct content strategy for Hearst Magazines brands in print and digital, overseeing all editors-in-chief and digital directors in the US. Lewis will also work closely with product and technology teams, consumer marketing and the division’s branded content unit, HearstMade.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Anna Wintour Stays, D&G’s Affectation for Rich Kids, Tyson’s Feud with Kim K, and Millennial Pink

                                              Image courtesy of vogue.com

Anna Wintour ain’t going nowhere!! Or so, Condè Nast contends.Amid rumors that the hallowed fashion editor is soon to leave her post as editor-in-chief of American Vogue and creative director of Condè Nast, Condè Nast CEO Bob Sauerberg clapped back on Twitter on Tuesday, “Anna Wintour is an incredibly talented and creative leader whose influence is beyond measure. She is an integral to the future of our company’s transformation and has agreed to work with me indefinitely in her as @voguemagazine editor-in-chief and artistic director of Condè Nast.

Still, the powers that be at Condè Nast did not give dates of Wintour’s extended employment. Hmm, in the words of the bard of Stratford-on-Avon, “the things thou dost protest.”

  Image courtesy of fashionweekdaily.com

Rich kids rule

There is no doubt that Dolce & Gabbana (D&G) has a long-standing penchant for the scions of famous folks. In the brand’s spring 2018 and fall 2018 shows, D&G had the kids of celebrities scattered throughout their runway shows—Sofie Richie, Hailey Baldwin, Sistine and Sophia Stallone, Christian Combs, and others.

For its fall 2018 men’s campaign, D&G has employed the services of Christian Combs, Rafferty Law, son of Jude Law, Charlie Oldman, son of Gary Oldman, Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, nephew of Ralph and Joseph Fiennes, Kevin Chaplin, grandson of Charlie Chaplin, Paris Bosnan, son of Pierce Brosnan, as well as some non-celebrity scion men. Talk about a celebrity scion festival!!

With this assemblage of the kids of powerful celebrities, the D&G design duo catches two birds with one stone. Domenico Dolce and Steffano Gabbana connect a younger audience with this well-known iconic Italian fashion house, and this casting also represents the brand’s current clientele.

Hmm, rich folks fronting for a fashion brand, seems kind of dusty!! What do you think?

     Images courtesy of 2oceansvibe.com

Catfights and dog barks!!

Speaking of rich folks, the Kim Kardashian/Tyson Beckford social media feud continues. This feud started with supermodel Tyson Beckford body shaming Kim K on social media about Kim K’s surgically enhanced body, ”Sorry, I [don’t] care for it personally … “She is not real, doctor fucked up on her right hip.” These comments were in response to an image of Kim K walking in tight pants.

Kardashian clapped backed on The Shade Room which showed the image and Beckford’s comments by saying, “Sis, we all know why you don’t care for it.” The post was accompanied by the tea, frog, and nails emoji.

Wagging tongues are contending that Kim K was implying that Tyson Beckford is gay and on the down low (DL). Tyson clapped back by showing off his very toned body and commenting that he is sexually attracted to women, and supports LGBT issues.

Is this a real social media feud, or only done for more social media likes, followers, and publicity? You know the Kardashian are the kings, or should I say, queens of social media plants!!

Image courtesy of MAC Cosmetics

Pretty in millennial pink

Millennial pick try-ons account for 20% of lipstick try-ons in the US and UK according to Perfect Corp, parent company of YouCam Makeup. This result was discovered in an initiative sponsored by YouCam Makeup on National Lipstick Day (July 29). This lipstick color tests was conducted on 280 million users worldwide.

While millennial pink was one of the most popular lipstick colors in this study, pink overall was the preferred color in the Western world—with almost 50% of the top lip colors being pink shades in the United States and the UK—users in the East preferred to mix it up more. The study also found that Chinese users liked a more diverse range of colors—purples, oranges and lighter sheer shades. Korean users preferred bold, darker pinks, purples, and reds.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alerts: Alber Elbaz Is Back, Rodarte Returns, Ralph Lauren Celebrates 50, and Ivanka Trump Shutters Fashion Brand

                                                   Image courtesy of wwd.com

Any 50th anniversary is a great achievement, usually culminating in a huge celebration. Ralph Lauren has decided to celebrate his 50th anniversary in the fashion industry with a big runway show and gala in Central Park during New York Fashion Week: The Shows. The runway show will take place in Bethesda Terrace in Central Park on Friday, September 7. Ralph Lauren has always had a fondness for Central Park, staging his 49th anniversary show in 2008 in Central Park with a black-tie dinner at the Conservancy Garden.The purpose of this celebration is “to render homage to his hometown of New York, the epicenter of American and world fashion, and to the industry which he has led for five decades,” the brand said in a company press release. Ralph Lauren, happy 50!!

          Image courtesy of lalalay.com

He’s back

The fashion community mourned when Alber Elbaz was released from his creative director post at Lanvin a few years ago. But, the fashion community can now dry their eyes because Alber Elbaz is back!

Alber Elbaz has teamed up with LeSportsac for a capsule collection that will debut during New York Fashion Week: The Shows spring 2019 season. Elbaz adds a whimsical touch to LeSportsac’s signature styles in five bold prints, named “Dance with Me,” “Love Me Kiss Me,” “Big Kiss,” “Color Me Leopard,” and “Color Me Zebra.”

“If we inject more love into fashion, and less fear, we have a beautiful reason to wake up every morning,” said Elbaz in a statement reported in fashionnetwork.com, in reference to his latest project. “LeSportsac is fun, colourful and modern—it makes me smile every time.”

LeSportsac is not the only collaboration that Alber Elbaz has been a part of since his departure from Lanvin in 2015. Elbaz has partnered with Converse in a shoe capsule collection and he has partnered with French perfumer Frédéric Malle on a fragrance.

          Image courtesy of mixcloud.com

The return

Rodarte is returning to New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS) to showcase its spring 2019 collection after showing for three seasons in Paris. This announcement was made recently on the brand’s Instagram page. “We are excited to announce we will be showing our [spring 2019] collection during NYC Fashion Week! We are thrilled to create the show with our amazing team: Brian Phillips and Black Frame, Alex de Betak and Bureau Betak, IMG and our beauty and hair teams.”

Laura and Kate Mulleavy founded Rodarte in 2005. And like several top American brands in recent years—Monique Lhuillier, Altazurra, Proenza Schouler, Thom Browne, and others—the Mulleavy sisters opted out of showing their collections during NYFWS. However, Rodarte and Proenza Schouler are returning to NYFWS for the spring 2019 season.

This is great news for the CFDA, hopefully lifting the organization out of the doldrums caused by the defections. Rodarte has not announced the location and date of their show during NYFWS spring season.

Bye bye Ivanka

On Tuesday, Ivanka Trump shut down her eponymous fashion line due to a conflict of interest. A number of restrictions have been placed on the brand due to Ivanka Trump’s official position with the Trump administration. Currently, Ivanka Trump is a senior advisor to the Trump administration.

The restrictions place on Ivanka Trump’s namesake fashion brand include prevention from undertaking international expansion and requiring the company to discuss any potential deals with domestic partners with Ivanka Trump. According to a BBC source, these restrictions are hampering the growth of the company.

The company has come under fire since the  election of Trump, resulting in boycotts, negative press, and retail giants Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, HSN and ShopStyle, among other retailers dropping the brand in recent months. According to a recent post in fashionnetwork.com, although the brand is shutting down, licensing deals will be maintained until the end date of the agreements.
 —William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Yeezy Model Arrested, Dapper Dan x Gucci Collaboration, Issa Rae’s New CoverGirl Campaign, and Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund Finalists

                                      Image courtesy of sumfashions.com

Issa Rae has scored another CoverGirl campaign and this time she brings along her friends. The actress/writer/youtube sensation recently unveiled her CoverGirl “Shade for Shade” video that promotes CoverGirl’s new 48-piece ‘Exhibitionist Lipsticks’ series. “I had too much fun filming with my best friends for my latest @COVERGIRL spot,” the star captioned the clip, which she shared with her 2 million Instagram followers. The video highlights Issa Rae and three friends getting ready for a night out on the town using Exhibitionist Lipsticks in shades of black, nude, purple and red in matte, metallic and cream finishes.

 “I love that people are experimenting,” Rae told Allure of the new campaign. “It’s a form of self-expression, and if that gets you closer to making you feel like you, then no one should get in the way of that.”

          Image courtesy of fashionista.com

Dapper Dan x Gucci

Since it was announced that Gucci would be referencing iconic Harlem designer of the late 1970s Dapper Dan in an upcoming collection, those familiar with Dapper Dan were excited about the collaboration. Well, the Dapper Dan x Gucci ad campaign, shot by Ari Marcopoulos, has finally been released.

The recent ad campaign draws inspiration from archival images of Dapper Dan vintage designs that include oversized sweat suits, leather bombers, all heavily emblazoned by logos. “Everyone [has] paid homage to Dapper Dan, but no one ever paid him,” said Dapper Dan in a press release detailed in a recent fashionweekdaily.com post. “The people have spoken and Gucci has listened. Nothing has been more significant in the Harlem cultural scene than Alessandro and Gucci coming to Harlem and partnering with Dapper Dan.”

      Image courtesy of politicopost.com

YEEZY model arrest

Shannade Clermont, former YEEZY Instagram model, has been arrested for using a dead man’s debit card to buy clothes, book airline flights, and pay bills. Charges add up to over $20K. Before starring in Kanye West’s season 6 YEEZY campaign, Shannade Clermonts starred on a season of “Bad Girls Club.”

According to Source magazine, in 2017, Clermont had allegedly visited the dead man in question’s apartment for a “prostitution date” and stole two debit cards, using debit cards to pay rent, phone bills and purchase airline flights. Over a thousand dollars worth of clothing was also purchased on the stolen debit cards.

United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey S. Berman details, “As alleged, Shannade Clermont, a former cast member of “Bad Girls Club,” lived up to her reality series reputation. She allegedly stole debit card information from a man found dead—the victim of a drug overdose—in his Manhattan apartment and used his identity to make tens of thousands of dollars in fraudulent purchases. Thanks to the skilled investigative work of the NYPD, Clermont’s new reality is federal prosecution for alleged nefarious conduct.”

Clermont has been charged on three counts: conspiracy to commit wire fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft. If convicted, girlfriend will do a lot of time!!

           Image courtesy of vogue.com

And the 2018 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists are

The CFDA has announced the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists. Ten creative brands will compete to win the prestigious award that includes mentorship to grow their brands and $400,000.

“For the past 15 years, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund has transformed American fashion by creating a path for emerging designers to find success in the business of fashion,” said CFDA president and CEO Steven Kolb in a fashionnetwork.com article. “The program has had global impact and inspired other fashion capitals to put a focus on emerging talent.”

The 2018 finalists are Batsheva Hay of Batsheva, Emily Adams Bode of Bode, Christian Cowan, Danielle Corona of Hunting Season, Jonathan Cohen and Sarah Leff of Jonathan Cohen, Raul Lopez of Luar, Matthew Adams Dolan, Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss, Rebecca de Ravenel, and Scosha Woolridge of Scosha. The winner will be announced in a ceremony on November 5, 2018.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Roger Federer and Uniqlo, Valentino Celebrates Maria Callas, Caron on the Auction Block, and Walmart Dumps Trump

                                                 Image courtesy of adage.com

If you have been watching Wimbledon, you will notice Wimbledon champ Roger Federer has been wearing Uniqlo for all his matches. Recently, the 20-grand slam champ signed a ten-year deal with the Japanese retail giant that could be worth 230 million pounds.Of the partnership with Federer, Uniqlo founder and CEO Tadashi Yanai believes that the partnership will “continue taking tennis to new places, while exploring innovations in a number of areas including technology and design with him.” And the partnership additionally, “will be about innovation on and off court.”

The Uniqlo shirt that Federer will be wearing during his play at Wimbledon is a tennis shirt with a short stand-up collar “to emphasize a more sophisticated look both on and off court.” The shirt and shorts are designed with a burgundy color line at the edge of the sleeves and the front panel of the shirt, and down the sides of the shorts, highlighting Uniqlo’s corporate color.

  Image courtesy of wwd.com

Valentino and Callas

As Couture Fashion Week continues in Paris this week; perhaps, one of the grandest collections presented for the couture season was Valentino’s tribute to legendary opera icon, Maria Callas. Maria Callas at the peak of her career in the 1950s and 60s represented the opera diva at their grandest with opulence and broad fan worship.

On Wednesday night at the Salomon de Rothschild mansion to the strands of Maria Callas singing Puccini arias on the loud speakers, models with very teased coifs in exquisite couture gowns conjured up a couture world that Callas inhabited, but a world that sadly no longer exist.

Many of the gowns were named after famous cultural fashion icons including Liza Minelli and others. At the end of this sumptuous feast of fashion the crowd stood and applauded Valentino founder Valentino Garavani.

    Image courtesy of fashionnetwork.com

Caron for sale

The second oldest fragrance house in Paris is up for sale. Caron, best known for its men’s fragrance, “Pour un Homme,” was founded in 1904  and is 114-years old.

The legendary fragrance house saw its revenue decline in 2018 already by $8 million euros. Caron only makes up 4% of its parent company, Ales Groupe’s, revenue. Caron still has four stores in Paris with its fragrance market mostly in France. Ales Groupe has owned Caron since 1998.

Caron over the years has produced such powdery scents as “Narcisse Noir,” which dates back to 1911, and “Fleur de Rocaille.” 

           Image courtesy of adweek.com

Walmart under fire

Controversy can be a good thing in fashion and retail. However when it comes to the Oval Office, controversy can sometimes not be a good thing.

On Tuesday, mega retail giant Walmart removed “Impeach 45” shirts and accessories from its online marketplace. The “45” relates to the 45th president, Donald Trump.           

“These items were sold by third party sellers on our open marketplace, and were not offered directly by Walmart,” a company spokesman said. “We’re removing these types of items pending review of our marketplace policies.”

That may be true; however, perhaps, the anti-Trump items were removed for other reasons. “A lot of the stores are in locations that are probably fairly Republican,” Neil Saunders, managing director of consulting firm GlobalData Retail, said in a recent fashionnetwork.com article. “They do need to take action because it could alienate a large portion of their customer base.”

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Gwyneth Paltrow x Lily Pulitzer, Ariana Grande’s New Fragrance, Popsugar Sued, and India’s Labor Issues Continue

                                     Image courtesy of billboard.com

There has been much in the news about Ariana Grande’s recent engagement to Pete Davidson. Still, Grande is making news in other genres.

Grande’s recently announced that she has a new fragrance that will be released in the fall. In partnership with Luxe Brands, Clouds “is a joyful, new creation inspired by optimism and hope.” The perfume features top notes of lavender blossom, pear and bergamot, before opening into a heart of crème de coconut, praline and vanilla orchid. “I love clouds, and I love this new fragrance,” said Grande in a statement in a recent fashionnetwork.com article. “It is my favorite one yet!”

Grande has had a slew of fragrances in partnership with Luxe Brands—”Moonlight”, a sweet and fruity scent; “Sweet Like Candy,” a sugary combination of berries, vanilla, marshmallow and precious woods, and a unisex fragrance, “Frankie by Ariana Grande.” “Each of Ariana’s fragrances continues to surpass expectations, simply defying the trajectory of celebrity fragrances,” said Joel Ronkin, CEO of LUXE Brands. “This is a true testament to her ability to connect with her fans and her incredible passion to deliver a superior fragrance for them.”

“Clouds” will hit Ulta Beauty Stores in the US and Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada, as well as on ArianaGrande.com in the fall of 2018.

    Image courtesy of goop.com

Gwyneth Paltrow expands

Gwyneth Paltrow has moved beyond being only an A-list film actress. Some years back, Paltrow founded the modern lifestyle magazine, Goop. Soon after, the brand’s clothing line, G. Label, launched.

Now G. Label is collaborating on a five-piece capsule collection with iconic brand Lily Pulitzer designed by Paltrow herself. For this capsule collection, Paltrow drew inspiration from the legendary photography of 1960s, Slim Aarons. Aarons gained popularity in the 60s taking photographs of Vanderbilt and Rockefeller women.

“I felt so inspired looking through Slim Aarons’ photos of these glamorous, elegant women dressed in Lilly Pulitzer. The opportunity to revisit that aesthetic has been a lot of fun,” said Paltrow in a news statement.

The five-piece capsule collection will include a pink large floral print entitled “Kiss Kiss” created by Paltrow and Lily Pulitzer Executive Vice President of Product Design and Development, Mira Fain. The five pieces showcasing the print are a silk maxi dress, a stretch shift dress, a cotton blouse, a maxi skirt from the Lilly Pulitzer archives and a tote bag.

The five-piece collection is now on sale at Lily Pulitzer stores and available on online. The Goop x Lily Pulitzer collection ranges in price from $90 for the tote to $400 for the silk maxi dress.

      Image courtesy of spoiledpretty.com

Popsugar stealth

Los Angeles–based social media influencer Nita Batra is suing fashion and lifestyle site, Popsugar for $5 million dollars, claiming that the site used her proprietary images without her permission. Batra has over 215,000 followers on Instagram.

Filed in California federal court earlier in the week, Batra purports that Popsugar “decided to capitalize on the influencers’ social media following by copying and posting thousands of influencers’ Instagram images [and their bio info] on its own website without authorization.” Batra’s social media images were originally linked to LikeItKnowIt, a platform that pays influencers royalties when their followers make a purchase through their images.

Batra contends that Popsugar posted her images, removing the original links, and replacing Batra’s links with its own affiliate links to ShopStyle, a competing platform that Popsugar owned at the time. By doing this, Popsugar reaped financial benefits without Batra’s permission, diverting financial benefits from Batra. Batra believes this a standard practice employed by Popsugar, Batra hopes to persuade other influencers to engage in a class action lawsuit against Popsugar.

Though Popsugar has not responded to the lawsuit filing, Batra alleges that when she confronted Popsugar CEO Brian Sugar, she was informed that the posts where only to be for internal use and that wider publication was a mistake.

  Image courtesy of apparelresoureces.com

India’s labor challenges

Though there has been a lot of global initiatives bringing lots of attention to labor issues in India’s over-saturated garment manufacturing sector, little has been done to correct the labor issues. International agencies believed that if workers were able to speak about labor abuses, things would change; unfortunately, that has not happened. So, the question is if this attention was just window dressing or an impetus for real change?

“The organizations are violating the rules of the mechanisms they created by not taking time bound action against complaints that come up,” said S. James Victor, director of Serene Secular Social Service Society, which works to empower garment workers. “They are far removed from ground reality. The fact is that every day a worker continues to face workplace harassment in the spinning mills and garment factories of Tamil Nadu.”

The US–based Social Accountability International (SAI) agency introduced voluntary labor practices a few years back after the Rama factory fire. And though some Indian garment factories have received SAI certifications, the voluntary labor practices are rarely followed.

“Workers are being victimized, harassed and managements are literally going after them for raising any complaint,” said Sujata Mody of the Garment and Fashion Workers Union, which has about 3,000 active members. And when workers issue complaints, organizations like Britain’s Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) are slow to respond with no concrete plans to address complaints.

—William S. Gooch

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