Fashion News Alert: Raf Simons Exits Calvin Klein, Naomi Campbell’s New Gig, and the Strong 2018 Holiday Season

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Naomi Campbell’s fashion career does not appear to be losing any steam. Campbell’s three-decade plus fashion career adds another notch in its proverbial belt with Campbell’s new beauty campaign for NARS Cosmetics.Interestingly, in spite of Campbell’s market saturation, this is her first beauty campaign. Campbell will be featured in the brand’s spring 2019 campaign. NARS founder Francois Nars took a recent picture of Campbell, showing her flawless skin and posted the image on social media.

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Bye, bye Raf

Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons is leaving his post at Calvin Klein. “Both parties have amicably decided to part ways after Calvin Klein, Inc. decided on a new brand direction which differs from Simons’ creative vision,” the company said in a statement on last Friday.

Simons’ tenure at the helm of Calvin Klein was less than three years. Simons came to Calvin Klein after being at Dior for four years. Simon’s title of chief creative officer at Calvin Klein seemingly gave him tremendous power to revitalize the American brand. In reality, Simons was brought in to boost declining retail sales of the higher priced Calvin Klein lines.

Several fashion insiders contend that Simons’ design aesthetic did not bole well at Calvin Klein. “Doing heroin chic might have worked at his own house; but it was not right to be connected with an American sportswear brand,” commented a senior executive within the PVH group.

Though Simons’ departure date has not be confirmed, according to the New York Times, Simons will leave Calvin Klein within the next six months. Raf Simons replaced Fransico Costa who helmed the brand’s women’s wear line for 13 years.

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2018 holiday season shopalooza

The holiday 2018 season was the strongest shopping season in the past six years, according to a Mastercard report as reported on US holiday shopping in 2018 peaked at over $850 billion, an increase of 5.1% over the 2017 holiday season.

The 5.1 percent sales growth included in-store and online sales between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24. The National Retail Federation had forecast U.S. holiday retail sales to rise between 4.3 percent and 4.8 percent in November and December.

The retail industry contributes this spark in holiday sales to early discounts and a robust economy. “From shopping aisles to online carts, consumer confidence translated into holiday cheer for retail,” said Steve Sadove, senior adviser for Mastercard.

Though the US is dealing with a government shutdown and a schizophrenic stock market, consumers continued to shop aggressively. “I don’t see that (volatility in the markets and Government shutdown) as having any impact … but I am cautiously optimistic for the consumer going into 2019,” said Sadove.

—William S. Gooch

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