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

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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.

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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.” 

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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

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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 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

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