Fashion News Alert: The First Lady’s Magazine Cover, Kate Spade and Heinz Ketchup, and Saks Close to Acquiring Neiman Marcus

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You would have to be living under a rock or in alternate universe if you haven’t been witnessing the media’s commentary on President Joe Biden’s age and assumed decrepit physical state based on his disastrous debate with Donald Trump. With all the brouhaha around Biden’s presidential viability, you would think that is the only news coming out of the White House.

Wrong!! Another White House narrative that is just under the radar is the First Lady Jill Biden August Vogue cover. And this issue comes out just in time for the Democratic Convention in August.

For the August Vogue cover, Jill Biden dons a white Ralph Lauren Collection dress and Irene Neuwirth earrings. Jill Biden is photographed by Norma Jean Roy and interviewed for the August issue by Maya Singer. In the interview with Singer, Jill Biden discusses her husband’s 2024 presidential campaign and her support of women’s initiatives.

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Red rules

As you probably know by now, collaborations are a huge deal in the fashion industry. Fashion designers collaborate with everything and everyone from graphic artists, pop stars and celebrities to video game designers.

Perhaps the most unusual fashion collaboration is the recent collaboration between Kate Spade and Heinz. This collaboration combines the Heinz brand’s iconic red and Spade’s colorful, vibrant style based on the boldness of New York City.

“At Kate Spade New York, we believe in exploring the journey of self-expression through style in fun, unexpected ways,” said Jennifer Lyu, SVP and head of design at Kate Spade New York, as reported in fashionnetwork.com

“It’s the thoughtful details that bring this collection with Heinz to life–from the embellishments on the tee and the way our 3D ketchup bag looks just like that classic red and white packet. The playful designs are perfect for all of summer’s special moments, capturing the spirit of the season. I’m excited for customers across generations to experience a little piece of the magic we created with Heinz.”

This collaborative collection will contain totes, pouches, small leather goods, ready to wear tees, footwear, keychains, phone cases, and more. This limited collection will have price points that range from $45 to $398 and will be launched across global markets in China, Europe, Japan, North America, and Southeast Asia.

“Kate Spade New York shares many values with Heinz–from creating products of the highest quality that are expertly crafted by masters and leave no detail untouched, to exhibiting true devotion to our fans. In return, both brands have incredibly loyal fanbases that transcend generations. At Heinz, we love to celebrate the unique and unconventional ways our fans show their love for us, and this collection is the perfect opportunity to do so,” explained Megan Lang, head of global Heinz brand communications and creativity.

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Two are better than one

There is a deal afoot that could merge two of the largest retail stores in the US. Saks Fifth Avenue is close to acquiring Neiman Marcus Group for 2.65 billion dollars. An unnamed entity that is close to the deal has revealed that Amazon.com Inc. and Salesforce Inc. will help facilitate the deal by Saks owner Hudson’s Bay Co.

This deal will include 39 Saks Fifth Avenue stores and 36 stores of the Dallas-based Neiman Marcus, as well as two Bergdorf Goodman stores based in New York City and Saks and Neiman Marcus outlets. The merger of these two megastores will cut costs and boost profits. This deal is the result of negotiations and talks that have been going on between Saks and Neiman Marcus since 2020.

The involvement of Amazon “adds a bit of spice to an otherwise predictable deal,” GlobalData analyst Neil Saunders wrote in a research note. Its stake would make sense, he said, “as it has ambitions to play more heavily in the luxury space and this would give it a toehold, as reported in fashionnetwork.com.”

“The department-store model has been failing because the whole business was designed for a completely different retail environment than what we have now,” Morningstar analyst David Swartz said, as reported in fashionnetwork.com. “Every part of department stores has been challenged by competition.”

Saks Fifth Avenue has more stores on the East Coast with Neiman Marcus stores expanding across the Midwest and western parts of the US. This merger will give the partners in this deal a combined proliferation across the entire US.

William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Naomi Campbell Honored, Rihanna Has a New Gig, and Team USA 2024 Olympic Uniforms Revealed

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Naomi Campbell’s status as a fashion icon has reached a new height. Campbell now has her first fashion exhibition, making her the first fashion model to have an exhibition at a renowned fashion museum devoted to a fashion model.

London’s Victoria and Albert Museum will host the exhibit “Naomi: In Fashion.” The exhibit opens on Saturday, June 22 and will feature a literal walk through of Campbell’s legendary career from the start of her career at aged 15, walking in Patrick Kelly’s fashion shows, to her iconic career as one of Karl Lagerfeld’s muses, to the present day. The exhibit will feature video, numerous glamorous ensembles, a photographic display curated by Edward Enninful, as well as a recreation of her dressing room.

“There’s been so many exhibitions about fashion designers and fashion photographers, but the model is often left out of the story,” Sonnet Stanfill, senior curator of fashion at the V&A, told Reuters. “And Naomi Campbell’s remarkable 40-year career is really … proving that she’s an exemplar in the field, because not only is she working with the best designers and photographers, magazines in the industry, but also she uses her platform to spotlight the careers of emerging creatives as well.”

Campbell, 54, was the first black model to appear on the covers of French Vogue and Time magazine and was also the first Black model on the cover of American Vogue‘s key September issue. “Naomi: In Fashion,” runs at the Victoria and Albert Museum until April 6, 2025.

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Rihanna’s new job

Rihanna has a new job. The global pop icon was recently named the brand ambassador for Parfums Christian Dior’s J’Adore.

“Being the new face of J’Adore is both an honor and a mission. This scent, that I have known and loved for so long, means so much to women. I am especially looking forward to joining this adventure and contributing to it through my world, my story, my roots, as well as my creativity and my own femininity,” Rihanna explained, as reported in fashionnetwork.com.

“We are incredibly proud to welcome Rihanna into the Dior family. Her golden dream promises to be unique, reflecting a fragrance that is present for women, and retains its radiance. The unusual talent, audacity, and captivating beauty of this absolute star are the ideal embodiment of dazzling, powerful Dior femininity that transcends generations. Christian Dior would most definitely have adored her,” detailed Véronique Courtois, CEO Parfums Christian Dior.

J’Adore “is the perfume of a powerful, liberated, and independent woman, which resonates with Rihanna’s personal story, one she has made her own, wearing it as an emblem of boldness and seduction,” Parfums Christian Dior, a division of French luxury conglomerate LVMH, added, as reported in fashionnetwork.com. J’Adore was developed in 1999 by master perfumer Calice Becker and contains notes of blood orange and neroli, with tear-drop bottle designed by Herve Van der Straeten.

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Ralph Lauren makes Olympians stylish

The 2024 Paris Olympics are a little over a month away. And as we look forward to all the great sporting events, at Fashion Reverie we also pay close attention to the Opening Ceremony outfits for all participating nations.

Traditionally, the US’ Olympic team uniforms are always designed by Ralph Lauren and this year is no exception. This is the ninth outing for Ralph Lauren dressing the US Olympic team.

“Ralph Lauren is profoundly honored to define the look of the American delegation as they represent our country in one of the world’s most celebrated and storied events,” said David Lauren, chief branding and innovation officer, Ralph Lauren Corporation.

“For nearly 60 years, Ralph Lauren has been a pioneer at the intersection of style and sport—the vibrancy, passion and self-expression in sport has been a central touchpoint of inspiration for our brand since the very beginning of the iconic Polo brand in 1967. This summer, Paris is the backdrop where fashion and sport will collide on the world’s stage with a global audience and that is an incredibly exciting proposition.”

The Opening Ceremony uniforms for the US team will feature a single-breasted wool blazer with red and white tipping, a striped oxford shirt, and a tapered jean paired with classic suede buck shoes. For the Closing Ceremony, athletes have a sporty moto-style jacket with white denim and a Polo shirt from the brand’s custom Create Your Own program.

The Paris 2024 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremonies take place on July 26.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Virginie Viard to Leave Chanel, Michael Kor’s Father’s Day Campaign,and Law Roach’s First Book

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It has been officially confirmed that Virginie Viard is leaving Chanel. Viard took over the role of creative director of the iconic French fashion house after the death of Karl Lagerfeld.

“Chanel confirms the departure of Virginie Viard after a rich collaboration of five years as Artistic Director of Fashion collections, during which she was able to renew the codes of the House while respecting the creative heritage of Chanel, and almost thirty years within the House,” Chanel said in a terse statement. “Chanel would like to thank Virginie Viard for her remarkable contribution to Chanel’s fashion, creativity and vitality. A new chapter is opening for Chanel Mode. We are confident in the teams’ ability to ensure the continuity of the collections during this period of transition,” the house continued.

After the announcement of Viard’s departure there has been much speculation about who will replace Viard. “Chanel is a legendary house rich with codes and an incredible archive,” said Bryanboy on Twitter. “Why roll the dice and gamble it all with something radical? Either way it’s all very exciting. Let the hunger games begin!”

There has been a plethora of names thrown into the pool of replacements for Viard. Those names include Hedi Slimane, Sara Burton, Jeremy Scott, and Pierpaolo Piccioli. That said, Viard last collection for Chanel will be winter 2025 collection on June 25 at the Opera Garnier as a part of Paris Couture Fashion Week.

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Law Roach is now an author

Law Roach can add a new title to his many titles. In addition to Roach being a celebrity stylist, reality show judge, fashion designer and brand collaborator, Roach has now become an author.

Law Roach tells his story in his first book, How to Build a Fashion Icon: Notes on Confidence on From the World’s Only Image Architect. In this tome, Roach talks about his fashion career’s journey, top red-carpet moments, styling advice, and more. 

Roach talks about more than his journey as a celebrity fashion stylist in this book. How to Build a Fashion Icon also has step-by-step commentary through the creative and how to acquire success in the fashion industry.

You can pre-order How to Build a Fashion Icon from amazon.com. How to Build a Fashion Icon will be available, and in bookstores on September 24.

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Kors’ practicality and luxury for fathers

Father’s Day is a little over a week away. And to celebrate the man in your life, Michael Kors has tapped soccer star Nicholas Krause and his supermodel wife Grace Elizabeth for his 2024 Father’s Day campaign.

Styled by Alex Harrington, this 2024 Father’s Day campaign highlights Kors’ luxury aesthetic combined with the brand’s practicality. This collection is about elevated accessories and casual separates for the man in your life.

Key pieces include leather and soft suede backpacks and crossbody bags, perfect for on-the-go convenience while maintaining a polished look. The 2024 Father’s Day campaign was shot by renowned fashion photographer Cass Bird.

William S. Gooch

 

Fashion News Alert: Coveteur Shutters, Calvin Klein’s New Pride Campaign, and Trouble for Dion Lee

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Calvin Klein has a new Pride campaign starring supermodel Cara Delevingne and singer Jeremy Pope. The 2024 ‘This Is Love’ campaign has Jeremy and Cara lip synching to Crystal Waters’ 90s pop hit “100% Pure Love” alongside models and dancers Stella Maxwell, Greta Hofer, Tinglei Liu, Monet Lauren, Charlie Knepper, Vinson Fraley, Janick Heilijgers, Diego Pasillas, and Mauro van de Kerkhof. 

This campaign, shot by Gordon von Steiner, captures Delevingne and Pope in the brand’s annual Pride collection “embracing the joyful, confident energy of Pride.”  Calvin Klein states that the entire cast in the campaign “channels the euphoric spirit of Pride and the strength of the LGBTQIA+ community through expressive dance and unfiltered displays of confidence.”

This new ‘This Is Love’ campaign contains classic Calvin Klein underwear and apparel silhouettes infused with “with the vibrant energy of Pride.” New Intense Power underwear styles have a limited-edition logo waistband designed with a bright rainbow gradient. Additionally, this new collection contains two limited edition tee shirts in partnership with its NGO partners, Transgender Law Center, and ILGA World. 

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Another one bites the dust

Well, it is happening again, another fashion and beauty magazine bites the dust. That’s right, the latest victim Coveteur magazine is shutting down on June 15.

Most of the staff has been laid off, with six editors remaining to take the fashion outlet through June 15. This shutdown comes on the heels of a site revamp a few months ago, and also the appointment of Jenna Lyons as its new editor-in-chief in February.

According to Adweek magazine Coveteur is closing shop because the online outlet did not meet its revenue goals, despite increased social media presence and followers. Founded in 2011, Coveteur was acquired by Great Bowery for $15 million dollars.

In late 2023, Coveteur’s parent company, Great Bowery, set out to rebrand the company with a new look to the publication and bringing on Jenna Lyons. Poor Jenna, is anything working for her these days?

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It ain’t over til it’s over

Another major fashion brand is facing financial challenges in 2024. As many fashion brands are struggling with staying afloat in 2024—Prabal Gurung, Mara Hoffman, and others—New York-based Australian designer Dion Lee is also experiencing a financial crisis.

Lee has placed his eponymous brand under voluntary administration after the withdrawal of investment and partnership by Australian brand and retailer Cue, which had acquired a major share in Dion Lee in 2013.  Dion Lee’s brand was dependent on Cue’s financial investment and now that Cue’s investment has ended, Lee is pursuing other potential investors.

Dion Lee has been a staple of New York Fashion Week (NYFW) for several seasons. With the departure of Cue, for its spring 2024 collection Dion Lee collaborated with social commerce platform Emcee as a show sponsor. 

—William S. Gooch

 

Fashion News Alert: Mara Hoffman Closes Shop, Timothée Chalamet’s New Gig, and Goodbye Bruce Nordstrom

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Mara Hoffman is shutting down her eponymous sustainable fashion brand. Hoffman launched her namesake brand in 2004 and acquired a sustainable celebrity following that included Beyoncé, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Miranda Kerr, Paris Hilton, and more.

In a recent interview for Vogue, Hoffman expressed her gratitude to the fashion industry for being a part of industry for over 20 years. “I am deeply humbled to have been given the gift to play a role that allows me to create beauty and then have it live in the world in such a meaningful way,” Hoffman said. “To have the privilege to work with and for women and to be able to have some level of impact on their lives, even in small or subtle ways. This has given me such purpose and joy and I know in my heart, this is what I am here to do in this life. It has been an honor to step into a position of responsibility, to become an example of change in this industry, and show the potential for new systems that are more loving, Earth centered, and kinder. I will forever remain an advocate and supporter of the tireless work being done by the exceptional people working in this space. The ones fighting for a new version.”

Closing the label “is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life … I didn’t want other people’s ideas of solutions and how they thought it could be fixed or where I could have done things differently.”

After graduating from Parsons in 1999, Hoffman launched her brand a few years later, making sustainability the core focus of her brand in 2014. She expanded her brand to include large sizes in 2018 and opened her first store in 2022.

“There are not many companies that have successfully done this for as long of a period as we have. And the reality is that the demands that are on a small company financially make it almost impossible to be privately held and run after a certain point.”

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Timothée’s new job

Timothée Chalamet has a new job. Chanel has assigned Chalamet his first campaign with its fragrance Bleu de Chanel as its new brand ambassador.

For Chalamet’s first campaign with Bleu de Chanel, Chanel has chosen Martin Scorsese to direct the short film. This short film follows Chalamet throughout his day, from Chalamet waking up in Soho to his appearance on a late-night talk show.

This long-awaited short film was shot last spring in New York City.  “We were in Queens at four in the morning and he was bounding up the subway stairs. It should’ve to me sooner that I try to find something to work on with him. Yes, it’s a perfume ad, but for me it was an opportunity for an enormous education,” explained Chalamet in a November 2023 GQ article.

Chalamet did not want the short film to resemble an ad for a product. The short film reflects the actor’s conflict with his celebrity status and staying true to himself. And he felt Scorsese was the perfect director to bring that reflection to film.

“I have some friends that aren’t as interested in the high-fashion space, but when I tell them I’m doing a short film with Martin Scorsese in New York, their ears prick up. He lives and breathes moviemaking. The conversations we’ve had over Zoom have been super enthused. For him, it’s like hitting the treadmill.”

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Bye, bye Bruce

Bruce Nordstorm, heir to one of the largest American retail stores, has died. Nordstrom helped transform the family business from a regional footwear store to a large American retail empire.

In 1963, Bruce Nordstrom began to run the company his grandfather founded, presiding over the regional chain of shoe stores. Nordstrom transformed the company by fostering customer loyalty in a friendly environment. He added live music played on a baby grand piano instead of the typical generic music piped in over speakers. He also made changing rooms larger and added more sales associates so that customers’ needs were always met.

“All retailers in America have awakened to the Nordstrom threat and are struggling to catch up,” said Leonard Lauder, who headed cosmetics maker Estée Lauder Cos., according to a 1989 New York Times article, as reported in fashionnetwork.com. “Nordstrom is the future of retailing.”

In 2006 when Bruce Nordstrom retired the department store, Nordstrom had $8.6 billion in revenue generated by full-line stores and Nordstrom Rack discount sites. In the company’s most recent fiscal year, it recorded sales of almost $15 billion.

Bruce Nordstrom is survived by his three children, Peter, Erik, and Blake.

—William S. Gooch

 

Fashion News Alert: Kendall Jenner’s New Vogue Cover, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie Together Again, and Perry Ellis Teams Up with the Miami Dolphins

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After almost two decades in the media, the Kardashian/Jenner clan is still going strong. Wagging tongues still wag about Kris Jenner, Kim, Khloe, and Courtney Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Kendall Jenner.

Recently, Kendall Jenner stunned on the 2024 Met Gala red carpet in a 1999 Alexander McQueen archival gown.  To add to that, Kendall will also excite pulses on the 2024 June/July cover of Vogue.

Kendall wears a two-piece Chanel ensemble for the cover, captured by photographer duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.  Inside the issue, Kendall is dressed in garments from Miu Miu, Bottega Veneta, Michael Kors, Marni, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Hermès, Jacquemus, Ralph Lauren, Alaïa, Rabanne, and Valentino Haute Couture, all styled by Tabitha Simmons.

Kendall Jenner’s new Vogue cover coincides with her 10th anniversary as a fashion model. “Fashion was my therapy,” Jenner confesses to editor Rob Haskell, who penned the Vogue article in the June/July issue.” I’ve always been a bit of a stresser but putting on a beautiful dress gives me a sense of control.”

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Perry Ellis and the Miami Dolphins

This past Tuesday Perry Ellis International (PEI) announced their partnership with the Miami Dolphins. As a part of this partnership, PEI will serve as a support sponsor on the key Miami Dolphins Foundation events such as the Alumni Weekend Golf Classic and the Draft Weekend Golf Classic.

The Miami Dolphins ties with PEI go back to 1972 when Perry Ellis dressed the Miami Dolphins in suiting and other apparel. Recently, the Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa acquired a brand ambassadorship with Perry Ellis.

“At Perry Ellis, the ‘Always Ready’ spirit is woven into everything we do,” said Oscar Feldenkreis, president and CEO of Perry Ellis International, Inc., in a recent fashionnetwork.com article.

“It’s a kinship we share with the world of sports – a game-winning mindset that the Miami Dolphins exemplify. We’re thrilled to nurture this relationship with the franchise and connect with players and fans through fashion and lifestyle. Our partnership with the Miami Dolphins represents an exciting new chapter for Perry Ellis International. We aim to capture the essence of confidence and versatility that defines the sports community, while offering a fresh take on athlete-inspired fashion.”

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Together again

Speaking of partnerships, it appears that Nicole Ritchie and Paris Hilton are together again for a new project. According to Page Six of the New York Post, Paris and Nicole are set to star in a new reality show, though the premise for this new show is not known.

Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie starred in the hit reality television show “The Simple Life” from 2003 to 2007. “The Simple Life” not only made Paris and Nicoe households names, but also opened up the world of fashion to both stars. Nicole created the fashion brand House of Harlow, while Paris Hilton launched her fashion brand on the heels of “The Simple Life.” Paris has also collaborated and been a brand ambassador for major fashion brands.

—William S. Gooch

 

Fashion News Alert: Conde Nast’s Union Deal, Bella Hadid’s Fragrance, and the Met’s Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion

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Andrew Bolton, the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute’s chief curator, suggest that the current exhibit ‘Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion’ is not only a visual fest, but that it is a fest for all the senses. The current exhibit, which is a fashion cornucopia of flora and fauna, features over 220 pieces from the Costume Institute’s archives, as well as several new acquisitions.

“This exhibit was inspired by the desire to see, understand, and research the multifaceted sensory elements of the masterworks here at the Costume Institute collection. A painting is painted to be looked at sitting on a wall and for us to interact with it [hanging]. A dress is designed to be worn and move in space with its wearer. When a work of fashion enters the Met Collection, something happens; it becomes an object. It is transformed into that existence we can no longer wear, touch, feel or hear or smell it in the way the original creator intended,” Met Museum CEO Max Hollein explained to a preview crowd, as reported in a recent fashionnetwork.com article.

“The 220 pieces on display range from the 17th century to the present and is our largest, most ambitious in terms of range and stroke. This includes 75 pieces that extend our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and emerging design talent,” Bolton said, as reported in fashionnetwork.com. “More than any other form of artistic expression, fashion undergoes the most radical transformation status upon entering the Met’s Costume Institute collection. Fashion is a living art form that requires most of our senses for full appreciation and greatest understanding; it’s to be seen, heard, touched, smelled, and sometimes even tasted. We aim to reactive the sensory nature of the garments,” Bolton continued.

Bolton explained that this current exhibit not only stimulates the senses, artificial intelligence (AI) has also been used for ‘Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion’ exhibit. A Charles Worth dress has been totally realized using an AI avatar. Additionally, a 1930s wedding dress designed by Pierre Gerber of the Callot Soeurs has been brought to life using AI technology. Bolton detailed that the AI technology used in the current exhibit was the most expensive aspect of the exhibit.

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Workers unite!!

Conde Nast has reached an agreement with the Conde Nast Union. This agreement was reached early Monday before the 2024 Met Gala. It has been revealed on social media that the Met Gala would be picketed by Conde Nast workers as workers walked off their jobs if an initial agreement was not reached.

Conde Nast Union members had placards ready for picketing at the Met Gala. Messaging included, “Anna Wintour’s dress cost more than my annual salary,” and “Anna Wintour can spend $77 on a caprese salad every day, but it’s the workers who have to cut costs?”

This initial agreement is between Conde Nast and its union workers at such esteemed publications as Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, Teen Vogue, and other Conde Nast publications. As reported in the New York Times, this initial agreement includes $3.3 million in overall company wage increases, as well as a $61,500 initial starting salary, two additional weeks of family leave, greater bereavement leave, and ending its current “two-tier permanence system.” 

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Bella Hadid expands

If being the face of countless brands and name recognition is not enough, supermodel Bella Hadid has a new business venture. Bella is launching her new beauty venture, ‘Ôrəbella, an alcohol-free perfume brand. ‘Ôrəbella translates in Arabic into iron ore—a naturally occurring material for extracting valuable minerals, coupled with the word ‘aura’, can mean that metaphysical presence that surrounds people.

The fragrance launch will contain three fragrance offerings Salted Muse, Winter2Soul, and Blooming Fire. These three fragrances have healing properties that are good for the skin and the soul. Belal Hadid collaborated with fragrance houses Firmenich and Robertet with these genderless fragrances that pay homage to nature and nature’s healing properties.

According to fashionnetwork.com, All Ôrəbella products are alcohol-free, dermatologist-tested, suitable for sensitive skin, and formulated without parabens, phthalates, sulfates, gluten, or wheat-derived ingredients. Ôrəbella is available online now and at Ulta Beauty and other retail stores on May 10.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion News Alert: Nicole Ari Parker’s New Gig, Bob Mackie Honored, and Au Revoir Hedi Slimane?

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Is Hedi Slimane about to be replaced as Celine’s creative director? Well, fashion wagging tongues have speculated for some weeks that Slimane will be leaving Celine.  Though there is no confirmation of Slimane’s departure, many fashion insiders believe that Hedi Slimane’s leave is eminent.

Slimane has helmed Celine for the past six years. His contract was up for renewal at the beginning of 2024 and as yet, no agreement between Slimane and Celine has been reached. According to WWD, Celine has already found a replacement for Slimane in the person of Michael Rider, the current creative director of Ralph Lauren Polo.

For Rider, this would be a return to Celine, having worked for the French luxury brand in the past when Phoebe Philo helmed the company. Rider worked alongside Philo at Celine for ten years.

Though Hedi Slimane’s rock n’ roll style was heavily criticized as an extreme deviation away from Celine’s traditional minimalist style, revenue for the brand increased from 500 million euros in 2017 to between 2 billion to 3 billion euros currently.

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A new job for Parker

American actress and philanthropist Nicole Ari Parker has a new job. Parker has been tapped as the face of Karen Millen’s The Icons Vol.6 collection.

The Karen Millen x Nicole Ari Parker Icon Series reflects Parker’s personal style. The collection contains occasion pieces and elevated wardrobe staples, featuring hand-embellished maxi gowns, sequins, beads, pops of color, chic trench coats, and tailored pieces.

“Nicole Ari Parker is a great addition to The Icons series. Her love and joy for dressing how you feel is evident in this collection, and her personality shines through. She is a true icon of screen and stage, and we are delighted to be working with her,” said Natasha Hackett, brand director at Karen Millen, as reported in fashionnetwork.com.

The collection is now available for purchase on karenmillen.com, with prices ranging from $170 to $808.

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More awards for Mackie

Legendary Bob Mackie will receive the The Daily’s Fashion Los Angeles Award for Lifetime Achievement on Sunday in Beverly Hills. The award will be presented by fashion stylist Law Roach.

Mackie, known for his costume and fashion designs, is a nine-time Emmy winner, a 2019 Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award winner, Mackie has also been nominated for an Academy Award three times.

Mackie’s work has featured on “The Carol Burnett Show,” “The Sonny and Cher Show,” and “The Cher Show.” Mackie has dressed such film and music icons as Diana Ross, Bette Midler, Cher, Bernadette Peters, Miley Cyrus, Tina Turner, Elton John, Carol Burnett, Pink, and many others.

William S. Gooch

 

Fashion News Alert: The Successful Nicki Minaj Collab, Gucci Fights Discounting, and Nike Olympic Uniforms Controversy

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On April 11, Nike launched its collection of 2024 Paris Olympic uniforms for Team USA. There was much criticism of the Olympic uniforms, particularly from the women’s track team because of the high-cut brief style suit. The track uniforms were initially shown on mannequins and track athletes Sha’Carri Richardson and Athing Mu.

As many fans and athletes felt that the women’s track suit was too feeling, Nike has stated that they have other options for women and men athletes to choose from. “I think it’s really important that everybody understands that we offer a spectrum of styles for what athletes will feel most comfortable in, from least coverage all the way to very full coverage, and that everybody gets to choose what they want to wear,” Jordana Katcher, Nike’s vice president for global sports apparel, tells PEOPLE magazine. “Everyone has choice.”

When US athletes qualify for their respective Olympic events, they will have access to a form where they can fill out their size and uniform choice. “It’s important to know that some athletes do choose something that is slightly less covered and that is what they are most comfortable in, and that’s good for them to do what they feel comfortable in and for others to not have any judgment about that,” Katcher says.

“It’s really important for us to understand what are the barriers to sport? What are the things that are bothering these women and are there ways that we can innovate to design for their bodies and things that are preventing them from maybe moving as freely as they want to and deliver that in an end product.”

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Gucci says arrivederci to discount outlets

Everyone loves a discount. But in case you haven’t noticed luxury brands rarely discount high-end luxury clothing, particularly if those garments are from European luxury houses.

That has not been the case for Gucci. With a sharp decline in Kering’s revenue—the holding company that owns Gucci—compared to LVMH which has doubled its profits in the last few years, Gucci, with its dysfunctional management strategy, started retailing some of its product at discount outlets.

In the first quarter of this year, Gucci revenues were down by 40 percent. With Gucci being Kering’s cash cow, its other luxury brands, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Valentino, and Bottega Veneta, cannot make up the lost in venue from Gucci. “Gucci is a story of turnarounds and re-branding, but the one it’s in the midst of now could be one of its toughest because they have to fix the corporate side as well as the brand,”says Stefania Saviolo, a lecturer in fashion and luxury management at Bocconi University, in a recent fashionnetwork.com article.

That said, luxury brands have been an experiencing a downturn in the market since aspirational shoppers have cut down on spending since the global health pandemic. Because of this spending retraction, Gucci is no longer at the top of the list of desirable luxury brands. “When you’re exposed to fashion, it’s intrinsically more volatile because fashion waves come and go. You can ride the wave for a while, but it won’t last forever,” said Mario Ortelli, founding partner of industry consultancy Ortelli & Co. in London, as reported in fashionnetwork.com, explaining Gucci’s current economic woes. 

Other fashion insiders contend that Gucci made its fashion and beauty products too available to consumers. Insiders detail that Gucci could have created scarcity, forcing luxury consumers to get a waitlist for product, and not allowed the brand to be sold at discount outlets. Though this strategy worked to Gucci’s advantage in the short term, in the longer term, Gucci lost some its exclusivity, which is so important to luxury product.

With sales flagging, Gucci is looking to reduce its presence at discount outlet stores, in an effort to create more brand desirability. Hmm, good luck!!

Image courtesy of people.com

Nicki Minaj’s sneaker collab

Though there has been much excitement over the Nicki Minaj x LØCI sneaker collab, the verdict was still out if the collaboration would be successful. Well, the verdict is now in, the Nick Minaj x LØCI sneaker collab is a winner, exceeding normal e-commerce conversion rates. “Smashed normal e-commerce conversion rates with a massive 8.7% conversion rate in the first hour the shoes went live while holding at 7.8% in the following 12 hours, explained community commerce platform Uppfirst.”

“Knowing the hype that Nicki would bring, we needed a tech partner that could power the release and sale of our sneakers with an easy-to-use checkout experience so they could secure their purchase as quickly as possible. The conversion rate is testament to Uppfirst delivering on that demand,” detailed LØCI founder and CEO Emmanuel Eribo.

—William S. Gooch

 

Fashion News Alert: Dries Van Noten Steps Down, Pierpaolo Piccioli Moves On, and Walter Chiapponi Leaves Blumarine

Image courtesy of esquire.com

The Belgian fashion designer has stepped down as creative director of his eponymous brand. The 65-year-old fashion designer will exit his successful company in June of this year.

“In due time, we will announce the designer who will continue the story,” Dries van Noten told Women’s Wear Daily. “I have been preparing for this moment for a while, and I feel it’s time to leave room for a new generation of talents to bring their vision to the brand,” he wrote in a statement on Instagram, as reported in euronews.com.

After graduating from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, Dries van Noten launched his eponymous fashion brand in 1986. In 2008, van Noten won the International Designer of the Year award from the CFDA. He had his 100th fashion show in 2017 and in 2018 he sold a majority stake in his company to Spanish fashion company Puig.

“In the early ‘80s, as a young guy from Antwerp, my dream was to have a voice in fashion. Through a journey that brought me to London, Paris and beyond, and with the help of countless supportive people, that dream came true,” van Noten said in a statement, as reported in euronews.com.

“Now, I want to shift my focus to all the things I never had the time for. I’m sad, but at the same time happy, to let you know that I will step down at the end of June. I have been preparing for this moment for a while, and I feel it’s time to leave room for a new generation of talents to bring their vision to the brand.”

Image courtesy of theimpression.com

Ciao Pierpaolo

Another exit worth noting is Pierpaolo Piccioli announcement of his departure from Valentino. Piccioli has been at the famed Italian fashion house for more than 20 years.

“I have existed and lived together with the people who, with me, have woven the threads of this beautiful story that is mine and ours,” Piccioli wrote in Italian on Instagram. “Everything existed and exists thanks to the people I have met, with whom I have worked, with whom I have shared dreams and created beauty, with whom I have built something that belongs to everyone, and which remains immutable and tangible. I carry this heritage of love, dreams, beauty and humanity with me, today and forever.”

Piccioli came with Maria Grazia Chiuri to the Valentino luxury house in 1999 with both designers taking over the leadership of the Red Valentino, the brand’s diffusion line, in 2003. This dynamic duo became co-creative directors of Valentino in 2009 with Chiuri leaving in 2016 to helm Dior.

While singularly manning the helm of Valentino, Piccioli was named a Time 100 honoree and Designer of the Year at the CFDA Fashion Awards. No successor has been named at Valentino and Piccioli has not revealed what his new fashion post will be.

Image courtesy of voguesingapore.com

Another one bites the dust

This Fashion News Alert seems to be all about departures. That said, we are reported a third creative director exit.

After being at Blumarine for only one season, Walter Chiapponi has decided to leave the iconic brand. This departure announcement occurs almost exactly a month after Chiapponi’s debut collection in February for Blumarine. Chiapponi became creative director in November of 2023.

Chiapponi stated in a press release that his debut collection for Blumarine was “a kind of return to the future, to which I dedicated all my love and creative passion,” adding that “following this journey, I would like to thank above all Marco Marchi, who made it possible, as well as all those without whom I would never have been able to express myself the way I did. I am referring to the people I have loved and are no longer with us, but who continue to instill powerful emotions in me, and to inspire my feelings and my journey. I would now like to focus on new initiatives and projects with a social and humanitarian content and, when the time is right, I will return to the runways.”

Chiapponi was brought to Blumarine after former creative director Nicola Brognano’s exit to make Blumarine more consumer friendly and provide clearly defined direction. No successor has been named.

William Gooch

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