Saturday, April 26, 2014

Giles For Ann Summers

Giles Deacon has collaborated with Ann Summers on an exclusive lingerie collection due to launch on May 1st.

"Wow, that would be different!" was Deacon's first thought when the suggestion was made. "Ann Summers has occupied such a unique place on the British high street and I thought it would be really interesting to see what I could come up for them with," he told us. "I loved the idea of designing a full capsule range for them."

Deacon is a dab hand at collaborations, having worked with brands as diverse as Mulberry, Sky, Cadbury, New Look and many more, but approaching lingerie was a different challenge for the designer.

"From a quality perspective the fit, details and finish were of huge importance as I wanted it to look and feel as premium and as special as possible," he said. "I wanted it to appeal to existing Ann Summers customers - who were much more diverse than I had imagined - but to also resonate with a new audience and in doing so introduce some new customers to the brand."
Giles Deacon for Ann Summers
So who does the Giles for Ann Summers customer take her inspiration from?

"The mood boards were split into groups combining images from some of my favourite fashion photographers such as Steven Klein, Helmut Newton, Mert and Marcus, Guy Bourdain and David La Chapelle," said Deacon. "Sexy, provocative fashion images with a few vintage finds such as Betty Paige and Jayne Mansfield."

But that will mark the end of collaborations for the foreseeable future. "It's going to be quiet over the summer as I am concentrating on starting the Giles e-commerce site in time for Fashion Week in September which is super exciting," he revealed.

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty Comes To London

The Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition is coming to London - and you can buy a ticket from 10am tomorrow morning. After countless spurious rumours that it would, and even a campaign to ensure it did, the V&A announced tonight that it will host the exhibition from March 14 to July 19 2015.

The collection, which covers the spectrum of McQueen´s career from his 1992 MA graduate show to his unfinished autumn/winter 2010 collection, was originally displayed in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art from May 4 to August 7 2011. Its run time was extended by a week due to popular demand and it became the eighth most popular in the Met's 141-year history - behind Treasures of Tutankhamun (1978), Mona Lisa (1963), and Picasso (2010) - boasting a total of 661,509 visitors.

"I am thrilled to announce that the V&A will bring this wonderful exhibition to London to celebrate the extraordinary creative talent of one of the most innovative designers of recent times," Martin Roth, director of the V&A, said tonight." Lee Alexander McQueen was brought up in London, studied here and based his globally successful McQueen fashion brand here - by staging the exhibition at the V&A it feels like we are bringing his work home."

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
"Savage Beauty is a story telling of the most imaginative and talented designer of our time," added Jonathan Akeroyd, chief executive officer of Alexander McQueen. "We are incredibly proud as a house to be able to showcase Lee's visionary body of work in London as a celebration of his legacy and an inspiration to a future generation."

Curated by the V&A's senior curator of fashion Claire Wilcox, the London exhibition will be based on the original Met version, with  Andrew Bolton - who worked on the New York exhibition - acting as consultant curator. Supported by American Express and put on in partnership with Swarovski, it will cost £16 to visit, with concessions available and V&A members going free. Visit or call 020 7420 9736 to book.

Primark Is Coming To America

Primark is launching in America. The roll out will begin on the East Coast, starting with a 70,000 square-foot store in Boston late next year.

"After extensive research, it has been decided to take the concept to consumers in the USA," Associated British Foods, which owns Primark, said in a statement yesterday.

Following Boston, more stores are tabled in the north-east during 2016. The company will also open warehouses in the region to support the expansion.

Filming With The Ghost Of Dior

Christian Dior haunts the rooms of his former atelier, so say seamstresses who have worked for the company for decades - and now someone else, the director of  new fashion documentary Dior and I, can corroborate their claims.

"It was very intense, shooting those night scenes in the atelier," Frédéric Tcheng said. "You could sense that there was a spirit there, and it was just us in the dark with the security guy, and there would be all these sounds of pipes, and it was just… you could sense a presence."

More than just causing a distraction to filming, Dior's presence influenced Tcheng's filmmaking, he revealed, with long slow shots and a haunting voiceover.

Norman Parkinson for Dior
"I was interested in this idea of what remains in the past and the present and how alive that is," Tcheng told The Cut. "The idea of ghosts and spirits and cinema. All these questions have to do with the present."

Tcheng, who also directed Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, premiered the film at Tribeca Film Festival last week.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Vintage Etailer Atelier-Mayer Closes

Vintage etalier is closing. The business opened five years ago selling luxury vintage pieces dating back to the Twenties.

"Although the adventure has been truly wonderful, an opportunity has arisen to sell the business and move on to the next chapter," founder Carmen Haid told us this morning. "All of our wonderful vintage pieces are going to a very good home."

Carmen Haid
Although Haid - who named the business after her late grandmother Klaudia Mayer, an Austrian haute couture seamstress - did not confirm what her next move would be, the future looks bright.

"It is very sad to part with," she said, "however, Madame Mayer is like a cat with nine lives, so watch this space - she will be back soon!"

Mary Katrantzou For Adidas

Mary Katrantzou is to collaborate with  Adidas. The sportswear brand today announced that the collaboration - slated to launch in November - will be a long-term union and will comprise both clothing and footwear.

"I'm really excited to be working with Adidas on a line of apparel and footwear," Katrantzou told us this morning. "I grew up, like so many other kids around the world, wearing Adidas sneakers and I'm really excited about bringing my vision to such a global brand. They have a fantastic heritage and their ability to innovate in sportswear makes them the perfect partner for us to work with in this market."

Katrantzou follows in the footsteps of  Topshop, Pharrell Williams, Raf Simons and Stella McCartney by joining forces with Adidas, something that Dirk Schoenberger, global creative director of Adidas's sport style division, is naturally very excited about.
Mary Katrantzou
"The collaboration between Adidas and Mary Katrantzou merges the exceptional talent of one of the most interesting designers of today and a company that embraces many different cultures from sports, pop, music and fashion," Schoenberger told us. "I admire Mary's extraordinary sense of printing techniques, colours and silhouette that will bring another amazing new aesthetic to the Adidas Originals women's collection."

We know where we'll be getting our kicks come Christmas.

Victoria's Secret Comes To London

The Victoria´s Secret Show will take place in London this year, two of the Angels revealed at the brand's Bond Street store this morning. Adriana Lima and Candice Swanepoel joined marketing director Ed Razek to announce the move, as well as the venue and date: Earls Court on December 2.

The show has been held in various cities across the world - including Cannes, Miami and LA. The brand has hoped to bring it here since 1998, Razek revealed, but he said: "Candidly, we weren't well known enough here until we opened the stores. We have six stores in the UK now."

"It's amazing," Swanepoel told us. "It's really exciting. We've done the show in New York for the last three years, and it's always fun - but when we travel, everyone travels together, and it really feels like more of an event for us. Plus, the British crowd is so different; it's going to be a great show. It will be a bigger audience, and this year the dress code is going to be black tie - so they will all be really dressed up as well."

Victoria´s Secret
Prince Harry has a "front-row seat" should he want one, the Angels said, for the show which will be the brand's biggest ever - in front of an audience of almost 3,000 as opposed to the usual 1,000. As for whether British model  Cara Delevingne will take a third turn on the catwalk - this time in her native city - and maybe even earn her Angel wings this year?

"I'll let you into a secret," Razek said. "I told Cara a few days ago and asked her to save the date, so hopefully she will walk. She was excited. And she kept the secret for a whole week!"

Haider's Couture Dreams

Haider Ackermann has revealed that he has expansion plans for his eponymous label, which could include stepping from ready-to-wear into couture for the first time.

"Suddenly this season, I am also thinking about opening stores," he said. "Another thing I would love to explore is haute couture. I know where I'd do it, the music, what it would look like. I don't forget these things - they haunt me every night. Sometimes I feel I have a pile of ideas that I am keeping aside because I can't use them [for ready-to-wear]."

The designer, who also creates a menswear line, has been linked to almost every vacant creative director job over the last few years - from taking the helm at Martin Margiela, to replacing John Galliano when he was dismissed from Dior.

Haider Ackermann
"My name was placed with so many houses - it felt like I had many lovers," Ackermann told the South China Morning Post."At a certain point it was annoying as it was disrespectful to other people. I found it hard, because everyone had something to say. It was so sad when Mr Galliano left Dior. I would love him to come back because he is the person that made me dream. Not many people can do that. If people carry us away and make us travel with our minds it's such a luxury these days. We are not able to do that any more."

Alexander Wang For H&M Confirmed

Alexander Wang will be the next designer to create a collection for H&M. The young New York talent, who is also the creative director for Balenciaga, unveiled the new relationship - which will include a collection of men's and women's clothing, as well as his famed accessories - via Instagram last night.

"I am honoured to be a part of H&M's designer collaborations," Wang said this morning. "The work with their team is an exciting, fun process. They are very open to pushing boundaries and to set a platform for creativity. This will be a great way for a wider audience to experience elements of the Alexander Wang brand and lifestyle."

"Alexander Wang is one of the most important voices in fashion today," H&M's creative advisor Margareta van den Bosch added. "He understands exactly what people want to wear and does it with an energy and passion that's infectious. It feels incredible to be collaborating with him this year."
Alexander Wang
Wang's  official Instagram page posted a video featuring a basketball scoreboard which showed a digital countdown to the "Wang X HM" launch. Another video then confirmed that an event at music festival Coachella - which will feature acts including Iggy Azalea - will take place today under the "Wang X HM" banner.

He follows in the footsteps of French designer Isabel Marant, who unveiled her highly anticipated offering for the Swedish retailer in November 2013. Some of the industry's biggest names - from Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Matthew Williamson to Versace, Lanvin and Marni - have also designed for the high-street brand.

The collection will be unveiled on November 6.

Kering's Future Looks Sporty

Kering may consider investing in more sportswear brands, CEO François-Henri Pinault said yesterday, depending on the performance of its current progeny, Puma. The French luxury conglomerate is working to strengthen its only sportswear label in order to justify long-term investment in the category.

"The portfolio of our sports brands is not finished," Pinault told  Blomberg. "We've started it but, until Puma is on track, we won't make any acquisitions. Let's say two, three years from now, we will look again to try and strengthen that portfolio."

Pinault revealed that Kering will spend €70 million to strengthen Puma - under a new slogan, Forever Faster - and added that selling the German-based brand was not an option.

"When you look at the next 20, 30 years in terms of economic development of the world, the key markets are young people very much attracted by brands, very much aware of the health issues, attracted by sports," he said. "Luxury and sports are structurally, over a long period of time, growing markets."

Galliano For Oscar Latest

John Galliano will not be taking a permanent role with Oscar de la Renta, it was reported today, although neither party has confirmed or denied the story. Galliano was enlisted by the New York based designer in early 2013 for a "temporary studio residency" that many speculated could become permanent.

"The team at Oscar were not willing to put up the money to pay for the design team John needed, such as the cutters and other specialist support staff for his atelier," an unconfirmed source stated. "Money was the biggest factor which held up the negotiations, and they couldn't reach an agreement, although John and Oscar remain very good friends. John is grateful that Oscar gave him a second chance."

Oscar De La Renta
Although many mooted Galliano as a possible successor to De la Renta, the designer himself said in 2013 that he was not in the market for a new creative director: "Am I retiring? Is John going to replace me? Certainly not. I hope to be around for a long time."

"As we have said before, we are deeply impressed with John's talent and would love to find a way to work with him in the future," Oscar de la Renta CEO Alex Bolen said  last August. "To date, we have not found that way."

Oscar de la Renta and John Galliano's representatives were not available for comment.

Karl Sells Share Of Karl

Karl Lagerfeld has sold a minority stake in his eponymous label to PVH. The deal means that the brand, which has previously focused on growth in Europe and Asia, will now expand into North America, where PVH (formerly known as Phillips-Van Heusen) will control the franchise.

"We are excited to have PVH as a shareholder," Pier Paolo Righi, president of Karl Lagerfeld, told WWD. "We have ambitious plans for the business and have embarked on an aggressive growth strategy, opening a new store every three weeks over the last six months. We believe PVH's strong track record in supporting the growth opportunity of global designer lifestyle brands will be a big asset."

Karl Lagerfeld
PVH also has shares in Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, while Hilfiger himself - as well as Fred Gehring, chief executive officer of Tommy Hilfiger - are also investors in the Lagerfeld brand.

Lagerfeld opened his brand's biggest European store so far, on London´s Regent Street last month.

Exclusive Kate Moss For Topshop Preview

Kate Moss has once again reprised her role of designer for Topshop  and here, for the first time, you can see her new collection in full.

Debuting in this month's issue of Vogue - in which Moss styles Freja Beha Erichsen in key pieces, including that fringed jacket - the hotly anticipated range comprises four style stories: Balearic dressing, pyjama dressing, cocktail hour and tailoring noir - all of which, naturally, exude Moss's own brand of effortless cool.

Moss first turned designer for the high-street store back in 2007, and her return is a welcome one, both with fans of the label and Topshop boss Philip Green alike. "I am personally thrilled that Kate wanted to come back to Topshop to work with us again. The first time around was such a lot of fun and she has been sorely missed," he said.

Kate Moss
"I have really missed being involved in the design process, and working with the team at Topshop," said Kate. "I am very excited to create a new collection that bears my name. Now more than ever, with London being at the forefront of fashion, as it feels like I'm back home working with Topshop."

The collection will be available online and in-store at Topshop, as well as Nordstrom, and for the first time from April 30.

See every piece of the collection here.

A New Beckham Brand?

Brand Beckham could be expanding even further if rumours that David Beckham is to design a new ready-to-wear collection are true.

The former footballer is, according toWWD, reportedly in talks with Li & Fung - among several other possible investors - to create a casual line, which would see him follow in his wife's footsteps in becoming a fully fledged fashion designer.

David Beckham
The deal would further cement Beckham's growing fashion portfolio - he has previously designed collections for H&M and Adidas, as well as featuring in campaigns for Belstaff, Breitling for Bentley and Emporio Armani.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Why Helena Never Became A Brand

Helena Christensen never put her name to merchandise and spin-off collections in the way that some of her fellow supermodels did - but the Danish model doesn't regret that decision for a minute.

"I never did it, and I probably lost out on a lot of deals because of that, but it just didn't feel right," Christensen admitted during an interview to promote her latest collaboration with Triumph which is proof, if anything, that anything she touched would have turned to gold. "I always thought, 'OK, you've got what you need, you've saved up what you could, so now you can work on things that inspire you.'"

Helena Christensen
And in the same way, in this age of social media fame, Christensen is still happy to fly a little under the radar.

"I'm not ambitious in that regard at all," she told us of garnering followers and fans. "Whether it's modelling, photography, designing, whatever I'm doing, I like little intimate projects. Most of what I'm doing just now as a photographer is for little underground magazines - not something that everyone is going to see. When someone approaches me, and says, 'we have this great project, it will have millions of viewers,' I think, 'oh god, no! That sounds horrible!'"

A massive fan of lingerie - she has collected it for years - Christensen has learned that there's a lot more to lingerie than just looking sexy. Although that probably helps.

"I've really learned how different female body shapes are, and how many little details you need to consider when you're creating lingerie," she said. "How to enhance the parts of a woman's body that are beautiful, how to shape the parts that need to be shaped - and then how different we all are. I try not to create from just an aesthetic approach, but also consider comfort; the technical details are very important. It's the most feminine thing that you can put on your body, so it has to be right for a woman to feel good.

"The Boss In Style" - Bertelli on Miuccia Prada

Investment in English manufacture; a new technical school in Tuscany to offer 60 students specialist training programmes; sales of Church growing to €250 million from €68.6 million over the next five years; and a new 356,400sq ft headquarters designed by Guido Canali - judging by its plans for the next year, Prada could never be accused of resting on its laurels.

Also to look forward to are  in-store Marchesi pastry shops, after the famed Italian bakery joined the group's stable last month, a new-look London flagship in the latter half of 2015 and the first Miu Miu fragrance, also expected next year, which Patrizio Bertelli said yesterday displayed "a change" in pace of the growth of the label. "We don't hide that it's Miuccia designing it, it's not a look-alike taking a bow on the runway," he said during a meeting for investors and press yesterday. "But she has two separate work groups, from commercial to product and retail, and Miu Miu is the true competitor of Prada. The best fun is when Miu Miu competes with Prada."

Miuccia Prada
As buoyant as ever, despite announcing an annual profit growth of just 0.3 per cent yesterday, Bertelli confirmed that his wife Miuccia´s decision to step down as chairman to become joint-CEO in February was no surprise. "Holding the role of president was too time-consuming for [her]," he said. "She has always been co-CEO, it was just made official. She is my right hand in this function and she is the boss in style."

Insisting that he had never worked to be famous or rich but to enjoy the "intellectual freedom [which] distinguishes us", Bertelli said that - despite his reputation for being the moneyman - he is, like his wife, all about the product. "I dedicate 60 per cent of my time to product," he said. "That has not changed over the years - product is the starting point and finance comes after. I never want to lose sight of this and I strive to remain curious, if you take curiosity and imagination away, there's no use for people like me."

New York's Dressed To Kilt Show Cancelled

The annual Dressed to Kilt show - held in New York as part of Tartan Week - has been cancelled. The event is the fashion element of a week-long showcase of Scottish culture in the city, but this year it will not take place.

The event organiser cited illness as the reason for its cancellation, telling  The Scotsman that he had resolved a recent dispute over the Dressed to Kilt name, giving him control of the trademark again.

Dressed To Kilt
Some better news for Tartan Week organisers, however, is that Scotland's first minister, Alex Salmond, will attend the inaugural lecture at Glasgow Caledonian University's new New York campus.

The University announced last year that it planned to open a campus in the Big Apple - the first British University to do so - and the school's first town hall meeting will be held at its Wooster Street space.

See Freja's Zadig & Voltaire Collection

Freja Beha Erichsen has created a collection for Zadig & Voltaire, infused with her androgynous signature style.

Featuring key staples - including a vintage-inspired denim jacket, a leather bag and a sheer black T-shirt - the collection is in support of international charity Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), which has provided aid to war-torn regions and developing countries facing endemic diseases since 1971. Forty per cent of the profits from Erichsen's offering will go to the charity.

Freja Beha Erichsen
Previously a face of the brand, Erichsen has never before designed for the French label - although she did unveil a collection for denim brand Mother in September 2013. The Vogue cover girl follows fellow model Erin Wasson, who created a collection for Zadig & Voltaire in 2011.

Philip Green Takes Arcadia To India

Philip Green  will expand his Arcadia Group into India for the first time.

Dorothy Perkins is the first brand in his portfolio to be launched with Indian web retailer Jabong, as a part of Green's ambition to expand the group into new emerging markets.
Dorothy Perkins
Deals to bring Topshop and Miss Selfridge to the country - the retail market of which is worth £300 billion - are also being discussed, The Telegraph reports.