Thursday, May 21, 2015

Louis Vuitton Beats The Competition

While Forbes´s list of the world's 100 most valuable brands was dominated by technology companies (Apple, Microsoft, Google et al) this year, there was only one fashion brand that joined the usual suspects in the top 20: step forward Louis Vuitton at number 14.

The inclusion of the LVMH-owned brand comes as a coup if not a surprise. Back in February the luxury conglomerate credited its creative director, Nicholas Ghesquière, with helping to increase the group's revenue growth as a whole in 2014: "For Louis Vuitton, 2014 was characterised by strong creative momentum, dominated by the enthusiastic reception of Nicolas Ghesquière's first runway shows and of the new products,"

But what of the other fashion brands that made the top 100? Coming 19 places after Vuitton - and beating the upper echelons of luxury fashion industry by a considerable stretch - at number 33 is Swedish high-street chain H&M.The retailer reported profits of £284 million in its first quarter this year, up 36 per cent from the year before, crediting its "attractive customer offering and strong expansion both through stores and online" as the reason why.

Beyond that, the placement of fashion brands span the entire list, in an order that many would not have guessed. Gucci comes in at number 42; Hermes at 51; Cartier at 55; Zara at 58; Coach at 63; Rolex at 65; Prada at 74; Chanel at 85; and Ralph Lauren and Target at 89 and 92 respectively on the list that comprises 15 countries worldwide and 20 industry categories.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Will McQueen Be On The New £20 Note?

Could Alexander McQueen grace the new £20 note? Speculation suggests that the late designer, raised in the east end of London, could have as good a chance as many of our other great British talents since the Bank of England has asked the public to have its say on who appears on the new currency.

"Banknotes are the principal way the Bank of England engages with the British public," the governor of the organisation, Mark Carney, said yesterday. "These sparse pieces of paper from the 17th century have developed over the years to become the small works of art that are in everyone's wallets. There are a wealth of individuals within the field of visual arts whose work shaped British thought, innovation, leadership, values and society and who continue to inspire people today. I greatly look forward to hearing from the public who they would like to celebrate."

In their choice of "people of historic significance," Carney urged the public to think beyond "the most famous and the most obvious," the Guardian  reports. The process will be the first that will consult the public - with school visits and focus groups led by the Bank's chief cashier, Victoria Cleland, beginning shortly - and was announced yesterday at the Victoria & Albert Museum, where Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty is still the lead exhibition.

Copying Controversy Over Taylor's Jumps

High Street labels take inspiration from,and in some cases even copy, designer labels - this we know - but internet sensation Nasty Gal's latest effort has landed the brand in hot water. The fast-fashion retailer posted a picture of Taylor Swift at Sunday night's Billboard Music Awards on its social media accounts proclaiming that she was wearing its own-label Frisco Inferno jumpsuit, only she wasn't. Swift, like many starlets at the event, was wearing Balmain.

Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Jourdan Dunn, Lily Aldridge, Chrissy Teigen and more were wearing Balmain at the ceremony, where Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing unveiled the house´s forthcoming collaboration with H&M.Swift's one-piece debuted on the catwalk during the spring/summer 2015 show, after which Nasty Gal - which was founded by retail entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso, author of Girl Boss - released its own lookalike style.

"So, what are we to make of this?" legal commentator The Fashion Law asked today. "We can certainly conclude one of two things. Either Nasty Gal is so good at copying other brands' garments stitch-for-stitch that even its employees cannot tell the difference between the real thing and the copy, or Nasty Gal knew that Swift was wearing Balmain and was using this opportunity to sell one of its near exact copies."

Explanations aside, the post was deleted by the LA-based company shortly after, but not until the white jumpsuit had sold out. It's unlikely that Rousteing will be too distressed, however, since he's made it clear that he considers such imitation the sincerest form of flattery - and since it may just inspire him to include the said jumpsuit in his new H&M range, giving Balmain fans access to something that actually does bear the Balmain label when the range launches in November.

Balmain For H&M Confirmed

Balmain's Olivier Rousteing announced his forthcoming H&M collaboration with a little help from Jourdan Dunn and Kendall Jenner

Olivier Rousteing has confirmed that he is designing a Balmain collection for H&M.

Enlisting the help of two of his famous fans, Jourdan Dunn and Kendall Jenner, the designer announced the collaboration at last night's Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas - with both models arriving on his arm, wearing designs from the collection.

"I want to talk to my generation − this is my main aim as a designer," Rousteing said this morning. "H&M allows me the unique possibility of bringing everyone into the world of Balmain, getting a piece of the dream and creating a global #HMBalmaination: a movement of togetherness, fuelled on a hashtag. The collaboration felt extremely natural to me as H&M is a brand that everybody connects to. It calls for unity, and I am all for it."

Naturally, Rousteing has already been building excitement for his latest venture on Instagram - where his followers top one million - posting a short video with the caption, "THE WORD IS OUT #secretrevealed join MY new ARMY #HMBALMAINNATION #areyouready?"

Kendall Jenner and sister Kylie debut the Balmain for H&M collection at last night's Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas

"We are excited to have Balmain as our guest designer at H&M and to create a truly involving experience for everybody," Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor at H&M and architect of the annual collaborations, added. "With its mix of couture spirit and streetwear attitude, Balmain owns a unique style; opulent and direct, sensual and energetic. It is also closely linked to the entertainment and music worlds, which adds another element of surprise."

In teaming up with H&M, Rousteing joins the ranks of some of the industry´s biggest names - including Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Donatella Versace and Alexander Wang.

The collection - which incudes menswear as well as womenswear - will land in stores on November 5 2015. Prepare for the scrum.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Who's The New Jackie O?

Natalie Portman has been cast as Jackie Kennedy in a new film about the famous First Lady.

The film, which so far only has Portman confirmed to star, is being billed on IMDB as "an account of the days of First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, in immediate aftermath of John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963". Darren Aronofsky, who directed Portman in Black Swan, is producing the film - the screenplay of which is by Noah Oppenheim - while Pablo Larrain will direct.

Back in 2010 Rachel Weisz was originally slated to play the part when she was engaged to Aronofsky, but allegedly dropped out of the project when they went their separate ways. "It's a very beautiful script," Weisz  told MTV at the time. "I think it's the four or five days after the assassination and how [Jackie] deals with the assassination and the funeral. It's not a biopic. Its about that short period of time."

Rihanna For Dior

Rihanna´s campaign for Christian Dior has been revealed - or two very short glimpses of it at least. The singer - who  spoke in March about what a "big deal" the appointment was for "young girls of any colour" as she became the first black woman to front a Dior campaign - was shot by Steven Klein in Versailles for the images and video. See the two clips here.

Great Britains Great Dress

Take one couture designer, 90 metres of fabric, 2,320 hours of work, and one of the country's finest supermodels and what do you have? A serious fashion moment - or, to be precise, an exquisite Nicholas Oakwell Couture gown - made especially for the government's GREAT campaign, celebrating the finest that Britain has to offer - and Erin O'Connor showing us how it's done.

"I wanted it to make a big impact, so volume and colour became the starting point for my design," Oakwell told us of his design. "I also wanted it to involve as much of the British couture industry as possible, from the creation of the dress to its presentation. This was an opportunity to highlight some of the amazing companies and organisations in Britain working in the industry and it was my chance to work with them."

Cue rubies from Britain's oldest jewellery house, Garrard, and 33 of the finest "petit mains" (the little hands) hailing from the Royal School of Needlework and Hand & Lock. With just under 200,000 individual feathers (sourced from a British farm), hand-dyed into 18 different colours and then delicately stitched onto the tulle, it was no easy feat.

"Aside from volume and colour, I wanted it to be elegant and beautiful," continued Oakwell. "I'm an avid gardener and to me there is nothing more beautiful than a perfect red rose. I also associate it as a quintessential British emblem so the idea started there. The different shades of red in this dress reflect the complexity of the flower."

For Erin O'Connor, the chance to be a part of a project that combined fashion and her heritage was an offer that she couldn't turn down.

"Working with Nicholas was such a treat. He is the only couturier in Britain and one of the best in the world," she told us. "I am so proud of my British heritage and having had the great fortune to travel the world throughout my working life, I know why I came home. Britain is often recognised and celebrated for its great sense of tradition but it is our instinct for innovation and evolution that we can be truly proud of. To have contributed to this campaign in a small way has been a great privilege."

Two other famous faces to make their presence felt on set were photographer Greg Williams and fashion illustrator David Downton who painted O'Connor as she brought the dress to life. As one of Britain's most celebrated exports - and long-term friend of O'Connor - there wasn't a better man for the job according to the model.

"I adore Mr Downton - he's a great friend first and foremost," she revealed "Like me he's a keen observer and collaborator in an industry that we love in equal measure. It's great to have a close ally and confident on set, although it's not always great when the artist knows your angles better than you do!"

The dress itself will start a tour of the world next month, covering Paris, Milan, Berlin, and the Americas before heading back to the UK. See the making of it here:

Christian Dior In Cannes

What are designers really selling now with their cruise collections? Yes, new desirable stuff with which to fill their glossy, global flagships come November - but just as important now, is the experience, and with that, location, location, location is no longer a currency only valid in real estate, designers are trading on it too.

And so the fashion pack descended upon Cannes for Raf Simons' latest offering for Dior, with many show-goers flying in direct from Palm Springs where Nicolas Ghesquiere presented Louis Vuitton´s cruise collection poolside at Bob Hope´s estate: and prior to this, the rolling tour began in Seoul, Korea for Chanel where Karl Lagerfeld showed in the futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza (editors' air miles are at an all-time high).

Spectacular architecture is becoming something of a trend, and on that note, Dior invited guests to the Bubble Palace, 'Palais Bulles', the 12,900sq ft Riviera coastline residence of Pierre Cardin. Designed by Hungarian architect Antti Lovag, and built between 1975 and 1989, the space-age structure takes shape as a sprawling arrangement of 26 domed pods, the effect is one part Flintstones and one part Teletubbies.

It wasn't just the fact that Raf Simons is a fan of the place, there is a neat synergy here too: we all know Dior has a long affiliation with the South of France (Christian Dior had a home in the village of Montauroux), but Pierre Cardin worked in the Dior ateliers during the New Look era of the late Forties as Mr Dior's head of atelier tailleur. It's a cosy alliance and 92-year-old Cardin was here front row.

"It's a place that I have been fascinated by for a number of years and I am so happy to be able to show here," said Simons. "It's individual and playful" - a description that could be given to his collection this evening, which illustrated Raf Simons flexing his muscle.

Brimming with confidence, the designer developed the ideas that make him tick - shiny tech fabrics, fearless colour combinations like pink and green - while modernising and reimagining codes of the historic house. Tailoring was standout, nipped waists flared into gathered peplums and there was something about the exaggerated curved lapel that matched with the spherical architecture of the surroundings.

A handmade sensibility felt young and crafty - like a crochet skirt, and elsewhere, fishermen's-net sheaths that reined in flouncy hemlines. Strips of frayed Lurex looked fabric looked like they had been gathered from the cutting room floor before being patched together horizontally to make miniskirts and tank tops. There was lots to love, not least those mismatched earrings that will no doubt spur waiting lists the world over.

Post-show, as the skies turned inky blue and the lights of Cannes twinkled in the near distance, fireworks exploded over the Mediterranean. One word read from the back of a white gown and also on cute duffel bags summed it up: "Paradise". It sure was.

Fashion´s Night Out 2015

Save the date: Fashion's Night Out 2015 will be held on Thursday September 10, and will be known this year as Vogue Loves Regent Street.

"We're delighted to be celebrating Fashion's Night Out for our seventh consecutive year, and as the centre of London's retail heartland it made perfect sense to focus our activity with Vogue Loves Regent Street," said editor Alexandra Shulman this morning. "We hope thousands of shoppers will once again join us to celebrate the street's exciting mix of designer and high-street brands."

Working with luxury brands, high-street retailers, independent boutiques, bars and restaurants for a night of celebrations, Vogue Loves Regent Street is the first time that the event has focused on one central location.

"The retailers are delighted that Regent Street, 'The Mile of Style' and London's premier shopping street, will be hosting Vogue Loves Regent Street as part of our Fashion and Design Month, having supported Fashion's Night Out since its inception," said Paul Lorraine, the general manager UK and president of the Regent Street Association said. "Regent Street is synonymous with style, as the first purpose-built shopping street in Europe and now home to international fashion brands including Burberry, Longchamp, Jaeger, Hackett, Karl Lagerfeld, Coach, Aquascutum and Watches of Switzerland."

Sunday, May 10, 2015

To Pre Or Not To Pre - That Is The Question

In a week in which two of fashion's biggest heavyweights - Chanel and Louis Vuitton - reaffirmed their positions as such with pre-collection shows to rival that of their mainline spectacles (more so, in fact - heading off to Seoul and Palm Springs respectively) and the British Fashion Council announced the launch of a new pre-collections initiative coming in June, the conversation surrounding the place of the pre-collection is back - and it's gaining pace more than ever. A pre-collection show is the thing to do, it seems.

Monday will see Dior throw its pre hat into the ring with a show in the South of France, meanwhile Versace Versus will take on London next week, as will MaxMara. Suddenly, everyone is holding a show for a collection that originally started out as the secret weapon of the shop floor (and before that for those who did indeed require a "cruise" wardrobe for just that). What seemed like the sartorial little sibling is growing up. Fast.

Because between seasons, it's these collections that join the dots; their commercially-minded appeal pulling in the buyers and footfall alike and enabling the catwalk to be the fashion playground of designer dreams and ideas.

The question, then, is perhaps not quite so much: when did the pre-show get so big? (Chanel's cruise and Metiers d'Art extravaganzas have been going strong for some years now), but rather when did the pre-show seem to become bigger than - or as big as - the ready-to-wear show?

"The designer fashion sector has responded to the demand for collections that fall outside the traditional spring/summer and autumn/winter period with collections that in some cases now account for up to 70 per cent of sales for some fashion brands," said Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, when its initiative was outlined this week. So it's a genre not exactly undeserving of recognition.

It's a sentiment backed up by Laura Larbalestier, buying director at Browns. "The pre-show is more important commercially because the deliveries are earlier; our customer wants to see newness before we get in pieces from the 'normal' shows."

Anita Barr, fashion buying director at Harvey Nichols agrees. "Pre-collections have become big business over the last couple of years because of their commerciality; it's no wonder that designers want to make an impact on the market by hosting extravagant shows to provide a platform for their collections."

So it's earned its place in the sun - something which was taken quite literally this week in the case of Louis Vuitton's show in the glorious sun-drenched climes of Palm Springs and Bob Hope's estate.

"It's important that we celebrate the designers that are selling pre-collections in London and make it a date in the diary for press and buyers from all over the world," continued Rush of London dipping its toe in the waters.

Tagging on to the end of London Collections: Men in June, the pre-collections initiative is billed as a buying showroom which will feature a curated group of collections from designers including Alexander Lewis (who actually started his business with pre-collections as the focus), Huishan Zhang, Marques' Almeida, Phoebe English and Zoe Jordan, meanwhile others including Jonathan Saunders, Osman, Peter Pilotto and Preen by Thornton Bregazzi will host presentations and/or salons.

Of course, in this instance, we're not talking of the scale to rival Palm Springs, Seoul and beyond. But it is about putting a spotlight on them, however big or small. And this is ultimately the point. Which takes us back to those of the more limelight-hogging variety.

"I think the 'show' element has become so big because there needs to be more attention paid to the pre-collection - and it needs to be highlighted because it's such an integral part of the business," says Larbalestier. "Customers are so involved in the process now that it's important to make these pre-shows special events."

It's worth noting the addition of a pre-collection is the physical addition of two more collections a year for a designer to produce. And that can be tough enough as it is - indeed designer Mary Katrantzou, who also sits on the British Fashion Council´s NEWGEN committee has said she doesn´t necessarily think it´s for everyone.Will the aforementioned big five brands be joined by more next season? This is one of those time-will-tell scenarios. And in the meantime, London's pre-collection activity will run from June 15 to 17.

House Of Holland Launches Menswear

Henry Holland has followed in the footsteps of his fellow London Fashion Week designers Jonathan Saunders and Richard Nicoll, and announced the launch of a menswear line that will debut this June at London Collections: Men and be immediately available for sale.

The British designer has run his label since 2008 when he graduated from Lulu Kennedy's Fashion East hall of fame. The new collection is the first time that he has stepped outside the womenswear arena - a move that was helped by funding from the BFC Fashion Trust - and he's excited for the challenge.

"I think the timing is right for us as a company, also the menswear market is growing at such an incredible pace it feels right. Plus it's about time I got some free clothes," Holland told us today. "The idea behind the launch of the menswear is really an additional line and a focus to a male customer. The womenswear collection will continue to show four lines a year as before. We have taken on two more people to deal with the extra collections but we are still a very small focused team."

So what can we expect from the forthcoming line?

"I think that while the menswear market is growing at such a fast pace, there is a gap for a young playful menswear brand with the House of Holland DNA," he explained. "I have created the collection with myself and my team in mind, pieces that we love and would want to wear - hopefully this will be the same for our customers. The HoH man is a strong confident person, fashion focused, with a playful sense of humour."

Louis Vuitton's Palm Springs Cruise

"I want to talk to many types of women, not one icon, and every season I try to express that as strongly as possible," so stated Nicholas Ghesquiere moments after the finale of his second cruise show. He was flanked by his favourite Louis Vuitton women - Catherine Deneuve, Michelle Williams, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Alicia Vikander - the wide, futuristic concrete curves of Bop Hope's Palm Springs home framing the desert behind.

Ghesquière doesn't define the mood in fashion so much as set it. It is him we have to thank for the broad sweep of retro mania that has transformed our wardrobes and filled the high street with Seventies suede miniskirts. But this time it felt as if he had been listening closely to a gentle underlying cultural hum: we live in an era that is all about the experiential, doing, achieving, travelling - then posting the results on Instagram. Where success is measured not by the house you live in or the job you have, but by where you have recently been globe-trotting.

And as a brand so firmly orientated in the art of travel, how brilliantly Louis Vuitton fits with this woman. So his girls came out with leather hiking boots and white high-top slim-line sneakers (immediately rushing straight to the top of our luxury trainer list, just when we thought we had kicked that habit) matched with a much more fluid silhouette - long skirts in silk, with leather back packs and punchy short bomber jackets.

"Something long and with fluidity, this was very important for me to express this season," he explained. "A different attitude, effortless and cool, and with flat shoes and long skirts and a certain lightness of the fabrics."

References came at us from everywhere - there were western cowboy belts but worn like leather harnesses, Navajo Indian detailing on beaded tops, and fierce leather dresses with caped shoulders - desert warriors or a Game of Thronesqueen? It was up to us to decide, everything was muddied and made beautiful, each piece shaped by his fine-tuned aesthetic and delivered with the exquisite craft of Louis Vuitton.

There were also futuristic details in the heavily embellished knitwear, tightly zipped leather jackets and crocodile coats in silver with stiff, hard collars. Actress Alicia Vikander was front row and admitted that Nicolas had told her before the show's start that she would recognise her AI character, Ava, from her latest film Ex Machina among this army of tattooed girls, who managed to flow and march at the same time around Hope's stone courtyard.

It was a collection that urged us to be free, to sally forth on our multiple adventures, unhindered by short hemlines or heels, just our perfect leather luggage in tow.

Formichetti: Fashion Is Behind

Nicola Formichetti is a pioneering sort. An early adopter of all things digital, the Diesel creative director is as passionate about its potential as he is frustrated with the fashion industry for being late to the party.

"I feel like, in fashion in general, we are so behind. People have an Instagram account and they think they're digital," the designer, who was one of the first designers to livestream a fashion show, told Adweek. "We have an establishment. Both the marketing side and design side are behind, I think. As far as marketing, I feel like magazines are still one of the only ways to communicate fashion, and I think that needs to change. I'm not saying magazines are dying, because they're not - you cannot go wrong with an incredible fashion story on paper. But we also should think of other ways to communicate."

Citing Meerkat and Periscope as the apps that are currently keeping the cogs in his brain turning, Formichetti also pointed out that technology isn't the only thing that he had the foresight to jump on board with; the designer was one of the first to collaborate with musicians - namely Lady Gaga.

"When I first started working with Gaga, everyone used to go against me, saying, 'You work in high fashion, you shouldn't work with a musician,'" he explained. "Back then, you could name only a few artists that were really collaborating with fashion designers, like Madonna with Jean Paul Gaultier and Björk with Alexander McQueen. So when I first started borrowing clothes for Gaga, people said no. They were like, 'Oh, I'm so sorry, we don't think she's right,' or, 'She's a bit crazy looking.' So I made stuff, and we had young designers make stuff for us. And that was how many years ago? Now, it's like as a performer you have to have a designer making stuff for you for the red carpet. And I love it."

Chanel On Tour: Seoul

If you weren't at last night's Mat Ball, there was only one other place you were going to be: the Chanel resort show, this time in Seoul, Korea.

Just as he does the Metiers d'Arts collection every autumn, Lagerfeld takes his resort shows on tour each spring - something that has become an ever-growing trend among the top tier of luxury brands: we're headed to Palm Springs, LA - fashion´s new favourite place and unofficial style capital - this week for Louis Vuitton and then to the South of France next week for Christian Dior and then London-bound back for the Versace Versus grand reveal of Anthony Vaccarello  the following. And it's not even "fashion week". But resort is big - and getting bigger, both in terms of spectacle and the brands partaking in it.

And we don't expect anything small or understated from Chanel - especially if the autumn/winter 2015 collection was anything to go by with Lagerfeld creating his very own cafe Gabrielle.

But café culture was out and K-pop culture was in yesterday in the form of a hyper colourful experience: neon dots for a set that had all the bounce and vibrancy of a computer game about it, housed in the Dongdaemum Design Plaza space designed by Zaha Hadid.

Eschewing The Met were Kristen Stewart, Tilda Swinton and Gisele, who were all to be found front row - the latter model, for a change, trying out this view point instead of taking a turn on the catwalk. It was her first show since retiring from the catwalk.

On the catwalk and Mr Lagerfeld had combined the contemporary with the traditional - as is so often the point of his resort and pre-collections, melding Chanel's heritage with that of another culture, both as it stands now and as it did in the past. "It's a cosmopolitan idea of the local fashion," he told WWD. And so the traditional Korean hanbok styles of dress (empire line smocks) made for the most part of the collection, but rendered in patchwork layered pops or tessellating-tastic colours, dinky and pleated in pastel knit beneath be-bowed or flower-garnished waists. Shapes systematically translated into Chanel's signature tweed jacket shapes, inflated in the shoulder and candy sweet in their incarnation this time round.

Hair, thick braids, riffed on historical tradition while managing to leave a sci-fi reference implanted in the minds of many here and the dots from the surrounds navigated up on the clothes too - for jeans and shorts and youthful looks made all the more cuter by dots under the eyes when it came to make-up.

It was undoubtedly fun, bright and fresh - just what the pre-collection trail will need to start them off on their tour as the next destination calls. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Louis Vuitton Loses Checkerboard Case

Louis Vuitton has lost the right to trademark its Damier checkerboard pattern. The European Union's General Court upheld a previous ruling by the First Board of Appeal of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), denying the fashion house's right to call the design its own, saying that it is too commonplace for it to be owned by one brand.

"The checkerboard pattern, as represented in the contested trade mark, was a basic and banal feature composed of very simple elements and that it was well-known that that feature had been commonly used with a decorative purpose in relation to various goods," said the OHIM in 2011, reports WWD adding that, "the contested trade mark, in the absence of features capable of distinguishing it from other representations of checkerboards, was not capable of fulfilling the essential 'identification' or 'origin' function of a trade mark."

The legal battle, however, stretches back much further to 2008 when Louis Vuitton originally registered the trademark. German retailer filed an application to have it declared invalid the following year, which was granted in 2011.

Trademark infringement is a hot topic in the fashion industry at the moment, with  Adidas pursuing Isabel Marant for allegedly copying its Stan Smith trainer designs as well as Marc by Marc Jacobs regarding its autumn/winter 2014 collection and Yves saint Laurent has filed a lawsuit against What About Yves founder over its parody T-shirt "Ain't Laurent Without Yves".

Louis Vuitton has not yet announced if it plans to appeal the European Union's General Court's decision.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Roberto Cavalli Sold

Roberto Cavalli has been sold to Clessidra SGR in a deal that sees the private-equity firm acquire 90 per cent of the Italian fashion house. Talks between the two companies previously broke down in 2009, allegedly as a result of a disagreement over price.

It was March 2014 when industry rumours re-surfaced about the sale of Cavalli's eponymous house, with numerous investors named as potential suitors, including the VTB Captial arm of Russian investment bank VTB Group and private equity fund Permira.

"I am extremely satisfied to have signed this agreement with an Italian partner which, I am sure, will further develop what I have built in a lifetime," Cavalli told WWD. "Clessidra will provide financial, managerial and human resources that will allow the company to grow further and face the challenges of the ever-evolving luxury market."

Last month Peter Dundas was named as a creative director at the house, while last week it was announced that Francesco Trapani will take on the role of chairman and Renato Semerari will be the new chief executive officer.

"We really wanted to reach this agreement as we strongly believe in the potential of Roberto Cavalli," Trapani said. "It is a company with a unique style, unparalleled market positioning and a truly global awareness. Cavalli's brand identity is an asset that we want to preserve, a key factor on which we will found all the company's plans for international growth."