Sunday, August 28, 2016

La Perla Announces New Creative Director

La Perla has announced the appointment of its new creative director, Julia Haart. She replaces Pedro Lourenço, who started at the company in January and left the company after completing his contract in July.

"La Perla thanks Pedro Lourenço for his vision executing the first phase of evolution for the brand towards a complete lifestyle proposition," read a statement from the Italian lingerie and beachwear label.

Haart - who will oversee the label's lingerie, sleepwear, beachwear, accessories and menswear lines - will make her debut in September, presenting La Perla's new ready-to-wear collection at a presentation in Milan. She previously collaborated with the brand on accessories edits for its spring/summer 2016 and autumn/winter 2016 collections.

"Julia comes to La Perla as a trusted advisor, bringing consideration of the female body and experience of wear and beauty as a primary focus," said chairman Silvio Scaglia. "La Perla's spring/summer 2017 collection will be a revolutionary one, not just for our brand but for women's fashion in general, thanks to a strong mix of our atelier's savoir faire, a woman who is extremely talented as a creative director and the best materials in the world. Julia's work is emblematic of the La Perla lifestyle and I am excited to work with her on this new cornerstone of the brand's history."

Sonia Rykiel Has Died

French designer Sonia Rykiel has died, her daughter Nathalie confirmed today. The enigmatic designer, famous for her colourful knitwear designs, was 86. In 2012, she revealed that she has been suffering from Parkinson's disease for 15 years.

"It is with deep emotion that the house of Sonia Rykiel announces the death of its founder, Mrs Sonia Rykiel," said Jean-Marc Loubier – chairman and CEO of First Heritage Brands, Sonia Rykiel's parent company. "With her passing away, the fashion world has lost an icon, a pioneer, and a chocolate lover. More than a designer she was an extraordinary woman and an artist who devoted her life to women and their freedom."

Born in Paris on May 25, 1930, Rykiel became an established name on the Paris fashion scene when her eponymous first store opened in 1968 on Paris's Left Bank. Her early clients included Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve and Audrey Hepburn. In 2009, she was awarded The Order of Légion d'Honneur in recognition of her 40 years of service in the French fashion industry.

Although she no longer designed collections for the house, Rykiel - who had two children with her ex-husband (Sam Rykiel) Jean-Phillipe and Nathalie - still remained closely tied to her eponymous label serving as honorary president. Julie de Libran currently heads up the ready-to-wear label which shows on the Paris Fashion Week schedule, and paid her own tribute to Rykiel shortly after her death.

"My first moment meeting Sonia Rykiel at her home will stay in my heart as a very beautiful memory," said de Libran. "I was very touched by the charm and grace of this unique woman who truly defined what it means to be iconic. She will be greatly missed, but her style, legacy and spirit will never be forgotten and will live on to continue inspiring women around the world."

The Burkini Uproar Is "Misunderstood" Says Inventor

The original inventor of the burkini, Aheda Zanetti, has said that the furore surrounding the cover-up - which has been banned by French authorities - is "misunderstood".

"I think it's totally misunderstood. I feel so sorry for the people who are going to be affected by it," Zanetti told WWD of the ban which has been implemented in up to 15 beach resorts in Nice and Cannes. "The burkini was intended to integrate and bring people together. To give them the freedom of choice to wear something modest if they choose to be modest for whatever reason they need to be modest for. It should be happy and positive. It is turning something meant to give women the freedom of participating in health and fitness into a negative thing."

This weekend in Cannes, three women wearing burkinis on the beach were each given €38 fines by police patrolling the shore, while images have surfaced this week of authorities ordering bathers to remove their burkinis on a nearby beach. Last week, a French court upheld the ban following complaints from human-rights groups, saying that it "was necessary to avoid public disorder after a wave of attacks by Islamic extremists, including the murder of 86 people mown down by a lorry in Nice last month", reports The Times.

The mayor of Cannes's ban states that: "Beachwear which ostentatiously displays religious affiliation, when France and places of worship are currently the target of terrorist attacks, is liable to create risks of disrupting public order," reports the BBC.

Zanetti, who counts her customer base as 60 per cent Muslim, with the rest being "non-Muslim who want to cover up for a number of reasons", said that while she has had a few negative reactions to the swimwear in her native Australia, she has become a voice for women's rights.

"I think the French need to understand what a burkini swimsuit is and what it's there for. They can't take a lifestyle away from a Muslim woman or any woman for that matter," she said. "The cancer patients, for example. If you are going to take away the right for them to protect their skin from the sun, what are you trying to do? Put them back inside their home?"

Zanetti's comments come as Italian beach resorts close to the French border say that they have seen a "surge in burkini-clad bathers", according to the report by The Times. The mayor of Alassio - just over 100km from Nice - has said that they have no intention of imposing the ban, a sentiment echoed by the Italian interior minister. "I don't pray to Allah, but I was educated in a culture that involves religious freedom," said Angelino Alfano.

More Legal Matters For Mischa Barton

Mischa Barton has reportedly been ordered to pay $200,000 (with interest on top) to a filmmaker as compensation for failing to turn up on the set of his film in which she was scheduled to star last year.

According to court documents obtained by TMZ, Daniel Lief filed the lawsuit last September when the actress made apologies for not making an appearance on the set of his film Promoted, in which she was slated to play the lead. Her Twitter account at the time allegedly showed that she was holidaying with friends in Italy.

Lief claims that the delay that was caused cost him $300,000 in production delays and having to find a new actor to play the lead. So far, Barton hasn't publicly commented on the case.

Last year Barton brought her own legal proceedings against her mother, Nuala Barton, for an undisclosed sum alleging that she stole from her. In July this year, the two found themselves in court again over different matters concerning the sale of Barton's house. The former The OC star claims her mother hindered the sale, claims which her mother also levelled at her daughter.

Rihanna's Love Letter To A Supermodel

While Rihanna regularly has fans falling at her feet, the singer isn't averse to laying bare her admiration for her own pin-ups. The latest object of her affections? Naomi Campbell. Rihanna's eloquently written love letter to the Supermodel came as she saw Campbell pictured in Vogue Italia wearing herFenty Puma by Rihanna designs.

"What a delight to see this beautiful queen in my designs for Vogue Italia!"she wrote on her Instagram account. "This is a crazy feeling man!@iamnaomicampbell. From the very first moment in your career, you've touched and inspired so many young girls all over the world! I was one of them, and to see this come full circle is a trip to say the least!"

The Work singer also gave an insight into the friendship that she shares with Campbell, revealing the London-born star's soft side.

"I'm blessed to have you as a friend, one that will pick up the phone at any hour of the night, one that still makes time even when she has none, just to send me vitamins and facial products, or even tanning oil for my vacation lol!!! That's why these photos mean so much more to me, you're a true beauty, one love!"

Tyra Turns Teacher

Since the widely accepted difference between model and supermodel is whether or not the model has their own "brand", Tyra Banks is well placed to be guest lecturing a class on "creating and protecting a personal brand" at Stanford University next May.

News of Banks's foray into education came this weekend and will be the first time that she has lectured at the prestigious institution, reports The Wall Street Journal. Her first assignment for her students will be "Project You: Building and Extending your Personal Brand," for which they will be required to "create a short video introducing both themselves and the vision for a brand, according to the official course description".

The supermodel, who welcomed her first child in January, revealed that she is going to be a tough taskmaster when it comes to taking to the lectern, stating that her teaching style will be fun but firm: "If I see somebody not paying attention, I'm gonna call on them." She also revealed that she wouldn't encourage the use of phones in class, unless it was to "tweet something I've said".

Banks isn't the first famous face to want to impart their knowledge to a new generation. Recent advocates include Angelina Jolie, who announced in May that she had been appointed visiting professor in practice at the London School of Economics on a new MSc course on women, peace and security, the first of its kind in the world. Her work commences next month.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

De Niro's New Luxury London Venture

The city that Robert De Niro has always been most affiliated with is his hometown of New York - in part, at least, to his acclaimed role in Scorsese's Taxi Driver - but it seems that our own fair capital may have won a piece of his heart. The actor has been granted planning permission by Westminster Council to open a luxury hotel in Covent Garden.

The 83-room Wellington - slated to open its doors in 2019 - will boast a spa, a member's club and two restaurants, reports The Guardian, located in several Victorian buildings across London's Wellington, Tavistock, Burleigh and Exeter streets. 

This marks the Oscar-winning actor's third venture into the hotel business - he opened New York's Greenwich hotel in 2008, which is now home to the Tribeca film festival. Last year, Manila's Nobu hotel, which is co-owned by De Niro, in the Philippines was named one of the worst new luxury hotels by Luxury Travel Intelligence.

In May, he commented on applying for planning permission in the UK, saying: "London is one of the most exciting and cosmopolitan cities in the world. It makes perfect sense to develop a hotel that represents all of that in the heart of this city in Covent Garden. The Wellington hotel will honour the heritage of the area, while bringing the best of what we've done in New York to London."

De Niro is by no means the only Hollywood star to take on the role of hotelier - Clint Eastwood, Richard Gere and Elizabeth Taylor have all made forays into the business - and Leonardo DiCaprio is set to open an eco-friendly resort in Belize in 2018.

American Apparel Said To Be Selling

Having emerged from bankruptcy six months ago, American Apparel is now said to be looking for a buyer. Global investment bank Houlihan Lokey has been hired to sell the company, reports WWD, and is reaching out to the "usual suspects" as potential buyers.

The US-based retailer has seldom been out of the headlines over the last two years, after experiencing difficulties getting the brand back on track following its lengthy battle with former owner and founder Dov Charney. So far, Charney hasn't been approached about buying his former business.

"I have no idea what the proposition is so I don't know if I'd be interested or not," he told WWD yesterday. "There's nothing else I would say. I've heard about it. No one's approached me. I don't know what the terms are."

In April this year, current CEO Paula Schneider announced that the company was undergoing a "redesign of our production process" after "months of careful and rigorous review" resulting in redundancies. She also hinted that as a part of the shake-up, production may be exported, as opposed to being made in Los Angeles - something which was a cornerstone of Charney's original business plan.

Yesterday, Charney - who announced his plans to create a "basics brand for men and women that will be manufactured entirely in the US and will begin with a focus on developing the wholesale channel" in February - was vocal in his critique of the way that the company has managed its position.

"In December 2015, I submitted a $525 million indication of interest, and now less than a year after they went bankrupt, they're struggling and trying to sell the company," he said. "That I find astonishing. They've stripped the company of its assets. They've fired all the creatives with a brutal corporate control battle. They've lost hundreds of workers. It's astonishing."

All Change At The BFAs

The British Fashion Council has announced a shake-up to its usual British Fashion Awards categories today. In addition to dropping the "British" from the title making it just the Fashion Awards, it is opening up several awards to international designers and brands, as well as adding new accolades to the line-up.

Whereas in the past all winners had to be Brit based, with the exception of the International Designer Award, it is now only the British Menswear Designer of the Year, British Womenswear Designer of the Year, British Brand and Emerging Talent Awards that hold any stipulation.

The new awards are for Urban Luxury, Creative Influencer, Business Leader, Ready-to-Wear Designer of the Year, and the SWAROVSKI Award for Positive Change. Meanwhile, previous awards for Emerging Womenswear Designer, Emerging Menswear Designer, Emerging Accessory Designer, Red Carpet Designer, Creative Campaign, New Establishment Designer, British Style - Fashion Innovator, British Style - Red Carpet Ambassador and Establishment Designer have been cut.

Out of the 15 awards that will be revealed on the night, 10 will be voted for by a prestigious voting panel (comprising members of the media, retailers, CEOs and creatives) and the Fashion Icon award will be voted for by the public. The special recognition awards will, as usual, be announced ahead of the ceremony which takes place on December 5.

The announcement of the revised categories comes as the BFC prepares to upscale its usual Coliseum ceremony to a Met Ball-style extravaganza at the Royal Albert Hall. See the full list of categories below.

British Awards

British Menswear Designer of the Year
British Womenswear Designer of the Year
British Brand
Emerging Talent Award

British and International Awards

Ready-to-Wear Designer of the Year
Accessories Designer of the Year
Urban Luxury
Creative Influencer
Business Leader
Model of the Year
Fashion Icon (voted for by the public)

Special Recognition Awards (British and International)

Outstanding Achievement Award
Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator
Special Recognition Award
SWAROVSKI Award for Positive Change

Burberry Reveals New LFW Home

Burberry is bidding farewell to its Kensington Gardens base for the forthcoming show on September 19, the brand has revealed this morning.

Moving closer to the London Fashion Week hub in Soho's Brewer Street Car Park - where the official show space has been located for the past two seasons - the luxury British brand's new venue, named "Makers House", is situated at 1 Manette Street.

The location is not the only change that Burberry is undergoing this season. The move is presumed to be part of the brand adopting the new see-now, buy-now fashion-show model - in February it was confirmed that for the first time, it would show menswear and womenswear together, with the collection becoming available to purchase online and in store immediately afterwards. 

The news comes as Burberry unveils images from its latest campaign, shot against the impressive backdrop of Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery by Mario Testino and featuring Jean Campbell, Cavan McCarthy and Alex Dragulele. Previewing looks from the upcoming collection, which is influenced by Virginia Woolf's Orlando, it will launch in its entirety straight after the show. 

"This campaign reflects a collection inspired by Virginia Woolf's Orlando and also sets out to honour the many skilled craftspeople who work on Burberry's iconic products," said chief creative and chief executive officer Christopher Bailey. 

Also launching on the evening of the show will be the label's partnership with homewares and lifestyle brand The New Craftsmen. The new show space will be open to visitors from September 21 to 27 - following the show on the evening of Monday 19 - showcasing activities and installations from a selection of makers who will take inspiration from the collection to create new works.

"Just as Virginia Woolf's Orlando is both a love letter to the past and a work of profound modernity, this week-long exhibition aims to nod both to the design heritage that is so integral to Burberry's identity, and to some of Britain's most exciting creators, and the innovation and inspiration behind their work," Bailey said of the collaboration.

Alexander Wang's Bittersweet Legal Award

Alexander Wang has been awarded $90 million in damages after successfully suing over 45 defendants operating 459 websites that sold counterfeit goods bearing its name. The brand, however, is unlikely to receive the actual amount, as the owners of the domains selling the illegal goods are impossible to trace.

"The court system regularly awards very large amounts for the symbolic significance, as a means of deterring other individuals and parties. In other words, Alexander Wang is unlikely to receive $90 million," according to a spokesperson for the brand, reports WWD.

It is the first counterfeit case that the company has pursued. Its chief principle officer, Dennis Wang, stressed that it "takes its intellectual property rights very seriously".

"Protecting our brand requires maintaining constant vigilance on a global scale, as well as taking proactive measures such as sending cease and desist orders directly to domestic and foreign counterfeiters, as well as contacting website servers that host counterfeit sites," continued Wang in the brand's statement. "The creativity and originality of our designs are the foundation upon which the company is based."

The ruling comes in the same week that Alexander Wang lent its name in support of Apple in its high-profile intellectual property court case with Samsung. Along with other designers, including Paul Smith, Alber Elbaz, and Nicolas Ghesquière, Wang signed an "amicus brief", a legal document filed by people or brands not directly involved with a case but who have a strong interest in the subject matter and its outcome.

Preview Prabal´s TOMS Collaboration

As Prabal Gurung teams up with TOMS on a new collaboration, we speak to the New York-based designer and the ethical footwear brand's founder, Blake Mycoskie, about how it will help to raise awareness and funds for rebuilding efforts following the devastating earthquake in Nepal, where Gurung was raised, last year. Preview the collection below. 

How did the collaboration come about?

Gurung: "TOMS was a brand we had always hoped we could work with in some capacity. I have always respected what they have done and the message behind the brand really resonates with me. I was put in touch with their team soon after the earthquake in Nepal through a mutual friend who does a lot of work for Nepal's healthcare system. He felt that the time was right and it was."

What is the secret to TOMS ongoing success?

Mycoskie: "The secret to TOMS is very simple, it's our community. We have a relentlessly passionate community that is more than just a core consumer, they are leading the One for One movement with every purchase. Our TOMS tribe lives with purpose and strives to make the world a better place for one another."

What percentage of the sale of each pair of shoes from the collaboration goes where?

Mycoskie: "Just like all TOMS shoes purchases, with each pair purchased, a new pair of shoes will be given to a child in need. We are also very proud that for each pair of shoes sold from this collection, £5 will be donated to Prabal's Shikshya Foundation in Nepal."

Why do you think it is important to have collaborations with leading designers?

Mycoskie: "We call these designer partnerships our "energy" moments. After 10 years of TOMS, we're in a place where we've established the TOMS brand as the leader of the One for One business, and these amazing designer collaborations help us spread the movement to audiences we may not have reached before." 

Prabal, you're well known for embarking on philanthropic projects, what made you want to get involved with this one?

Gurung: "I've always admired the TOMS model. They were one of the first to build a business on the concept of 'One for One,' which is so admirable and was very ahead of the times when Blake launched." 

Talk us through the inspiration for the designs.

Gurung: "We wanted to offer styles and prints that had a timelessness to them and really emulated our brand characteristics. The colours used, the graphic detailing, and the traditional and modern balance were all important elements to work into the collection."

Find out more about the collection at

Thursday, August 11, 2016

ASOS Refutes Working Conditions Concern

ASOS has refuted concerns raised by MP Owen Smith about working conditions in a South Yorkshire warehouse operated by the British brand.

"We were surprised to see these allegations from Owen given that it was the first we had heard from him and he's never been inside the warehouse," a spokesperson for ASOS told us this morning. "We work incredibly hard with XPO (the logistics company that manages the site) to create a positive, supportive, healthy working environment for the team in Barnsley. As we have now said on the record several times before - we don't do zero-hours contracts, people can take toilet and water breaks whenever they want, and we pay above minimum wage." 

The Pontypridd MP, who is opposing Jeremy Corbyn in the contest for leadership of the Labour Party, made the claims in a letter to fellow politician Ian Wright - chairman of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee - likening the online fashion retailer to sportswear company Sports Direct, which was recently investigated for poor working conditions.

Smith's allegations echo those made by the GMB union - one of the biggest trade unions affiliated to the party, whose members yesterday voted to back him in the leadership race - in the past, which have been repeatedly denied by ASOS.

The brand reiterated the importance it places on creating a fair and positive working environment, citing the paid apprenticeship program that it runs in conjuction with Barnsley College and investments that it has made into the warehouse's working environment - from part-time shifts for parents and students to a £3million cooling project to regulate temperature in the summer - as two examples.

Kaia: Learning From The Best

Kaia Gerber has credited her supermodel mother, Cindy Crawford, with her grounded approach to the fashion world.

In a mother-daughter interview with Teen Vogue, the 14-year-old revealed that watching her mother "be nothing but kind to everyone on set, from the photographer to the caterer" has given her a beneficial perspective, despite Crawford claiming that her lookalike daughter is "so much more confident" than she was at the same age.

"I didn't start modelling until I was nearly 17," said the legendary Nineties supermodel. "You have a sense of what feels right for you. I don't worry about you staying true to yourself... I'm excited you understand what I've done most of my life. I look back and appreciate it all - travelling, connecting with people through photography. You're having fun but also learning that it's hard work!"

While she has some way to go before she matches her mother's record, in her early teens Gerber has already secured what most models would aspire to in their adult careers, including a Vogue cover, and has worked with brands including Miu Miu, Versace, and Alexander Wang. With genes like hers, the sky's the limit.

Catching Up With The Queen Of Cool

She´s a five-time British Vogue cover girl who makes the clothes she models look so effortlessly cool that they fly off the shelves, so what is Freja Beha Erichsen's style secret?

"I think it's a combination," she told us when poised with the question 'what matters more, aesthetic or attitude?'. "You can pull off anything if you have the right attitude. Being cool is whatever you think it is. Own your style."

Currently lending her sartorial sway to H&M's new Studio Collection, the model describes her own look as "comfortable, easy going and minimalistic" and divulges that the secret to a long and successful career in the fashion industry is to "stay humble".

"I've been so blessed to have the career I have had, so each and every shoot and job is a privilege for me to be at," she said (adding that working with the Swedish retailer is a highlight in her calendar. "Working with them is always so much fun. The energy on set is always something I look forward to").

After ten years at the top, like many of her contemporaries, the 28-year-old model is also keen to practice what she preaches when it comes to keeping her feet on the ground. "It's important to think about the bigger picture, especially if we are given these platforms," she said. "We can make a difference."

The Rio Olympics: Gisele Uninterrupted

Contrary to reports last week that Gisele Bündchen would be at the centre of a sensational role play during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio Olympics, the Brazilian supermodel sashayed across the floor of the famous Maracanã Stadium resplendent and uninterrupted on Friday night.

The Vogue cover girl expressed her elation at being such a major part of proceedings - which saw her beaming as she walked to the soundtrack of The Girl From Ipanema, her bespoke Alexandre Herchcovitch sequined gown billowing behind her - on her Instagram account immediately after the event.

"It was very exciting to be part of this special moment," she told her 9.4 million followers. "Everyone involved worked with dedication and passion to create a show that gave the world a glimpse of our history and Brazil's essence. It was beautifully presented. Our Brazilian community is hard working, cheerful, and welcoming. I believe that we showed the world the beauty of our diversity."

For Herchcovitch, the designer of her dazzling gown, it was poignant to be reunited with the star who he worked with in the Nineties.

"It was such a special reunion. We haven't spoken in a long time, and we mostly talked about our kids and life these days," he told "Anyway, it was an indescribable and special experience - the whole process, the meetings, and the final presentation." The designer was also full of praise for Bündchen.

"Gisele knows exactly what looks good on her and what doesn't, which makes the job much more objective and accurate. She was always present in the process. She gave important opinions, and we thought about the parts together. She made some important changes. Part of my creative process and development is to listen and adjust creations so she is satisfied. This was the feeling of everyone here."

High-Profile Fashion Support For Apple

Alexander Wang, Nicholas Ghesquière, Paul Smith, Dries Van Noten, and Alber Elbaz are among the 111 high-profile designers and industry figures who have officially come out in support of Apple in its IP court case with Samsung.

The Mac creator has been in a lengthy battle with the South Korean company since 2012, when it accused the latter of copying three of the main design elements of its ground-breaking iPhone: the rounded-corner front face, its bezel and its app-icon grid interface. So far, Samsung has been ordered to pay $1 billion to Apple, although has managed to reduce the sum to $548 million through a series of appeals, reports the Business of Fashion.

The interest for the designers - who have all signed an "amicus brief", a legal document filed by people or brands not directly involved with a case but who have a strong interest in the subject matter and its outcome - is clear. If Samsung succeeds with its appeal, it will potentially set a precedent for future IP disputes, with the concern being that it will be easier for brands to violate patents.

"Those who have signed the brief have a serious concern about what's happening with Samsung, and they are also completely dedicated to design as a way of achieving business success," industrial designer Charles Mauro, founder of Mauro New Media and the lead representative of the group, told BoF. "Apple is obviously a prime example of that and in that regard they are aligned with Apple. But I think it was important to those individuals who signed the brief that design is properly positioned in this major case."

The group's support also shines the spotlight on the importance of not only protecting IP, but the value of visual recognition and association with a brand.

"The fashion industry is finally beginning to understand that there is not only adequate intellectual property mechanisms for protecting brand attributes, but there's also sound underlying marketing science and cognitive science about why visual design is so valuable as an asset," Mauro continued. "I think this is a key asset of what the brief brings to the table."

Currently a date is set in court for Samsung and Apple on October 11. Should Apple be unsuccessful, they could be ordered to pay back a significant proportion of the sum they have already been awarded.

Gemma Reveals Pregnancy Fears

Gemma Ward who confirmed on Instagram two weeks ago that she is expecting another child with partner David Letts, has revealed that she is not finding pregnancy any easier the second time around.

"Everyone says the second baby is easy but I'm the opposite because I know how much it hurts," the 28-year-old model told The Australian Daily Telegraph. "I'm way more terrified. I know everything is going to be fine but I think I had false confidence with the first."

Australia-based Ward, who returned to the catwalk in 2014 following a six-year hiatus from modelling, took to the runway last night for David Jones's spring/summer 2016 show.

"I am really excited that they've embraced me and this concept," she said earlier this week about the prospect of walking for the brand at 14-weeks pregnant. "I just think it is a really lovely way to celebrate a period in what some women go through and it is nice to celebrate all the different ways your body changes.

"I'm really doing this so that my baby can have a first catwalk show early," Ward added jokingly.

The couple welcomed their daughter, Naia - who appeared in a campaign for Australian brand Country Road alongside her mother when she was less than a year old - in late 2013. Ward revealed in an interview with The Australian Daily Telegraph earlier this year that she wouldn't discourage her daughter from going into modelling if that is her choice of career.

"I am in a unique position where I can mentor her and tell her what to expect and also what to look out for - because there are a lot of pitfalls," she said. "I think I would be quite protective but I wouldn't dissuade her."

Ferragamo CEO Steps Down

In the latest round of fashion musical chairs,Salvatore Ferragamo's long-standing CEO, Michele Norsa, will depart the label today after 10 years steering its direction.

The Italian fashion house's chairman, Ferruccio Ferragamo, said that he was "very grateful" for the "10 wonderful years" Norsa had dedicated to the brand, reports WWD, adding that "I owe him a big thank you in front of you," while addressing the company's board of directors.

With the news, Salvatore Ferragamo becomes the latest Italian fashion house to have a shake-up at the top. Just last week, Roberto Cavalli appointed former Versace CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris to the vacant position left by Renato Semerari, after Versace announced that it had enticed Jonathan Akeroyd from Alexander McQueen in May. Norsa's shoes at Salvatore Ferragamo will be filled by former Furla CEO, Eraldo Poletto.

Raf Simons Officially Appointed At Calvin Klein

Raf Simons has been formally appointed as chief creative officer at Calvin Klein, filling the vacant position left by Francisco Costa in April. The news confirms long-running rumours in the industry, although the brand and Simons have been unable to make any announcement due to the year-long non-compete clause in Simons's Christian Dior contract that came to an end last month.

"The arrival of Raf Simons as chief creative officer signifies a momentous new chapter for Calvin Klein," said Steve Shiffman, CEO of Calvin Klein, Inc. on the brand's Facebook page. "Not since Mr. Klein himself was at the company has it been led by one creative visionary, and I am confident that this decision will drive the Calvin Klein brand and have a significant impact on its future. Raf's exceptional contributions have shaped and modernised fashion as we see it today and, under his direction, Calvin Klein will further solidify its position as a leading global lifestyle brand."

The brand's eponymous founder hinted at Simons's appointment during an interview with Andy Cohen on Sirius XM in June. "They are doing something that I had hoped they would have done, which is replace me. Find someone who can with a singular vision oversee everything that is creative. They won't announce who it is publicly because it's under contract. But the whole industry knows," Klein said.

While many are eager to see what his visual interpretation of the brand's Manhattan minimalism will be, all eyes will be on how he sets up the production side of the label and how he intends to manage his time given his views on the relentless speed of the fashion industry. The brand confirmed today that Simons will be in charge of Calvin Klein Collection, Calvin Klein Platinum, Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans, Calvin Klein Underwear and Calvin Klein Home brands.

"As part of his role as chief creative officer, Mr Simons will oversee all aspects of design, global marketing and communications, and visual creative services. Mr. Simons's first collections will debut for the fall 2017 season," confirmed the brand.

"When you do six shows a year, there's not enough time for the whole process," Simons told Cathy Horyn in an interview for System magazine last year. "Technically, yes - the people who make the samples, do the stitching, they can do it. But you have no incubation time for ideas, and incubation time is very important. When you try an idea, you look at it and think, Hmm, let's put it away for a week and think about it later. But that's never possible when you have only one team working on all the collections. What are you going to do? Walk out of the office at 8 o'clock at night? No, of course not. So you stay there until midnight. That's the life."

Cara On Being "Completely In Love"

Cara Delevingne has opened up about her relationship status and defining her sexuality in her cover interview for September Vogue.

"I'm completely in love… Before, I didn't know what love was - real love," she told us of her relationship with American singer-songwriter Annie Clark (known by her stage name St Vincent). "I didn't understand the depth of it. I always used to think it was you against the world. Now I know the meaning of life is love. Whether that's for yourself or for the world or your partner."
"As a child, I used gay as a bad world, as in, 'that's so gay.' All my friends did," she continued. "[Her parents] have been so, so supportive. I'm obviously in love, so if people want to say I'm gay, that's great. But we're all liquid - we change, we grow."

The 23-year-old also discussed her transition into the film industry and echoed the sentiments of some of her contemporaries who have recently spoken out about the gender pay gap in Hollywood.

"I'm still learning. I act for love. I give it my all," she revealed of her more recent pursuit. "I would probably still do it even if I wasn't paid at all. But in terms of equal pay I need to be paid the same as the guy who has equal billing with me. Otherwise I won't do it. Because if you accept less, you're just letting everyone else down and continuing the cycle."

While Delevingne boasts an impressive CV in the realms of fashion and film, it seems that she still has some insecurities when it comes to castings.

"My greatest fear is always that I have just been hired because of my number of followers," she confessed. 

Vivienne Hits A High Not

Vivienne Westwood has had a busy week. As well as trending on Twitter for her comments about the British prime minister Theresa May, she has revealed her extra-curricular collaboration with the esteemed Monteverdi Choir, for which she has designed a new costume and of which the Prince of Wales in patron. We caught up with her and her husband and co-designer, Andreas Kronthaler, to find out more.

How did you become involved with the Monteverdi choir?

Andreas Kronthaler: "Three years ago, it was the 50th anniversary of the Monteverdi Choir at Buckingham Palace, we got introduced to the choir by Prince Charles, who poked us on the side and said 'You should help them out.' It is very clever of Prince Charles - he is always getting things to happen. Then we started to meet up with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, we became friends and this collaboration began."

I like working with opera singers because they are always very brave... they are not so conservative as some actors and actresses on the red carpet can beAndreas Kronthaler

What do you like about getting involved with additional projects like this?

Vivienne Westwood: "The clothes bring attention to the singers - you are constantly drawing people in as you work with the clothes, it's like a sublimation of your soul."
It would be lovely to sing in a choir, we loved it when we were kids a schoolVivienne Westwood

AK: "I like working with opera singers because they are always very brave - they understand the importance of clothes because it is part of their role and character. They are not so conservative as some actors and actresses on the red carpet can be. Opera singers are sometimes as brave in real life as the heroines that they portray. Renee Fleming and Joyce Di Donato are women who adore clothes and they can wear the most outrageous things with ease."

How did you conceive the designs?

VW: "A design is made of hundreds of decisions; how you stitch something, which button you use, everything! What I'm really delighted about is that these costumes work for every individual lady in the choir but they also all work together as a whole."

AK: "We have never done anything for a choir before. They are all different girls, they have to be functional, it should give a nice picture all together."
You have such an illustrious history in fashion - is there anything left that you want to do?

VW: "No, I want to save the world and we only have about two years left to do it in. We are all very comfortable talking about climate change, but we are all living a myth."
Did you ever harbor singing ambitions?

VW: "No, but I like singing. The school I went to we did a lot of singing, I went to a church school. It would be lovely to sing in a choir, we loved it when we were kids at school."

Armani Moves Show To Paris

Giorgio Armani has decided to show his spring/summer 2017 Emporio Armani collection in Paris this October, rather than in Milan as usual.

The legendary Italian designer is said to have made the decision to relocate his big reveal as "the restyling of the brand's boutique and its café on Boulevard Saint-Germain-des-Prés provided 'the opportunity to rethink the location and timing of the show'," reports WWD. His other September outing, for his Giorgio Armani brand, will remain on the Milan schedule.

It isn't the first time that Armani has tried to show his Emporio collection in Paris. In 1998, an attempt to have a show to mark the opening of the then newly opened boutique was thwarted when the Paris police closed down the venue that Armani had erected.

The event this September will, however, only be a one-off for Armani, who is a member of the Italian Chamber of Fashion. Back in 2013, when he was inducted as a member, he told WWD: "While I still believe that all Italian brands should hold their fashion shows in Italy to give due prominence to our country, as an entrepreneur I understand that certain situations, created over the years, need time to be reorganised."

First H&M And Kenzo Looks Revealed

Three looks from the Kenzo for H&M collaboration, which is due to land online and in stores in early November, have been revealed.

The images are the first glimpse of Carol Lim and Humberto Leon's boldly printed and brightly coloured (signature elements of the label that they helm) collection for the high-street brand, and feature young artists and actvists, including Amy Sall, an activist and founder of SUNU: Journal of African Affairs, Critical Thought + Aesthetics; artist and poet Juliana Huxtable; musician Oko Ebombo; and make-up artist Isamaya Ffrench, who is also a member of the London-based collective Theo Adams Company.

When news of the collaboration was confirmed in May, design duo Lim and Leon said that they wanted to "think big, push the boundaries and bring the new energy of Kenzo to everyone around the world."

For now, the world will have to wait as the full lookbook will not be released until later this year.

LVMH Confirms DKNY Sale

Following reports last week, LVMH has confirmed that it has sold Donna Karan International (DKI) - owner of DKNY - to G-III Apparel Group for $650 million.

"We believe the DKNY brand has a dynamic position in the market, and when G-III approached us about acquiring the brand, we concluded that the time was right and that G-III was the right steward going forward," said Toni Belloni, group managing director of LVMH, reports WWD.

In spite of the sale, creative directors Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow - who continue to run their own brand, Public School - will remain at the label along with CEO Caroline Brown to whom Belloni also expressed his gratitude "for the strategic actions that created a platform to support DKNY's continued growth".

G-III Apparel Group - which currently owns brands including Vilebrequin, Andrew Marc, and Marc New York, and has licensing deals with Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, and Karl Lagerfeld among others - said that it felt it was well positioned to move the company (founded in 1989 by Donna Karan herself, who departed her namesake labels last year) into its next stage of growth.

"Donna Karan International is an iconic global fashion company," said Morris Goldfarb, chairman, chief executive officer and president of G-III. "Its lifestyle aesthetic resonates well with consumers throughout the world. We are excited to build upon its strong foundation as we seek to capitalize on a significant market opportunity. Donna Karan brings increased scale and diversification, while providing incremental growth on top of our portfolio of some the best fashion brands in the world. We believe we are well positioned to create and sustain additional value for our shareholders, partners, and customers."

Peter Copping Departs Oscar De La Renta

Peter Copping has stepped down from his role as creative director at Oscar de la Renta, the designer confirmed this morning from New York, where he has been based since he took the reins of the fashion house shortly before its eponymous founder's death in 2014.
Personal circumstances require me to return to EuropePeter Copping

"After almost two years at Oscar de la Renta, personal circumstances require me to return to Europe," said Copping in a statement released by the brand, reportsWWD. "I have loved my time in New York where I hope to return at some point in the future."

The designer's next moves are unknown at this stage, but his CV sets him up for a number of opportunities. Prior to arriving at Oscar de la Renta in October 2014, the Central Saint Martins graduate was artistic director at Nina Ricci for five years, and before that he worked at Louis Vuitton during the Marc Jacobs era as studio director for 12 years.

In a statement, Oscar de la Renta CEO - and stepson-in-law of the late founder - Alex Bolen said of Copping's exit: "We have always been in the business of creating clothes and two of our greatest assets are our design studio and atelier. Our team will continue to work on next season's collection with a keen focus on the level of sophistication and craftsmanship that are the hallmarks of our house. We wish Peter well in his future endeavours."

The door is now left open at the house to find Copping's successor, adding another vacant seat to be filled on the New York Fashion landscape after that of artistic director at Calvin Klein (which Raf Simons is widely reported to be filling later this summer).

Zara's Owner Responds To Artist's Copy Claims

Zara's owner Inditex has responded to claims that the popular Spanish high-street store plagiarised Californian artist Tuesday Bassen's work over the last year on several items of clothing.

"Inditex has the utmost respect for the individual creativity of all artists and designers and takes all claims concerning third party intellectual property rights very seriously," a spokesperson for the brand told us. "Inditex was recently contacted by Tuesday Bassen's lawyers who noted the use of illustrations in some badges sourced externally and on clothes in its group stores. The company immediately opened an investigation into the matter and suspended the relevant items from sale. Inditex's legal team is also in contact with Tuesday Bassen's lawyers to clarify and resolve the situation as swiftly as possible."

Yesterday, Bassen posted a collage on her Instagram account, identifying the alleged copied designs, along with a letter that she explained she had received from Zara's legal team.

"I've been pretty quiet about this, until now," Bassen wrote. "Over the past year, @zara has been copying my artwork (thanks to all that have tipped me off - it's been a lot of you). I had my lawyer contact Zara and they literally said I have no base because I'm an indie artist and they're a major corporation and that not enough people even know about me for it to matter. I plan to further press charges, but even to have a lawyer get this LETTER has cost me $2k so far. It sucks and it's super disheartening to have to spend basically all of my money, just to defend what is legally mine."

In an additional Instagram post today, Bassen said that she had "not heard from @Zara and plans to pursue this further."