Fashion Brands Seek Control In Social Media Boom
“If you are not online, your customers will be” is the thinking among luxury brands from Louis Vuitton to Burberry to Alexander McQueen. For example, Chanel created a Facebook page last month, and Dolce & Gabbana has a site called Swide, a YouTube account and an ongoing Twitter feed, and may even create its own social network. Gucci has an iPhone app and recently unveiled a social networking micro site
that asks users to upload and share photos. “If Kanye West comes in our store on Rodeo Drive, we’re going to Twitter about it. [People
] want instant information, not only on products but who’s wearing it,” said Antoine Arnault, communications director at Louis Vuitton. As for designers tweeting, Alexander McQueen has taken to it like a duck to water: “I do it so much that someone needs to get me a gag!”
Costume Designer Colleen Atwood’s “Nine” Lives
Lindsay Lohan Stays; Ungaro President Goes
Despite widespread speculation to the contrary — and a scathing reaction to her first effort
— Lindsay Lohan is continuing on at Ungaro as the fashion house’s artistic adviser, while the man who recruited her, company president Mounir Moufarrige, has resigned. Moufarrige insisted that his depature had “nothing to do with Lindsay Lohan at all.…The strategy is set for Ungaro and that’s it.” The house named Marie Fournier, an 18-year company veteran, its new general manager.
Beyoncé Discusses Launch of ‘Heat’ Fragrance
Beyoncé Knowles is aiming to light a much-needed fire under the beleaguered fragrance business this February with her first scent, Beyoncé Heat. Industry sources estimate it could do $100 million at retail globally in its first year on counter. At least half of that figure is expected to come from U.S. sales. For the perfume’s name, Knowles drew from her past tours. “A lot of my performances have had fire involved, so we thought ‘Heat.’ Also, red is one of my favorite colors, as is gold,” she noted; both colors frame the bottle. “So then we thought of making the bottle look like it’s on fire. I love antique bottles — my mother had a collection of them when I was growing up. I wanted something with an antique yet modern feeling.” The juice, which Knowles concocted with Givaudan’s Claude Dir and Olivier Gillotin, has top notes of red vanilla orchid, magnolia, neroli and blush peach.
2009 in Review: The Downturn Continues
Perhaps the best thing that could be said about 2009 is that it wasn’t 2008. Orders were cut, stores were closed, shoppers turned to saving as the economy floundered and the luxury consumer was in a general retreat. Before some legitimate signs of strengthening in the past month or two, it took a kind of Orwellian doublespeak to believe that “less bad” had truly become “good” in the world of fashion finance. Luckily, the actual fashion world did better, at least aesthetically speaking.
2009 featured two of the best back-to-back collections seasons in recent memory, with rustic moments at Chanel
Americana sportswear from Ralph Lauren
and Alexander Wang,
and talented newcomers like Prabal Gurung.
It was also a year of memorable off-runway moments,
like Isaac Mizrahi teaming up with QVC on cheesecake, and tween fashion launches from the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez. See all the coverage from the Year in Fashion issue>>
As the retailer’s ultimate parent company, Dubai World, on Monday revealed a $10 billion lifeline from Abu Dhabi, speculation continues to swirl over Barneys’ future and whether it will be sold. While sources said a sale isn’t imminent, they’re not ruling it out down the road. Though, considering the high price Dubai World via its investment arm, Istithmar, paid for Barneys — more than $900 million in 2007 — and the woes permeating the luxury world, the retailer is likely to be a tough sale. There have been recent signs of a pickup at the store, with business up 7 percent in October, although sales slid back into the negative column in November.
Shoppers Seen Delaying Holiday Purchases
Madonna to Appear in Dolce & Gabbana Ad Campaign
Their 18-year friendship with Madonna wasn’t enough to ease the fears Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce had about doing something “more business-y” with the pop icon. “We were always afraid it would ruin our relationship,” contended Gabbana. Not anymore. As part of a flurry of activity between the designers and Madonna, including the filming of the “Celebration” video inside Metropol, the designers’ Milanese runway venue, she agreed to appear in the house’s spring campaign. Steven Klein snapped the eight black-and-white, horizontal pictures in a former lay convent in uptown Manhattan. Meanwhile, Christina Ricci’s next appearance will not be on the silver screen but in a Donna Karan-friendly short called “Four Play.”
Directed by Jake Sumner, the son of Sting and Trudie Styler, the flick features Ricci primping, dancing, spying and lounging in various stages of dress and undress at the Soho Grand Hotel. The spot revolves around the designer’s pleated leather Eldridge bag, which can be worn four ways.
Men’s Fashion Trend Fall 2010: Retro Grade
Singer Nikki Yanofsky Pipes Up
While 15-year-old Nikki Yanofsky plays up her youthfulness in the fashion arena, there is nothing immature about her sophisticated, soulful voice reminiscent of Ella Fitzgerald. Her debut studio album, tentatively titled “New to Me” (Decca), hits shelves in March. The young singer filmed a video for WWD.com
in which she chatted about fashion and music.