April 15th, 2014

What Balenciaga?

New York-based designer Alexander Wang is still the man of the hour, having confirmed plans on Saturday night to launch a collection with H&M this coming fall. Just how this will impact his relationship with Balenciaga/Kering Group remains to be seen. You could argue that any press surrounding one’s star designer is good press, but at the same time you couldn’t quite imagine any Kering investor sitting content with the idea that Wang won’t be generating profits for the house. Which leads one to ask: did Kering in fact allow this deal to take place (rash move) or did Wang seal the deal with H&M long before joining the house and have Kering agree to it as part of his contract? Meanwhile, there’s been plenty of speculation about just how profitable H&M’s store strategy really is. The company says it’s doing well while the retail climate globally isn’t exactly on fire. So here’s the question: is H&M hedging against weaker profits by snagging one of the buzziest designers around while it can? If you didn’t know any better, you’d reckon “fast fashion” just got a wee bit desperate. 

April 14th, 2014

Fascinated by Celine’s creative director Phoebe Philo in which she talks to Vogue UK about creating a house versus a brand and ultimately standing for quality. At at time when everyone is looking at margins and under the gun to become the next mega brand, are the majority of brands simply getting it all wrong?

February 19th, 2014

Ralph’s Buzzy New Hire, Facebook Buys WhatsApp and Rihanna Is In Vogue Again

The week in…

Fashion

  • “Ralph Lauren taps Valerie Hermann to head luxe division.” Strategically a smart move, but a broader, more directional approach to its design will need to be just as necessary to grow the biz. (WWD)
  • “Richard Nicoll appointed creative director of Jack Wills.” Let’s hope the collab won’t come at a cost to Nicoll’s own brand (above) which has been getting better every season. (Telegraph)
  • “The Rihanna effect.” Vogue is convinced the industry is massively influenced by the pop star. Or is it a case of designers angling to get her in their clothes? (Vogue.com)
  • “Is Donna Karan leaving DKNY?” The designer would be wise to take notes from Marc Jacobs, whose successors at his secondary label have done a brilliant job. (Vogue UK)
  • “Made in Britain: Fashion Enter, a social enterprise giving a creative boost to the UK’s fashion industry.” I love this story about being in fashion for all the right reasons. (Telegraph) 

Business

  • “The anti-Under Armour: tiny Swedish company wins big on speedskating.” Someone with very keen eyes at BW decided to cover the company that dressed the gold medal speed-skating team. Genius. (Bloomberg)
  • “Meditation makes people feel better. Can it help you work smarter, too?” Don’t hate Chip Wilson because he was right. Now, across corporate America, a growing movement in favor of meditation. (Business Week)
  • “The secret of Taobao’s success.” Know how your customers want to pay! (Business Week)
  • “Bloomberg Pursuits making lifestyle push.” A reminder that luxury publishing is no longer the exclusive realm to publishers like Conde Nast or Du Jour. Ergo: even fewer ad dollars for publishers to go around. (WWD)
  • “6 ways to make people love your brand.” So simple and yet easier said than done. (Mashable)
  • “Justifying WhatsApp’s $16 billion price tag to Facebook.” Facebook floors everyone in its latest acquisition, effectively squashing the competition but also adding a huge, separate revenue stream. (BuzzFeed)
February 17th, 2014

It’s All About Marc, A Splashy Debut for Hunter and Everything is Awesome

The week that was in…

Fashion 

  • “Re-making his Marc.” In one of the most anticipated interviews of the season, Jacobs opens up about plans for his own label. (W Magazine)
  • “Under Armour’s Sochi problem.” The company’s big debut at the Games backfires amid criticism of its new speed-skating suits. (Bloomberg)
  • “Why is Jos. A. Bank buying Eddie Bauer?” BW suggests Jos should have pursued something closer to its DNA, but what if the company was looking to jump altogether into sportswear? That may in fact be just the point. (Business Week)
  • “BAFTA Awards 2014.” Nominees went dark for the red carpet, while Angelina Jolie helped move the trouser trend (something to watch) into the spotlight. (Vogue UK)
  • “Horst Rechelbacher dies at 72.” The visionary founder of Aveda had battled cancer. (WWD)
  • “Hunter borrows some ideas from Burberry for its first fashion show.” Watch for this line, helmed by Alasdhair Willis, husband to Stella McCartney, to blow up in the next six months. (Fashionista)
  • “Tory Burch said planning move into men’s.” Amid a flurry of men’s to women’s moves this past week, the womenswear brand surprises almost everyone with rumors of its move into the currently hot menswear arena. (WWD)
  • “Marc Jacobs: Happy Days?” Jacobs’s overskirts aside, most New York designers struggled to find something new to say, according to Suzy Menkes. (NY Times)
  • “Style.com makes two key hires.” Already looking dramatically different these past few months, the digital portal is beefing up and promising to have a heavier digital footprint. But for whom the question remains? Consumers or the trade? (WWD)

Business

  • “12 eye-popping stats for retailers on Instagram.” Memo to execs: the social platform isn’t showing any signs of fatigue. (Digiday)
  • “Wearable smart bands set for 350% growth in 2014.” They’re coming and they’re here, says one study of wearable tech bands. (CNBC)
  • “An innovator in fashion wholesale, Joor could become a global network for buyers and designers.” It’s not immediately clear yet on how this will contend with Nu Order, but unlike that online platform, this one (this editor will attest) was visibly omnipresent at New York Fashion Week. (Fashionista)

Culture

  • “Box Office: ‘Lego Movie’ crushes competition with $60 million-plus holiday.” Everything is awesome because Lego is having a moment globally. (THR)
  • “Lena Dunham unveils debut book.” (Sigh!) The creator of “Girls” is still on a roll. (Telegraph)
  • “NFL prospect Michael Sam: ‘I am a gay man and happy to be one.’” Sports fans woke up last Monday morning to a big revelation that America can’t stop talking about. (THR)
  • “Kelly Cutrone talk show slated to debut on CW Seed.” The fashion PR publicist is getting her own show on the one CW channel that’s quietly blowing up. (WWD)
  • “#Unapologetic Barbie: brilliant, boneheaded or both?” The strangely or, dare we say it, brilliantly disruptive strategy lands the American icon not only in Sports Illustrated but back in popular culture. (Digiday)
February 7th, 2014

New York Fashion Week Gets Underway, Goop-Gate and Sochi

The week that was in…

Fashion 

  • “Slave no more.” Cathy Horyn bids adieu to the life she led as fashion critic of the Times. (T Magazine)
  • “Gwyneth Paltrow enlists Taylor Tomasi Hill to cover New York Fashion Week for Goop.” Goop is getting a fashion beat, but will Paltrow herself turn up for the shows? (Telegraph)
  • “Abercrombie & Fitch hires tech company to help regain relevance.” Just what does our reliance on technology to gauge what our kids want say about how in touch we are with the next generation? Or are kids all just automatons? (Fashionista)
  • “Fashion Week A-Z: Vogue’s Guide to the Fall 2014 shows.” So basically, Alexander Wang’s Brooklyn show and Spring Studios are the place to be at for shows this season. (Vogue.com)

Business

  • January jobs report: US creates 113,000 jobs, unemployment rate dips to 6.6%.” As this report reminds us, close to 13,000 jobs were also cut from the retail sector. (HuffPo)
  • “Prepare for the Club Monaco British flagship.” Is London’s high street beginning to look a little saturated? (Vogue.co.uk)
  • “Networking site LinkedIn shares fall 15% on weak outlook.” Tech stocks took a hit this week, but no one really expected LinkedIn, particularly after acquiring Bright Media, to tumble. (BBC)
  • “Topshop gives Adidas a makeover.” Another sports brand, another big fashion collaboration. Just how challenged is the activewear industry for innovation? (Vogue.co.uk)

Culture

  • “Glenn Greenwald-led digital magazine’s first issue will focus on NSA documents.” Potentially riveting, explosive stuff to be unleashed in less than a week. (HuffPo)
  • “Why Pierce Brown might be fiction’s next superstar.” Because The Mortal Instruments is so last year? It’s all about Brown’s Red Rising now. (BuzzFeed)
  • “More men in their prime working years lack jobs, says WSJ.” There have been several reports on the disappearing middle class this week. This story gives the issue its urgency. (CNBC)
  • “Inside Jay Leno’s teary, guest-filled ‘Tonight Show’ Goodbye.” A reminder that late-night television is no longer what it used to be. (THR)
  • “Canada proposes citizenship changes.” Better rethink Canada’s immigration reputation. Immigration reform is apparently sweeping that country too. (BBC)
  • “Sochi 2014: Russian city prepares for Olympics opening ceremony.” And oh yeah, that business of the Winter Olympics. 163K followers and counting on @SochiProblems says it all. (BBC)

 

February 3rd, 2014

Score for Barneys, Cathy Horyn Retires and Super Bowl XLVIII Ads

The week that was in…

Fashion

  • “Keith Pollock named Editor in Chief of Interview.” Pollock is a great editor and it will be interesting to see which direction he takes Interview in: Vanity Fair or Hollywood Reporter? (WWD)
  • “Girl Fight! Kanye West confronts Anna Wintour over putting Lena Dunham on ‘Vogue’ cover instead of fiancée Kim Kardashian.” The gist is Anna still wins. (Radar)
  • “Exclusive: Diesel’s Nicola Formichetti goes hell for leather.” Time will tell if Formichetti’s plan to drop collections outside of the normal calendar will work. The move should spur debate again over the relevance of the fashion calendar. (Style.com)
  • “Times Fashion Critic Cathy Horyn to Retire.” The announcement comes amid ongoing hires at the Styles section. (NY Times)

Business

  • “Mulberry issues profit warning.” Not really a surprise. For all its tony ambassadors, the brand still needs to make its identity clear. Does anyone understand what the brand is? (Telegraph)
  • “J.Crew lowers prices.” You know retail is in a bad place when J.Crew has to lower its prices. Expect price slashing to ensue elsewhere. (Vogue UK)

Tech

  • “Facebook’s plan for artificial intelligence: transcribe your calls, decipher your photos.” It’s a big year for AI and Facebook’s the latest company to make a push for it. The future looks creepy, indeed. (HuffPo)

Culture 

  • “Brothers, sisters, sons & daughters: introducing the spring 2014 campaign.” The season’s most original campaign yet pitches transgendered men and women front and center. (The Window)
  • “OD eyed in Philip Seymour Hoffman death.” The actor, best known for his brilliant supporting roles and later Oscar-winning performance as Truman Capote, died on Sunday from a suspected drug overdose, igniting a media frenzy on the return of heroin to popular culture. (NY Post)
  • “Super Bowl 2014 commercials: watch them all here.” These were the ads that played to a record 111.5 million viewers as the Seattle Seahawks crushed the Broncos 43-8. (Mashable)
January 28th, 2014

Becks Hits Skype, Atrium Loses Nick Wooster and Indiegogo Fever

Fashion

  • “Victoria Beckham lifts the lid on her fashion label with Skype.” Mrs. Beckham continues to do just about everything right, from getting up close and personal with fans to expanding her brand stateside. (Telegraph
  • “Nick Wooster departs Atrium.” The breakup highlights just what an intransigent retail climate the fashion industry is facing. (WWD) 
  • “The Winner’s Interview.” Target’s latest partner Peter Pilotto is this year’s BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund winner. (Vogue UK)

Business

  • “Obama taking up economic issues on his authority.” The President stressed opportunity, equality and action for the year ahead. (NY Times)
  • “Abercrombie & Fitch strips Mike Jeffries of chairman title.” Shares rose on the news today. (NY Post)

Tech

  • “Indiegogo raises $40 million to expand globally.” All of a sudden, Indiegogo is a crowdfunding magnet. (Mashable)
  • “Google Glass gets way more wearable, releases four new frames.” The search-turned hardware giant issues minor tweaks to its signature Glass. Fashionistas are mildly stoked. (Fashionista

Culture

  • “Pope Francis’ Rolling Stone cover cements his prominence in pop culture.” Trending right now: the new Pope. Believe it. (HuffPo)

 

January 27th, 2014

Kate Moss for McQueen, Why Ezra Klein’s Move Matters and Pharrell’s Hat

image

Business

  • “Amazon’s complicated deals with luxury brands.” The emergence of pay-to-play in online retail. (Bloomberg)
  • “Hudson’s Bay to debut Saks in Canada, sell Toronto flagship.” American retailers are flooding Canada through 2015. Meanwhile, is anyone really asking just how Canadians will respond to the Americanization of its retail landscape? (Reuters)
  • “Ezra Klein is joining Vox Media as web journalism asserts itself.” Don’t miss David Carr’s piece on the business of content. It’s totally on point. (NYT)

Fashion

  • “Grammys 2014: Pharrell Williams’s hat gets lucky in the spotlight.” Timeline of that now-famous Vivienne Westwood hat. (Telegraph)
  • “The NYT hires Style.com’s deputy editor, just in time for Fashion Week.” The young critic Matthew Schneier will take over Eric Wilson’s former role at The Times. (Fashionista)
  • “Kate Moss’s haunting McQueen campaign.” Here’s looking at you, Kate. The British supermodel stars in a short film about obsession inspired by “Peeping Tom,” the 1960s classic. (Vogue UK)

Culture

  • “The 2014 Grammys: watch all the big performances from the show.” The better way to watch the Grammys. (Mashable)
January 24th, 2014

Stars and Stripes Overkill, Tisci Does Nike and Patagonia Names A Woman CEO

image

Fashion

  • “Editor’s Picks: 30 menswear must-haves from the Capsule trade show.” The latest edition of Capsule, the fashion industry’s go-to show of the moment for cutting-edge contemporary menswear, took place earlier this week. Here, GQ’s best picks from the show, which you should get behind. (GQ)
  • “Meet Up Mondays: Ernest Alexander.” My Q&A with Ernest Alexander. (The Manual)
  • “Team USA reveals ultra-patriotic Olympic outfits.” Ralph Lauren is making sure American athletes will be front and center at the opening ceremony in Sochi. (Mashable)
  • “Riccardo Tisci takes trainers knee-high for Nike.” Another reason why Nike is killing it right now. (Telegraph)
  • “The Cambridge Satchel Company to receive $21million investment.” CSC had already been looking better over the past year. It’s now well on its way to becoming a major global lifestyle brand. (Telegraph)

Tech

  • “How Imgur became a photo-sharing hit.” Imgur 101 for those who haven’t heard of the Internet’s most influential content well. (Business Week)
  • “The YouTube whisperer to brands: you’re doing it wrong.” The line drawn between “good content” and “bad content.” (Digiday)
  • “82% of women think social media drives the definition of beauty.” Proof that if you’re in beauty, you need to be social, as well as why Michelle Phan, beauty blogger, is raking it in. (Mashable)

Business

  • “Outdoor gear titan Patagonia names Rose Marcario CEO as company bets on sustainable food.” Forget Lululemon, here’s what investors should be eyeing. (Forbes)
  • “It’s Black Friday again! Retail woes as deep as the discounts.” Reality check: consumers are just not buying, even with the deep freeze gripping the country these past few weeks. (CNBC)
  • “P&G says growing beard popularity is trimming grooming sales.” Fact: not all beauty trends are a good thing for big business. (Bloomberg)
January 16th, 2014

Oscar Noms, Outer Space is Trending and Kate Wins (Again)

 

Business

  • “Yahoo CEO Mayer dismisses Operating Chief De Castro.” The word now is that Marissa Mayer in fact dismissed Yahoo’s COO, contrary to earlier reports that Henrique de Castro left on his own accord. Also reported: friction between the two execs. (Bloomberg)
  • “Can Daniel Dienst turn the Martha Stewart empire around?” Here’s a look at what really went wrong at MSLO over the last year. (Business Week) 

Tech

  • “Small-business guide: Facebook revamps ads to compete with Google.” What marketers should know about the new changes to Facebook Ads. (NY Times
  • “7 Net Neutrality questions you were too embarrassed to ask.” Bet you didn’t know ISPs could do that. (Digiday)
  • “Facebook will now tell you what’s most popular on Facebook.” "Trending" ought to show now just how robust Facebook’s algorithms are (and probably freak you out as to how well it knows you). (Mashable)

Culture

  • “Oscar nominations 2014: ‘Gravity,’ ‘American Hustle,’ ’12 Years A Slave’ lead nominees.” Alas, foregone conclusions for many of the categories this year, with the exception of lead actor. My bet’s on Matthew McConaughey. (HuffPo)

Fashion

  • “L.L. Bean tops in online fulfillment: study.” L.L. Bean topped Net A Porter, Ralph Lauren and J.Crew when it came to online service satisfaction, including e-mail responses, according to a new survey. (WWD)
  • “Louis Vuitton’s Satellite View.” Finally, after two weeks of shows, a trend worth reporting about from the likes of Vuitton and Zegna (above) at the F/W 2014 men’s collections: space travel. (NY Times)
  • “Kate’s big date.” Give it up for Kate Moss today, who turned 40 today and in so doing owned virtually every fashion blog today. Pics of the megamodel this way. (Vogue UK)

 

Valence [vey-luh ns] n The capacity of a person or thing to react with or affect another, as by attraction or the facilitation of a function or activity.

Networks

Following

']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();