leather goods

EXCLUSIVE: Lancel Taps ‘Riverdale’ Actress Lili Reinhart as Brand Ambassador

EXCLUSIVE: Lancel Taps ‘Riverdale’ Actress Lili Reinhart as Brand Ambassador

PARIS — French leather goods brand Lancel hosted a cocktail at its historic store across from the Paris Opera on Thursday to celebrate the announcement of its new brand ambassador, Lili Reinhart.
The “Riverdale” star, dressed in a black vintage Valentino skirt suit with gold buttons, toured the stations where craftspeople demonstrated how they stitch and finish the bags, filming some of the action on her phone. She gamely ran through a gamut of poses with her white Ninon handbag, which also features in one of the campaign images shot by Peter Ash Lee.

“I can’t work with a company or a brand unless I actually would wear or use their product in real life,” the U.S. actress told WWD. Reinhart, who flew in from Vancouver and was heading back to Los Angeles, said she favors dinky styles. “I’m a minimalist. These days I definitely carry around a smaller bag on the day to day, but I like a big bag for the airport.”

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Founded in 1876, Lancel is a household name in France but is less well-known in the U.S., where it doesn’t have a presence. The brand’s most high-profile campaign to date was in 2008 and featured Isabelle Adjani, who also designed a bag for the house.

Lili Reinhart with the Idylle bag in Lancel’s spring campaign.

Peter Ash Lee/Courtesy of Lancel

“Being, obviously, in the industry, I’m exposed to a lot of designers that I otherwise wouldn’t have been, so I had heard of the brand, but I didn’t know how well-known it was in France,” Reinhart noted. “I appreciate the history of it, so that’s kind of what inspired me, and that it’s French and it’s not, maybe, a partnership that people would expect me to do.”

Acquired in 2018 by Italian accessories and luggage company Piquadro SpA, Lancel has stores in countries including China, Vietnam, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, Croatia and Greece, said the brand’s recently appointed managing director Francesco Pesci.

“I believe it’s the first time that Lancel has an international brand ambassador,” he said. “This decision is part of the strategy to rejuvenate the brand and also to develop the brand internationally.”

Most of Lancel’s customers, particularly in its domestic market, are aged between 35 and 45, but a growing number are in the 25 to 35 age bracket, he noted. That generation is increasingly sensitive to social values, making Reinhart — who has been vocal about issues including mental health and body image — a particularly good fit, according to Pesci.

The star, who plays Betty Cooper on “Riverdale,” was fresh off the premiere of the final season of the CW teen drama, which is streamed worldwide on Netflix. The brand had decked out the store with fragrant lilies in her honor, though Reinhart revealed she wasn’t named after the flower, but after the actress Lili Taylor.

The event went off without a hitch, despite coinciding with another round of nationwide protests against the French government’s pension reform. Perhaps it was down to the lucky charm in Reinhart’s handbag. “I keep usually a crystal with me, some sort of crystal for good energy,” she said with a smile.

Lili Reinhart with the Rodeo bag in Lancel’s spring campaign.

Peter Ash Lee/Courtesy of Lancel

Gucci Takes Over The Savoy’s Tea Shop With Luxury Travel

Gucci Takes Over The Savoy’s Tea Shop With Luxury Travel

LONDON — Gucci has set up shop inside London’s famed luxury hotel, The Savoy.

The brand has taken over the Savoy Tea Shop on the ground floor for three months, which usually sells tea and cake.

The short residency is a celebration of Gucci’s travel offerings, including trunks, trolleys, duffel bags, suitcases, garment bags, travel sets, stationery and pet accessories.

Ryan Gosling recently appeared in Gucci Valigeria’s campaign shot by photographer Glen Luchford. He joins the brand’s high-profile celebrity portfolio that includes Harry Styles, Florence Welch and Jared Leto.

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Ryan Gosling starring in Gucci Valigeria’s campaign.

Courtesy of Gucci

In the early 20th century, Guccio Gucci worked as a luggage porter at The Savoy. His observations of guests coming in and out with their exquisite luggage is what inspired him to start an artisanal luggage atelier in 1921. 

The brand has since expanded into the world of accessories, ready-to-wear and cosmetics, as well as becoming synonymous with modern-day elegance.

In 2021, the hotel collaborated with Gucci on the transformation of the Royal Suite, featuring pieces from the Gucci Décor line: wallpaper with the brand’s double G logo; monogrammed cushions; scented candles, and more.

The Savoy has always been at the forefront of modernity, as it was one of the first hotels in the U.K. to have electric elevators, en-suite bathrooms, and to be lit by electricity.

Ivy Moliver Debuts Ivy Cove

Ivy Moliver Debuts Ivy Cove

Ivy Moliver has launched Ivy Cove, the seasoned designer’s take on an American accessories and leather goods brand.
“I know where I come from and of what I’m made,” said Moliver, who served as managing director and partner of Superior Leather Ltd. “I want to share a piece of my work and experience in making luxury accessories for all to enjoy. I also want to bring some of my practical travel secrets to the collections with styles that make traveling or simply going for a neighborhood stroll fun, effortless and understatedly chic.”
Headquartered in Montecito, Calif., the assortment of pieces launched in June with robust range that spans men, women, small leather goods, children’s and even pets. The brand channels a West Coast-ease mixed with functionality and features utility details, all seen through Moliver’s deep understanding of global artisans and tanneries.

According to the brand, its product are meant to be globally aware, taking into account sustainable practices. The brand is Gold Rated Italian Tannery Audited by Environmental Working Group and meets Global Organic Textile Standard Certified for its materials.
The new collection ranges from $15 to $418 and is selling on Ivycove.com and at select retailers.

CEO Talk: Iguatemi’s Cristina Betts Talks Business, Pandemic and New Role

CEO Talk: Iguatemi’s Cristina Betts Talks Business, Pandemic and New Role

As chief executive officer, Cristina Betts is the first female to head Iguatemi S.A., which specializes in mid-tier and luxury shopping centers in Brazil. The company has equity in 14 malls, two premium outlets, one power center and three commercial towers, and is listed on the São Paulo Stock Exchange.Having previously served as chief financial officer, Betts succeeds Carlos Jereissati, making her the first non-family member to run the company that dates back to 1966.
In a recent interview, Betts spoke about how Iguatemi has weathered the pandemic and is maintaining consumer connections. From her viewpoint, after a few years of a recession and two years of the pandemic, the company is seeing an “incredible bounce back” with some tenants posting double-digit and even triple-digit sales increases compared to 2019 and mall foot traffic is also up to pre-pandemic levels. After Brazil’s three-month lockdown in 2020 and one-month lockdown, people were eager to be together and “nobody could stand to be at home any more.”

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A recent poll of nearly 100 private economists by the Brazilian central bank reportedly indicated that the economy is expected to improve this year and also see a 1.51 percent GDP expansion this year. Inflation is expected to wrap up this year at nearly 8 percent and next year the forecast for inflation is 5 percent.
“I know the world is a little more complicated in terms of economics and so on, but May numbers [showed] a 36 percent increase in sales versus May 2019,” she said.
For the second quarter in a “preliminary, non-audited document that is subject to later review,” Iguatemi reported total sales for its portfolio increased 30.2 percent, reaching 4.3 billion reals, or $790.4 million. Eight malls grew more than 30 percent in the second quarter compared to the same period in 2019. The company’s tenants are said to have seen same-store sales climb 31 percent compared to the same quarter in 2019. In terms of performance by segment, apparel, shoes, leather goods recorded a 51.2 percent gain versus the second quarter of 2019.

The exterior of Iguatemi Brasilia.

Photographer: Isaac Fausto

Iguatemi has unveiled Apartmento JK, a Marilla Pelegrini-designed space to welcome and entertain VIPs. The “Fashion Therapy Room” in Iguatemi 365 store in São Paulo has also bowed and is led by stylist Antenor Neto. The company continues to stage pop-up events in leading holiday destinations like Trancoso, Brazil.
While luxury brands and jewelers have performed well, especially at the start of the pandemic, supermarkets and sportswear brands have also gained ground with shoppers whose lifestyles have changed. Now everyone is doing well, especially Brazilian brands, apparel and restaurants, the CEO said.
Here, Betts talks about Iguatemi’s recent performance, the makeup of its malls, and being a female CEO of a major company.
WWD: What about concerns about a recession, shipping issues and the war in Ukraine? In the U.S. and in Europe, people are becoming much more tentative. Is that not happening there?
Cristina Betts.: Yes, it’s happening. Twenty to 30 percent of our portfolio is international brands, not only the luxury brands. But 70 percent of the brands are local and source locally. A lot of international brands also source locally. Part of the shipping problems involve shipping from Asia and Europe, but it still hasn’t affected our numbers. It’s not that we aren’t concerned. There are issues of course with receiving inventory and also not only a recession in Brazil but globally [as seen in] hikes in interest rates and inflation. I know the rest of the world is very concerned about inflation. We are also concerned but we have lived through worse.

WWD: What’s causing the shift in consumer behavior in Brazil?
C.B.: The pandemic accelerated the shift. We cater to a middle to high-end consumer. We have the flagship malls in São Paulo, Campinas…and various parts of the country. With this mid to high-end, the conversion is higher. During the pandemic, that was kind of natural because all of the [other] leisure options were restricted. [Not so for] being at the shopping mall and consuming, whether that be a product, service or going to a restaurant. From now on, I think a lot of consumers are going to buy a lot more locally than buying elsewhere. They’ve figured out it’s easier and basically the same price as buying stuff from the U.S., Europe and so on. We’ve also upgraded the restaurants, which cater to breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon snacks or a glass of Champagne at four o’clock in the afternoon.WWD: There’s been so much discussion about the death of malls. How do you see things changing with shopping malls?
C.B.: I’m biased [laughs]. The truth is it’s fantastic that you have convenience online, but people live offline, hopefully. My 11-year-old is on Roblox everyday meeting her friends after school. But she much prefers to be with them at school or at their houses playing together. Malls in Brazil have always had a very different configuration than other parts of the world. They are very much a place for meeting. People’s everyday lives revolve around the mall. They have lunch here everyday. They go to the movies here. They shop here for [everything from] the Gucci handbag to school shoes for their kids. It really is a one-stop shop for everything and is smack in the middle of the city normally.
WWD: Shoplifting and organized retail crime have become more of an issue in certain countries. Are you seeing that increase?
C.B.: One of the things we always think about in our malls is, “How do we boost security?” We have an intense security system, personnel people at the doors, cameras monitoring all of our corridors and main tenants. Over the decades, one of the things that has happened is that there aren’t a lot of fancy street retailers in Brazil because of security. Luxury tenants chose to migrate from street retail to the mall because it’s safer. It’s always been a concern for us. It hasn’t really changed. If there are going to be public movements going through the city, we are always very prepared for this sort of thing.

WWD: Have you changed any of the safeguards during the pandemic?
C.B.: No, we have different moments, where we boost security depending on what’s happening in the country or the city. We’re moving into an election year. Typically you have a lot of movements that go by our malls and we will have different types of procedures during them. But that’s a normal part of our routine already.
WWD: Are you changing the way you operate due to the recent shooting in a Copenhagen shopping center (which killed three people) and those types of incidents?
C.B.: Brazil has always had a different type of scenario than other parts of the world so we have always had a different kind of configuration for security. We always have to look at our country and see how we work within our country.
WWD: Where are the greatest opportunities?
C.B.: We were the first company to IPO in our segment in Brazil in 2007. From then up until 2015 or 2016, we grew a lot by building out new malls and expansions. In this next decade, our biggest opportunity is in M&A….When you think about how Uniball bought Westfield or Simon [Properties] is a big consolidator in the States, nobody’s played that role in Brazil yet. We only own about 64 or 65 percent of our own portfolio so there is a lot of minority interest that we can look to buy within our portfolio and then think about consolidating other assets. It’s not that we’re never going to build something new. I think it’s going to happen, but maybe not at the same speed that we used to do in the past.
WWD: Are there any areas that you are looking to invest in or take a stake in?
C.B.: We are a mall owner/operator. We own these assets that are the mid, high-end malls in each of their given locations. The idea is that we do more of the same at different locations. We look at increasing participation in our assets but not going too far from where we are.
WWD: How has the investment in Etiqueta Única played out?
C.B.: We have our own marketplace Iguatemi 365 that is a digital shopping mall. Etiqeta Única has two angles — one we are moving toward a more digital omnipresence. We want to leverage what we do well in the physical world and take that to the digital world, which is why 365 has the same kinds of curated products and brands that we have in our malls. Etiqueta Única has the same feel but also something that is very new to us — secondhand. It is the largest secondhand digital store in the country and they cater only to luxury brands — Gucci, Chanel — which fits very well with our positioning. We have a lot of consumers that we think will be suppliers to Etiqueta Única. We also have a very aspirational public here that wants or may be first-time consumers of all these brands. Some want to try them out. Etiqueta Única is solely digital now but we are thinking about how to integrate them into our physical world as well.

WWD: Will that mean brick-and-mortar stores?
C.B.: We don’t know yet but it does make sense to have your customer see the product.
WWD: How do you relay a sense of community when price points are inherently exclusionary for certain classes of people?
C.B.: Yes, we cater to mid- and high-end segments. Not everybody buys Gucci handbags everyday. You are right. We are a full-service mall. You can walk into our flagship mall in São Paulo and the first two stores are C&A and Lojas Americanas, which is where I go to buy candy and drawing paper for my daughters. Our malls have all types of services and stores that cater to all kinds of moments and different price points. But you also have the luxury.

The Brazilian company has equity holdings in 14 malls.

Photo by Marcelo Biscola/Courtesy

WWD: How does being a woman affect your role in the business world?
C.B.: It is something that I have been increasingly aware of especially now sitting as CEO of the company. I didn’t really think about it when I was a lot younger. For me, it was very important to make sure that I did what I had to do well and that I had my own voice. I’ve been very lucky that I’ve always had fantastic bosses that have given me space to work with. But I do realize there is a difference. Iguatemi has always been a heterogeneous environment where there has always been a lot of diversity. When I joined 14 years ago, half of our executive committee was women. Today it’s still half but if you look at the top management bracket from directors up, 46 percent of our executives are women. It’s already very gender-friendly and other different categories. People will think, “Ah, because you’re in the fashion world.” But I was the CFO of the company for several years. Maybe not the typical boy that you would imagine, right?…We want to make sure that our company has the same kind of availability and diversity that we have coming through the doors of our business everyday.
WWD: What might non-Brazilian people not know about how business is done in Brazil?
C.B.: Brazilians are very light in their approach to things. We are serious about what we do but everybody carries a good sense of humor. It’s true. We like having a light environment. We’re not very bureaucratic or heavy about processes. But it doesn’t mean that we’re not serious about what we do. We are very serious and very committed to the things that we do. It’s just that we do them hopefully having fun as well.

Montblanc Built a Temple to Handwriting in Hamburg

Montblanc Built a Temple to Handwriting in Hamburg

HAMBURG, Germany — “Dear Miss Roose, Thank you for your invitation.”So begins a longwinded negative RSVP handwritten on flowery paper by the late Karl Lagerfeld, displayed at the new Montblanc Haus, which blends elements of a museum, art gallery, hall of fame and school — adding up to a unique destination.
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Óscar Isaac and Dree Hemingway were among VIPs who descended on Hamburg Tuesday to christen the new building, which resembles a giant artist’s charcoal stick etched with a mountain scape and stamped with the German brand’s famous snowcap emblem. (The building’s design is actually an homage to historic pen packaging.)
Located next to Montblanc’s headquarters, and production facilities for its precious resin writing instruments and hand-ground gold nibs, the three-story structure also boasts a café, exhibition spaces, writing ateliers, an archive and academy.

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It’s the latest “immersive brand experience” served up by Europe’s big luxury brands, which are adding cultural and hospitality elements to their flagship projects — though Montblanc acknowledges that its new “house” on the fringes of Hamburg is more of a museum and gallery than a store, and will initially be open on weekdays only.

A pen with a dragon motif on display at Montblanc Haus in Hamburg.

So far, only groups of students have visited the permanent exhibitions, trying their hand at calligraphy and watching short films about the value of writing.
On Tuesday evening, editors, influencers and local dignitaries streamed through the sleek, 39,000-square-foot facility, gawking at diamond-studded “High Artistry” pens, Art Deco-style advertising posters, and examples of client penmanship from around the world.
“It’s about celebrating writing,” Montblanc chief executive officer Nicolas Baretzki said in an interview, describing the monumental mobile made of paper hanging near the entrance, and the squishy, ink-like lettering on walls that underscore the theme. “We want people to understand why handwriting is important; what are all the philosophical and cultural ideas behind writing?
“If people leave with some excitement and inspiration, I believe we have done the right job,” he added.
Montblanc Haus arrives at a time when the Richemont-owned luxury brand is navigating a spike in demand for its pricy pens, with its Limited Edition range currently out of stock, and a recent tie-up with Ferrari selling out “in a few days,” Baretzki said.
While he declined to give precise figures, he said, “we are definitely over pre-COVID-19 figures and the big challenge these days is producing enough to meet demand.”
The executive said Montblanc Haus was plunked deliberately in front of three buildings housing about 1,000 artisans who craft the brand’s pens, some nibs requiring 35 hand-hewn steps. Tours of the facilities, until now upon demand, will now be offered more widely as Montblanc seeks to fan interest in its most emblematic product, and using it to “leave a mark” on the world.
“I see it as a means to maximize our handprint,” the CEO said with a grin, deliberately sidestepping the word footprint to exalt the flourish of a penned word.

Varieties of handwriting and some sketches adorn the walls of Montblanc Haus.

About 400 exceptional writing instruments are on display in the new facility, representing about a tenth of Montblanc’s stash, along with the multiple component parts.

Baretzki noted that historic writing instruments have been a formidable font of inspiration for Montblanc’s artistic director, Marco Tomasetta, who arrived last year. Among Tomasetta’s new leather goods designs is a weekend bag in a shiny leather reminiscent of its iconic Meisterstück fountain pen, with zipper pulls and handle tabs shaped like nibs.
“More and more, we try to talk about Montblanc and not just isolated categories,” he said. “It’s a lot about brand themes about brand expression.”
Next up for Montblanc is an event in Paris on June 22 during Men’s Fashion Week to unveil a new theme and a new collection by Tomasetta.
In a separate interview, Vincent Montalescot, executive vice president of marketing, said the new facility was five years in the making, with teams “digging deeply in the archives.”
He noted that brand discovery emporiums are more common in consumer products industries, mentioning the likes of Lindt’s Home of Chocolate in Kilchberg, Switzerland or the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam. Sites that offered the Montblanc teams some luxury inspiration included the Louvre in Abu Dhabi and the L’École, School of Jewelry Arts supported by Van Cleef & Arpels, which, like Montblanc, is controlled by Compagnie Financière Richemont. But the archives informed everything from the architecture to the sleek and glossy furnishings in black and white.
While Montblanc Haus charts the company’s 116 years of history and exalts its savoir-faire, it has a broader goal of inspiring writing, and harnessing the creativity sparked when pen hits paper, Montalescot explained.
Displays and experiences are also meant to engage a wide range of audiences, from children to serious pen geeks.

An immersive digital installation at Montblanc Haus in Hamburg.

“A collector, someone really passionate about writing and Montblanc, will find amazing pieces and a kid will be inspired by the different opportunities to touch, to feel and to discover an environment and the power of writing,” Montalescot said.
Visitors can write postcards with Montblanc pens, sign up for creative writing classes and read handwritten notes from famous figures. Montalescot said the facility is meant to inspire visitors, and also invite them to “pause and reflect.”

Exhibitions blend high-tech and old-school elements. Visitors can step into a round room resembling a slice of a Montblanc pen and be surrounded by dazzling digital projections, while VIPs and VICs will be ferried into a “secret room” where they don white gloves and can inspect rare writing instruments.
“They both bring unique emotions,” he noted with a smile.
Montalescot said the archives shelter not only treasures from the past, but also possible roadmaps for the future. To wit: Having discovered autographs by writers such as Voltaire, Agatha Christie, Thomas Mann and Ernest Hemingway in storage, Montblanc decided to shift investments from contemporary art into rare signatures by the likes of Albert Einstein, Frida Kahlo, Reinhold Messner and Spike Lee, who appeared in a global Montblanc campaign in 2020.

Autographs by The Beatles are on display at Montblanc Haus in Hamburg.

Asked how many visitors Montblanc Haus might welcome in its first year, Montelescot shrugged, describing the business model as a “work in progress” and efforts to publicize the facility in its early stages, with Tuesday’s inauguration event the big kickoff.
However, the brand is mulling plans to “digitize the experience” and export elements to other Montblanc stores and perhaps pop-up installations. In 2024, the company will mark the centenary for the Meisterstück, its most iconic pen.
Alexa Schilz, director of brand heritage and sustainability at Montblanc, said she engaged two museologists to help contextualize and curate the archives, which include a treasure trove of advertising campaigns from 1922 through to the 1970s. These images document how fountain pens facilitated business travel — no ink well to balance on a bumpy train — and how Montblanc used the language and methods of fashion early, creating a collection of pens around 1907 that were given a fancy French name, “Rouge et Noir.”
“They saw the value in bringing something chic to the market,” Schilz said.
Writing samples on display in the exhibition areas include a small leather book containing the autographs of all members of The Beatles, and more prosaic exchanges, including notes from Italian architect and furniture designer Gio Ponti and his carpenters.
The boutique at Montblanc Haus mainly showcases writing instruments, some leather goods, a tiny selection of watches and personalized stationery, Schilz noted.

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Valextra’s CEO on Brand’s Men’s Accessories

Valextra’s CEO on Brand’s Men’s Accessories

MILAN — Valextra’s chief executive officer Xavier Rougeaux is aiming to expand the visibility of the brand in the men’s wear segment.
To this end, Rougeaux staged a presentation at the Milan flagship during Men’s Fashion Week, and highlighted the changes he felt were necessary. He is no stranger to the storied and luxury Italian leather goods brand, since he rejoined it in January after holding the role of marketing and commercial director from 2015 to 2016.
Rougeaux succeeded Sara Ferrero, who helmed Valextra for six years, and leverages his experience in the luxury sector as he was most recently the CEO of Smythson in London, which he joined in 2018, and he previously held senior positions at brands including Loro Piana and Sergio Rossi.

His arrival does not herald a revolution at Valextra, as he plans to continue to emphasize its prized craftsmanship and “engineering beauty,” he said, as well as the timelessness of its products. However, he is making changes that he believes will help modernize the brand. For example, the successful Avietta travel bag with its double compartments and external pockets is rendered in a softer printed calf that makes it more contemporary and flexible when on the go.
“The themes of mobility on the body and versatility are important,” the executive underscored. Pouches with adjustable straps are an example.

His goal is also to “expand the customer journey with a new architecture of different prices,” so that new customers can “approach, familiarize with and appreciate the brand,” starting for example from the new B-Tracollina Slim, a structural pouch bag, proportioned to carry an iPhone or Android device, as well as cards and keys and retailing at around 995 euros.
“Aesthetic elements are key, but so is functionality,” he said.

Xavier Rougeaux 
courtesy image

Highlights included the return of the classic Havana shade with contrasting stitching and the signature Costa lacquered piping in green — a tribute to the founder Giovanni Fontana; an update on the iconic Tric Trac wrist bag through an adjustable strap so it can be worn across the body — as well as by its wrist strap, and crossbody compartment bags.
The new weekend and travel Canvas bag is marked by Valextra’s signature rounded pocket which has a foiled code number unique to the bag and the artisan who made it. The architectural curved pocket is inspired by the windows of the first Valextra boutique in Milan. The canvas can be recycled, Rougeaux said.

Valextra’s new Canvas bag 
courtesy image

The new V-line Bumbag, crafted from Valextra’s signature Millepunte calf skin, has been designed to be worn either across the body or carried as a clutch with the strap removed. Comprising two compartments, one opens out to reveal card slots, a pen loop and pockets, while the other provides space for passports and tech, making it ideal for traveling.
The new Pocket handbag was inspired by the asymmetric lines of Valextra’s SLG collections and comprises three pockets — two snap-closing flap compartments and one central zipped space. The strap mechanism rotates 180 degrees to swing in sync with the body. Without the strap, it’s a capacious day-to-night clutch.
“Everything is artisanal but authentic and this is what the luxury customer wants,” Rougeaux mused.

As reported, Ralph Toledano joined Valextra’s board of directors in January. Toledano has headed brands including Karl Lagerfeld, Guy Laroche, Chloé and Puig’s fashion unit. He is the chairman of Victoria Beckham and the president of the Fédération Française de la Haute Couture et de la Mode. Toledano is also a partner in Neo Investment Partners, which bought a majority stake in Valextra in 2013. The London-based investment firm has stakes in fashion and lifestyle brands including Victoria Beckham Ltd., Miller Harris and Alain Mikli.

Roger Vivier, Unlike Edith Piaf, Has One Regret

Roger Vivier, Unlike Edith Piaf, Has One Regret

Many designers have been expressing nostalgia for the runway with their fall 2021 collection unveilings — and accessories specialists, too.
To wit: Roger Vivier’s creative director Gherardo Felloni created a film titled “Do We Show?” that expresses a yearning for the stage in a humorous and camp way.
Felloni recruited doppelgängers for Josephine Baker, Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe and Edith Piaf — all Vivier clients or muses of yore — and depicts them as front-row guests at a couture show that never quite gets underway. Bored — and seduced by the microphone, stage and spotlight — each takes a turn trying to perform without an audience.
Spoiler alert: It’s a deadly undertaking.

Actors impersonating Josephine Baker, Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf appear in Roger Vivier’s fall 2021 film. 

“It’s an homage to performers in general,” Felloni explained Tuesday night as workers readied an installation in Vivier’s Paris salons that included faux couture gowns in a 1950s style and a row of empty chairs with invitations bearing the names of those five iconic woman. “We are missing shows. We are missing performers.”
Vivier was to welcome editors by appointment on Wednesday to view the collection.
The film is a hoot, the actresses in thrall of their juicy roles, and Felloni managed to find shoes from his fall 2021 collection that fit each character: discreet buckle-toe flats for Piaf, feather-trimmed and crystal-studded booties for Baker, and fierce, almost fetishistic riding boots for Dietrich.

Felloni acknowledged that the fall collection is sexier than usual, and includes his first high, platform heels. One of the styles with distinct toe dent was partly inspired by a pair of shoes belonging to Jeanne Moreau that Vivier purchased at auction last October when the French actress’ wardrobe went under the hammer at Artcurial in Paris.
He described his new bag Viv Choc as having the same spirit with its harness-like black leather strap and demonstrative hardware.

A platform bootie from Roger Vivier’s fall 2021 collection. 

Count Felloni among designers who is banking on women wanting to dress up once the world emerges from confinement in the wake of the  pandemic — and one who felt the need to acknowledge the impact of canceled events, concerts, fashion shows and exhibitions.
“I think that we have to face this moment, and we have to try to find something funny,” he said in an interview. “We have to continue to make people dream because it’s my job actually, in fashion. Basically, it’s our job now to try to find a way to escape.”
Across town, shoemaker J.M. Weston created a fashion-show setting to display a collection of couture loafers, while fashion brands that expressed nostalgia for runway shows during the latest digital version of Paris Fashion Week included Ami Paris.
See also:
Roger Vivier to Auction Rare Shoes

Tod’s Acquires Roger Vivier Trademark

EXCLUSIVE: Gherardo Felloni on His First Steps at Roger Vivier

Delvaux Could Shed 26 Jobs at Belgian Headquarters

Delvaux Could Shed 26 Jobs at Belgian Headquarters

PARIS — Delvaux is restructuring operations and could shed 26 jobs at its Belgian headquarters, according to a statement issued by the historic handbag maker.
The move is part of a plan to streamline operations in a bid to improve agility, the house said. “In order to meet current demands of the market and offer clients the high-end service they seek, the Delvaux Maison must imperatively improve agility,” it said, citing the need to improve logistics.
Delvaux plans to shift quality control and distribution operations to production sites in France. The headquarters, meanwhile, will remain in Belgium, where administrative and creative activities will remain, including producing prototypes and exceptional or made-to-measure products, according to the plans. The leather goods house has two production sites in France, the Avoudrey site in the Doubs region and Bourg-Argental site in the Loire region in Eastern France.

The company described a “costly and complicated” system whereby raw materials were inspected at the headquarters before being sent to France for production. The Belgian headquarters counts 155 employees, out of 624 worldwide.
“The restructuring plan sought by Delvaux is necessary to respond to logistical and financial needs today and to prepare challenges of tomorrow in a disrupted world economy,” said the company.
Before the coronavirus crisis walloped consumer markets around the world, Delvaux had undergone changes. The house reinstalled Marco Probst as chief executive officer in December 2019, replacing luxury goods veteran Jean-Marc Loubier, who stepped down. In his parting message, Loubier noted the house faced serious challenges when First Heritage Brands took control of it in 2011.
Loubier worked to raise the international profile of the prestigious Belgian label, known for a long-standing relation with the Belgian royal court as an official supplier since 1883, by building a store network abroad and investing in workshops in France and Belgium.
The brand has pushed into Asian markets, in China, South Korea and Japan, and opened flagships on New York’s Fifth Avenue, Bond Street in London and in the Palazzo Reina in Milan, as well as a temporary location on the Rue Saint Honoré in Paris.

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