LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton

Emma Roberts Talks Paris, ‘Pretty Woman’ and Big Teeth

Emma Roberts Talks Paris, ‘Pretty Woman’ and Big Teeth

PARIS — Emma Roberts took it as a sign of good luck that a bug had landed in her Champagne on Monday at the open-air dinner in Paris that jeweler Fred threw in her honor, and the Pretty Woman jewelry range she fronts.The ebullient American actress, wearing a puff-shouldered dress by Carolina Herrera and carrying a feather-y Jimmy Choo clutch, was handed a fresh glass of Ruinart just in time to toast Fred chief executive officer Charles Leung and the guests seated at long tables appointed with pink flowers, red lollipops and personalized napkins.
The collection of heart-shaped jewelry has been a hit for LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned Fred, and helped introduce Millennials and Gen Z to the hit 1990 movie “Pretty Woman” that propelled Roberts’ aunt Julia to superstardom and made a fancy necklace a memorable prop in a pivotal scene.

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“It’s one of those movies that just doesn’t get old,” Roberts enthused during an interview the next day at her suite at the Crillon hotel. “I remember seeing it for the first time, it was on TV and I was probably like 13. I was completely captured by the wardrobe, obviously the iconic jewelry and my aunt’s smile….I remember laughing out loud, but then also it’s very emotional, too.”

Jewelry from Fred’s Pretty Woman collection.
Stephane Feugere/WWD

The “American Horror Story” and “Unfabulous” actress shot the spots for the Pretty Woman jewelry remotely about 18 months ago, but could only now make the trip to France to meet with Fred executives and local press.
Among the most nerve-wracking things about the campaign was wearing red lipstick, which her mother had long banished from the house, figuring her beautiful young daughter did not need much makeup.
“It was just funny because even though I’m 30, I was still nervous to show her the red lipstick on an 8-foot billboard,” she said, referring to the cardboard images hung up for the Paris event.
While holed up doing interviews on Tuesday, Roberts confessed she had managed to buy enough on a single shopping excursion to warrant extra luggage for cashmere sweaters and cotton tote bags from concept store Merci, coffee from Verlet, and books from Shakespeare and Company and W.H. Smith, where Roberts scored “W-3: A Memoir” by Bette Howland that she can’t put down.
A reading enthusiast, Roberts founded the online book club Belletrist with her best friend Karah Preiss, and it has morphed into a production house that adapts their favorite titles for the screen.
First up is “First Kill,” which Roberts describes as a “Juliet and Juliet love story” involving a family of vampires and vampire hunters. The upcoming Netflix series is based on a short story by V.E. Schwab.
Following that is “Tell Me Lies,” described by Roberts as a “relationship thriller” for Hulu based on Carola Lovering’s novel and starring Grace Van Patten.
Roberts, who gave birth to her first child in December, said she’s planning to ride out the balance of the year without making movies in order to enjoy her son Rhodes’ first Thanksgiving and Christmas.
She just wrapped two movies: the psychological thriller “Abandoned” about a couple raising a baby in the middle of nowhere amid strange occurrences, and the “carefree, uplifting” romantic comedy “About Fate,” set in Boston and co-starring Thomas Mann.

With Roberts’ father Eric an accomplished star of small and big screens, has her son shown any signs of inheriting the acting gene yet?
“He’s nine months old,” she said with an incredulous and toothy laugh, then confessing: “Well, it looks like he’s getting the Roberts teeth. His front teeth are coming in, and they’re quite big.”

Investors Are Cautious About Luxury Sector, Barclays Finds

Investors Are Cautious About Luxury Sector, Barclays Finds

Luxury’s biggest players start reporting third-quarter results this week, and Barclays doesn’t expect them “to be a key catalyst for the space.”After speaking with more than 50 investors across Europe, Asia, the U.S. and the Middle East, the British bank found “a cautious view on the sector, mainly because of the lack of visibility around China and concerns around growth normalization after a strong COVID-19 recovery period.”
“We think investors will need reassurance on the ability of the sector to continue delivering solid top-line growth and to maintain resilient margins,” Barclays said in a report released Monday.
It expects investors to be hungry for indications on current trading in China and the U.S., and the outlook for those linchpin markets.

“The third quarter has been disrupted by the comments made by the Chinese government around common prosperity and curbing excessively high income, and by concerns around a potential slowdown in the U.S. market,” Barclays said.

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In China, there are concerns about the potential for further regulations around the entertainment industry and social media platforms that could impact how brands communicate with consumers, and about a climate in which “flaunting one’s wealth” could be frowned upon.
For the U.S., investors expect a more cautious outlook as the impact of stimulus checks fades and outsize demand normalizes.
Investors seem divided on prospects for Swatch and Kering, whereas they largely accepted Barclay’s “overweight” ratings on Compagnie Financière Richemont and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
LVMH is to report its third-quarter results after the French stock market closes on Tuesday and Barclays expects “solid trends” and organic growth of 22 percent for the group and its fashion and leather goods business segment.
“Trends at Kering, however, should be less impressive, as the company indicated that the third quarter should remain a transition quarter for Gucci. We forecast organic growth of 9 percent for Gucci and 11 percent for Kering,” the report said.
The pressure seems to be ratcheting up on Kering to make an acquisition that might reduce its overexposure to Gucci.
Investors pushed back on Barclays’ overweight rating for Swatch “as the market remains skeptical about management’s ability to deliver on guidance. The group is also seen as exposed to a structurally challenging industry.”
Barclays forecasts organic growth of 25 percent in the third quarter for Hermès International and first-half organic growth of 58 percent for Richemont.
LVMH Sees No Shift Away From Luxury Goods as Markets Reopen
Can U.S. Consumers Keep Delivering Growth for Luxury Brands?
Richemont Grows Leather Goods With Delvaux Purchase

Sources: Pucci Tapped an LVMH Insider as Its Next Designer

Sources: Pucci Tapped an LVMH Insider as Its Next Designer

Camille Miceli, a seasoned creative who has worked in the design departments of Dior and Louis Vuitton, is headed to Italy to take on Emilio Pucci, WWD has learned.
Market sources said Miceli is to start at the Florentine house sometime later this year. She could not immediately be reached for comment.
As reported, Pucci recently revealed plans to return to its roots as a resort-focused brand after years of behaving like a designer house with runways shows in Milan and boutiques on Avenue Montaigne in Paris and Madison Avenue in New York.
The glamorous Miceli, fond of the seaside and the mountains, is seen as a natural incarnation of the brand and its lifestyle.
Considered one of Italy’s fashion pioneers in outfitting the jet set, Emilio Pucci began designing skiwear out of jersey fabrics in 1947 and opened his house in 1949. His colorful, graphic motifs quickly became a signature of the house.

Most recently, Miceli worked under Nicolas Ghesquière at Vuitton as accessories creative director, according to her LinkedIn profile. Before that, she advised on certain leather goods at Christian Dior and designed costume jewelry, which become an important and vibrant category fueled by her designs.
A vivacious fixture on the Paris fashion scene, Miceli joined Vuitton’s public relations department in 1997 just as Marc Jacobs arrived as its artistic director. Encouraged by the American designer, Miceli segued into creative pursuits and began designing costume jewelry collections at Vuitton.
Miceli started her fashion career at age 15 when she interned at Chanel and Azzedine Alaïa. She spent seven years as a publicist at Chanel before joining Vuitton.
Controlled by LVMH since 2000, Pucci has experimented with a variety of permanent designers over the years, including Julio Espada, Christian Lacroix, Matthew Williamson, Peter Dundas and MSGM’s Massimo Giorgetti, and also studio configurations. The brand had recently experimented with guest designers, including Christelle Kocher of France and Japan’s Tomo Koizumi.
EXCLUSIVE: Emilio Pucci to Reboot as Resort-focused Brand
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Louis Vuitton Is Celebrating Its Founder’s 200th Birthday in a Big Way: EXCLUSIVE

Louis Vuitton Is Celebrating Its Founder’s 200th Birthday in a Big Way: EXCLUSIVE

Louis Vuitton, who spawned a global luxury giant synonymous with travel, actually started his entrepreneurial journey on foot, setting off from the tiny town of Anchay in eastern France at age 13.
Two hundred years after his birth, the Vuitton company is marking the milestone in ways its founder never could have imagined, including a video game with embedded NFTs, a documentary on Apple TV, window installations, artworks, and social media activations galore.
“Media is evolving so quickly that every time there’s a new way of communicating, you have to tell your story all over again,” said Michael Burke, chairman and chief executive officer of Vuitton. “Generations are now defined by technology, not by age.”

And yet the life story of Vuitton, who eventually reached Paris after two years and apprenticed at renowned trunk maker and packer Romain Maréchal, contains many universal business truths, including the necessity of taking risks, of staying close to the customer, and of passing the baton to the next generation at the right time.

Louis Vuitton was a packing specialist when he opened his house in 1854. 

“It’s important to learn from these journeys, to know that somebody before you went through the same trials and tribulations, that somebody before you made big bets, took big risks,” Burke said in an exclusive interview, marveling at Vuitton’s courage to spend nights sleeping in the woods as he made his way to the French capital. “It’s about going through experiences in life.”

Vuitton will begin unfurling bicentennial birthday celebrations under the banner of “Louis 200” on Aug. 4, exactly 200 years after the founder’s birth. Beginning that day, “Louis: The Game” can be downloaded through the App Store and Google Play for Android systems.
Burke trumpeted the game’s importance for Vuitton’s employees: “The best way to engage people is the through the medium they like.”
Also on Aug. 4, windows will be unveiled across Vuitton’s global network of boutiques that will showcase trunks reimagined by 200 notable people from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, including illustrator Jean-Philippe Delhomme, interior designer Pierre Yovanovitch, Paralympic swimmer Théo Curin, art director Willo Perron, and architect Peter Marino, whose hardcore harness trunk takes cues from his leather-daddy wardrobe.

Architect Peter Marino conceived this trunk for Louis Vuitton’s windows. 

Other activations will happen later in the year including:
• a fictional novel, based on historical facts, by French writer Caroline Brognard. Titled “Louis Vuitton, L’Audacieux,” it will be published in French by Gallimard in regular and deluxe editions from October, with an English translation coming in November
• a documentary titled “Looking for Louis” that retraces the adventures of the young entrepreneur, to be broadcast on Apple TV’s Explore channel from December
• a large-scale triptych by acclaimed American artist Alex Katz that will be unveiled some time in the fall
• a “cuvée spéciale” from the LVMH-owned Champagne brand Veuve Clicquot, also some time in the second half

Alex Katz painted this portrait of Louis Vuitton. 

Founded in 1854, Louis Vuitton is today one of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s most successful and profitable heritage brands, prized for its legacy, craftsmanship and savoir-faire.

Burke stressed the importance of innovation and risk-taking, something the founder embodied.
“I believe the great majority of success stories, they didn’t start with the past, they start with the future. They start with creativity, innovation, disruption,” he said. “Mythical companies like Louis Vuitton need to always maintain that balance between tomorrow and yesterday.”
To be sure, the founder had sharp instincts and all the right connections when he finally set up his own maison at 4 rue Neuve-des-Capucines amid all the major fashion houses in the Place Vendôme neighborhood of Paris. He became close to haute couture pioneer Charles Frederick Worth and was appointed the official trunk maker and packer for Empress Eugénie.
From this vantage point, Vuitton saw how bulging, panniered dresses yielded to sleeker styles, meaning trunks did not need to be so voluminous. “He went to people’s homes and he saw how the clothes changed and he adapted to the clothes,” Burke explained.

An advertisement circa 1910 for Louis Vuitton’s wardrobe trunk. 

The young Frenchman also divined that new ways of traveling, including overseas crossings, would require new kinds and shapes of luggage.
Among his inventions was Gris Trianon, a coated canvas that made cases waterproof, and a flat lid for trunks that made them stackable on ships, trains and other newfangled modes of transportation. Previously, trunks had convex lids for strength and weather resistance while riding on the backs of stagecoaches.
Burke said hundreds of trunk makers followed Vuitton’s flat-lid design, “but everyone remembers he did it first.”
In 1888 came the checkered and branded canvas dubbed Damier, Vuitton’s way of coping with many counterfeiters who had copied the striped canvas he had introduced in 1872.
Burke stressed that Vuitton’s manufacturing capabilities helped drive product innovation, and he registered patents for many technological and typological innovations in his Asnières atelier, which turned out the first soft bags toward the end of the 1800s — precursors to the modern handbag.

Louis Vuitton trunks with a variety of canvas designs. 
Patrick Gries

“He was able to innovate because he was a manufacturer. So he knew how to handle wood and metal. He invented the un-pickable lock because he was making them,” he said.

The founder also innovated via distribution, encouraging his son Georges to learn English and set up Vuitton’s first outpost beyond France in London in 1885, the first steps of its internationalization.
According to Burke, Louis Vuitton surely saw his son tinkering with the LV initials, geometric designs and floral patterns of what would become the iconic Monogram canvas, which was introduced in 1896, four years after the founder’s death.
Georges continued the company’s international expansion in 1898 when he started retailing his trunks in the United States through merchant John Wanamaker, who operated department stores in Philadelphia and New York.
“These are unusual, audacious decisions — no different than bringing in Marc Jacobs, an American, or Nicolas Ghesquière, or Virgil Abloh, another American,” Burke said.
The Vuitton of today continues to surprise and take risks, with Burke casually mentioning that the brand just launched a portable connected speaker that resembles one of the spinning top-shaped handbags Ghesquière designed. “We sold 3,000 the first day,” the executive noted proudly.
Products — whether it’s a down-filled women’s boot or a transparent Keepall bag — are what grabs the consumer’s attention the most, but in Burke’s estimation, it’s the intangible aspects of Louis Vuitton’s legacy — including putting the company ahead of himself — that explain its longevity, and its magic.
“Louis was a visionary, much more than just when it came to product, but also on distribution, on client service, on globalization and transmitting his company to the next generation. That’s the reason Vuitton is still around.
“We’re now in our third century,” Burke said. “We’re involved in something much bigger than our generation. Within the company, there’s a strong sense of duty to continue the story.”
See also:
LVMH Sees No Shift Away From Luxury Goods as Markets Reopen

Louis Vuitton Expands in Tokyo With New Tower, Café — and Chocolate Shop

Louis Vuitton Sets Expo at Paris’ Grand Palais

Kering Net Profit Up 159.5% in H1 as U.S., Asia Sales Rebound

Kering Net Profit Up 159.5% in H1 as U.S., Asia Sales Rebound

PARIS — French luxury group Kering said net profit rose 159.5 percent in the first half versus the same period last year, as revenues rebounded sharply from the lows plumbed during the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to a strong rise in retail sales in North America and the Asia Pacific region.
Organic sales at its cash cow brand Gucci, which is celebrating its centenary, continued to improve in the second quarter. Revenues totaled 2.31 billion euros, up 86.1 percent on a like-for-like basis, following a 24.6 percent rise in the first quarter.
That was above a consensus of analyst estimates, which called for a 79 percent jump in comparable sales at the maker of Jackie handbags and horsebit loafers.

By comparison, organic sales at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s key fashion and leather goods division rose 122 percent year-over-year in the second quarter, reflecting the resilience of its star brands Louis Vuitton and Dior. Compared with the same period in 2019, the division’s revenues were up 40 percent.
Reporting first-half results after the market close, Kering said group revenues in the three months to June 30 jumped 91.1 percent year-on-year to 4.16 billion euros, representing a rise of 95 percent in comparable terms.
This compared with a 21.4 percent increase in the first quarter, and was above the consensus forecast for an 83 percent sales rise. Sales were up 11.2 percent versus the same period in 2019, Kering noted.

The group, whose brands also include Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta and Balenciaga, posted net income of 569.3 million euros in the first half. Recurring operating profit was up 134.9 percent to 2.24 billion euros, yielding an operating margin of 27.8 percent, up from 17.7 percent in the same period last year.
Kering said recurring operating profit was almost equivalent to its level in the first half of 2019. By comparison, LVMH reported that profit from recurring operations was up 44 percent versus the same period in 2019.
“All our houses contributed to a sharp rebound in total revenue, which comfortably exceeded its 2019 level, with a remarkable acceleration in the second quarter,” François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of Kering, said in a statement.
“While returning to substantial profitability and leveraging the desirability of our brands, we are stepping up the pace of our investments in our houses and strategic initiatives, notably to enhance the exclusivity and control of our distribution,” he added.
Online sales accounted for 14 percent of Kering’s retail revenues in the first half of 2021, versus 13 percent in the same period a year ago.
Luca Solca, analyst at Bernstein, sees an upside for Kering shares, as the comparison basis for Gucci should ease in the second half. “Kering is trading at a significant lower multiple to LVMH, and many in the market are keen to see reasons to believe in a re-rating story,” he said in a report dated April 30.
Solca, who has a target price of 779 euros on the Kering stock, praised Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri for beefing up the creative pipeline with a steady stream of capsule collections and collaborations that should offset the risk of consumers tiring of creative director Alessandro Michele’s designs.

The Kering results come on the heels of figures from Compagnie Financière Richemont showing sales rose 22 percent at constant exchange rates in the three months to June 30 versus the same period in 2019, driven by the strong performance of its jewelry maisons, led by Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels.
Meanwhile, Burberry reported retail sales at constant exchange rates jumped 98 percent year-on-year in the first quarter ended June 26, fueled by continued strong growth in mainland China, South Korea and the Americas.
Hermès International is the next big luxury player scheduled to report second-quarter results, on Friday.
Marco Bizzarri on Next Chapter of Gucci
LVMH Sees No Wallet Shift Away From Luxury Goods as Markets Reopen
Marco Gobbetti on the Velocity of Luxury, and Building Up Burberry

Louis Vuitton Spotlights Eco-Design Thrust With Unisex Sneaker

Louis Vuitton Spotlights Eco-Design Thrust With Unisex Sneaker

PARIS — Following in the footsteps of its LV Trainer Upcycling men’s shoe, unveiled earlier this year, Louis Vuitton is launching the Charlie, its first unisex sneaker, made using 90 percent recycled and bio-sourced materials.
In what the brand described as a test model in its ongoing efforts to switch to a company-wide eco-design process, the French luxury house developed the sneaker after conducting a life cycle analysis on five of its men’s shoes last year, said Christelle Capdupuy, global head of sustainability at Louis Vuitton.
“This allowed us to identify the levers to reduce the environmental impact of our shoes, and the Charlie is the result of all this scientific, technical work that has been done,” Capdupuy told WWD.

Due to be launched on Nov. 12, the Charlie features a sole made up of at least 94 percent recycled rubber, which the executive described as a “huge technical prowess in the sneakers market.”
The upper is composed of smooth and grained synthetic material, produced from recycled polyester and a layer of Biopolioli, a corn-based plastic. The tongue patch, back of the shoe and LV logo are made with Econyl regenerated nylon created from nylon waste such as fishing nets, fabric scraps and industrial plastic.
Though Vuitton’s offer of sustainable products remains small, it’s steadily expanding, in line with the commitments outlined in the brand’s sustainable development plan, titled “Our committed journey,” presented in September 2020.

The company actually introduced its first upcycled collection, Be Mindful, in 2019. It featured silk scarves from previous collections that were given a second life with the addition of fringing, or used for bracelets, earrings and other accessories.

Virgil Abloh 
Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

Virgil Abloh, artistic director of men’s collections at Vuitton, has been the policy’s most visible advocate, introducing a new Upcycling Signal Logo emblem with his spring 2021 collection, which ushered in a multifaceted sustainability initiative, where work can be recycled, upcycled and even reissued in its original form.
That logo, which resembles the well-known symbol for recycling originally credited to Gary Anderson, has been adopted company-wide for all products that are either upcycled, or contain at least 50 percent of recycled and bio-sourced raw materials, Capdupuy said.
“The objective is not to design capsule collections. The objective is to transform gradually all of our processes, all of our raw materials,” she said. “It’s like a huge cargo freighter that is changing course.”
By 2025, Vuitton aims to use 100 percent responsibly sourced raw materials; switch to 100 percent renewable energy in its production and logistics sites, and have all products comply with an eco-design process. This places the brand ahead of parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s groupwide “Life 360” program.
Detailing progress made so far, Capdupuy said that by the end of 2020, 52 percent of Vuitton’s raw materials were already responsibly sourced. Among them, 78 percent of the leather used came from Leather Working Group-certified tanneries, and 67 percent of cotton was certified.

“It’s not easy to change the way we do things,” she admitted. “So at some point, it’s very interesting to test yourself on a product. The Charlie is the result of a collaboration between marketing, the environmental division, our production site in Italy and our suppliers. It’s allowed us to test and source the most ambitious raw materials, in terms of environmental impact, and now we’re learning.”
Speaking shortly after the launch of the LV Trainer Upcycling, Abloh similarly described the shoe as a “case study.” Launched in five colorways, it was made using LV Trainer sneakers from his debut collection for the house in 2018.
Given the designer’s reputation as a sneaker guru, with a highly successful ongoing collaboration with Nike, the buying team assumed this inaugural style would be a runaway success.
“We ordered way more than the market was ready to adopt of a new design, so we had stock of those that hadn’t sold through initially. And I was like, instead of this being a negative, I immediately went into, ‘This is a great way for us, as a luxury house, to just think about the history of this shoe,’” Abloh said.
“With that overstock, I’ve reinterpreted it, and I think that for us as a luxury house in terms of value, it doesn’t depreciate, no matter what. Especially in sneaker culture, if you see what’s happening on StockX, shoes trade for 10 times their value when they’re older. So there’s a lot of new things at play,” he added.

The LV Trainer Upcycling sneakers designed by Virgil Abloh. 
Grégoire Vieille/Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Abloh, who defines himself not as a designer, but rather as an “artistic director for a new and different area,” has long subscribed to the theory that modifying an existing object by three percent turns it into “something special.” While that approach has exposed him to accusations of copying, it naturally lends itself to recycling.
“Design doesn’t stop,” he said. “Just because it’s been seen, and it’s been out there, doesn’t mean that you have to crumple that piece of paper up and start from zero. Just because it’s older, doesn’t mean that it’s devalued. That’s me just trying to come up with a new system, especially with the work at Vuitton.”
LVMH has signaled its confidence in the designer by expanding his remit beyond fashion, announcing this week that he would be given leeway to launch brands and seal partnerships across the full range of its activities — a move that has earned him comparisons with the late Karl Lagerfeld.

Capdupuy noted there was a real demand from luxury consumers for responsibly sourced products, even with hefty price tags.
“We’re not just talking about fast-fashion consumers and 20-year-olds,” she said. “Every luxury brand is using recycled and upcycled raw materials and it’s still something really luxurious, because it’s rare. Raw materials are rare, and everyone realizes that today. In fact, not using recycled raw materials would be a waste.”
For instance, LVMH earlier this year launched Nona Source, an online resale platform for the group’s deadstock fabrics and leathers. Meanwhile, thanks to technological advances, recycled materials are able to meet the highest quality standards, Capdupuy said.
“To be honest, I think it would have been difficult to create the Charlie 10 years ago,” she said. “Today, we’re able to produce shoes that have a low environmental impact with raw materials that meet our requirements in terms of quality, durability and comfort, and that obviously represents years of R&D by our suppliers.”

Louis Vuitton’s unisex Charlie sneaker. 
Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

The Charlie sneakers will be available in U.S. sizes 3 to 13, priced at $1,080 for the low-top version and $1,130 for the high-top style. They come in a box made of 100 percent recycled cardboard, which can be used as a shopping bag thanks to its handle made from Tencel fibers originating from renewable wood sources.
Earlier this month, Vuitton launched a line of bags designed by Abloh using eco felt, made using a range of organic and recycled fibers, with prices ranging from 2,000 euros for an extra-small Keepall to 4,100 euros for a full-sized weekender.
“I’m just happy that my studio is a part of the conversation. We’re investigating, if that makes sense, rather than saying, ‘This is it.’ And I like that people can feel me trying new ideas. That’s the heart of my creativity,” he said.
LVMH Widens Virgil Abloh’s Role Beyond Fashion
LVMH Stresses Eco-Design Thrust With New Life 360 Targets
Virgil Abloh Dives In on ‘Ethical Fashion’ Podcast

Phoebe Philo Is Launching Her Own Fashion House

Phoebe Philo Is Launching Her Own Fashion House

Phoebe Philo is returning to fashion with an independent, namesake house — and with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton as a minority investor.
The acclaimed British designer told WWD she would create clothing and accessories “rooted in exceptional quality and design,” and would divulge more details about her new brand in January 2022.
WWD broke the news in February 2020 that Philo had started planning a new collection and interviewing designers. According to market sources, she has had a small team working in London since late last year.
One of the most revered — and bankable — designers of her generation, Philo most recently engineered a spectacular brand rejuvenation during a 10-year tenure at Celine, one of about 75 brands controlled by LVMH. Season after season, she minted womanly, modernist clothing and distinctive handbags, accruing an intensely loyal fan base.

“Being in my studio and making once again has been both exciting and incredibly fulfilling,” Philo said in a brief statement. “I am very much looking forward to being back in touch with my audience and people everywhere. To be independent, to govern and experiment on my own terms is hugely significant to me.”
However, she has brought on a powerful silent partner in LVMH. The size of the French group’s minority stake could not immediately be learned, and financial terms were not disclosed.

It is understood Philo is the only other shareholder in the venture.

Phoebe Philo. 
Courtesy of Phoebe Philo

“I have had a very constructive and creative working relationship with LVMH for many years. So it is a natural progression for us to reconnect on this new project. I have greatly appreciated discussing new ideas with Bernard Arnault and Delphine Arnault and I am delighted to be embarking on this adventure with their support,” she added.
Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH, called Philo “one of the most talented designers of our time.”
“We have known her and appreciated her for a long time. Phoebe contributed to the success of the group through her magnificent creations over several years,” he said. “With this in mind, I am very happy to partner with Phoebe on her entrepreneurial adventure and wish her great success.”
Given Philo’s cult-like following, her return to designing collections and launching a new brand is bound to have specialty retailers salivating — and some designers fretting. Many brands big and small have tried to seize her crown, and recruit her devotees, with varying degrees of success.
The designer has been keeping a low profile since exiting Celine at the end of 2017. In one of her first public projects, she signed on to be a juror for the 2021 ANDAM awards, which were presented in Paris earlier this month. (Philo did her duties via video conferencing from London due to ongoing travel restrictions related to the pandemic.)
It is unusual, though not unprecedented, for LVMH to back a new brand. Its core expertise lies in animating heritage brands like Louis Vuitton, Dior and Fendi with buzzy designers, celebrity ambassadors, retail razzmatazz and spectacular press and client events.
In 2019, it launched a fashion brand for Rihanna, following the blockbuster success of Fenty by Rihanna beauty products. The start-up came up against the coronavirus crisis and LVMH and the pop star paused the luxury maison last February, while roaring ahead with Savage x Fenty lingerie. Prior to that, LVMH famously set up a couture house for Christian Lacroix in 1987, and sold it to Falic Group in 2005.

Minority stakes are not usually the norm either for the French luxury giant, though that’s the case with Jonathan Anderson’s London-based fashion house JW Anderson, for example. LVMH took a 46 percent stake in 2013 in tandem with hiring the designer as creative director of Spanish leather goods house Loewe.
It is understood Philo has kept in close contact with the Arnault family, particularly Delphine, and will continue to have access to the group’s brain trust and real-estate muscle as she develops her indie venture.
The distribution plan and other details could not immediately be learned, though Philo had long shunned online commerce, preferring boutiques filled with marble plinths and large plants when she was at Celine. She also worked with prestigious specialty retailers, including Le Bon Marché, Selfridges and Dover Street Market
A graduate of London’s Central Saint Martins fashion school, Philo was classmates with Stella McCartney and worked with her when McCartney launched her own collection after graduation. Philo followed McCartney to Chloé in 1997 and took the top job in 2001 when McCartney left to set up her own fashion house in a joint venture with Gucci Group.
With her striking personal style, Philo succeeded in accelerating Chloé’s rejuvenation and catapulting it into the high-margin leather goods business. She became known for fashions that deftly blended masculine elements like trousers and such feminine fare as frilly blouses. During her tenure, Chloé’s look was widely emulated by fast-fashion chains and she created hit handbags like the Paddington and Silverado.
She resigned from Chloé in 2006 for personal reasons, citing a wish to spend more time with her young children.
Three years later, after lengthy discussions with LVMH about launching a namesake brand, Philo wound up at the helm of Céline, which offered an immediate platform for her designs, since the brand had boutiques in top locations around the world and factories for leather goods.
Philo debuted a more fashion-forward, minimalist aesthetic at Céline, tinged with artsy touches, and her collections exceeded all revenue expectations and won wide acclaim, despite her reticence about e-commerce and an arms-length policy with the press.

She was succeeded at Celine by Hedi Slimane, who dropped the accent in the label’s name and reoriented the brand toward retro-tinged, bourgeois French chic.
The Phoebe Philo Era at Céline
Phoebe Philo’s at Céline: The Most Iconic Looks
Phoebe Philo Isn’t Finished With Fashion

BREAKING: Richemont Is Acquiring Delvaux

BREAKING: Richemont Is Acquiring Delvaux

Further extending its holdings beyond hard luxury, Compagnie Financière Richemont is to acquire elite Belgian leather goods firm Delvaux from its Chinese owners.
Richemont said it purchased 100 percent of Delvaux “in a private transaction” and did not name the seller: First Heritage Brands, a vehicle of Hong Kong billionaire brothers Victor and William Fung, who have already exited their other European fashion investments, Sonia Rykiel and the shoemaker Robert Clergerie.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
In a statement released after the close of trading on the SIX Swiss Exchange, Richemont said it would “position Delvaux for its next stage of development by enabling Delvaux to leverage the group’s global presence and digital capabilities, to develop its omnichannel opportunities and customer engagement.”

Philippe Fortunato, chief executive officer of Richemont’s fashion and accessories maisons, lauded Delvaux’s “strong heritage, distinctive savoir-faire and exceptional manufacturing capabilities.”
“The maison’s rich archives and creative momentum over the last 10 years represent a solid foundation from which to grow the company for the long term, strengthening Richemont’s presence at the pinnacle of the leather goods category,” he added.
Founded in 1829, Delvaux is considered the oldest luxury leather goods house in the world, the first to file a patent for leather handbags in 1908, and one of the first luxury goods firms to introduce seasonality into its collections in the 1930s. It has been an official supplier to the Belgian royal court since 1883, and boasts a meticulous archive of more than 3,000 styles, all patented.

In a statement, Richemont said the Delvaux acquisition would have “no material financial impact on Richemont’s consolidated net assets or operating result” for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022, noting that Delvaux’s results would be grouped under the “other business” area.
First Heritage Brands took a majority stake in Delvaux in 2011 with Singaporean state investment company Temasek, and grew sales from 18 million euros up to about 120 million euros, according to market sources.
The brand pushed into 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 pop-up on the Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris, with plans for a permanent store there. The proportion of sales generated outside of Belgium increased from 3 percent to about 85 percent, while the store network increased from 10 to 50 under the ownership of First Heritage Brands.
The Delvaux disposal represents one of the last remaining fashion assets connected to Fung Group, the Hong Kong-based sourcing giant. In 2017, it sold its stake in struggling men’s wear retail unit Trinity — which includes Gieves & Hawkes, Kent & Curwen and Cerruti 1881 — to Shandong Ruyi.
Over the years, the sprawl of the Li & Fung empire started taking its toll, with CEO Spencer Fung explaining to investors not long after he took over the reins of the business that he realized the company had many business divisions but none that were particularly exceptional. He soon embarked on streamlining the business into sourcing and logistics. But while the company began pivoting,  supply chain pressures only accelerated and this coincided with the transformation of the retail landscape. Many of Li & Fung’s biggest clients were sunsetting retailers that struggled to adjust as the next generation of DTC and omnichannel retail concepts arrived on the scene.

Meanwhile, its brand management and licensing spin-off Global Brands Group has also been beset with problems. In mid-June, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed group reported that its liabilities exceeded its assets by $899 million. The firm has been aggressively cutting costs and carving off its assets, revealing it would use the proceeds from the recent sale of its Spyder division in South Korea to keep the company operating instead of paying its debts that were past due.
Delvaux Sets up Shop on Rue Saint Honoré in Paris

Richemont Nabs LVMH Veteran to Head Fashion Division

Delvaux’s Quiet Impact

Kenzo to Bid Adieu to Felipe Oliveira Baptista

Kenzo to Bid Adieu to Felipe Oliveira Baptista

Designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista – who brought a sophisticated and artistic touch to Kenzo over a two-year stint – is to step down from his role of artistic director, WWD has learned.
His exit from the Paris-based fashion house, owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, will take effect on June 30 when his employment contract will arrive at its term.
“I have been honored to serve this amazing house and the legacy of its founder Kenzo Takada,” Oliveira Baptista said in a statement. “I would like to thank my teams for their talent and dedication.”
Sylvie Colin, chief executive officer of Kenzo, expressed her gratitude to the designer “for his talent, creativity and contribution to the artistic development of our house.”

It is understood a successor will be named in due course, and that the brand is likely to pursue a new direction.

Felipe Oliveira Baptista 
Courtesy of Kenzo

Oliveira Baptista was partial to enveloping, nomadic silhouettes, and had returned the brand to the women’s calendar of Paris Fashion Week. His tenure coincided with the death last October of founder Kenzo Takada, due to complications from COVID-19, and he let color, pattern and energy erupt on the runway for fall 2021 as an ode to the Japanese fashion maverick.
In another tribute, last November he launched a Kenzo capsule line in homage to Kansai Yamamoto, who also passed away last year.

The designer tweaked the brand’s logo and tiger emblem, and also oversaw its sport line.
Oliveira Baptista was previously the creative director of Lacoste from 2010 to 2018, and he succeeded designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, who left Kenzo after eight years at the house to focus on their U.S.-based business, Opening Ceremony.
Known for his artfully constructed and experimental creations, Oliveira Baptista hails from Portugal and created his namesake label in 2003 with his partner Séverine Oliveira Baptista, a year after winning the main fashion prize at the Festival d’Hyères. The brand has been on hold since 2014.
A graduate of  Kingston University, Oliveira Baptista took home the Andam Award in both 2003 and 2005.
See also:
Felipe Oliveira Baptista Talks Shedding New Light on the Kenzo Legacy

Kenzo Takada Dies at 81 of COVID-19-Related Complications

7 Facts to Know About Fashion Designer Kenzo Takada

EXCLUSIVE: Berluti Sets New Course, Bids Adieu to Kris Van Assche

EXCLUSIVE: Berluti Sets New Course, Bids Adieu to Kris Van Assche

Add Berluti to the list of fashion’s Frank Sinatras — all doing it their own way.
The luxury men’s wear brand will now set its own schedule for upcoming collections and wind up its collaboration with Kris Van Assche, its artistic director since 2018, WWD has learned.
“In order to maintain our commitment to both savoir-faire and innovation, we have decided to let Berluti lead its own rhythm and give freedom to its presentation schedule,” Berluti chief executive officer Antoine Arnault said in a statement.
The house, owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, said it would “take a new approach to the collection calendar, choosing its own path for presenting its exceptional products, including collaborative projects and pieces.”

A men’s wear star who succeeded Hedi Slimane at Dior Homme in 2007 and helmed that brand for 11 years, Van Assche brought meticulous tailoring, zesty color, and runway razzmatazz to Berluti, transposing the patinas of its famous footwear to clothing and putting Gigi Hadid in a mint green suit flecked with feathers.

Gigi Hadid walks in Berluti’s spring 2020 show. 
Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

It is understood that Berluti’s decision to forge a different direction coincided with the end of Van Assche’s employment contract, and no successor will be named.
The Belgian designer, 44, told WWD he would finish up some projects and make his final exit from Berluti in a few weeks. “I’m excited about what could be next,” he said.

In his statement, Arnault thanked Van Assche, “who throughout his journey within the LVMH Group has shown remarkable talent in the world of men’s wear. He has brought his own vision to Berluti, particularly by integrating new codes into its signatures.”
Almost synonymous with black suits, Van Assche was upfront that Berluti’s aesthetic was challenging for him, yet he leaned into its heritage to exalt unique features like patinas and the Scritto, an 18th-century manuscript motif. He challenged the maison’s artisans to push this savoir-faire into new areas, building up from a brown leather suit with patina edges in his debut show to the mesmerizing color-gradient clothes presented on April 8 for winter 2021.
That collection, his last, received warm reviews, with WWD noting the designer had “reached a new level of fluency with color” in a collection inspired by the abstract paintings of Berlin-based Russian artist Lev Khesin.

Kris Van Assche 
Dominique Maitre/WWD

During his tenure, Van Assche brought more esthetic coherence across Berluti’s ready-to-wear, accessories and footwear, while propelling the brand into new areas including customized vintage furniture. He created a new visual identity based on letters carved into a wooden shoe tree dating back to 1895, the year Italian founder Alessandro Berluti established himself as a shoemaker in Paris. Van Assche also introduced a new Signature canvas for travel bags and personal accessories.
“I definitely think I became a better designer thanks to my work at Berluti and I couldn’t thank enough my studio and the artisans there,” Van Assche said in prepared remarks. “I have always loved working with ateliers — be that on tailoring or leather goods — and the level of expectations on quality and research was definitely stimulating.”

Acquired by LVMH in 1993, Berluti expanded into leather goods in 2005 and in 2011 recruited Ermenegildo Zegna veteran Alessandro Sartori, who partnered with Arnault to expand the elite cobbler into a lifestyle label for men with complete clothing collections.
Sartori returned to Zegna in 2016, and was succeeded at Berluti for a few seasons by Haider Ackermann until Van Assche arrived amid a designer shakeup at LVMH that saw Kim Jones move from Louis Vuitton to become artistic director of men’s ready-to-wear and accessory collections at Dior, and Virgil Abloh arrive as men’s artistic director at Vuitton.
A graduate of Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Van Assche moved to Paris in 1998 and was part of Slimane’s team at Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Homme before joining him at Dior Homme. He started a signature label in 2005 — two years before he took the top design post at Dior — and put it on hiatus in 2015. Known for youthful tailoring and loads of athletic and workwear influences, the Kris Van Assche collection also dabbled in women’s wear.
Berluti now boasts more than 60 stores worldwide, and offers head-to-toe bespoke services at its workshops on Rue Marbeuf and Rue de Sèvres in Paris. It remains famous for its court shoe fashioned from a single piece of leather without any seams, and its polishing parties — with Champagne as the final buffing element.
LVMH does not break down sales by brand in its core fashion and leather goods business group, which includes Dior, Vuitton, Fendi, Celine, Givenchy and other famous brands. Industry sources estimate the brand generates revenues in the region of 200 million euros.
In the most recent quarter ended March 30, the division saw organic sales in the linchpin division rise 52 percent year-over-year.
Amid the coronavirus crisis and a shift to more seasonless fashions, a host of brands including Gucci, Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren, Off-White and Bottega Veneta have set their own timetables for presenting collections.
See also:
Antoine Arnault on Millennials, Respect and Luxury
Kris Van Assche Shutters Own Label
EXCLUSIVE: Kris Van Assche Rebuilding Berluti From the Shoes Up

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