Paris 03/10/10 Getty
Posts for March 10th 2010
The notoriously straight-shooting and often volatile chief executive of Prada, Patrizio Bertelli, is on the cover of the March issue of WSJ., out this Saturday. He is profiled along with wife Miuccia Prada in an article discussing among many things the couple's 30-year-long relationship, Prada's initial public offering, the company's debt build-up as a result of acquisitions in the 1990s, and the current household controversy over internet strategies and whether or not to dress celebrities.
The article opens with Bertelli shouting at Neiman Marcus' 72-year-old chairman, Burt Tansky, about how the Dallas-based department store displays its Prada merchandise. But thing really get interesting when the interviewer inquires about the brand's internet plans and brings up a recent U.S. newspaper article suggesting Prada was late to the online world compared with brands like Burberry. Miuccia Prada's reaction:
"I think it's bulls-. Why does showing a photo of someone wearing a trench coat online mean being open to the world? What's that got to do with anything?"
While Bertelli is trying to convince Prada to interact more online—both with bloggers and fans—she is adimentely opposed to Twitter and feels there something fundamentally wrong with the way other designers "throw random answers out there." Bertelli acknowledges hers is an "elitist response" to a "democratic" medium.
The article goes on to reveal another ongoing dispute over celebrity dressing: "He says that we are snobs and that we don't understand pop culture," Prada says.
When planning for the upcoming year, Bertelli's focus seems to be on store expansions and opening new boutiques in order to lessen Prada's dependance on U.S. wholesale businesses, like that of Mr. Tansky's. The complete article will be on newsstands March 13.
>> After Michael Kors left Celine in 2004, the brand floundered. To rectify the situation, Pierre-Yves Roussel, chief executive of LVMH's fashion division, traveled to London every other week for nearly a year to persuade Phoebe Philo to come on board at the brand. The company also agreed to build her a design studio in London, where she lives with her young family. Eighteen months ago, Philo signed on.
For a fresh start, LVMH destroyed all of the inventory left in stores before Philo's first collection. All but one Celine store was closed in the United States, ties to less exclusive retailers like Bloomingdale's and Net-a-Porter were cut, the accent was restored to the brand's name, and bag production is no longer outsourced to China — each in a bid to elevate the brand.
>> Givenchy Reportedly Canceled on Five Exclusives Less Than 24 Hours Before Show —A Givenchy show exclusive is a hot commodity; this year, those ordained included Carla Crombie, Dafne Cejas, Caroline Nielson, Lauren Brown, and Lia Serge. But apparently the spots come at a price — according to one agent, five models were booked as exclusives and then canceled on less than 24 hours before the show Sunday. "They booked these girls and told them they weren't allowed to walk for other designers. They don't even offer an 'exclusive' fee — just 1,500 euros and press." Givenchy cancelled over email, claiming that there were "fit issues" with the girls. Says the agent: "We had one girl who flew to Paris all the way from Argentina. It was too late for them to get new gigs, and they had to pay for their own hotels. I've never seen something so unprofessional and arrogant." A Givenchy rep didn't respond to requests for comment. [Page Six]
Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler appear on the April cover of W magazine's first shopping issue, photographed by Steven Klein in the California desert.
Karl Lagerfeld had the thirty-five person team who sculpted The Ice Hotel in Sweden carve a 265-ton iceberg in the middle of the Grand Palais for his fall 2010 Chanel runway show.
Tommy Hilfiger created a limited-edition tote to celebrate the just-opened 2010 Whitney Biennial with artist Ari Marcopoulos.
Stella McCartney's show Monday cemented the return to minimalism on international runways for fall 2010.
In the first of a two part series, WWD evaluates the fashion industry system and asks designers if it's time to consider changing the runway shows to coordinate with a retail schedule.
>> Yesterday, in a gilded salon at PPR's headquarters, Lee Alexander McQueen's final collection, consisting of 16 pieces, was presented. Each piece, topped with gold feather mohawk headpiece and finished off with hand-carved wooden-soled shoes, displayed digitally captured works of art — the angels of Sandro Botticelli and the demons of Hieronymus Bosch — woven into the fabric. The solemn parade was set to the music McQueen had been listening to as he cut and fit the collection, sung by the German soprano, Simone Kerme.
Sarah Burton, McQueen's right hand and design assistant for 16 years, said that in the beginning of the Fall 2010 collection, McQueen had turned away from the world of the Internet, which he had harnessed for his last show. "He wanted to get back to the handcraft he loved, and the things that are being lost in the making of fashion. He was looking at the art of the Dark Ages, but finding light and beauty in it. He was coming in every day, draping and cutting pieces on the stand." At the time of McQueen's death, the 16 pieces shown had been 80 percent finished.
Tomorrow, retailers will be invited to buy a showroom collection spanning about 160 pieces. The brand is expected continue with more commercial collections, and the clothes shown yesterday are not expected to be widely sold. Instead, according to a spokewoman, they will be loaned out on a limited basis to a few fashion magazines.
Before his death, McQueen told LOVE: "I’m 40 now, but I want this to be a company that lives way beyond me, and I believe that customers are more important to making that happen than press. When I’m dead, hopefully this house will still be going. On a spaceship. Hopping up and down above the earth.” For the moment, the design future of the label rests on the shoulders of the studio team led by Burton. “That will continue for the foreseeable future,” a spokesman said.