Sunday, 21 November 2010

Model of the Moment: Freja Beha Erichsen

Freja Beha Erichsen is absolutely no newcomer - but you simply have to love her style. With her unobtrusive beauty, her rockstar looks and locks, the 23-year old Dane is currently one of the most requested models in the business.

Freja Beha made her debut in 2005 and has not missed out on many of the major catwalk shows these last few seasons.
Chanel, Pucci, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Chloé, Lanvin, Stella McCartney, Celine, Bottega Veneta,... you name it, she walked it.

You have certainly seen her face numerous times, as this Danish beauty is featured in so many editorials and ad campaigns at the moment that you cannot manage to flip through a magazine without spotting her: Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino, Max Mara, Roberto Cavalli, as Balenciaga, Jil Sander, Gucci, Hugo Boss,Tom Ford eyewear, CK, Gucci & H&M...
Also, she is one of the faces of the fragrance Gucci by Gucci along side Natasha Poly and Raquel Zimmermann.
A tad bad girl, a tad hippie a lot of rock'n roll (she notably has 16 tatoos), she definitely has one of those versatile faces and the kind of charisma you cannot get enough of.

Being ranked No.2 at, hardly any other model seems to represent the 2010 zeitgeist as much as Freja Beha Erichsen.


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Hermès takes a plunge with a new flagship store

Hermès International has opened another flagship store in Paris, Thursday, 18th November 2010. The brand's 134th store comprehends the second biggest sales floor to date and is located on Paris' Rive Gauche on Rue De Sèvres. After 173 years of fidelity to the Rive Droite, the artisanry brand opened its first boutique on the left side of the Seine bank.

The former Lutetia Hotel’s indoor swimming pool, which is offering 15, 800 sq.ft (1467.868 m²), dispersed over three floors, has been converted to a luxurious space displaying Hermès' precious lines of products.

As the opening of the Rue de Sèvres flagship coincided with the launch of Hermès' interior line, nearly half of the space is dedicated to the new home range. The mega boutique showcases furnishings, fabrics, carpets and the new furniture re-editions by Jean-Michel Frank.
Also, the boutique houses three nearly 30-foot-tall huts carved from latticed ashwood, designed by architect Denis Montel of RDA, its own florist, stocked with flora rarities, a book store (Chaîne d’Encre - a little worldplay with Hermès' signature Chaîne d'Ancre) and a salon de thé with the apt name Le Plongeoir (The diving board) situated on its balcony.

As newsworthy as the spectacular interior of the new flagship was the appearance of one special guest amongst the numerous felicitators: Salma Hayek-Pinault, wife of PPR's François-Henri Pinault paid a visit to congratulate on the new retail space extraordinaire. A very political appearance given the recent public conflict between Hermès and PPR's main competitor LVMH. 

Never underestimate the effects of a common concept of the enemy.


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Friday, 19 November 2010

Lanvin goes Mainstream IV - Fashion Show Fabulous

Yesterday, 18th November 2010, we got another milestone closer to the actual launch of the Lanvin H&M collection, which will finally hit stores this saturday. With a bright, sparkly, kitsch-fabulous major shabang, Alber Elbaz presented his collection to a select fashion crowd at the Pierre hotel in New York. Fashion editors, bloggerati, fellow designers and industry crowd as well as celebrities were witnessing a show that felt like the most excessive, exuberant yet fun and relaxed fashion show seen for a long while.

The models were "making love to the camera" like back in the days and the usually rather reserved "been-there-done-that" audience raved about the latest high fashion meets high street fusion. Also a major highlight was a picturesque Anna Dello Russo strutting down the catwalk in a pink one-shoulder dress, with a grey poodle on a leash.
The collection presented yesterday was a special edition that was modified from the pieces, which will be available in select H&M stores worldwide. The uniquely customized high-end items of the show (24 pieces) plus five signed Alber Elbaz sketches are auctioned for the benefit of UNICEF on 26th November 2010. Bidding closes at 11.59 CET. 


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Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Outlook Pitti Uomo #79

Details about the 79th edition of Pitti Immagine Uomo that will take place in its usual spot at Fortezza da Basso in Florence, Italy on January 11 - 14 2011 have been made known to the public. As Raffaello Napoleone, Pitti Immagine’s CEO, announced beginning of this week, the trade fair organiser will launch two online trade fairs in January to complement Pitti Uomo and Pitti Bimbo.

As this year's special guest designer for Pitti W, the woman's pre-collection exhibition that is held parallel to Pitti Uomo, British designer Gareth Pugh has been selected. As a special events director leaked, he will be showcasing his collection in a rather unusual location - one that had never before hosted a fashion show.

"Gareth Pugh was already one of the leaders of the generation of young British fashion designers who helped to make that evening so exciting.  We have followed his work in London and Paris, seen his style evolve – from the Gothic atmospheres of the early days to today’s decidedly flamboyant effects – as well as the way he presents his collections: the video screened at the last Paris fashion week brought new energy to the discussion on the use of multimedia technologies in fashion. So we had all the right reasons for inviting Gareth Pugh to Florence and Pitti, where there is plenty of space for fashion experiments which can dialogue with the city’s unique historical and artistic venues. We are very happy that Gareth Pugh responded to our invitation with such enthusiasm." Pitti Immagine Press Release

Also, a special role at the 79th edition of Pitti Uomo will be held by the Trussardi Group.  To herald its centennial next year, Trussardi will host a multi-part event, which will include fashion, art, design and food showcases.

Pitti Uomo has a very special position in its function as Europe's biggest trade fair for male fashion. As the fair runs just before Milan fashion week, Pitti Uomo holds a reputation as a pioneer trade platforms as it allows the companies at to showcase their products very early in the annual fashion cycle. Strategically speaking, the brands can capitalize on capturing the attention of the buyers and the share of the buyers’ budgets before everybody else does. Also, Pitti Uomo has the reputation of being extremely contemporary and men's fashion brands frequently showcase new trends here first.

The summer edition of Pitti Uomo - #78 had attracted a total of 32 000 visitors out of which 19,200 were buyers. The special guest for Pitti W was Haider Ackermann, who bedazzled with his beautiful atmospheric show and his first tentative steps into men's wear. Special guest brand in summer was Jil Sander, who had menswear designer Raf Simons bring lots of colour to the topiary gardens of Villa Gamberaia.

Let's see what Pitti Uomo #79 has in store for us.



Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Hermès throws down the gauntlet to LVMH

What a sight for sore eyes in today's Le Figaro business section: "Hermès repousse LVMH" - Hermès fights back.

Ten days after the rather surprising and sudden announcement that LVMH had at last managed to buy its way in on his competitor, French artisanry maison Hermès, the gloves between the two competitors - or the shock waves that shook the industry- are off.

Despite a statement of Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy that there are no current intentions of making an official offer or taking over the Hermès Group though to become a long-term investor, the article published today suggests that this coup was not as amicable and friendly as it was presented at first glance.

Heir Betrand Puech - direct descendant of the founder Thierry Hermès, who in 1837 established Hermès, and CEO Patrick Thomas insist in today's in Le Figaro that the purchase of 17.1% of Hermès shares was an unwanted, undesired and stealth action of Monsieur Bernard Arnault and his conglomerate. 72% of the remaining shares are dispersed within the family.
The duo also point out that the maison clearly was not in need of any capital support, mentoring, guidance or whatsoever from LVMH, as its financial performance has been showing a steady healthy growth since 1993. Hermès' performance was particularly strong during the last year, where many high-end fashion and luxury companies struggled significantly. In the interview, Patrick Thomas goes to such lenghts as to publicly doubt the correctness of the incident and calls the business transactions that have happened end of October 2010 more than just a little strange and even dubious - refering to LVMH business branches in Panama that were involved in the hostile buy into the company.

According to WWD, the French market regulator (AMF) is currently examining the circumstances purchase of the 17.1% shares

To the declaration that the buy-in was of amicable nature, Patrick Thomas and Bertrand Puech reacted indignantly with the response: "If you want to be amicable, Monsieur Arnault, you have to withdraw." - for the sake of completeness, one has to mention at this point that in a phone conversation following the buy-in, Monsieur Arnault had even stated that he does not even claim a seat on the board of Hermès International.

A conspicuous uproar of the last insurgent standing up against being locked in the golden cage of LVMH - after all, "'C'est n'est pas un combat financier, c'est un combat de cultures." Seems like front men Patrick Thomas and Betrand Puech will stop at nothing to impede Hermès International becoming the Koh-i-Noor in Monsieur Arnault's LVMH crown jewels.


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Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Lanvin goes Mainstream III - Official Footage

Et voilà, the official footage revealing the complete Lanvin H&M collection, which will hit the stores on 23rd of November 2010.
The four-and-a-half-minute short film directed by Mike Figgis is a Alice-in-Wonderland meets Kafka curiosity, which accentuates some of the ideas Alber Elbaz is voicing in the trailers explaining the odd collaboration of haute couture house Lanvin and mass retailer H&M.

The bizzare, quirky film portrays an motley excerpt of a nightmarish dream of the young Alber, displaying his influences and thoughts in a creative-chaotic mélange of strands of plots in the most fashionable hotel ever known to mankind. With the likes of Natasha Poly and Hannelore Knuts modelling Alber's beautiful collection, the short film promises printed shirts, diverse skirts, a zebra trenchcoat, a faux-fur jacket, funky accessories and a variety of assymetric ruffled dresses in colours ranging from moutarde to geranium red, black or floral prints as the key items to the collection.

In one of his trailers, Alber Elbaz expresses his bemusement about that fact that couture is interchangeable between three generations -  daughter, mother and grandmother could wear the same dress and interchange it- a theme that has been taken up in his short film as well.

"A happy collection for happy people" , which will be visible online at on the 4th of November


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