>> Spring 2011 brought a variety of lust-worthy footwear: we saw everything from chunky wooden sandals at Rachel Comey to suede lace-up boots at Emilio Pucci. Check out our top 50 shoe picks — including this amazing sporty wedge from Prada — from New York, London, Milan, and Paris now!
Posts for October 11th 2010
>> Alexander McQueen announced today that it would take full control of its McQ contemporary line as of Fall 2011. Previously, the range was produced under license by Italian company SINV SpA, but the five-year agreement expires after the Spring 2011 line. Pina Ferlisi was named creative director of McQ in June and will continue to design the line under the purview of Sarah Burton. "McQ will become our responsibility alongside the core Alexander McQueen label, allowing us to share ideas and knowledge, expand the business and grow the already iconic brand,” stated Jonathan Akeroyd, president and CEO of Alexander McQueen. “Over the past five years, McQ has established itself internationally with its young, renegade but always signature McQueen style and we are ready to take it to the next stage in its development.” [WWD]
>> Jason Wu is back in his hometown of Taipei, Taiwan — where he was born and lived until he was nine — for his brother's wedding on Sunday. But the trip hasn't been business as usual for Wu, who designed the bride's wedding gown and the bridesmaid's dresses: “It’s been crazy. I was told I would have to prepare at the airport and get private security because there were going to be people following me. I’m not used to that. Who am I, Victoria Beckham?”
The designer — famous for dressing Michelle Obama for the Inauguration — met with Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou on Thursday and presented him with a dress to give to his wife, first lady Chow Mei-ching. “I hope she wears it,” Wu said. But that's not the only dress catching attention — Wu has been warned that there may be paparazzi crashers to the wedding: “Apparently people are trying to get the first shot of her dress. We had to keep the location a secret. I was told people might follow me to her house or that I would have to change cars. It all sounds a little bit like Mission Impossible. I’m like, I’m just a fashion designer.”
>> Stefano Tonchi said last month: "I want W to be a little divisive and unexpected." Mission accomplished with the magazine's November 2010 cover, which Tonchi teased as "someone very different from what you expect for the magazine. November is the art cover, so we collaborated with an artist, and we have a great reality TV person!" The aforementioned Art Issue's cover is out, featuring Kim Kardashian photographed by Mark Seliger and with Barbara Kruger the artist collaborator. What's in store from Tonchi's camp next? "December is a very special 'family issue,' with kids!" the editor said. [W Magazine]
>> As luxury brands are increasingly turning to manufacturing in China and technological savvy to increase profits, Tod's chairman Diego Della Valle refuses. He runs Tod's like a traditional, old-fashioned family business — instead of listening to focus groups to decide which new shoe styles should go into production, he wears the shoes, and decides after a few days if they're to his liking. And there are no computers or iPhones in his office — Della Valle makes do with an outdated Motorola cellphone.
“We don’t take risks,” says Della Valle, who has grown Tod's into a multibillion dollar company and kept the business concentrated on shoes and handbags. “We want to guarantee our customers we’re giving them the best.” While the brand has 24 stores in China, Della Valle refuses to move production there just to reduce costs, something that other Italian-based brands have done recently.
A men's crocodile loafer retails for 3,500 euros and costs 1,590 euros for Tod's to make in Italy; making it in China would reduce production costs by half, and therefore, increase the company's profitability. But Della Valle thinks it's worth the price — and the strategy is paying off. Tod's was one of the few luxury companies worldwide to increase sales and profits throughout the financial crisis: profits grew from 77 million euros in 2007 to 83 million in 2008 and 86 million in 2009.
>> The holidays are creeping up on us, and Urban Outfitters wants to make sure you're prepared. They just released their holiday lookbook, with styles ranging from a flower-patterned gold sequin jacket — ideal for a shimmering New Year's Eve party — to Thanksgiving-ready cozy knit sweaters. Our favorite piece? This classic red and black plaid skirt — we've already imagined all the ways we can wear it. If you can't decide, you've still got time: most items won't be available until early November.
Luella Bartley Is "Happy to Be Out" of Fashion, But May Bring the Luella Girl Back in Graphic Novel Form
>> Luella Bartley folded her Luella label last November — and while she says she doesn't know what's next, she's sure that the Luella girl isn't gone. “My lifestyle changed, but she stayed, which is nice,” Bartley — who has been living full-time in the Cornwall farmhouse she shares with her photographer boyfriend, David Sims, and their three children, since Luella shuttered — explains. She adds that her next step may not be about dressing the Luella girl — she's thinking of turning her into a graphic novel.
Bartley doesn't seem torn up about the end of the label, for which she had to commute daily into London. “It’s a difficult thing, being a woman, trying to have a successful business, be creative and do the best by your family. I sold it to myself that I could do it all,” she tells the Times UK. “You can, but not the way my business was set up. It was set up for the old me. Maybe I was moving away from that life without realising it.”
“To anybody urban and creative, it obviously sounds like a drop-out situation,” she continues. “Letting go has been the biggest lesson. I used to think that if someone wasn’t successful, it was because they were crap, but now I realise that if people aren’t successful, it’s probably because they aren’t that bothered . . . You think that everyone’s going to forget who you are. But I had a chat with Phoebe [Philo, the creative director of Céline], who I admire so much. She took three years out and made sure her kids were secure. Then, when she was ready, she got the deal she wanted. You’ve just got to know what you want. I know I’ve done the right thing. I don’t mourn anything. I loved what it was, but I’m happy to be out."
>> In a radio interview yesterday, Kate Moss's agent (and Storm Models founder) Sarah Doukas said that Moss's cocaine scandal in 2005 has had no long-term effects on her career — her fees "did not go down," and her annual profits have increased from £2 million to £4 million ($3.2 million to $6.4 million) since. When asked if Moss's fee had actually risen as a result of the news, Doukas replied: "It's hard to say isn't it? I can't remember. It didn't go down, it didn't go down."
As for how she fielded the scandal's aftermath, Doukas explained: "I basically just spent a lot of time on the phone trying to reassure [Moss's] big clients that you can’t believe everything you read and, unfortunately, all press actually is good press in this world we live in. I took a strategic view of it, I just thought she will be fine, and I knew that some of my great clients, that were huge clients to her, they stuck by and said, 'We are in your capable hands, we will stick by her' — and they did."
We're still digging parkas for Fall — and while the ubiquitous army green version is an option, we dare you to dabble with some of these new and noteworthy choices. We're smitten with the thought of wearing this smooth velvet parka from Asos, and Edun's patchwork pattern version is beyond rad. Feeling an extra splurge coming on? Then check out Rag & Bone's refined wool and cotton topper or Belstaff's timeless waxed cotton coat.
Left to right: Asos Velvet Parka ($211), Edun Patchwork Parka ($560), Rag & Bone Waterloo Parka ($965), Belstaff Roadmaster Jacket ($695)