Posts for March 7th 2011
>> While Hermes continues to fight off LVMH and Bernard Arnault — on Friday, Hermes CEO Patrick Thomas said of the conglomerate's advances: “If you want to seduce a beautiful woman, you don’t start by raping her from behind” — another luxury brand has become part of the LVMH stable.
In a €3.7 billion ($5.2 billion) deal, LVMH will take a controlling stake in Bulgari, with the Bulgari family trading in its 51 percent share in the brand. In return, they will become the second largest family shareholder in LVMH, after Arnault. Paolo and Nicola Bulgari will remain chairman and vice chairman of the Bulgari board, respectively, and the Bulgari family will get two seats on the board of LVMH as part of the deal.
Arnault has expressed interest over the past decade in adding Bulgari to his portfolio, and the Bulgari family seems pleased, as well. "This is a significant step for our family as well as for Bulgari, occurring at a time of strong revenue growth,” said Bulgari CEO Francesco Trapani. “Our entrance into LVMH will allow Bulgari to reinforce its worldwide growth and to realize noteworthy synergies, in particular in the areas of purchasing and distribution.”
>> Dior CEO Sidney Toledano was at the John Galliano presentation yesterday — "the clearest signal that Dior hasn’t given up on Galliano — at least not yet," the Wall Street Journal noted. "For the moment, the [Galliano] business continues," Toledano confirmed. "This is a business which has licenses and tomorrow we will show the collection in the showrooms as usual . . . I am here to prove that business goes on . . . and to support the teams." Without Galliano the designer, however, it's not clear how long Dior's commitment will last; and the label, which barely breaks even, would not survive without Dior, which owns a 92 percent stake in the brand. [WSJ, Reuters]
>> Yesterday, Riccardo Tisci addressed the rumors of his designing for Dior, and now another rumored contender — Haider Ackermann, who apparently has received overtures from LVMH — has spoken on the possibility: "Yeah, there are places that I would like to go [design for], but it's just a question of . . . it's like a love affair, you just have to meet the right person, look together in the same direction. But, you know, you have a repertoire of your own, and sometimes, [you're] thinking you would like something else to express, and the code of another house might help. I don't know . . . we'll see, we'll see."
Alber Elbaz is also said to be under consideration, but WWD points out: "Elbaz remains under contract to Lanvin. He’s believed to have equity, and is said to be, for the moment, at least, not interested in leaving."
>> Over the weekend, Andrej Pejic walked for Jean Paul Gaultier, and backstage, he added that he may have one more appearance at a "big show" in the works. What else does he have up his sleeve? "With all this publicity, there's definitely been a wide array of options. Maybe a movie, maybe some stuff on TV. Every great high-fashion career, if you want to go beyond it, it has to be commercialized." And would he ever get a sex change operation, complete with breast augmentation? "Yes, if I was offered a Victoria's Secret contract. You'd have to, wouldn't you. I couldn't imagine doing it any other way, but at this point I'm comfortable with the way I am now." [Telegraph UK]
>> Over the weekend, reports surfaced that Kate Middleton has chosen Alexander McQueen creative director Sarah Burton to do her wedding dress. Burton was reportedly picked for her relatively low profile and her alternative take on elegance; Burton's work is said to have first caught Middleton's eye after she designed an off-the-shoulder wedding dress for Harper's Bazaar's Sara Buys, who married Camilla Parker Bowles's son Tom in 2005.
Work on the royal wedding dress is said to be well under way in Buckingham Palace, and the designer of choice has been sworn to secrecy. So it comes as no surprise that when questioned, Burton replied, "I am not doing it." McQueen CEO Jonathan Akeroyd, who reportedly told a colleague that Burton had been chosen, also denied the reports: "No, not at all. I am the CEO. I would know if we were doing it."
Cathy Horyn notes, however: "It wouldn’t at all surprising if the house and its creative director, Sarah Burton, had been chosen. I’m only musing, but a McQueen dress, in view of the late designer’s fascination with British history, makes a lot of sense. It also seems a good generational choice. And the studio, now expertly led by Ms. Burton, has the skills and resources to make a custom dress."
>> Paris Fashion Week street style took a colorful turn over the weekend, adding a vibrant pop to the neutral hues we saw last week. This unorthodox take on a preppy look features pink shorts, orange platform sandals, and a yellow bag tempered by a classic white button-up and black ribbed sweater. We love perfectly clashed colors, and if you do too, shop our similar picks from J.Crew, Gap, Lou, and Kate Spade.
Left to right: Lou Crewneck Sweater ($325), J.Crew Pink Shorts ($43), Gap Perfect Shirt ($50), Max Studio Tortoise Sunglasses ($90), Kenneth Cole New York Green Bangle ($30), Seychelles Gypsy Sandal ($55, originally $95), Kate Spade Essex Scout Bag ($295), Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish ($16)
Photo courtesy of Greg Kessler
>> Giambattista Valli has quietly taken on a new side gig: he's the new ready-to-wear designer for Longchamp, which sounds to be branching out from its handbag mainstays. At the label's showroom today, Valli's offerings — including leather miniskirts and "well-cut" quilted coats for Fall 2011 — were already on display, Vogue UK reports. [Vogue UK]