>> Twenty8Twelve was missing from the show calendar for the Fall 2011 season simply because Sienna and Savannah Miller decided to skip their usual runway show and instead hold private appointments. “We love doing shows, but because we’re not breaking the mold in what we do designwise, it’s not particularly translating to sales," Sienna explains. "And the more important thing for us is sales at the moment, especially in this economy.” Savannah recently told Style.com of the decision: "We wanted to focus on intimacy and building relationships. It's hard with a show and it can get quite theme-y. It's fun, but it ended up looking like a bit of a circus. Like, 'Crikey, who's going to wear that?!'" So where might those saved show funds go instead? “We’d love to do maybe five couture dresses a year — just to have access to those fabrics,” said Sienna. “[And] we’d love to open a store in New York. But frankly, we’re really comfortable with where the label’s got to now.” [WWD]
Posts for March 2011
>> If you're looking for a little shoe inspiration, check out Jean-Michel Cazabat's Fall 2011 collection. The French cobbler concocted a collection for every occasion, ranging from sculptural, stacked-heel loafers for the chic office getup to embellished croc-print wedge booties for artier outings. Whichever forum currently calls, there's sure to be something to answer your needs. Check out the complete lookbook to see what we mean.
>> Gareth Pugh has come a long way from living in a squat house in 2005. The road hasn't been an easy one, however, he tells Vice in its new Style Issue: "We didn’t sell anything from the poodle or gimp shows — nothing until the fourth or fifth show. My first show was such a last-minute thing. I was only really thinking about the show and not selling stuff afterward. But once you start showing, you’re on the treadmill and have to carry on." Even a couple of years ago, he says, "There was a point, right before a show, when I barely had enough money to get my team over to Paris."
But now, Pugh is definitely starting to consider the financial aspect of his brand (and perhaps explains why he leans toward short films in place of runway shows): "At the moment I feel very much between a rock and a hard place. People expect an amazing show, but in order to do that in Paris you have to sell a lot of clothes, which maybe means people have to be able to imagine the clothes on hangers."
More from Pugh in Vice:
On why he opened his first store in Hong Kong: "Rick Owens’s wife, Michelle Lamy [Pugh's backer], thinks moneyed Chinese women like to look very chic, like avant-garde punks. I just make more sense over there. In America I’m seen as a little bit niche and weird."
On his relationship with Rick Owens: "I’m closer to his wife, Michelle. He always describes himself as the distant, stern father figure and she is like the overgenerous mother. She’s very critical about what I do, which I like. It’s good to have someone who doesn’t always give you unadulterated praise."
On his strangest fashion industry experiences: "Driving to the Palace of Versailles with Jeremy Scott, Suzy Menkes, Jefferson Hack, and Anouck Lepere was pretty funny. Everyone wanted to see this Jeff Koons exhibition — Anouck tried to climb the fence, Jefferson got into a fight with a security guard, and Suzy Menkes was taking pictures. That was weird. Oh, and the time I’d booked my housemates a holiday in Gran Canaria but got flown to New York to shoot with Mario Testino. I ended up at the Met Ball afterward and found myself having a fag with Christian Slater in the toilets while David Beckham took a piss at the urinal. The toilets there are a real superstar clusterf*ck. I just couldn’t work out why I was there."
On the clothes he wears: "I never buy clothes, so I don’t really have a choice when it comes to what I wear. I am very lucky to be able to pull a lot of Rick Owens and steal some of my stuff from the factory. (I have to steal my own samples [because] I don’t get a personal order quota. It’s a license.) But other than that I buy H&M hoodies and Topshop jeans."
On why he doesn't use much color: "The designs are more about the whole thing rather than the details, and if I were to do the big shapes I do, color would maybe be too much. Pink or red would push it all over the edge."
>> For the first time since 2003, Gap swung positive in year-over-year sales last year. But, Gap Inc. CEO Glenn Murphy says, "We’re still not happy. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t turn over a rock and find opportunity.”
Gap is closing 200 of its 900 worldwide stores by 2013, and will focus more on modernizing its look. Murphy cited “a huge opportunity . . . to fill in with trend-right product and chase products that make sense to us . . . and focus on new category development.” Adds Gap's head of global PR, Anita Borzyszkowska: "We focused on the denim collection 18 months ago: improving the fabric, fit and details [at a reasonable price]. Gap is most successful when it finds its place within the season's trends. The flare and the wide-leg pants are good examples. They are the sort of pieces that could appeal regardless of how closely you follow trends."
The company is shifting marketing dollars to win over new customers, particularly younger ones, as well as African-, Asian- and Hispanic-Americans, since Murphy finds the company's market share in all of those categories too low. In the past, he says, “we didn’t put enough money into acquiring new customers.”
Growth for Gap is primarily expected to come through global expansion, online, and outlets — in fact, the company sees international and online transactions representing 30 percent of its total revenue by 2013, up from 22 percent in 2010.
>> Emmanuelle Alt's first Vogue Paris cover — for April 2011 — came out last week, with Gisele Bundchen photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin in a white Dolce & Gabbana dress — a dress that has also been recently featured on the covers of Vogue Spain and Germany. Is Alt planning to go the supermodel route again for May, her second cover? Apparently she recently styled Kate Moss in a haute couture editorial for Vogue Paris's May issue — shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott in London. It seems unlikely that the shoot wouldn't come with a cover deal, and Moss is, after all, among the coterie of Alt's favored models. [Telegraph UK]
>> Karl Lagerfeld has put his face on dolls, bags, and even a Diet Coke bottle — there's no doubt about it, he loves the attention. Grace Coddington, recalling how she once saw Lagerfeld mobbed at Grand Central Station in New York (he took a second lap around the place instead of escaping), confirms: “Karl plays the celebrity game. I always make this mistake and think it must be really unpleasant for him, but he actually enjoys it — it’s very rock ’n’ roll.” [More Intelligent Life]
>> Is a fissure in Hermes's family unity against LVMH and Bernard Arnault already emerging? Some thought it would take years, but Nicolas Puech, brother of Bertrand Puech (who is executive chairman of Emile Hermes and represents the family shareholders), told French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche that he doesn't agree with the family's current defense strategy, which involves locking up all of their shares in a holding group to protect from takeover bids by Arnault.
“I told my family that locking up our shares in a holding would have the major drawback of depriving the family shareholders of their individual power to control management,” Nicolas Puech said. He did add, however: “But in a family, you can’t agree on everything. I am very attached to my family and above all I want it to remain united.” His brother Bertrand, who Nicolas says he remains on good terms with, has repeatedly, and publicly, asked Arnault to withdraw from the company.
Hermes CEO Patrick Thomas said at a news conference recently that one family member — who owns roughly 10 percent of the capital — had not brought his shares into the holding group for tax reasons, but added that he was still united with the family. The family member in question is likely Nicolas Puech — who also noted, “I have close relationships with many of my cousins" — a comment which, WWD points out, will "likely to be interpreted as a sign that Arnault could yet win over members of the Hermes clan."
>> Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai debuted their new and improved Vena Cava website today, featuring e-commerce for both the Vena Cava Spring 2011 collection and the secondary Viva Vena! line. The goal was to give the site a "handmade, not-too-slick feel that our collection is known for," according to Mayock, so they also devoted a "Garage Sale" section to selling hand-picked, one-of-a-kind items (like an early '80s portable TV and vintage accessories) and a "Vibes" section to showcasing their friends wearing the collection. [VenaCava.com]
>> After Haider Ackermann's name was thrown into the ring of potential Dior designers on March 1, his phone started ringing non-stop, according to Katou Brandsma, who represents the designer. "When everything went mad, he locked himself in his showroom and turned off his BlackBerry. I believe it's still off now," Brandsma said, almost two weeks after. "It was a very bizarre fashion week, but a very good one for us. Everyone was congratulating us. We had buyers from shops, like Barneys in New York, we've been waiting for 10 years to turn up to our shows. Our designs stood out because everyone else — apart from McQueen — was so boring." [Guardian UK]
>> Samantha Pleet just released her Fall 2011 lookbook, highlighting a sweet and quirky collection filled with constellation prints and fun tassels. She was "inspired by mythology, astronomy, and my recent trip through Iceland," Pleet says. "The clothes capture the enchantment I experienced at wonders along the Ring Road with its frozen waterfalls, geysers, and Northern Lights." She worked with an embroiderer back in New York to illustrate the starry night sky on high-waisted shorts, reflected moons on the lapels of a blazer, and the cycle of Venus on a dress collar; check the slideshow for the complete eco-friendly offering.