French Maison Chanel Purchases Bond Street Store for £310 Million

The same week that Chanel unveiled its new Spring/Summer 2021 collection at the Grand Palais in Paris, the French Maison has announced that it purchased its Bond Street store for £310 million, in a show of confidence to retail in London.

Chanel’s little black dresses, softly tailored tweed jackets and two-tone shoes have been a fixture at 159 Bond Street since 2013. In a boom for British retail, the Parisian fashion house has agreed to pay £310 million to buy the boutique outright, which is £70 million more than the original £240 million asking price. 

Chanel reportedly fought off competition for the prime location from the Abu Dhabi royal family, as well as private investors in Hong Kong, Europe and America. Spanning 12,600 sq ft, the flagship boutique is one of the largest Chanel shops in the world and houses the French Maison’s complete offering of ready-to-wear, footwear, accessories, fine jewellery and beauty, with sumptuous VIP changing rooms and an art-filled lounge.

The Chanel Boutique at Bond Street is one of Chanel’s largest spaces worldwide, the store covers three floors and sells fashion, beauty and accessories. 

Designed by Peter Marino, the boutique’s showpiece is a supersized, sculptural string of pearls that hangs down the middle of the stairwell, made from hand-blown Murano glass by French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel.

The French Maison has further outposts on Sloane Street in Knightsbridge and Walton Street in Brompton Cross, as well as a jewellery boutique on New Bond Street. 

The acquisition highlights Chanel’s commitment to British retail despite the high street reporting a fall in sales and shoppers following lockdown measures. While the premium brand accessed the Bank of England’s emergency coronavirus lending scheme at the start of the pandemic, borrowing some £600 million, the company has said this has since been paid back in full. 

While it is an undeniably difficult time for British retail, the luxury sector has continued to perform well: there have been consistent queues outside Bond Street’s most popular boutiques since they reopened in July, as well as steady footfall in Knightsbridge and Chelsea. During September, The Deck opened as the first all-female tailor on Savile Row, and Thom Sweeney unveiled a multistorey townhouse on Old Burlington Street. Off-White also recently debuted its first standalone London store on Sloane Street.

Chanel is currently controlled by Alain Wertheimer, 72, and his brother Gérard Wertheimer, 69. In 2018, the French fashion house elected London as the base for its global headquarters, transferring staff from New York and its native Paris. In 2019, Chanel increased profits by 16.6 per cent, totalling $3.5 billion, and announced in June that it still expects to turn a profit in 2020. 

Chanel devotees can rest assured that the Parisian mega-brand isn’t budging from Bond Street. Come into the beautiful world of Chanel.

Hermès at Galería Canalejas, Madrid

French Maison Hermès reaffirms its close and long-standing relationship with Spain. On 1 October 2020, Hermès was delighted to announce the opening of a new store in Galería Canalejas in the heart of Madrid. Set in the affluent core of the capital, the heritage-listed neoclassical building is an architectural icon now revived as a contemporary cultural hub.

Located on the ground floor, and flanked by the wide,elegant boulevards of Calle de Alcalá and Calle de Sevilla, the new 230-square-metre Hermès boutique strikes a harmonious balance between the history of the address and a new vision for retail, imbued with the house’s emblematic aesthetic language.

Come into the beautiful world of Hermès.

Brandon Maxwell Classics Collection II featuring Grace Elizabeth

This year, fashion designer Brandon Maxwell is celebrating five years as a label, presenting ‘The Anniversary Collection’. As an ode to his two muses – the women in his life he admires, and Texas – the designer re-worked classics in all denim. A bustier dress was paired with high stiletto boots, all reimagined in dark denim. For the anniversary, Maxwell also partnered with Austin-based embroidery studio Fort Lonesome for a line of patches.

I’ve wanted to do this for years, because these have always been our most requested pieces and when they came out they were only in 3 stores that first year. So, in celebration of our 5th year anniversary, they’re back! A limited small run, a new label, just for you.

Brandon Maxwell on Instagram.

The designer’s careful eye for classics was packaged and presented in another capsule collection that followed, entitled ‘The Classics Collection II’. The line re-issues five looks from the brand’s Spring/Summer 2016 and Fall/Winter 2016 collections, providing those equally as nostalgic during this time with some coveted pieces from the past.

To model these five looks – either all black or all white – was model Grace Elizabeth. Posing in the iconic Brandon Maxwell ensembles, Grace Elizabeth is photographed by Mark Seliger. Grace is a dreamy vision clad in smart suiting separates, form-fitting dresses and asymmetrical silhouettes. Elegant and sensation,wearing a monochrome wardrobe, Grace catches the eye and has her hair and makeup done by Joey George and Georgi Sandev.

Come into the beautiful world of Brandon Maxwell.

Fendi Selects Kim Jones to Replace Karl Lagerfeld

The job of artistic designer at Fendi has finally been filled. The storied Roman fashion house and fur specialist announced on Wednesday that the British fashion designer Kim Jones would replace Karl Lagerfeld, who died in February of last year, in the role.

Mr. Jones will be responsible for the haute couture, ready-to-wear and fur collections for women, Fendi said in a statement. He will also maintain his current position as artistic director of Dior Men in Paris. It is the second major designer move by Fendi’s owner, LVMH Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, the world’s largest luxury group by sales, since the coronavirus pandemic began, – the French company appointed Matthew Williams as Givenchy’s new designer in June.

As such, it reflects the luxury group’s commitment to forging ahead with its brands and buzzy designers, even as questions swirl around the future of fashion, shopping and the entire traditional show system. In a statement, LVMH’s chief executive, Bernard Arnault, called Mr. Jones ‘a great talent’, adding that he had proved his ability to adapt to the codes of assorted LVMH Maison’s ‘with great modernity and audacity’.

The hire represents a doubling down on a bet by LVMH that fur will continue to be a hallmark of luxury, at a time when it is increasingly being seen as an unethical relic of another era. And as the industry faces a reckoning on race and diversity, the hiring of a white man already in its employ at Dior for one of the most plum design titles in the business also could be seen as going against the trend of confronting fashion’s systemic racism, and LVMH’s stated commitments to tackling that.

The choice of Mr. Jones is the culmination of more than a year of discussions and apparent soul-searching by LVMH, which built Fendi into a billion-dollar brand. Fendi has been a core pillar of its fashion empire since it purchased an initial stake in the company from the Fendi family in a joint venture with Prada in 1999 (in 2001, LVMH became the brand’s sole owner).

Along with Silvia Venturini Fendi, the only family member still in the company, who will continue to design Fendi accessories and men’s wear once Mr. Jones arrives, Mr. Lagerfeld was integral to that growth. Over a 54-year tenure at Fendi, Mr. Lagerfeld created the concept of ‘fun fur’ when fur was seen as the stale province of the bourgeoisie. He held ‘haute fourrure’ shows on the couture calendar even as fur increasingly fell out of fashion. He and Ms. Fendi appeared on the catwalk together at the end of every women’s wear show.

Though it was often suggested that Ms. Fendi, who referred to Mr. Lagerfeld as a mentor, might assume sole creative ownership of the brand after his death, executives at LVMH were open about their belief in the benefit of two creative personalities sparking off each other. Along with Mr. Jones, another name thought to be in the running for the position was Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director of women’s wear at Dior.

Designer pairings can be a risk, given the egos that are sometimes involved. But along with Miuccia Prada’s recent decision to name Raf Simons as co-creative director of Prada, pairing Mr. Jones and Ms. Fendi may also signal a new approach to team-building in fashion. A fetishisation of the single visionary has more often been the norm, and several high-profile talents like Mr. Jones and Virgil Abloh have increasingly juggled multiple design responsibilities across top fashion houses. Fendi’s chief executive, Serge Brunschwig, called Mr. Jones “one of the most talented and relevant designers of today”.

I would like to profoundly thank Mr. Arnault, Mr. Brunschwig and Silvia Venturini Fendi for this incredible opportunity. Working across two such prestigious houses is a true honour as a designer and to be able to join the house of Fendi as well as continuing my work at Dior Men’s is a huge privilege.

Kim Jones

After graduating from the London art-and-design school Central Saint Martins and one of the brightest stars on the luxury men’s wear scene, the London designer worked for several brands, from Iceberg to Mulberry. And while he’s best known for designing menswear for Louis Vuitton, Dior and his own brand, he’s scored many a female fan (including close friends Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Victoria Beckham and the Karadashians-Jenner). In fact, when he joined Dior Hommes, in 2018, there were rumours that he was going to lead all of the collections for the Parisian fashion house, including womenswear.

Before joining Dior Men he worked at Louis Vuitton as their men’s wear designer for seven years. At Vuitton, he brought his longstanding love and encyclopedic knowledge of luxe streetwear – athletic tech fabrics, big sneakers, oversize graphic T-shirts and elegant tracksuits, but also crocodile backpacks and cashmere baseball tops – to a superbrand that had been overly content to sell its male clientele little more than monogrammed leather cases, belts and wallets.

More recently, at Dior, his shows merging suiting with streetwear and reworking tailoring for a modern audience generated buzz beyond the men’s market. They have shown Mr. Jones to be more plugged in to the outside world than some of his industry peers.

In July, for example, a week after the brand was criticised for casting an all-white ensemble of models for its women’s wear couture presentation as Black Lives Matter protest raged worldwide, Mr. Jones featured only models of color in his spring 2021 collection. It was designed in collaboration with the acclaimed Ghanaian portait painter Amoako Boafo. In December, Mr. Jones was named designer of the year at the Fashion Awards in London.

He will be expected to bring some of that magic to Fendi. The brand has seen robust growth in recent years, fueled by its savvy leather accessories, fur designs and a burgeoning fan base in China and Southeast Asia.

“I look forward to taking the Fendi universe to the next level with Kim”, Ms. Fendi said. Though Fendi is planning to hold a physical show – for fall-winter 2021/22 – on Sept. 23 in front of a reduced audience during Milan Fashion Week, Mr. Jones’s debut collection is planned for February, the company said. We can’t wait. Come into the beautiful world of Fendi.

Maison Margiela Drops MM.11 Leather Phone Pouches

 

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High fashion Parisian label Margiela – that was founded by Martin Margiela, in 1988 – is known for its deconstructive and avant-garde designs with unconventional materials; it is one of the most enigmatic high fashion labels in the industry. Now the French Maison is offering a stylish alternative to protect your mobile phone when you’re on-the-go.

Arriving in rich hues of tan or black, the carrying option falls with the Maison Margiela 11 accessories line, crafted with supple Italian leather and features an open top and slip pocket for easy use. An embossed MM.11 logo, either in gold for the tan version or silver for the black, is stamped in front while stitched accents create a subtle design on the back. The pouch utilizes a shoulder strap and a leather stopper, offering the choice to wear it over the shoulder or across the body.

20200808_231715.gifThe Maison Margiela MM.11-embossed leather phone pouch is priced at approximately €290 and is available at Maison Margiela Boutiques and selected stores worldwide. Come into the beautiful world of Maison Margiela.

 

 

 

 

Dior Releases Its Redesigned Bobby Bag

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Designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, French Maison Christian Dior has unveiled a re-designed Bobby Bag as part of its Fall 2020 collection release. The new It bag pays homage to Monsieur Christian Dior’s beloved dog Bobby, who lent his name to many designs in the Maison’s archive. Bobby has also inspired a limited-edition perfume bottle, like a work of art in his image, designed by Fernand Guery-Colas among many other things.

A nod to monsieur Christian Dior’s dog, the Bobby carries an air of ‘timeless modernity’ with its contemporary contoured shape, smooth box calfskin that is selected for its superior quality., flexible suede interior and craftmanship.

The fashion house’s iconic signature ‘CD’ initials, made of antique gold-finished metal, is defined atop the classic military-style buckle which neatly hides the magnetic clasp of this petit flap bag. An emblematic signature, the ’30 Montaigne’, Dior’s landmark Paris address, is relief hand-embossed in tone-on-tone and finished by hand — giving a subtle echo of the eponymous emblematic bag.

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Hand made in Florance, Italy, the Bobby Bag is available in three sizes and two versions: the calfskin and the embroidered Oblique Jacquard. The former is available in four colors of black, blue, latte and camel, and the latter just in the color blue.

These exceptional designs are realized in Florence, the beating heart of leather goods production, according to a precise and demanding artisanal savoir-faire.

A must-have piece in the collection for every apostle of Dior, the Bobby can be carried in the hand, worn on the shoulder, or cross-body thanks to its detachable shoulder straps. The latter also comes in matching leathers or an embroidered version, offering an endless possibility to mix and match for a resolute couture result.

Watch how the Bobby Bag is hand crafted in the video above. The Bobby Bag is available at Dior Boutiques, Dior’s official website, and selected stores worldwide.

Come into the beautiful world of Christian Dior.

 

 

 

 

Hermès Spring 2021 Menswear Epitomizes Louche Luxury

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On Sunday 5 July, French Maison Hermès unveiled its Men’s Spring-Summer 2021 collection, designed by Véronique Nichanian, through ‘Horse-Champ’, a performance created with the artistic collaboration of Cyril Teste.

This sequence-shot was filmed live in the heart of the house’s workshops, which have been located in Pantin, France, since 1992. A lively place that brings together creators, product developers, craftsmen, and support functions. Today, 2,000 people work for Hermès between Pantin and Bobigny.

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The French Maison has already proven its resilience in the ongoing pandemic and now the luxury label is demonstrating its inimitable approach to effortlessly muted luxury. Its Spring 2021 menswear offering keeps in line with artistic director Véronique Nichanian’s previous collections, yielding a sleek range quietly informed by peerless quality.

First shown via the digital presentation seen below, Hermès then shot the seasonal collection and transposed it atop a digital background, keeping in line with the social distancing precautions that many fashion labels are currently observing. As usual Hermès centralized its clothing line on its rich textiles and carefree details.

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Collarless harrington jackets, ribbed sweaters and striped layers in various hues meshed insouciantly, upholding the house’s zest for breezy, comfortably styling. This motif was driven home by drawstring slacks, rolled shirts, thoughtlessly popped collars and Hermès’ signature leather belt, tucked into itself to allow the tail to fly free.

Illustrative abstract patterns grace shirts cut with just enough slouch to billow out from the elasticated waistbands they were tucked into, subverting any sense of stiffness. A host of leather-accented items, including watches, necklaces and duffel bags, were even more minimal than the subtly stylish garments.

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Come into the beautiful world of Hermès.

 

 

 

 

Breaking news: Givenchy names Matthew Williams its new Creative Director

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Earlier this year, French Maison Givenchy and Clare Waight Keller announced the end of their three-year partnership and since then, we’ve been wondering who would fill up the Creative Director post. Now it’s official! Givenchy’s seventh couturier has been named…

Just moments ago, the iconic French Maison has announced Matthew M. Williams as the new Creative Director via Instagram, sharing a brief message from the newly appointed American designer.

View this post on Instagram

A voice note from our new Creative Director, @MatthewMWilliams.

A post shared by GIVENCHY (@givenchyofficial) on

When you’re a follower of menswear, or a fan of ‘hardware’, like fancy buckles, you may have heard of him. He’s a 34-year-old self-taught California native who got his start in music, designing for Kanye West and later Lady Gaga.

In 2010, he founded the Been Trill collective along with Heron Preston and Virgil Abloh, and in 2015, he started his own label, 1017 ALYX 9SM (known more simply as Alyx – ah-LEEX – after his older daughter). It began with womenswear but has grown to become one of the most exciting labels to show during Paris Fashion Week: Men’s.

I am extremely honoured to join the House of Givenchy. The Maison’s unique position and timeless aura make it an undeniable icon and I am looking forward to working together with its ateliers and teams, to move it into a new era based on modernity and inclusivity.

Matthew M. Williams

Williams has also recently collaborated with Moncler Genius and with his friend Kim Jones at Dior Men, but this is his first time at the helm of an LVMH-owned brand. (Alyx was a finalist for the LVMH Prize in 2016, which gives prize money and mentorship to emerging labels that submit and compete for its notice – and gives LVMH execs an opportunity to survey the design landscape).

As creative director of Givenchy, Williams will replace designer Clare Waight Keller, who stepped down in April after just two and a half years. The two have very different aesthetics. Waight Keller’s soft, elegant tailoring drew inspiration from Mr. Givenchy himself, and appealed to women like Meghan Markle, who notably wore a gown by the designer to her wedding with Prince Harry.

I am grateful to the LVMH group for trusting me with the opportunity to fulfill my lifelong dream. In these unprecedented times for the world, I want to send a message of hope, together with my community and colleagues, and intend to contribute towards positive change.

Matthew M. Williams

Williams, meanwhile, has a sharper, shinier, more futuristic edge. The large aluminum buckles he puts on just about everything, which resemble those on a parachute harness, were recently named-dropped by Drake in his song ‘Tootsie Slide’. In general, his work is perhaps closer to that of Riccardo Tisci, who was creative director of the brand before Waight Keller, and is now at Burberry.

Like those who came before him, Williams will be responsible for all creative aspects of the brand, including both women’s and men’s design. The designer is set to present his first collection for Givenchy in October in Paris. Come into the beautiful world of Givenchy.

 

 

 

Louis Vuitton Boutiques Get Vibrant Rainbow Designs

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As select stores begin to re-open around the world, French Maison Louis Vuitton is inviting its employees and their children to decorate the House’s windows in a new initiative called ‘The Rainbow Project’. Hand-drawn rainbows by children and employees serve as welcoming beacons of hope during this uncertain time

Let’s turn the street into a cheerful space.

Gaston Louis Vuitton

Carrying on the company’s longstanding tradition of creating inviting and artful windows for the public to view, the collaborative effort asks participants to draw their very own version of a Rainbow – a symbol of hope and the start of a new adventure – to welcome the first months of early summer.

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For every city, local rainbow drawings will brighten the store’s façades in the form of stickers or digital animated screens. Paris’ Champs-Elysees store features a selection of rainbows, created by French children, across the six-window store front.

A symbol of hope. Rainbows drawn by the children of #LouisVuitton employees have appeared across store windows worldwide as colorful beacons of joy during these challenging times.

In Madrid, a Spanish child’s rainbow drawing spans the window, hovering in clouds of Louis Vuitton monograms. Other cities that have unveiled their rainbow window displays include Milan, Rome and Frankfurt.

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Look out for the rest of ‘The Rainbow Project’ to be unveiled throughout the month of May in selected Louis Vuitton stores worldwide. Come into the beautiful world of Louis Vuitton.