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.

Sold! LVMH buys Tiffany & Co in $16.2 billion deal

Tiffany-Co

The luxury French conglomerate and the American jeweller reach an agreement and it’s a big deal… In one of its biggest moves of the year – after Bvlgari, Chaumet, Fred, Hublot, and many others – LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) acquired fabled American jeweller Tiffany & Co. for $16.2 billion, solidifying its place as the world’s biggest luxury group.

The deal, which saw LVMH initially bid $120 per share back in October before both parties settled on $135, will help re-energise the jewellery brand and its business which has seen a substantial drop in interest in America as well as abroad. The blockbuster move will strengthen LVMH’s position in jewellery, creating heady competition for Swiss conglomerate Richemont, which owns both the French Maison’s Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, and has dominated the hard luxury category in the past few years.

We are delighted to have the opportunity to welcome Tiffany & Co, a company with an unparalleled heritage and unique position in the global jewellery world, to the LVMH family. We have an immense respect and admiration for Tiffany and intend to develop this jewel with the same dedication and commitment that we have applied to each and every one of our Maisons. We will be proud to have Tiffany sit alongside our iconic brands and look forward to ensuring that Tiffany continues to thrive for centuries to come.

Bernard Arnaul, LVMH chairman and chief executive officer

With 75 distinguished Houses, Tiffany & Co now joins LVMH’s massive stable of luxury brands which include fashion houses Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, and Celine, as well as beauty retail giant Sephora. “As part of the LVMH group, Tiffany will reach new heights, capitalising on its remarkable internal expertise, unparalleled craftsmanship and strong cultural values”, Alessandro Bogliolo, chief executive officer of Tiffany.

Come into the beautiful world of Tiffany & Co.

 

 

 

 

LVMH Group Supports LGBTQ Rights With UN Standards of Conduct for Business Signing

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LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE also known as LVMH, is a French Multinational corporation and coglomerate specializing in luxury goods, headquartered headquartered in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France. The company was formed in 1987 under the merger of iconic fashion house Louis Vuitton (founded in 1854) with Moët Hennessy, a company formed after the 1971 merger between the champagne producer Moët & Chandon and cognac producer Hennessy.

The Group controls around 60 subsidiaries that each manage a small number of prestigious brands, 75 in total (like Bvlgari, Céline, Chaumet, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Loewe, Moynat, Jean Patou, to name just a few). The group currently employs more than 83,000 people. Thirty percent of LVMH’s staff work in France. LVMH operates over 2,400 stores worldwide.

Today the LVMH Group’s U.S. Maisons are joining its European members with the signing of the UN Standards of Conduct for Business today. The move will guarantee the human rights of LGBTQ people in all its subsidiaries. Another step towards incluivity.

 All of our employees should be able to be themselves and be considered for their contribution, irrespective of other considerations such as their race, gender or sexual orientation.

Chantal Gaemperle, LVMH Group executive vice president human resources and synergies

LVMH – which prefers the LGBTI acronym – has already put conducts into effects in companies such as Marc Jacobs, Sephora, Belvedere, Benefit, Fresh, Kendo and Starboard. Chantal Gaemperle, group executive vice president human resources and synergies for the group told WWD, “All of our employees should be able to be themselves and be considered for their contribution, irrespective of other considerations such as their race, gender or sexual orientation”.

By the end of 2019, the conglomerate will roll out its own initiative and worldwide training program discussing both unconscious bias and inclusive leadership. This move joins LVMH’s commitment to LGBTQ-community inclusion which has seen the company use the transgender model Krow Kian in Louis Vuitton womenswear shows and the transgender actor Indya Moore in the B-Blossom jewelry campaign.

The signing of the UN Standards of Conduct for Business will see the following actions be put into place:

Respect the human rights of LGBTQ workers, customers and community members.

Eliminate discrimination against LGBTQ employees.

Support LGBTQ staff at work.

Not discriminate against LGBTQ customers, suppliers and distributors while insisting business partners hold the same standard.

Stand up for human rights of LGBTQ people in the communities where they do business.

LVMH’s designers are already closely tied to the LGBTQ community, which often serves as a source of inspiration. Come into the beautiful world of LVMH.

 

 

 

 

Perfume house Maison Francis Kurkdjian enters LVMH portfolio

French luxury goods company LVMH has agreed to buy a majority stake in French independent perfume house Maison Francis Kurkdjian as it expands in fast-growing niche luxury fragrances.

 

Francis Kurkdjian Noses GIF

In 1985, at the age of 26, Francis Kurkdjian created a perfume that would become the catalyst for his career; Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male. Now, the French-Armenian perfumer, who launched his eponymous brand in 1999 with French-Lebanese businessman, a former partner at Ernst & Young in Paris, Marc Chaya, has become the latest to sell to the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey (LVMH) portofolio.

Speaking about the new partnership in which both Kurkdjian and Chaya will continue in their roles, Bernard Arnault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LVMH says: “I am delighted to welcome Maison Francis Kurkdjian to the LVMH Group. Their avant-garde spirit and the quality of their creations give this fragrance House great potential and a promising future”.

“LVMH clearly understands the nature of our Maison, and the Group’s approach to custom-crafted creativity guarantees that our distinctive identity will thrive for the long-term”, added Kurkdjian, who has also previously crafted perfumes for Christian Dior, Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Burberry, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Nina Ricci, Baccarat, Carven, Narciso Rodriguez, Kenzo and Elizabeth Arden.

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Exploring new creative territories in fragrances through his own bespoke fragrance atelier, collaborations with artists and pop-up installations. Francis Kurkdjian received the honorary title of Chevalier des Arts et Lettres in 2008, and became a member in January 2016 of Comité Colbert, the association promoting French luxury and know-how.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian, with estimated annual sales of between 15 and 20 million euros, has two stores in Paris, four in Taiwan, one in Malaysia and another in Dubai.

Its perfumes, which cost up to 1,200 euros ($1,290) for 70 milliliters, are sold in more than 500 select locations in more than 40 countries.