MARY KATRANTZOU is collaborating with Adidas, the sportswear brand announced today. Set to debut in November, it will be a long-term union, comprised of both clothing and footwear. In case you missed it, Adidas has been KILLING IT with the collabs (think: Raf Simons, Rick Owens, Stella McCartney, Kanye West, Pharrell, Nigo, etc.). Of joining this list Katrantzou, a young master of prints, colors and silhouettes, told Vogue UK: ”I’m really excited.” Dirk Schoenberger, global creative director of Adidas’s sport style division, said: ”The collaboration between Adidas and Mary Katrantzou merges the exceptional talent of one of the most interesting designers of today and a company that embraces many different cultures from sports, pop, music and fashion. I admire Mary’s extraordinary sense of printing techniques, colours and silhouette that will bring another amazing new aesthetic to the Adidas Originals women’s collection.”
Over the weekend, Alexander Wang announced his impending collection with H&M. What exactly the status of the designer x mass market retailer is right now is up in the air a bit. It seems the days of Missoni for Target-induced hysteria are gone (Wang did cause a bit of excitement over the weekend on Twitter, but that does not ensure sell out status of the collection). Of the designer collections, with the exception of Missoni (which sold out, caused the retailer’s site to crash and then resulted in a shortage inventory and massive shipping mess) and maybe Isabel Marant for H&M (key pieces from that collaboration (pictured below) sold out within 20 minutes), most do not sell out. In fact, not only do the collections not sell out, they often end up heavily discounted, and yet, the partnerships have not ceased, suggesting that actual sales are not necessarily the focal point.
The black market is alive and well for python skins. The illegal trade reportedly amounts to a total of $1 billion each year (roughly the same amount as the legal trade), the vast majority of which is used for high fashion purposes. Turns out, weak regulation is failing to stop half a million skins from being imported illegally each year from south-East Asian to Italy, Germany and France, where they are made into designer handbags, shoes and belts. In an attempt to improve the international trade and protect pythons, Kering (which owns Gucci, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, etc.) has teamed up with the International Union for Conservation of Nature to establish the Python Conservation Partnership. The Partnership issued its first report this week, which “offers an alternative solution to the sourcing of python skins for which demand is escalating … python farms could be part of the answer.” The report goes on to state: ”We must make sure that attention is not diverted from the urgent need to preserve wild pythons and their habitats through direct site conservation and action against illegal trade.” Chances are, in the not to distant future, LVMH and other luxury conglomerates will buy up one or more of the existing commercial farms that currently exist in China, Vietnam and Thailand. This is what Chanel did with its lamb hide provider and LVMH with a crocodile tanning company. In the meantime, I guess we can assume Gucci’s python skin goods are not made from illegally traded pythons.
LVMH acquired another asset this week: the Clos des Lambrays Burgundy vineyard. Louis Vuitton’s parent company’s purchase comes as anything but a big surprise for several reasons: 1 – LVMH has been buying into various wine companies for a few decades now, including Chateau Cheval Blanc and Chateau d’Yquem, as part of its Estates & Wines division, which was formed after the company merged with champagne giant Moët Hennessy in 1987. As a result of the merger, LVMH acquired a dozen major brands, including Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Dom Pérignon and Krug, as well as Hennessy cognac and Chateau d’Yquem; 2 – Investors have been snatching up vineyards in the Burgundy region in France quite a bit as of late; and 3 – Vineyards are kind of a thing in fashion. Salvatore Ferragamo, Chanel and Roberto Cavalli all have financial stakes in vineyards producing wine for retail. And last year, Artemis SA, the Pinault family holding company that controls luxury conglomerate Kering bought into the Araujo Estate Wines in Napa Valley, adding it to the roster of vineyards it owns, including Château Latour in Bordeaux, Domaine d’Eugénie in Burgundy and Château Grillet in the Rhône Valley.
The look-at-me logo is back, according to a recent piece by the Financial Times, which comments on the resurgence of the logo, giving a nod to the rise of Instagram, the popularity of “parody” designs and designers’ odes to the 1980′s as some of the inspiration behind the trend. What about the benefits (in terms of legal logistics) of such designs? Well, here’s a throwback to a piece we featured in September, which notes one of the ways the logo acts as a means of warding off copycats …
The New York City Economic Development Corporation and Capital Business Credit has launched a new initiative to help emerging fashion designers. The New York City Fashion Production Fund is a $2 million fund that provides below-market rate production financing to fashion designers based in New York City, and is expected to issue as much as $32 million in financing over the next four years. According to NYCEDC president Kyle Kimball: “The Fashion Production Fund was created to cultivate the next generation of emerging designers and promote local production, as well as to attract new talent to one of the City’s legacy industries. We are thrilled to work with Capital Business Credit to identify, build, and sustain the next generation of fashion businesses.”
Dior is going to Brooklyn. The house, whose womenswear is under the creative direction of Raf Simons, has chosen the Navy Yard – where Alexander Wang showed his Fall/Winter 2014 collection in February – as the site of its upcoming cruise 2015 fashion show, which will be staged next month. According to a spokesperson for the brand: “We wanted the show to feel very New York, and the Navy Yard’s view and space captures the city.” And Dior is making the trek a bit easier by providing round-trip, door-to-door car and ferry service. More to come …