April 23, 2014

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Veronika Heilbrunner & Justin O’Shea: Dressing for Men vs. Women

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by Chioma Nnadi

Justin O’Shea and Veronika Heilbrunner, the much sought-after street style couple behind luxury e-boutique mytheresa.com, weigh in on fashion for him and for her …

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Opening Ceremony Just Sold Minority Stake in its Co.

Xiao Wen Ju - Adidas Originals x Opening Ceremony Fall 2012 - 4NYC-based retailer, Opening Ceremony has landed some funding. Former David Yurman and Urban Outfitters CEO Glen Senk’s latest venture, Front Row Partners (which has been backed by $350 million from Berkshire Partners), has taken a minority stake in OC, as the firm looks to invest in “businesses that are original, highly differentiated, and authentic.” Opening Ceremony’s co-founders, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim (who also serve as the creative directors of Paris-based house, KENZO), will maintain control of the company, with Senk acting as non-executive chairman. The retailer, which also boasts an in-house line, confirmed plans to open more stores (in addition to its NYC, LA and Tokyo locations) and enhance its e-commerce presence. No word yet on what other brands Front Row is looking into, but it certainly represents a growing trend of new firms investing in fashion brands. The Dock Group, the Los Angeles-based firm that invested in Creatures of the Wild, is on this list, as well.

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Hermès on Exclusivity: “Stay Authentic”

Few luxury brands are actually nailing exclusivity lately. Louis Vuitton is revamping following a period of over-exposure. Gucci is trying to do the same. Both experienced not so favorable sales growth until recently. But there is one brand that consistently gets it right … Paris-based design house, Hermès. Not too long ago, the Wall Street Journal sat down with Axel Dumas, the family-owned brand’s newest CEO, who spoke to this exact point (as well as how he plans to deal with the house’s least favorite stock-holder, LVMH). So, listen up, luxury brands (and emerging brands, as well), you could learn a thing or two …

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Zooey Deschanel and Tommy Hilfiger Go Modical

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courtesy of Kevin Kelly

Zooey Deschanel can add designer to her already long list of achievements, as the ‘New Girl’ star has paired up with Tommy Hilfiger to create a capsule collection. The line, quite fittingly called “To Tommy From Zooey”, embodies the actresses quirky, 60’s style and Hilfiger’s trademark Americana aesthetic. The pair came up with the idea for the collab and coined the term “modical” after bonding over Deschanel’s love for vintage clothes.

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John Mayer for Neighborhood: Nonsensical or Amazing?

Per his instagram late last week, musician John Mayer is set to unveil a collaboration with cult Japanese label, Neighborhood. Casual observers of the guitar virtuoso might remember him from the early oughts, clad in “going out” shirts and bootcut denim; certainly not someone you’d want having any design input on your clothing. But, maybe there’s a reason why Mr. Mayer has been allowed to collaborate with such a revered brand.

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Former Intern Blackmails Jay Z with $30M Master Recordings

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 9.50.25 AMA collection of 50 Jay Z original master recordings, valued at more than $30 million, is at the center of a theft-and-extortion plot. A former studio intern of Jay Z allegedly demanded the rapper pay $110,000 in exchange for the recordings, which the former intern was harboring. According to Page Six that, the ex-intern allegedly contacted Jay Z’s company, Roc Nation, last week via saying he had a series of master recordings. On Friday, the LAPD took the named intern into custody, who was subsequently released pending further investigation. The master recordings were taken into evidence.

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Giorgio Armani Settles Tax Evasion Case

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Giorgio Armani has paid upwards of $350 million to Italian authorities to settle its ongoing tax evasion dispute, stemming from 2002-2009 payments from the group’s subsidiaries abroad. As of now, all claims against the company have been dropped. This is the latest of a string of Italian houses facing tax evasion charges.

According to sources, Italy has become more interventionist on taxes during its longest recession since World War Two. Prada’s parent company, Prada Holding, paid nearly $600 million to settle tax evasion charges in Italy after completing a process of voluntary disclosure in December. Bulgari and ex-Valentino chairman, Matteo Marzotto, have been slapped with tax evasion charges. And of course, there is Dolce and Gabbana, whose founders were convicted of hiding hundreds of millions of dollars from tax authorities. They have appealed the ruling and the verdict is due on April 30th.

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London Draws Diverse Pool of Talent, Fosters Young Brands

Young talent is emerging from London pretty consistently, even more so than any of the other fashion capitols. Over the past year or so, LVMH tapped London-based J.W. Anderson to head up its Spanish accessories brand, Loewe. The same conglomerate invested in footwear designer Nicholas Kirkwood and couturier Maxime Simoens. Its rival, Kering, bought into womenswear designer Christopher Kane’s brand. What all of these designers have in common: They have London-based businesses. However, of these talents, only one, Nicholas Kirkwood, is of British descent. This isn’t terribly surprising; of the nearly 90 brands that showed their Spring/ Summer 2014 collections in London, just over half were designers of British heritage.

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