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Good News? Hudson’s Bay Snaps Up Saks for a Cool $2.9 Billion

Hudson's Bay

Huge retail news is breaking today as the Canadian store-formerly-known-as-The-Bay, Hudson's Bay, is planning to acquire U.S. retailer Saks and its 42 stores in a $2.9 billion buy-out.

The purchase of Saks caps a seven-year run of deal-making for Hudson's Bay Chief Executive Richard Baker, a longtime real estate investor who, last year, sold Zellers to Target and also attempted to take over Bloomingdales. In 2008, you may also remember Hudon's Bay scoring a deal with department store chain Lord & Taylor, however, the clothing retailer has still yet to make its move this side of the border.

Naturally, with Saks added to its portfolio, many are hoping the luxury chain will join Hudson's Bay in the snowy North, but according to news outlets, HBC "plans to keep Saks as a separate unit headquartered in New York and introduce the Saks brand in Canada through online and other formats." I'm not sure what that means other than Canada shipping and what? Pop-up shops on Queen West?

"This exciting portfolio of three iconic brands creates one of North America’s premier fashion retailers," says Baker in a press release. "This acquisition will increase our growth potential both in the U.S. and Canada, generate significant efficiencies of scale, add to our powerful real estate portfolio and deliver substantial value to our shareholders."

Value to shareholders yes, value to customers, hmmm. Hudson's Bay is quickly positioning itself as an unmatched conglomerate when it comes to clothing retail. This recent news only adds to the incestuous nature of the North American market, where profit and growth comes first. Just recently Loblaws took over Shoppers Drug Mart in a $12.4 billion deal, meaning that the end game looks as though a select handful of companies could soon monopolise certain sectors (ahem, Rogers/Bell and Chapters/Indigo anyone?). All is left now is for Hudson's Bay to drop a pretty penny on Sears and we're almost back to the 19th century monopoly enjoyed by HBC during its fur trading years.

Image via The Bay

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Suboo Ditches Floaty for In-Your-Face at Swim Week Miami

image: miami.mbfashionweek.com

image: miami.mbfashionweek.com

Suboo has always been one of the most fun runways to watch at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia. But now they’ve joined the bevvy of local brands taking a whole new collection to far-flung countries, showing off a less floaty and more in-your-face swimwear collection at Swim Week Miami.

We’ve already established that Miami and swimwear are a very enjoyable combination, and the setting was perfect for designer Sue di Chio’s loud statement that Suboo is no longer just a local surf brand.

Over the course of 20 different looks, Suboo moved seamlessly from bright neons and cool, cropped rashies to lady-luxe one-pieces incorporating animal prints and dramatic mesh paneling. And there were plenty of Bond girl-inspired athletic separates along the way. Can we get an encore of that graphic Tetris-like print in futuristic silver?

Fix yourself a cocktail — shaken, not stirred — and watch the high-impact video below to see the local label that’s on the up and up. 

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The Fashion Spot’s 10 Best Articles of the Week

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  1. Stars Show Off Some Hero Looks at Comic-Con International 2013 - Starlets fail to get geeky at Comic-Con; on the flipside, there were very stylish looks all around. 
     
  2. Gail Simmons: 5 Best American Cities for a Food Tour - The Top Chef judge talks eating and traveling. 
     
  3. Cocktails, Fashion and Lots of Skin: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim Recap - "I've covered Fashion Weeks from New York to Paris to Sydney — none are as much fun as Miami Fashion Week Swim."
     
  4. Kelly Cutrone: ‘Society Has a Hyper-Emphasis On Thin and That Trend Comes From the Consumers’ - The fashion publicist has strong opinions, is not afraid to use them. 
     
  5. Remix Your Wardrobe with Celebrity DJ-Inspired Style - We’ve got everything you need to get the DJ girl look — minus the playlist.
  6. Insta-Crush: Opening Ceremony’s Too-Cool-for-School Instagram - What started as a humble little shop in NYC has since grown into a must-visit emporium of cool in cities across the world.
     
  7. 5 Ways to Break Out of Your Style Rut For Good - Stop grabbing the look you know 'works' and start hitting the street in looks that feel fresh and chic.
     
  8.  The Glam Guide to Visiting Montreal - Montreal is everything this girl could want in a weekend getaway. (Psst, don't miss the other installment we published this week: The Glam Guide to Visiting Miami)
     
  9. Cate Blanchett Gives a Master Class in Red Carpet Style and Other Best Dressed Celebs of the Week - Rose Byrne, Rachel Bilson and Jessica Chastain also made this week's list.

     

  10. Celebrity Hair Trend: The Faux Bob - Cut out the dramatics and ‘do as the celebs do, by pinning your hair into an easy faux bob.

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Karl Lagerfeld Identifies as a ‘Fashion Missionary’ In a New Four-Hour Documentary

Karl-Lagerfeld-M

There are days when, after spending ages looking for something worthwhile to post about and not coming up with anything, Karl Lagerfeld is my last resort. Without fail, every day, Karl has done or been involved with something ridiculous. Always and everlastingly. 

And the Kaiser is apparently not only God's gift to me, he also believes he is God's fashion gift to all. In a new four-hour (!) documentary about the designer, slated to air in September in Germany, Lagerfeld reportedly refers to himself as a "fashion missionary." (To be fair, the film was titled Fashion as Religion, so the holy leader bit was probably a response to a question asked by the filmmakers, and not a thing Lagerfeld runs around calling himself at parties.)

And for those that have long had the burning desire to know Karl's opinion on papal chic, your time is now: "The only pope I thought was chic was Pius XII. Even though he may not be remembered for his popularity, I thought he was elegant. And Pope John XXIII was the most charismatic; you can keep all the others.”

RelatedWhat It’s Like to Stand Next to Karl Lagerfeld, a Photo Diary

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Watch: Oscar de la Renta on Second Chances for John Gailliano; Feeling Sorry for Huma Abedin; Dressing Michelle Obama

Image: Getty

Image: Getty

Oscar de la Renta, whose designs are currently on display as part of an exhibition at the Clinton Presidential Library in Arkansas, appeared on CBS This Morning this er … morning, to talk about his career dressing America's First Ladies (and how he hopes to someday dress Michelle Obama), his relationship with John Galliano (the former Dior designer recently sat down for an hour-long interview with This Morning co-host Charlie Rose) and how fashion has evolved over the past few decades, in accordance with women's changing social roles and newfound economic independence.

On designing for First Ladies:

NORAH O'DONNELL: You have dressed every First Lady for half a century.

OSCAR DE LA RENTA: Well, not all of them, but a few of them.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Not Mrs. Obama. Yes. Would you like to dress Mrs. Obama?

OSCAR DE LA RENTA: I would love to dress Mrs. Obama.  I think she is a very stylish lady, and I have seen that there are a lot of young designers that have deserved that chance. You know, only in this country do we pay so much attention to what the First Lady wears. Only in this country does the First Lady have such a public image about what she does. It doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world.

On John Galliano:

CHARLIE ROSE: You also befriended John Galliano after he ran into to controversy and gave him a chance to come work with you.

OSCAR DE LA RENTA: Well Anna Wintour asked me if I would have John in my studio for three weeks and I said yes of course. I have known John for 30 years. Over 35 years. He’s a very talented man. And who has not done at one point in their life something bad? John has had a lot of issues — health issues, abuse — but I like John. He’s a great guy and I was happy that I gave him that second chance and I hope that he will survive all of this because he is an extremely talented man.

Women and fashion:

OSCAR DE LA RENTA: I always said to be a good designer you have to keep your eyes open, understand the woman, and who the consumer is. How her life is, her aspirations. You know, today is a very difficult time to be a designer because it’s the most exciting time. Never, never has there been a woman that controls her destiny as much as the woman today. You don’t have to go to your boyfriend, husband, or whoever and ask, “Can I buy that dress?” You are making your own choices.

The segment:

And then from a web extra, which didn't air on television, some remarks on Huma Abedin in light of new revelations about Anthony Weiner's sexting scandal:

NORAH O’DONNELL: Huma Abedin. You designed her wedding gown, and I know you’re very friendly with her. What do you think about what’s going on?

OSCAR DE LA RENTA: I feel very, very sorry for Huma, because I think she’s a wonderful, great girl. And I wasn’t sure they had spoken to anyone about it. She had never disclosed it with anyone.

NORAH O’DONNELL: Yes, it was the first time we heard her speak publicly, yesterday. She’s very private as you know

CHARLIE ROSE: You don’t think she’s even discussed it with people who you might expect her to talk about it with?

OSCAR DE LA RENTA: I don’t think she has. You know I think in life, people do deserve a second chance. A third and a fourth? I doubt it.

Transcript and video courtesy of CBS This Morning

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Chloé Fall 2013 Ad Campaign is Kind of Boresville (Forum Buzz)

Image via Chloe

Image via Chloe

Sure, Chloé’s Fall 2013 ad campaign featuring Tess Hellfeuer, Marique Schimmel and Esther Heesch is pretty and all, but there’s nothing really exciting about it. Forgive me for saying it, but the models look a bit ordinary in contrast to the usual otherworldly, aspirational types Chloé tends to cast in its campaigns. Seeing the girls in motion in the campaign video by Fabien Baron (which has now mysteriously gone private), helps a tad, but still. Despite Chloé's new Baylee bag being featured, I’m unmoved and I’m not alone in my lack of enthusiasm. 

“The models would be more fitting for See by Chloé. Not feeling this yet,” vanpersie remarked. There’s no maturity, no elegance, no knowing looks in these models’s eyes. They’re far too young for these clothes and this campaign and it shows.

Navyvelvetbowtie posted, “I think the casting is a bit odd, Tess and Esther have soft faces and in some parts of the video they look really alike. On the other hand, Marique has a really strong face and is slightly more androgynous, so it looks non-cohesive in the casting department. On the art direction, it looks quite boring, and doesn't look very appealing.”

“It seriously looks like it was ripped out of a department store catalog mailer, boring as hell,” HeatherAnne chimed in.

Are we being too harsh? Is there an adjective other than “boring” that you would use to describe this campaign? Comment below.

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