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Link Buzz: Karl Lagerfeld Shares Some More Opinions; The Ultimate Top Knot

Karl Lagerfeld

Image: WENN.com

  • Karl LagerfeldAudrey Tatou bad, Kiera Knightley good. The rest of us? Too much Facebook and Twitter: "They lose a lot of time, these people, and they become stupid because they nearly tell you they're going to the bathroom, eh?" Right. But we should all look to the Kaiser for guidance on keeping things to ourselves. [Fashionologie]
     
  • How to fold a shirt: It's realllly time to get a handle on this, kid. [FabSugar]
     
  • You too can have a head with the ultimate dressy top knot on top. [BellaSugar]
     
  • Oscar de la Renta still happy to speak positively in public on the subject of John Galliano. [The Cut]
     
  • Miley Cyrus would like to remind you that her butt is awesome. [AmyGrindhouse]
     
  • Jumpsuits: I would vote for them, marry them, drink their Kool-Aid. [SheFinds]
     
  • What are you doing this weekend — WATCHING TRUE BLOOD, duh. [EarSucker]
     
  • Kate Middleton's daughter is not Queen material, says Canada. [CelebDirtyLaundry]
     
  • Nina Dobrev states the obvious, says that Hollywood is disconnected. [DailyStab]

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Dissecting the Rumors: Marc Jacobs May Leave Louis Vuitton, But There’s No Proof He’s Going to Coach

Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton

Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton Spring 2013 / via IMAXtree

A new round of designer music chairs is officially underway, with rumors that Marc Jacobs will leave his long-held post at Louis Vuitton (and most likely be succeeded by former Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquière) to either head up Coach or devote himself full-time to his eponymous brand, with the eventual aim of taking it public, following the Michael Kors model. Let's unweave this tangled web, one tangly tangle at a time, okay?

First, some background:

​Luxury conglomerate LVMH hired Marc Jacobs in 1997 as an attempt to launch a womenswear line at Louis Vuitton and revamp the iconic leather goods company's staid, stuffy image. Jacobs' competence and fame is so well-established today, it's hard to imagine what a risky hire it must have been at the time. Jacobs had been fired from his last job at Perry Ellis a few years prior, after designing a paradigm-shattering grunge collection (it obviously shattered those paradigms a little too hard). Louis Vuitton was about tradition, luxury and craft, and Jacobs managed to bring it up to speed with contemporary fashion trends and pop culture (arguably) without abandoning the house's historical legacy. His 16-year tenure at the Parisian label, coupled with the work he did (together with business partner Robert Duffy) building his eponymous design empire (in which LVMH now owns a 96% stake) has made him one of the single most influential designers working today.

Will Marc Jacobs leave Louis Vuitton?

There's a lot of speculation in the press, indicating the option is on the table. However, you can't trust the rumors that emerge during these kinds of high-profile contract negotiations — either or both parties could be leaking false or half-false information as a way of gaining the upper hand and settling on more favorable terms. 

Here's all we really know for sure: Marc Jacobs' contract with Louis Vuitton is set to expire at the end of 2013; as far as we know, he and LVMH have not determined whether both parties wish to extend it. Asked to comment about negotiations with LVMH, Jacobs' business partner, Duffy, declined to comment except to confirm that they are happening in an "ongoing" way. WWD has spoken to "market sources" who claim that the negotiations "have extended beyond his Vuitton contract and could see his entanglements with the French group altered or recalibrated."

This rumor has only gained so much traction because it dovetails with several other, sometimes contradictory, future possibilities — all predicated on Jacobs' departure from Louis Vuitton. 

[The verdict: Very possible, hardly certain based on current available evidence.]

Will Jacobs replace Reed Krakoff at Coach, Inc?

Former Tommy Hilfiger design executive Reed Krakoff is moving on from Coach to focus on his eponymous brand. Krakoff joined Coach in 1996 and his contract is set to expire at the end of this year, a timeline that's almost identical to Jacobs' tenure at Louis Vuitton. Compounding the seeming synchronicity of a possible Jacobs move to Coach, Krakoff was initially hired by the American leather goods company to build it as a viable contender to European luxury and leather goods companies like Louis Vuitton and Prada

WWD reports that Coach is dreaming sweet dreams of stealing Jacobs away from Louis Vuitton. Which — duh. Me too. I dream of Marc Jacobs leaving Louis Vuitton to come be with me and make me purses. 

WWD: "It could not be learned whether Jacobs has been contacted about the Coach job and sources stressed his inclusion on the list of candidates is speculative at this point. According to sources, other candidates on the list include the likes of former Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquière, Chloé’s creative director Clare Waight Keller, Derek Lam, Phillip Lim and Emma Hill, former creative director at Mulberry."

Uh huh. WE KNOW NOTHING. 

Coach is one of the few publicly-traded independent luxury companies. The possibility that he'll take a job there might be a particularly fun threat for Jacobs to wave around in front of his monopoly-hungry LVMH bosses, as he negotiates his Louis Vuitton contract possibly with the end-goal of strong-arming the holding company into divesting their shares of his eponymous design company.

Coach would be something of a step down, prestige-wise, from Louis Vuitton. Jacobs is too ambitious. Would the designer really give up his job at one of the oldest, most beloved French fashion houses to go put his own spin on the wallets at Coach? Considering his apartment and art collection, Jacobs is not for want of pocket money. What he does need is time: the designer recently announced that he was replacing himself at Marc by Marc Jacobs with Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier because the line was getting, according to Duffy, “a little stale.” At Coach, Jacobs would likely need to swallow a lot of pride to succeed Krakoff, a contemporary who left the position to focus entirely on his own line. 

[The verdict: No evidence; not happening.]

Will Jacobs take his company public?

When Michael Kors made an initial public offering in 2011, it was the annual best performing IPO, beating out Facebook. The American fashion company's enormous success taking itself public (LVMH used to own a major stake in the company) is very likely being considered as a model by Marc Jacobs. Though the company's finances are hidden under the LVMH's umbrella, it is believed to be earning $1 billion in revenue annually.

However, LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault is ruthless about maintaining LVMH's industry stronghold (just look at his Hermes takeover attempt and the subsequent legal battle) and a WWD source points out that the company has been continuing to invest heavily in Marc Jacobs. 

[The verdict: Jacobs may be trying to find a way to negotiate independence for his eponymous brand from LVMH, so that he can eventually take it public.]

Will Nicolas Ghesquière take over for Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton?

If Jacobs does leave Vuitton, it seems probable that he'll be replaced by Ghesquière. At this point, the former Balenciaga designer's possible position at Louis Vuitton seems like the most viable rumor, and the only one really lending credence to the theory that Jacobs will not renew his contract with the Parisian fashion brand. 

Fashionista pseudo-verifies the rumor: an anonymous source confirms that Ghesquière is in "serious negotiations" with LVMH on the subject of succeeding Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton.

[The verdict: Very possible BUT having lived through LVMH's recent hiring of Raf Simons to replace John Galliano at Dior, I say, don't believe anything until you see it on the runway. ]

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Kickstarting a Fashion Empire in Canada

There are many more uses for Kickstarter than simply funding Veronica Mars movies or raising capital to buy Rob Ford crack videos. These days, small business owners are turning to the crowdfunding platform to jumpstart their budding ventures, particularly within the fashion industry.

E-tailer Everlane markets itself as a new kind of retail experience, one that exists 100% online and bypasses all middlemen to create beautiful designer goods at truly disruptive prices (with no retail markups). They offer some of the bestselling tees on the market, the U.S. market that is, because up until now they didn't have the capital to migrate north.

Everlane

Everlane

"We want to come to Canada, but we want to do it right. So many retailers enter new markets with little knowledge of whether there’s excitement there. As a young company running a lean business, we want to tread carefully and be smart about our next moves.

There were many discussions around the launch. In one of our team meetings a young engineer said, 'Why don’t we kickstart this thing?' And it just felt obvious. We see this as a unique way to bring rewards for those who join early, while testing demand."

So, Everlane took the logical step of asking the unwashed masses for help funding its expansion on Kickstarter. And guess what? They did it. Exceeding their $100,000 goal by $18,095, promising a bounty of free credit to investors and finally breaking into that tricky Canadian market. A happy ending all around, but Everlane isn't alone in crowdfunding its fashion empire.

Canadian startup Knix Wear, a lingerie company that sells high-performance underwear, recently pre-sold more than $36,000 of its goods on Indiegogo. They aimed to raise $40,000 in 44 days to help fund their first production run and, within 24 hours of launching the campaign on May 2, the company had already surpassed 20% of its fundraising target. Their innovative product line and novel approach to raise funds was even profiled on Forbes.com.

Knix Packaging

Knix Packaging

Knix Wear investors — depending on their contribution — receive a free pair of underwear, featuring the new Fresh Fix Technology they tout as being able to wick away moisture, naturally eliminate odor, while keeping you feeling fresh and dry all day long. With less than $4,000 and four days to meet its target, the Canadian startup may just succeed, but has crowdfunding reached its tipping point?

Knix

Knix

If the Rob Ford Kickstarter debacle has taught us anything, it's that investments can go down the drain, so what do you guys make of the innovative way small fashion business are getting off the ground? Would you invest? Maybe you already have, in which case, do share your experiences in the comments section below..

 

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Up-And-Comer Turned Cash Cow: Cue Takes a Slice of Dion Lee’s Lucrative Pie

dionlee

Image: ElleUK.com

Dion Lee first fooled around with Cue back in 2011, collaborating with the brand on a popular capsule collection based around modern office-appropriate separates.

Now the two have made their love affair official. After a few months of speculation, Cue and Dion Lee have announced a joint partnership, with the high street icon acquiring an undisclosed shareholding in the high end label. Cue Clothing Company operates 231 stores across Australia and New Zealand under its Cue and Veronika Maine brands.

Both parties have been quick to stamp out rumours that the acquisition is the result of financial difficulty, and we’re pretty confident that’s true. Dion Lee is the Australian fashion industry’s deservedly lionised golden child and the most oft-cited example of young designers finding success in the face of economic uncertainty. And keep in mind it was he who approached Cue regarding 2011’s collaboration.

According to Lee, the deal frees him up to focus more heavily on the creative side. “Having a partner allows me to become more creative and allows me to take on more exciting projects and build the brand to its utmost potential,” he told The Australian. “That’s difficult to do with an unfunded business.”

Here’s to a newly cashed-up Lee and his continued trajectory onto the international landscape. 

The Buzz Forum Buzz

Mariacarla Boscono Stars In New Giorgio Armani Campaign (Forum Buzz)

GAW_FW1314_-_adv_campaign GAM_FW1314_-_adv_campaign

Giorgio Armani is known for booking lesser known models for his runway shows and then wowing us with a mega cast for his campaigns. This season he cast the fierce tFS forums favorite Mariacarla Boscono and male model Florian Van Bael for his Fall 2013 campaign, lensed once again by photographer duo Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott. The result doesn’t disappoint and forum members are wowed by the strong images and the great cast:

“Woah this looks frickin amazing!  Looks like this will be the best Armani campaign in quite some time,” exclaimed Elfinkova.

Melancholybaby showed himself equally ecstatic over the previews for the campaign: "This campaign is giving me life! The first two shots are absolutely flawless, they suit Armani's aesthetic to a T.” 

“Only MCB could pull off such an odd hairstyle. Love the lighting, and how there's some depth in the picture as if she's going toward somewhere where the light is located. The contrast between the dark jacket and the light, pastel trousers makes for a great look," analyzed Lagerfeldboy.

Creative pointed out the similarity to an old story shot by legendary photographer Irving Penn, which could have been the inspiration for the concept of this campaign and anlabe32 found that the campaign was “incredibly boring… but what else is new at Giorgio Armani. The clothes are also very dull.” 

I am sometimes stunned by everyone’s unfathomable love for Mariacarla Boscono and found her long reign at Givenchy (as Riccardo Tisci’s muse she starred in  just about every Givenchy campaign since the Fall 2005 season!) to become a little tedious, but as the ultimate Italian high fashion model, she was a perfect choice for an Armani campaign. What makes it hard to impartially enjoy most of Mert & Marcus’ campaigns and editorials is that you always have to wonder where they drew their inspiration from. They notoriously often copy concepts from old shoots one-to-one without giving proper credit, as seems to be the case here. Nonetheless to say, we are spoiled with a set of stunning pictures here and this is slated for becoming one of the more visually appealing campaigns of the season. Like many other tFSers, I am definitely excited to see more!

Image Credits: styleandfashion.blogosfere.it via the tFS Forums

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Is Model Toni Garrn Leo DiCaprio’s Latest Squeeze? (Forum Buzz)

Toni Garrn via Lia Toby/WENN.com

Toni Garrn via Lia Toby/WENN.com

It’s no secret that actor Leonardo DiCaprio has a weakness for young, blonde, long-legged beauties. In recent years he has dated Blake Lively, Anna Jagodzinska and Erin Heatherton. Not to mention his high profile relationships with über-model Gisele Bündchen and Sports Illustrated babe Bar Rafaeli before that. After rumors circulated that he invited Cara Delevingne to Cannes Festival, he has now been seen multiple times with Victoria’s Secret model Toni Garrn. The two were seen flirting at the Amfar Gala After Party, taking a stroll together in Versailles on June 6 and, as tFSer sore noted, also both separately attended the French Open Semi-Finals. Forum members are rather cynical about the blossoming romance between the 20-year old German stunner and the 38-year old womanizer. 

“I was wondering who'd be next! I wonder if dating Leo would do more for her profile than it did for Erin [Heatherton],” commented Clipse.

“Oh Toni! You are 20 and hanging out with modelizer Leo who is 38! What do young models see in him?” asked kab348.

And ForChicSake wrote, “He definitely has a type… he knows what he wants and gets bored quickly. I hope she's having fun and not dreaming about happily ever after with Leo but you never know she might be the one. Life's too short so let them enjoy themselves.”

“It must be funny at the VS fashion show backstage,” laughed clarissea, expressing what is actually awkward about this whole thing, that a majority of Leo’s flings are models straight out of the Victoria’s Secret catalog.

This rather predictable liaison is a little too cliché for my taste, as well. But ForChicSake has a point. Aren’t Hollywood romances mostly superficial to some extent? Don’t most actors go for young, beautiful models? They may not all change their model girlfriends as frequently as DiCaprio and Adam Levine, but the concept of beautiful, powerful and famous people dating even more beautiful people is hardly new. And regardless of how serious Leo's and Toni's relationship is, they sure do look great together. And let's be honest, don’t we love Leo for regularly providing us with some model gossip?

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