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Today’s Episode of The Cara Delevingne Show Brought to You by YSL Makeup Fall 2013


Cara Delevingne for YSL Makeup

Image: Beautyalmanac.com

She's the face of Saint Laurent's Fall 2013 womenswear campaign, the label's Baby Doll mascara and now we've learned that she's also featured in a new campaign for YSL Beauty's new Fall 2013 Makeup collection, available in August. Okay, YSL, we get it: your life has no meaning without Cara Delevingne.  

The image which, along with images of the line's product list, popped up on smaller beauty blogs a few days ago, shows the British model styled in a deep-cut Old Hollywood-inspired black gown, her hair shiny with loose finger waves. The actual makeup part of this cosmetics ad consists of dark red lipstick and a bright neon swipe of eyeshadow, from the 'Arty' edition of YSL's new 'City Drive Palette' (pictured below, left; see the 'Classy' version of the shadow compact is on the right). The eye makeup was a BOLD choice, but is probably not the most successful part of the campaign; that honor goes to Delevingne's face, which continues to demonstrate impressive range. 

YSL Makeup Fall 2013

Image: Beautyalmanac.com

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Let’s Discuss: Diamonds Are Bullsh*t

Kim Kardashian

Image: WENN.com

Business Insider has just published a 2,800-word screed explaining how diamonds are a sham, created as a status symbol in the 1940s by the marketing department at De Beers, as a way of reversing declining engagement ring sales.

Diamonds, the article puts forth, aren't as rare as their reputation leads us to believe; their prices have been artificially inflated by jeweler control of the supply chain; unlike other commodities like gold, diamonds are typically not a worthwhile investment because the gems are sold at an exorbitant mark-up rate of 100-200% — "As soon as you leave the jeweler with a diamond, it loses over 50% of its value."

Rohin Dhar writes:

We covet diamonds in America for a simple reason: the company that stands to profit from diamond sales decided that we should. De Beers’ marketing campaign single handedly made diamond rings the measure of one’s success in America. Despite its complete lack of inherent value, the company manufactured an image of diamonds as a status symbol. And to keep the price of diamonds high, despite the abundance of new diamond finds, De Beers executed the most effective monopoly of the 20th century. Okay, we get it De Beers, you guys are really good at business! 

The purpose of this post was to point out that diamond engagement rings are a lie – they’re an invention of Madison Avenue and De Beers. This post has completely glossed over the sheer amount of human suffering that we’ve caused by believing this lie: conflict diamonds funding wars, supporting apartheid for decades with our money, and pillaging the earth to find shiny carbon. And while we’re on the subject, why is it that women need to be asked and presented with a ring in order to get married? Why can’t they ask and do the presenting?

Diamonds are not actually scarce, make a terrible investment, and are purely valuable as a status symbol.

Diamonds, to put it delicately, are bullshit.

YEAH. 

Read the full article here and then let us know what you think: Diamond engagement rings, beautiful love tokens or hollow vessels of deceit?

[Diamonds Are A Sham And It's Time We Stop Getting Engaged With Them]

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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. 

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