The Fashion Review: November
The month of November was all about money. Big businesses were sold off for healthy profits, whilst cancellations of big events followed dwindling profits.
One of the biggest stories of the month was the announcement that the world’s largest luxury group, LVMH, is to take over Tiffany & Co, in a $16.2bn (£12.6bn) deal. And this follows a wealth of speculation around the deal. Founded in 1837, the brand has a strong heritage, having famously featured in Breakfast at Tiffany’s; when Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly declared “nothing very bad could happen to you”; and well-known for its duck-egg blue boxes concealing lusted after jewels. Bernard Arnault, LVMH chairman and chief executive officer, is the richest man in Europe, having amassed a vast number of wine, fashion, perfume and beauty brands under his 32-year reign, both his and the company’s expertise will be advantageous in ensuring that Tiffany’s keeps up to speed with a rapidly expanding digital sphere.
Another major sale of the month was the announcement that Kylie Jenner, the world’s youngest billionaire, is set to sell the majority of her cosmetics company to Coty, for $600 million (£463 million). With Coty’s investment, her aim is build the brand into an “international beauty powerhouse.” Joining the likes of Max Factor and Hugo Boss, whom Coty own, it’ll be interesting to see how this boost from a beauty giant will impact sales, if at all.
In contrast to these mega buck’s sales, Victoria’s Secret has cancelled their fashion show amid a ratings drop. The lingerie brand has been accused of failing to keep up with the rest of the industry by not celebrating more diverse body types, leaving it to appear outdated and sexist. After last year’s lowest ratings, it came as no surprise to learn that a once major pop culture event now needs to, in the words of the brand’s parent company, L Brands, “evolve” its marketing strategy. At least, we still have the ever relevant Savage x Fenty to look forward to – a breath of inclusivity fresh air to the industry.
Another big name is also cancelling their next fashion show, but not for the same reasons. Next year marks 15 years since Alexander Wang launched his brand. To celebrate this, he’s cancelling his pre-fall season show, in favour of an all-out anniversary blowout for spring. Plus, he wants to continue to innovate and disrupt fashion. “I think the things that we remember and the things that resonate with our audience have always been about more than just the clothes: It’s the entire experience,” he stated. “That’s really where the intention to do something bigger next year came from.”Following Pete Davidson hitting Wang’s makeshift catwalk at the Rockefeller Centre last June, this is one to definitely watch out for!
Sustainability and ethics are never far from the world of fashion news these days, but it was still a shock to learn that House of Fraser has been found to be selling products lined with fur, after the company stated, in 2017, that it had a “strict no-fur policy”. This change follows the acquisition of the department store by Sports Direct CEO Mike Ashley last year; a decision that Sports Direct have since said they regret buying after they were hit with a large tax bill. This change, of course, might be an effort to try to prevent rapidly spiralling profits, but, in the current climate, it is just as likely to drive shoppers even further away.
In more positive sustainability news, collabs continue to be big business. This time, Stella McCartney has turned her hand to designing her second pair of vegan Adidas Stan Smiths. McCartney explained that her passion to design vegan Stan Smiths began a few years ago when her husband, Alisdhair Willis, commissioned Adidas to make her a pair of vegetarian Stan Smiths (oh, to be that famous and rich!). From that, she has created Stan Smiths trainers, where the leather upper is synthetic and the glue has been replaced with animal-free alternatives. Added to that, the design is also unisex, with McCartney keen to stress that her design is inclusive and for everyone. Retaining the classic design, with Stan Smith’s profile on the right tongue, McCartney features on the left, with the designer’s star motif punched into the side in rainbow shades. The bright laces are also interchangeable with white ones. McCartney has championed sustainability for her whole career, but when a company as big as Adidas agrees to modify one of their most famous trainer designs, real change doesn’t seem too far away.
Adidas’ story of collaboration doesn’t end there, either. They’ve teamed up with Prada to create a limited edition trainer and sailing shoe. Launching next month with two styles of trainer, Prada announced that they would be bringing an “iconicity” that “resides in the interplay between form and function, luxury and utility, and the ability to juxtapose different ideologies.” So basically, we’ll all be expecting something jaw-droppingly amazing before Christmas!
About Our Author: Katie Calvert's background is in fashion and textiles with a first class honours degree in Fashion Communication and Promotion and experience in trend, PR and events. She decided to take the plunge back into education in 2015 to complete a Master of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Using these newfound skills and her love of fashion and culture, Katie has been freelance writing for over a year.