Business of Fashion

Everyone’s talking about Balenciaga couture



Balenciaga Couture Fall 21

The highlight of couture week has been Balenciaga couture Fall 21. A tribute to the absolute essence of Balenciaga, it was both austere and grandiose, and I think it’s fair to say, surpassed everyone’s expectations.

Having kind of tuned out recent Balenciaga ready-to-wear collections (too hype-y, too meme-y!), I was enthralled by this first Balenciaga couture collection in 53 years. The minimalist silhouettes, (what a fab trench!), the space-age headgear, the jeans and tee treatment and the baublicious jewels. What looked like a crocodile skin skirt and trousers were in fact made from tiny pieced-together squares of leather. There were shades of Margiela (one of Demna Gvasalia’s most respected designers), McQueen and – to my eye – Raf’s Dior. (more…)



Would you shop at a Sotheby’s ‘buy it now’ store?



Sotheby's retail store in New York

Gotta love the millennialisation of auction houses. From online speed auctions to hosting sales of rare Nikes to courting hype curators, the likes of Sotheby’s and Christies are pacing ahead in attracting younger demographics.

The latest initiative is a Sotheby’s boutique. Just opened at Sotheby’s‘ flagship on York Avenue in New York, the bricks-and-mortar store will rely on guest tastemakers to curate pop-up sales that hopefully mimic the adrenaline rush of scoring a hard-to-get grail item from one of its auctions. (more…)



Would you buy Charvet, L’Uniform, Charlotte Chesnais on Amazon?



L'Uniform bag at Amazon Luxury Stores

We have been debating the ‘can Amazon work as a luxury retailer’ question for almost as long as the ecom behemoth has been around. Funny really, because that’s about the the same length of time as Net-a-Porter and we now don’t question the idea of buying say, a £113,000 Cartier watch online. And yet Amazon has struggled with its high fashion offer despite numerous iterations.

Could things be changing?

The latest attempt is Amazon Luxury Stores*, an in-app experience (U.S only) that recently offered two mini edits by former Colette retail whisperer Sarah Andelman. The ‘pop-up’ edits included products from L’Uniform (above), Charvet, La Bouche Rouge and Charlotte Chesnais. (more…)



Ask Alison: How Browns Brook Street has recast itself as the new luxury omni-flagship



Browns Brook Street The Focus

There’s a new luxury retail destination in town and it’s a storied Mayfair townhouse that features a heady mix of culture, community and the latest personalised tech-led shopping services. DRG retail editor, ALISON FARRINGTON reports…

Apart from the appealing fact that visiting an actual store is somewhat of a novelty as we emerge post-pandemic, we are about to enter a new era of phygital retail. Phygital 2.0 plays to the strengths of being inside a physical boutique environment – all the trappings of tangible and joyous purchases plus social interaction – while having frictionless digital retail services at your fingertips.

Launching on 12 April, at a reinvented flagship location, Browns Brook Street is the manifestation of owner, Farfetch’s visionary ‘Store of the Future’ omnichannel strategy that we first heard about in 2017. (more…)