Business of Fashion

Raf Simons leaves Calvin Klein :(



Raf Simons leaves Calvin Klein

Yes, it’s true. In news that most fashion insiders saw coming, Raf Simons and Calvin Klein are parting ways.

It all started promisingly, with Raf’s arty Americana-themed debut well received by critics back in 2016. High points for me were the American quilts, Warhol collaborations, Western-influenced denim and those off-beat balaclavas. The Kardashians campaign lost me a bit and may well have been the point where Raf realised, maybe he wasn’t cut out for this level of commerciality. (more…)



Gabriela Hearst at Net-a-Porter – hype commerce for the chic set



Gabriela Hearst Patsy bag Tamu McPherson

Net-a-Porter is embracing hype commerce with gusto, and I’m conflicted!

These short-term ‘online pop-ups’ are a way to get people shopping instantly (deliberate and be prepared to kick yourself later), a kind of fast fashion for the luxury brigade. I’m generally against that mindless consumption behaviour, but hear me out!

Net-a-Porter’s latest pop-up is from Gabriela Hearst, whose tailoring is widely coveted by the kind of cool executive women who also love The Row, Celine Phoebe Philo and Hermes. But this is all about her bags. (more…)



Jil Sander SS19 – seen but not heard



Jil Sander SS19

Vogue reports that Jil Sander SS19 took its trouser suit cues from the military, the artist’s studio and sports uniforms. I think there’s still plenty of mileage in the boxy, Celine-esque silhouette that’s dominated this decade. Women really seem to like its comfort factor and it aligns with the gender fluid movement perfectly. The Vogue review ends with a caveat that designers Luke and Lucie Meier (now in their third season at Jil Sander) still have some way to go to revive the label.

I think this is a PR thing. (more…)



Culture and community – how skate brands win at retail



Oktyabr multibrand skate shop in Moscow conceived by upstart brand Rassvet - Pic by Hypebeast

The skatewear industry is one of the few niches managing to circumnavigate the plummeting shifting bricks and mortar retail landscape. Last weekend I went to Soho’s Brewer Street to witness the annual pop-up tour from Basement Approved, an online streetwear community that has evolved into a 360 proposition of physical merch, parties and pop-ups. Outside the appointed retail unit, a small gathering of scruffy-beautiful skate kids milled about guzzling Red Stripe and doing whatever young people do on their phones these days. (more…)