“Louis Vuitton has become too common!” LVMH’s Bernard Arnault didn’t quite say last week. But the sentiment was there. Speaking at LVMH’s annual results presentation, he revealed that Louis Vuitton is scaling back on global expansion and focusing more on its high end products and superior customer service to avoid cheapening the brand.
This is a trend, not just at Louis Vuitton, but other luxury houses, who have stripped away the obvious logos and boosted product that shows off house ‘codes’. Dior recently reignited its ‘bar’ jacket and ‘comma’ heels, Gucci, the horsebit loafer (which is 60 years old this year), Chanel flagged up its pearls and Saint Laurent, its tie-neck blouses and iconic tuxedos. At Vuitton, the overexposed monogram has been sidelined for SS13 by the Damier check.
At Louis Vuitton’s pre-fall 13 preview on Thursday, my main highlight was the collection of Noe bags, a heritage Vuitton bag refreshed in new colours and sizes. Originally a carrying case for champagne bottles (what else?), the design celebrates its 80th anniversary this year.
My other highlight was the Icons collection, a capsule collection that updates pieces from the archive. I love this sheepskin balmacaan, a collarless coat that can be worn reversed with the leather on the outside. Delicious, no?
Five months ago, BON magazine commissioned me to write about 3D printing and its potential impact on the fashion industry. The best bit was researching it (with some great help from Jen Eleto). I got some incredibly generous insights from the likes of Dutch product designer Sjors Bergmans who made the first wearable 3D printed shoes, Chris Norman, CEO of 3D printing company Kraftwurx, and Peter Hill who runs the fashion digital studio at London College of Fashion. During my interview with Ron Arad, he disappeared to unearth some 3D printed earrings from the back office of his studio. They were made nine years ago – “the first 3D printed consumer accessories”, according to him.
I also spoke to legal expert Kenneth Mullen and commercial strategy consultant Ceci Guicciardi to get their views on how the ease of 3D printing in future will affect copyright laws, while LCF’s Peter Hill even let us use the LCF 3D printers to make some possible designer ‘fakes’ – with interesting results. (Conclusion: it’s early days for this technology but it’s developing fast.) The article has just been published and has had a good response. Some people are calling 3D printing the third industrial revolution, but if you still think 3D printing in fashion means creating 3D textures on a T-shirt, then maybe you need to go to 3D Printshow at The Brewery in Clerkenwell this weekend. (Admission is £19.95 and boooking is advisable. Info here.)
The full article can be found in BON magazine, out now…
Considering fashion and style blogging has been around for well over five years (this blog started in 2007), it’s odd how few books there are on the subject. Susie Lau and William Oliver have compiled Style Feed (published by Prestel), a brick of a tome documenting some of the most influential players in the global bloggersphere. Ordered chronologically, The Man Repeller, Vanessa Jackman, Style Rookie, Business Of Fashion and Advanced Style are included and (yay!) I get a good few pages too – thanks a million Susie!
Style Feed is available exclusively in-store at Urban Outfitters or online at Amazon and there’s a big old celebratory bash happening tomorrow at Urban Outfitters Spitalfields, which everyone’s invited to. One of the baddest-ass bloggers of them all, Fred Butler (also in the book obv) will be DJing. I might have to mug her for one of these.
“I would have to say that my interview with Karl Lagerfeld was fun because we exchanged ponytail tips before the interview. You can’t do that with many octogenarian fashion legends…”
Imran Amed, GQ – Happy 5th anniversary Business Of Fashion!