Italy’s Gucci Bans Fur

Paris, London – Italy’s Gucci will stop using fur in its designs from next year, joining a growing number of fashion houses looking at alternatives after coming under pressure from animal rights activists and changing consumer tastes, Reuters reported.

Gucci, part of Paris-based luxury group Kering, has seen a rise in sales during the past two years under the administration of creative director Alessandro Michele.

Marco Bizzarri, Gucci’s chief executive, said the brand would drop fur starting from its spring and summer 2018 collection and that its new approach had been agreed on with Michele.

“In selecting a new creative director, I wanted to find someone who shared a belief in the importance of the same values. I sensed that immediately on meeting Alessandro for the first time,” Bizzarri said.

Anti-fur protesters have been known to demonstrate outside catwalk shows at fashion weeks around the world to call for an end to practices many see as cruel to animals, and luxury goods buyers – especially younger generations – have become more sensitive to environmental issues, too.

Giorgio Armani: Colors Can Chase Away the Blues

Armani

Milan- Color is the answer in times of sadness and austerity, according to Italian designer Giorgio Armani who was showcasing his spring summer 2018 collection at Milan Fashion Week on Friday.

“I do not see why I have to dwell on sadness, making women even sadder.. I answer with colors in a time of sadness,” the 83-year-old designer told reporters after the show.

He added that the inspiration for the clothes did not come from a specific art movement or period but was more about “different strokes of color”.

The collection drew together most of Armani’s characteristic traits: crisp cuts, asymmetrical lines, bright colors side by side with black and strong geometric patterns.

But unlike past designs, Armani used a palette of pastel colors, with many of his creations in light blues and pinks.

Models wore chiffon flower-patterned skirts with elaborate tops, silk ankle-high trousers in vivid hues were matched with long coats with ginkgo leaf designs and sleek black short coats sat over graphic patterned tops.

Most of the looks were embellished with colorful geometric plexiglass earrings.

The Milan Fashion Week will run until Monday.

Heidi Klum Launches New Fashion Line at a Supermarket in Vienna

Vienna- As part of consequent fashion media campaigns, three designers have dedicated a special tribute for the Austrian capital, even though Vienna has not been among the international fashion cities, with Austria currently being preoccupied with fierce electoral campaigns preparing for the upcoming parliamentary battle in mid-September.

“We are close to you, in the same store, where you buy your needs of milk, eggs, and bread”, this is how the famous model Heidi Klum promoted her new clothing line, and logged into a new market that needs much preparation and intelligence to choose the right words, image, and style for a successful marketing.

The German fashion celebrity didn’t choose to launch her campaign with professional models walking on catwalk and red carpets, accompanied with loud music and with the attendance of a high-class guests and celebrities.

According to the hard age-related restrictions of the modeling world, Heidi who is 44, has become old enough to work in this field. However, she didn’t give up and didn’t sit heartbroken recalling her celebrity’s memories when she was with Claudia Schiffer the most famous German models in the world.

Heidi worked in acting, but did not make much success. She also took part in television programs, especially those tackling topics about design, tailoring, and fashion. She also gained celebrity in programs that prepare, select and train models.

Heidi Klum launched her marketing campaign of clothes which she designed in the United States where she lives, in a German supermarket, which has 10,000 branches in 28 countries, 3200 of them in are in Germany. The most expensive piece displayed in the new line was a leather jacket that costs 60 euros.

Heidi’s preference for affordable prices came due to a strong competition which she has faced from another German store which announced sales on clothes designed by the German-American singer Anastacia, who chose the city of Cologne to announce her campaign, and then headed to Vienna to continue promoting her designs, saying they are cheap and fit all pockets.

‘Net-a-Porter’ Cooperates with Five International Designers to Serve Arab Woman

Net-a-Porter

London – The Middle East region has been a perfect hub for international fashion designers after it stole the lights in the past years following the growing economic crisis which was mainly caused by the slowness of the Chinese economy. New investors, who chose the Middle East to launch their new markets, have focused on the Arabian style and introduced designs that respond to its needs – jewelry designers work on the Arab woman’s favorite stones, diamonds and Emeralds.

Some designers like Dolce & Gabbana saved efforts and time and introduced a line of Abayas that made imaginary profits and raised envy among other hesitating fashion houses. For example, in Qatar, the D&G Abayas were sold out in no time despite being rejected by many clients and designers in the region.

Apparently, Dolce & Gabbana studied the market well and understood that the Arab lady is a good listener as long as she feels respected; this respect was emphasized in decent designs with long sleeves, high collars, and unopened skirts. In the past, these designers failed in the Middle East after they introduced a low level-style that featured clichés and designs with exaggerated embroideries to justify high prices.

However, they finally reached an equation that provides them with profits and which also respects the taste of the Arab woman who desires a look with modern elegance that suit her environment and convoy trends at the same time.

“Net-a-Porter.com”, the global shopping website has introduced a line of evening dresses specially designed for the holiday season. The site has requested five international designers and fashion houses to provide one design that can be wore by the eastern woman. These designers are Elie Saab, Etro, Roland Mouret, Dolce & Gabbana, and Alexander McQueen.

The results were magnificent and designs were full of luxury and elegance for the Arab woman with a touch of uniqueness.

Net-a-porter’s Retail Fashion Director Lisa Aiken said that after studying the sales’ activity in the Middle Eastern market, the website chose the best selling designers; it worked with them closely to introduce a unique collection that respects the taste of Net-a-porter’s clients. This collection has been available exclusively on the website since the 11th of November.

The New Markets Enjoy Decent Fashion Designs

Fashion

There are certain fashion designs that surprise us and make us question whether they were inspired by a personal concept of fashion or designed in favor of a certain environment that shall be promoted in the coming 6 months. Long sleeve dresses, high necklines, long skirts with scarves, hats, and turbans that cover the head might merely be an idea inspired by the designer after a movie or a romantic novel, or they might also be a concept that carries out whole cultural and ethnic features imposed by markets and customers that enjoy remarkable purchasing power.

In all cases, the consumer is the first benefiter in general. Over the past years, runways have been overshadowed with designs that are both decent and elegant with eastern inspirations that sometimes focus on rich fabrics and other times on ethnic prints and embroideries.

Designers expound that time has changed and the concept of attraction has changed with it and thus no longer concentrates on revealing body charms. As a matter of fact today, attraction is based on intellect and culture. Although it seems the new concept flatters the East, and particularly Arab women, it has succeeded in attracting women from all over the world regardless of their nationalities.

Ten years ago, Channel’s designer, Karl Lagerfeld said that fashion is part of people and all ongoing events around the world; pointing to the incidents taking place in the Middle East. Years have passed and many collections were introduced by different designers who adopted and reflected the same “decent” spirit, however some of them only aimed at achieving financial profits by introducing typical and stereotyped attires that lacked uniqueness and did not fully respond to the demands of modern conservative women.

Valentino, which is partially owned by the Qatari firm “Mayhoola for Investments”, was the best in embodying the trend of decent fashion and in introducing designs that feature femininity as an equivalent concept of attraction. Obviously, the new fashion styles have served the Arab woman’s taste, as it showed that femininity doesn’t mean the revelation of body charms and body details.

Professor Reina Lewis from London College of Fashion (LCF) implemented many researches in this field and discovered that decent designs were increasingly spreading among the young generation regardless of factors like religion, ethnicity, and nationality.

Lewis also found that young ladies are imposing their styles in the market, like the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, who insisted from the beginning on waiving seduction and choosing a classic elegant style, including her royal wedding dress and attires she chose in her official appearances.

Designers say that the success and self-esteem of the modern women, who don’t feel that they need to reveal their body charms to fulfill their ambitions, has encouraged them on adopting this style in their lines. They add that while women in the past used to wear revealing attires to feel appreciated and attractive, the new generation insists on choosing comfortable and flexible clothes to wear.

Fashion, Politics to Dedicate 2017 to Women

Haute Couture Autumn Winter 2016-17 by Lebanese international fashion designer Elie Saab.

London-While all Parisians have transformed into political analysts talking about Brexit and its repercussions on lifestyle and fashion, fashion designers and the U.K. said that the coming years will be dedicated to women.

Britain has made its decision and appointed a woman, “Theresa May,” as a prime minister for the first time since Thatcher.

Fashion, on the other hand, celebrated femininity through romantic outfits shining with optimism, drifting away from a reality burdened by economic regression and terrorist attacks around the world. The fashion shows of Dior, Atelier Versace, Armani, Ralph & Russo, Giambattista Valli, Elie Saab and others have transformed Paris into an oasis to escape; not only from the sad, complicated reality, but also from the trending “sports fashion”. Most designers directed their creativity towards the golden old days, when women used to fully celebrate their femininity without being accused of lavishness.

This season, Paris disregarded the worsening economic conditions and all the drama to introduced unique designs made of extravagant fabrics that would take you to wonderland.

Inspired by the fifties, designers have gone above and beyond to meet the demands of today’s classic women. Christian Dior overcame the World War II’s austerity to return women’s stolen femininity. All designers introduced masterpieces that required thousands of work hours and many meters of fancy fabrics worth hundreds of thousands dollars.

Valentino, Giambattista Valli, Alexis Mabile, Victor & Rolf chose the Marie Antoinette and the Elizabethan era in their collections with many ballgown skirts, high necklines, and frill sleeves. John Galliano also traveled back in time, particularly to the era of Napoleon Bonaparte and introduced for Maison Margiela a revolutionist collection, unlike the previous ones, which featured dramatic and surrealistic works.

From the first day of the show, Atelier Versace emphasized its nostalgia for the past. Donatella Versace provided various designs filled with seduction and femininity, ranging from Haute Couture dresses to prêt-a-porter coats.

Profiting from his wide experience with feminism and romance, Elie Saab always succeeds in giving women exactly what they dream of. Saab was inspired by old New York City and focused on volumes, folds, and unique motifs in his designs. He also focused on details like heavy three-dimensional floral print embroidery, and used classic fabrics like silk, tulle and velvet. It is worth mentioning that for this season, the Lebanese

designer has also introduced party dresses for young girls. Child models walked the runway alongside older counterparts wearing miniature versions of their gowns.

In Atelier Armani’s show, no one can accuse Giorgio Armani of preferring romance or drama on modern elegance. Armani opened his show with a woman ensemble composed of a masculine jacket and pants tailored with feminine fabrics, before he moved to velvet dresses. In his collection, he focused on calm colors like pearl white, light pink, and sky blue.

Ralph & Russo’s collection had also played on emotions especially nostalgia by recalling the fifties and seventies. The designers sought to attract women’s attention and introduced fit dresses, skirts, and pants along with heavy beading of crystals and pearl in addition to three-dimensional floral prints and feathers.

Designers including Elie Saab, Armani and Ralph & Russo have completed their lines with accessories, and introduced collections of clutches, shoes and hats that fit the Haute Couture fans.

Unlike the previous designers who recalled the past, Jean Paul Gaultier preferred nature and presented a collection in which colors like dark green and wooden-inspired brown have played a very important role. His show was calm and focused on designs that celebrate feminine standards by highlighting the waist and bust lines. Although the collection perfectly fits the European bourgeoisie, it missed factors of vitality and glamour that distinguished the other shows of the week.

Giambattista Valli has also chosen nature as a source of inspiration. Yet, unlike Gaultier, he included many vivid colors in his collection and reduced exaggeration by introducing different designs like baby-dolls dresses, and others inspired from the fifties with puffy sleeves. Valli opened his show with feminine white designs then moved to long dresses tailored with black, red, and sky blue Muslin. He also used fur and concluded the show with three dramatic exceptional dresses.

Out of Fashion: How Men Could Fall off the Catwalk

CatWalk

Menswear shows are being gradually airbrushed from the fashion industry’s calendar and combined into the women’s events, mostly as an accessory.

For instance 10 designers have decided not to showcase their collections this year in Milan, in shows that began on Friday for men’s fashion week, including Calvin Klein, Ermenegildo Zegna and Kering’s Brioni and Bottega Veneta.

Other brands, including Burberry, Gucci and Tom Ford, have announced in recent months that they plan to stage combined events in future, to take advantage of time by displaying both collections to buyers and customers.

However some industry insiders and analysts say separate men’s fashion shows cost thousands of dollars by the time they are not worthy of the money for luxury brands, especially that menswear make less money than womenswear, despite the hit by the global sales slowdown.

“They (brands) are focusing on what has the highest return on investment,” said Bernstein analyst Mario Ortelli.

On the other hands, celebrities such as George Clooney and Beyonce are usually front rows of women’s shows draw attracting crowds of news photographers and broadcasters while men’s catwalk don’t turn as many heads with their low-key guest lists.

In the market, annual designer menswear sales are expected to reach more than $40 billion in 2020, up 6.8 percent from 2015, according to Euromonitor International, while womenswear sales are expected to rise 7.7 percent to about $75 billion in the same period.

Threats on male models rushed four months ago when both Burberry and Tom Ford said they would hold combined shows. Italian luxury brand Gucci followed suit in April, announcing it would merge its collections and shows starting next year.

“Although menswear has acquired more of a standing over the years, the women’s shows are still the most important … with many more brands focusing on women,” said Vick Mihaci, President of Elite Management, a leading model agency.

Retailer Ralph Lauren to Cut Jobs, Close Stores, Lower Real Estate

A store of U.S. designer Ralph Lauren is seen in the mountain resort of St. Moritz, Switzerland

Luxury fashion retailer Ralph Lauren Corp announced it would cut jobs, shut shops and reduce its real estate as part of a sweeping plan to lower costs and revive sales growth.

Ralph Lauren’s shares were down 10 percent at $86.50 in premarket trading on Tuesday.

The decision is a part of the fashion icon’s new turnaround plan, the details of which will be unveiled on by the company’s chief executive, Stefan Larsson.

The company said it would try to significantly reduce the time taken to manufacture its products and chop about three organizational layers to average about six layers to simplify its organizational structure.

According to Wall Street Journal, the retailer would close 50 mainly high-end shops and cut 8 percent of the company’s 15,000 full-time employees.

The company had about 493 directly operated retail stores and employed about 26,000 people, roughly 15,000 of who work full time as of April 2.

The retailer’s sales had fallen in every quarter in fiscal 2016, leading to a full-year sales decline of nearly 3 percent.

Ralph Lauren said it expects net revenue for the current fiscal year to fall in the low-double digit percentage range, hurt in part by store closures, a pullback in inventory receipts and weak traffic.

The company brought in Stefan Larsson late last year in the hope that he could replicate his success of reviving sales at Gap Inc’s Old Navy.

Ralph Lauren said it expects to record restructuring charges of up to $400 million and an inventory reduction-related charge of up to $150 million, mostly in the current fiscal year.

The company expects the restructuring measures to result in about $180-$220 million of annualized expense savings.