Displaying items by tag: Raf Simons

Friday, 16 October 2020 12:21

Can Raf Kickstart Prada to Growth?

can raf simons kickstart Prada to growth

When designer Raf Simons was announced as the new ‘co-creative director’, working alongside Miuccia Prada, at Prada, it was welcomed as a meeting of two intellectual fashion minds. His first show, SS21, shown last week in Milan, in a digital format, was a return to Prada’s minimalist carpeted and matching curtained 1990s aesthetic. It was the most anticipated show of the new womenswear season.

Left - Prada SS21

Prada has had a growth problem in recent years, so, will this new creative impetus make a difference to a luxury group that is in danger of being left behind within the luxury segment?

The Prada S.p.A. group owns the Prada, Miu Miu, Church’s and Car Shoe brands and produces and distributes luxury leather goods, footwear and apparel, benefitting from a supply chain which includes 22 owned industrial sites. It also operates in the food sector with Marchesi 1824 and in the eyewear and fragrance industries under licensing agreements. The group employs nearly 14,000 people and its products are sold in 70 countries worldwide through 641 directly operated stores as of December 31, 2019.

Prada has been trying to inject growth in recent years by reducing wholesale and discounting, but it is trailing its rivals. For example, Prada and Gucci were once neck and neck as brands, both creatively and financially. They were the juggernaut fashion phoenixes of the 1990s. When one was name checked, the other wasn’t far behind. What changed?

In the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2019 revenues at Prada S.p.A. totalled €3.22 billion, up +2.7% compared with €3.14 billion in the same period a year earlier. Retail sales grew +4.1% to 2.63 billion euros. This is for the entire Prada Spa group which also includes Miu Miu, Church’s and Car Shoe.

amber valletta 1997 prada glen luchfordFor the same year, 2019, Gucci revenue was €9.63 billion, revenue climbed by +13.3% on a like-for-like basis (+16.2% reported) and operating income leapt by +19.8%. The brand now accounts for over 60% of it owner Kering's revenues.

Right - Prada 1997

All of Gucci’s growth stems from 2016 when it was comparable in size to Prada in terms of revenue. Over the past 4 years, Gucci has grown its revenues to be three times that of Prada. Admittedly, Gucci has had unusually meteoric growth, but the Prada brand has been pretty much flat over these past 4 years.

While the Prada share price, listed in Hong Kong, has increased recently, it has bobbed along the 24HKD- 35HKD range over the past 5 years. Its highs were back in 2013, when the stock hit around 75HKD. During the five years over which the share price declined, Prada’s earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 18% each year. The TSR (Total Shareholder Return) gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Prada, it has a TSR of -23% for the last 5 years. While the Prada share price has struggled to rise, Kering’s and LVMH’s has soared.

can raf simons kickstart Prada to growth adidas

Prada is in that predicament where it is big, but isn’t quite big enough. It’s luxurious, but not luxurious enough and, while it was once a leader, it hasn’t produced much that has stuck in recent years. It felt like Miuccia Prada had checked out, creatively, of the brand years ago. The last show by Miuccia Prada, AW20, before Simons arrived, put the signature triangular logo centre stage and was its most commercial for years.

Above -  A sign of things to come? adidas Consortium + Prada Superstar 450 Leather Sneakers - £400 from MRPORTER.COM

In a statement up to June 30th 2020, Prada CEO, Patrizio Bertelli talks of ‘growth trajectory temporarily interrupted’ due to COVID 19. He said, “The first half of 2020 saw a temporary interruption of our growth trajectory which, in a situation of progressive control of the pandemic, we are confident will gradually resume from the second half of 2020, when our store network will again be fully operational. The excellent response of local consumers after the re-openings, confirms the desirability of our products and the strong relationship with our customers, which has been further strengthened by our continued focus on digital technology. The recent positive trends in all markets, combined with our solid balance sheet and financial position, allow us to look to the future with confidence today.”

On average, 40% of Prada’s retail network was closed from February to May 2020, reaching a peak of 70% in April. Its wholesale channel was heavily reduced, following the strategic decision taken in 2019 to strictly control all distribution channels to protect brand positioning and discounting. Prada said e-commerce had delivered triple-digit sales growth during and after the global lockdowns, while retail sales were down 32% and wholesale sales were down 71%.

Prada has seen double-digit sales growth since April in Mainland China, while South Korea and Taiwan, which didn’t experience store closures, showed a consistent double-digit trend throughout the period. Thanks to the contribution of these markets, the entire Asia Pacific region reported double-digit growth in June. The rest of the world was negative. In April 2020, Prada’s Board of Directors withdrew its recommendation to pay a dividend for 2019.

Prada’s difficulties during the COVID lockdowns aren’t unusual and will have been replicated by other luxury brands, but it doesn’t help its desirability and also the inability for Raf Simons’ new show to make an impact during this difficult time. According to the Business of Fashion, just 10,000 viewers tuned into the Prada Instagram live feed of the SS21 show and, according to analytics firm Tribe Dynamics, the show’s earned media value in the first 48 hours, an industry measure of third-party social media engagement, was 59 percent lower than the Spring/Summer 2020 show a year ago.

Many people have switched off from fashion, currently, and this will not have helped Prada make a splash with Simons’ collection. His first collection received warm reviews in a season without much competition. But, his return to the pared pack 90s Prada doesn’t answer the problem of growth. One good shoe is not enough, you need hundreds, and they need to roll over many seasons like the Gucci model. Gucci’s lack of seasons and huge choice of product shows how maximalism in fashion increases venues. Looks that have more accessories than a Christmas tree are going to generate more sales. More choice is the answer for growth. It also appeals to more customers.

can raf simons kickstart Prada to growth

Prada has followed this model too, previously. Prada only really started to make money and get bigger when it moved from mink trimmed nylon to colourful striped fox fur scarves and crystal embellished dresses in the noughties. When the ‘Pradasphere’ exhibit opened in Harrods in 2014 it illustrated what really sold to the contemporary Prada customer and it wasn’t minimalism. Minimalism hasn’t really made big money for any fashion business. Less isn’t more revenue.

Unfortunately for the brand, the planned Design Museum exhibition in London, planned for 2020, has been cancelled, which would have given it a boost. Details of a new collaboration between the Design Museum and Prada will be revealed in 2021.

Simons is a good designer and an influence, but his track record at Dior and Calvin Klein shows a limited understanding of what is commercial. When commercial, as illustrated with the collab with adidas above, it verges on the repetitive and boring.

Prada CEO, Bertelli’s relationships with past designers, such as Helmut Lang and Jil Sander, once owned by the Prada Group, was turbulent and Simons won’t hang around if the going gets tough (again).

Prada was once one of the world's coolest brands, but it didn’t innovate when the likes of Michael Kors started copying its famous saffiano leather. Simons is undoubtedly cool, but will he be enough for Prada to catch up with its rivals?

Buy TheChicGeek's new book FashionWankers - HERE

Published in News
Tuesday, 29 September 2020 15:18

Can Raf Kickstart Prada to Growth?

can raf simons kickstart Prada to growth

When designer Raf Simons was announced as the new ‘co-creative director’, working alongside Miuccia Prada, at Prada, it was welcomed as a meeting of two intellectual fashion minds. His first show, SS21, shown last week in Milan, in a digital format, was a return to Prada’s minimalist carpeted and matching curtained 1990s aesthetic. It was the most anticipated show of the new womenswear season.

Left - Prada SS21

Prada has had a growth problem in recent years, so, will this new creative impetus make a difference to a luxury group that is in danger of being left behind within the luxury segment?

The Prada S.p.A. group owns the Prada, Miu Miu, Church’s and Car Shoe brands and produces and distributes luxury leather goods, footwear and apparel, benefitting from a supply chain which includes 22 owned industrial sites. It also operates in the food sector with Marchesi 1824 and in the eyewear and fragrance industries under licensing agreements. The group employs nearly 14,000 people and its products are sold in 70 countries worldwide through 641 directly operated stores as of December 31, 2019.

Prada has been trying to inject growth in recent years by reducing wholesale and discounting, but it is trailing its rivals. For example, Prada and Gucci were once neck and neck as brands, both creatively and financially. They were the juggernaut fashion phoenixes of the 1990s. When one was name checked, the other wasn’t far behind. What changed?

In the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2019 revenues at Prada S.p.A. totalled €3.22 billion, up +2.7% compared with €3.14 billion in the same period a year earlier. Retail sales grew +4.1% to 2.63 billion euros. This is for the entire Prada Spa group which also includes Miu Miu, Church’s and Car Shoe.

amber valletta 1997 prada glen luchfordFor the same year, 2019, Gucci revenue was €9.63 billion, revenue climbed by +13.3% on a like-for-like basis (+16.2% reported) and operating income leapt by +19.8%. The brand now accounts for over 60% of it owner Kering's revenues.

Right - Prada 1997

All of Gucci’s growth stems from 2016 when it was comparable in size to Prada in terms of revenue. Over the past 4 years, Gucci has grown its revenues to be three times that of Prada. Admittedly, Gucci has had unusually meteoric growth, but the Prada brand has been pretty much flat over these past 4 years.

While the Prada share price, listed in Hong Kong, has increased recently, it has bobbed along the 24HKD- 35HKD range over the past 5 years. Its highs were back in 2013, when the stock hit around 75HKD. During the five years over which the share price declined, Prada’s earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 18% each year. The TSR (Total Shareholder Return) gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Prada, it has a TSR of -23% for the last 5 years. While the Prada share price has struggled to rise, Kering’s and LVMH’s has soared.

can raf simons kickstart Prada to growth adidas

Prada is in that predicament where it is big, but isn’t quite big enough. It’s luxurious, but not luxurious enough and, while it was once a leader, it hasn’t produced much that has stuck in recent years. It felt like Miuccia Prada had checked out, creatively, of the brand years ago. The last show by Miuccia Prada, AW20, before Simons arrived, put the signature triangular logo centre stage and was its most commercial for years.

Above -  A sign of things to come? adidas Consortium + Prada Superstar 450 Leather Sneakers - £400 from MRPORTER.COM

In a statement up to June 30th 2020, Prada CEO, Patrizio Bertelli talks of ‘growth trajectory temporarily interrupted’ due to COVID 19. He said, “The first half of 2020 saw a temporary interruption of our growth trajectory which, in a situation of progressive control of the pandemic, we are confident will gradually resume from the second half of 2020, when our store network will again be fully operational. The excellent response of local consumers after the re-openings, confirms the desirability of our products and the strong relationship with our customers, which has been further strengthened by our continued focus on digital technology. The recent positive trends in all markets, combined with our solid balance sheet and financial position, allow us to look to the future with confidence today.”

On average, 40% of Prada’s retail network was closed from February to May 2020, reaching a peak of 70% in April. Its wholesale channel was heavily reduced, following the strategic decision taken in 2019 to strictly control all distribution channels to protect brand positioning and discounting. Prada said e-commerce had delivered triple-digit sales growth during and after the global lockdowns, while retail sales were down 32% and wholesale sales were down 71%.

Prada has seen double-digit sales growth since April in Mainland China, while South Korea and Taiwan, which didn’t experience store closures, showed a consistent double-digit trend throughout the period. Thanks to the contribution of these markets, the entire Asia Pacific region reported double-digit growth in June. The rest of the world was negative. In April 2020, Prada’s Board of Directors withdrew its recommendation to pay a dividend for 2019.

Prada’s difficulties during the COVID lockdowns aren’t unusual and will have been replicated by other luxury brands, but it doesn’t help its desirability and also the inability for Raf Simons’ new show to make an impact during this difficult time. According to the Business of Fashion, just 10,000 viewers tuned into the Prada Instagram live feed of the SS21 show and, according to analytics firm Tribe Dynamics, the show’s earned media value in the first 48 hours, an industry measure of third-party social media engagement, was 59 percent lower than the Spring/Summer 2020 show a year ago.

Many people have switched off from fashion, currently, and this will not have helped Prada make a splash with Simons’ collection. His first collection received warm reviews in a season without much competition. But, his return to the pared pack 90s Prada doesn’t answer the problem of growth. One good shoe is not enough, you need hundreds, and they need to roll over many seasons like the Gucci model. Gucci’s lack of seasons and huge choice of product shows how maximalism in fashion increases venues. Looks that have more accessories than a Christmas tree are going to generate more sales. More choice is the answer for growth. It also appeals to more customers.

can raf simons kickstart Prada to growth

Prada has followed this model too, previously. Prada only really started to make money and get bigger when it moved from mink trimmed nylon to colourful striped fox fur scarves and crystal embellished dresses in the noughties. When the ‘Pradasphere’ exhibit opened in Harrods in 2014 it illustrated what really sold to the contemporary Prada customer and it wasn’t minimalism. Minimalism hasn’t really made big money for any fashion business. Less isn’t more revenue.

Unfortunately for the brand, the planned Design Museum exhibition in London, planned for 2020, has been cancelled, which would have given it a boost. Details of a new collaboration between the Design Museum and Prada will be revealed in 2021.

Simons is a good designer and an influence, but his track record at Dior and Calvin Klein shows a limited understanding of what is commercial. When commercial, as illustrated with the collab with adidas above, it verges on the repetitive and boring.

Prada CEO, Bertelli’s relationships with past designers, such as Helmut Lang and Jil Sander, once owned by the Prada Group, was turbulent and Simons won’t hang around if the going gets tough (again).

Prada was once one of the world's coolest brands, but it didn’t innovate when the likes of Michael Kors started copying its famous saffiano leather. Simons is undoubtedly cool, but will he be enough for Prada to catch up with its rivals?

Buy TheChicGeek's new book FashionWankers - HERE

Published in Fashion

Karl Lagerfeld Chanel become the Marc Bohan forgotten aboutMarc, who? Exactly. Walk into the new Dior exhibition - Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams - at the Victoria & Albert Museum and you’ll be wowed by a glamourous exhibition dedicated to one of the world’s strongest fashion houses. A few rooms in, there’s a recap of the previous Dior Creative Directors, in order, from after Dior’s death in 1957 up until the present designer, Maria Grazia Chiuri. All getting equal billing and space is Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferrè, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Chiuri.

The least known, yet the longest there, is Marc Bohan. From 1958 to 1960, Bohan designed for the Christian Dior London line. In September 1960, Dior’s creative director Yves Saint Laurent was called up for military service and Bohan was promoted to replace him. He stayed at Dior until 1989 when he was replaced by Gianfranco Ferrè.

Left - Linda in Chanel. But, will we remember this in a few decades time?

Bohan’s career at Dior lasted over 30 years and yet he is almost forgotten about. Still alive, he didn’t create anything long lasting directly attributed to his hand at Dior. Or, that is widely known. And this is where I bring my comparisons to Karl Lagerfeld. He lead Chanel from 1983 up until his death. That’s a 36 year career, and yet in a few year's time, what direct influences will Lagerfeld leave on the French house? Will Karl Lagerfeld become the Marc Bohan of Chanel? #Discuss

Dr Kate Strasdin, Fashion Historian and Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies at Falmouth University, says, “I think he will be remembered just because of the length of time he was at the helm and that his time coincided with the expansion of mass media. He talked about being a caricature of himself, creating his own distinctive self-image.

“As for Lagerfeld’s legacy, many people criticised his work as derivative. but actually I think he was astute at managing a heritage brand, treading that line between designs that were recognisably ‘Chanel’ and simultaneously relevant for over 30 years....I would argue that was his distinctiveness.” she says.

Looking at Lagerfeld’s Chanel, he brought the house’s tropes into the late 20th century, but they already existed. The tweed, the camelias, the quilting, the interlocking Cs and gold chains all existed within the archive. The most famous bag shape, the 2.55, was created in 1955 and is still a juggernaut today.

Benjamin Wild, Cultural, Historian, Writer and Lecturer, says, “For sure, there are many similarities between the men - longevity and the ability to contemporise classical styles, not least - but it is interesting to note the increasing number of voices that are coming forward to comment on Lagerfeld's less savoury social attitudes and comments. In a week where major fashion brands have withdrawn items from their Spring/Summer collections because of their perceived racism and insensitivity, it seems to be a sign of the times that Lagerfeld's character and creations are also being examined in a forensic manner as people recognise that person and portfolio cannot be - and should not be - so easily disentangled; if we are to understand Lagerfeld's contribution to fashion, we need to be frank about who he was, and this will, I think, leave for a more accurate, but disputed legacy.”

Lagerfeld’s tenure at Chanel was through the boom of designer brands and luxury clothes. Bohan’s was in a much smaller industry and no doubt had to design few collections than the six Chanel creates every year. Lagerfeld’s Chanel was much bigger, so it’s interesting that even fewer designs of Lagerfeld’s have stuck. But, also, today, there is now so much more competition.

It’s often what comes after and how good it is that really pushes a designer into the background. When Galliano created his Dior, it was a fantasy of couture, yet still managed to leave behind his strong DNA - the Masai neck, the saddle bag and the famous Dior newspaper print are all Dior signatures still attributed to him today.

Chanel is privately owned by Alain Wertheimer and Gérard Wertheimer, the grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer, who was an early business partner of Coco Chanel. After Lagerfeld’s death, Virginie Viard, fashion studio director and Lagerfeld's right-hand woman at Chanel, was announced as taking over the creative leadership. No doubt she’ll be in charge to offer a respectful gap to Lagerfeld’s legacy, but, ultimately, this is one of the plummiest jobs in fashion and many designers would kill to fill those shoes and offer their own take on Chanel’s future. Like many brands, it may take a few goes to find the perfect fit and I’m not sure anybody would stick around, or be allowed to stick around, for over three decades today.

“I think to get the best out of Chanel, it now needs to push the brand boundaries - not in a Balmain or Balenciaga ‘sell out’ begging-for-attention from the Instagram generation manner, but it needs to become more relevant. I feel Chanel has sunk into a comfort zone that rich women seeking affirmation or middle class basic bitch types aspire to.” says Katie Chutzpah, Fashion Blogger.

Lagerfeld is, of course, respected for his prolific and long career, but, what left is distinctively “Lagerfeld”? You have to separate the man and his designs. When his domineering character is quietened by his death, it will be his designs and collections which will have to fight with what went before, and what will, now, come after.

“If Karl Lagerfeld had just concentrated on Chanel, then I think he would've been forgotten, but his influence was so pervasive across popular culture. Despite his work at Chanel, he was actually a modernist and early-adopter of technologies. From fashion to art, photography, product design, and even music, he was always there at the edge, and I think that will be his true legacy, not reinventing a tweed jacket every three months.” says Lee Clatworthy, Fashion Writer.

This isn’t about trashing Lagerfeld’s career, it’s an unemotional look at the things we can directly attribute to him. Clearly, Chanel has been a huge success under his guidance, but it had very strong foundations on which to build. In a few decade's time, will Lagerfeld’s chapter at Chanel be remembered as vividly and fondly?

Published in Fashion

Christian Dior designer of dreams Victoria & Albert museum exhibitionIt turns out Christian Dior liked English food. Clearly a charmer and a man who knows his audience, Dior had a strong relationship with London and the British royal family. Many of you probably saw snippets of this exhibition on people's Instagrams when it was in Paris last year. This is the same, but with an added room explaining his relationship with London. The Victoria & Albert museum did the same with Alexander McQueen's Savage Beauty.

Christian Dior designer of dreams Victoria & Albert museum exhibitionThis giant Dior exhibition, the largest ever in the UK, charts the miraculous growth and influence of Christian Dior up to the present day.

The staging and room sets are stunning. The lighting and displays make everything look sumptuous. The only negative is, the space will quickly become congested, as there isn't much room to move, so I would recommend visiting this early or later in the day.

This is pure fashion escapism and is a visual feast, illustrating womenswear from the second half of the 20th century.

From the "New Look" of 1947 to Maria Grazia Chiuri's present incarnation of Dior, every Creative Director is covered.

Christian Dior designer of dreams Victoria & Albert museum exhibitionJohn Galliano steals the show and illustrates how he took Dior couture to the maximum of its creative possibilities. It leaves you wanting a solo Galliano exhibition.

Christian Dior designer of dreams Victoria & Albert museum exhibitionEverything in the exhibition is couture and handmade and there's a beautiful rainbow display showing all the accessories and costume jewellery.

Dior is one of the biggest brands in the world, today, and while this is a fantastic display, I didn't leave knowing anymore about the man himself. The exhibition is fairly light on information, but I guess the idea is for crowds to flow and for the museum to really pack in the numbers.

Dior sent the benchmark for mid-20th century femininity and it's fascinating how the brand continued to grow even though he died just over a decade after the company was established. Dior is one of the most coveted of French fashion houses and, while the last two creative directors haven't been particularly inspiring, it's interesting to see how that shape of 1947 continues to resonate.

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams - Until 14th July 2019 - £20 

Christian Dior designer of dreams Victoria & Albert museum exhibition

Christian Dior designer of dreams Victoria & Albert museum exhibition

Christian Dior designer of dreams Victoria & Albert museum exhibition

Read - WILL KARL LAGERFELD BECOME THE MARC BOHAN OF CHANEL?

While you're at the V&A, you could visit the Mary Quant exhibition.

Published in Fashion
Tuesday, 01 January 2019 12:58

2018 The Year of the “ReBland”

reblanding Burberry logoAt the end of a tumultuous year for traditional retail, and at the start of another, which doesn’t appear to offer much respite, there’s been a distinct trend in rebranding for both luxury and high-street brands. While you’d expect them to want to stand out, it seems as though they all want to blend into one another. This homogenisation is a case of an expensive “reblanding” exercise. Rebranding means creating a different identity for a brand, from its competitors, in the market, which, in fashion, is even more important especially when you're trying to flog luxury goods and the idea of difference and individuality. This feels like the opposite.

The recent rebland list is long: Belstaff, Celine, Calvin Klein, John Lewis, Burberry, Berluti and Balmain have all gone for simple and bolded logos without any of the details and distinct serifs. Playing it safe, what these new logos and fonts say is a lack of confidence and often change for change’s sake.

Left - The recent logo "reblands"

In August, Burberry unveiled its new logo. Replacing the Burberry Equestrian Knight logo with its bespoke Bodoni font, which had been used by the clothing company since 1901, the new logo is the work of celebrated British graphic designer, Peter Saville. It’s also worth noting he rebranded Calvin Klein with a similar font when Raf Simons took over and wanted to refresh.

reblanding Burberry logo

"The new logotype is a complete step-change, an identity that taps into the heritage of the company in a way that suggests the twenty-first-century cultural coordinates of what Burberry could be," Saville exclusively told Dezeen. Somewhat cryptic and full of marketing speak, he describes what he and Riccardo Tisci, the new Burberry Creative Director, settled on as “modern utility,” adding, “It looks like it’s been there forever, but it’s still contemporary.”

Right - Hedi's masterstroke?!

Tisci said on Instagram ‘Peter is one of our generation’s greatest design geniuses. I’m so happy to have collaborated together to reimagine the new visual language for the house.’

Burberry are in the throes of changing everything way before the new Creative Director’s impact has been proven. As his first collection hits stores to a rather muted response by the fashion press, it’ll be interesting to see how it sells, especially the items with this new logo on.

Seb Law, Fashion Copywriter & Journalist, says, “I really hate that they’ve added’ ENGLAND’ to the Burberry logo after London. As if it’s London, Texas or something.”

It “Seems like an attempt to look ‘international’ and more premium, but also it’s now becoming an established way of a new designer starting at a different house to mark the start of their chapter. Does the general consumer care about this, or is it dive behaviour? Also rebrands cause plenty of chatter in fashion circles and build publicity – see Hedi’s previous rebrand of SLP. All press is good press, apparently.” says Law.

Hedi Slimane is a designer who likes to put his mark onto a brand and in September it was announced that the French house, Celine would be, controversially, losing its accent. Law and others have been defacing the brand’s posters by returning the accent to the first e.

“For me, it’s a matter of good use of language. As a copywriter and journalist (with a degree in French), diacritics aren’t just a pretty typographic tool to be played around with at the will of a designer, they’re an integral part of the word.” says Law. “‘Celine’ and ‘Céline’ are different words, pronounced differently (‘sell-een’ and ‘say-lean’, respectively).  he says.

reblanding Burberry logo Celine Hedi Slimane

“It’s a continuation of the cult of personality over brand, in both cases. Causing a splash, in whatever way possible, seems to be the aim of the game. With Burberry, I’m disappointed that the logo doesn’t have a more uniquely British feeling, which the old one did IMO – I do love the interlocking TB print though.” says Law. “With Céline, it’s a classic case of Hedi doing whatever he wants. Brands should be aiming to exercise their unique personalities; this uniqueness is what attracts customers and maintains a brand’s personality. Homogenisation might attract sales, at least initially, and while change is obviously necessary, and often good, these two rebrand exercises feel like they’re a bit half-arsed. They’ve succeeded at building publicity, but is that what a logo redesign should do?” he says.

Left - The new logos are all very similar

On the high-street, John Lewis, in September, rebranded as John Lewis & Partners at a reported cost of £10m. Its first rebrand in 18 years and inspired by the company's 1960s "diamond pattern" motif, John Lewis managed to not only complicate its name but also lose its trademark dark green. Opting for safe black, it was yet another example of this reblanding trend.

In an age when these brands should really be trying to expressive confidence in themselves, these boring logos show a striving for safety and an anti-criticism blandness. It’s hard to be critical and negative about something so simple, yet they aren’t memorable or standing out. These aren't utility companies. Fashion’s current love of the sans-serif is definitely missing something.

Published in Fashion

Calvin Klein western shirt

This minimal western or cowboy shirt has become Raf Simons' signature style since taking over at Calvin Klein. A slow burner, and despite it being seen on the Kardashians, it feels modern yet retro at the same time. It's almost like a space uniform with its flat pockets and details. There are lots of colour combinations and I'm surprised more high-street retailers haven't copied it.

ASOS DESIGN had this homage with contrast pockets and matching yoke for that Calvin feel without the out of this world price tag.

Left - Calvin Klein 205W39nyc - Western Two Pocket Shirt - £485 from Brownsfashion.com

Below - ASOS DESIGN regular fit colour block western shirt in black - £25

Calvin Klein ASOS DESIGN western shirt

Published in Fashion
Tuesday, 25 September 2018 15:05

How To Wear Denim Jeans AW18

How to wear denim WranglerThe seeds of denim’s comeback are being sown. Thanks to Raf Simons’ Calvin Klein and his new uptight form of denim, we have a new way to see and wear it.

Left - Wrangler AW18

How to wear denim Calvin Klein jeans

Bin those skinny jeans and buy yourself a denim shirt with contrasting front pockets, a roll neck and a denim jacket. This is 1970s cowboy in mid-winter.

Right - Calvin Klein AW18

 

The new AW18 campaign from Wrangler perfectly illustrates this. Brokeback at the top of the mountain, you could say, this all-American, retro look is all about layering relaxed shapes. Denim or corduroy jackets over jeans, check shirts and lightweight roll necks give this cowboy a romantic and wild edge. Think more North Carolina than North Acton.
Just don’t look like it’s your first time at the rodeo!

How to wear denim Calvin Klein jeansLeft - Calvin Klein SS18

Below - Wrangler AW18

How to wear denim Wrangler

Get more inspiration in the video below. The video reminds me of the 1980s cult in Netflix's Wild Wild Country - here

 

Published in How To
Thursday, 28 June 2018 15:12

SS19 Menswear Milan/Paris Trends Scrapbook

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Prada

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Dior Homme

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Fendi

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Hermes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear SS World Corp

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Maison Margiela

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Jacquemus

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Prada

Male Daisy Dukes

Putting the duke into Daisy Duke, okay, so they're usually denim, but these shorts are seriously short.

Top Left - Prada, Dior Homme, Fendi, Hermès

From Left - SS World Corp, Maison Margiela, Jacquemus, Prada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Prada Denim

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Alyx Denim

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Balmain Denim

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear CMMN SWDN Denim

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Off White Denim

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Valentino DenimSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Versace Denim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Bad Denim

Is there any other type of denim these days? It keeps on getting worse and it ain't going away.

Above - Prada, Alyx, Balmain, CMMN SWDN, Off-White

Left - Valentino, Versace

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Summer Roll Necks Prada

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Summer Roll Necks Prada

Summer Roll-Neck

Burnt neck? Don’t worry the summer roll-neck's got you. These were made for a British summer.

Left - Both - Prada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Summer Dries van Noten brown

Brown Art Suit

I just love this. Simples.

Left - Dries van Noten

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Summer 1960s Prada

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear SS19 Raf Simons Verner Panton

'60s shapes

Verner Panton was the inspiration at Dries (left) and this carried over to Prada and Raf. 

Left - Prada, Raf Simons

Long Cuffs

If you've seen more untucking than Rupaul's Drag Race, it's now time to let those French cuffs hangout. Goodbye cufflinks!

Below Both - Alexander McQueen

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Alexander McQueen

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Alexander McQueen

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Cape Alexander McQueenSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear CMMN SWDNSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Maison Margiela

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arm Caping

Caping was once massive eyeroll at fashion week, but, now, you can put your shoulders in!

From Left - Alexander McQueen, CMMN SWDN, Maison Margiela

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Raf SimonsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Raf Simons

The Scarf With Coat Attached

Trust Raf Simons do give us something we didn't know we needed. It won't blow away!

Below - Raf Simons, Raf Simons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Dries van Noten Green CoatSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Raf Simons Green Satin CoatSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des Garcons

Green Man

How many green coats do you own? Exactly. Nothing welcomes spring like the Green Man. May Day alert!

Left - Dries van Noten, Raf Simons, Comme des Garcons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Raf SimonsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Dolce & Gabbana Green ManSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Thom Browne Green Man

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Yellow VersaceLeft - Dunhill, Dolce & Gabbana, Thom Browne, Versace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Yellow Raf Simons

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Yellow Dior Homme

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Yellow Ermenegildo ZegnaYellow

Yellow hasn't mellowed, in fashion terms, it's just got brighter.

From Left - Raf Simons, Dior Homme, Ermenegildo Zegna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Yellow Raf Simons

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Yellow Raf Simons

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Yellow Jacquemus

Left - Hermès, Thom Browne, Jacquemus, Versace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Ami Baby Bucket HatSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Baby Bucket Hat FendiSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Bucket Hat Stella McCartney

Baby Bonnets

Don't be a dummy, get a bucket hat with the baby ties.

From Left - Ami, Fendi, Stella McCartney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des GarconsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des GarconsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des GarconsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des Garcons

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des Garcons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Longer DB

This season saw the beginnings of something more grown-up and less novelty. It starts with the double-breasted, longer jacket.

Above From Left - Ami, Dior Homme, CMMN SWDN, Dunhill, Versace

Below - Left - Kenzo, Louis Vuitton, Paul Smith, Stella McCartney, Thom Browne

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des GarconsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des GarconsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des GarconsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des GarconsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des Garcons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear CMMN SWDN shiny shirtSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Yellow shirt WooyoungmiSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Dior Homme

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shiny Shirt

We've had latex and leather trousers, now, it's time for the shiny, plastic looking shirt.

From Left - CMMN SWDN, Wooyoungmi, Dior Homme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Maison Margiela Half HalfHalf & HalfSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Alexander McQueen

Yin & Yang your look. It's as clear as night and day.

From Left - Maison Margiela, Alexander McQueen

Deconstructed Army

You won't find this in any army surplus shop, but it makes you want to get in the big outdoors.

Below From Left - DSquared2, Neil Barrett

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear DSquared2 align=SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Neil Barrett Army

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des GarconsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des GarconsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Versace Home Knits

Home Knits

Just say 'Auntie Donatella knitted it for me, daarling!'.

From Left - Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Versace

Published in Fashion
Friday, 16 February 2018 11:56

Buyer’s Guide Harvey Nichols SS18

Lara Djandji, Menswear Buyer, Harvey Nichols

Raf Simons New Order Jacket Harvey Nichols Menswear

“From Raf Simons, SS18 saw the re-launch of key pieces from Joy Division’s ‘Unknown Pleasures’ album and I can’t get enough of the entire collection – my favourite piece being this jacket - it’s the perfect mix between fashion and music. For real fans, we’ve also bought the cap to complete the full look.”

Left - Raf Simons - New Order Oversized Denim Jacket - £1135

Amiri Jeans SS18 Harvey Nichols Menswear

“Amiri’s exceptional quality and craftsmanship of each pair of jeans makes it easy and chic to wear them everywhere – from a flight to a night out.”

Left - Amiri - Broken Black Distressed Skinny Jeans - £645

“I love this iconic Dries Van Noten look – it’s so effortless yet still elegant and can easily be worn with the signature boxed shoulder coat to transition between seasons.”

Below - Dries van Noten - Reedley Checked Wool Coat - £1010, Carlton Printed Ramie Shirt - £565, Patrini Checked Wool Trousers - £390

“I love this vintage inspired jacket by Dior. Designed by Kris Van Assche, it references the punk and rave designs of the 70s and 80s, but also makes anyone looks instantly cool.”

Bottom - Dior Homme - Jacket - £490

Dries van Noten Coat SS18 Harvey Nichols Menswear

Dries van Noten Shirt SS18 Harvey Nichols Menswear

Dries van Noten Trousers SS18 Harvey Nichols Menswear

Dior Homme Jacket SS18 Harvey Nichols Menswear

Dior Homme Jeans SS18 Harvey Nichols Menswear

 

Published in Buyer's Guides
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 16:23

How To Warm Your AW17 Arms (On A Budget!)

Arm Warmers Men's Accessorises Raf Simons

Looking online, it appears they’re a sell out. Yes, a sell out! Raf Simons’ AW17 arm-warmers, those accessorises we never knew we needed, and making us think differently about our forearms, aren’t available online anymore.

Left - Raf Simons AW17

That £250 you had burning a hole in your pocket, can be saved, thank god, with a bit of customising and working some magic on leg warmers and socks from eBay.  

Arm Warmers Men's Accessorises Raf Simons

They do sell ‘arm-warmers’ on eBay, but they all seem a bit too short and tight, and actually designed to keep your arms warm. Duh! So, I started to look at large leg warmers, which you’ll be able to pull over your coat's arms.

It’s just trying to find a pair that is loose enough - the online pictures aren't great, but if it goes over an adult's thigh... - to fit over the arms of a coat that is key, and as seen in the Raf Simons show.

Left - Raf Simons - Knit Sleeves -  £244

I went for the black 'Referee' socks, which I'm going to cut the feet out of and then loosely sew around the cut.

They cost me just over £2, including postage, and are a good way to jazz up an old coat, especially with men's fashion weeks coming up. 

I think they would look best on a classic long wool coat, in a dark colour, like we saw on the catwalk. I have a perfect one from Jigsaw.

So, at just over a pound an arm, and 100 times cheaper than the originals, get covering those forearms. What have you got to lose?!

Arm Warmers Men's Accessorises Raf Simons

Arm Warmers Men's Accessorises Raf Simons

Arm Warmers Men's Accessorises Raf Simons

Arm Warmers Men's Accessorises Raf Simons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Left - eBay - A selection of Girls/Ladies Referee Socks & Leg-Warmers from around £1.15

Right - Raf Simons AW17

Published in How To
Page 1 of 3

Advertisement