Wednesday, 03 February 2021 13:54

Preview Ted Baker SS21 High Summer Menswear

ted baker summer 2021 lookbook menswearTed Baker has a new Global Creative Director, Anthony Cuthbertson. For high summer 2021, he offers a more relaxed, joyful wardrobe with a British influence that is said to celebrate the brand’s homeland. 

 The collection takes a more youthful approach to tailoring, using lightweight fabrics in a colour palette of soft pastels with vibrant pops of colour, inspired by Martin Parr’s vivid British photography. A fresh take on florals includes larger-scale hand drawn prints and embroidery, which punctuate revere collar shirts. An oversized brush stroke print and contrasting piping effortlessly elevate other styles. 

British seaside inspired prints on swim shorts and graphic T-shirts add a playful touch, styled with nylon bucket hats in contrasting colours.  

Elsewhere, modern utility is considered with colour blocking in shades such as taupe, sand and burgundy. Outerwear pieces including fishtail parkas and wadded gilets with multiple pockets have an urban edge and are crafted in technical, water repellent finishes.   

ted baker summer 2021 lookbook menswear

Indigo rinse wash denim is worn head to toe, with refined seaming and a new wide fit shape in jeans for clean, contemporary dressing.  

Accessories see the introduction of a unisex quilted nylon range in various shapes from bum bags to oversized totes, with modular details for a utilitarian feel.  

TheChicGeek says, "Ted Baker has needed a refresh for a while now. It was very much stuck in that blue suit, brown lace up shoes era. I don't know new creative head, Anthony Cuthbertson, but I like these first impressions. It's more fun, youthful and contemporary, but without trying too hard." 

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Tuesday, 02 February 2021 10:45

Graduate Fashion Week Moves To Coal Drops Yard

Coal Drops Yard Kings Cross Review VisitGraduate Fashion Foundation is excited to announce Graduate Fashion Week the
world’s largest showcase of BA Fashion talent, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year in 2021 and will take place from Saturday 12th – Friday18th June 2021. During this anniversary year, Graduate Fashion Week will move its event to a new home at Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross, London.
Read what TheChicGeek thought about Coal Drops Yard - Here

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Tuesday, 02 February 2021 10:18

Non Gender Specific New Sustainable Packaging

non gender specific beauty grooming news

The world’s leading gender-neutral skincare brand “for all humans” Non Gender Specific, is celebrating its 3-year anniversary with a new sustainable packaging initiative. Not only does the brand offer non-binary, high-performance formulas for everyday skincare, but it now aims to eliminate landfill waste and increase the use of recyclable and industrially compostable materials for beauty consumers. 



The new eco-friendly packaging is:

  • Manufactured with 100% renewable energy
  • Made from 80% post consumer waste (traditional paper used for packaging is about 30%)
  • Made from an additional 10% of hemp paper 
  • Has already saved approximately 13 trees, 1,100 gallons of water, 46 pounds of solid waste, and 5,700 pounds of CO2

In addition to the above, NGS has also earned new sustainable certifications with: 

  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
  • Processed Chlorine Free (PCF)
  • Green-e

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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?

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Monday, 21 September 2020 13:50

Omega 2020 Releases

Even though a lot of things have been put on hold in 2020, there are some brands that are always ready to tackle more challenges. With that in mind, Omega has released a few new watches in 2020 that will intrigue anyone interested in precious timepieces, no matter if you’re a collector of precious watches or getting ready for an important event. With a brand new watch on your wrist, you’ll feel as the red carpet has been rolled down under you.

Join us on a ride through the new eye-catching portfolio of exquisite watches and you might just find a piece that meets your needs. We’ll present our top three picks from this year’s releases, focusing on the ones with a fascinating background.

Omega Moonwatch

Omega has decided to recreate their legendary Omega 321 calibre watches that have been worn by the Apollo 11 crew 51 years ago. For the July anniversary of the moon landing, the watch giant came out with the Omega Moonwatch — the second generation of the 321 calibres. The original watch is known as the Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Stainless Steel, and it holds a special place in the prestigious family of Omega watches.

The timepiece is not a limited edition, meaning that you can get the true connection to space history it offers anytime. The Apollo 11 mission holds a special place in the hearts of many space enthusiasts, meaning that the second generation of the Moonwatch is a cherished timepiece around the world.

Seamaster Diver 300m

Another significant timepiece in Omega’s collection is the Seamaster Diver 300m. The new edition of the Seamaster Diver 300m has been advertised along with the latest James Bond film that is set to be released in November 2020. Although we got a sneak peek of the watch when it was showcased during the 50th anniversary of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, we’re surely looking forward to seeing it on Daniel Craig’s wrist.

Omega watches have been a part of the James Bond franchise since 1995, especially the Seamaster collection, as Bond is portrayed as a Royal Navy commander. Until the film hits the theatres, you can enjoy both the gold and the platinum edition of the Seamaster Diver 300m.

Seamaster Planet Ocean America’s Cup

We wouldn’t want to leave out an outstanding new timepiece available around the world — Seamaster Planet Ocean 36th America’s Cup Limited Edition. The latest edition of the timepiece first raced in 1851 is ready to continue the tradition as a source of rivalry and fantastic sailing duels. In March 2020, the 36th edition of the watch was presented in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.

The newest edition of the Seamaster Planet Ocean America’s Cup is manufactured from 2,021 pieces of the finest materials and quality. The polished white ceramic dial is positioned above an Omega Master Chronometer 8900 movement. The red, blue, and white design perfectly embodies the patriotic spirit, as you can see red and white liquid ceramic inserts perfected for the regatta countdown. The brand’s capabilities are impeccably illustrated in the engineering of this timepiece.

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