Slimane and Simons Face Off
These are heady times for fashion in Paris — thanks in no small part to Hedi Slimane, whose runway debut for Saint Laurent is arguably the most anticipated event since the late couturier’s retirement show in 2002 — or when Tom Ford took up the reins at Yves Saint Laurent in 2000. Also poised to electrify this Paris Fashion Week is Raf Simons, who will show his first ready-to-wear collection for Christian Dior on Friday after a strong debut for couture in July.
The face-off of two fortysomething men’s wear mavericks on fashion’s biggest stage is likely to be the dominant story of the European season, compelling other designers in the French capital to up their game. Many top talents here are said to be anxious about Slimane and Simons stealing all the thunder, and are concentrating on putting their best foot forward.
Competition is becoming particularly cluttered among purveyors of minimalism, such as Celine’s Phoebe Philo, back with a runway show after her maternity leave in March. “I think it will be an exciting season in Paris. It is needed!” declared Karl Lagerfeld. “It’s stimulating and both [Simons and Slimane] are people I like a lot with a lot of talent.”
“I think it’s going to be a fashion moment in Paris,” Alber Elbaz agreed Tuesday during a preview of his spring Lanvin show. “I think it’s something that a lot of people are feeling and thinking about, and I love competition because it moves me forward.
Kors Stocks Soar
Top execs and investors at Michael Kors , including the designer himself, sold more than $1.2 billion in shares as the company’s stock continues to soar. The “Project Runway” host is cashing in nearly 4 million shares at $53 apiece — a sale in which he will personally reap more than $211 million, according to a securities filing yesterday.
Since the popular clothing and accessories empire went public last December at $17 a share, the stock has more than tripled as its sales of dresses, shoes and handbags have repeatedly outstripped expectations. Kors still holds upwards of $450 million in stock. On Friday, the shares hit a 52-week high of $57.35 after the company raised its profit forecast.
Nicole Miller Signs Outwear Deal
Nicole Miller has signed a three-year outerwear licensing deal with the Amerex Group. Aimed at better department stores and specialty stores, the coats and jackets will make their debut for fall 2013.
Miller said Tuesday, “I design for modern women. My philosophy is to create interesting clothes that are fun, flattering, luxurious and subtly sexy.” In addition to the outerwear, Miller oversees design for each of her brand’s 25 licensees including bedding, eyewear, fragrance, footwear, jewelry, lingerie and luggage, as well as for her main collection. Amerex chief executive officer and president Ira Granger described Miller as “a driving force in the fashion industry for an unprecedented 30 years.”
David Meltzer, executive vice president of Amerex, is overseeing the collection. The move is in line with the company’s plans to broaden its outerwear, swimwear and sportswear labels.
– Taneisha Jordan
Sources: WWD; NY Post