Biker Boots and Curtains of Rain at Hermes Runway Show in Paris

Models present creations by Hermes for the Women Ready-to-wear Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection as part of the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris on March 2, 2024. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP)
Models present creations by Hermes for the Women Ready-to-wear Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection as part of the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris on March 2, 2024. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP)
TT

Biker Boots and Curtains of Rain at Hermes Runway Show in Paris

Models present creations by Hermes for the Women Ready-to-wear Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection as part of the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris on March 2, 2024. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP)
Models present creations by Hermes for the Women Ready-to-wear Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection as part of the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris on March 2, 2024. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP)

Hermes designer Nadege Vanhee added country and western flair to her fall/winter collection, sending biker boots and studded leather jackets down a catwalk lined with curtains of rain.
Models marched past the falling droplets parading the sleek lineup of leather ensembles that included flat, high-waisted trousers, flared in a boot-cut and worn with sharp-toed ankle boots - cowboy style.
Slit pencil skirts paired with trim bomber jackets looked youthful while cinched trench coats carried a more traditional flavor.
Show notes referred to "braving the elements", and cited resilient leathers, robust twills and supple cashmere.
For her bow, Vanhee lifted her arms and wiggled to the thumping soundtrack - Romeo Void's "Never Say Never" - as audience applauded.
Paris Fashion Week runs through March 5, featuring runway shows from some of the industry's biggest names, including LVMH's Louis Vuitton and Dior, Kering labels Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, and Chanel.



Louis Vuitton Pays Homage to Barcelona Architect Antoni Gaudí in 2025 Cruise Collection 

A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Güell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, May 23, 2024. (AP)
A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Güell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, May 23, 2024. (AP)
TT

Louis Vuitton Pays Homage to Barcelona Architect Antoni Gaudí in 2025 Cruise Collection 

A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Güell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, May 23, 2024. (AP)
A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Güell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, May 23, 2024. (AP)

Louis Vuitton unveiled its latest fashion designs at Barcelona’s Park Güell on Thursday, providing the clothes with drama to finally match Antoni Gaudí’s architectural masterpiece.

Nicolas Ghesquiere’s ambitions for the Parisian house’s 2025 Cruise collection were unveiled before an A-list crowd, including actresses Ana de Armas, Jennifer Connelly and Saoirse Ronan.

Louis Vuitton usually unveils its ready-to-wear collections in the French capital, while choosing exotic and attention-grabbing locations for its destination cruise collections.

Where tourists tread daily in tank tops, shorts and flip flops, this UNESCO World Heritage Site for one night was home to cutting-edge garments that blended with its earthly tones that are at once organic and yet seemingly ethereal.

The models weaved their way through the 86 Doric columns that hold up a vaulted square in the center of the park that overlooks Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea in the distance.

The show notes said Ghesquiere had been inspired by Gaudí’s “legacy in constant mutation” and Spain’s rich artistic heritage.

“As if in homage to such opulent purity, the Maison’s rigorous spirit embraces the country’s passionate character,” the notes read. “The fervor of its colors, its loyalty to tradition elevated into artistic expression, dark and light that never appear contradictory.”

Dramatic silhouettes contrasted with the soft curves of Gaudí’s organic structures, which were then reflected in the dresses that draped and folded into volumes that defied gravity.

And then there were flashes that delighted: a pair of equestrian boots that finished in a bunch of tassels.

The fashion show, however, was not celebrated by all. A group of a few hundred residents protested the event for what they said were the inconveniences it had caused, including reduced parking in the area. The protest also included animal right activists.

The group of protesters located a few streets down the hill from the park’s outer wall could be heard beating drums, blowing air horns and setting off firecrackers before the show kicked off. Catalan police said they arrested one person for resisting violently to their decision to remove the protesters from a street to let traffic through.

Park Güell, pronounced “gu-ay” was started in 1900 as a planned upscale residential development designed by Gaudí, whose other works include the still-in-progress La Sagrada Familia Basilica. But a lack of buyers led to it being ditched in favor of a park that eventually passed into the hands of the Barcelona townhall.

It now receives 4.4 million visitors a year, mostly from the US, Britain, France, Germany and Italy, with Barcelona residents only representing 0.3% of the visitors, according to the park.


Swedish Textile Recycler Syre Raises $100 Million

Representation photo: Garment employees work in a sewing section of the Fakhruddin Textile Mills Limited in Gazipur, Bangladesh, February 7, 2021. Picture taken February 7, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
Representation photo: Garment employees work in a sewing section of the Fakhruddin Textile Mills Limited in Gazipur, Bangladesh, February 7, 2021. Picture taken February 7, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
TT

Swedish Textile Recycler Syre Raises $100 Million

Representation photo: Garment employees work in a sewing section of the Fakhruddin Textile Mills Limited in Gazipur, Bangladesh, February 7, 2021. Picture taken February 7, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
Representation photo: Garment employees work in a sewing section of the Fakhruddin Textile Mills Limited in Gazipur, Bangladesh, February 7, 2021. Picture taken February 7, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain

Textile recycling firm Syre said on Thursday it had raised $100 million to fund the building of its first plant in the United States and preparations for two more, the construction of which will start in 2025.
The funding round was led by founding investor TPG Rise Climate, with investments also from fashion retailer H&M , IMAS Foundation, Volvo Cars and others, Syre said, not specifying how much each had invested, Reuters said.
The Swedish venture said in a statement its US polyester recycling plant would be up and running this year and it had short-listed Vietnam and either Spain or Portugal as sites for two further plants.
"Both regions are strategically positioned within the textile supply chain and have a long history of a vibrant textile industry, with access to know-how, feedstock and logistics, as well as green energy," the company said.
Syre plans to produce more than 3 million metric tons of polyester - enough for two tee-shirts for every person on Earth - in 2032 by recycling used garments.
Around 5.8 million tonnes of textile products are discarded every year in the European Union, equivalent to 11 kg (24 lb) per person.
A truckload of textile products is land-filled or incinerated somewhere in the world every second, according to EU figures.


Chanel to Open More Stores in China Even as Growth Shifts Abroad

Chanel plans to invest in opening more stores in mainland China. (AFP)
Chanel plans to invest in opening more stores in mainland China. (AFP)
TT

Chanel to Open More Stores in China Even as Growth Shifts Abroad

Chanel plans to invest in opening more stores in mainland China. (AFP)
Chanel plans to invest in opening more stores in mainland China. (AFP)

Chanel plans to invest in opening more stores in mainland China despite a shift of spending by Chinese shoppers to other markets as they resume travelling, the French label said on Tuesday.

"The ability to scale is really important," said Leena Nair, chief executive of the privately-owned label, known for its tweed suits, quilted handbags and No. 5 perfume.

On a recent trip to China, she said she noticed young shoppers were interested in luxury purchases as longer term financial investments.

First quarter sales updates from luxury brands showed contrasting results in mainland China, offering little reassurance that Chinese demand for high end fashion is bouncing back quickly.

This has cast a cloud over the outlook for the industry, which had high hopes that the key market would provide a boost as the post-pandemic splurge in the United States and Europe abated.

"China is still a place where we are, I would say, under distributed," said Chanel chief financial officer Philippe Blondiaux, citing the label's 18 fashion boutiques compared to competing brands that have around 40 to 50 stores.


Cartier, LVMH Look to Stores Outside Paris for Olympic Retail Boost

FILE PHOTO: The logo of luxury goods group Richemont's flagship brand Cartier is seen at a branch in Zurich, Switzerland, January 12, 2017.  REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The logo of luxury goods group Richemont's flagship brand Cartier is seen at a branch in Zurich, Switzerland, January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo
TT

Cartier, LVMH Look to Stores Outside Paris for Olympic Retail Boost

FILE PHOTO: The logo of luxury goods group Richemont's flagship brand Cartier is seen at a branch in Zurich, Switzerland, January 12, 2017.  REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The logo of luxury goods group Richemont's flagship brand Cartier is seen at a branch in Zurich, Switzerland, January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

Luxury retailers in European cities outside France are jockeying for business from deep pocketed tourists this summer, betting on a surge in visitors avoiding crowds and street closures in Paris during the Olympic Games.
"Paris will probably be slow," with cities like London, Milan or Barcelona likely seeing a lift in traffic during the event, Cartier CEO Cyril Vigneron said on Friday.
The Summer Games, which run from July 26 to Aug. 11, are probably "not the right time to organize a very important high jewelry celebration in Paris", said Van Cleef & Arpels CEO Nicolas Bos. "But we will keep the stores open and be very happy to welcome sports amateurs," he added.
The executives of the Richemont-owned jewelry brands speak from experience. The 2012 Olympics, held in London, drove some serious shoppers to their boutiques in Paris, they said, although it was "neutral" overall for their businesses. Expecting a similar trend this year, they will focus on meeting their wealthy customers where they turn up.
LVMH, the world's largest luxury group and an Olympic sponsor, is also basing its expectations on its experience during previous events in London and Beijing.
"It's usually quite neutral - although it makes our life a little bit more complicated when it comes to supplying products into our stores," said LVMH Chief Financial Officer Jean Jacques Guiony.
According to Reuters, a report commissioned by Paris 2024 last week flagged a possible "crowding out" effect whereby tourists that had planned to come to Paris go elsewhere, but said that it is hard to measure and to predict.
France's governing fashion body, The Federation de la Haute Couture et la Mode, has moved the autumn 2024 haute couture fashion shows forward a week to June 24, straight after the menswear spring 2025 ready-to-wear events. Organizers are also doubling shuttle services between shows as final Olympic preparations are expected to snarl city traffic.
Still, some fashion labels will only hold showroom presentations in Milan this season, due to "logistical difficulties because of the Olympics", Carlo Capasa, chairman of Italy's National Fashion Chamber, said.
London retailers, which have suffered from a drop in tourist traffic with the end of UK tax-free shopping, are hoping to capture business from Paris, with preparations well underway at iconic stores Harrods and Selfridges.
"Paris has already been taken off the Chinese tour guide lists for this summer," said Harrods' managing director Michael Ward, who is expecting a significant boost. "We've got to curate the product, we've got to be absolutely on our game to handle it," said Ward.
The department store hopes to draw in shoppers with celebrations of its new Tiffany & Co. high jewelry boutique, designer pop-ups and exclusive products including two new 175th anniversary teddy bears designed by Italian jewelry label Bulgari and makeup label Charlotte Tilbury.
Selfridges plans to attract locals as well as international visitors with sporting events such as a running club and is beefing up its offer of sportswear products.
"We are getting ready for a huge celebration of sport," said CEO Andrew Keith.
Barcelona, meanwhile, is pitching itself as a laid-back alternative to the frenzied Olympic atmosphere in Paris.
"Spain can offer a more relaxed leisure and consumer experience than that which, for weeks, the host city and country of the Games will have," Spanish retail and food industry association AECOC told Reuters.
Some tourists, including from the United States, who do visit the Games, which will mostly be held in venues throughout the French capital, are planning to extend their trips to visit other European countries.
"US travel data appears to imply a halo effect, as in addition to an increase in bookings in France for the Olympics, our data reflects an amplification of intra-European travel by Americans in Europe to certain destinations, such as Spain, Germany and Italy," travel agency eDreams told Reuters.


Prada Not Looking at M&A, Sees 'Positive Surprise' from US

The logo of fashion house Prada is seen outside a shop in Milan, Italy, April 8, 2024. (Reuters)
The logo of fashion house Prada is seen outside a shop in Milan, Italy, April 8, 2024. (Reuters)
TT

Prada Not Looking at M&A, Sees 'Positive Surprise' from US

The logo of fashion house Prada is seen outside a shop in Milan, Italy, April 8, 2024. (Reuters)
The logo of fashion house Prada is seen outside a shop in Milan, Italy, April 8, 2024. (Reuters)

Italian luxury group Prada is not looking at big acquisitions as it is focused on the brands it already owns, its Chief Executive Andrea Guerra said on Monday.
Speaking at the FT Luxury Summit in Venice, Guerra added that he expected a positive surprise this year from the US market for the luxury sector, Reuters reported.
"I'm cautiously positive about the US. I think that Prada has a relationship with the American consumer, but maybe we have been a little bit under represented as a business there. So we've got homework to do," he added.
The CEO - appointed in January 2023 to lead the company as the next generation of its founding family gets ready to pick up the reins - said he did not know when the change at the helm would take place.
Lorenzo Bertelli, one of the two sons of Prada's founders Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, is expected to be appointed CEO after Guerra.
In first quarter results published last month, Prada defied a slowdown across the luxury sector, reporting booming demand for its high fashion brand Miu Miu and continued growth in Asia.


Luxury Group Richemont Makes Van Cleef Jewellery Boss New CEO

The logo of the luxury goods company Richemont is pictured at its headquarters in Bellevue near Geneva, Switzerland, June 2, 2022. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse Purchase Licensing Rights
The logo of the luxury goods company Richemont is pictured at its headquarters in Bellevue near Geneva, Switzerland, June 2, 2022. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse Purchase Licensing Rights
TT

Luxury Group Richemont Makes Van Cleef Jewellery Boss New CEO

The logo of the luxury goods company Richemont is pictured at its headquarters in Bellevue near Geneva, Switzerland, June 2, 2022. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse Purchase Licensing Rights
The logo of the luxury goods company Richemont is pictured at its headquarters in Bellevue near Geneva, Switzerland, June 2, 2022. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse Purchase Licensing Rights

Luxury group Cartier-owner Richemont announced a rejig of its top management on Friday, promoting the head of its Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery brand to group chief executive, saying it was returning to a more traditional management set-up.

Nicolas Bos, who has led a sales surge at Van Cleef, will take over from Jerome Lambert, who will stay on at Richemont as Chief Operating Officer.

The Swiss-listed company made the announcement as it reported a smaller than expected fall in fourth quarter sales. It shares rose 6% on the Zurich exchange.

Chairman Johann Rupert said that the company was reinstating the traditional CEO role, folding the jewellery brands into the rest of the role's responsibilities, which also covers high-end Swiss watches, fashion and accessories, Reuters reported.

He noted it was important to be led by an executive from the "client-facing side”.

"If you’re going to run Richemont you’d better understand the consumer" Rupert told analysts, who were enthusiastic about the promotion.

"Nicolas has developed Van Cleef & Arpels into a power house, and, in our view, is entirely credible as the future leader of the Group," said Bernstein analyst Luca Solca.

The announcement came as Richemont, whose Swiss watch brands include Piaget and Jaeger-LeCoultre, said sales fell 1% to 4.80 billion euros ($5.21 billion) in the three months to the end of March.

In constant currencies, sales rose 2%,which was a slowdown from the 8% rate in the previous quarter but was slightly ahead of a consensus forecast for 4.78 billion euros cited by RBC.

The performance confirmed a downward trend in the luxury sector which has been buffeted by tepid Chinese demand and comparisons with last year, when the lifting of COVID-19 curbs in China supercharged sales.

Globally, customers have also become more selective about expensive purchases as the costs of living rises.

"Overall a decent set of numbers and final quarter constant currency growth is reassuring given the souring sentiment among luxury goods buyers and a difficult comparable," said Jon Cox at Kepler Cheuvreux.

However, weakness in the Asia Pacific in the final quarter, down 12%, is worrying, he added noting that unless the China consumer comes back, demand for luxury goods is going to be more muted for the industry than otherwise expected.


Adidas Plans Cheaper Versions of Popular Shoes

Adidas sneakers and other shoes for sale are pictured at a shop in Berlin, Germany, May 2, 2024. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
Adidas sneakers and other shoes for sale are pictured at a shop in Berlin, Germany, May 2, 2024. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
TT

Adidas Plans Cheaper Versions of Popular Shoes

Adidas sneakers and other shoes for sale are pictured at a shop in Berlin, Germany, May 2, 2024. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
Adidas sneakers and other shoes for sale are pictured at a shop in Berlin, Germany, May 2, 2024. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

Adidas is launching cheaper versions of its three-striped shoes like the white and black suede Samba as it aims to spread the trend, CEO Bjorn Gulden said on Thursday at the company's annual shareholders' meeting in Germany.
"It's important to understand that not everyone can afford to buy a shoe for 120 or 150, but everyone wants to take part in the same trends," Gulden told investors in a presentation in Furth, near Adidas' headquarters in Herzogenaurach.
Adidas will offer similar versions of the Samba and other shoes for $60 to $80, more affordable entry points than the $100 to $150 price tag for the main shoe lines, according to a presentation slide shown by Gulden.
"What we do at the top, 100 and higher, we're bringing that down. So, for Foot Locker, for Intersport, and for Deichmann, we've also got something to offer," Reuters quoted Gulden as saying.


Burberry's Profit Slumps 34% as Luxury Demand Slows

A person walks past a Burberry store undergoing refurbishment on New Bond Street in London, Britain, March 11, 2023. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
A person walks past a Burberry store undergoing refurbishment on New Bond Street in London, Britain, March 11, 2023. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
TT

Burberry's Profit Slumps 34% as Luxury Demand Slows

A person walks past a Burberry store undergoing refurbishment on New Bond Street in London, Britain, March 11, 2023. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
A person walks past a Burberry store undergoing refurbishment on New Bond Street in London, Britain, March 11, 2023. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Britain's Burberry reported a 34% drop in annual operating profit on Wednesday after it faced the challenge of repositioning its brand to take it more upmarket against a backdrop of slowing luxury demand.
It said its like-for-like sales fell 12% in the final quarter, wiping out gains made earlier in the year, Reuters said.
Chief Executive Jonathan Akeroyd said that while the financial results underperformed the company's original expectations, it had made good progress refocusing its brand.
"We are using what we have learned over the past year to fine tune our approach, while adapting to the external environment," he said, adding that he remained confident Burberry could be the "Modern British Luxury" brand.
He said Burberry expected the first half of its current financial year to remain challenging, but it expected to see the benefit of the actions it was taking from the second half.


Gucci Hosts Star-Studded Cruise Collection Fashion Show in London’s Tate Modern 

A model wears an outfit for the Gucci Cruise fashion show in London, Monday, May 13, 2024. (AP)
A model wears an outfit for the Gucci Cruise fashion show in London, Monday, May 13, 2024. (AP)
TT

Gucci Hosts Star-Studded Cruise Collection Fashion Show in London’s Tate Modern 

A model wears an outfit for the Gucci Cruise fashion show in London, Monday, May 13, 2024. (AP)
A model wears an outfit for the Gucci Cruise fashion show in London, Monday, May 13, 2024. (AP)

For one night only, the utilitarian, concrete basement of London's Tate Modern museum was transformed into a lush green jungle Monday — and it was the hottest fashion ticket in town.

Luxury Italian fashion house Gucci hosted its star-studded cruise collection catwalk at the Thames-side modern art museum, showing a series of delicate sheer outfits, relaxed denim and daywear, all adorned with the brand's coveted leather bags and other accessories with the double-G logo.

Actors Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott and singers Dua Lipa and Solange Knowles were among celebrities perched on the front row. Also in attendance were Salma Hayek and her husband, Francois-Henri Pinault, who is chair and CEO of Kering, Gucci’s parent company.

The big-budget event displayed the first cruise collection by Sabato De Sarno, who was named Gucci's creative director last year and debuted his womenswear designs in September.

Gucci normally stages its shows in Milan, but like other fashion powerhouses it chooses locations around the world to show off its cruise collections — the shows in between the main spring and autumn displays.

On Monday, models meandered down a runway that wound its way around hundreds of ferns, overhanging plants and mossy paths, the mass of green a contrast to the grey, industrial show space. De Sarno said that contrast extends to his latest designs, which paired luxurious evening looks and floral embroidery with casual jackets and slouchy denim.

And what of the footwear? Comfort comes first, with all outfits, even the most glamorous evening gowns, paired with Mary Jane shoes, ballet flats or platform loafers worn with little white socks.

“Rigor and extravagance, strength in delicacy, Englishness with an Italian accent,” the show notes read.

De Sarno featured a few checked jackets in a nod to British style, though some other designs were a much more subtle tribute. Dresses and coats covered with squares made of a shimmering bead fringe were a reference to Scottish plaids.

The fashion house has a little-known historical link to the UK. Its founder, Guccio Gucci, had a stint working as a bellhop in the Savoy, the luxury London hotel, more than a century ago.

The brand says Guccio took inspiration from that experience when he opened his first store in Florence in 1921 to sell luggage. The rest, as they say, is history.


Nigeria's Fashion and Dancing Styles are In The Spotlight as Harry and Meghan Visit Lagos

Prince Harry, left, and Meghan, right, holding hands upon arrival at the government house in Lagos Nigeria, Sunday, May 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
Prince Harry, left, and Meghan, right, holding hands upon arrival at the government house in Lagos Nigeria, Sunday, May 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
TT

Nigeria's Fashion and Dancing Styles are In The Spotlight as Harry and Meghan Visit Lagos

Prince Harry, left, and Meghan, right, holding hands upon arrival at the government house in Lagos Nigeria, Sunday, May 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
Prince Harry, left, and Meghan, right, holding hands upon arrival at the government house in Lagos Nigeria, Sunday, May 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Nigeria’s fashion and traditional dances were at full display on Sunday as Prince Harry and Meghan arrived in its largest city, Lagos, as part of their three-day visit to the country to promote mental health for soldiers and empower young people.
The couple, invited to the West African nation by its military, were treated to different bouts of dancing, starting from the Lagos airport where a troupe's acrobatic moves left both applauding and grinning. One of the dancers, who looked younger than 5 years old, exchanged salutes with Harry from high up in the air, standing on firm shoulders, The Associated Press said.
Going with Meghan’s white top was the traditional Nigerian aso oke, a patterned handwoven fabric wrapped around the waist and often reserved for special occasions. It was a gift from a group of women a day earlier.
The couple visited a local charity – Giants of Africa — which uses basketball to empower young people. There, they were treated to another round of dancing before unveiling a partnership between the organization and their Archewell Foundation.
“What you guys are doing here at Giants of Africa is truly amazing,” Harry said of the group. “The power of sport can change lives. It brings people together and creates community and there are no barriers, which is the most important thing.”
Masai Ujiri, the charity’s president and an ex-NBA star, wished Meghan a happy Mother’s Day and acknowledged how hard it can be “for us to be away from our kids and family to make things like this happen.”
“To do so shows dedication (and) we truly appreciate it,” he told the couple.
Meghan and Harry later attended a fundraiser for Nigeria’s soldiers wounded in the country’s fight against extremists and other armed groups in the country’s conflict-battered north. The event was related to Harry's Invictus Games, which Nigeria is seeking to host in the future.
The couple were also hosted at the Lagos State Government House, where Meghan received another handwoven Nigerian fabric.
“We’ve extended an additional invitation to them that they can always come back when they want to,” Lagos Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu told reporters.