There's no recession, if you askChristian Louboutin. The shoe designer's business showed double-digit growth last year, according to his latest interview with Vanity Fair. Soon after the news of the global financial meltdown, Louboutin summed up his reaction thusly: "What's 'credit crunch'? Is that a new gym?" An understandable reaction from someone who sells 340,000 pairs of shoes annually - with price tags ranging from $495 to an undisclosed amount, though it's known that his pairs with soles made of rubies cost high five-figure sums.
So how does he get those totals? Louboutin doesn't rely on advertising or marketing, and he hardly ever gives shoes away, even to celebrities. (Some individuals do receive a discount at his stores, though.) His high sales aren't a result of his infatuation with technology, either. The designer only started using email a few years ago, he doesn't know how to drive, and his iPhone is practically beyond him.
Maybe Louboutin can thank the 3,000 women whom he estimates own 500 pairs of shoes apiece for his figures. Or more realistically, Danielle Steele, whom Louboutin describes as his "super-top customer." He said: "She has at least 6,000 pairs, if not more. She comes to Paris, and she literally buys everything. Then she flies back to New York, says, 'I'm a little disappointed — there's nothing in the store,' and walks out with 80 pairs. She is super."
Following the announcement that founder Simon Fuller had left his company 19 Entertainment two months ago, the company's owner CKX revealed yesterday that they were in talks with One Equity Partners about a possible company buy out. Fuller sold his renowned company - which owns stakes in Storm Models, Roland Mouret and Victoria Beckham - to CKX in 2005, and for the past year rumours have surfaced about his next step.
Joining forces with fashion mogul Sir Phillip Green, it was announced last June that Fuller and the Arcadia owner were to create a global entertainment company, after which more rumours circulated about the possibility of Kate Moss' involvement. It was then hinted that Fuller was to collaborate with pal Victoria Beckham to form a modelling agency based in New York, however the former Spice Girl dismissed the rumour, and it was shortly after that Fuller left his company in order to pursue a career in film and other areas of entertainment. With Fuller gone and talks of a company buy-out, the future for Storm Models, Roland Mouret and Victoria Beckham remains to be seen... watch this space.
Putting London firmly back on the map, the combination of the 25th anniversary, the return of British giant Burberryand the sea of new and exciting talent that exhibited for the past two seasons at London Fashion Week gained an incredible amount of hype - and publicity - and so the BFC set their minds to retaining this fresh burst of excitement. The British acceptance for eccentricity seems to stimulate an unprecidented amount of talent, and so the BFC and Vogue joined forces to create their first ever Designer Fashion Fund - and the winner of the award, announced yesterday morning, went deservedly to Erdem Moralioglu.
Similarly to the CFDAawards, the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund grants the chosen winner a sum of £200,000, along with a year of mentoring with guidance from both the BFC and Vogue to help the winner turn their fashion brand into a global label. In tough competition, Erdem beat the likes of Christopher Kane, Marios Schwab, Nicholas Kirkwood and Richard Nicholl, and although his incredible talent and success with the critics points at him being a strong contender, Erdem endearingly told Vogue that winning the award came as quite a shock. "I CANNOT believe it's happened, it's wild, really incredible. I'm totally shocked."