Bernard Arnault hasn't been in the headlines for the right reasons recently. The LVMH chairman is currently in the middle of legal proceedings against a newspaper that alleged that his recent application for dual French-Belgian citizenship was to avoid the 75 per cent tax that France's new President has brought in. With that in mind, his recent nod of approval from the British comes at the perfect time to counteract all of the negative press.
WWD reports that Arnault will be awarded an honorary knighthood for his service to the business in the U.K. The 63 year-old will be presented with award to become an honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British empire by Sir Peter Ricketts, the British ambassador to France. The date is yet to be confirmed but what we do know is that the ceremony will take place at the British Embassy in Paris rather than in the U.K.
I've said before that working for Mr. Arnault is like working for the farmer in the movie Babe. I mean, he's never going to jump up and down with exuberance, and the most he can say has often been the equivalent of "That'll do pig." But now he does praise me, which is great.
Maxime Simoens was one of the names thrown into the Dior hat before Raf Simons' appointment was announced but don't feel too sorry for him because things aren't looking too bad for the twenty-seven year old. According to WWD, LVMH CEO Bernard Arnaulthas his eye on the designer fror something else.
Simoens, who recently left his role at Leonard, made it clear at the time that he's excited about focusing on new projects and with Arnault's support, his next steps are set to be big ones. Arnault is reportedly put him at the top of the list for any future job openings at LVMH brands and in the meantime he has decided to invest in Simoen's eponymous brand. Not a bad consolation price, no?
By his own admission, Julien Macdonald has never been a designer set on pushing boundaries. 'I've made my name by dressing celebrities and that's fine,' he said recently. 'Glamour is always in fashion' he added, and there definitely has to be some truth in that. To say that he's doing well is quite the understatement. What he doesn't have in sales numbers for his mainline, he definitely has with his collections for Debenhams (his line with them is their most successful designer collaboration) and his recent foray into reality TV on 'Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model' have ensured that he has found a place in all of our living rooms as well as our wardrobes.
Because of his focus on all things celebrity, he was never a designer that followed. That's not because I don't respect what he does - I really do - but rather, his penchant for all things glamour and IT girl isn't something that I'm particularly drawn to. That said, recently I was lucky enough to join Shop Style on the Fashion Fringe roadshow where Collin McDowell spoke to the designer at the University of Brighton where he studied and I was totally won over. Not only is he incredibly charming, he is also incredibly outgoing (a characteristic, which Macdonald himself noted isn't very common amongst designers) and completely honest and unfiltered.
What was interesting about the talk was that a lot of us left realising just how little we knew about his incredible past.
Bernard Arnault has been in the press a lot lately but mainly as a result of journalists trying to get his opinion on the John Galliano saga but today we come baring different news. The CEO of LVMH was made the Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour last week - a week after Anna Wintour received the same award.
This isn't the first big award that Arnault has bagged in the last 12 months. Earlier this year the US awarded him with the Corporate Citizenship Award presented at the White House in recognition of his contribution to business and services.
Bernard Arnault has said that he is going to think carefully before appointing a replacement for John Galliano at Dior. In a recent interview with Robin Givhan, the LVMH boss explained that he is more inclined to hire a more even tempered designer like Celine's Phoebe Philo, who has been responsible for the brand's three digit growth.
“It will take time, but [Celine] is on the way. Phoebe has the potential. She is doing a style which is completely in line with our time,” he said. “My daughter Delphine, she’s working at Dior, but she wears Celine.”
Despite bosses at John Galliano previously telling WWD that they were confident that the designer will be able to come back from the scandal as Kate Moss did, the reality is far from that ideal. LVMH chief Bernard Arnault confirmed to Cathy Horyn that Galliano will not return, despite her reporting that executives at the conglomertae were 'toying with the idea' of bringing him back. “He will not be working for LVMH,” Arnault explained adding that the designer "didn’t have the simple politeness to contact me” after the story was released.
During the same week that Galliano took to the stand in court to fight his public-defamation trial, Christian Dior CEO Sidney Toledano selected Bill Gaytten to replace the designer at his namesake brand. Gayten, who worked with the designer for 23 years, made his first appearance as the brand's creative director last week at their menswear show in Paris. “It’s the same job for me; I’ve been doing it for a long time,” he told WWD . “It was a bit different because John wasn’t there.” In addition to working at John Galliano, Gaytten will also oversee the Christian Dior couture collection too, leading many to speculate that he might have that job in the bag too. After all, he is currently the studio team leader at Dior making him a perfect candidate for the role.
Bernard Arnault of LVMH has said that Dior won't be hasty naming John Galliano's replacement, WWD is reporting that advisers have compiled a list of suggested successors. Among them: Riccardo Tisci, Tom Ford, Hedi Slimane, Olivier Theyskens, Nicolas Ghesquiere, Alber Elbaz, Haider Ackermann, Prabal Gurung and Sarah Burton.
This comes after false rumours that Tisci had already accepted the position; he's supposedly the favorite of Delphine Arnault, Dior's deputy managing director and daughter of Bernard. As for Burton, WWD reports that if she dresses Kate Middleton for this month's royal wedding, her chances will shoot through the roof. WWD says: "According to a source, Bernard Arnault is transfixed by royalty, and would be keen to launch Dior alongside the next-generation couple, just as Princess Diana helped catapult the image of the brand in 1995 when she toted a Lady Dior bag and, a year later, donned a midnight-blue, bias-cut Dior gown by Galliano to attend the Costume Institute gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art."
I could have asked many other talented designers to do Dior, but it would not have been the same. Take Marc Jacobs, he has been a fantastic success at Vuitton and he has a proximity to the Vuitton spirit, but I don't think it would have been a success with Jacobs at Dior and the other way around, if I had asked John [Galliano] to do Vuitton, it would not have worked. An essential ingredient in the success of the brand today is the real proximity of Galliano to the talent of Christian Dior.