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.
Today Louis Vuitton received the title of the world's most valuable luxury brand for the seventh year in a row. According to Milaward Brown Optimor's 2012 Brand Z study published today, the French fashion house is worth $25.9 billion and experienced a 7 per cent increase in 2011. Hermès came second, which is interesting, as it comes amidst reports this week that LVMH intend to use the brand as a business model for Vuitton.
Despite the brand's strong position in the market, it still faces the dilemma of expanding and increasing its profitability without becoming too mainstream. After all, over the last few years we've gone from the problem of the WAGs sporting the monchrome bags to the likes of the TOWIE cast today and as the case of Burberry shows, that doesn't go down particularly well for business. The brand are dealing with the issue by offering certain customers more exclusive pieces and also creating more expensive products that less people can afford with details that cannot easily be replicated.
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?
With the news of Raf Simons' appointment at Dior well and true out and confirmed, the question as The Cut posed is how much Simons knew over these past few months.
It was only in March when the news of his departure (or being forced out as Cathy Horyn put it) from Jil Sander was confirmed that Simons' name was really thrown into the hat of potential candidates to take the reigns at the house so it begs the question; was it only at this stage that the negotiations with Dior began? That conclusion would seem to make sense when you look back at the sequence of events last month. Back in March reports claimed that Simons' had a clash with Dior CEO Sidney Toledano over money yet only a few weeks after the negotiations began the brand announced that the creative director had been secured with an announcement said to come soon. Clearly the negotiations were not as frosty then as the reports had us believe.
According to The Cut, LVMH bosses were concerned about having to compete against Yves Saint Laurent after it was confirmed that Hedi Slimane would replace Stefano Pilati so brought Simons on board to make sure they had a well-celebrated and modern designer on board too. The decision definitely makes sense. Along with Phoebe Philo's work at Celine, Simons is amongst the designers pushing the modern minimalist aesthetic forward, which is something that Slimane has always championed so with all three designers at the helm of such big brands, the competition truly begins.
Earlier this month we reported that Marc Jacobs moving to Dior was increasingly looking unlikely and now sources confirm that the move is definitely not happening.
LVMH reportedly approached Jacobs back in July after Bill Gaytten's less than impressive couture collection for the house and while Jacobs' move to Dior seemed secure, negotiations fell apart over money and Jacobs wanting to moving his whole Louis Vuitton team to Dior with him. As a result, a source close to Jacobs has confirmed that the designer "declined" the job for good earlier this month, as we reported.
Alexander Wang throws a good party and is the go-to designer for downtown call kids but as he recently made clear in an interview with Harper's Bazaar, don't mistake that for him being an IT boy. For Wang, it's all about business.
Along with his constant expansion plans, yesterday Wang announced that he has another big achievement under his belt as he's just secured a corner space inside Parisian department store, Printemps. This isn't the first time that Wang has worked with the department store as they have already run his pieces in a pop-up shop on their second floor so clearly the move was a big success.
Reports yesterday that Alexander Wang is in the running to take the Dior role were far-fetched so as expected, LVMH have been quick to refute the reports revealing that they are actually interested in Wang for "other reasons". Although no offer of investment has been announced, Wang's ever-growing empire has definitely caught the conglomerate's attention so a deal could be on the table sooner rather than later.
I understand their point of view. I understand they couldn’t just say, ‘Bad boy! We forgive you! Come back!’ But it’s really a pity. And I will never believe he believed what he said. I think he was drunk and alone in a bar. When people go crazy, they go crazy. It’s a human case, it’s not political or religious. He didn’t kill anyone!
New York fashion week is in full swing bu the topic on everyone's lips is still whether or not Marc Jacobs will definitely take the reigns at Dior since Galliano's departure. Despite Anna Dello Russo saying that Jacobs already has the job in the bag, recent reports today allege that the designer and partner, Robert Duffy, are still only in the negotiation stage with LVMH.
In light of the responsibility that comes with the position at Dior, Jacobs' people are requesting a sizable package, leaving them with a salary in the “low eight digits” meaning around the $10 million mark. Although that does sound like a big amount, the Dior job isn't an easy one. Aside from the two RTW collections, there's also the two pre-season collections and couture to contend with too.
While some analysts expect that the power of the brand will serve it stead regardless of who gets the job, as demonstrated with their less than successful Fall 2011 collection, a Dior without the perfect grand conductor doesn't go down well at all.
I was heavily pregnant with my second child and LVMH contacted me to find out what I was up to. I remember having this huge tummy. We agreed it wasn't the right time to go into details, but I said I was looking at going back to work at some point. So, I had my baby, and I think when he was four months old and I was ready, the conversation began again. We looked at a business model for [a completely new, eponymous brand for Philo]. We talked about the products I wanted to do and the vision I had for it. And then Celine came into the picture. LVMH seemed very happy to allow me to do everything I would have done for my own label there, basically giving me the same amount of control, and it just felt right. It's never been important to me that my name is above shop windows, and I get a lot of comfort out of having something I can stand behind. Let Celine be the name and the front of it, and I just quietly come to work every day and get on with it. It's nice. It fits.