Carine Roitfeld never shies away from being frank in interviews so lucky for us, she's had a string of them recently as she promotes her upcoming book, 'Irreverant'. In her most recent interview with The Times, she answered all of the questions that we've all wanted answered.
This is what we learnt:
1. Contrary to reports, her controversial December issue collaboration with Tom Ford didn't get her fired.
Not at all. I decided to leave before this issue because I was doing French Vogue 10 years, 100 issues. A lot of people say I was fired because of this issue, because of the little girls dressed in mom clothes.
It was very, very controversial. Old couples, kids, surgery. But it was not done on purpose because I was leaving. It was done before that, you know.
Today Kim Kardashian secured yet another big deal. Sketchersannounced that they've signed on to work with the reality star and her mother, Kris Jenner, to front a marketing campaign including print, television and online advertisements for their Sketchers Shape-ups, set to launch next spring.
The move marks another big business leap for the star, who recently opened another branch of Dash - the store she owns with sisters Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian - in Soho. The past few years have also seen the reality star work with QVC, Bebe and now on a line of special credit cards. The Times recently wrote a piece attempting to explain, or understand, her newfound commercial appeal. According to the paper: “'There was a time when Paris Hilton topped that list, when she was the most famous person for being nothing we had ever seen,' Mr. Passikoff said. (Ms. Hilton is now in third place.) Interestingly, he noted, many consumers associate Ms. Kardashian with entrepreneurship, far more so than with other celebrities."
This sentiment is clearly shared by Leonard Armato, Sketcher's Fitness Group President, who said: “The Kardashians are the definition of pop culture....Everything they do, people are inspired to emulate.”
This is the first time the brand have brought on a celebrity outside of the sports field to front the product - the most recent celebrity spokespeople include athletes like Joe Montana and Karl Malone. “Kris is someone who career women and moms look up to,” Armato explained when asked about the decision to hire the pair. “And Kim is probably the hottest celebrity in the world right now. The heat she generates is unprecedented.”
I hope that there will be actual stories to read in it, because the Times is first and foremost a paper of great reporting. And it has to be relevant and honest and interesting. There also have to be real narratives and a sense of continuity between the world of the paper and the world in which the T images exist.
Although she might have described the fashion spreads in the newest issue of W magazine as "generally strong", Times critic Cathy Horyn isn't completely won over by the redesigned publication, writing that she needs a "clearer, more authoritative reason to read it." Earlier this year, W's new editor-in-chief Stefano Tonchi admitted that he never really read the magazine before being appointed in the position, and so began an air of anticipation to see how the direction would change under his watchful eye, particularly in the article department.
Somewhat disappointingly, Horyn writes that "the energised [new] logo might be the most promising thing about the magazine," continuing, "I don't expect W to deal directly with realities like joblessness or stressed European bankers or the emerging clout of Chinese consumers, but surely there is a need to put stylishness into a new context - beyond Hollywood and art, which is Mr. Tonchi's comfort zone.
...With a number of articles in the new W, I wondered: Why am I reading this? What's the big picture? The Tisci profile, for one, covered all the bases, but ultimately it's another story about a young design maverick at an old Paris house. Why does he matter and what's changed, if anything, because of his fashion? Overall, the perspective of the magazine was small frame. W doesn't need more stuff to read. Rather, it needs a clearer, more authoritative reason to read it." Oh the irony of plastering the front cover with 'Great Expectations', Tisci.
As Fashionologie so rightly put it, the Phoebe Philo effect is upon us. Gone are the days when people were more interested in making a point to the world by bagging an item with the biggest logo. Today the economy is making consumers seriously re-think their purchases and as Maria Grachvogel told me yesterday, customers want their wardrobes to work hard for them.
With that in mind it came to no surprise that last week, PPR CEO and chairman Francois-Henri Pinault said that bosses at the conglomerate are supporting the shift.“Our groups are moving toward fewer logos, more discreet luxury," he said on Friday. "It's a question of adapting our ranges very rapidly to this new perception of luxury, a luxury which is more subtle, more sophisticated — which is what we are doing.”
The Times' fashion editor Lisa Armstrong tackled this new seismic shift head on in the August issue of British Vogue heralding 'the cult of the restrained' as the way designers are moving and rightly so. 'Designers have finally got their heads round a much more cautious economic reality, we've finally getting clothes that make sense," she wrote.
So what does this mean for the likes of John Galliano and our avant garde designers known for fantasy and innovation? Will they follow suit now the big conglomerates are supporting a restrained luxury? Only time will tell....
After months of speculation and rumours, it is now been confirmed that Vogue's Sally Singer has been appointed editor-in-chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine.
The news came asT's digital director Horacio Silva, took to the magazine's Twitter account today confirming the news. The announcement was revealed to the magazine's team on Tuesday whereby Bill Keller, the magazine's executive editor, said: "As her resume — and her successes at Vogue — will testify, she has the combination of aesthetic sense and intellectual curiosity suited to a style magazine that wears the name of The New York Times.” Although they received a healthy amount of interest for the position, unsurprisingly Singer shone through the pack. "We were looking for someone with the imagination and taste to envision the next generation of this extraordinary franchise, and the experience to make it happen," Keller said.
The move comes a time where there has been a lot of movement between Condé Nast and The Times, particularly after T's former editor, Stefano Tonchi moved to Condé Nast's W magazine in April.
Since the news was released, everyone have taken to their Twiiter accounts to wish Singer good luck and dicuss the announcement.
It's fair to say that young designer Zac Posen (who some have even nicknamed the boy wonder) has been given a fairly hard time in New York of late. The Times claimed recently that his only talent was designing dresses flattering to many women's bodies, branding Posen "a showman trying to project a sense of grandness", whilst the Wall Street Journal asked his own mother - and chairman to his company - if she believed her boy had grown up, to which she replied "Of he feels that way".
To add insult to injury, not only is Posen struggling to get the slot he wants for New York Fashion Week, but much of his Z Spoke line can be found taking up most of the sale rails at Saks. Hardly surprising, then, that the New York based designer wants to give Paris a try, as he was overheard telling a visitor to his showroom this week "the understand my clothes".
For the cover of its April issue, the team behind Vogue India decided that it was time to tackle the issue of colour prejudice within the country, and so have shot five beautifully dark skinned models - including Londoner Gia Johnson Singh - scantily clad in pale bikinis, under the editorial title 'The Dawn of Dusk'. As the feature explains, "Every generation has its share of beauty myths. Perhaps its time to bust this one", continuing, "Time to say that as a magazine we love, and have always loved, the gorgeous colour of Indian skin... dark, dusky, bronze, golden - whatever you call it, we love it."
Whilst the desire to achieve a golden tan might be popular in the West, it seems that the East sees a different story - many successful Bollywood stars and models are light skinned, and last year saw an increase of 18% in the demand for skin whitening creams from the likes of L'Oreal and Unileaver, which is predicted to soar to 25% this year, The Times reports. "Skin colour matters a lot for women in India," Nirupama Singh, an expert on the area of sociology in fashion explained, "Fairness is a very valuable thing here, looked on as desirable. The fashion world can be a big agent for change in this area."
Ever considered the difficulty fashion journalists face when presented with a collection they don't entirely like? On one hand, it comes as part of the job description to acurately report on the latest fashion news, and yet there is also the necessity to keep designers and fashion houses on side, as keeping a good working relationship is vital in an industry where magazines rely on labels for shoots and articles.
So when a piece of press appears that a label doesn't necessarily like, they can threaten to pull advertising, and in extreme cases even ban editors from attending their shows at Fashion Week. Nearly two years ago, The Times' Cathy Horyn wrote openly about being banned from the Giorgio Armani show after she had written about his couture show, and it didn't go down well. Her outspoken style of writing has also seen her banned from Dolce & Gabbana, Helmut Lang and Carolina Herrera. The latest designer/editor dispute however is still fairly shocking, as Balenciaga banned Carine Roitfeld from attending their AW10 show this Paris Fashion Week.
For the avid fashion-lover, the months of February and September that bring along another seasonal set of Fashion Weeks have gotten better and better over the past few years. More shows than ever are available to view online shortly after they're presented to a crowded house of press, buyers and guests, and the more technologically advanced of the houses are even streaming their shows live nowadays. Granted that the live streamings don't always work until after the shows due to high demand, the changes in global fashion weeks are leaving fashionistas without invites content, whilst members of the industry ponder whether they're worth visiting after all.
Why, you might ask? When from the eye of a fashion fan everything seems so glamorous, the dramatic changes we've witnessed over the past decade, or possibly even over the past five years have left a dramatic change on the industry, with technology putting incredible pressure on press, and the recent 'celeb culture' trend making it a less enjoyable experience. Whilst only last week New York Times critic Cathy Horynexpressed her disappointment at the end of Milan Fashion Week - branding it "an eternity of bad clothes crammed into four days with editors raging like shut-ins about the lack of fun" - it seems T Magazine's Stefano Tonchi isn't best pleased with the experience, either.