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14-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fashionista-ta View Post
^ I don't know about the satin tennis shoes, but Lanvin's handbags are certainly not an example of selling out.
But their dresses are!

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14-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fashionista-ta View Post

Has there been any leaking of details about the differences the designer and the suits had about the approach that should be taken to growth?
Personally I don't know any more than was intimated in the following part of the very interesting article forming the opening post

''Nevertheless, Hivelin has quietly tested future avenues of growth for the brand, including a less expensive line dubbed Balmain Blue that is said to have irked Decarnin and was never brought to market.''

So clearly there was conflict regards strategic vision over 'to diffuse or not to diffuse...' I don't know if that was the only or main antagonism

Clearly Hivelin has a will to diffuse which will probably now become a reality. Whether the brand was/is ready to be spread successfully to a more mass market is an interesting question. The friend I mentioned in an earlier post hadn't heard of Balmain so the penetration of the brand name beyond the fashion elite isn't, I don't think, that widely dispersed.

Maybe the fact of a diffusion line creates of itself it's own brand name dispersal? You'd imagine that a core part of any diffusion strategy ought to be maintaining brand kudos at international runway/editorial level. But if the 'internal' appointment is to be the person responsible for AW11/12, I read that the zenith of the kudos is likely to have been SS11 (Or for me SS10). So very much a case of the slaughter of the proverbial goose.

Timing is everything but greed has no patience.

If as intimated in the lead article DeCarnin's mental problems have been overstated - in other words Hivelin's people attempted to do a PR job on him - then that only serves to deepen the thought that it's DeCarnin who emerges with all the kudos and I shall look forward to seeing his work in the future.

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14-04-2011
  48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fashionista-ta View Post
^ I don't know about the satin tennis shoes, but Lanvin's handbags are certainly not an example of selling out.

Has there been any leaking of details about the differences the designer and the suits had about the approach that should be taken to growth?
some might argue -- carine roitfeld among them in a recent interview -- that any design house's foray into handbags remains a 'sell out' because it's such a cash cow for them. but, in lanvin's case, one could just as easily point to denim or t-shirts or h+m collaborations or bridal lines or any other number of nakedly moneymaking ventures.

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16-04-2011
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^ Well, by all means, let them stop their nakedly commercial activities, and we can all carry ripstop nylon from Target.

OK, I don't want to do that ...

If you want to talk sellout, Balenciaga's extensive new shoe line matching the City bag looks to qualify ...

To me the question is, does the product have integrity? Is the line beautiful, useful, well-designed and thought out? Not, will it make money? If it's everything it should be, it deserves to make money. A designer isn't selling out if he or she is doing good work.

I think we all know that diffusion lines can be done poorly, and they can be done well. The idea for Balmain sounds like a pretty good one to me ... the main line prices are so high that there's plenty of room below. Perhaps the designer was concerned that a diffusion line would 'expose' the main line ...

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16-04-2011
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^don't get me wrong: i personally enjoy the nakedly moneymaking aspects of fashion. i just think that it drives some creative directors to the brink. i'm the customer that buys the dior homme jeans and the marc jacobs high tops and the hermes leather bracelets and the tom ford fragrances. i'm the customer they look for when they branch out into the lower cost items, but i do think that it takes its toll on designers who really and truly care about the integrity of their craft. for those comfortable with the more commercial aspects, i believe they fare fine, but for those who might not like the spotlight and the criticism, it might land them in the sanitarium.

one wonders how someone like john galliano might fare at a house like balmain. it's certainly MUCH lower pressure than christian dior, but he has proven that he is comfortable taking a house from the doldrums to the fashion forefront.

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17-04-2011
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I have to say that 'Balmain Blue' might depress anyone You'd think they'd play off 'Pierre' or something ...

I'm not familiar with all the examples you mention, but I believe the consensus is that Tom Ford fragrances are very well done. Certainly there are a huge number of fragrances, but given how mediocre so many of them are, there's always room for a good one. The same is true in any category. Mediocrity is everywhere ...

I know the artistic temperament can be high-strung, but it seems to me that anything can be well-done if you can just get over yourself and settle down to it. Personally I would draw the line at bondage wear, but from the looks of things that would make most designers happier than, say, sheets or luggage This whole field is never about art for art's sake ...

Probably a lot of us have laughed at Vera Wang mattresses (so random!), but next time I'm in the market, I'll likely take a look and see what she's done. It might well be very good ...

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18-04-2011
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^it's too true. in today's internet age where fashion has gotten democratized by the world wide web, these houses cannot afford to pass by the middle of the market whether it's with handbags or with mattresses. one must concede, however, that one does not go to central saint martins or parsons to design such things. that's where the frisson comes. these people do have truly artistic temperments, for the most part, so when they have to face the realities of the business of fashion, it's understandable that it might cause them to unravel.

and let's get honest: it's not just fashion stars. we've seen any number of movie star and professional athlete and others go completely off the grid over the idea of "selling out."

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18-04-2011
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I grant you that mattresses certainly seem like an industrial design item ... but industrial design is very cool and certainly Parsons-worthy. (They offer a BFA in Product Design.) But handbags, I think there's quite a lot of scope there. It is not quite the same skillset as designing something to be worn on the body ... but there are plenty of ads at this moment that show (I think) the importance of draping skills in the handbag arena.

I don't know ... personally I have no issue with doing practical things. I don't get the prejudice against it. And the whole artistic temperament ... it just seems like ego to me. If you're really such an artist that your art cannot be in service to anything, then shouldn't you not be in fashion?

I think it's odd that, for example, Tomas Meier has stated (though he is not a woman) he knows the 'right' size for a handbag to be and doesn't offer other sizes. (He and I disagree about the size bag I should be carrying ... I win that argument of course and don't buy his bags.) I have noticed a bit of change in the line in recent seasons, though, so perhaps reality is penetrating ...

It seems that in fashion, the customer (often a woman) isn't right. The designer knows better. I guess it's this amorphous ideal in the sky that I take issue with. What is it, and who made it god?? And why does it have so extremely little to do with my real life?

(We probably have wandered into Fashion in Depth territory here ... )

One thing that surprises me is that we don't hear more from designers in these situations. I wonder if this is for contractual reasons? Artistic reticence? Or maybe the suits always speak the truth and nothing but?

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18-04-2011
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^i think it's because they're literally earning millions and millions and millions of dollars to do so. when tom ford left gucci/ppr, we heard of his YEARS AND YEARS of travails at the house of gucci and yves saint laurent. and this is tom ford, perhaps the most comfortable of all marquee designers with the commercial aspects of fashion. but there exist so many young designers who would KILL for the type of stressors that tom ford had if they could walk away with hundreds of millions of dollars.

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18-04-2011
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Best of luck to Christophe. Maybe he will launch a line under his own name, something more independent?

Sad to see fashion going more and more conglomerate: "As reported, sources said this week Ittierre SpA may have secured a license with Balmain, but the French firm and the Italian manufacturer have been mum on the subject. At present, Ittierre produces the C’N’C Costume National, Galliano, Ermanno Ermanno Scervino and Just Cavalli collections, and is said to be keen to expand its stable of international fashion labels."

I know it is a business, I know the bottom line is profit. But there is art too. And it is sad to see designers getting pushed out of houses by owners due to "creative" differences. I am fond of the "independent" film makers, fashion designers, furniture makers and so forth out there. Mind you, as soon as designers sign on with a house - Chloe, Balmain, Christian Dior - I guess they are no longer independents. And if their temperaments cannot handle it then it may be better off for them to move on.

Decarnin literally re-Vamped this line. It will be interesting to see what he does next. And what this "house" does.

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22-04-2011
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Quote:
Balmain Will Tap Olivier Rousteing to Replace Christophe Decarnin

Following Christophe Decarnin's departure from Balmain earlier this month amid rumors of mental illness, the label was said to be hiring "someone unknown" to replace him. Now it appears that this someone is Olivier Rousteing, Decarnin's deputy designer at Balmain since 2009. Rousteing is so under the radar that Women's Wear Daily, who reported this story, had to resort to scouring his LinkedIn page to figure out what his deal was.

Prior to joining Balmain, Rousteing worked at Roberto Cavalli in Milan for nearly six years. He was born in France, attended fashion school at ESMOD, and speaks several languages. According to sources, he is "a young and promising creative dynamo."

If rumors that Decarnin's absence began in January are true, then Balmain's most recent collection (which received lukewarm reviews) was overseen by Rousteing (with the help of stylist and consultant Melanie Ward), so he's basically been doing this job for a while already. Ward, who was also a logical candidate for the position, will presumably continue her work for the brand. In other words, Balmain probably won't veer from its bank-breaking formula of beaded dresses, slashed jeans, and tailored jackets. An official announcement confirming Rousteing's appointment is expected within a week.
nymag

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22-04-2011
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In other words, Balmain probably won't veer from its bank-breaking formula of beaded dresses, slashed jeans, and tailored jackets.
Um, not sure if that makes me happy but well, it's all business in the end.

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22-04-2011
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i guess we'll have to start saying "that olivier"....i wonder what he looks like and if he has friends in high places.

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23-04-2011
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^ Does he not have a photo on LinkedIn?

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23-04-2011
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Honestly, I'm kind of excited to see what Melanie Ward will do with a Cavalli trained designer.

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