Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Bag Wars

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Bernard Arnault seated at LVMH during Paris Fashion Week

LVMH’s Bernard Arnault has an insatiable appetite for luxury brands. Now the ‘wolf in cashmere’ is licking his chops over one of the last family-controlled companies in the business: Hermès. Will he win, and turn class to mass?

In the plush, cut-throat world of luxury fashion, French tycoon Bernard Arnault is known as the “wolf in cashmere.” That’s because he has guzzled down one high-end brand after another like so much Dom Pérignon champagne (which, by the way, he also happens to own). Louis Vuitton. Givenchy. Marc Jacobs. Fendi. All these and more are part of LVMH Moët Hennessy–Louis Vuitton, the French conglomerate that Arnault assembled on his way to becoming the seventh-richest man on the planet (net worth: $27.5 billion and counting). Now he’s poised to consume one of the last family-controlled brands in the business: Hermès, whose Kelly handbags and colorful silk scarves are required wear for the wealthy and those who aspire to be.

Is Lagerfeld’s Reign at Chanel Coming to an End?

Sunday, September 12th, 2010
Francois Guillot / AFP-Getty Images

Karl Lagerfeld presented his 55th ready-to-wear collection for Chanel in March in typical over-the-top fashion. Staged at the mammoth Grand Palais in Paris, the show featured models dressed in fur-trimmed tweed minidresses and fur moon boots, sloshing around a giant iceberg that Chanel had shipped in from Sweden. The fashion press howled that Chanel was tone-deaf when it came to the environment—especially after Lagerfeld told reporters backstage that global warming might be “nonsense.” If the controversy was a planned exercise in media hype, it worked.

A Renaissance Man from Kansas

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

The first time I met Dennis Hopper was in the mid-1990s when I was seated next to him at a formal dinner at the Cannes Film Festival. He was there with his bride, Victoria Duffy, she looking ravishing in a pink taffeta Richard Tyler gown, he in a natty tuxedo. He was in Cannes for a special screening of “Easy Rider,” which had debuted at Cannes three decades earlier and he recalled how cool and relaxed the festival was back then; the film’s star Jack Nicolson carried the reels to the screening himself, under his arms. Hopper was surprisingly cordial–a surprise given all the stories I had read about him of his drug years and his scarily convincing roles as madmen in “Blue Velvet” and “Speed.” But it was one of those official events where you make polite conversation and move on. So we did, and we did.