11 posts tagged "Francois-Henri Pinault"
On the heels of winning the U.S. leg of the prestigious International Woolmark Prize, Joseph Altuzarra has sold a minority stake of his growing business to Kering. The heavyweight luxury corporation, helmed by Francois-Henri Pinault, serves as the parent company to such houses as Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and Bottega Veneta, and notably invested in on-the-rise British label Christopher Kane earlier this year. In a press release, Altuzarra, who launched his New York-based ready-to-wear label back in 2008, and will show his Spring ’14 collection on Saturday, offered, “This partnership will allow us to take the Altuzarra brand to the next stage of its development, in accordance with my creative vision. I could not be happier or more proud!”
If you’ve been following our coverage of the Parsons/Kering competition, you’re well aware that college graduation is nigh. But it’s not just Parsons’ BFA students who are presenting their final collections. Tomorrow, the second graduating class from the school’s MFA Fashion Design and Society program will unveil their wares at PH², an exhibition whose opening will be cohosted by Diane von Furstenberg. Yesterday, professor Shelley Fox and the best of the eighteen graduates gave Style.com a first look at their progressive work. “What impressed me was their persistence not to give up, to experiment, and to push themselves in a way they didn’t know they were capable of,” said Fox of the graduates, who will reveal their complete lineups during a show at New York fashion week in September. This year, Fox put a particular emphasis on pushing the students to create their own fabrics. “That’s one way you can really define yourself and set yourself apart from other designers,” she said.
Several of the grads took this to the extreme, like knitwear designer Hannah Jenkinson (above, left). Hailing from the UK, the 29-year-old pulled inspiration from the minimal clothes of the Amish, Mennonites, and nuns, as well as athletic wear. “But really,” she notes, “the collection was driven by technique and process; by [exploring] the boundaries of what makes something knitwear.” Take, for instance, her transparent jumper, in which she trapped strands of white yarn between two layers of fusing material. Other looks were crafted from rubber or repurposed vintage pieces. Chunky laces—like the ones seen on her sheer track pants or feminine skirts, were painstakingly hand-embroidered. “Some of [the pieces] took eight days.”
Melitta Baumeister, a 27-year-old German designer, took a new-wave approach to fabrication (above, right). She would finish a fabric garment, make a mold, and then recast it in silicone or foam. The result was classic clothing—like a white oxford shirt, a bomber, or a lace dress—reinvented in what felt like rubber. The collection, she explained, has to do with “controlling the uncontrollable, materializing liquid, and preserving a moment of movement in the garment.” The digital age affected her designs as well. “Now, with things like Instagram, capturing an image of a moment or a memory is almost more important than the memory itself.” Continue Reading “Top of the Class: Inside Parsons’ PH² Exhibition” »
By now, Alexander Wang’s appointment at Balenciaga is old news, but the question of why he was chosen still has the industry buzzing. One argument runs that he’s got a hip young international following and that his contemporary-cool approach to dressing could prove an interesting new direction for the super-luxury brand. (His proven ability to create It bags doesn’t hurt, either.) Another, espoused by Suzy Menkes in the IHT and propelled by Karl Lagerfeld’s recent endorsement, puts the California-born Taiwanese designer’s roots in China at the center of the dialogue.
Should they be? Given luxury fashion’s rapidly expanding consumer base in China, it’s not surprising that many have gravitated toward the latter argument. But that it’s not surprising doesn’t mean that it’s especially logical or fair. Last night, PPR CEO and chairman François-Henri Pinault had his say, in an interview with CBS’ Rebecca Jarvis. “Alexander Wang is young and he has a very universal culture. He is American with Chinese roots. His family is based in Shanghai. He has a very strong talent not only when it comes to accessible product, but his talent could also be adapted for couture at Balenciaga,” he said. When asked if Wang’s family ties were a key factor, he responded with a definitive “No.” “It is a mixture of value that Alexander will bring. It was really [a matter of] let’s find the right talent, the right skills, the right profile for the reality of the brand.”
To see Alexander Wang’s Pre-Fall 2013 collection, new on Style.com today, click here.
“It’s not about being a site fueled with expensive stuff,” Joseph Einhorn says of his Web site, TheFancy.com, which he once described to a San Francisco Chronicle writer as a digital “catalog of everything in the world.” To be clear, The Fancy has plenty of luxe offerings in its online marketplace, from hybrid Saint-Tropez boats to Hermès scarves to Bonsai Couture, but the site’s extensive database of things is largely fueled by a social experience, created by its 250,000 registered users.
Let François-Henri Pinault, one of the site’s board members and investors (along with the likes of Twitter creator Jack Dorsey and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes), explain: “[It] is the best place to discover and curate beautiful objects and places from around the Web. It is a stunning combination of social networking and a visual magazine,” he tells Style.com.
Today marks the next big step for The Fancy (launched in early 2011), in part due to the support from PPR. “We are taking a deep dive into commerce; we want to turn commerce on its head,” Einhorn says. How it works: Any brand or merchant can bid to fill the demand for the items listed on the site, offering to sell as few as one of the items, or hundreds. The consumer will then get notified when a merchant or brand wants to sell them the items they ‘Fancy.’ With PPR’s involvement, The Fancy has brought top-tier luxury brands like Yves Saint Laurent into the mix, with plenty more on the way. “We believe this is the next big wave in online commerce,” Pinault says. (For good reason: According to the site, in the last week alone users have Fancy’d more than 1 million times.) How is it different from a top luxury-goods e-tailer like Net-a-Porter? “We want the Net-a-Porter convenience—you can buy all your favorite brands from one site in one place—but we want the buyers to be more like your friends,” Einhorn says. For emerging designers and artists, there is good news here, too: “They can get a full-service merchant account, where they can list things for sale and monitor their orders, print shipping labels, do taxes, etc.,” he says. “It’s a top-of the-line merchant system.”