I had the opportunity to attend the World Retail Congress which took place in Paris last week. Over the course of three jam-packed days, some of the world's leading retailers and retail service providers converged on my fair city to present and discuss current and emerging retail challenges including the tremendous potential of new payment technologies, digital integration and the ever changing consumer behaviours that are forcing retailers to radically rethink the in-store experience. Not surprisingly, the terms "disruptor" and "disruption" were on virtually everyone's lips.
Like many, I greeted yesterday's news that John Galliano was headed to Maison Martin Margiela with a mixture of surprise and confusion. I read the news on my Twitter feed as I was headed back to Paris from Epernay after spending the better part of the day sampling vintage champagnes at Moët & Chandon so I had to read the WWD Tweet twice.
"I'm using you as a prop but I want you to know that I totally respect you."
Have you heard? Women now have a new knight in shining armour in their corner ready to stand up for the feminist cause. His name is Pharell Williams and he's fond of making sweeping public pronouncements about his deep respect for and support of women. #Swoon.
Today is a sad day indeed for the world of French fashion. Citing the "accelerated pace of the fashion schedule and commercial constraints", Jean Paul Gaultier has announced that he would be ceasing his pret-a-porter activities to concentrate exclusively on haute couture.
I love France. I love living in Paris (minus the exorbitant taxes, the never-ending litanie of charges sociales and the bumbling incompetents that make up the current government). I love engaging in heated political discussions with my well-informed, articulate French friends around a nice meal and a good bottle of wine.
To say that French president François Hollande had a bad week would be an understatement. Having your former companion spill the beans in an embarrassing tell-all book is bad enough but when its release comes sandwiched in between a serious challenge to your authority from within your own party and yet another dodgy tax-related resignation from a senior member of your government, it's enough to start to doubt your political survival. His approval rating currently sits at thirteen per cent, a historic low.
I was catching up on my reading this past weekend when I came across a write-up of London-based designer Duro Olowu’s current exhibition entitled More Material. It is a tribute of sorts to the rebellious side of women and in describing his show, Olowu used the term “elegant rebellion”.
The Luxe Chronicles is a collection of interviews, profiles and musings on various aspects of the luxury industry and occasionally, a rant on our celebrity obsessed culture and the dumbing down of our collective sense of style and esthetic.