To anyone who observes the luxury industry even casually, it's fairly clear that while many brands talk a good game about innovation and risk-taking, a lot of it is just that, talk. Advertising and communication styles have become formulaic with brands relying largely on glossy images of famous people. It's all very pretty but rarely generates more than a blip on your radar.
I must admit, I was curious about the Ai Weiwei installation at Paris' Le Bon Marche but I had my doubts. Can serious, culturally relevant art co-exist with fragrance samples? Would the art of commerce overshadow or even cheapen the artist's message?
I was sad to hear the news that designer Donna Karan would be stepping down as chief designer of the company she founded in 1984. I was even sadder to learn that her main line, Donna Karan New York, is being "suspended" while the lower priced DKNY will live on.
One of the first things Hedi Slimane did when he was named creative director of Yves Saint Laurent was to drop the "Yves" from the brand name. In hindsight, it was a very good decision, if not for the brand, then for the man who founded it.
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.