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In two decades, the H&M Group has grown from a medium-sized European retail chain to the second-largest garment company in the world, producing approximately 3 billion items per year to sell across its 4,800 stores. But a recent drop in sales and profits have forced the Swedish giant to face its structural issues, including a production process which led to $4.3 billion of unsold clothes in early 2018.
“The old brick-and-mortar [model of] just pump up new stores, push out garments into stores and someone will buy them, is dead,” David Sävman, H&M Group’s head of production, said at a recent meeting in Hong Kong. He was addressing the winning founders of this year’s Global Change Awards, an annual event organised by the H&M Foundation, the non-profit arm of the Swedish company. (Full disclosure: Vogue was a guest of the foundation, who paid for flights and accommodation.) “We have to produce what people want to buy and not hope that they want to buy what we have produced. That model is not sustainable.”
It’s been a long 12 months, and before we kick 2018 to the curb, we're looking back at all of the most memorable, game-changing fashion and beauty things that went down. Follow along with us as we look back at the year in review.
At the beginning of the year, Nike released one of its biggest launches for women. The global sportswear brand gave 14 of its female employees the task of creating brand-new takes on some of its most iconic silhouettes, the Air Force 1 and Air Jordan 1. The collection, called Nike 1 Reimagined, boasted a total of 10 styles and upon its release, the first drop sold out, says Jenna Golden, director of Nike's North America Communications team. This winter, Nike released a mid-calf boot version of its Air Force 1 Sage, and has plans to expand on Reimagined with more silhouettes in 2019.
The global fashion business is becoming increasingly polarized.
Take a look at the big players in the industry: On one side, you’ll find a handful of brands and retailers that, because of their scale, design, price, business model, or all of the above, generate the great majority of the industry’s profits. On the other side, pretty much everyone else.
The wife of India’s richest man, Nita Ambani has set herself apart as a passionate philanthropist, leading the development of a model township, an elite school, and a Premier League cricket team. Still, Mumbai can’t stop talking about the 27-story, 570-foot-tall, 400,000-square-foot mansion that her family moved into two months ago. Click through to peek into the luxurious life of the Ambani family. For James Reginato’s profile, read the June 2012 issue of Vanity Fair.
Despite success with his eye shadow palette with Morphe, the influencer would rather work behind the scenes with beauty companies than launch his own product line.
James Charles doesn’t want to start a beauty brand.
Despite being a public figure with 11 million Instagram followers and nearly 11 million YouTube subscribers, 19-year-old Charles (his full name is James Charles Dickinson) is more interested in working behind the scenes, doing production or consulting with large beauty brands, which he says can have a hard time authentically reaching Gen Z consumers with their messaging.
A generation ago, many brands promoted products by cultivating an image of privilege. Ads oozed wealth, glamour, and a very defined concept of beauty. The bulk of them centered on people who were thin, white, cisgender, and non-disabled.
While ads based on exclusion haven’t vanished, today, inclusion sells. It’s hard to argue that a business can be truly innovative if it’s leaving out large swaths of the marketplace; a fashion brand can hardly call itself mainstream and superior if its size range is too small for the average shopper to wear. In this way, inclusivity has become its own metric for being best in class, and millennials are responding with their dollars. Research shows that the generation, projected to outnumber baby boomers in 2030, respond to marketing that’s relevant and authentic, and reflects the diversity they see in their communities. Because it pays for companies to be inclusive, some brands are making inclusion the entire focus of their product lines.
The New York Times has long been known for releasing groundbreaking investigative reports about everything from the president's tax history to Harvey Weinstein's harassment allegations. But the 167-year-old newspaper isn't exactly famous for dropping fashion-forward merchandise that could plausibly be found at a tour booth alongside that of Travis Scott.
In November, the paper of record launched its Holiday 2018 collection — which is comprised of dozens of products — available on its site as well as on Need Supply, building upon its two-decades-old revamped NYTStore. We're used to seeing media brands pivot to video, but not so much to clothing. So, what gives?
Art of the deal, my foot. For all his talk about being a guy who gets stuff done, President Trump is poised to blow a rare chance to show leadership in securing vital bipartisan legislation.
Even before Congress paused this week to honor George H.W. Bush, time was running out to pass a desperately needed reform of the criminal justice system. The latest version of the First Step Act, hammered out by a bipartisan clutch of senators, initially looked to be on a promising path. The bill aims at rationalizing federal sentencing as well as improving conditions for inmates and helping ease them back into society after prison. It has garnered strong support in both chambers and has been endorsed by a broad spectrum of interest groups.
MIAMI — Time is on Louis Vuitton’s side.
Ten years ago, chief executive officer Michael Burke met Design Miami/ founder and developer — and major art collector — Craig Robins, who asked if Louis Vuitton would be interested in participating in his vision for the Design District. In the years since, the area, which was originally a furniture district, has become a major meeting point for luxury fashion and public art.
“This was no man’s land 10 years ago,” said Burke on Wednesday morning from the fourth floor of Vuitton’s boutique. The floor had been transformed into a jungle oasis, with floor-to-ceiling live walls and Astroturf for carpeting. Exotic bags hung suspended in the air, joined by the house’s iconic trunks and pieces from the Objets Nomades collection, which is also shown in a booth at Design Miami/ and was celebrated the evening before at SoHo Beach House.
Good news for China's local brands, five arrested in a fake botox bust, and Hangzhou eyes the New Retail throne. Read China Decoded to make sense of the market.
SHANGHAI, China — It was never a matter of 'if' but rather 'when.'
Actually, it’s still a matter of 'when' as data from leading industry researchers differs on the precise timing of a major shift in the global luxury market: China has either already overtaken the US as the world’s largest consumer of fashion or will do so in 2019.
While China is often touted as the world's largest consumer nation when it comes to luxury goods, the latest figures take into account the broader fashion market, from low-cost apparel to the top of the high-fashion pyramid.
According to The State of Fashion 2019, a report co-published last week by The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company, “Greater China will for the first time in centuries overtake the US as the world’s largest fashion market next year.”
For many years, sleepwear was merely an afterthought. It's not that the industry completely ignored the category, but let's just say there weren't too many on-trend sartorial solutions for the perpetual sloth. As a result, many of us crept into our beds and cozied up to Netflix wearing frumpy college T-shirts and baggy sweats. It wasn't cute, and god forbid we had to run to the bodega for milk or needed a caffeine fix.
Thankfully, a new wave of brands have cropped up to cater to this sleepy demographic of homebodies who would like to look like they're attending a chic pajama party — or any party for that matter — even if they're just headed to bed. Some of their pieces are so cute you might end up wanting other humans to see them as well — and that's the idea. Read on for five affordable and sustainable sleepwear labels that are making elegant nightwear designed to be worn in and outside of the house.
At 8 A.M. Eastern—and 5 A.M. Pacific—actors Terry Crews, Danai Gurira, Leslie Mann, and Christian Slater joined forces with Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Meher Tatna, producer Barry Adelman, and 16-year-old Isan Elba—this year’s Golden Globes Ambassador, and daughter of Idris—to reveal which films, TV series, performers, and more have been nominated for the 76th annual Golden Globes.
Vice, Adam McKay’s irreverent comedy about Dick Cheney (starring Christian Bale as the titular politician), leads the field with six nominations, while a trio of already decorated films—The Favourite, Green Book, and A Star Is Born—follow closely behind with five nods apiece. Mary Poppins Returns also fared well in the comedy-musical categories, as did Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman—while Black Panther made a strong showing as well, attaining a best-picture nom as well as two other citations.
VERSAILLES, France — “I don’t know what the Sun King really feels like. If I knew, maybe I would follow the Sun King,” Ralph Lauren mused as he took in the Galerie des Batailles at the Château de Versailles, where tables dressed in tartan cloth awaited 750 guests attending a gala dinner in his honor on Tuesday night.
“Unbelievable,” he exclaimed, taking in the monumental military-themed paintings lining the 390-foot gallery. “I mean, it’s beyond comprehension because it’s so much art, so much beauty…it’s amazing to be honored here.”
“It would be the honor of a lifetime for me as a comedian,” Hart said on Instagram of the Oscar gig.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves an Oscar host. Actor and comedian Kevin Hart will emcee the 91st Academy Awards telecast on February 24, 2019.
Hart announced the news Tuesday afternoon on his Instagram account.
Hart follows in the footsteps of Jimmy Kimmel, who had the hosting gig the past two years. The Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star will work with producers Donna Gigliotti and Glenn Weiss, who will oversee the production for the first time. Weiss will also direct.
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s iconic parking lot scene may have popularized their hit song “Shallow,” but Gaga said it’s even more important for simply showing a man listening to what a woman has to say.
“This is a conversation between a man and a woman, and he actually listens to her,” Gaga said during her Variety Actors on Actor interview with Lin-Manuel Miranda. “And I think we live in a time when this is something that’s really important to women. Women want to be heard.”
LONDON, United Kingdom — As far as insults go, it doesn’t get much worse than this. “You, hypocrite.”
The word cuts deeper and stings longer than even the sharpest of obscenities. Questioning someone’s integrity is a serious business and to be labelled a hypocrite suggests a quiet but profound sort of contempt that no person — and certainly no profit-seeking brand — wishes to hear. The awkward irony surrounding the notion of hypocrisy, however, is that the more passionate and vocal you are about a cause or injustice, the more exposed you are to be called "the H-word" in the first place.
The fashion industry only seems to be growing more and more enchanted with Art Basel Miami Beach (although some in the art world are becoming less so). If one wanted to sojourn down to the Sunshine State and spend their entire week bopping between boutiques, they very well could. Here, a look at the top fashion and art activations happening this week.
Emilio Pucci Collaborates With Hairstylist Nicholas French
Emilio Pucci is exploring its heritage through an installation with Nicholas French at its Design District boutique. From Dec. 5 to 9, the store will present looks from its resort 2019 collection alongside French’s interpretations of signature Pucci hairstyles. French turned to the Pucci archive to build upon Italian hairstylist Alba’s historic creations for the brand as part of its concept of the Pucci Total Look.
In November of 2017, Kim Kardashian West sold a reported $10 million (!) worth of perfume from her KKW Fragrance brand in a single day. What's more, she did so without turning to any of the traditional marketing strategies upon which the fragrance industry has relied for decades. Shoppers were willing to shell out cash for the product without ever having tested it, a feat that had legacy beauty companies looking to the mega-influencer for guidance.
A little more than a week ago, KKW Fragrance (and Kylie Jenner's line, Kylie Cosmetics) officially launched in a brick-and-mortar setting for the first time, exclusively at Ulta stores. Beauty shoppers were thrilled about the development, and given that Ulta shares reportedly spiked 20 percent since the partnership was announced in August, it's fair to assume that the cosmetic retailer's shareholders were, too.
For the first time in its nearly 80-year history, Balmain is rebranding. But the move is only one element of chief executive Massimo Piombini’s plan to transform the French label from niche player to powerhouse.
PARIS, France — Parisian fashion house Balmain is getting a new logo for the first time in 70 years. To collaborate on the refresh, creative director Olivier Rousteing enlisted design studio Adulte Adulte to update the brand’s primary signifier from a traditional inline typeface to a minimalist sans-serif font.
For Balmain chief executive Massimo Piombini, the tweak represents more than a simple change in lettering. Since his arrival in April 2017 from Valentino, where he was worldwide commercial director, Piombini has observed the public’s obsession with Rousteing, whose singular, social-media-fuelled vision has given the label a new kind of status.
One takeaway from this year's Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping extravaganza is that there will be a lot more sweaters and coats under the tree this year.
Shoppers are turning up at stores such as Lululemon, Abercrombie & Fitch, Old Navy and Urban Outfitters this holiday season to buy clothing for themselves and for others. It's a stark contrast from the years that followed the Great Recession, when cash-strapped consumers stuck to their budgets and bought only necessities. For many people, for many years, that meant less clothing. But now, the apparel industry seems to be bouncing back.