What’s Up with WhatsApp?
- Facebook dropped $19B on the chat app. Why? No, not to be the next BBM, but to reach Europe and emerging markets
- How big are they? Think an adolescent eating too much kale: 450 million monthly users and a million more signing up each day. Facebook’s messaging app is pretty much the bee’s knees in US and Canada, but other than that, not so much
- Unlike PC-based social networking, there is no outstanding market leader in mobile messaging. Still, WhatsApp absolutely dominates in markets outside of the U.S. like Europe and India.
- Data: WhatsApp was much more popular than Facebook in several large developing markets, according to data from a small survey conducted by Jana Mobile and published by The Information. In India, Brazil, and Mexico, respondees were 12X to 64X more likely to say WhatsApp is their most used messaging app, compared to Facebook. Those are big countries with tons of users that Facebook needs.
- TechCrunch heard Facebook has been interested in buying WhatsApp for two to three years. They reported in 2012 that Facebook was in talks to acquire WhatsApp. But over the past year, it became clear that Facebook couldn’t afford not to pay whatever it would take to get WhatsApp on its team. And that dollar sign had 1-9- and a big B after it
- The clincher: This isn’t about increasing Facebook’s total revenue. It was about surviving the global shift to mobile.
Brazil fashion market heats up
- The stores:
- Topshop: 4 with plans to open 2-3 new have sights on the market
- Forever21: opening its first store with six others to follow in 2014
- Gap: first store opened in Sept 2013; promises 3 more stores the first quarter of 2014 (better hurry there Gap - you have one month!)
- H&M: rumored to be eyeing Brazil for retail locations in 2014
- Zara: Opened 14 years ago in Brazil and now has 41 operating stores (behind their plan of 50 stores in 3 years)
- The competition: These new entrants face stiff competition from a host of entrenched players, including C&A, the first international apparel chain to arrive in Brazil. The Dutch retailer, founded in 1841, arrived in the country back in 1976 — long before the most recent wave of globalization — and has since become the largest fashion retailer in the country, with over 260 stores and colorful, energetic brand communications. Its product offering is also highly tailored to the local market.
- Other competitors: The market is also populated with indigenous low-cost apparel giants like Lojas Riachuelo (43 stores), Lojas Renner and Lojas Marisa.
- Even retail is suffering from the Polar Vortex: In Brazil, Gap sells collections that are six months behind those it sells in the US due to the seasons being reversed
- But, interestingly, Topshop has taken a different approach, selling the same collection, at the same time, in Brazil, as it does in Europe and the US.
- Whether international fast-fashion companies ultimately succeed in taking significant market share from Brazil’s entrenched apparel players remains to be seen. But, for the moment, the market seems to have room for both.
- Let the games begin!
Gap pays up!
- Gap increased worker pay amidst the debate about minimum wage
- They will raise its hourly pay for U.S. employees to $9 in 2014 and $10 the following year; the increased pay will benefit about 65,000 store employees; At Gap, the biggest apparel-focused retailer in the U.S., the wage change will affect all six of its chains, including Piperlime, Athleta and Intermix.
- Why is this news? In making the move, Gap adds fodder to a national debate on whether the federal government needs to step in and raise the minimum wage. President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats want to increase the rate to $10.10 an hour from $7.25, saying it will bolster the economy and reduce income equality. Most Republican lawmakers oppose the idea.
- Gap says it isn’t a political move. Whatever the reason, we say well done.
Christopher Bailey’s Global Outlook for Burberry
- Bailey adds a true global flair to the classic Burberry
- First the collection: Taking cue from the menswear collection in January titled ‘A Painter’s Journey’, Burberry featured its womenswear in a similar spirit. Broad brush strokes adorned the classic Burberry trench coats done in fluttery chiffon. Watered down hues were accompanied by accents of rich aubergine and forest greens while cosy Scottish cashmere blankets with reinvented Burberry checks added a warm and fuzzy effect.
- Now, the flair: The model casting has never felt more international, especially with the inclusion of Neelam Johal — first model of Indian descent to lend her beauty to a Burberry campaign — and many others like Xiao Wen Ju and Sung Hee Kim. Despite the eclectic casting, it was an A-grade model posse throughout, with ‘in-the-moment’ girls like Suki Waterhouse, Malaika Firth and of course, Cara Delevingne. The choice of fabrics also echoed this global slant. The lightweight of some of the ensembles suggested that winter could be absolutely anywhere in the world. Sheer baby doll gowns and see-through lace, that may be a few layers too thin for the British weather, made a heavy appearance.
Michael Kors won the NYFW Instagram game
- According to WWD, Kors and his label gained the highest amount of Instagram followers out of the brands showing during the seven-day period of New York Fashion Week.
- Using the hashtag #AllAccessKors, the brand gave fans — of which the Kors account gains on average 50,000 per week — a glimpse at show production, models backstage, celebrities seated in the front row and, of course, an up close and personal look at the brand new fall 2014 collection.
- Kors has proven its worth on Instagram in the past: It was the very first brand to introduce native advertising over the social media platform back in November — a move that has only helped to gain followers. According to Nitrogram, an Instagram analytics platform that measures engagement, Kors is one of the top 10 most popular apparel brands on Instagram, with 1.8 million followers. I’d retweet that.
- Other designer Instagram wins: Marc Jacobs with his behind the scenes program, Ralph Lauren (which gained a whopping 10,460 followers in the day following its show), Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, who saw an impressive 9 percent increase in his Instagram fan base after his show.
J. Crew is making money…shocker
- J. Crew is up 9% per the 2013 fiscal year-end rankings at Feb.1, growing it to $2.4 billion…lots of “b” words in this podcast
- Growth was a little slower during the holiday period, up 7 percent to $686 million in the fourth quarter, but still above the 3.5 percent national average.
- The company, which went private in a leveraged buyout four years ago, may stage an IPO as soon as this year, according to various reports.
Calvin Klein combines nostalgia with technology in its new campaign
- Called “My Calvins,” a riff on the label‘s iconic 1981 commercials starring Brooke Shields, the multitiered digital rollout is meant to promote the classic Calvin Klein logo waistband.
- The company has tapped a few fashion-y social media influencers to kick things off, including Miranda Kerr and bloggers like Leandra Medine (of The Man Repeller) and Chiara Ferragni (of The Blonde Salad). Others include Fergie, Lara Stone, Cody Simpson, Poppy Delevingne and Hanneli Mustaparta
- Each influencer has been sent product and asked to Instagram a photo of his or herself, in which the waistband is visible with the hashtag #mycalvins.
- NOTE: It’s not unlike an initiative Madewell launched last week, for which it sent fashion editors pairs of jeans to Instagram with the hashtag #madewelldenim.
- With help from Olapic (a platform that allows retailers to host a curated feed of Instagram images on its websites), Calvin Klein is aggregating all the photos in a new section on its site, which is currently full of shirtless dudes. And thanks to Olapic’s e-commerce technology, each pic filtered into the hub is instantly made shoppable
Free People taps real people
- Free People is launching a special new section on its site this Saturday called “FP Me,” where you can browse a curated a selection of the most popular FP Me images, which will replace typical model shots (see an example above) for two weeks.
- One year ago, Free People launched FPMe, an online community where customers can upload shoppable photos of themselves in their Free People outfits. Additionally, online items are often accompanied by photos of customers wearing them.
- Data from the past year has shown a 42 percent improvement in the same session conversion rate on FreePeople.com when FP Me Pics are associated with product on the page - again maybe putting more clout toward Instagram leading to more purchases?
- Modcloth has a similarly thriving community and BaubleBar, New Balance and Gap have all dabbled in it. And most recently, Calvin Klein…ahem, read previous notes
House of Cards Season 2 missing its costume designer
- Who was the costume designer for Season 1? Tom Broecker.
- He also worked on 30 Rock and SNL
- Is he the costume designer for Season 2? Um, no. And it shows, especially with Claire Underwood.
- One commenter stated:
- As an avid House of Cards fan, and a fashion enthusiast, I, too, noticed something different about Claire’s wardrobe. But I am not sure it’s a bad thing, in the way your post suggests. Claire’s character, as you know, has evolved and changed in the new season. She is not the wholly stoic politician’s wife she once was. She has come into her own. She is now as ruthless as her husband, where before she was more of a decorative pedestal support Frank’s own shrewd sensibility. In this way, I think it’s unsurprising that her clothing would complicate the subtle glamour for which she was quite known last season. By complicate I mean her aesthetic has become more subtle and perhaps less glamourous. For example, on at least one occasion we see Claire refusing the assistance of a makeup artist before she appears on television, suggesting that glamour is no longer needed as prosthesis for her character’s aesthetic appeal—because aesthetics itself has taken a backseat in relation to Claire’s evolved political ambition. What you describe as “uninspired” I regard as “motivated”. But we still see her standing before mirrors examining potential dresses, and she wears some nice pieces too. In particular that black Beckham-looking dress with the wide asymmetrical neck was stunning, as were those Louboutin riding boots we see her wearing after she returns home from visiting the rape victim. I’m surprised you didn’t mention Jackie’s style, the new whip. I was quite taken by her look. Whoever put it together, got something right. As Remy would say, via Frank, “To improve is to change. To perfect is to change often.”
- Who’s designing now? Gersha Phillips, is credited on IMDB with three episodes and Johanna Argan, is credited with one.
- A lot of people admittedly didn’t care and said the costumes in no way affected the show negatively. Or perhaps we won’t be watching for the both the clothes and the script anymore
Hearst is gambling its future on an Editor turned CEO
- Who: Steve Swartz, a former Wall Street Journal Page One editor, and founding editor of SmartMoney (a joint venture of Dow Jones and Hearst Magazines, it mixed humor with provocative stories, many of which regularly incensed advertisers)
- Last year, Swartz became only the seventh CEO in Hearst’s 126-year history. And last year was good - Hearst say $10 billion in profit (there’s that ‘b’ again!) - a 13-fold increase over 1978 and 40 percent gain since 2009
- A buttoned-up, family-controlled business, Hearst is also a private company that operates debt-free. With the newspaper base struggling, former CEO Frank Bennack, Jr. took large stakes in ESPN and A+E Networks, as well as magazines and b-to-b media. Ninety percent of the company’s revenue now comes from businesses that weren’t part of Hearst when Bennack assumed control, and Entertainment & Syndication and Business Media, formerly the bottom two profit drivers, are now the top two.
- History: When Rich Malloch, a former Morgan Stanley banker, took command in 1991, the unit was a small collection of books and ad-supported magazines. Malloch shifted its reliance from advertising to subscription revenue and grew profits tenfold by acquiring new businesses like Zynx Health, which provides doctors and nurses with info on medications and procedures. Today, HBM is a mostly digital, subscription-supported business anchored by healthcare, financial and automotive services. It’s also Hearst’s second-biggest profit contributor.
- Another part of the company is Hearst Ventures, which was an early investor in XM Radio, Netscape and Pandora, and more recently took stakes in Roku, BuzzFeed and Science Inc., a collection of e-commerce plays like Dollar Shave Club.
- The goal is to gain expertise that can inform Hearst’s existing businesses. Smart Hearst. Very smart.
- By far the most profitable division is Entertainment & Syndication. Hearst’s ESPN stake is estimated to be worth more than $3 billion. But the brand faces a weakening pay-subscription market, and with digital-video consumption upending the TV ecosystem, Hearst also is anxious to evolve its TV business. There, the company is looking to new productions like The Voice and Shark Tank through its partnership with Mark Burnett, and division co-president Neeraj Khemlani is on the hunt for paid digital video channels to acquire this year.
- With Hearst’s purchase of Hachette Filipacchi Media in 2011, the division now gets half its revenue from overseas. The deal also helped Hearst grow its share of fashion advertising via Elle, and by extension, Hearst’s smaller fashion titles Marie Claire and Harper’s Bazaar. “Elle is globally stronger than Vogue,” Hearst Magazines president David Carey boasts.
- In Bennack’s later years, a key focus was getting his division heads to look for ways to work together. He hired Khemlani as the company’s first chief creative officer to work across its divisions. Swartz followed Bennack’s lead, creating a digital studio to feed the various groups. Today, executives go to lengths to illustrate how they’re working across divisions.
- One effort, led by Hearst CTO Phil Wiser, shows promise; he’s packaging Hearst’s online newspaper, magazine and broadcast audiences for advertisers.
- Others are more theory
- Brilliant. Hope to see this continue and to pay off.
Bloomberg makes a lifestyle push
- Although the news organization shuttered its arts and culture desk called Muse in November, Bloomberg is gunning for a larger luxury and lifestyle play — both online and in print. And it’s turning to Bloomberg Pursuits, its one-year-old luxury magazine, as an integral piece of the puzzle.
- According to Pursuits editor Ted Moncreiff, the title is trying to extend its reach into the women’s fashion market, despite the fact that 60 percent of the magazine’s readers are men.
- The spring issue, which will be released by March 15, features a stronger fashion angle, albeit a “Bloomberg-ized” one that centers on workwear.
- Features a fashion spread shot in the United Nations, following the final stages of the building’s $2.1 billion renovation
- Although it isn’t the first recent fashion shoot at the UN — Vogue shot National Security Advisor Susan Rice in its September issue — Moncreiff noted that what’s interesting is that Pursuits was able to gain access to key locations, such as the Security Council Chamber, post-facelift. “Nothing was off-limits,” said the editor, who admitted that convincing the UN to allow Pursuits in to shoot took four “long” months of negotiation.
- Shot by Ralph Mecke on Jan. 9 and 10, the spread depicts scenes from inside the halls of the UN, as well as in front of UN Plaza, and it accompanies a feature on the renovation penned by Justin Davidson.
- Other stories in the issue, which has logged 40 advertising pages, or a 26 percent increase over last spring, include a profile on 77-year-old Brazilian billionaire Abilio Diniz’s obsession with looking and feeling younger, a spread on watch complications and a feature on street art in Paris.
- According to Michael Dukmejian, publisher of Bloomberg Markets Media, which includes Pursuits, the goal for the magazine is to produce stories that appeal to both a male and female audience, and in turn, luxury advertisers selling both men’s and women’s fashions. The spring issue has picked up Bottega Veneta and Bovet Watches as new advertisers. Others include travel-centric advertisers such as Kiawah Island, Sentient Jet and the office of tourism in Monaco.
- Subscribers of the Bloomberg terminal get Pursuits for free. Dukmejian estimated the title’s circulation to be 375,000. That figure comes from the fact that there are 340,000 installed terminals and another 30,000 individuals who subscribe to Markets and Pursuits. The last 5,000 come from newsstand sales, mainly in airports.
- Other goals this year: fine-tuning its iPad app, and perhaps the most important, is rolling out a rigorous digital launch
- Digital includes Web and video, and it will encompass Pursuits content, in addition to content from Bloomberg reporters
GQ eyeing some ventures in retail
- According to Chris Mitchell, the title’s vice president and publisher, the glossy is in the process of building partnerships with different retailers in order to “learn” how to create “viable revenue streams” outside of the magazine.
- For instance, GQ and Northern Grade will open a pop-up marketplace in the powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood on March 22 and 23.
- Indeed, over the last two years, the magazine has entered into e-commerce partnerships with Park & Bond, Nordstrom and its current partner, Mr Porter. It also launched a barbershop in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center last month.
- Although Mitchell didn’t provide more details on what’s in the cards, he hinted that perhaps an e-commerce or brick-and-mortar grab could be in the imminent future. Will it be next to Monocle?
Ending with a lovely face
- Vivienne Westwood by Alasdair McLellan graces The Gentlewoman’s ninth issue cover, and you should pick it up
Audio version: What’s up with WhatsApp, NYFW and Instagram, My Calvin, FPMe, Hearst CEO, GQ Retail and more. Listen up!
What’s up with WhatsApp, NYFW and Instagram, My Calvin, FPMe, Hearst CEO, GQ Retail and more. This is SpeakingOfFashion. Watch here!
JD, an e-commerce firm billed as China’s Amazon, prepares an IPO
- It’s a rare corporate boss who vows to make no profit for years. But that is precisely the strategy embraced by Richard Liu, the chief executive of JD. A year and a half ago, he declared that his Chinese e-commerce firm would earn no gross profits on electronic goods, which make up most of its sales, for three years. He was even reported to have threatened to sack any salesman making a margin.
- The company’s growth is impressive - their financial state is not
- JD is pursuing an “asset-heavy” business model that puts scale and market-share above short-term profits. On some measures, it is working: JD is the second-biggest competitor in the world’s biggest e-commerce market, lagging only Alibaba.
- In 2012 JD’s net losses topped 1.7 billion yuan ($283m), up from a loss of nearly 1.3 billion yuan a year earlier. In the first three quarters of last year, it did make 60m yuan of profit—but much of it from interest income. It has cash and equivalents on hand of only $1.4 billion, whereas its accounts payable exceed $1.7 billion.
- The challenges: Logistics infrastructure and 2 local rivals with strong finances (Tencent & Alibaba)
- JD’s rush to float, despite its meagre profits, is no accident. Alibaba is planning its own IPO soon, and it could be huge: the private sale of a stake in it this week values the firm at around $130 billion. Can we say Goliath?
Dubai battling for the next fashion capital status
- Real estate services firm CBRE ranks Dubai as the second-most important destination for international retailers, after London. A little more than half of all major international retailers have outlets in Dubai, and a third of all luxury spending in the Middle East happens here, according to consulting firm Bain and Company. But the city’s officials want more. They want Dubai to evolve into a hub of creativity that attracts the region’s best designers.
- Construction has already begun on a massive project called the Dubai Design District, or D3. The site is dedicated to the fashion industry and will house design studios, boutique hotels, high-end apartments and, of course, a promenade for shopping. (Will be ready by 2015)
- Retail Stats
- Of $7.6 billion spent in the Middle East on fashion in 2012, just under a third was spent in Dubai alone, according to Bain and Co.
- The retail industry makes up a third of Dubai’s economy, according to the Oxford Business Group. Shopping is tax free and the UAE is home to around 40 malls.
- The Dubai Mall received more than 75 million visitors last year, nearly half of them tourists, said the mall’s developer, Emaar Properties.
- With foreigners making up roughly 90 percent of its population, Dubai’s designers say the city is great for new brands and entrepreneurs who want the world to take notice. The port city’s location links trade routes from east to west. Also, local designers say there is a misconception that Arab women in the Gulf — who traditionally wear long black robes over their clothes and matching black scarves over their hair and even faces — are not daring when it comes to what they wear underneath and in front of other women.
- The expansions are in line with Dubai’s plans to increase tourism. The city will host the world Expo in 2020, and officials forecast the 6-monthlong event will attract 17.5 million visitors from outside the Emirates. Get out those Amex Gold cards, people!
Speaking of Dubai…
- Karl Lagerfeld is famed for selecting prestigious locations for Chanel’s annual Cruise presentations. This year, the French label’s creative director is heading to Dubai to show the new 2014-2015 Cruise collection.
- The collection will as usual be unveiled in-between the main fashion week seasons, on May 13.
- You’re taking us with you, right?!
In other biz news, Lyst Gets Its First Exclusive Retail Deal With Mary Katrantzou
- If you’re looking to nab a Mary Katrantzou dress in advance of springier weather, don’t head to the store: go to Lyst. The e-commerce startup has partnered with Katrantzou to be the exclusive U.S. retailer for 10 items from the designer’s resort collection.
- While this is a big score for the Lyst, founder Chris Morton says he isn’t looking to make exclusives a consistent part of the site’s offerings just yet. So think of it more as a pilot project. As a data-driven company, the team will be looking closely at metrics like sales, what items get clicked the most, where those clicks are coming from and what other brand affinities Mary Katrantzou shoppers possess. A lot of that information will get shared with Katrantzou’s team, and it will inevitably inform how any future exclusives might play out on Lyst.
Karen Millen opens new stores to reinvent itself as a luxury brand
- Karen Millen is to open its largest ever stores in Knightsbridge and New York at Easter as it reinvents itself as a luxury label without the designer prices.
- The brand, which designs all its clothes at a couture-style atelier in Shoreditch, east London, will use the stores, near Harrods in London and on Fifth Avenue in New York, to launch a new image which ditches bling in favour of pared down, light stores.
- The change in tack comes as the label, which already draws 70% of its sales from outside the UK, continues to expand abroad. It is set to move into Canada, Norway and India this year as it opens 40 new stores worldwide.
Instagram shaping up to be the world’s most powerful selling tool
- According to research by L2 Think Tank, Instagram’s community boasts 15 times more engagement than its parent company, and more than Twitter or Google
- Case study for coach:
- Coach soared during the depths of the recession, smartly capitalizing on its affordable luxury accessories and investing in the then-nascent style bloggers. Call it being ahead of the curve. When every brand and its sister started outfitting fashion bloggers from top to toe, Coach sallied over to social, despite somewhat dogged sales and an executive shuffle last year.
- Taking a page from Burberry’s Art of the Trench campaign, in which devotees were encouraged to share selfies taken in their signature trench coat, Coach started the #CoachFromAbove hashtag. Users everywhere were encouraged to share shoe shots with the rest of the world. That resulted in a 5-7% lift in conversion rates and 2% boost in the average order value.
- Instagram debuted sponsored posts in November and direct message capabilities the following month. The company itself maintains that the ads are working, boosting reach, recall and awareness among pilot campaigns from Levis and Ben & Jerry’s. L2 and Olapic studied some other early adopters and reached a similar conclusion
- Note on Pinterest: Pinterest has been the desired sweet spot for brands to snuggle up, sometimes indirectly, to customers in the past two years. It’s been touted as the third most popular way to share content (beating email – surprise!) and it’s users represent a wealthier, more aspirational shopper. The L2 and Olapic findings revealed something surprising. Pinterest is now only a third of Instagram’s size and only 23% of users are on the platform daily. Instagram is not only larger, but it’s got 58% engagement and 16% of those users have a household income in excess of $75,000.
J. Crew to open in Hong Kong
- The retailer will open two stores in the city in May, its first locations in Asia-Pacific. “Opening in Hong Kong is an easy decision for us. It’s one of the world’s greatest cities with great energy and great appreciation of style, design and creativity,” said Millard “Mickey” Drexler, chairman and chief executive officer of J. Crew Group Inc.
- These two locations follow J. Crew’s three openings in the U.K. in the fall, and just last week, a J. Crew Collection women’s store that includes a men’s shop carrying Ludlow’s men’s suits opened in Toronto at 110 Bloor Street West. The store is J. Crew’s 10th location in Canada, and fifth in Toronto. All of J. Crew’s freestanding stores are company-owned, domestic and abroad.
- In Hong Kong, a 3,200-square-foot J. Crew Collection women’s store will open in the International Finance Centre, also known as the IFC mall. It will feature a “carefully edited selection of the most exclusive and special fabrics and prints, limited-edition designs, Italian cashmere and a dedicated shoe and handbag salon,” the company said.
- The retailer will also open a 2,100-square-foot men’s store on a street called On Lan Street in the Central neighborhood of Hong Kong. The shop will offer the full collection of Ludlow suits, shirtings and shoes alongside items from J. Crew’s In Good Company collection of brands selected by the design team, including Ebbets Field Flannels, Barbour, New Balance and Vans.
- The international expansion could help drive an initial public offering of J. Crew by owners TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners. Some sources believe an IPO or sale of J. Crew to another private owner could happen as soon as this year.
- Aside from the increasing international awareness, interest in taking J. Crew public or selling the business is also being driven by the company’s expansion with its J. Crew and Madewell brands in the U.S., and because TPG and Leonard Green will be going into their fourth year of ownership in March. Typically, private equity has a three- to five-year horizon of ownership.
- TPG and Leonard Green took J. Crew private in early 2011 for $2.86 billion.
Love Magazine to publish collector’s edition
- Celebrating the joys of old media, Love magazine is set to come out with a large-format collector’s edition, beefed up with three different paper stocks — one of which makes the pages look as if they are glowing — and extra-long photography shoots.
- The magazine is called Love Remix, and features “uncut” photography shoots, has six covers and an embossed logo, went on sale on 2/12 with a cover price of 20 pounds, or $33 at current exchange. The print run is 600 copies.
- Marc Jacobs is the sole advertiser, and there are 11 pages of the brand’s ads in the 350-page issue. The one-advertiser strategy is a first for both, said Katie Grand, Editor in Chief. “It was about producing a magazine that was an editorial project, and we needed financial support to physically do it. Marc provided that — and it helps that Marc [and business partner Robert Duffy] have their own book stores in major cities.”
Net-a-Porter is ruffling Vogue’s feathers
- Condé Nast is taking Porter seriously. Vogue has launched an ad campaign which, provocatively, includes the giant 36-metre-wide, illuminated digital poster site at Holland Park roundabout. The reason? It stands outside Net-A-Porter’s offices in Westfield.
- There is scant evidence of sisterly behaviour. Editor Lucy Yeomans and her publisher, Tess Macleod-Smith, also ex-Harper’s, infuriated Condé Nast and Hearst by poaching staff for their 50-strong team. A rival claims Porter offered pay rises of up to £30,000 to woo mid-level executives. But one Vogue staffer who quit for Net-A-Porter returned to her old employer this week.
- Advertisers such as Chanel and Dior have backed Porter’s first issue with 72 pages of ads (against 262 in Vogue’s latest issue). Lindsay Pattison, UK chief executive of media agency Maxus, praises Porter as “great-looking” and says: “In no way is this a contract magazine. It is far more sophisticated.” But she has a “caveat” about whether advertisers will buy globally, because 95% of media is bought on a country basis.
- It will be hard to measure Porter’s success as it will not submit ABC circulation data, although Macleod-Smith hopes to do so in future. Sceptics also doubt it can have the authority of a Vogue, Harper’s or Grazia, which are seen as neutral and inspire trust. Yeomans insists Porter has “editorial integrity”.
- For now, the focus is on sales. Branded, one-metre-tall Porter display stands have been positioned at the “point of sale” even in small shops in far-flung areas of London such as Kensal Rise. It will not have escaped Porter’s attention that Kensal Rise is home to several top Condé Nast executives.
Delaware Museum brings in Downton Abbey
- Winterthur, the Delaware house museum that was formerly the mansion of Henry Francis du Pont, has planned an interesting new show, “Costumes of Downton Abbey,” using clothes and accessories that have appeared on the program, chosen from the British firm Cosprop.
- One aim of the Winterthur exhibition, which will open on March 1, is to compare country life in England and America during the first decades of the 20th century.
- Forty costumes and their coordinating accessories, ranging from Matthew Crawley’s white-tie turnout to Lady Sybil’s harem pants to Lady Edith’s wedding dress to Carson’s white-tie ensemble and Daisy’s dress for duty in the kitchen, will be shown in the Winterthur galleries. The show will be organized by time of day, and will include a working version of the Downton bell system. Du Pont’s Savile Row evening jacket and his family’s 1874 Tiffany silver service will also be on display.
- Don’t forget Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries exhibit in Sydney!
In the Olympics…judgment of style
- Wow, Guy Trebay really didn’t like the Olympics uniforms
- And couldn’t Willy Bogner have waited a beat before giving the go-ahead to German team uniforms he designed, the ones printed with rainbow pastels and mistakenly interpreted as a rebuke to Russia’s antigay policies? It turned out, as Mr. Bogner later explained to the German Press Agency, the uniforms were instead a “celebratory design inspired by the wonderful atmosphere” of the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. Those were the Games at which 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were massacred by Palestinian terrorists. Rather than struggling to parse a statement like Mr. Bogner’s for common sense or decency, better perhaps to retreat to the ice rink for a dose of morally neutral nude Lycra.
- Liked this statement: Perhaps the dwindling of regional and national emblems is a good thing, signaling the spread of fashion Esperanto, a message of neutrality carried garment by garment across the globe. Maybe Earth is the new Switzerland. (And maybe the actual Swiss could use a new stylist: Just say no to silvery down vests and whiskered Mommy jeans.)
JD rooting to be China’s Amazon, Dubai vies for being the next fashion capital, Lyst gets first retail partner, Instagram taking over the world and more. Listen up!
Check out the covers that earned Emma Watson the editor role for Wonderland’s February issue. Gorgeous? Of course. Do they qualify her to be editor? Well….we discuss.
(Source: Daily Mail)
Prabal Gurung unveiled his first print campaign! We’re happy he revealed it via Instagram and Twitter though…
This was one of our favorite topics when discussing the Spring/Summer 2014 campaigns. Barney’s created a gorgeous campaign featuring black and white luminous photography featuring transgender models (both professional and non-professional). Can we get a, “This is awesome!”?!
Listen to the rest of the podcast and swoon over the gorgeous photography, and the fantastic message.
Photos: Bruce Weber