UBS Unique – Economy of Fashion

During the vibrant atmosphere of London Fashion Week, I had the pleasure to participate in a very interesting new project combining the world of finance and fashion: UBS Unique – Economy of Fashion.

Just as the world around us is changing, the face of wealth is evolving. The global income of women will grow from USD 13 trillion to USD 18 trillion by 2021* – more than China and India’s combined GDP growth and since 2015, women have held 30%** of global private wealth.

As women are looking for a response to their needs, UBS Unique has been created. The aim? To catalyze a long-term change in the financial industry to better serve women and to enable them to make the most of their wealth.

My lovely host, Kathrin Genovese Head Vice Chairmen Office, Global Ultra High Net Worth

Therefore a lovely group of female ultra high net worth individuals from all over the world was invited by UBS to London for two inspiring days. The event had it all: shows, talks and insights on how fashion can change the world for the better.

As I thought you might be interested in what I have taken home from UBS Unique, here’s a quick roundup of insights from the event’s speakers.

«The future of fashion will see creativity re-emerge as a key driver to take us from our current crisis state and into a new model for fashion. If we don’t push creativity at every step of the fashion supply chain to find new ways to design, produce, sell, wear and dispose of clothes, then we face a bleak future for fashion.”»Christina Dean

From left to right: Christina Dean, my humble self, Giorgia Caovilla and Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis.

The look of love – how will the fashion industry change?

Women should “fall in love with the fact that fashion is a force for good,” says Christina Dean, founder of Redressan organisation working to reduce waste in the fashion industry. Christina believes fashion’s ethical future is in the hands of young designers and consumers. Or as Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis describes it vividly, “it’s down to designers to rebel. There’s a lot of pressure on designers to become commercial so it stops creativity. I am anyway bored of all the fashion shows. There are too many.”

Online shopping is definitely an opportunity as emerging designers cannot always afford a retail space. They have a different pricing model. But in terms of sustainability it can cause also problems as people end up buying multiple sizes knowing they’re going to return it.

Dress with Sense – the practical guide to a conscious closet by Redress

How can you play your part in making fashion more ethical?

As I am always promoting, you can easily play your part in making fashion more ethical by buying the things you love and wear them for longer. When shopping, think about the value, not the price. And consider ways you can make sure your investments match your ethics.

You can also donate your quality, branded items with high value to charity Redress for resale.

Designer Mary Katrantzou and me framed by UBS key speakers, James Gifford, Senior Impact Investing Strategist, Chief Investment Office, UBS Wealth Management, to the left and Helen Brand, Head of Equity Research, European Luxury Goods, UBS Investment Bank

A short industry outlook

The top 3 words executives used to describe the fashion industry in 2016*** were: «Uncertain, Changing, Challenging.» But despite the wider economic slowdown last year, fashion has been a key value-creating industry for the world economy. In 2017, a slight recovery is expected to a point where the industry may see some growth next year.

Let’s take China for example. Chinese growth hit a soft patch: a stock market dip and real estate concerns have decelerated chinese growth, and shifted attention to India, Turkey, and other high-growth markets. China’s fundamentals, including growth of the middle and upper classes, remain strong and the government’s new fiscal policies are expected to improve conditions in 2017, but uncertainty remains.

A woman shops in a Louis Vuitton store in Shanghai. © SCMP Photos

London-based Helen BrandHead of Equity Research, European Luxury Goods, UBS Investment Bank, trusts in the mid market and expects “growth going forward to come from the Chines middle class consumer and therefore more at the entry level price points, with more chances for the handbag category compared to watches as many brands still have to strengthen the CHF 2000-5000 offer.

 When you think about China, factors such as pollution, a deteriorating environment, inhumane work conditions in factories, mass production come immediately to your mind. China and sustainability, connecting the dots between economy and ecology seems to be a complex problem. Therefore a valid question was raised during one of the panel discussions: how can we as consumers/potential investors contribute to overcome these issues?

Tailor-made investments – how can you invest ethically in fashion?

What’s impact investing? Put simply, it’s investing in ways that help make the world a better place. And it can make a big difference to the fashion industry, “especially when dealing with problems in supply chains,” says James Gifford, Senior Impact Investing Strategist at UBS. It’s good news for investors, too.

Impact investing is one of the tools that we can use to improve terrible situations such as exposure to slavery and trafficking – lots of brands don’t have full transparency throughout their entire supply chain.  Shareholders can take part in helping brands address that. Most critical is the intent – the willingness to change for the good. This impact must be measured with defined performance indexes to make it tangible to all stakeholders of the corporation.

Many investors assume that impact investment is a form of charity. In reality, quiet the opposite is the case. Gifford delivers the facts: two thirds of impact investment funds deliver comparable results to more traditional funds. Generating a financial return is indispensable and sustainable in itself; generated profits are more likely to be re-invested in impact projects and new investors may follow.

How to invest

  • Invest in best in class – some great companies that are trying really hard to improve.
  • Underweight / overweight the good guys and the bad guys.
  • You can engage your fund managers and advisors on this topic as most of them might not have thought about these issues. So having that dialogue can have an impact already.
  • Shareholder engagement is where shareholders use their voice to encourage companies to improve their behaviour. This can be done through fund managers or family offices.
  • Shareholder engagement can be very effective and you don’t even have to own that many shares to have a voice.

Great show: Mary Katrantzou’s F/W 2017 presentation took place at Tate Modern.

During those two amazing days, we had also the chance to talk to two outstanding designers who both have build up their brand in a breakneck pace. Cherry on the cake was the possibility to experience the excitement of fashion week as guests of Mary Katrantzou and Erdem at their shows.

With Erdem in his Mayfair store for a private shopping event during the «Economy of Fashion».

I don’t believe in fast fashion – I get a kick out of seeing real women wear my clothes on the street,” says Erdem Moralioglu, founder of the designer label ERDEM.

Shaping up – how Erdem Moralioglu built his brand

Since launching in 2005, the brand has become synonymous with versatile and powerful femininity. After studying at London’s Royal College of Art, Erdem started his own company and fashion line at the age of 27. The business took off when Barneys bought his first collection. In 2014, he put his collection online and opened his flagship store in Mayfair in 2015.

Today, ERDEM is sold in over 170 of the world’s most exclusive retailers, including Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Joyce, Colette, Dover Street Market, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.
In the beginning of November 2017 his collection for H&M will hit the stores as he is the next designer to collaborate with the Swedish clothing giant (for more info, click here please).

With Mary Katrantzou in the private shopping suite at the at the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair, wearing an amazing coat from her F/W 2017 collection.

Print can be as definitive as a cut or a drape and allows a woman to filter beauty found in design, in a subversive way. All my prints are constructed through digital technology. Digital print allows me to experiment with print in a way that fine art and other methods could not. It opens up a huge spectrum for possibility; I can create possibility out of impossibility, surrealism out of realism and both vice versa,” says Mary Katrantzou.

Pioneering digital prints – how Mary Katrantzou became the fashion world’s darling

Greek-born Mary Katrantzou had an appreciation of applied design from an early age. Having begun training as an architect at Rhode Island’s School of Design, she transferred to Central Saint Martin’s in London to study textiles and finished also with a fashion MA in 2005. Katrantzou shifted her direction from textile design to womenswear with a focus on print as she loved the way printed textiles can change the shape of a woman’s body.

Success from the first moment: Mary Katrantzou’s graduate collection in 2008.

Her graduate collection in 2008 of digital trompe l’oeil prints of oversized jewellery on simple shift dresses served as a counterpoint to the minimalist movement that was dominating the runways at the time. From there, Katrantzou picked up 15 prestigious stockists including Browns, Joyce and Colette. Today she boasts over 250 stockists worldwide. Among the many prestigious awards, she received in her career, she also won the Swiss Textiles Award in 201, which helped her grow her business further. And would she rule out ever taking on an investor? “In the future, who knows,” says Katrantzou. “But true global scale is our ambition.”

Best of both worlds… fashion and finance.

I hope that you enjoyed this little insight into the new interactive event Economy of Fashion under the roof of the UBS Unique platform that was a great success. For two days, we received an exclusive insight into the business of fashion of emerging and established designers, disruptive technologies and brands that are making their mark on the industry.

I met amazing ladies from all over the world and it was a pleasure exchanging knowledge while enjoying some fun shopping and great food.

I would love to conclude with a quote from shoe designer Giorgia Caovilla: “The future of fashion will shorten the distance to be able to convey more clearly its message: LET’S HAVE SOME FUN!’”

LoL, Sandra

*Harnessing the power of women investors in wealth management, Ernst & Young LLP, 2016
** Global Wealth 2016: Navigating the client landscape, Boston Consulting Group, 2016
*** Source BoF-McKinsey Global Fashion Survey, September 2016

Photos: © Sam Bowen for UBS, © Sandra Bauknecht, © Redress, © Mary Katrantzou

LFW Honours Richard Nicoll with Nicoll Blue

Richard Nicoll (courtesy of Jack Wills)

In a special tribute to RICHARD NICOLL, London Fashion Week February 2017 salutes his talent with a colour dedicated to him, NICOLL BLUE. Chosen by a group of close friends, the blue is said, by Laurie Pressman of the Pantone Color Institute who developed the colour, to embody “the elegance and sensitive spirit of this much beloved designer whose innate kindness, loving soul and good natured sense of humour held a special allure to all that entered into his orbit.

The Arundel St and main entrance to The Store Studios, 180 Strand; the central hub of LFW, have been painted in Nicoll Blue to honour the designer after his sudden passing in October, 2016. The 39-year old died from a heart attack in his home town Sydney.

Nicoll Blue

ABOUT RICHARD NICOLL

Born in London and brought up in Australia, Richard Nicoll graduated from Central Saint Martins MA in 2002. His entire graduate collection was famously purchased by Dolce & Gabbana right after. He launched his eponymous label in 2005 and quickly found fans in the likes of Kylie Minogue, Kate Bosworth, and Julianne Moore. He emerged as a member of the new wave of London talent, whose original take on modern sportswear fused with relaxed tailoring won him NEWGEN sponsorship in 2006 and three Association Nationale pour le Développement des Arts de la Mode (ANDAM) awards. His experience beyond his eponymous label included freelance design for Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton, the creative direction of Cerruti 1881, Fred Perry and later of youth label Jack Wills. In June 2012 he launched his debut menswear line at London Collections Men (now London Fashion Week Men’s). In 2015, he shuttered his namesake company and moved from London to Sydney.

Before his death, he had been preparing to start a new job as creative director at adidas in January 2017.

YVL_6640.1366x2048Richard Nicoll loved blue, here a look from his F/W 2014 collection.

To honour Richard, a minute’s silence will be observed just before the Central Saint Martins MA show on Friday 17th February. Plans are underway for a multifaceted, retrospective exhibition of the designer’s work to launch later in the year.

YOU CAN SHOP SOME OF THE LAST PIECES OF RICHARD NICOLL AT THE OUTNET BY CLICKING HERE.
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LoL, Sandra

Photos: Richard Nicoll (courtesy of Jack Wills),  Yannis Vlamos / Indigitalimages.com

My Look: Alaïa Downtown Girl

Alaïa Downtown Girl

During London Fashion Week I had a very fun dinner with Net-à-Porter, that I will soon tell you more about. In the meantime, enjoy this outfit post. I hope that you will like it as much as I do.

My look: Cropped fine-knit cardigan, wool skater dress with fine black stripeswide belt iconand black and white platform pumps, all by Azzedine Alaïa, fringed tweed bag by Chanel, diamond ring and bracelet, both by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

LoL, Sandra

Sandra Bauknecht in Alaia

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Sandra Bauknecht in Alaia in London

Chanel Bag with Fringes

Net-a-porter booth-Sandra Bauknecht

Alaia Shoes

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

At the Mary Katrantzou S/S 2015 Show

Sandra Bauknecht at Mary Katrantzou SS2015-1

During London Fashion Week, I attended the S/S 2015 show of one of my favorite designers: Mary Katrantzou who really surprised the fashion crowd with this unexpected collection. The runway looked like lava and you could already guess her inspiration upon arrival. I sat front row next to Alexa Chung and spotted the best pieces for you.

Sandra Bauknecht at Mary Katrantzou SS15 Show

A seismic shift for the print master, Mary’s S/S 2015 collection beautifully embodies earth’s tectonic plates. The palette mirrors the planet’s evolving state as natural tones shift into oceanic blues and lush pastels. Verdant guipure lace and metallic ridges evoke rich landscapes atop fissured dresses and separates.

Great news is that you can pre-order this amazing collection until October 13, 2014 at 10am EDT. Just click on the highlighted text to be transferred directly.

Enjoy being one of the first ones to wear her S/S 2015 pieces!

LoL, Sandra

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Mary Katrantzou Look 5

Snake Lace Dress In Khaki iconand Kira Jacket In Khaki

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Mary Katrantzou SS15- Look 7

Geroba Long Sleeve Top In Khaki and Vonga Skirt In Khaki icon

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Nathair Slip, Nathair Bra iconand Nathair Skirt In Gold

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Mary Katrantzou SS15-Look 14

Madi Overdress iconand Madi Underdress icon

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Mary Katrantzou Look 18 SS15

Squinter Dress icon

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Panthalassa Dress In Lavender Carmen icon

Finale Mary Katrantzou SS15-9

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht, Stills via Moda Operandi

My Look: Statement Piece

Satement Piece-Get the Look-Sandra Bauknecht

Sometimes it just needs one statement piece to draw all the attention to your outfit. But wait, a statement piece….? What is the statement? Here, it is the sequined Playboy bunny on the back of the hoodie that I wore last weekend on my flight to London for Fashion Week. Looking all innocent and casual at first sight, it unveils this fun message when you turn around. The only question left is what is the statement that the wearer is trying to make…? This you have to figure out yourself… mine will stay a statement secret.

My look: Cropped hoodie with zipper and sequined Playboy bunnyicon by Marc Jacobs, snake-print cotton tankicon by Stella McCartney, skinny mid-rise distressed jeans by Dolce & GabbanaBamboo leather tote iconby Gucci, white and black leopard calf hair bootie by Rodarte, diamond ring and bracelet, both by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

LoL, Sandra

Playboy Bunny Sequined Hoodie by Marc Jacobs

Sandra Bauknecht flying to LFW

Gucci Bag Bamboo at Airport

Sandra Bauknecht leaving for LFW

Rodarte Shoes Leopard

Sandra Bauknecht in Marc Jacobs Hoodie

Sandra Bauknecht at Zurich Airport

Sandra Bauknecht walking into Terminal

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

This Is a Stick Up!

Anya Hindmarch SS15 Fashion Week Fixation

London Fashion Week S/S 2015 finished yesterday and I have a gazillion things to show you! One thing that really has caught my eye are those super-playful stickers from Anya Hindmarch‘s crazy runway show that got everyone talking. It is such a fun way to reboot your accessories.

Anya Hindmarch Bag with stickers

Created in collaboration with Charlotte Stockdale of Chaos Fashion, you can stick it to your work diary for a playful bit of visual motivation, but please note, those stickers are designed to adhere to surfaces permanently so once applied they cannot be removed.

AnyaHindmarch Sticker Bag SS15Anya Hindmarch SS15 Finale

For the runway finale, Anya Hindmarch let the models waltz in life-size neon teacups onto the set while dancers clad in ultraviolet skeleton bodysuits performed a “Thriller”-style dance.

Anya Hindmarch Fixation

Great news is that you can shop the stickers off the next season’s runway, exclusively at NET-A-PORTER.COMicon.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Anya Hindmarch, Indigital, Chaos Fashion and © Sandra Bauknecht

Burberry Prorsum S/S 2015 Livestream

London Burberry Prorsum SS15 Livestream

Be part of Fashion Week and watch the Burberry Prorsum S/S 2015 fashion show live on Sandra’s Closet on Monday at 1pm London time. Here is your front row invite, enjoy!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Burberry Prorsum

Burberry Prorsum F/W 2014 – Livestream

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Be part of London Fashion Week and watch the Burberry Prorsum F/W 2014 fashion show live on Sandra’s Closet tomorrow afternoon. Here is your front row invite, enjoy!

LoL, Sandra

Mary Katrantzou S/S 2014 – So Amazing

Mary Katrantzou S:S 2014

Personally speaking, there hasn’t been one collection, Mary Katrantzou hasn’t amazed me with. This season has been no different. For the motif mistress, footwear prints walk a fine line between fashion and art. For S/S 2014, she was inspired by every woman’s love for shoes for her signature digital prints.

The collection’s evening looks were absolutely divine, and heavenly embroidered by the House of Lesage in Paris with which Mary had been working before already. Think ruffles, empire and baby doll cuts. Nothing for the shy! I am loving it!

Great news: YOU HAVE THE CHANCE TO PRE-ORDER THE MARY KATRANTZOU S/S 2014 COLLECTION STRAIGHT OF THE RUNWAY FOR THE NEXT 6 DAYS BY CLICKING HERE.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Courtesy of Mary Katrantzou, Style.com, © Getty Images

Burberry Prorsum S/S 2014 – Livestream

Burberry Prorsum Womenswear Spring_Summer 2014 Pre Show Imagery - Show Invitation

Be part of London Fashion Week and watch the Burberry Prorsum S/S 2014 fashion show live on Sandra’s Closet tomorrow afternoon. Here is your front row invite, enjoy!

LoL, Sandra