Clare Waight Keller at Givenchy and More

Industry speculations aren’t always so wrong as we can see now. Yesterday, Givenchy announced Clare Waight Keller, former creative director at Chloé, as the house’s new artistic director. Rumors have been out for months that she will be the first woman leading the French Maison. Waight Keller will oversee women’s and men’s ready-to-wear and accessories, as well as haute couture with the appointment becoming effective May 2, 2017. Her first collection for S/S 2018 will be shown in Paris in October.

Clare Waight Keller with me

The British-born replaces Riccardo Tisci, who left the LVMH-owned brand in January, reportedly for Versace, though that appointment has not been made official. With 12 years at the house, Tisci, who is Italian, enjoyed the longest tenure after founder Hubert de Givenchy himself.

HUBERT DE GIVENCHY’S CONFIDENT STYLE HAS ALWAYS BEEN AN INSPIRATION AND I AM VERY GRATEFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE A PART OF THIS LEGENDARY HOUSE’S HISTORY.

I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH THE TEAMS AND WRITING A NEW CHAPTER IN THIS BEAUTIFUL STORY. “ CLARE WAIGHT KELLER

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But who is following Wright Keller at Chloé? For the world of fashion a popular name, for others probably not: Natacha Ramsay-Levi who has been working along with Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga whom she followed 2013 to Louis Vuitton. The French-born was in a relationship with fashion «enfant terrible» and «Purple»-founder Olivier Zahm, with whom she has a son.

New year, new designer moves… let’s keep the fashion world busy!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Givenchy, Chloé

Louis Vuitton Petite Malle iPhone Cases

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One night before the Louis Vuitton S/S 2017 show, a hush fell over both the fashion and tech worlds when Nicolas Ghesquière posted a photo holding an amazing iPhone 7 case.

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As the first model hit the catwalk, in her hands, she clasped the accessory that will soon shield the phones of every fashion lover. It’s a smart move to shrink your bag down to its smallest possible form, something you will be using every day!

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Available from February 2017 for CHF 905 for the iPhone 7 and CHF 960 for the iPhone 7+.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton’s First #MakeAPromise Day

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One year after the launch of its global partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), LOUIS VUITTON launches its first #makeapromise day today on January 12th 2017 to raise funds for children in urgent need through its global network of stores.

Nearly 250 million children live in countries affected by conflict and millions more face risks from natural hazards and fast spreading epidemics. Every day, somewhere around the world, a child wakes up to a life filled with violence, persecution and hardship. Louis Vuitton renews its promise to bring hope for a better life to these children with the launch of #makeapromise day.

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During this day, in 460 Louis Vuitton stores worldwide in more than 60 countries, 12,000 Louis Vuitton Client Advisors will act as special advocates of the “LOUIS VUITTON for UNICEF” partnership and promote the sales of the Silver Lockit: a product specially designed to raise funds for UNICEF.

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Since January 2016, the Louis Vuitton for UNICEF partnership has helped raise $2.5m to help bring children life-saving humanitarian support in Syria and Nigeria. And in doing so, it has brought hope to children who have endured the horrors of war and deprivation. To illustrate how the contribution has made a difference, in 2016, four and a half million children and their families in Syria were protected through the lifesaving provision of water.

For each sale of the Silver Lockit pendant ($600) or bracelet ($500), $200 is donated to UNICEF.

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At the #UNICEFBall presented by Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière and Nicole Kidman make a promise to help children in urgent need. Photo by @PatrickDemarchelier
@nicolasghesquiere @UNICEF via @louisvuitton

On this occasion, Louis Vuitton renews its promise to help children and invites people all over the world to join the movement. Guests will be encouraged to come accompanied with someone close to make a pinky promise and to share their promise online with a special hashtag: #makeapromise. As a way of inviting people to spread the word, an exclusive offer will be made that day for those who purchase two Silver Lockits (offer available in all Louis Vuitton stores and on louisvuitton.com for January 12th 2017).

Shopping for a great cause! I like…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Alexander Wang Steps Down from Balenciaga

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In the beginning of July, rumor had it that Kering, the parent company of BALENCIAGAicon, will not confirm Alexander Wang’s position as the House’s Creative Director. The designer took over the Balenciaga design department in December 2012 to replace Nicolas Ghesquière that had been hired by Louis Vuitton. Today, it has become official. Alexander Wang will step down after less than three years in the role.

The reason for the split can just be guessed, as it might be hard to grow two labels, Balenciaga and Wang’s successful namesake New York based brand at the same time. It is said that the S/S 2016 collection which will be presented this October during Paris Fashion Week will already be Wang’s last one for Balenciaga.

Rumor has it that Kering is looking for a lesser known designer to replace Wang, having seen the success of Alessandro Michele at Gucci.

TO SHOP BALENCIAGA (see products above), PLEASE CLICK HERE.

LoL, Sandra

Photo: © Sandra Bauknecht, Stills: Courtesy of Balenciaga

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My Look: Louis Vuitton’s Sticker-Prints

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While filming for Spotlight in Cannes, I wore this new outfit by Louis Vuitton. Since Nicolas Ghesquière took the helm at the French Maison, there have been some amazing new looks and accessories. I fell in love with those sticker-print pieces, inspired by adhesive labels on vintage Vuitton luggage, the minute I spotted them on the runway.

My look: Sticker-print top, matching skirt, silk bandeau scarf and Petite Malle Monogram bag, all by Louis Vuittoncutout leather platform pumps by Saint Laurent, Limelight Gala watch by Piaget, Hapi leather bracelet by Hermès, diamond ring and bracelet, both by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

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Fashion lovers around the globe were drooling over the house’s new It-bag, the Petite Malle, a playful miniature take on the classic Vuitton trunk. How cute is it that the bag matches the print on my tee?!

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht and Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Cruise 2015

Louis Vuitton Cruise 2015

I was still in Shanghai for Omega’s amazing event with George Clooney (post coming up soon) when in Monaco around 300 fashionable people moved their way up the steep, winding streets of the city to enter the transparent tent with custom-made Pierre Paulin seats in the Place du Palais to attend Nicolas Ghesquière‘s second show for Louis Vuitton: his Cruise 2015 presentation.

489703641CS00017_Louis_VuitCEO of Louis Vuitton Michael Burke, Delphine Arnault, fashion designer Nicolas Ghesquière, Princess Charlène of Monaco and Prince Albert II of Monaco

On the runway appeared beautifully embellished but still very wearable pieces, mismatched prints, embroidered lace with tiny seed beads, and a very well played game of colors that established Ghesquière’s very own key LV codes that he had started back in March during his F/W 2014 show.

The French powerhouse is always about accessories and those spiky silver belts, gladiator boots and the new, wide-opened bucket bag will surely find their fans all over the world.

I attached you my favorite looks herewith!

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton, © Jürgen Teller and © Rindoff/Le Segretain/Getty Images for Louis Vuitton

LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers

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Forty internationally renowned experts from the world of fashion (among them Jefferson Hack, Katie Grand, Natalie Massenet, Carine Roitfeld and Patrick Demarchelier to name a few) are to meet thirty applicants to the LVMH Prize during Paris Fashion Week.

They will select a short-list of ten young designers who will go forward to present their work to the jury in May 2014. Entries have already been received from all over the world, including Asia, Africa and South America as well as the United States and Europe, with many more anticipated before the closing date of February 2nd, 2014.

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The members of the jury for the first edition of the prize in 2014 are eight creative directors from LVMH Fashion Houses including: Nicolas Ghesquière (Louis Vuitton), Marc Jacobs (Marc Jacobs), Karl Lagerfeld (Fendi), Humberto Leon and Carol Lim (Kenzo), Phoebe Philo (Céline), Raf Simons (Dior) and Riccardo Tisci (Givenchy).

The designers will be joined by Delphine Arnault, Jean-Paul Claverie (advisor to Bernard Arnault and head of corporate philanthropy for LVMH) and Pierre-Yves Roussel (Chairman and CEO of the LVMH Fashion Group).

YOU CAN APPLY HERE! Good luck!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Nicolas Ghesquière Has Found a New Home

NICOLAS GHESQUIÈRE NAMED ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AT VUITTONFinally it is official: Nicolas Ghesquière has found a new home. It has been already 12 months that he left the house of Balenciaga after 15 years. Today LOUIS VUITTON has named him Artistic Director. The 42-year-old designer is replacing Marc Jacobs.

In early October, I had felt it already in my bones when I posted that Ghesquière will eventually take over (click here for the previous post), even though LOUIS VUITTON denied all rumors.

I am wishing Nicolas all the best and I am curious to see his first collection (F/W 2014) in March next year.

LoL, Sandra

Louis Vuitton S/S 2014 – Bye-Bye Marc!

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Today was a big day! The last day of Paris Fashion Week started with the Louis Vuitton S/S 2014 show. Rumors had been out quite a long time about Marc Jacobs leaving the French brand after 16 years, but the minute I arrived at the venue, I knew, it was true. It felt like a journey through time. From the governess girls at the entrance to the station clock, the carrousel, the elevators and the escalators, the fountain, last season’s hotel corridors, every little detail was reminiscent of something amazing Marc had created for a Louis Vuitton show.

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In the press kit on my seat, Marc Jacobs wrote something so beautiful that I truly would like to invite you to read it:

“This collection is dedicated to the women who inspire me and to the showgirl in every one of them, Emmanuelle Alt, Jane Birkin, Betty Catroux, Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele, Coco Chanel, Cher, Grace Coddington, Sofia Coppola, Victoire de Castellane, Catherine Deneuve, Claude Lalanne, Julie de Libran, Lady Gaga, Judy Garland, Katie Grand, Juliette Gréco, Françoise Hardy, Zizi Jeanmarie, Rei Kawakubo, Madonna, Liza Minnelli, Kate Moss, Louise Nevelson, Edith Piaf, Miuccia Prada, Lee Radziwill, Millicent Rogers, Sonia Rykiel, Carla Sozzani, Elsa Schiaparelli, Barbra Streisand, Diana Vreeland, Vivienne Westwood, Anna Wintour.

Whether extrovert or esoteric, they are figures that keep visual language vital. Their style, imagination, creativity, talent, vision and voice have changed our landscape.”

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He continued: “When I look around Paris, it isn’t the depth of the city that takes my breath away. It’s the decoration and the applied ornamentation that dazzles. It is not about thinking, it is about feeling. There may be no deeper sensation than this when it hits. While designing this collection the same instinct gathered momentum. I take pleasure from things for exactly what they are, revealing in the pure adornment of beauty for beauty’s sake. Connecting with something on a superficial level is as honest as connecting with it on an intellectual level.

TO THE SHOWGIRL IN ALL OF US.

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Speaking of which, many of the forty-one extremely dark looks resembled showgirl clothes, all exquisitely embellished with jet beads, crystals, and glossy feathers. Each and every one of the models wore an amazing headpiece of ostrich plumes designed by Stephen Jones for the show. The first look was pretty evocative, nothing but a G-string and the Stephen Sprouse-designed LV logo showing all over the model’s body, along with handcuffs and chains.

The biker jackets and denim pants were amazing, something you are dying to have in your closet. I love the collection and Marc’s creativity, it might not be commercial, but it is definitely for the showgirl in us!

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Never forget, it was Jacobs who brought Louis Vuitton’s foray into prêt-à-porter to a huge success, and whatever the behind-the-scenes speculations of the past few months, he appears to be leaving on good terms. I was backstage and started crying like everybody else after all those heartfelt hugs.

Marc said that he wants to focus on his own Marc Jacobs brand. And I think, the announcement will be coming out soon that Nicolas Ghesquière will replace him at Louis Vuitton. So watch out!

LoL, Sandra

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Marc’s last finale…

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… and heartbreaking moments backstage.

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Having fun behind the scenes: Sofia Coppola and Dakota Fanning

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Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Wang at Balenciaga – Anderson at Versus

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It is official, Alexander Wang is Balenciaga‘s new Creative Director and will replace Nicolas Ghesquière at the French fashion house, who officially leaves today, after 15 years at the helm.

Sandra_Bauknecht_Alexander_wangAlexander Wang with me

Rumors had been out quite awhile that the American designer  would be the perfect choice for the PPR-owned fashion house Balenciaga, because Wang knows how to make edgy and groovy commercial. Congrats, Alexander, well-deserved! (If you are interested to read an interview, I did with Alexander Wang two years ago, please click here!)

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Another one, editors were considering for the job, was Christopher Kane, who has just left his position at Versus to focus on his own line.

Gianni Versace Spa follows a new strategic repositioning of the Versus brand. Digital is the key word and under Donatella Versace’s creative leadership, there will be collaborations with young designers, stylists, and creatives from different walks of life, to develop capsule collections, co-branding projects, limited editions. Yesterday, the first designer to create a capsule collection for Versus has been announced: Jonathan Anderson, the designer behind the J.W. Anderson fashion label for men and women. The launch event is planned for March/April 2013 in New York.

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For the capsule collection, Jonathan Anderson was particularly inspired by an image from a campaign shot by Bruce Weber with Donatella in 1996. “For me,” said Jonathan, “this iconic image says it all, that’s how I see Versus. It’s all about the relationship between a boy and a girl, a girl and a girl, a boy and a boy. Purity.”

The New York Times is reporting rumours that Nicolas Ghesquière‘s next move might be his own label at LVMH. It seems like this time , the designer carrousel is one where everyone turns out to be a winner.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Versus, Style, J.W. Anderson, © Wenn, © Sandra Bauknecht