Phoebe Philo Is Launching Her Own Brand

Amazing news for all fashion addicts. Our beloved Phoebe Philo announced that she is returning to the world of fashion with an independent, namesake label with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton as a minority investor.

«Being in my studio and making once again has been both exciting and incredibly fulfilling,» Philo said in a brief statement. «I am very much looking forward to being back in touch with my audience and people everywhere. To be independent, to govern and experiment on my own terms is hugely significant to me

A graduate of London’s Central Saint Martins fashion college, Philo was classmates with Stella McCartney. Being close friends, Philo joined Stella at Chloé in 1997 as her design assistant succeeding her as creative director in 2001 when McCartney left to set up her own fashion house in a joint venture with Gucci Group.

With her amazing personal style, Philo succeeded in accelerating Chloé’s rejuvenation and catapulting it into the high-margin leather goods business. During her tenure, Chloé’s look was widely copied by fast-fashion chains and she created hit handbags like the Paddington (see photo below) and Silverado.

In 2006 Philo left Chloé. During this break from the industry, she moved back to London to be with her family and had her second child. In 2008, LVMH offered her a job as creative director and board member of the French Maison Céline, where she set up her studio for the company and continued to work in London whilst showing in Paris. She agreed, and presented her debut collection the next year to much critical acclaim.

In 2017 after 10 years of working at Céline and much speculation in the media it was announced that Philo would step down as the creative director of Céline after the Pre-Fall 2018 collection.

Phoebe Philo’s work at Céline redefined what women aspire to wear, with her minimalist aesthetic, clean lines and tonal colour palette gaining traction with critics and consumers alike. Consistently name checked by fashion insiders as the label they want to wear, Philo successfully resuscitated a tired Parisian house and recast it as an imperative part of each season’s fashion dialogue.

It is said that Phoebe has had a small team working in London since late last year to set up her own company.

«I have had a very constructive and creative working relationship with LVMH for many years. So it is a natural progression for us to reconnect on this new project. I have greatly appreciated discussing new ideas with Bernard Arnault and Delphine Arnault and I am delighted to be embarking on this adventure with their support,» Phoebe explained.

Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH, called Philo «one of the most talented designers of our time

«We have known her and appreciated her for a long time. Phoebe contributed to the success of the group through her magnificent creations over several years,» he said. «With this in mind, I am very happy to partner with Phoebe on her entrepreneurial adventure and wish her great success.»

I am so excited to see Phoebe’s first collection as I still love to wear all her previous designs at Chloé and Céline. According to an interview with WWD, Phoebe Philo’s eponymous label create clothing and accessories «rooted in exceptional quality and design.» More details about her new brand are said to be revealed in January 2022.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Phoebe Philo, Chloé and Céline

Live Talk with Matchesfashion

Yesterday, I hosted a live talk on zoom with MATCHESFASHION and their Chief Commercial Officer Elizabeth von der Goltz about the newest trends, upcoming designers and must-have pieces available on the website.

I put together a summary of last night with all details and shopable links included. Just click on the highlighted text to be transferred directly. Enjoy!

NEW DESIGNERS

Kenneth Ize

iconKenneth Ize made his Paris Fashion Week debut for F/W 2020, showcasing a tribute to the beauty of West African artisanship. He initially launched his eponymous label at Lagos Fashion Week in 2013, then took a two-year hiatus to study at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna under the guidance of Hussein Chalayan; the experimental ethos of whom influences his exuberant use of colour. Now a shortlisted designer for the 2019 LVMH prize, Ize is recognised for his vibrant tailoring and casual separates, rendered in handwoven Yoruban aso-oke fabric and partnered with Austrian lace.

Kika Vargas

Bogotá-born Kika Vargas launched her eponymous label in 2010, fulfilling a lifelong dream inspired by childhood memories of watching her mother dress up. The designer studied fine art and fashion design respectively at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Marangoni Fashion Institute in Milan, subsequently going on to work at Missoni, which she credits for igniting her love of colour. Ready-to-wear pieces are crafted locally in Colombia – think voluminous midi dresses with romantic ruffles and tiers alongside playful printed co-ords.

Lisa Folawiyoicon

Nigerian designer Lisa Folawiyo started her own fashion line in 2005 after purchasing 12 yards of Ankara textiles, batik-inspired wax-resist fabrics adopted throughout West Africa, and asking a local seamstress to create two skirts that she decorated herself. 15 years on, she’s the winner of the 2012 Africa Fashion Award and was included in the Business of Fashion’s 2015 BOF500 list. Her ready-to-wear collection fuses vibrant traditional patterns with contemporary silhouettes that are hand-finished by expert craftspeople – it takes approximately 240 hours to embellish a single garment with the label’s signature beads, sequins and crystals.

Lug von Siga

Gul Agis trained at the Marangoni Fashion Institute and Politecnico di Design in Milan and honed her skills in luxury fashion consultancy before launching Lug Von Siga, an anagram of her name, in 2010. Drawing influence from the storied heritage of her native Turkey, the designer explores womenswear through a contemporary lens, uniting charming design tropes with sophisticated colours to create elegant wardrobe staples with an inherently feminine spirit. Expect dresses, blouses and swimwear rendered in crisp cotton and finished with voluminous ruffles.

B Sides

Named after and inspired by the second side of a vinyl record, B Sides celebrates the imperfect and was built on founders Claire Lampert and Stacy Daily’s love of vintage jeans. The duo sources rare styles ranging anywhere from cowboys in Colorado to industrial rag houses, then re-work the material into modern silhouettes. New denim is woven by 19th-century family-run mills in Georgia and North Carolina, which stays true to the label’s effortlessly retro aesthetic. Expect flattering and timeless cuts that are given a playful twist through washes, distressing and upcycled patchwork.

Vaqueraicon

Patric DiCaprio, Claire Sullivan and Bryn Taubensee celebrate the eccentric and unexpected with their New York-based label Vaquera, founded in 2013 and named in reference to DiCaprio’s nickname, the Spanish word for ‘cowgirl’. Collections explore the notion of ‘making fashion fan fiction’, subverting conventional sartorial codes and exploring the drama of exaggerated texture, oversized cuts and reworked wardrobe staples with innovative fabric pairings. Expect shirting, jeans, T-shirts and jackets with graphic accents and whimsical trims.

Homme Girls

Thakoon Panichgul launched multi-discipline platform HommeGirls in 2019 after a hiatus from the fashion industry, having paused his eponymous label two years earlier. The label champions the sophistication of androgynous dressing, originally founded as a specialist zine ‘dedicated to women who shop the men’s department’, later expanding to a collection of wardrobe staples inspired by the personal style of Katherine Hepburn, Grace Coddington and Brana Wolf. Expect oversized shirting, relaxed underpinnings and boxer shorts with cropped hems and raw edges.

Totême

Founded in 2014 by husband and wife duo Elin Kling and Karl Lindman, Stockholm-based label Totême offers refined pieces ideal for creating pared-back contemporary uniforms. Its minimalist aesthetic is composed of muted hues, fluid silhouettes and flattering loose proportions, harmonising to create considered ready-to-wear pieces which form the backbone of edited wardrobes. Expect borrowed-from-the-boys T-shirts, oversized coats and sweeping dresses in neutral colour palettes that will bring an understated yet elevated mood to weekday ensembles. And most importantly the most comfortable yet stylish footwear. There will also be an exclusive capsule collection coming up at MATCHESFASHION.

NEW DESIGNERS FOR F/W 2021

The Frankie Shopicon

Former journalist Gaelle Drevet launched The Frankie Shop in 2014 as a boutique in New York’s Lower East Side, offering a hand-picked curation of emerging labels that reflected her desire for classic pieces that transcend seasons and trends. In 2017, a second location was opened in Paris before the company branched out to create its own range of ready-to-wear, continuing the muted, elegant mood. Expect pared-back and practical loungewear rendered in earthy, natural shades.

Rejina Pyoicon

Central Saint Martins alumna and British Fashion Award winner Rejina Pyo founded her eponymous London-based label in 2014 and has since become a cult name among industry insiders, known for her architectural silhouettes and saturated hues. A design ethos of ‘bringing the extraordinary to the everyday’ is translated through staple silhouettes reimagined with artistic subtleties such as sharp cutouts, topstitching and sculptural buttons, largely inspired by the designer’s mother’s love of antiques. Expect inherently feminine codes underpinned by a perfect fusion of vintage and modernity.

Canada Goose

Founded in 1957, Canada Goose is known for making the world’s warmest coat, the Snow Mantra parka, and the original prototype was designed for Arctic explorers to withstand temperatures as low as -70 degrees Celsius. The outerwear is filled with sustainably sourced North American down feathers – the best natural filler for warmth-per-weight ratio with a reduced impact on climate change than artificial fibres. Each jacket champions the label’s made in Canada heritage and passes through the hands of 13 craftsmen, enduring rigorous testing to brave the harshest elements.

EXCLUSIVE COLLABORATIONS AND CAPSULE COLLECTIONS

Loewe x Paula’s Ibizaicon

Loewe’s Paula’s Ibiza collection launched in 2016 after creative director Jonathan Anderson sought inspiration from Armin Heinemann’s famed Spanish boutique. Established in 1972 in the heart of Ibiza’s Old Town, the store’s curation takes cues from the era’s hippie revival, fusing a care-free attitude with Heinemann’s artistic vision, which swiftly became a sought-out hub for the island’s riotous bohemians such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino Garavani, and Freddie Mercury. Through this lens, Loewe presents a collection of laid-back wardrobe staples infused with Mediterranean charm.

Salvatore Ferragamo

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Salvatore Ferragamo is considered a benchmark of understated luxury, established in 1927 upon the founder’s return to Florence from Boston. Ferragamo honed his craft as a cobbler in Naples before setting up his made-to-measure workshop on Via Mannelli, which would see his avant-garde ideas manifest to critical acclaim, most notably Judy Garland’s ‘Rainbow 1938 leather and suede platform sandals and the iconic cork wedge heels. Now with a reputable expansion into ready-to-wear, the house celebrates classic Italian glamour with a distinctly feminine narrative – a reputation endorsed by collaborations with some of Hollywood’s most esteemed costume studios for over sixty years. Today launches a very special capsule collection dedicated to the iconic footwear pieces.

Loup Charmant
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Loup Charmant (which means charming wolf) is the soft separates brand launched in 2006 by designer Kee Edwards. Each piece is geared for all-day, everyday wear, through diaphanous fabrics and feminine lines. Soon there will be an exclusive capsule collection available at MATCHESFASHION.

Emilia Wickstead
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Years before Emilia Wickstead‘s dresses became a favourite on the red carpet, she began her training alongside her mother – a bespoke womenswear designer in their native New Zealand. After graduating from London’s Central Saint Martins in 2007, Wickstead moved to New York and gained experience working for some of the industry’s biggest fashion houses. In 2011, she showed her first collection at London fashion week and quickly garnered a following for her modern, ladylike aesthetic. Worn by a diverse collective of stars – from Alexa Chung to the Duchess of Cambridge – the designer’s elegant dresses and separates are recognisable for their sumptuous fabrics and sophisticated colour palette.
I personally love Emilia’s designs and am very excited for an exclusive beach capsule collection coming up on MATCHESFASHION.

Terry

Close friends Lucy Halfpenny and fashion photographer Brigette Clarke were inspired by their love of 1970s American poolside attire and long European summers to launch their beachy label Terry, after the pair met up wearing the same vintage terry-towelling bucket hat by chance. The Australian label offers carefree separates ideal for long summer days, reinterpreting sporty tennis pieces with an effortless, laid-back mood. Expect tie-front tops and gradient dip-dyed shorts realised in sunset shades that form a composed warm-weather capsule.

Emilio Pucci Beachwear

 Jet-set glamour doesn’t come much more established or recognisable than Emilio Pucci. The brand’s high-octane, 1970s-tinged aesthetic is beloved worldwide. My favorite when it comes to beachwear (just placed an order while writing this post). An exclusive summer capsule will launch soon. 

Isa Bouldericon

Born from a love of meticulous craftsmanship, Indonesian label Isa Boulder balances contemporary aesthetics with the values of small-scale production. Founders Yuli and Lia combine their expertise in architecture, business and fashion to create a comprehensive swimwear offering, with each piece made by local artisans in the label’s Bali studio using recycled Italian Lycra. Shape and fit are key considerations for every design, with flattering cutouts and strategically placed seams used to ‘seek out new ways to accentuate the female form’. Expect swimsuits and bikinis in earthy pastel hues and a very special capsule collection.

JEWELRY NEW DESIGNERS

Fry Powers
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After training at the Parsons School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology, Allison Fry launched her jewellery line Fry Powers in 2018. She draws inspiration from a wide range of Modernist and Pop artists such as Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. Each piece is locally crafted in the label’s New York studio from sterling silver and 14kt gold adorned with colourful hand-applied enamel for a mood-lifting touch. Keep an eye out for statement rings, necklaces and earrings in a spectrum of rainbow hues.

Laura Lombardi
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Raised between Tuscany and New York, designer Laura Lombardi combines the simplicity and warmth of Italian design with gritty industrial accents for her eponymous jewellery line, founded in 2010. Exaggerated proportions and elegant curvature underscore the collections, citing her background in sculpture, which are sustainability crafted by Brooklyn-based artisans and metalsmiths using recycled brass, upcycled charms and fastenings with a zero-waste gold-plating system. The result is a considered repertoire of spirited adornments, designed to be worn every day. Fun pieces for a great price.

FALLON

A vivacious, punkish and experimental spirit defines Dana Lorenz’s jewellery label FALLON, launched in 2007 in New York City. It blends statement proportions and industrial influences with dainty stones in classic cuts to create wearable pieces that can be mixed and matched, inspired by the drama of 1980s pop culture and customisable accessories. The result is a stone-smattered collection of earrings, bracelets and necklaces with chain-inspired accents.

JEWELRY EXCLUSIVE COLLABORATIONS

Jacquie Aiche x Cartier
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Jacquie Aiche’s design philosophy is to make every woman look and feel uniquely beautiful. Merging Native American gemstones with Middle Eastern influences, the designer’s signatures are delicate body chains, multi-layered necklaces and goddess-inspired amulets. Her special take on Cartier watches is exclusive to MATCHESFASHION.

Sophie Bille Brahe
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Sophie Bille Brahe’s understated gold jewellery has a celestial element that’s inspired by the work of her ancestor, the astronomer Tycho Brahe who discovered the constellation Cassiopeia. The Copenhagen-based founder honed her skills at London’s prestigious Royal College of Art and crafts the pieces by hand using traditional goldsmith techniques. Look to the label’s signature Croissant de Lune earrings, Peggy necklace and Tennis bracelet with graduated diamonds and pearls to lend a minimalist feel to everyday edits.

HOME EXLUSIVE COLLABORATIONS & CAPSULES

La DoubleJ x Laduréeicon

Street-style star, journalist and contributing editor at Harper’s Bazaar and Wallpaper* magazines JJ Martin launched La DoubleJ in 2015, initially as a platform to sell her collection of vintage clothing. Soon, she began to create ready-to-wear pieces, working with top Italian textile manufacturers, such as Mantero, to use reissued vintage prints from their archives. More recently, the Milan-based brand has expanded to include homeware, collaborating with French pâtisserie Ladurée to create bold tableware  with charming motifs which explore archetypes of fertility and renewal.

Reflections Copenhagen
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Danish homeware label Reflections Copenhagen was founded in 2015 after Julie Hugau and Andrea Larsson discovered a mutual affinity for art and decór. The duo takes inspiration from the dynamic expression of the Art Deco movement, resulting in a refined homeware offering that fuses exquisite design with a dedication to impeccable craftsmanship. The innovative shape of each piece is designed to capture and manipulate light, creating an array of captivating shadows. Expect sophisticated yet functional ornaments such as vases and dishes, all expertly handmade using time-honoured techniques and created to last for generations.

Mrs. Alice
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Alice Naylor-Leyland founded homeware label Mrs Alice in 2019, celebrating the ritual of setting a table. Drawing on childhood memories of her mother’s enviable interiors and a fashion education at Istituto Marangoni, she unites old-world craftmanship with whimsical and contemporary details to create a collection of fantasy-inspired tableware designed to enrich the everyday occasions. Expect an exclusive selection of picnic hampers, all underscored with English charm.

TRENDS S/S 2021

The Joyful Everyday

Everyday pieces, from jeans to sleepwear, have been given a joyful spin by designers who are experimenting with bold, uplifting colours and prints.
From left to right: Flying Flowers-print silk-twill shirt dress by Valentino, polka-dot satin shirt and matching trousersicon, both by HalpernMassey tie-dye cashmere-gauze gown by Gabriela Hearst.

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Celebrating At Home

For those of us who can, this year is about entertaining at home. The aim is to go all-out and have some fun with uplifting colour and print – both in wardrobes and interiors.

From left to right: My look: Distressed logo-intarsia sweater in yellowicon, distressed open-weave wool sweater in black, and belted pleated mohair-blend skirticon, all by Prada, homeware by Gergei Erdei, Zina fringed silk-satin dressicon by Roksanda.

The Finer Things

As our focus shifts towards making every day special, timeless investments like fine jewellery replace occasion pieces as a luxury we can wear 24/7. There are pieces for every woman, no matter what her taste.

From left to right: Fine jewelryicon by Suzanne Kalan, diamonds by Shay, fun piecesicon by Eéra.

The Great Outdoors

As we seek open-air pursuits and a connection with nature, and spend more time outdoors connecting with friends, a wardrobe of practical pieces in which to face the elements is high on the agenda.

From left to right: Single-breasted water-repellent canvas trench coaticon by Bottega Veneta, striped mohair-blend sweater by Marni, teddy coat by Max Mara.

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Wardrobe Foundations

If you were to clear out your wardrobe and start again, these are the pieces you would buy first. They form the basis of our Wardrobe Foundations edit.

From left to right: Loafersicon by Fabrizio Viti, underwearicon by Rossell England, a white shirticon by Bourienne Paris X.

Denim Redefined

Upcycled chambray at Gabriela Hearst, reworked Levi’s at Valentino and vintage patchworking from new brand B Sides: we are viewing denim in a new light this season.

From left to right: 517 upcycled bootcut jeansicon by Valentino x Levi’siconVirginia sweetheart-neck linen-denim dressicon by Gabriela Hearst, single-breasted denim jacket, and straight-cut denim midi skirt, bothicon by Lemaire.

iconELIZABETH’S F/W 2021 RUNWAY FAVORITES

Elizabeth gave us a little outlook of what is coming up for F/W 2021. Gucci, Valentino, Prada, and Gabriela Hearst for Chloé are among her favorite collections.

THREE INVESTMENT PIECES YOU SHOULD HAVE IN YOUR CLOSET

Elizabeth and I were asked what would be the must-haves for your closet and we agreed on the following three: A Bottega Veneta bag, a Burberry trenchcoaticon, and a Gabriela Hearst cashmere sweatericon.

In the end of the talk, I showed our guests my personal favorites available at MATCHESFASHION. Those looks will be posted shortly here on Sandra’s Closet. Stay tuned and happy shopping.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht and © MATCHESFASHION
Courtesy of the respective brands
DISCLOSURE: We may earn commission from links on this page, but I only recommend products I love. Promise.icon

Tribute to Alber Elbaz and AZ Factory

I am still so in shock. One of my favorite designers, especially because of his amazing character, Alber Elbaz, died Saturday in Paris from Covid-19. He was such a warm-hearted person, always thinking about his employees. Instantly recognisable for his broad smile and distinctive personal uniform of bow ties and thick-rimmed glasses, he was best known for his star turn leading couture house Lanvin. At their peak, sales were as high as €235 million. He definitely died too young, in June he would have turned 60.

Born in Morocco and educated in Israel, Elbaz climbed the ranks of the fashion industry from a small dressmaker’s shop in New York City to serve at the helm of Guy Laroche. Then appointed by Pierre Bergé, Elbaz next worked as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent from 1998 until he was fired after three seasons when Gucci bought the company and put Tom Ford in charge.

Designer Alber Elbaz walks down the runway at the S/S 2004 Lanvin show in Paris.

Elbaz began designing for Lanvin in 2001. He also held a minority stake in the company of nearly 18 percent. During his 14-year tenure, he was credited with the house’s renewed appeal thanks to Elbaz’s «classic with a twist» takes on silk cocktail dresses and other feminine designs, often playing with color or other unusual variations on hallmark elegance.

Alber’s sketches for Lanvin

His humorous sketches of everything from lollipops to his own face became a brand signature, also remember the amazing collaboration he did with Lancôme. Elbaz’s simple, feminine clothing, which has been compared to Lanvin’s 1920s outfits, was lauded by the fashion press. In 2005 Suzy Menkes wrote: «Elbaz is every woman’s darling. And that includes Nicole, Kate, Chloë Sevigny, Sofia Coppola and a slew of rising movie names

In October 2015, Elbaz announced that he had been let go from Lanvin after disagreements with the company’s major shareholder, Shaw-Lan Wang. He then took some time off until he launched a new label together with Swiss luxury group Richemont, AZ Factory, in January.

A tribute to Alber today on the AZ Factory homepage.

The following text has been written months ago but sometimes time flies and I always postponed to post it. It feels so bizarre to show it to you now post mortem. However, it is a tribute to Alber, to his latest venture in fashion, that hopefully will also have a great input how the world consumes fashion. It is all about inclusivity and diversity. I invite you to get your last piece designed by Alber…

In a Zoom call with Alber in January…

So let me introduce you to AZ Factory, the eagerly awaited fashion concept from Alber Elbaz. Launched at Paris Haute Couture Week in January, it had not only marked the comeback of Elbaz but also Richemont’s first foray into launching a fashion label from scratch, a €25 million investment, that is focusing on online distribution.

Described as Elbaz’ «dream factory» and created with «women of our times» in mind, the label is an expansion of the playful, confident pieces that have become his calling card through the years. This is a marvellous fashion moment! Neither a revolution nor an evolution but a refreshing reset! AZ Factory might change the face of luxury fashion as long as we’ve known it and Alber Elbaz might have become the new «Hervé Leger». Over the next few months a six part capsule collection will be launching.

Alber wanted to design for «All Women».

And one of the most exciting elements surrounding this new brand is the diversity in its sizing, with an emphasis placed on the fact that this entire six capsule series is inclusive for «All Women placing importance on body positivity and inclusivity. Sizing ranges from XXS-4XL or FR34 – FR48.

MyBody ribbed stretch-knit mini dressicon and MyBody paneled stretch-knit leggingsicon

MyBody
The essence of the MyBody capsule is bodycon styles made from a technical weave fabric that sculpt the female form. The AnatoKnit technology provides hugging tension that shapes your natural curves. The boning at the back supports your posture and the ergonomic design features allow for movement and breathability. The idea behind this is functional fashion that has been made for «women on the move» and Alber wanted to encourage us to wear these with their sneakers. I think they’d look perfectly splendid with heels too.

Your Body color-block ribbed stretch-knit mini dressicon and Your Body striped stretch-knit leggingsicon

MyBody 2.0
The sporty edition of MY BODY. This additional story features colourblock designs paired with matching leggings. It’s the next level of athleisure.

Pijama Valentine printed silk-twill shirticon and Pijama Valentine printed silk-twill wide-leg pantsicon

Switchwear Pyjamas
Uplifting printed silk pyjamas are equally suited for sleep or for styling your look day or night. Made in collaboration with several artists and designers, which Alber found on Instagram due to the pandemic, these touching visuals reflect the emotions of our times and the wish to spread messages of hope, love and togetherness.

Switchwear recycled duchesse-satin maxi skirt
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Switchwear
From bed, Zoom, to yoga, to the supermarket, to couch, to date night – Switchwear takes you from cozy to couture (and back!) in under 60 seconds. Upgrade your supremely soft Switchwear Prime-layers with the iridescent, satin-like Switchwear Duchesse Add Ons.

Neoprene and mesh sneakers
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Pointy Sneakers
Hybrid footwear that combines the comfort and function of a sneaker with the elongating benefits of a pointy-toe shoes. Performance sneaker construction so you don’t have to trade off all-day comfort and stability.

In light of this, I was invited by Alber Elbaz and NET-A-PORTER to a live launch celebration for AZ Factory in the end of January. I also received a spectacle in a box to open during the event that included sweets, a puzzle, ….

Alber is such a sweet human being. He told us that he started his new venture by thinking: «How can I hug women? Who’s my customer? Is she an architect, who’s her mother, does she have kids?» He went on: «I wanted to create something for all of them. I never had one muse. I have never understood how to design for only one woman. It is the variety that counts. The world doesn’t exist of one song, one book or just one woman. Life is not black and white. I wanted to find something in the middle without being mediocre. I thought due to my own body shape that you have to hide who you are if you are a plus size. And the tiny women are sent to the children’s department. I wanted to change that. I also created the long zip opener so that women are not dependent on a man to open their dress. My sneakers are hybrid footwear, pointed like pumps to elongate the legs with all-day comfort. SwitchWear plays a key role for me. For example you wear leggings for travel and once you arrive, you just put a skirt over it. It’s modular dressing and also includes pyjamas. It is comfort, technology and a couture dream in one

Creativity? «The moment I feel and don’t be asked…» Az Lazy, Az Crazy

Thank you, Alber, for your creativity, your positivity and for making us dream… you will never be forgotten!

TO SHOP AZ FACTORY, CLICK HERE PLEASEicon.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © AZ Factory, Net-à-Porter, © Sandra Bauknecht
DISCLOSURE: We may earn commission from links on this page, but I only recommend products I love. Promise.

Rest in Peace Elsa Peretti

Yesterday, Elsa Peretti’s family office in Zurich announced that the jewelry designer, who was famous for her creations for the US jeweler Tiffany & Co., died Thursday at the age of 80 in a village near Barcelona, ​​Spain peacefully in her sleep.

Just last October, Tiffany & Co. had tapped Peretti to design nine one-of-a-kind pieces, based on archival designs from her personal library, in celebration of 50 years since the introduction of her widely recognized bone-cuff bracelet – and 45 years since she began designing for the company.

Tiffany’s Instagram post.

A pioneering designer

Elsa Peretti was born in Florence and trained in Switzerland and Rome, where she later returned to for a degree in interior design. In the late ’60s, she had established herself as a model in New York City and Barcelona, and she also began to design her own jewelry. A small silver bottle worn as a necklace became her first successful creation. She found the inspiration for this design in Portofino, where women used to wear fragile gardenia flowers as a fashion accessory: the small silver vase necklace made the flowers last longer. Throughout her career, she would always try to combine beauty with practicability.

Elsa Peretti’s bottle pendants for Tiffany & Co.

The American fashion designer Giorgio di Sant’Angelo used some of her pieces in a fashion show, where they immediately became a huge success. The very next day she was a star in New York. During this time she met the legendary US fashion designer and seventies icon Halston, with whom she had a lifelong friendship and with whom she worked frequently. The US jeweler Tiffany & Co. became aware of the young designer and in 1974, she started an exclusive collaboration that would last through her entire career.

Elsa Peretti with Halston in 1977

She often seeked inspiration from everyday objectsa bean, a bone or an apple could be turned into cufflinks, bracelets, vases or lighters, scorpions and snakes were turned into attractive necklaces and rings, often in silver as one of their preferred materials. She herself said: «There is no new design, because good lines and shapes are timeless» and in fact her pieces are as modern and wearable today as ever.

Elsa Peretti’s famous bone cuffs.

Elsa Peretti’s designs are in the permanent collections of the British Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas. In recognition of her remarkable work, Tiffany established the Elsa Peretti Professorship in Jewelry Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, the first endowed professorship in the history of FIT. In addition to other honors, the designer was awarded an honorary doctorate from the FIT in 2001. She also received the Coty American Fashion Critics’ Award for Jewelry in 1971 and the Rhode Island School of Design President’s Fellow Award in 1981. In 1996, she was named Accessory Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Elsa Peretti photographed by Duane Michals, Vogue, December 1974

Philanthropic work

Elsa Peretti was also known for her charm, and friendliness towards others. She had a profoundly humanitarian vocation, supporting cultural, scientific and educational initiatives and advocating the defense of human rights. In 2000, she founded a charity in honor of her father, which was renamed the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation in 2015, that focuses on the protection of the environment and wildlife. Furthermore, it also aims to fight poverty. Over time, the foundation’s work has expanded to support a wide range of projects promoting human and civil rights, with a particular focus on the right to education, the rights of children, and the rights and dignity of women.

Sant Martí Vell, her Catalan hideaway

The Italian designer had been living a reclusive life in the tiny village of Sant Martí Vell in Catalonia, Spain, where she has lived permanently since the ’80s in a mustard-yellow home she purchased in 1968. She had restored it over years and the little village became her preferred place of residence. As a result, she restored entire sections of the village, acquired and preserved other buildings, including the church, and supported the excavation of Roman ruins and the archiving of the history of the village. She also founded a winery that has been selling exclusive wines under the Eccocivi label since 2008.

She promoted the visual arts and worked to consolidate, protect and disseminate the historical, artistic, cultural, architectural and craft heritage of Catalonia. In 2013 Elsa Peretti became the first non-Catalan person to be awarded the National Culture Prize of the National Council for Culture and the Arts (CoNCA).

Rest in Peace, Elsa!

A truly creative mind and great should has left this planet. Thank you, Elsa, for leaving us such a lovely legacy. You will never be forgotten. Fortunately, also much photographic evidence remains of her, such as Helmut Newton’s 1975 shot of her leaning languidly on a terrace in Halston’s take on a Playboy Bunny costume. «Helmut and I were having an affair. He was a Scorpio. There is something between Scorpio and Taurus,» she said in an interview with Vanity Fair, taking on a suggestive tone. «One morning, he said, ‘I want to do a picture of you.’ I didn’t know what to wear. I went to my closet and came out wearing this costume I’d worn to a party with Halston. Helmut was flabbergasted. He took me on the terrace and took the photo. It was 11 A.M.»… what a beautiful life!

LoL, Sandra

Matthias Schneider, Studio Director and Head of Design at REPOSSI, paid homage to Elsa Peretti on Instagram.

Photos: Courtesy of Tiffany & Co. / Elsa Peretti

Birkenstock x Central Saint Martins

Birkenstock’s partnership with London fashion institution Central Saint Martins is launching the result of a two-year project with the BA Fashion History & Theory and MA Fashion courses. Releasing four designs and Birkenstock’s first-ever Archive style. Initiated in 2018, the project saw the CSM BA Fashion History & Theory course research and enrich Birkenstock’s prolific archive. Enabling students to immerse into Birkenstock’s culture and legacy to finally extract and define the core elements of Birkenstock’s history spanning over 250 years. The result of this research translated into a second project with the MA Fashion course. Inviting students to give their interpretation of emblematic styles in their contemporary way, thus shaping the future of the iconic German brand.

The four winning students with Fabio Piras.

One year later a jury of 12 renowned industry leaders led by Birkenstock CEO Oliver Reichert, MA Fashion Course Director Fabio Piras and fashion critic Sarah Mower MBE, were invited by Birkenstock to review all student portfolios and selected a shortlist of 10 finalists awarded as the winning designs with a first bursary award.

My favorites: Moto Sandal by Alex Wolfe.

Over a year of product development, four of the student designs have qualified for serial production.  Each design has the student’s name embossed in the iconic Birkenstock footbed. Experiencing the challenge to realize the product innovation delivered by these students is a good challenge. «We are proud to have a proven impact on these early careers and are counting this as one of our most relevant projects», states CEO Oliver Reichert.

Bukarest style in white by Alecsander Rothschild

The release of the collection is supported by a short film, seeing the jury and the professors exchange their views on the final product with the students. The jury was headed by Sarah Mower MBE and included CSM alumni Mary Katrantzou and Roksanda discussing with Gert Jonkers, Claudia Croft, Mimma Viglezio, Osman Ahmed, and Nick Vinson.

THE COLLECTION

Moto Sandal by CSM graduate Alex Wolfe (1991*)
Using Birkenstock’s expertise in orthopaedic shoe design Wolfe’s take on the Rotterdam Moto sandal challenges us with urban graphic as well as a striking upper leg design. Relying on Birkenstock’s very own eudermic material Birko-Flor he creates a flexible shield, whereas the foot lining of Nappa leather and suede offers a soft and soothing bed.

Cosy style by CSM graduate Dingyun Zhang (1995*)
Zhang’s pillow like version of the Arizona sandal takes inspiration from futuristic outerwear and oversized puffers. As a homage to comfort Cosy transforms the Arizona into a supportive, timeless classic. Its monochrome, contrasting color choice of snow white straps and black sole (and vice versa) fortifies the long-lasting design approach.

Terra style by CSM graduate Saskia Lenaerts (1993*)
As a reference to the classic Milano sandal, Terra’s prominent stitches replicates footlines, while Suede, Nappa and Nubuk leather offer comfort. Using contrasting colours like black/white and black/ultra blue the designer recreates the shadow play of an engraved footprint in the sand.

Bukarest style by CSM student Alecsander Rothschild (1992*)
Inspired by Brancusi’s contrasting use of different materials and textures Rothschild works equally with three kinds of leather to express his version of Birkenstock: Rustic black oiled nubuck leather or innocent white debossed leather, Rothschild offers a third version in shiny Silver.

Tallahassee Archive Style
To complement the student designs, the iconic Birkenstock Tallahassee Style from the 1990s sees a rebirth in contrast color designs. Uniting an artistic touch with long practiced craftsmanship the Tallahassee ornaments the foot without compromising comfort. As a woven coat the debossed leather enrobes the wearer like a second skin.

The collection is available with select stores worldwide and on 1774.com from now.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Birkenstock, © Walter Pfeiffer
#BIRKENSTOCKxCSM

Gabriela Hearst’s First Chloé Collection

Personally speaking, it was THE show of Paris Fashion Week that I have been eagerly waiting for: Gabriela Hearst’s first collection for Chloé.

Hearst called her first collection for the French Maison the «Aphrodite» to her own brand’s «Athena». Chloé in Greek means «blooming». The question is if it is a new bloom for the Maison with Hearst at the helm. It definitely is in terms of sustainability and this key word was Hearst’s approach to Chloé’s F/W 2021 collection: sustainability was her inspiration, her technique, her fabrics and even her volumes.

The Uruguayan-American designer claimed in the press release that Chloé’s F/W 2021 collection could be considered «four times more sustainable compared to last year,» and she explained that she got there by «eliminating virgin synthetic fiber (polyester) or artificial cellulosic fiber (viscose) and sourcing recycled, reused and organic denim,» adding that «more than 50% of the silk comes from organic agriculture and more than 80% of cashmere yarn for knitwear is recycled

This earthy point of view is also something Hearst is known for at her own eponymous brand. For me, I had to look at the collection many times until it has started to warm up to me. You have to understand it to like it as there is not something really excitingly new for the eye, but for your consciousness. I can see the DNA of both brands. However, it is missing this romantic, bohemian playfulness I have always loved at Chloé, even that Hearst only sent dresses down the digital runway.

Gabriela Hearst presented the last look herself.

My favorite item was the coat Gabriela wore for the finale of the show, along with the eco-leather dresses and the printed puffer coats. Hearst created them by repurposing from Chloé overstock spanning designers and eras, with Sheltersuit, a nonprofit organization providing aid to the homeless, which also collaborated on a series of backpacks. The marble prints on blouses and dresses had been created by the artist Peter Miles using seaweed and eggs.

The show was presented digitally last week on March 3rd, one hundred years to the day of founder Gaby Aghion’s birth. Both Gaby and Gabi, as is Hearst’s nickname too, are two strong fashion designers that interpret femininity in their own independent way and respective generations. It is surely a very viable wardrobe with lots of investment pieces to last for a very long time. As Hearst noted to Gaby in a statement, «your House is in good hands» – I would sign that! At least she made me start to re-think the state of fashion today.

LoL, Sandra

The rebirth of Chloé’s Edith bag by Gabriela Hearst.

Photos: © Chloé

Simone Rocha x H&M

Designer collaborations have had their time. Today, it is more trendy that two brands team up together, such as The North Face x Gucci, Jimmy Choo x Marine Serre and many more. However, H&M, the Swedish retailer, that made designer collaborations fashionable, is sticking to its concept, not as loud as before, but definitely something for the fashion-loving customer around the globe, as for the first time, the Simone Rocha universe is opened up and extended to everyone. Meet the London-based Irish designer and get a glimpse of what this year’s collaboration will bring.

Fashion Designer Simone Rocha

History and heritage. Details and fabrications. Family and community. The many facets of womanhood. For fashion designer Simone Rocha, born in Dublin in 1986, her work and collections are a tribute to what she holds dear. She began her career as part of the talent hub Fashion East, where her take on modern beauty won praise as she reclaimed ‘girlish’ elements — florals, embellishments, collars, pearls — in a nuanced manner. Since debuting at London Fashion Week in 2010, she has become internationally renowned for her intricate and meticulously-researched collections, always with a nod to her own heritage: Ireland and Hong Kong.

In creating the collection for H&M, Rocha spent time reflecting on and revisiting her brand’s archive, combing her past collections and carefully reworking beloved pieces into unexpected new designs that feel right for now.

«To be honest, it was really emotional going through all the pieces — it was a wonderful chance to reflect on seasons I was especially proud of, and to revisit collections that felt like milestones, and little gems of ideas that we maybe didn’t push as far as we wanted to the first-time round. The archive is so important to the way I work as a designer anyway. We are not a brand that abandons ideas each season — we often look back on past propositions or continue to evolve a silhouette, or shape,» says Rocha.

The Simone Rocha x H&M collection includes her signature womenswear alongside menswear and kidswear, marking the first time she has offered a wardrobe for the whole family. All the garments are designed to be in conversation with each other. So, what to expect from this year’s awaited collaboration? Delicate tulle dresses, tartan tailoring, beaded shirting, cable knits, outerwear such as trench coats and signature accessories like sparkling jewellery and pearl-embellished shoes. The entire range comes in Simone Rocha’s identifiable and poetic colour palette that mixes cream, pink, red and black. The majority of the Simone Rocha x HM women’s collection goes up to size EUR L=44/46 and UK L=16/18 and US XL=48/50.

«My approach at every stage of the design process was to remember that for some this would be an introduction to Simone Rocha, a chance to enjoy the brand for the first time, while for others this will be a chance to recall the history of a brand that they have followed for a while. Maybe they will be able to buy a version of a piece that they missed the first time, or a piece they always wanted but didn’t get. Through H&M, they will be able to access a new, timeless, special piece to mix in with their existing items from past runway collections. I really hope there is something for everyone — every woman, every guy, the whole family,» says Rocha.

Family is of utmost importance to Rocha, as well as her community of friends and collaborators. Therefore, the Simone Rocha x H&M story is brought to life by the people who surround and inspire her. To name a few: stylist, collaborator and close friend Robbie Spencer, model and friend Tess McMillan, sisters Adwoa and Kesewa Aboah, activist and artist — and acclaimed actress Daisy Edgar-Jones.

«Any time that I’m on set with Simone, or behind the scenes at a show, you just feel this certain warmth — there’s never any stress, and you can tell that she fills her work space with people who really inspire her in her everyday life, and that’s what brings this certain sense of community, and certain sense of ease. I always just feel so comfortable, because you are surrounded by people who are just really fun to be around. I have worked with her for four seasons now, and every time I’m just so excited to see everyone — to see the designers, the stylist, all the people who help me get dressed, it’s the same faces. It’s a really, really amazing community, truly. And I always look forward to laughing and catching up,» says McMillan.

The Simone Rocha x H&M collection launches 11 March.
I love the campaign… reminds me so much of a Jo Malone ad. To see me wearing Simone Rocha, have a look here.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © H&M

Meet Fashion Superstar Tomo Koizumi

Born in Japan in 1988, Tomo Koizumi‘s interest in fashion began from watching his fashion-loving mother in his childhood. His encounter with the book «John Galliano for Dior» in his early years was a very eye-opening event and made him decide to become a fashion designer. He has no formal fashion training and studied fine arts in his hometown Chiba, which is close to Tokyo, but has always had a passion for fashion, getting his hands on every fashion magazine he could.

It only felt natural, that he launched his own brand TOMO KOIZUMI successfully in 2011, after a boutique owner became interested and picked one of his dresses – which he created while he was a university student. He started as a stylist and costume artist assistant, before moving on to his next career step, becoming a costume designer. In February 2019, his very first runway show took place in New York with the support of the world-famous super-stylist Katie Grand, who discovered his works on Instagram, Marc Jacobs, and KCD Public Relations, Inc.

Koizumi came to show his rainbow fantasy gowns at her friend, and long-time collaborator, Marc Jacobs’ Madison Avenue store during New York Fashion Week for F/W 2019 and it became one of the most talked about shows of the seasons. Two of his pieces were also exhibited at the MET museum and the museum bought one of his works for its permanent collection. In April 2020, he was finalist and joint winner pf LVMH 2020 prize. Bright colors and bold silhouettes are the signature of his made-to-order collections and costumes, that international celebrities and artists love.

Thailand-based fashion editor and entrepreneur Nichapat Sop Hap wore one of Koizumi’s designs to the Met Gala in 2019.

Lady Gaga in Tomo Koizumi in 2016

You won’t find Tomo Koizumi’s voluminous pieces in stores. He is not interested in creating for retailers. Instead, he prefers to produce one of a kind creations. Star-studded clientele includes: Lady Gaga, who wore one of his designs on a visit to Tokyo in 2016, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus. Therefore you will be very excited to read about his collaboration with Emilio Pucci in my next post that is available now!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Tomo Koizumi and by WWD/Shutterstock

Leonard Paris Appoints Georg Lux

Leonard Paris is pleased to announce the arrival of Georg Lux, the Maison’s newly appointed Creative Director.

Graduated from the Modedesign school Lette-Verein of Berlin, Georg Lux joined Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, where he successfully achieved his studies. In 2011, he was appointed by Tara Jarmon who also entrusted him with the responsibility for her Bal Edition line and the illustration of her collection books.

Georg Lux

Georg Lux’s talent for sublimating the silhouette with elegance and femininity will be supported by the Leonard studio, with whom Georg will share a fresh vision of the House’s exceptional heritage. He will develop sustainable ready-to-wear collections in close collaboration with the best craftsmen, at a time when taking time is essential.

Leonard Paris is determined to offer the opportunity to a young generation of designers to share their design vision, whilst preserving the heart and essence of a well-established brand with solid values.

Leonard Paris S/S 2020 Campaign

«I am honored and delighted to be able to work with talented craftsmen with exceptional know-how. I am looking forward to continuing to carve the history of Leonard, inspired by its exceptional heritage,» comments Georg Lux.

Nathalie Tribouillard

«We are very pleased to work with Georg to continue to win over Leonard’s devotees across the globe. His work at Leonard comes at a turbulent time, but one that heralds an extremely demanding post-crisis period, full of hope for reinventing our French craftsmanship around digital technology and respect for our planet», comments Nathalie Tribouillard, Maison Leonard CEO.

Georg Lux’s first collection for Leonard Paris is Pre-Fall 2021, and his first presentation for the French Maison will take place during the upcoming Paris Fashion Week on March 5th 2021.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Leonard Paris

Rest in Peace Pierre Cardin

French couturier Pierre Cardin died at the age of 98 on December 29, 2020 in Paris. He became famous for his 1960s-era avant-garde and Space Age looks, pioneering fashion ready-to-wear and the fashion licensing system. He sold everything from cars, perfume to food with his name and maintained that he built his business empire without ever asking a bank for a loan. This made him rich but also diminished his brand’s reputation at the same time.

In 1995, quotes from WWD included «Pierre Cardin—he has sold his name for toilet paper. At what point do you lose your identity?». However, the Cardin name was still very profitable, although the indiscriminate licensing approach was considered a failure. All these things that we know today, Armani hotels, Cartier chocolate, Dior Vespas, Gucci sunglasses is based on the imagination of Cardin. He was a marketing genius and saw this endless merchandising potential at a very early stage.

A scandal: He presented his first ready-to-wear collection for women in 1959 at Printemps departments store in Paris.

Spanning a 60-year career, Cardin was the first designer to sell clothes collections in department stores in the late 1950s. «It’s all the same to me whether I am doing sleeves for dresses or table legs,» a telling quote on his website once read. His competitors criticized him for destroying the notion of luxury which didn’t affect Cardin at all.

Dior’s famous New Look success created by Christian Dior and Pierre Cardin.

Born Pietro Cardin on July 2, 1922 near Venice to French parents of Italian descent, he was educated in the not-so-glamorous French city of Saint Etienne. From an early age, he was interested in dressmaking, starting work at age 14 as an apprentice even though his father wanted him to become an architect. He moved to Paris in 1945, where he studied architecture and worked with the fashion houses of Paquin and Elsa Schiaparelli. A year later, he joined the then-unknown Christian Dior who rose to fame with his 1947 New Look collection.

The famous bubble dress in 1954.

In 1950, he founded his own fashion house and only four years later, he introduced the iconic «bubble dress», a short-skirted, bubble-shaped dress made by bias-cutting over a stiffened base. He was the first couturier to turn to Japan as a high fashion market when he travelled there in 1957. That same year, he was expelled from the Chambre Syndicale for launching a ready-to-wear collection for the Printemps department store as the first couturier in Paris to do as such, but was soon reinstated. In 1966, he resigned himself and began showing his collections in his own venue, the «Espace Cardin» (opened 1971) in Paris, formerly the «Théâtre des Ambassadeurs».

Pierre Cardin in 1970 in front of the Espace Cardin.

He also blazed a trail outside France long before other fashion multinationals in search of new markets. In 1979, he went to China to presented a collection when it was still largely closed to the outside world. And only two years after the Berlin Wall came down, in 1991, he staged a fashion show in Red Square in Moscow before 200,000 people, a first in Russian history.

In 1975, Cardin opened his first furniture boutique on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. His furniture designs were highly inspired by his fashion designs. In both 1977 and 1979, he was awarded the Cartier Golden Thimble by French haute couture for the most creative collection of the season.

In 1974 he became the first couturier to be on the Time magazine’s cover. He was 52 at that time.

In 1975, Cardin opened his first furniture boutique on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. His furniture designs were highly inspired by his fashion designs. In both 1977 and 1979, he was awarded the Cartier Golden Thimble by French haute couture for the most creative collection of the season.

Maxim’s restaurants are part of Cardin’s portfolio.

In 1981 Cardin bought Maxim’s restaurants in 1981 and soon opened branches in New York, London, and Beijing. A chain of Maxim’s Hotels (Palm Springs, California, 1986) were included in the assets. He also licensed a wide range of food products under that name.

Palais des Bulles

Like many other designers today, Cardin decided in 1994 to show his collection only to a small circle of selected clients and journalists. After a break of 15 years, he showed a new collection to a group of 150 journalists at his bubble home in Cannes, the so-called Palais des Bulles, woven into the cliffs on one of the most exclusive strips of the French riviera.

Pierre Cardin and Pierre Courtial in February 2020

For his latest venture in February this year he teamed up with Pierre Courtial, 27, who unveiled a collection at Cardin’s studio on Paris’s chic Rue Saint-Honore, with pieces that echoed some of the veteran designer’s geometrical aesthetics.

Pierre Cardin in 1950

«I’ve always tried to be different, to be myself,» Cardin told Reuters. «Whether people like it or not, that’s not what matters.» He also defended his zeal for licensing in an interview with the Wall Street Journal: «I don’t want to end up like Balenciaga and die without a nickel – then, 20 years after I’m dead, see others make a fortune from my name.»

Rest in Peace Pierre Cardin!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Pierre Cardin