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

Gabriela Hearst Is Chloé’s New Designer

Today, the House of Chloé has already announced its new designer after Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s exit was announced last week. It is no other than Uruguay-born, New York–based designer Gabriela Hearst, whose eponymous extremely successful label turned five this year.

Gabriela Hearst’s famous It-bags have been successful from the beginning.

While Ramsay-Levi’s designs were much appreciated by industry insiders, the brand’s heat with consumers, especially in terms of It-bags, cooled under her reign. That might be one of the reasons why Gabriela Hearst has been chosen. She is bringing a track record of success with handbags. Her iconic «Nina» style has been a huge hit from the beginning, followed by models such as «Patsy», «Diana» and «Demi». These bags are all highly sought after and trying to get them is almost impossible with extremely high waiting lists.

A true rancher by heart: Gabriela Hearst  

Gabriela Hearst grew up on her family’s 17,000-acre ranch, Santa Isabel in Paysandu, Uruguay, surrounded by horses, cattle and sheep, where the notion of luxury meant things were beautifully crafted and made to last. Her approach to «slow and conscious luxury», which is defined in her craft-forward aesthetic and focus on sustainability might be the other reason for being Chloé’s lead candidate.

Chloé’s new CEO Riccardo Bellini

CEO Riccardo Bellini, who joined from Martin Margiela in late 2019, who welcomed Hearst in a statement this morning. had already indicated in an interview with WWD last month, that Chloé was seeking B Corporation certification for its social and environmental performance and was creating an advisory board to hold the company accountable.

Hearst’s first runway show for F/W 2017 was produced to have as low as an environmental impact as possible, and from there her commitment to the issue has only grown. Now, she opts for eco-friendly fabrics and chooses to use recycled yarns whenever she can.

Power couple: Gabriela and Austin Hearst

Hearst’s lead investor is her husband, publishing heir Austin Hearst, whom she married in 2013. She opened her first store in New York in 2018, followed by another in London the following year, and made her Paris Fashion Week debut in September. In 2019, LVMH Luxury Ventures, an investment arm of LVMH, took a minority stake in Gabriela Hearst, making it the only American brand other than Marc Jacobs in which the global luxury conglomerate is invested.

My two favorite looks from the Gabriela Hearst F/W 2020 runway.

I am loving her cashmere knitted pieces. Incredibly soft and each piece has a tag where you can explore its garment journey. Stay tuned for many outfit posts coming up! Honestly speaking, I am truly looking forward to seeing her at the helmet although I liked Natacha’s designs a lot.

TO SHOP GABRIELA HEARST ONLINE, CLICK HERE PLEASE.
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Gabriela’s first collection for Chloé will be presented next March. All the best, I am sure it will be different and fabulous!

LoL Sandra

Wearing Gabriela Hearst dress and Nina bag

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht and © Gabriela Hearst
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Chloé’s Natacha Ramsay-Levi Steps Down

On December 2nd, I was invited by Net-à-Porter to join a live event hosted by Alison Loehnis, President of NET-A-PORTER and MR PORTER and Natacha Ramsay-Levi, Creative Director of Chloé to discuss the S/S 2021 collection. I was so keen on it and hoped to make it on time as the moving company was still unloading my boxes. However, all of a sudden I received a message in the morning of the 2nd that due to Natacha Ramsay-Levi being unwell, Net-à-Porter was regrettably cancelling the event with Chloé. Today, I found out why Natacha was not feeling well.

She is stepping down from her role at the Parisian luxury leather goods and apparel brand owned by Richemont after only 4 years. A new creative director was not named yet.

«Over the last months of health, social and economic turmoil, I have thought about the changes I want to see in our industry and how to better align them with my own creative, intellectual and emotional valuesMs. Ramsay-Levi said in her statement. «It is this reflection that makes me consider my future differently and desire to pursue new opportunities.»

Me wearing some of Natacha’s key looks for Chloé

Personally speaking, I truly liked Natacha’s vision, who worked as a key deputy of Nicolas Ghesquière during his time at Balenciaga and during his early seasons at Louis Vuitton, as it was a less commercial take on the house’s bohemian and very feminine codes. However, what had been driving the most sales at Chloé previously, were all the It-bags under previous designers like Clare Waight Keller and Hannah MacGibbon, that have been lacking recently. Even that the collections were broadly well received by fashion lovers, they were ultimately lacking in strong-selling items unfortunately. Sometimes, it drives me nuts that people don’t understand the greatness of some pieces and that they opt for mainstream.

TO SHOP THE CHLOÉ F/W 2020 COLLECTION, CLICK HERE PLEASE.icon

LoL, Sandra

Chloé F/W 2020 finale

Photos: © Chloé and © Sandra Bauknecht
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LVMH and Tiffany Find a Deal

Last Thursday, I had an interesting zoom event with BoF Professional LIVE about unpacking the LVMH-Tiffany saga. The largest acquisition in the history of the luxury goods sector had collapsed, setting up what could be the industry’s biggest M&A battle of all time. Experts to laid out what could happen next and they were pretty right. Robert Williams, Europe Correspondent BoF; Brian Quinn, Law Department Professor, Boston College; Oliver Chen, Managing Director & Senior Equity Research Analyst, Cowen and Company; and Lauren Sherman discussed all possibilities. Interesting to know is that LVMH is part of a group of investors who, together, hold a minority interest in BoF. However, all investors have signed shareholders’ documentation guaranteeing complete editorial independence.

Such an interesting talk last week at BoF

Coming back to the luxury deal of the century. Jewelry is still a fruitful space to look for. It makes sense that LVMH wants to expand in this sector. Tiffany, that has no family shareholders, which is another advantage, is strong in the bridal sector and in China, watches are about 3%. There a lot of strategic synergies between the companies. It was unlikely that LVMH wanted to go to court where you have to be very transparent about your business. It was more likely a strategic move to get a good price, something Bernard Arnault, who built his fortune on acquiring companies, appreciates. It was the first time he wanted to get out of a deal, which could have hurt his reputation as a savvy buyer.

Today, both parties announced that they have concluded an agreement modifying certain terms of their initial agreement (the «Merger Agreement») to reflect a purchase price of $131.50 in cash and to reduce closing conditionality. Other key terms of the Merger Agreement remain unchanged. Tiffany and LVMH have also agreed to settle their pending litigation in the Delaware Chancery Court. This ends weeks of corporate fighting and saves the French luxury conglomerate over $400 million on the original price of $16.2 billion agreed before the worldwide pandemic hit. The deal is now set to close early next year, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Roger N. Farah, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tiffany, commented. «We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with LVMH at an attractive price and to now be able to proceed with the merger. The Board concluded it was in the best interests of all of our stakeholders to achieve certainty of closing

Bernard Arnault, President and CEO of LVMH, commented: «This balanced agreement with Tiffany’s Board allows LVMH to work on the Tiffany acquisition with confidence and resume discussions with Tiffany’s management on the integration details. We are as convinced as ever of the formidable potential of the Tiffany brand and believe that LVMH is the right home for Tiffany and its employees during this exciting next chapter.»

Congrats to the newly weds!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of LVMH / Tiffany

Kenzo Takada Dead From Coronavirus

During Paris Fashion Week, the fashion industry has been mourning the loss of French-Japanese designer Kenzo Takada, who died yesterday at the age of 81 from complications from COVID-19 in a hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris.

«It is with immense sadness that KENZO has learned of the passing of our founder,» the fashion house said in a statement. «For half a century, Mr Takada has been an emblematic personality in the fashion industry — always infusing creativity and color into the world

KENZO S/S 2021 with designer Felipe Oliveira Beptista in the middle

It was only days ago that the Kenzo fashion house unveiled its bee-themed collection for S/S 2021. «His amazing energy, kindness and talent and smile were contagious,» said KENZO’s artistic director, Felipe Oliveira Beptista, who released the new range to us fashion editors. «His kindred spirit will live forever

The Kenzo F/W 1982 collection was a huge inspiration for the Kenzo x H&M collaboration.

Kenzo Takada brought Japanese fashion to the world, he planned to stay in Paris for six months but stayed 56 years. Born in 1939, he grew up with six siblings near the Japanese city of Himeji where his parents owned a hotel. His love for fashion developed at an early age, particularly through reading his sisters’ magazines. He studied at Tokyo’s Bunka College of Fashion, which had then just opened its doors to male students. After that he had a brief stint working in Japan before relocating to France in 1965.

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, tweeted that the city was «morning one of its sons,» saying the designer had given space to color and light in fashion.

KENZO collections from the ’80s and early ’90s

When I think of KENZO, I think of happy fashion with his colorful graphic and floral prints, jungle-infused designs and free-spirited aesthetic that channeled global travel. He was hugely popular, both for his high fashion and luxury day-to-day streetwear.

KENZO street style hype in 2012

The designer sold his brand to LVMH back in 1993 and stepped away from the brand 6 years later to pursue a career in art. «Kenzo Takada has, from the 1970s, infused into fashion a tone of poetic lightness and sweet freedom which inspired many designers after him,» said LVMH chief, Bernard Arnault.

«My work was always about freedom and harmony,» Kenzo Takada once said. «I’d like to be remembered as a designer who crossed boundaries.» Rest in Peace – you will surely be remembered like this!

LoL, Sandra

Sporting KENZO in 2016, click here for the outfit post.

Photos: © KENZO and © Sandra Bauknecht

A New Day at Prada in Milano

Last week, I spend a beautiful day with Prada in Milano during fashion week. The Italian fashion house treated me to many exciting moments. It was definitely the most anticipated show for S/S 2021. Miuccia Prada has teamed up with Raf Simons. Two exceptional talents working together to debut their first collection together meant for me, I was taking part in fashion history.

The show took place virtually in a yellow (one of Raf’s favorite colors) curtained backdrop one day before at the Fondazione Prada. TV screens were hanging from above, filming the whole thing and presenting the names of each model, all of whom had never walked a fashion show before. Everything new at Prada. Or probably not. After the show, Miuccia and Raf sat down to answer questions that fans submitted beforehand. Raf talked about the «Prada-ness», which is for him «a community that has a very specific attitude, intellect, aesthetic. You can’t really answer what it is, but it is, it exists, it’s present, it’s clearly there

Asked about the idea of newness in fashion, Raf Simons stated: «When you work for a long time in the industry, it is important that you are able to refresh your own body of work. I personally feel that the pure definition of new is something we have never seen before.» Miuccia jumped in: «It is nearly impossible. Our presence is done with our past. New, new, new means an incredible revolution, for instant the mini skirt when there was the women’s liberation. You just don’t wake up in the morning and design, you need to do something that makes sense and it comes from society. You have to react to reality and what is happening.»

My favorite 10 looks from the Prada S/S 2021 runway

When I watched the show in the live stream, I was not immediately blown away. Personally speaking, being a huge Prada fan since almost 30 years, many collections had to grown on me. Once you explore the details, the meaning, the hidden intellect, you have to fall in love. I loved this season’s idea to fully explore the collection with time in a private atmosphere in the show space itself. The music from the presentation was playing in the background and transformed me immediately in what I had seen the day before. 40 looks, building the new Prada uniform.

The new Prada S/S 2021 uniform: swinging skirts and hoodies in jersey

«The thing I have talked most about with Miuccia through all these months was uniforms. Not uniforms how as how we literally perceive them—not an army uniform, police uniform—but true metaphorical onesRaf stated after the show.
Miuccia, who has always been famous for her «Prada uniform», went on: «I think what we want to say about uniforms is that it’s interesting if you know that you can find something from which you know that you feel good in and you know that you express what you want to express without it being too much of a very specific fashion item in whatever moment in time. A uniform needs to also express something that is more timeless.»

Amazing details: Prada S/S 2021

For their collaboration, both designers referenced their past through the eyes of the other. «How Miuccia dresses is very often a kind of uniform one way or another, and that was direct inspiration for me for the show,» Simons said in the interview.

However, the show began with this sort of new Prada uniform, very inspired by Simons’ style. Long, narrow, ’90s-style pants combined with sleeveless tunics. All were combined with capes that were held by the models, a gesture that is reminiscent of Miuccia. Speaking of newness, the capes, or «clutch coats» as you may call them, felt so new, so modern to me, especially the way they were structured. I could picture myself wearing them for a night at the opera or throwing them over a bikini at the pool. Absolutely fabulous! Most importantly, the collaborators both love statement outerwear, and the oversized coats will surely be among the bestsellers.

The «ugly prints» of Prada’s era-defining S/S 1996 show appeared on hoodies and matching full skirts. This is definitely for me the new uniform, inspired by the current pandemic. When we want to be comfortable and stylish at once.

As Simons and Prada are both art lovers, they teamed up with Peter Potter to create artwork for the show.

The famous triangle logo appeared supersized, made from petal-folded fabric and imprinted with the logo. So breathtaking when you see it from close.


The pointy-toed slingback kitten heels in a contrasting color are back. Honestly, nobody does colour combinations better than Miuccia.

My favorite looks integrated holey turtlenecks that were used as layering pieces throughout so that the holes match each other. Combined with the swinging ’50s-style skirts, it will be my new Prada uniform.

The bags come with the new logo and are extremely light, nylon backpacks were presented as well. The mini-logo triangle earrings will also surely be spotted among influencers around the globe.

New era, new faces, new Prada. I was raving about the collection during lunch with Ignazio Gomez and Marco Pruneri at Torre restaurant inside the Fondazione Prada.

After that, I was driven to the PRADA Store in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II the to discover the «100 covers, 100 people, 100 stories» which is part of the September Issue of Vogue Italia. Inside the shop, there is an interactive wall, where you could explore this amazing project in detail. Never done before, the shoot that took place in only 4 days and involved 100 people for 100 covers: from models, actresses and actors, activists, Instagram stars, writers, artists and common people. Each one of them with a story to tell was photographed in a look from Prada’s F/W 2020 collection.

After that, we went to Pasticceria Marchesi next door, which is one of the oldest and most famous pastry shops in Milan, and that belongs to the Prada Group. In keeping with its history and tradition, the interior design is divine and already worth the visit, not to speak of all those yummy treats you can indulge in.

A beautiful day, exploring the new Prada, that I will always remember! Thank you!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Prada and © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Prada Love

I have been a Prada fan since almost 30 years. My first buy was a nylon bag, and over the decades many amazing pieces have landed in my closet. I have kept everything and love to mix and match them with new pieces. Here you see me last week at the Prada show space in Milan discovering the beautiful new S/S 2021 collection that I will tell you all about over the weekend.

I am wearing Prada pieces from different seasons. The dress for example is from Resort 2018. The bag was sported on the F/W 2005 runway and featured in the Hollywood movie «The Devil Wears Prada». I love how the outfit seems to be derived from one collection!

Left: A scene from «The Devil Wears Prada» movie, in which the bag was featured
Right: Meryl Streep photographed by Karl Lagerfeld for Elle France October 2006

My look: Green marabou feather coaticon, Cigaline contrast-panel pleated organza dressicon, frame handle spazzolato leather bag, and patent leather pumps with silver chain details, all by Prada, dangling crystal earringsicon by Miu Miu.

Please don’t forget, what I am always telling you. Keep your pieces, there will always be a time for them again… you never know, you might have invested into something that will become part of fashion history like my fab Prada bag …

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht
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Tiffany Files Lawsuit Against LVMH

In November 2019, luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE confirmed that it has reached a $16.2 billion deal to buy American jeweller Tiffany & Co. For the previous post, click here please.

Yesterday, after months of speculation, LVMH has called off its planned mega-merger with the American jeweler. The result? Tiffany sinks 11% and is now suing the French luxury conglomerate to keep the acquisition on track. The jewelry giant alleged LVMH sought to leverage US social justice protests and the coronavirus pandemic to «avoid paying the agreed price for Tiffany shares.»

LVMH explained that the deal’s contract set a November 24 deadline, and that requests from Tiffany and the French government to delay the deal led to its pulling out. In return, Tiffany accused LVMH of not doing its part to win approval of the deal from antitrust authorities.

Tiffany’s famous 5th Avenue store in New York City

More details can be found in LVMH’s press release from yesterday: «After a succession of events which undermine the acquisition of Tiffany & Co, the Board of LVMH met to review the situation relating to the contemplated investment in light of these recent developments.

The Board learned of a letter from the French European and Foreign Affairs Minister which, in reaction to the threat of taxes on French products by the US, directed the Group to defer the acquisition of Tiffany until after January 6th, 2021. Furthermore, the Board noted Tiffany & Co.’s requested to extend the «Outside Date» in the Merger Agreement from November 24th to December 31st, 2020.

As a results of these elements, and knowledge of the first legal analysis led by the advisors and the LVMH teams, the Board decided to comply with the Merger Agreement signed in November 2019 which provides, in any event for a closing deadline no later than November 24th, 2020 and officially records that, as it stands, the Group LVMH will therefore not be able to complete the acquisition of Tiffany & Co.»

Key figure: Roger N. Farah, Chairman of the Board Tiffany & Co.

In course of Tiffany & Co.’s lawsuit in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware against LVMH Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton SE and related entities («LVMH»), Roger N. Farah, Chairman of the Board, said, «We regret having to take this action but LVMH has left us no choice but to commence litigation to protect our company and our shareholders. Tiffany is confident it has complied with all of its obligations under the Merger Agreement and is committed to completing the transaction on the terms agreed to last year. Tiffany expects the same of LVMH

He stated further, «We believe that LVMH will seek to use any available means in an attempt to avoid closing the transaction on the agreed terms. But the simple facts are that there is no basis under French law for the Foreign Affairs Minister to order a company to breach a valid and binding agreement, and LVMH’s unilateral discussions with the French government without notifying or consulting with Tiffany and its counsel were a further breach of LVMH’s obligations under the Merger Agreement. ‎Moreover, this supposed official French effort to retaliate against the U.S. for proposed new tariffs has never been announced or discussed publicly; how could it possibly then be an effort to pressure the U.S. into revoking the tariffs? Furthermore, as we are not aware of any other French company receiving such a request, it is all the more clear that LVMH has unclean hands.»

Tiffany CEO Alessandra Bogliolo in 2018

Tiffany emphasized that its business remained strong, with sales in the last three months of 2020 expected to exceed the same period last year and that the COVID-19 pandemic has not prevented other parties from making antitrust filings on a timely schedule.

Chief Executive Officer Alessandro Bogliolo underlined, »The fundamental strength of Tiffany’s business is clear. The company has already returned to profitability after just one quarter of losses, and we expect our earnings in the fourth quarter of 2020 will actually exceed the same period in 2019

The famous movie scene: Audrey Hepburn in «Breakfast at Tiffany’s».

Tiffany is seeking to expedite the Delaware proceedings to obtain a ruling prior to November 24, 2020 ordering LVMH to comply with its obligations and complete the transaction on the agreed terms.

An unpleasant turnaround of what we thought would become a love story of the luxury industry. I am very curious to see the outcome. I mean if LVMH walks away completely, Kering or Richmond might jump on the deal and acquire Tiffany. Stay tuned!

LoL, Sandra

Funny composite from the NY Post
Photos: Tiffany & Co., LVMH, Getty

Kim Jones to Design Fendi’s Womenswear

Breaking news from LVMH this morning, Kim Jones will join Fendi as artistic director for womenswear collections. In his first substantive foray into womenswear, he will oversee haute couture, ready-to-wear and fur. The designer will continue in his role as artistic director at Dior Homme, another LVHM-owned Maison.

I loved Kim’s first Dior Homme campaign for S/S 2019: shot by the legendary Steven Meisel, models were posing in relaxed tailoring. 

Previously, Jones worked as menswear director at Louis Vuitton, before he moved to Dior’s menswear in 2018 where he invigorated the House by mixing sports and streetwear references with skillful luxury tailoring. Jones even reinterpreted some of the iconic pieces like the Bar Suit for men. Born in 1973 in Hammersmith, London, he is a graduate of Central St Martins College of Art and Design. He was raised in Kenya, where his father worked as a hydrogeologist. Throughout his childhood, he also traveled through Ecuador, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Botswana, and brought this wanderlust into his adult life. He claims to have visited Japan «around 70 or 80 times

Celebrity friend: David Beckham wore a Dior Homme suit designed by Kim Jones for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.

Jones knows the industry from all angles. As well a being a designer, he’s worked as a stylist and art director for Dazed & Confused, Arena Homme+, Pop, AnOther, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, 10 Men, V Man, i-D, Numéro Homme, and Fantastic Man.

While streetwear’s and activewear’s presence in the luxury fashion sphere might seem normal these days (especially during the recent pandemic), it hasn’t always been the case. However, Kim Jones was one of the first designers to preempt the merge.

Karl Lagerfeld with Silvia Venturini Fendi

With the death of Karl Lagerfeld last year, Fendi lost its designer of more than 54 years. This was the longest time ever, a designer had reigned at a fashion house. Silvia Venturini Fendi, who had stepped into Lagerfeld’s role in the interim, will return to focusing on accessories and menswear collections, Fendi’s statement said.

Punk meets couture: Dior Homme’s ad campaign for F/W 2019

«Kim Jones has continuously proven his ability to adapt to the codes and heritage of the LVMH houses while revisiting them with great modernity and audacity,» said Bernard Arnault, Chairman and CEO of LVMH, the luxury conglomerate that owns both brands.

According to Fendi, Jones will present his first ready-to-wear collection for the label in the F/W 2021 during Milan Fashion Week in February, that will hopefully take place.
Are you ready for the next level of FENDIMANIA?

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Fendi / Dior

The Story of Serge Lutens

The story of Serge Lutens is a very special one, emotional and deep. Loss can lead to extraordinary ways to cope with pain. For Serge Lutens it has created the foundation to become this extraordinary designer and true artist. A visionary of beauty in all its forms, he has led many revolutions in the world of beauty and perfume. For him, «perfume is illuminating, affirming, the ultimate final touch».

Building on his success, in 2000 he created his own brand, Serge Lutens. The brand reflects its authentic, bold creator who conceives his fragrances, designs his bottles and considers every detail of his creations without concession. To date, he has created around 70 perfumes in timeless collections: the Collection Noire, Exclusive Bottles, Section d’Or, Gratte-Ciel and more. His perfumes for men and for women reveal something of the wearer’s character and bring out their true identity.
He has also launched a makeup line bringing together beauty essentials, with an expert selection of cosmetics for a high-definition makeup finish.

Discover the story of Serge Lutens, a genius living in his own world.

LIVING AT A DISTANCE

Serge Lutens was born during the war, on March 14th, 1942 in Lille, in northern France. Separated from his mother when he was just weeks old, his personality was indelibly marked by this original abandonment. Permanently torn between two families, he lived life at a distance and through his imagination. He was a dreamer. At the École Montesquieu, they said he was «on the moon»: he paid no attention, although his teachers recognised that he was a gifted storyteller.

A STYLE IS BORN

In 1956, at the age of 14, he was given a job against his will – he would have preferred being an actor – in a beauty salon in his native city. Two years later, he had already established the feminine hallmarks that he would make his own: eye shadow, ethereally beautiful skin, short, plastered down hair. He also became known for the colour black, from which he never deviated. He confirmed his tastes and his choices with the female friends of his whom he photographed. He was 18 when he was called up to serve in the army during the Algerian War. He was remoulded. This was an important break that led him to make his decision: to leave Lille and head for Paris. This was 1962. Helped by a friend, Madeleine Levy, and bearing large prints of his photographs of his friends, Serge Lutens, experiencing his first years in Paris at a time of insecurity and want, contacted Vogue magazine. For him, this magazine represented the essence of beauty: a sort of convent that he mythologised. Three days later, he collaborated on the Christmas issue. The creator of a vision through make-up, jewellery and extraordinary objets, Serge Lutens quickly became the person to call, and the fashion magazines made no mistake: Elle, Jardin des Modes, Harper’s Bazaar were constantly after him: he worked with the greatest photographers of the time, all the while pursuing his own photographic work. During these years, his talent was fully acknowledged.

THE DIOR YEARS

In 1967, Christian Dior, who was preparing to launch its make-up line, called upon him. For the House of Dior he would create colours, style and images. Finally, his vision was unified through photography. In the early 1970s, the famous editor-in-chief of US Vogue, Diana Vreeland, was unstinting in her enthusiasm: «Serge Lutens, Revolution of Make-up!» His success was resounding. Serge Lutens became the symbol of the freedom created through make-up, for a whole new generation. In 1974, mirroring his taste for films and the legendary actresses in them, he made a short: «Les Stars.» During this period, he travelled widely, exploring Morocco and later Japan. These two countries, with their rich and yet so different cultures, came together in him and confirmed his way of seeing and feeling.

THE SHISEIDO YEARS

He recalled them some years later, in 1980, when he signed on with Shiseido for a collaboration that was to enable the Japanese cosmetics group, until then unknown on the international scene, to establish such a powerful visual identity that it became one of the world’s leading market players in the 1980s and ‘90s.

MARRAKECH, THE AWAKENING OF THE SENSES

Although this first perfume made its mark on the 1980s, it was the creation of «Féminité du bois» and the opening of the Palais Royal shop – with its dreamlike décor – in 1992 which stamped Serge Lutens’ first olfactory revolution on the perfume world. Deeply moved by his discovery of Morocco, more specifically Marrakech (where he bought an old house in the heart of the Medina in 1974), this was where Serge Lutens established his perfume business. Waxes, cedarwood, orange blossom…, Marrakech provided the inspiration for his first perfumes: Ambre sultan, Cuir mauresque, Chergui… Now well-established, at the time they wrote a whole new chapter in the history of essences. In 2000, Serge Lutens took the logical step of creating the brand which carries his name and embodies his uncompromising style. Perfumes, make-up… distributed through specialist retail channels and, for the select few, his own network of shops.

THE SERGE LUTENS FOUNDATION

In 2007, Serge Lutens received the «Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters» accolade and went on to receive many awards for his multifaceted talent, before he set up the Serge Lutens Foundation in 2014. Based in the house he purchased in 1974, in the historical heart of the Medina in Marrakech, this vast museum-like space of over 3,000 m2 is today a vibrant testimony to an artist who breaks norms and never rests on his laurels.

I had the chance to interview Serge Lutens in 2012. If you are interested, click here to read the post. It is absolutely worth it!

Stay tuned, I will also show you Serge Lutens’ newest perfume creations this week.
TO DISCOVER THE WORLD OF SERGE LUTENS ONLINE, CLICK HERE PLEASE.
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LoL, Sandra

Photos and information: Courtesy of Serge Lutens
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