Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hermes And Christophe Lemaire Part Ways After Four Years

HERMES's artistic director of womenswear, Christophe Lemaire, has left the house. The designer, who took the creative helm in 2010 following Jean Paul Gaultier's departure, will show his final collection for spring/summer 2015 during Paris Fashion Week in October.
"Working for Hermès has been a great pleasure: a profoundly enriching experience on both a human and professional level," Lemaire said today. "I am proud of what we have built together. My own label is growing in an important way and I now really want and need to dedicate myself to it fully."
Unlike the swift transition that followed Gaultier's departure (Lemaire was named simultaneously) the lack of any replacement is sure to lead to industry speculation. Whether an unknown but trusted member of the team or big-name designer will be installed remains to be seen, for now Hermès is simply wishing Lemaire well.
"I am very grateful to Christophe for the passion with which he has addressed and enriched the expression of our house in women's ready-to-wear," Axel Dumas, Hermès CEO, added. "Under his artistic direction the métier has renewed its aesthetic and produced very satisfactory financial results. I wish him the greatest success with his own label which is so close to his heart".

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Twilly's & Scarves Wrapped Around Handles: Tacky and Childish

This (not so) new trend is the ultimate in tacky.  Does anyone honestly think that Grace Kelly or Jane Birkin would ever wrap the handles of their bags? Not in your lifetime.
And what's with hanging all this childish garbage all over the bag? Since when do four year-old's own a $10,000 handbag? When did these bags become toys? Seems like a gimmick for Hermes (and other luxury goods companies) to sell wildly over-priced silliness.

(photos courtesy of the Purse Forum)

Monday, June 30, 2014

We can agree that by any measure of good, an Hermès bag is not good

It’s Never Been A Better Time To Create A Luxury Startup

As I’m based in Paris and work in the tech ecosystem, there is a lot of chatter about luxury brands and their future. Paris is still the city of outrageously beautiful goods and clothes from powerful brands. Luxury shops are still crowded with countless of tourists. Yet, when I talk with people around me, it has become much more trendy to find a new up and coming brand before anyone else that manufactures quality products — maybe it’s a sign that the hipster culture is becoming mainstream, maybe not. But it is certainly a sign that there is an opportunity for new luxury startups.
For example, Dymant is a French startup that works with luxury craftsmen to design, produce and sell limited edition objects to a demanding clientele. Late last year, its co-founder and CEO David Alexandre Klingbeil asked me a hypothetical question — “what do you give your wife when she already has three Hermès handbags?”
I still don’t have a good answer to this question, but I know for sure that buying a handbag that is clearly identified with its brand feels tacky to me — I don’t want to give a bag as a present that has the Louis Vuitton initials all over it.
"We can agree that by any measure of good, an Hermès bag is not good"
— Seth Godin
Knowing all this, I believe there are opportunities for luxury startups. These days, it has never been easier to start these startups. They can opt for a very lean manufacturing process to scale much more quickly than a traditional company who manufactures everything. They don’t need a big marketing team. For example, Everlane has managed to attract hundreds of thousands of customers in the U.S. in only a few years.
Everlane clothes and accessories are reasonably priced, but more importantly, they don’t scream Everlane. That’s probably why I find them much more attractive than traditional luxury goods.
I believe that, at a larger scale, that the authority of well-established brands is fading away — and it is especially true for brands who sell high-end products.
“If you look at Condé Nast, 10 years ago they were at the center of many conversations among the elite. Many people read The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Gourmet and more,” well-known marketing expert Seth Godin told me in a phone interview ahead of the Hackers on the Runway conference. “Today they could disappear and nobody would miss them. It only took a decade.”
But well-established luxury brands don’t really need to improve their products, it’s all about marketing. ” There is no question that, in a blind test, luxury goods are overpriced. That’s the definition of luxury goods. They are not better in terms of measurable engineering specs. They are better because they are scarce,” Godin said.
“We can agree that by any measure of good, an Hermès bag is not good. What is it then? It’s a badge, a way to say I’m in this group, I’m not in that group. The obvious option to me for existing brands is to take the tribal power they always had and amplify that,” he said.
But many will fail. Brands, like media companies or even tech startups, need to find an audience of passionate buyers, readers and users to stay relevant. These people will be the ambassadors of the brand. For example, you buy a Harley Davidson to be like other Harley Davidson owners.
Startups can take advantage of that and build their own tribes around their products. They can compete in no time against luxury giants like LVMH thanks to the Internet and ecommerce.
And we can even see that some startups are already doing this. Dymant’s branding has these intrinsic community values. Klingbeil compares Dymant’s luxury objects to a form of patrician luxury. Patricians held political power in ancient Rome. “They like elegant low-key luxury, the kind of luxury that shows that you have nothing to prove.”
In other words, Dymant is recreating a tribe like old luxury brands. And he doesn’t need a huge advertising budget to do so. That’s why it’s never been a better time to create a luxury startup.



Sunday, June 15, 2014

$10,000 Reward Offered for Information in Handbag Heist

There has been another high dollar handbag heist in West University Place. This time someone stole $125,000 worth of Hermes and Chanel bags.

The burglary happened Thursday night in the 2800 block of Tangley. No one was home when someone broke in through a second story window. They bypassed jewelry and other expensive items and went straight for the handbags. Among those stolen are Hermes Birkin bags.

Within 3 minutes of the alarm going off, West Univeristy police were there, but the thieves were already gone.

This is the second handbag theft in West University in just 6 months. In December, someone stole about $200,000 worth of Hermes bags from a home on Wroxton. Police were able to recover them and arrested Edward Bryant. Investigators believe he and another man came from Baltimore just to steal the bags. They are now looking into whether the two burglaries are connected.

In both break-ins, police believe the crooks targeted the victims based on their postings on social media. They encourage people to disable locator services when taking photographs and uploading them.

In the meantime, Crime Stoppers is offering an increased reward of $10,000 for information leading an arrest.


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Bag Man