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TT Vol. 38
FW21, LVMH Q4 and Jacob Collier
Clockwise from Top.
It was a busy week on the runway in Paris. Here’s a quick rundown of the FW21 couture and menswear shows.
Kim Jones presented his first Women’s Fendi collection, with Demi Moore in Look 1. It wasn’t the strongest, only had 19 looks, and was more of a celebrity showcase. Valentino, on the other hand, had 73 stellar looks with season defining colors. +1 to Pierpaolo Piccioli.
Meanwhile, Louis Vuitton & Virgil Abloh released a great Men’s collection (though with some cityscape styles that look like wearable pop up books.) Wales Bonner is continuing with Adidas. Y/Project is getting more wearable each season, and is working with Melissa on jelly princess shoes. Loewe showed some belted pants and triple sweaters. Dior Men’s created a Bogs boot (a huge fave of ours) for the runway; Dior Women’s was tarot inspired. The Row looked good as always.
The world’s biggest luxury conglomerate reported Q4 results this week. While overall 2020 sales were down by 17% compared to the prior year, in Q4 sales were only down 3%, showing that the company has almost returned to growth after a tumultuous year. Its fashion and leather goods division, which includes Louis Vuitton and Dior, saw huge growth in both Q3 and Q4 and was the top performing division over the course of the year. The strength in luxury fashion is from the Americas and Asia, which both saw healthy growth in Q4. Europe lagged Asia and the Americas in this area. A few brands were called out in the press release:
The Lady Dior bag has become a global icon, the women’s collections of Maria Grazia Chiuri and the men’s runway shows of Kim Jones were a huge success. The other fashion brands showed solid resilience during the year, notably Loewe with the creations of J. W. Anderson, Celine with the creations of Hedi Slimane, Fendi and Marc Jacobs.
It seems that Givenchy’s performance didn’t warrant a mention (yikes).
We’ve chronicled the problems the retail industry, particularly brick and mortar retailers. This contrarian piece by Elena Burger argues that the heralded e-commerce shift isn’t quite as meteoric as the headlines out there. Q4 data isn’t available yet, but Burger highlights that despite the ongoing pandemic, the Census Bureau’s Q3 e-commerce sales still represented only 16% of total retail sales: in other words, according to the data, in person shopping is still significantly more popular that online shopping.
It’s a really long piece that’s worth reading, if you are at all interested in these things. To us, this is her key insight:
Put another way, eCommerce might not be killing physical retail, it is killing the sprawl of physical retail.
Small and medium sized stores are closing while large big box stores are thriving. Customers like the convenience of Target’s BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store) and Costco’s absurdly wide aisles. We’ve long felt that there is room for small stores and brands to compete with national and international competitors; they just need a point of view, and to give a reason for customers to shop in person. With retail sprawl having peaked, simple proximity to customers isn’t enough. Your point of differentiation as a retailer can’t just be I’m closer my customers than competitors.
I still haven’t found a better place to keep up with sneaker news than Hypebeast (and some select instagram accounts); if you have anything better let us know in the comments! A few noteworthy styles hit the feeds this week: from top, STORY mfg. x Reebok, Nike x CDG Homme Plus (a Foamposite!), and new Pradas.
As is typical of CDG, this season’s Nike collab is quite out there, but we like it! Weird is good here. And we like the embroidered STORY mfg. Reebok Club C. This is actually a nicely executed embroidered sneaker (compare to the awful Adidas SUPEREARTH) and we’re still on board with the DIY stitching trend (Cressida Jamieson!). The Prada sneakers look like my old indoor soccer sneakers, but not in a good way. And pretty similar to the Balenciaga Zen.
This week, we’ve been listening Jacob Collier, the Londoner whose Stevie Wonder cover in 2013 went viral and attracted the attention of the music industry. The 26 year old’s album Djesse Vol. 3 (Spotify Link) (Apple Music Link) was recently nominated for a Best Album of the Year Grammy Award. His ultra harmonized version of Moon River is one of his more famous songs, that came together after texting 150 friends to sing the word “Moon” on any note in B-flat major:
They did, and he “made a great big wall of them”—a wall including Chris Martin, David Crosby, Merrill Garbus, Kimbra, Chris Thile, Steve Vai, Ty Dolla $ign, and “my mum”—“doused them in reverb.”
If you were at all into AG Cook hyper pop music we wrote about last year, check out Collier’s genre defying mash ups.
Chris & Raquel
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