THE TONING FLOWER MIST THAT'S HELPING TO CALM DOWN MAURA'S 'STRESSED OUT' SKIN

Fashion

Red Flower Ionizing Vita Flower Mist, $38, available at Red Flower.


I recently used this column as a place to write about the worst breakout of my adult life, and how I turned to a $12 oil for a solution. Once I let the preternatural Bio-Oil run its course, my skin did end up chilling out, but with an unfortunate caveat: I was left with a number of dark spots where the bumps once were. So, over the weekend, I got a facial, hoping that my esthetician could recommend some products or practices to make those pesky splotches disappear. 

What she told me was not entirely surprising: My skin was "stressed out" beyond belief, and all those homemade remedies I was whipping up last month only heightened its anxiety. Lol, oops. I was instructed to stock up on all-natural products, drink a crap-ton of water and do some yoga or something. In that spirit, I decided to try out Red Flower's Ionizing Vita Flower Mist, which touts concentrated plant water and whole essential oils to balance such stressed skin as my own. It sprays on in a fine layer and smells delicious — and when you check out the ingredients, it's no surprise why. (We're talking lavender flower water, grapefruit seed extract and pink grapefruit oil, among others.) I've only been using it for a few days, so here's hoping it has as dramatic an effect as the Bio-Oil did. I'll see you back here next month for an update.

Red Flower Ionizing Vita Flower Mist, $38, available at Red Flower.


Tag: CHANEL PATENT Artsy

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Adriana Lima bei den Billboard Latin Music Awards

Fashion

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Wer Adriana Lima zu einem Event einlädt, kann sicher sein, dass das brasilianische Model auf dem roten Teppich ein wahrer Eyecatcher ist. Bei den Billboard Latin Music Awards in Miami machte der Victoria's Secret Engel am Donnerstag seinem Ruf alle Ehre und zeigte sich in einem verführerischen, schwarzen Kleid von Alexandre Vauthier. Der bodenlange Dress mit langen Ärmeln beeindruckte mit einen asymmetrischen Cut-out an der Taille und einem hüfthohen Beinschlitz. Dazu ließ Adriana Lima ihre dunklen Locken offen über einer Schulter fallen und betonte ihren Hals mit einem funkelnden Choker. Schwarze Sandalen mit Pfennigabsatz rundeten das aufregende Outfit ab.

Die 34-Jährige besuchte die Preisverleihung nicht nur als Gast – sie übernahm bei den Billboard Latin Music Awards 2016 auch die Rolle einer Laudatorin und überreichte den Preis für das Latin Pop Album des Jahres an Juan Gabriel für sein Album "Los Dúo".

Bevor sich Adriana Lima für das Event im Bank United Center in Miami ganz in Schwarz hüllte, stellte der Victoria's Secret Engel noch einen neuen Duft des Dessouslabels vor. Bei der Präsentation des Parfüms mit dem Namen "Bombshell" zeigte sich die Brasilianerin in einem weißen Minidress mit V-Ausschnitt und XL-Ärmeln. Dazu trug sie schwarze Stilettos und frisierte ihre Lockenpracht wie für die spätere Preisverleihung über die linke Schulter.


Tag: SURPRISE KATE SPADE

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From ruffles to voluminous sleeves, why we’re obsessed with the feminine trend this season

Fashion



Romanticism is a catch-all term applied to so many different ideas you almost start to question what it actually means. As in, when you hear the word “romantic,” do you think of a feeling, an artistic movement, an aesthetic, an attitude? All qualify, yet most people wouldn’t immediately associate the sweeping landscape paintings from 19th-century Germany with the swooning love songs of Ella Fitzgerald. Somehow, though, fashion has settled on its own idea of romanticism, which seems to have reached a crescendo this spring, longingly leaving its mark on such diverse collections as Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini,Proenza Schouler, Erdem, Gucci, Rodarte and Oscar de la Renta. Who would have guessed a widespread preoccupation with Victorian details—varying amounts of ruffles, lace, broderie anglaise, eyelets and filmy organza—could produce such modern feminine mystique? GrantedJunya Watanabe, Rei Kawakubo and Alexander McQueen began tapping into a darker shade of romance many moons ago without caring whether it had legs as a trend. In their imaginations, ruffled hems, frilled collars and period references played into a certain conceptual approach of projecting inner thoughts as an outward, unhinged expression.

The difference today: wearability. For every one of Erdem’s ruffled yokes and lantern sleeves, there were intentionally exposed shoulders or sleek side-waist cut-outs. Rodarte’s lace dresses dripped with surface detail but were short and swingy enough to chase down a toddler. Veronique Branquinho’s floor-grazing tasselled dresses topped with tailored, overstitched blazers seemed intended for an adult fairy tale starring an art dealer. The standout look from Lorenzo Serafini’s collection paired a cropped eyelet blouse trimmed in frills with low-slung, Y-strapped overalls—all in white. It felt as if he’d overlaid throwback Victoriana with Backstreet Boys on the type of ingenue photographed by David Hamilton (whose work the designer cited as a reference). “They all represent immortal elements of a female wardrobe,” says Serafini of the bygone stylistic details that have become a veritable signature since he presented his first collection for Philosophy last year. “But, of course, today the proportions are completely updated so that they correspond with the needs of real life.”

A self-described “incurable romantic,” the designer’s vision has been met with an overwhelmingly positive response from editors and buyers alike, which he attributes, in part, to the fact that this aesthetic is both “easily understood” and true to himself. “We are more attracted to fashion that has a previous story, a previous life,” says Serafini. “It’s assuring now.” Tapping into fashion’s collective memory as opposed to proposing something radical need not feel steeped in nostalgia. Consider the comment made by Rodarte’s Kate Mulleavy to Voguefollowing the label’s runway show last September: “Sometimes I feel like it’s futuristic to go into the past.” Designer Sharon Wauchobexplains she was only tempted to explore a distinctly feminine message upon realizing that she had resisted it for so long. So without abandoning her impeccably tailored trousers, she has gradually become one of the industry’s experts in lace, with her spring collection showcasing her most romantic offering to date. “The mood changer is about being relaxed, which I think is so important—relaxed and romantic, hand-in-hand,” says Wauchob. “It’s not a big ballgown; it’s an intimate conversation with a woman.” It’s worth noting the romantic references that resonate most stand apart from dreamy, frothy princess fare. While the fabrics might be delicate and the silhouettes appear dramatic, the strongest statements are far from precious.

For Veronique Branquinho, “twisted romance” and a sense of mystery has long been at the heart of her creative process. Ironically, the Belgian designer arrived at her “foregone heroines” as a reaction to the heroin chic trend of the mid-’90s, which was all the rage when she graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, in Antwerp. Her goal is that the designs reflect real-life concerns, within the wardrobe and beyond. “The idea is of active women in control of their lives; they’re active and mobile,” she says. “Fashion has always been a sign of the times, and the world is quite tough at the moment. We’re overwhelmed with negative news.”

With these three designers as a gauge, it’s fair to suggest that our collective feeling of unease has heightened—rather than defined—this neo-romantic movement. In other words, it’s not a fleeting love affair, but rather something that will carry on and evolve through collections going forward. “Maybe it’s escapism,” says Serafini. “It’s absurd to generalize life with fashion—and I can’t say a dress can save the world. But at least it can be a little effort to see things differently.”


Tag: CROSSING Virevolte PADLOCK

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Karlie Kloss auf TIME 100 Gala in New York

Fashion

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Ein seltener Anblick bot sich Fans von Karlie Kloss am Dienstag in New York. Zur Gala des TIME Magazins kam das Topmodel in Begleitung seines Freundes Joshua Kushner. Gemeinsam feierten sie, dass die 23-Jährige laut dem Magazin zu den 100 einflussreichsten Personen 2016 zählt.

Für die Gala im Lincoln Center in New York wählte Karlie Kloss ein Spaghettiträgerkleid vonVictoria Beckham, das vor allem durch seine schlichte Eleganz bestach. Der bodenlange Dress war eine Hommage an den kürzlich verstorbenen Sänger Prince, wie die blonde Schönheit dem "People"-Magazin verriet. "Prince zu Ehren trage ich Lila", erklärte sie und fügte hinzu, dass "Purple Rain" ihr Lieblingssong des Interpreten sei. Zu den klaren Formen des Designerkleides trug Karlie Kloss ihre Haare in einem schlichten Knoten und dezenten Schmuck von Maison Dauphin Jewelry. Dunkle Sandalen, eine schwarze kleine Clutch und rote Lippen rundeten das Outfit ab. Der 23 Jahre alte Unternehmer Joshua Kushner, der seit über drei Jahren mit dem Model liiert ist, es aber nur selten bei offiziellen Events begleitet, zeigte sich im schwarzen Anzug mit weißem Hemd und schwarzer Krawatte. Er war sichtlich stolz, dass seine schöne Freundin zu den 100 einflussreichsten Menschen 2016 des TIME Magazins zählt. In der Kategorie "Ikonen" wird das Model neben Stars wie Adele und Leonardo DiCaprio gelistet.

TIME begründet seine Wahl für Karlie Kloss damit, dass die US-Amerikanerin nicht nur als Model, sondern auch als Unternehmerin im Rampenlicht steht, ihre Prominenz für wohltätige Zwecke einsetzt, studiert und sich ständig weiterentwickelt, ohne sich dabei je selbst aus den Augen zu verlieren. In einer Lobesrede für TIME schreibt Diane von Furstenberg unter anderem über sie: "Als Model, Geschäftsfrau, junge Philanthropin und Social-Media-Macht, verbindet sie sich nicht nur mit ihrer Generation, sie führt sie an und inspiriert junge Frauen auf der ganzen Welt dazu, die Frauen zu werden, die sie sein wollen, so wie sie es so wunderbar getan hat."

Tag: Balenciaga VENETA MONACO

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RACHEL ROY ADDRESSES 'BECKY' RUMORS, DAKOTA JOHNSON COVERS 'INTERVIEW'

Fashion

Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty  Images for A + E Networks. 

These are the stories making headlines in fashion this Tuesday.

Rachel Roy addresses those "Lemonade" rumors
Rachel Roy, speculated to be the "Becky with the good hair" Beyoncé calls out on "Lemonade," has finally addressed those rumors. "My Instagram post was meant to be fun and lighthearted, it was misunderstood as something other than that," said Roy. "There is no validity to the idea that the song references me personally. There is no truth to the rumors." She then continued: "I would hope that the media sees the real issue here — the issue of cyber bullying — and how it should not be tolerated by anyone." {People}

Dakota Johnson graces the cover of Interview
In Interview's May cover story, Dakota Johnson, talks about having famous parents, the downsides of her swift ascent to stardom, and, of course, shooting sex scenes. Said Johnson: "I've been simulating sex for seven hours straight right now, and I'm over it." Seven hours, guys. {Interview}

Gigi Hadid visits Disneyland on her birthday tour
How do you close out your birthday weekend if you're Gigi Hadid? You go to Disneyland, of course. The 21-year-old, who flew to Coachella on a private jet with her friend Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris on Saturday evening, took to Snapchat to share a cute photo of herself with Mickey Mouse. Happy b-day, G! {Ok!}

MaxMara launches Whitney Bag Anniversary Edition
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the new Whitney Museum of Art, MaxMara will launch the Whitney Bag Anniversary Edition, inspired by founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. MaxMara, which threw the official opening party last year, will also host a dinner and preview of "Human Interest: Portraits of the Whitney's Collection" at the museum on April 26. {WWD}

Grimes stars in a new Stella McCartney short
In a new video for Stella McCartney's fragrance, Pop, Canadian singer Grimes talks about the importance of friendship and the reason why she is particularly fond of the British designer. "Sustainability in fashion stuff is something I really care about, and that's one of the reasons why I like Stella so much." {BillBoard}

Judge rejects Chanel employees' bid for class action lawsuit
Chanel's shipping department employees sought certification for a nationwide class action lawsuit back in December, which a California judge rejected for failing to present wage violations at other Chanel locations  — meaning, other employees will have to file their own individual lawsuits if interested. In the lawsuit, employees Cristian Luna, Anthony Hernandez and Javier Delgado claimed that Chanel failed to pay them for overtime work. {The Fashion Law}

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BoF Exclusive | Francesca Bellettini on Saint Laurent in the Post-Hedi Slimane Era

Fashion

In her first ever in-depth interview, Yves Saint Laurent chief executive Francesca Bellettini speaks exclusively to BoF’s Imran Amed on maintaining the brand’s momentum in the post-Hedi Slimane era.

Yves Saint Laurent chief executive Francesca Bellettini | Source: Courtesy

PARIS, France — For chief executive Francesca Bellettini, the key to managing a business like Yves Saint Laurent — easily the fastest growing major luxury fashion brand in recent years — is balance. Indeed, the brand’s revenue is fairly evenly spread across product categories, nationalities, geographies and channels.

The strategy is clearly paying off. Last Thursday, the brand once again reported double-digit revenue growth. In the first quarter of 2016, sales at YSL were up 26.5 percent year on year on a constant exchange basis, hitting 269.3 million euros and making it the star performer in parent company Kering’s luxury portfolio. But as Bellettini knows well from her time at fellow billion-euro brand Bottega Veneta, which is now struggling to maintain momentum (over the same period, Bottega Veneta revenues contracted by 8.3 percent), it can be difficult to sustain rapid growth once a brand reaches this scale.

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What’s more, Yves Saint Laurentrecently lost Hedi Slimane, its star designer who spearheaded a complete overhaul of the brand when he joined in 2012 as the company’s creative and image director, helping to turn Saint Laurent into a commercial juggernaut with an aesthetic revamp and a product strategy focused on creating perennial icons, including its best-selling leather jackets and jodhpur boots.

While Bellettini declined to discuss the reasons for Slimane’s departure, it is understood that the company failed to agree new terms to renew Slimane's contract, which expired at the end of March and, earlier this month, Yves Saint Laurent appointed Anthony Vaccarello as the brand’s new creative director. (Previously, Vaccarello was the creative director of Versace’s Versus brand, as well as the designer of his own namesake womenswear collection, but going forward, the designer will focus solely on Saint Laurent.)

What you can expect from now is an evolution. The brand is established, the codes are established and the DNA is understood.

Some industry observers have wondered whether Vaccarello, a relative newcomer to the top table of luxury megabrands, will be able to fill the enormous shoes left empty by Slimane. Others believe the departing designer has left behind such a strong template in terms of branding, product strategy and retail concept that the business is well positioned for the foreseeable future. (This has certainly been the case at Dior Homme, another brand revolutionised by Slimane, which is still performing well under the direction of his former assistant, Kris van Assche, who has adhered fairly closely to the formula put in place by Slimane.)

BoF’s Imran Amed sat down with Francesca Bellettini to learn more about the strategy behind Saint Laurent’s success and how the company plans to maintain momentum in the post-Hedi Slimane era.

BoF: You’re a great proponent of balanced growth. Why is this such an important part of your business approach?

FB: Saint Laurent is never too skewed vis-à-vis anything — vis-à-vis a product category, vis-à-vis a channel — because we really believe in balance. It’s part of the DNA of the brand. We are a French couture house. We are the only French couture house to be relevant in both men’s and womenswear. Since the start, Monsieur Saint Laurent found nothing extraordinary in seeing a man and a woman wearing the same clothes. In the end, it’s not the same clothes, but just to say that both genders are equally important.

There are not that many brands that have such a balance in their DNA . I think the solidity of the business and that, in addition to a growth in revenues, we are now also posting growth in profitability, is due to the fact that we really stay focused on balance.

BoF: How does this balance manifest itself in practice?

FB: It is important to look at the figures by geography, but it’s even more important to look at sales by nationality. Today we have 143 stores, quite well distributed by geography. What makes me particularly proud is that we also have a balanced business by nationality. Just over 15 percent of our clients are European, about 20 percent are Chinese, 20 percent are Asian, almost 15 percent are Japanese, 17 percent are American, and the rest come from all over the world.

So it’s not only that the business is proportionate and balanced by geography, but also, the people who spend in our store — either in their local market or abroad — are quite balanced. In these [past] years, business with local clients has been the real focus. If you are appealing as a brand to the client in the local market, then they will also shop the brand abroad.

For us in the industry, when you see a product season after season it becomes something that you have already seen. But this is the way to build icons.

The way clients approach a brand is very different when they are at home, [compared] to when they are travelling. Sometimes they are also different clients. We have the typical opportunistic shoppers that speculate on exchange rates and on strength, but when you are relevant for clients in their market, then they recognise you both in their market and when they travel. This is why, when you have a focus on your local clientele and the business with the locals, which then transforms to business with tourists when they travel.

We are also quite balanced in terms of business by channel. Our revenues are split about 65 percent retail, 30 percent wholesale and another 5 percent comes from royalties. We are not a brand that aspires to be 100 percent retail and direct, because I believe that wholesale channels, when managed [properly], are incredibly healthy. Moreover, a lot of local clients have very solid relationships with key wholesalers in their markets, and it’s totally fine by me that they prefer to shop at their premises, as long as we establish a very good relationship with those partners and we’re able to offer a Saint Laurent experience together with them.

BoF: Even with a balanced approach, retail has been a key driver of growth. How are you thinking about future retail openings in a challenging macro environment?

FB: From February 2016, we are now [turning] over more than 1 billion euros on a 12-month rolling basis. Usually, when you have brands of this size, their retail network is about 200 stores worldwide. If you look at Saint Laurent, we have 143 stores. This tells you a lot about how we approach the channel. Our first goal for our stores is that they are profitable. I cannot go to Mr Pinault [chairman and chief executive of Kering] and ask for [capital expenditure] if I cannot show that the stores I have are profitable.

Since 2011, we have added about 20 stores per year in order to have a flagship in every capital city of the world. We closed the stores that were not performing and opened new ones that were better located or a better size.

Going forward, our strategy is not to have 50 or 100 stores in China, but clearly over the next few years we could go from 15 stores to about 25 stores, when the right opportunities come up, as well as continuing to open stores in Japan where we only have 25 stores and only one flagship. We have, in the plans, the opening of a second flagship in Tokyo.

So again, step by step, making sure that whenever we approach a city or a new market, we don’t go with any decision pre-taken, but we approach it with a very open mind — a strategic mind — looking at what makes sense. Where? Which location? How big? This quarter, we opened our first store in an airport in Singapore. Doing travel retail, approached either on a wholesale or a retail basis, is also an incredible opportunity.

When you look at all that, I feel very confident [about] the future, because no matter what is happening in terms of the macroeconomic environment, there are still a lot of opportunities that even on a local basis can be organically grabbed.

BoF: It strikes me that merchandising — a really product-focused approach — has been another one of the pillars of the success of Saint Laurent. Some editors may have found it a bit boring, but the buyers were very excited about it. Can you speak to that strategy?

FB: You might call it merchandising, but in reality it’s knowing your industry. For every luxury brand, about 70 percent of the clients are new every year, because we are in an aspirational business.

Of course, for us in the industry, when you see a product season after season it becomes something that you have already seen. But this is the way to build icons. A product that you repeat in the collections, that has contact with your DNA, that has been part of your history — it's this kind of product that clients recognise as more successful within your collection. There has to be an understanding from all the functions in the company of what you’re talking about, starting from the creative function, the merchandising function, the production — everybody.

What I think we have been able to do in the past four years is, again, to create a balanced portfolio. A strong ready-to-wear collection that is half women’s, half men’s, representing 25 percent of total revenues. You hear some people saying that our consumers approached brands starting from a wallet. It’s not true for Saint Laurent.

In the past, we have had a very successful shoe collection (now about 15 percent of revenues) and a very successful leather goods collection (now representing 50 percent of revenues), but nowadays I see that the consumer approaches Saint Laurent from every product category depending on what they want. Why? Because in each and every one of them, we offer a balanced collection, from entry level to higher price points, and from different occasions and views. You need to take a position sometimes and you also need to give consumers things they don’t even know that they want.

At the end of the day, what makes a product successful is that people decide they want to buy it. And, if you think that 70 percent of clients are new every year, it takes time before everybody has understood that this is a good product for your brand. You need to be careful of not entering into this stress and anxiety of having to change and having to do everything new, every season, because half of the people haven’t even had the time to look at it and to experience it. It’s a cascade. First it’s for the people of the industry and then it’s for the people that look at the industry. For me, this is a balance between creativity, merchandising and business.

Mr Saint Laurent himself said in the 1970s, “Why should we change a product when it’s already perfect?” So, those people who were criticising the fact that some of our products were recurring and that we had a permanent collection probably didn’t remember that it was actually part of the DNA of the brand.

BoF: That brings me to what is a time of great change at Saint Laurent, with the recent departure of Hedi Slimane and the arrival of Anthony Vaccarello. Why is this change happening now and what we can expect under Mr Vaccarello?

FB: Well, Anthony will shortly speak for himself with his first collection and I think that will be the number one, biggest response.

What has been done by the company with Hedi since 2012 was to bring back into the brand a sense of modernity, content, that youth spirit, bringing clarity to the brand strategy and the brand DNA, to be relevant for today. This is why the acceleration has been so big.

It’s the same thing that was done in 1966. The brand was born in 1961 and then in 1966, Mr Saint Laurent created the pret-à-porter collection with Saint Laurent Rive Gauche to dress the street.

If you look at the panorama of our industry after the crisis of 2009, a lot of brands started to talk about content, artisanal content and our industry. I don’t want to say it became a little bit boring, but sometimes it became a little bit heavy. I mean, you had to think before buying a luxury product. I think the biggest success of what was done at Saint Laurent was to bring back a little bit of coolness, easiness, freshness — not only to Saint Laurent, but to the whole industry. It also gave courage for other brands to not only talk about the content of product, which in my view is something that people should get for granted when shopping for luxury, but to bring back the fun, the product that you want to wear everyday, the product that makes you happy, that makes you look younger, that makes you look happier and more successful.

So, what you can expect from now on is an evolution. The brand is established, the codes are very well established, and the brand DNA is finally understood.

BoF: There have been some questions about the new branding brought in by Hedi Slimane, however, and its future under Vaccarrello. Will that continue going forward?

FB: This rebranding was done to bring clarity to the brand, not for disrespect or an irreverent approach. It was done because Yves Saint Laurent is the name of our founder and our maison is called Maison Yves Saint Laurent. That has always been and will always be.

In 1966, when the prêt-a-porter collection was launched, there was also the haute couture, so Mr Saint Laurent decided to launch it under a different brand name that was Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. Nowadays (and also in 2012), we don’t dohaute couture, so we rebranded our prêt-a-porter with Saint Laurent Paris, using Paris and not Rive Gauche, because Paris is a much more international concept nowadays.

This had to be done, because I think consumers were a little bit confused. The brand went across many periods, the brand had tons of licenses that had nothing to do with what we were doing. Now that is all cleared.

So all of this is set, the house is now well established, the codes are well established, But we are fashion and we need an evolution. The brand will evolve under the creative direction of Anthony, who, like every creative director will be free to express his own creativity and the language of the brand in his own way, while always respecting the DNA of the maison.

BoF: Can we also expect the permanent collection, developed under Hedi Slimane, to continue going forward?

FB: Even today, what you call the permanent collection is something that has been evolving season after season. Remember that when you talk about permanent products, it’s really never exactly the same thing, because it’s something that evolves.

If you look, some products in our collections are products that existed before Hedi Slimane. So even with the arrival of Hedi Slimane, this product didn’t change. They evolved, they are part of the universe, they remained part of the collection, they still represent a good portion of our sales and we keep them because they make sense. So I can tell you that everything that makes sense will be kept, evolving together with the brand.

Evolution happens without people realising it and then, when you look back four or five years, you see how much has changed. Even if you look at store concept for example and the first store that we opened and the last store that we opened — of course overall they are the same, but in reality, if you had a very careful eye, there has been a super strong evolution in the colours, in the materials, in what we did.

So this is why, from now on, with the brand clearer than before thanks to all the cleaning that has been done, the job Anthony will have to do is a stronger evolution with creative content. What is very important is that every product speaks to the brand, to the DNA of the brand — it has to have that edge that is a combination of couture content and modernity.

BoF: Another thing that has been confusing for some people is what to make of the last collection of Hedi Slimane, shown in what felt like a couture context. What was that collection and how did it fit in to the strategy of the business?

FB: It was the last collection of Hedi, and after what we did in Los Angeles in the Palladium, we felt it didn’t make sense to do another big show in Paris and we felt that an intimate approach was more appropriate. It was not an haute couturecollection — it’s a prêt-a-porter Saint Laurent Paris collection. We simply decided to leave the big stage in LA where, for the first time, we showed men’s and women’s together. We called women’s collection ‘Part 1’.

In fact, this collection is called ‘Women’s Part 2,’ and it was a way not to overshadow what was done in LA, but still to give a last relevant message to the house. So it’s absolutely not an haute couture collection, we don’t do haute couture. We thought that doing it in our premises in Paris was the easiest way to make it coexist with the big show in LA. Another show at Le Carreau du Temple would have been a little bit confusing.

BoF: Looking ahead, as you oversee this quite astounding growth trajectory, what do you think is the biggest challenge facing Yves Saint Laurent in the context of a market that’s shifting, where people are changing their show schedules, people are combining men’s and women’s collection, and people are talking about delivering the product immediately?

FB: The biggest challenge for all of us is to lose a little bit of focus and to go too much behind the trends, instead of thinking about what is relevant the brand. I appreciate and stand behind each and everybody’s strategy, as long as it is consistent with what you want to do. There is no dogma, there is no right or wrong. What is important is to make sure that you know what is right for the brand and you listen to your consumer, but at the same time you are also able to drive your consumer to what you think is right.

I think that in a context like this one, where there is a lot of uncertainty, we are performing very well in every market and every product category, but we see what is going on. And one of the reasons why Saint Laurent is performing so well is also because we are catching up — because in reality today we have achieved a size and a profitability that is right for our brand awareness and our brand name, so when you’re catching up, you go faster at the beginning.

So now that we are a big brand, to continue to grow requires a lot of focus and a lot of attention on the principle and on the organic business. The challenge we face the most is not to take an opportunistic approach, not to ride any wave that seems appropriate simply for opportunistic revenue growth.

Being able to partner with the right people and being able to attract the right talent in the brand — for me, this is also a big challenge we’re facing. When you talk about service, nowadays recruiting talent is, I think, the biggest challenge that each of us has. It’s difficult not only to attract them, but to retain them. What would make every brand and every group more successful is if you’re able to keep the talent that you have.

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