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Thursday
Mar312016

FERRAGAMO FAREWELL FOR GIORNETTI

Massimiliano Giornetti - Former Creative Director of Salvatore Ferragamo - begins a new chapter as he leaves the brandLuxury fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo announced that the brands creative director, Massimiliano Giornetti is leaving.  In fact it seems Giornetti has already left the building as the Italian house said the collection shown two weeks ago in Milan would be his last.  Salvatore Ferragamo Fall 2016 - Slip dresses are a favorite silhouette of designer Massimiliano Giornetti.

Giornetti leaves Ferragamo with an incredible body of work behind him, as his runway designs were crucial in the brands repositioning itself from a global classic, to a true fashion runway collection.  While millions of women around the world have bought Ferragamo shoes for years, Giornetti's RTW designs saw the likes of Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Demi Moore, and other leading ladies of music and film looking sexy and modern as they accessorized with the brand.Ferragamo Resort 12 Collection - staged at the Louvre Museum in Paris  His strength was making you focus on the craftmanship and artisan details the house had mastered for decades with shoes and handbags, but blowing it up for the drama of the runway.  His Resort collection shows were "Ultra-Luxe" showcases of this craftmanship - taking place at equally luxurious locations like the famous Duke Mansion on New York's Upper East Side, and the Louvre Museum in Paris.

So as Ferragamo "the house" celebrated 100 years since founder Salvatore started making shoes by hand in Los Angeles last Fall, Giornetti was turning out press collections to catch the attention of editors and bloggers around the world.  Having worked with the company since 2000, Giornetti stands with a select few designers of his generation with a tenure as long, or significant with one luxury brand.  First serving as menswear designer, and then in 2011 taking the helm as Creative Director of the entire brand, Giornetti lived and breathed the Ferragamo ideal.   More than one editor remarked after his collection debut of Women's runway in 2011 - "Now that's what Ferragamo should look like". Ferragamo Resort 13 - The Red Carpet Collection staged at the Doris Duke mansion in NYC, a show that lit the spark for Ferragamo's new direction

This iconic house is in a strong position as it relies on the design teams to take the lead with Giornetti's departure.  This is not like Gucci finding it's way after Tom Ford left the company.  Ford had introduced RTW to Gucci, while Giornetti had given an existing collection a new direction.  It would be hard to think of another fashion house that was more stable, than this majority family owned, and family operated legacy brand.  With over 650 boutiques globally, the company has built an empire over decades that keeps Salvatore's design aesthetic constant.

What's next for Giornetti?  We shall all see.  With more than half a dozen major houses playing musical chairs, you never know until the music stops!  Who's next at Ferragamo?  Also interesting to wait and see.  Edgardo Osorio of Aquazzura fame?    As the fashion world turns...

Sunday
Feb072016

2016 Fashion - Designers offer Clean Slate of Black & White

CHRISTIAN DIOR SPRING 2016 - RAF SIMONS FINAL COLLECTION FOR THE FRENCH HOUSEThe mood coming from most sectors of the Fashion world at the start of 2016 has been cautious and careful to say the least.   After a year that saw sales end on a flat note, it seems the world of the well heeled has shifted much of their focus to interior design and all things home.  A GLOBAL LOOK FROM FIGUE - CLICK IMAGE TO SHOPDesigner fashion is still coveted, but somehow not as cool or relevant as that new stove or sofa.  It doesn't help that the dedicated fashion fans have been left feeling a bit leaderless as many creative directors (as they are so often titled now) are jumping ship or being walked off the gang plank at some of the biggest fashion houses.  Alber at Lanvin, Raf at Dior, with new rumors Phoebe will be out at Celine.   At the same time Nicolas at Louis Vuitton, Allesandro at Gucci, and Demna at Balenciaga are steering newly helmed ships themselves.  Not to mention the public Plug Pulling of Donna Karen's namesake line by LVMH.  It wasn't that shocking.. but still speaks volumes about the speculation of certain brands and POP of the bubbles built around a brand.  Of course, Donna's story is classic - it's challenging to run a company once it's sold to a conglomerate, when the designer is still living, and involved - even if she or he is their own worst enemy.  Mr. Valentino has created more than one PR snafu for the House of Valentino since he sold the brand - but just won't fade into the sunlight.

I've been working in the industry for over 20 years and I don't remember a time when so many designers have left and switched positions so often.   The bigger picture most will argue is that fast fashion has put the designer world on the ropes.   Pushed by deadlines and knock-offs for fractions of the price and beating the luxury houses on deliveries.   It is a race to the bottom to some extent and the truth is that some blame is on the luxury houses themselves for adding deliveries to compete with the likes of Zara and H&M.  Granted, it's hard to stick to your ideals when the world is screaming about profit margin - especially if you are a public company.  Why so many are public in the first place is another question.FERRAGAMO'S TRIBUTE TO THE SPLENDOR OF LIFE - SS16 - CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH THE CAMPAIGN

A wise writer once said about LA culture that "every 10 years the universe flushes the toilet" - I'm paraphrasing, but you get the point.   Let's hold our nose a bit longer and hopefully by the end of 2016, one big FLUSH will bring a crisper, brighter, and luxurious industry.

Spring 2016 has several big trends.  I'd be lying to only write about BLACK & WHITE as "the look" of the season, but it is interesting to see so many influential houses chose to have optic opposites share the runway with a kaleidoscope of color.  Typically the drama of black and white is saved for Fall - but this year.. maybe we all needed a palette cleanser to start with.  These pieces go with everything - so you really can't go wrong..  Click the images to visit these luxurious looks in their own environment.