Versace Sticks With What Works; Two More Labels Fold

  • The economic situation has encouraged a measure of conservatism in fashion, but this is extreme. Versace's Fall 2009 ads with Gisele Bundchen in a jewel-toned dress under strong directional light look exactly like Versace's Spring 2009 ads with Gisele Bundchen in a jewel-toned dress under strong directional light. [Fashionologie]
  • Gisele ain't pregnant, after all. [AP]
  • The recession's latest casualty is Belgian designer Veronique Branquinho. After 11 years in business, the Antwerp-based designer is being forced to stop production of her namesake line due to a drop in Fall 2009 orders and a number of canceled orders and non-payments from Spring 2009. Branquinho has a fall-back position: artistic director of the Belgian leather goods brand Delvaux. [WWD]
  • British designer Emma Cook is also discontinuing her line for fall. Cook herself did not make the announcement, but a manager at Manhattan boutique Opening Ceremony mentioned the news in an interview. [Paper]
  • Puma has apparently listed all but one of its 11 U.K. stores with real estate agents — although the company claims it has yet to finalize decisions about store closures. [FT]
  • Donatella Versace, on why the 80s trend is less interesting than techno fabrics: "I knew that trend was coming. I knew exactly when every designer was going to start doing it. And I couldn't, because I was with Gianni doing the '80s, in the '80s. I have so many pieces in the archives that I could put right out on the runway and they'd be perfect. [laughs] In general, I think, yes, we can look back, but not that much. It's too literal. Like shoulder pads. We belonged to that time. But for me, it doesn't make sense today. You can play with it for one season, but it's not going to be revolutionary. I think we should move forward, not back. To define the era we live in is very difficult. How do we define it? We define it by music. That's different today. We listen to different music than we used to 10 years ago. Fashion is struggling to define itself today. For me, I'm concentrating more on fabrics, on the technological aspect of fabrics." [Interview]
  • Which, you know, totally fits, because the iPhone is the future of the fashion economy. [WWD]
  • A man named Jinyoung Jo has designed a Chanel concept car in South Korea. His effort, the Fiole, comes with crystal double-C logos on the grill and on the wheels. It's a pretty snazzy little space-age sports car, to be sure, but what we wonder is: can anyone just up and design a Chanel something? Trademark and copyright protection law would suggest otherwise. It's not clear if Jo had Chanel's approval to make this car. [Sassybella]
  • And we all know Chanel polices its intellectual property like the proverbial hawk. The company just announced a lawsuit against a Manhattan jewelry store, Joseph Anthony, for allegedly selling counterfeit Chanel baubles. [NY Post]
  • Barbara Hulanicki, on her customers, past and present, and why she hates Barbie: "In that period in England, they hadn't traveled at all and they were very green. And now they're brainwashed by Barbie doll...She's been so damaging. [CHUCKLES] She has such abominable taste." [Interview]
  • A see-through swimsuit (for efficient tanning, duh) sounds like just the sort of thing Barbie would approve of. And it sounds like melanoma. [Telegraph]
  • Carlos Falchi, known for his extremely expensive handbags and penchant for python skin, is to be the next designer to have a Target GO! International accessories collection. Falchi's line for Target will be available in stores and online from October 11, and will comprise 13 pieces. The styles include jewel-toned faux-snakeskin pieces, and some bags which incorporate patchwork. [WWD]
  • Marios Schwab, newly named creative director of Halston, on how he is not Roy Halston Frowick, reincarnated: "It would be a little bit weird to ask a designer who is exactly like Halston to design Halston, don't you think? I mean, I don't think Halston, if he were alive today, would be doing the seventies in 2009, you know? And anyway, there's so much more potential for an interesting result if the designer is versatile. From the perspective of the label, I think they wanted someone who understood the DNA of the brand and shared something of it, but who could bring a new idea." [Style.com]
  • H&M opened its 10th Manhattan store, on the Upper East Side. [WWD]
  • J. Crew earned $20.4 million in the quarter ended May 2 — a decline of 33% on last year's results, but still ahead of analysts' expectations. CEO Millard Drexler says the chain is sopping up customers from higher-end boutiques who've been priced out of their usual market. [WSJ]
  • Tiffany's reported earnings of $24.3 million, which isn't too shabby for a company known for its diamonds in this economy of lowered expectations. But it's still a decline of 62% on last year's profits. Sales fell 22% overall — and 31% in the Americas. Among the worst-hit was its Manhattan flagship, where sales declined by 42%. [The Street]
  • Bankrupt men's clothier Hartmarx won extra time to negotiate a possible sale to private equity firm Emerisque. Emerisque has pledged not to liquidate the business, should its bid prove successful. Hartmarx's main debt obligation is to Wells Fargo; employees at its Chicago area factory have threatened to sit-in if the business folds. [WWD]
  • Natalie Suliman, a British lingerie model, claims that not only were her breasts not retouched for a Marks & Spencer billboard, but that she wasn't even wearing so much as a spot of body makeup. Or moisturizer. (Just to be clear: That. Does. Not. Happen. And how would the model know what happened in post-pro, anyway?) [Daily Mail]