Gilt Groupe Now Valued At $1 Billion

Discount online retailer and investment-magnet Gilt Groupe says it is now worth $1 billion. That's a lot of designer flash sales! The company has 670 employees — and is looking to hire for 125 positions. Gilt intends to launch a full-price men's site this year. According to the C.E.O., "our online male sales are three to four times bigger than Saks and five times bigger than Bloomingdale's. The question is: Who should be worried?" Everyone in retail who is not Gilt Groupe should be worried, that's who. Or else they should be filling out an application. [WWD]
Other positive signs in the fashion job market? Recruiters are hitting up graduate fashion shows again. [WWD]


Gilt Groupe Now Valued At $1 Billion United Nude designed this carbon fiber and leather shoe to be worn in space . It comes flat-packed, like Ikea furniture, and you assemble it. [Dexigner ]
  • It's a love-fest between Clare Waight Keller, the incoming Chloé designer, and C.E.O. Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye. "I was pleased to accept the position, as Chloé is a house that has always stood for beautiful, effortless, feminine elegance — all the values I hold true when I design and think about how women want to dress today," says the designer. "I admire what Clare has done at [former employers] Pringle. She's made it more international and more contemporary. She really made it exist on the fashion scene," adds de la Bourdonnaye. Chloé announced it would not be renewing Hannah MacGibbon's contract, after all, just yesterday. MacGibbon had worked happily under previous C.E.O. Ralph Toledano, but since de la Bourdonnaye joined the company last August, things went south. [WWD]
  • Karl Lagerfeld: "This is about the women of Cannes, women who mix bathing suits with real pearls and diamonds. After all, you can't wear fakes into the water." Chanel showed its Cruise collection — fancy hot-weather clothes that hit stores in the dead of winter, perfect for wealthy folks who, yes, go on cruises — in Cannes yesterday. [AFP]
  • The show included what can only be described as leather boot/flip-flop hybrid footwear; Frankie Rayder walked, and Bryan Ferry played the after-party. Bonus Karl Koan: "I only like change." He also showed the full version of that insane-looking movie. [WWD]
  • Lagerfeld has a new publishing project: with Gerhard Steidl, he plans to publish the full writings of Friedrich Nietzsche. Available next fall in a 12-volume edition, Lagerfeld will print only 3,000 copies. It'll be called Nietzsche's Nietzsche and will be in the original German, natch. [WWD]
  • Daphne Guinness didn't want to meet Alexander McQueen at first. But Isabella Blow kept bringing him up: "She always used to say, ‘Oh, you have to meet him' and I would always say, 'No, I don't want to.' And he actually came up to me ... and he said 'Hello, I'm the person you don't want to meet.' You don't expect someone to come tap you on the shoulder [and introduce himself like that], it was just very bizarre." They became friends nonetheless, and now the heiress owns many important examples of his work — in addition to which, Guinness owns all of Blow's wardrobe, which she hopes to display in a "virtual museum," or perhaps as a touring exhibition. [The Cut]
  • At last, something to do with all those unlovely bridesmaid dresses that languish in the closet long after the open bar has closed: a new initiative will take your old bridesmaid dresses, recycle them for use in new textiles, and in exchange offer you a 30%-50% discount off a variety of new, presumably cooler, black dresses. [WWD]
  • Danielle Steele: "San Francisco is a great city to raise children, but I was very happy to leave it. There's no style, nobody dresses up — you can't be chic there. It's all shorts and hiking books[sic] and Tevas — it's as if everyone is dressed to go on a camping trip. I don't think people really care how they look there; and I look like a mess when I'm there, too." And, uh, Danielle Steele: "My favorite saying is by Anne Frank: 'I still believe in spite of everything, that people are good at heart.' I, too, have great faith in human nature." [WSJ]
  • Miss Lily's, the Jamaican restaurant Anna Wintour tried to stop from opening in her West Village neighborhood, has proven pretty popular. Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom went there to celebrate Kerr's 28th birthday, for example. No Vogue bookings for that one. [P6]
  • Art dealer Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld's latest effort, a show of works by Nicholas Pol, has sold out — at an average price of $60,000 per work. This raises the question, who bought the chest-high wooden sculpture of a rat holding a plastic skull, wearing a 30ft cape covered in acrylic paint splotches? [WWD]
  • 21-year-old model Grace Bol, who was born in Sudan but moved to Kansas City as a child, went back to her home country for a visit two years ago. She says, "It was bad and good, but more bad than good. There were times when I was like, What? This is my country. This is not how I thought people lived. And it would really break my heart. I saw some of the girls I used to play with and now they're married and have children. They couldn't believe I wasn't married. The beauty of it is that I don't have to. They have to because that's their culture." [WWD]
  • The soaring price of cotton is making people who design and sell jeans nervous. Levi's already had to raise its men's prices. One brand took a chance and stockpiled millions of yards of denim a year ago, when cotton prices were beginning their upward migration, but that's now running low. [WWD]
  • H&M is opening its first-ever non-standalone store in London. The venue? Selfridges' ground floor, where Topshop and American Apparel already operate concessions. [Telegraph]
  • China's trade surplus is now $11.4 billion. [WWD]