Karl Lagerfeld understands the luxury market is not based on need but on desire.
"You spend more for what you really want; some boring things you need: an ugly old car can wait, but if you have a new fashion item it cannot wait. We live on this whole idea."
The strength of the Chanel brand and luxury sales in general lies in the fact that, says Lagerfeld, "we create a product nobody needs but people want." [Telegraph]
Here, just in time for New Year's Eve, is how to do a smokey eye according to a drag queen. [NewNowNext]
- Some luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton and Burberry, have reported declines in their sales gains in recent quarters. Analysts think this is because those brands are too ubiquitous. Ubiquity is the opposite of luxury, and a luxury product should be just beyond reach of the plebs, you see. (This is something Karl Lagerfeld grasps.) [Financial Times]
- Simon Cowell is rumored to be courting Kate Moss to join his show The X Factor as a "style consultant" in order to boost flagging ratings. [Mirror]
- Nick Gruber, Calvin Klein's troublemaker ex, is now filming a reality show. [The Cut]
- Retailers have been reporting that the holiday period was slower than usual, and now there are the numbers to prove it: while retail sales jumped by 39% from week to week during the last shopping week before Christmas, sales were still down year-on-year by 2.5% compared with the same week of 2011. For retailers, a lot is riding on post-Christmas sales. [WWD]
- Delia Ephron shopped online for gifts these holidays and had a very bad time of it. She wrote a column in the New York Times to complain about J. Crew delivering presents to the wrong recipients and failing to wrap her gifts. She concludes:
Precious holiday giving cannot be entrusted to a Web site. A gift shouldn't be something you open by accident — hello, what is this? — ripping open the cardboard outer box with a knife, and then having your present fall out naked.
Ordering Christmas presents on the Web, regardless of the dubious ease, has obliterated the idea that there should be some grace to a present, some beauty, and that the receiver should experience it. Instead it's become as mundane and problematic as all our Web purchases, which in my family include paper towels and toilet paper.
- J. Crew C.E.O. Mickey Drexler, unsurprisingly, takes issue with Ephron's indictment of online shopping. He wrote a letter to the editor:
While we are not excusing mistakes that were made in Ms. Ephron's case, since Thanksgiving J. Crew has shipped more than a million packages around the world, and her experience is hardly the norm. Our customers know that we are personally committed to meeting their needs for quality, service and reliability.
While online shopping may not always offer the precise level of personalization Ms. Ephron requires, it is a growing part of retailing — and for good reason. It offers convenience, saves time, adds value and provides access to goods and services that might otherwise be difficult to obtain.
- A survey conducted by DuPont has found that a majority of Chinese consumers prefer to purchase environmentally friendly products, and say they rate concerns about environmental sustainability highly when making buying decisions. [WWD]
- Sephora opened its first store in India. [WWD]
- Cynthia Rowley: "Too many uptight traditional editors are taking all the fun out of fashion." [Racked]
- Herbal Essences is reintroducing its Shine and Smooth collections of hair products in their original 90s packaging. The brand says it has modified its formulas so that these products are sulfate- and silicone-free. [WWD]
- Pitchfork is launching a blog called Nothing Major. It is about "visual culture," not "just fashion." [Pitchfork]
- Peter Lindbergh shot the spring Bottega Veneta campaign. [WWD]
- Kate Middleton's nose is apparently the most-requested nose among U.K. women seeking rhinoplasty, according to those who keep track of such things. [Daily Mail]
- The long legal battle between Christian Louboutin and Yves Saint Laurent over the use of red soles in footwear has reached its formal conclusion. As previously announced, the judge in the case ruled that Christian Louboutin's existing trademark on the red sole was valid, but only for shoes that had uppers of a contrasting color. [WWD]
- Ciaté founder Charlotte Knight is so over crackle nail polish. "I'm so over crackle. If I see another crackle nail polish, I think I'm going to crack up." [The Cut]
- The Miss Universe organization has signed a fragrance license. Three scents will hit stores this fall. [WWD]
- 17-year-old Belorussian model Natasha Remarchuk likes reading Jonathan Safran Foer and listening to 30 Seconds to Mars. (30 Seconds to Mars? Oh, girl.) Remarchuk says the eye makeup for the most recent Dior show took two hours to apply:
I really liked the eye makeup for Dior with the crystals. Each girl had different crystals, different colors, and different shapes. I think the makeup took three hours, maybe longer, and just two hours for the eyes because it was so hard for the makeup artists to put on the crystals.