PARIS — Two of France’s richest men, long locked in a very public rivalry, are once again pitted against each other — this time over flashy and competing donations to rebuild Notre Dame.
Billionaire luxury tycoons — Bernard Arnault, 70, and Francois Pinault, 82 — are among France’s fiercest business competitors and patrons.
On Tuesday, their rivalry reached dramatic heights when it was announced Pinault, his son and their company Artemis would immediately donate 100 million euros ($113 million) to help finance renovations to Notre Dame after it was seriously damaged in an inferno during building works.
Hours later, Arnault shot back with an announcement that he, his family and his luxury company LVMH would pledge double that amount — 200 million euros ($226 million) — for the restoration of the church that was immortalized in Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” — an eternal story of obsession and jealousy.
The famed rivalry of Arnault and Pinault, whose names rhyme, goes back decades.
“They’re like competing boys, but the stakes run into the billions,” said Long Nguyen, fashion editor at Flaunt magazine.
Arnault is France’s — and Europe’s — richest man and CEO of the world’s biggest luxury group, LVMH, the owner of iconic fashion houses Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior. Pinault founded the world’s second-biggest, Kering, formerly PPR, that acquired rival brand Saint Laurent in a face-off.
“The Notre Dame donations are the latest in a long line … They run competing for fashion houses and both like the centre stage,” he added.
Both men also possess a sizeable art collection — and a desire to show it off in competing museums.
Pinault’s son Francois-Henri married actress Salma Hayek and is often in the society pages, while Arnault’s son Antoine fathered children to supermodel Natalia Vodianova.
The two were reportedly on friendly business terms until the late 1990s. Some commentators have linked the souring of pair’s relations to a bidding battle over the ownership of Italian fashion house Gucci, which eventually went to Pinault’s Kering group.
Then, the battling turned to art.
Arnault opened the Louis Vuitton Foundation, designed by architect Frank Gehry, in 2014 to showcase his vast personal art trove in Paris’ far western suburbs. Some critics have branded it a vanity project, with French media claiming that the glimmering building’s final price tag came in at close to $900 million.
Meanwhile, Pinault, who with his son is estimated to represent France’s sixth fortune, is following hot on Arnault’s heels and is set to open his multimillion-dollar contemporary art museum, the Collection Pinault-Paris, next spring.
Since 2001, Pinault has gradually been ceding control of his business interests to his eldest son Francois-Henri, 56, to concentrate on his art collecting. The museum, designed by another big-name architect, Tadao Ando, will display the octogenarian tycoon’s personal contemporary art collection.
The website highlights its prime central location “in the very heart of Paris” in the city’s former stock exchange.
The Bettencourt Meyers family, which owns cosmetics giant L’Oreal, and Total also each pledged 100 million euros to go toward the restoration over the 850-year-old cathedral.
Anna Wintour’s omnipresent status, crafted over a three-decade-long career at the helm of Vogue, is unrivalled in the fashion industry. Her reputation has transcended that of the magazine she edits, her image — immaculately sliced bob, sunglasses — now instantly recognizable in silhouette or line sketch.
If the late Karl Lagerfeld was fashion’s commander-in-chief, Wintour is its head of state, enigmatically presiding over matters of style and culture far above the average Vogue reader’s head.
She acts as a tastemaker and strategic adviser for the CEOs of luxury companies, uses her platform for philanthropic good (AIDS research in particular) and has transformed the Met Gala — an annual benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute — into a night of Oscar-level red carpet excitement and serious fundraising. In 2015, the New York Times reported that the gala had raised over $145 million under Wintour’s reign, a figure that will likely surpass $200 million after next month’s event.
Wintour will turn 70 this year and, if Vogue’s assertion that she’ll stay on is to be believed, she may be embarking on the most challenging years of her career. Like many legacy media businesses, Vogue and its parent company Condé Nast are undergoing a moment of reckoning. The publisher has recently shuttered a number of publications in its portfolio, including the print editions of Glamour, Teen Vogue and Self magazine.
Yet, the Condé Nast offices in London — often pitched as a “digital hub” for many of its titles, including Vogue — have grown dramatically in size and scale over the last 18 months. New digital-only publications, including Vogue Business, have also been launched. Nonetheless, in the same way, that steering a ship is entirely different from driving a speedboat, media giant Vogue can’t adapt as quickly as some of its younger, smaller, digitally native competitors.
Speaking about Michelle Obama, Wintour praised the former first lady for her fearlessness and for transforming the role. “She was just so inspiring to so many women. And obviously — on a very selfish note, speaking as the editor-in-chief of Vogue — she did wonders for fashion. She loved fashion.
“We always had a tradition at Vogue to photograph the first ladies when they first came into office — some extraordinary, wonderful women, and it was an honour to photograph them. But they were always super cautious about what they wanted to wear and the image that they wanted to present: Nearly always a jacket, maybe some pearls if you were Mrs Bush. But with Mrs Obama, she was fearless and it was just such a joy for all of us that work in fashion.” – CNN
Speaking exclusively to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in New York, Wintour expressed optimism about the changing media landscape she now finds herself in. “I think we’re so fortunate today to have so many different channels in which to speak to our audiences,” she said.”If you go back to when I was a young girl growing up in Britain, and (when) I went for my first job, it was considered a great thing if we reached an audience of 90,000 people with a monthly magazine. Now we have, I believe, 22 million followers on Instagram alone at Vogue US. So we are talking to men and women all over the world … in so many different ways (and) in a way that we couldn’t possibly have imagined even 10 years ago, 15 years ago.”
Wintour was speaking the day after Condé Nast appointed Roger Lynch, former CEO of the music streaming service Pandora, as its first global chief executive. The news came less than six months after the publisher announced that it would merge Condé Nast International (headquartered in London) with Condé Nast (the US arm), a restructuring that also saw the company’s CEO, Bob Sauerberg, step down.Rumors around Wintour’s potential exit predate the latest upheavals — and they swirled again last summer. Wagging tongues were once again silenced by Sauerberg’s insistence that Vogue’s editor-in-chief would stay on “indefinitely.”
|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|If you only could know about TEN people in fashion today, these would be the names that matter most. Some are famous, others are more behind the scenes— but each has an outsize influence on the fashion industry.
People in the fashion industry are constantly bringing new and interesting creations to the runway which is why fashion trends never get old. Great fashion comes from within and the talents of some of the most influential people in the business.
From designers to models, photographers, and other people in the fashion industry, there is no shortage of iconic superstars when it comes to the most influential people who have affected the manner in which we dress. The fashion industry is known for its long history of trend-setters, ground-breakers, and visionaries that have created and popularised fashion. Here are ten of the most influential people in fashion today.
Coco Chanel is a fashion designer with creations that have truly stood the test of time. Her designs have always been popular and still remain a staple in the fashion world decades after her death.
Coco Chanel is a true pioneer in fashion and forged ahead with designs that no one else was producing at the time. Chanel designs still reign in the fashion industry as one of the finest for nearly three quarters of a century. Her designs are very stylish with many creations artfully crafted as a mix of male and female design inspirations. Many of the Chanel creations are very luxurious without being too gaudy or overstated.
Coco Chanel first introduced her famous cologne called Chanel No. 5 during the 1920s. It was the first cologne ever to bear the name of a renowned designer. During this same decade, the Chanel suit was first introduced which was designed with a fitted skirt and a jacket without a collar. The design included inspirations borrowed from menswear. Additionally, her fashion helped women to move away from the constraints of tight fitting underclothing, corsets, and other uncomfortable garments.
Coco Chanel was also responsible for bringing the little black dress to the forefront of fashion. This showed the fashion world that the colour black can be used for elegant evening-wear, instead of solely being used by those in mourning.
Approximately ten years following the death of Coco Chanel in 1971, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld took over the company to keep her legacy alive. Currently, Chanel fashions continue to be popular and generate millions of dollars in sales year after year.
Giorgio Armani began his career as a window designer before working his way up to menswear designs. His career in the fashion industry spans more than 35 years and he has been named one of the top fashion designers in the world for 2014-2015.
Following his foray into designer menswear, Armani built a fashion empire of luxurious designs which include Emporio Armani and Giorgio Armani Privé lines of clothing. His empire also includes shoes, accessories, home décor, and cosmetics as well. His designs are known for unique fabrics which are used in unusual frameworks.
During the 1980s Giorgio Armani redefined the business suit for both women and men and set a new standard for business apparel near the end of the 20th century. Power suits and other business apparel were made with lightweight fabrics designed with flexibility for all day comfort. In addition to comfort, the contemporary apparel was also designed with exquisite tailoring which provided business professionals with the best of both worlds.
The Armani designer brand is one of the few top companies that continue to remain independent in terms of international investment channels. Currently, there are more than five hundred distribution stores around the globe.
Ralph Lauren launched his fashion empire from a job he held with a tie manufacturer. It was here he launched Polo Fashions in the late 1960s by designing wide ties which were a popular style at the time.
By the beginning of the 1970s, his line of menswear won the City Award. A couple of years later, he unveiled the classic Polo shirt with short sleeves and a collar. Not long after, Ralph Lauren designed the first women’s suit with the Polo logo which was designed with hints of menswear fashion in mind. This became the new power suit and rivalled the Armani business suit, also designed with a combination of women’s and men’s fashion in mind.
The Polo line became a fashion statement in itself and is still popular in the fashion world today. Additionally, the short sleeve Polo shirt is still considered a staple in every man’s wardrobe across the globe. Both lines of apparel for men and women is very creative and unique. This is why his designs stand out in the fashion industry and make a statement about gender equality.
Karl Lagerfeld was born in Germany and left for Paris during his early twenties to go to school. It was in Paris that he won an award for a coat design in a contest sponsored by International Wool Secretariat. This placed him on the map when he was offered a job at the Balmain fashion house.
In addition to owning his own brand of designer clothing, Karl Lagerfeld became artistic director for Chanel in the early 1980s. Currently he is also associated with other major designer brand names such as Jean Patou, Chloe, Macy’s, Fendi, and H&M. His designs are well known for bold colours with consistent innovation and reinvention. The Lagerfeld label was recently sold to Tommy Hilfiger.
Karl Lagerfeld currently designs clothing for Macy’s department store and has gotten involved with professional film and photography. In recent years, he has also become known for his glassware designs which are offered by Orrefors, a Swedish company that manufactures exquisite crystal glassware.
Valentino Garavani is known for designing Jacqueline Kennedy’s wedding address, in addition to winning the Neiman Marcus award for many of his designs. Valentino designs are known for their luxurious fabrics as well as chic business style. He typically designs most of his creations to meet specific tastes of notable people and fans of the Valentino label. The Valentino website is designed with virtual 3D to allow his clients to view 360 degrees of the creation they are looking to purchase.
Valentino still remains at the top of the fashion world despite stepping down in 2007. His masterpieces which create a natural sense of beauty are timeless creations that still remain in demand by fashionistas with discerning tastes. Jacqueline Kennedy developed an interest in Valentino designs after noticing some of her friends in Valentino creations. As a result, Valentino became her “go to” designer for suits and dresses, as well as her wedding dresses for her marriage to John F. Kennedy and later, Aristotle Onassis in 1968.
Marc Jacobs grew up in New York and was raised by his grandmother who taught him how to knit. The skills he learned from his grandmother marked the beginning of his success designing oversized sweaters. Following his graduation from the Parsons design school, he went to work designing street wear made of opulent fabrics for Perry Ellis. A few years later he was named Creative Director for Louis Vuitton.
Marc Jacobs also owns two designer label brands known as Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs, in addition to designing other fashions including shoes, jewellery, sunglasses, and other accessories. His designs are available in over 50 countries around the world with close to three hundred retail stores throughout the countries.
As a result of his work with Louis Vuitton and the creation of his own labels, Marc Jacobs has become known as the most sought after designer for contemporary fashion. The designs borrow from the past with new and innovative styling and a touch of mix and match vintage looks.
Tom Ford considers his start in the fashion industry as the point when he purchased his first pair of Gucci shoes at the age of 12. He went on to work with Marc Jacobs at Perry Ellis before going to work for Gucci to try and bring back the slowly diminishing designer brand that was nearly bankrupt in the early 1990s.
His designs while working as Creative Director for Gucci put new life in a brand that was lacking in creativity. Many of his designs included chic satin shirts and other fashions made of metallic fabric. This brought Gucci back to the forefront in fashion with an estimated company worth of more than $4 billion by the end of the 1990s.
The most well-known labels that carry Tom Ford’s designs include Yves Saint Laurent, Perry Ellis, and Cathy Hardwick, in addition to his own brand label known as Tom Ford. He has also been awarded by the American Best Fashion Designers in the World for his menswear designs. Recently, he has been making movies which have also been the recipient of many awards as well.
Jérôme LaMaar was born in New York City and got his start in the fashion industry working as an intern for Baby Phat fashions at the age of 15. Three years later he was named Senior Designer and Creative Brand Coordinator for Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simons.
While working for Baby Phat, Jérôme became interested in designing jewellery as a pastime. Two years later, he was commissioned to work with Adventures of Mimidesigning the costumes for Mariah Carey’s world tour. His designs include a combination of class and inane with a 2015 collection that emanates a disco vibe.
Following his position at Phat, Jérôme went on to work for Chado Ralph Rucci, a fashion design company. At this time he was also appointed by Promostyl Paris as a fashion trend forecaster. A few years later, he became a consultant for the Armani brand label before travelling to Japan to hone his skills as a silversmith for jewellery fashions.
As a result of his experience as a consultant, forecaster, and designer, Jérôme is currently highly sought after by some of the biggest names in the fashion industry. The brand labels include Givaudan, Calvin Klein, Victoria’s Secret, Tommy Hilfiger, GAP, Swarovski, Adidas, Moussy Japan, and many more.
Kim Haller started out designing knitwear for major brand labels such as Jason Wu and Calvin Klein before introducing her own line of fashion knitwear creations. Her forte is working with yarn creating sculpted creations including one-piece garments, dresses, sweaters, skirts, and more.
The popularity of her designs prompted a need for more knitwear designers in the fashion industry. As a result, she became a consultant for knitwear providing support for other designers aspiring to expand their own knitwear lines. She has also worked as a design consultant for the Michael Kors Collection.
In addition to her consultancy for aspiring fashion designers in knitwear, Kim Haller has also designed popular knitwear for major brand labels in the fashion industry. Some of the labels include DKNY, Anne Klein, TSE Cashmere, Derek Lam, Adrienne Vittadini, Maiyet, and many more. She is one of the most sought after knitwear designers in the fashion industry as the result of her innovative creations and the ability to manage technical challenges associated with designing fine knitwear.
Miuccia Prada began her career in the fashion industry after managing a leather goods company owned by her grandfather in Milan. While managing the company, she was able to convert it into a thriving enterprise that took charge of many different brand labels. Miuccia Prada owns an endless variety of brand labels which started when she managed brands such as Jil Sander, Fendi, and Helmut Lang.
During the mid-1980s, the Prada brand began to rise to the top of the fashion world with the introduction of simple black nylon handbags and other similar products that were adorned with understated labelling. This made the Prada brand stand out in an era where many other fashion brands were inundated with logos.
At the end of the 1980s, Prada introduced a new line called Uniforms for the Slightly Disenfranchised. This line of clothing was categorised as a ready to wear style for women and marked the beginning of Prada’s journey into new designs, regardless of what was currently considered fashion industry trend at any given time. This is why she is considered to be one of the most influential female fashion designers to date. Instead of designing her creation with an eye on trends, she disregards fashion industry trends to create designs that are feminine but still powerful and intelligent. Miuccia Prada holds a Ph.D in political science with no formal training in fashion design.
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