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15 July, 2013

designer profiles


Vanessa Friedman from the Financial Times is one of my favorite fashion journalists out there. Very simply because her coverage is an in-depth analysis of the fashion business. It's no accident she was just awarded 'Fashion Journalist of the Year' by the Fashion Monitor Journalism Awards.

She has done a bunch of wonderful, well-written as well as well-researched designer profiles for the FT's online luxury magazine How To Spend It. I would recommend everyone who shows even the slightest interest in the brand or the person behind it to read these wonderful pieces of journalism whenever they find the time.

  1. Raf Simons: Working a new look
  2. Sarah Burton: McQueen and I
  3. Haider Ackermann: Ackermann of the moment
  4. Alber Elbaz: More Mister Nice Guy
  5. Riccardo Tisci: A new romantic lead
  6. Stella McCartney: A Stella Performance
  7. Rick Owens: His dark materials
  8. Stefano Pilato: Pilat's class

"Karl Lagerfeld, for example, told Numéro magazine in late 2010 that, as far as he was concerned, the person to succeed him at Chanel was Haider Ackermann. This followed the revelation that the reclusive Martin Margiela, a notably different sort of designer from Lagerfeld, had already asked Ackermann to take over when he retired from his brand in 2009 (an offer Ackermann turned down)." (x)

"The story of how a young designer remade an old house is not a new one, of course, especially not in the current fashion world, where Galliano revamped Dior, Tom Ford recreated Gucci, and Karl Lagerfeld reinvented Chanel. The difference between this story and those, however, is the fact that Givenchy was a more complicated proposition than Gucci or Chanel: other than its association with Audrey Hepburn, who famously wore Givenchy in almost all her films, including Sabrina and Funny Face, most people didn’t really have an image in mind when they thought of the house, and it didn’t have any obvious shorthand “codes”, such as New Look silhouettes or camellias and pearls, that a designer could build on. Not to mention the fact that Tisci was, when he took the helm, almost entirely unknown." (x)

“He sent a letter, and it was on red stationery, with Alber at the top and Elbaz at the bottom, both in black, and I thought, ‘but why has he taken the “t” off Albert?’ And then I realised that both first and last name had five letters, and he was already thinking about what a label of his own might look like, if it ever happened. Then I met him and saw his portfolio; it was like a coup de foudre.” (x)

“She can say, ‘I will work, and have a family, and I will not eat meat, and you shouldn’t eat it either, and I’ll tell you why,’ – and she can take all that and make it into a brand, which is really an achievement." (x)

"At a time when the gilded cages of designers seem to be sequestering them further and further away from reality, the fact that Elbaz is so articulate about his own neuroses is key to his success. If every designer ultimately creates a public role for themselves Tom Ford is the stubbled sex god; Rick Owens, the punk; John Galliano, the eccentric genius; Stella McCartney, the coolest girl next door Elbaz is the angst-ridden, empathetic best friend; the one with whom you want to share a tub of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie." (x)

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