Model harassment claims cloud Paris men’s fashion week

Designer of Rottingdean Bazaar, (R), as part of the MAN collection, joins models during a catwalk show on the third day of the Autumn/Winter 2018 London Fashion Week Men’s, in London on January 7, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 16 January 2018
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Model harassment claims cloud Paris men’s fashion week

PARIS: Paris men’s fashion week starts late Tuesday with the industry shaken by claims that two star photographers sexually harassed male models.
Peru-born Mario Testino, a favorite of the British royal family, and American Bruce Weber both denied the accusations made against them by a string of models and assistants in the New York Times.
But the publishers of Vogue magazine severed ties with the photographers this weekend.
British brand Burberry and US labels Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren and shoemaker Stuart Weitzman, for whom the two men have shot publicity campaigns, also insisted they would not work with people who abused their position.
Another model Christopher Cates, who said Weber asked him to strip within seconds of meeting him, said it was time for male models to speak out.
Inspired by the #MeToo campaign in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Cates has launched the #MenToo hashtag on social media to break the taboo and stand up to abusers.
“We want you to know you’re no longer in control,” he wrote in the industry bible, Women’s Wear Daily.
“We want you to know who we are. We want you to know our stories,” he added.
The welter of accusations comes months after the two French luxury goods giants LVMH and Kering joined forces to create a charter to combat the mistreatment of models.
New York casting agent James Scully had earlier blown the whistle on the way models were treated at a “cattle call” casting for Balenciaga in Paris last March.
Scores of women said they were left to wait in a cramped stairway for hours, with some alleged locked inside in the dark while agents left to eat.
Paris men’s fashion week runs till Sunday night, with 55 shows and the French capital more dominant than ever compared with its rivals in Milan, London and New York.
A new wave of daring young designers will present for the first time alongside the big names, starting with the flamboyant Spanish label, Palomo Spain, on Tuesday evening.
Designer Alejandro Gomez Palomo made headlines in July when the singer Beyonce wore one of his dresses to present her twins to her 110 million Instagram followers.
The 25-year-old made his name with his erotic, theatrical style inspired by the imaginative world of Spanish director Pedro Almodovar.
His clothes are for a decidedly gender fluid generation, with dresses that can be worn by men or women, plumed hats and flowery feminine male ensembles.
As the autumn-winter collection shows end on Sunday, an exhibition dedicated to the work of the legendary designer Azzedine Alaia will open in Paris next to his studio, where he died suddenly in November.
The show will feature 35 of his creations chosen by the style historian Olivier Saillard, who curated the retrospective of Alaia’s work at the Palais Galliera fashion museum in Paris in 2013.
Another show celebrating the career of the Tunisian-born designer dubbed the King of Cling, will open at the Design Museum in London in May.
Men’s fashion week will be followed next week by the haute couture shows, the uniquely Parisian institution whose handmade creations are worn by the richest and most famous women in the world.


Michael Kors agrees to buy Versace for €1.83 billion

Updated 25 September 2018
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Michael Kors agrees to buy Versace for €1.83 billion

MILAN: US fashion group Michael Kors has agreed to buy Versace in a deal valuing the revered designer at $2 billion including debt, the companies said on Tuesday, making it the latest Italian brand to fall into foreign hands.
Michael Kors, whose namesake label is best known for its leather handbags, has made no secret of its ambition to grow its portfolio of high-end brands after buying British stiletto-heel maker Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion last year.
Versace, known for its bold and glamorous designs and its Medusa head logo, was one of a clutch of family-owned Italian brands cited as attractive targets at a time when the luxury industry is riding high on strong demand from China.
“We believe that the strength of the Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo brands, and the acquisition of Versace, position us to deliver multiple years of revenue and earnings growth,” John Idol, chairman and CEO of Michael Kors said.
As part of the deal, Michael Kors agreed to buy all of Versace’s outstanding shares for a total enterprise value of €1.83 billion ($2.2 billion), to be funded in cash, debt and shares in Michael Kors Holding Ltd, which will be renamed Capri Holdings Ltd.
US private equity firm Blackstone, which bought 20 percent of Versace back in 2014, will fully exit its investment.
The Versace family, which currently owns 80 percent of the fashion house via a holding company called Givi, will receive €150 million of the purchase price in Capri shares.
“We believe that being part of this group is essential to Versace’s long-term success. My passion has never been stronger,” said Donatella Versace, sister of the company’s late founder, and artistic director and vice president of the Milan-based group.
After the deal, Versace CEO Jonathan Akeroyd will remain at the helm of the company, while Donatella Versace will “continue to lead the company’s creative vision,” Idol added.
The deal is expected to close in the fourth fiscal quarter, subject to regulatory approvals.
Michael Kors said it plans to grow Versace’s global sales to $2 billion globally, boost its retail footprint to 300 stores from around 200 at present and accelerate its e-commerce strategy. It also plans to raise the share of higher-margin accessories and footwear to 60 percent of sales from 35 percent.
Versace does not disclose its financial details, but documents deposited with the Italian chamber of commerce show that last year it posted sales of €668 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and appreciation of €45 million.