Going Gaga for Hedi Slimane

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The singer looked ethereal on the red carpet in Venice. (AFP)
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Lady Gaga showed off a bag from the new line. (Instagram)
Updated 05 September 2018
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Going Gaga for Hedi Slimane

French photographer, fashion designer and agent provocateur Hedi Slimane, who is of Tunisian heritage, has never been known to shock in halves.
The maverick genius took two contrasting slants when he replaced Phoebe Philo at Celine, the French ready-to-wear and leather luxury goods brand.
The first was a subtle, yet impactful, hint of things to come when Slimane used artist Lady Gaga to debut a sleek, yet versatile, handbag at the Venice film festival late last week. Slimane and Gaga are relevant for being artistic and bizarre.
Just when the critics were dissecting the craftsmanship and versatility of the purse he went nuclear by wiping out Celine’s entire Instagram account and ditching the brands famous accent.
The world was waiting for a shakeup of Slimanesque proportions and he did not disappoint. Opinion as usual, was strong, but divided.
Known to be a disruptor of ideas and traditions Slimane is known to send observers, loyalists and critics in the fashion world into a tailspin with his unorthodox applications. His documented stints with Dior Homme and Saint Laurent, where he knocked off the “Yves,” to earn the rage of thousands, are cases in point. His talent is unquestioned, but the approach to his craft is always the subject of deliberation.
Slimane’s posts on Instagram to highlight the new Celine application was a video of sparkling gold lamé fabric accompanied by dramatic music. He rationalized the brand’s facelift saying, “The new logo has been directly inspired by the original, historical version that existed in the 1960’s. The accent on the ‘E’ has been removed to enable a simplified and more balanced proportion, evoking the Celine collections of the 1960’s where the accent wasn’t used often.”
The reaction from the fraternity has been consistent — a mixture of outrage, bewilderment and admiration.
Slimane will debut the Celine menswear and womenswear collections in Paris this month. But the sneak peek provided by Lady Gaga, herself no stranger to controversy with her ability to shock and awe, has got critics launching a thousand theories.  
Err… about the bag: The oversized black tote features gold hardware and a subtle monogrammed tag— simple lines from a brand and a designer who are more avant-garde than conventional.


Rihanna to launch her own luxury fashion label

Updated 17 January 2019
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Rihanna to launch her own luxury fashion label

  • Rihanna is in secret talks with the French giant LVMH, according to Women’s Wear Daily
  • LVMH owns brands like Dior, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Givenchy

PARIS: Pop idol Rihanna is preparing to launch her own luxury brand with the world’s biggest fashion conglomerate, according to reports Thursday.
The Barbados-born superstar, who already has her own highly successful Fenty sportswear label, is in secret talks with the French giant LVMH, according to Women’s Wear Daily (WWD).
The industry bible said the group, which owns such iconic brands as Dior, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Givenchy, is assembling a gang of top designers for the project.
LVMH, which is owned by the fashion titan Bernard Arnault, said they could not comment.
With her huge fan base and tens of millions of social media followers, Rihanna is one of the most powerful style influencers on the planet.
A regular on the front row of fashion shows, and particularly at Dior in Paris, the singer has also proved herself to be a canny creator.
As well as her Fenty line she upped sales at Puma when she became its creative director and has also dipped her toe into lingerie.
Her Fenty Beauty operation — which involved a hook-up with LVMH — racked up sales of more than $100 dollars (88 million euros) within weeks of its 2016 launch.
WWD said that her planned luxury brand, which will take in ready-to-wear as well as leather goods and accessories, could be launched alongside her ninth album later this year.
A new large-scale luxury label — especially one led by a black woman — would be a huge development in the fashion world.
The top end of the market has been traditionally hogged by historic French and Italian houses.
Despite its dominance, LVMH has not started a luxury brand from scratch since Christian Lacroix in 1987.
Black American designers have, however, been making dramatic inroads of late, with Virgil Abloh the most talked about designer at Paris men’s fashion week.
The creator, whose parents come from Ghana, now heads LVMH’s treasured Louis Vuitton menswear line as well as his own hugely cool Off-White Label.
Rihanna, 30, who shot to fame with her “Music of the Sun” and “Good Girl Gone Bad” albums, is locked in a legal battle with her father over the use of the Fenty name.
She is suing her father Ronald Fenty over the use of the family name in his company, Fenty Entertainment, according to reports on Wednesday.