Archive for August, 2007

10 reasons why Paris Hilton is a business genius

Friday, August 31st, 2007

Paris Hilton

She’s been to prison like Martha Stewart. She’s launched her own clothing lines, for both people and dogs. She’s even been mentioned by Robert Redford as a harbinger of doom for his Sundance Film Festival. (Redford said the event has become a big fat market where you have people like Paris Hilton going to parties.) But it turns out the true Paris Hilton is actually a business wizard of unparallelled brilliance.1. When she met the CEO of the Guess fashion line, she wooed him by recounting an encyclopaedic knowledge of company’s history. He signed her up on the spot. (cf: Simon Ambrose in the penultimate week of The Apprentice.)

2. Parlux Fragrances have described her as a marketers’ dream and estimated that by signing up her to endorse a perfume range they tripled the company’s value.

3. She got paid $1million to fly to Austria, wave at a crowd and tell them she loves Austria. “But why do you love Austria?” she was asked. Because they pay me $1million to wave at a crowd, she smiled. You can’t argue with that.

4. She’s lucky. When footage of her having sex leaked onto the internet, propelling her into the headlines, the silver lining was it’s timing: shortly before the debut episode of her reality television show The Simple Life.

5. She’s lucky more than once. In the week she published a book ‘written’ by her famous dog Tinkerbell, the chihuahua went missing for a few days, putting the book into the media spotlight.

6. She knows which opportunities to decline: I turn down perverted things, like a Paris Hilton blow-up doll. One must have one’s standards.

7. She’s lauded by other businesspeople. A successful real estate magnate – OK, her father Rick – says of her successes: She hasn’t tried to spread herself too thin.

8. How many other ‘dumb blondes’ have seen their book spend five weeks on the New York Times best-seller list?

9. She was reportedly recently offered $1 million by The Learning Annex to teach a 60-minute class on How to Build Your Brand. This would make her the second-highest paid Annex speaker, behind her friend Donald Trump.

10. She admits that she encourages people to believe she is dumb and laughs all the way to the bank as a result.

Bullish About Beauty: L’Oreal Boosts Outlook as Net Rises 8.4%

Friday, August 31st, 2007

The French beauty giant seems poised to post its 23rd consecutive year of double-digit earnings per share growth in 2007, according to its chief executive officer Jean-Paul Agon. He also raised the company’s organic sales growth target range to 7 to 8 percent, from 6 to 8 percent, for the year — his first one fully at the helm.

Agon became L’Oréal’s ceo in April 2006. Since then, he has increasingly put his imprint on the job and how the company does business. His flexible, wide-ranging focus includes everything from emerging markets — such as China, India, Russia, Brazil and Mexico — to new avenues of growth in the masstige and “bio-organic” categories of products in its sights. There have also been recent acquisitions in the salon distributor category in the U.S. to help broaden the business.

And the strategy seems to have been paying off. L’Oréal posted net profit after minority interests of 1.18 billion euros, or $1.57 billion at average exchange, up 8.4 percent in the first half of this year versus the same period last year. The company’s net profit excluding nonrecurrent items after minority interests hit 1.18 billion euros, or $1.57 billion, a 8.8 percent gain. L’Oréal’s EPS rose 10.7 percent to 1.94 euros, or $2.58.

As reported, for the first half of 2007, L’Oréal generated revenues of 8.51 billion euros, or $11.3 billion, up 9.4 percent, or 7.7 percent at constant exchange and for continuing operations, versus the first half of 2006.

Total operating profit at L’Oréal, including The Body Shop business that was consolidated since July 1, 2006, came in at 1.44 billion euros, or $1.92 billion, up 8.1 percent. The company’s operating profit as a percentage of sales was 16.9 percent.

Not including The Body Shop business, L’Oréal’s operating profit as a percentage of sales was 17.6 versus 17.1 percent for the first half of 2006.

“Operating profitability, excluding The Body Shop, has advanced by 50 basis points,” said Agon in a statement Thursday. “This improvement can be attributed to the product-value enhancement policy and continuing cost-cutting efforts.”

The net impact of changes in consolidation, resulting from the acquisitions of The Body Shop and Sanoflore last year and this year’s buys of Beauty Alliance and PureOlogy, accounted for 5.2 percent sales growth. Currency fluctuations negatively impacted revenues by 3.5 percent. Minus that exchange-rate impact, L’Oréal’s sales growth was 12.9 percent in the period.

“The first half was marked by strong sales growth and good quality results, which increased significantly compared to a very high reference base,” said Agon. “There was a clear acceleration in sales, reflecting the contributions made by all divisions. The upturn in growth is being confirmed in Western Europe, a gradual improvement is being made in North America and the pace is accelerating in the rest of the world.

“In view of the strong first-half sales growth and the prospect of sustained dynamism up to the end of the year, we are raising our like-for-like sales growth target to the 7 percent to 8 percent range, which is at the upper end of our medium-term growth target of 6 percent to 8 percent,” continued Agon. “The quality of these results strengthens our confidence in our ability to achieve another year of double-digit net earnings per share growth in 2007.”

During an earlier interview in Paris that appeared in the May edition of WWD Beauty Biz, a sister publication of WWD, Agon elaborated on the global dynamics that largely drive his vision of growth. “We computed that every year, roughly 70 million new [consumers] in the world gain access to a level of income that allows them to buy our brands and products,” Agon said then, noting that globalization is one of the most powerful pistons in the L’Oréal growth engine.

What has always been quaintly referred to as “the rest of the world” is now bigger than L’Oréal’s sales volume in North America. “They are now almost 30 percent of our business and contribute to 60 percent of our growth,” he said of the emerging markets, predicting that one day “very soon,” these markets will generate 50 percent of L’Oréal’s global volume.

“What we are seeing right now is a completely new condition of the worldwide economy,” he had said in the earlier interview, while discussing China, India, Brazil, Mexico and Russia. “Because of the transfer of wealth around the world, these markets opened up 10 or 15 years ago, but it’s really now that they are booming in terms of economic growth. This economic boom creates new social classes and new categories of consumers who now have access to our products. This is a historic opportunity.”

Source: WWD.com 

Britney Spears: No Pants

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Britney Spers No Pants

Exclusive: Britney Spears No Pants photos – August 30

Wal-Mart Gets Gnarly, Signs Exclusive Deal For Ocean Pacific Op

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. may have just hopped a wave in the fashion race.

In a major coup for the world’s largest retailer, the mass merchant has scored an exclusive deal with Iconix Brand Group to carry the Ocean Pacific and Op brands, the iconic labels often credited with spawning the surf and beach culture that’s been mined by retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and Hollister Co. Ocean Pacific’s legacy includes distribution in such high-end specialty stores as Fred Segal and Barneys New York. Later, the brand was sold in department stores such as Kohl’s and J.C. Penney.

Adding Ocean Pacific to its apparel offerings is a boost for Wal-Mart, which has been struggling with fashion, especially on the women’s side. The retailer had to pull its trendy Metro 7 line from about 500 stores last year after an overly ambitious expansion. Meanwhile, George has had trouble gaining traction in the U.S., although the ASDA-designed brand does well in the U.K. Earlier this year, Wal-Mart discontinued its capsule collection, George ME, which was designed by Mark Eisen.

The Ocean Pacific and Op deal covers a broad range of apparel and accessories, and is expected to launch in Wal-Mart stores in the U.S. in the spring. It’s a step in Wal-Mart’s strategy to get shoppers to “cross the aisle” from groceries, its largest single business, to soft goods and perhaps an acknowledgement it cannot do it with in-house brands alone.

“Op is a youth brand focused on the surf lifestyle,” said a Wal-Mart spokeswoman. “It will help expand the range of our apparel offering as we leverage the brand equity to address this growth lifestyle.”

“We are excited that the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, will now bring this global brand to the broadest audience of consumers in its history,” Neil Cole, chairman and chief executive officer of Iconix, said in a statement. “We are looking forward to working with Wal-Mart to continue to develop Ocean Pacific into a year-round lifestyle brand that we are confident will resonate deeply with the Wal-Mart customer.”

Iconix granted distribution rights to Wal-Mart for the U.S., Brazil, China and India. The agreement provides for opportunities in other countries in the future.

“This is a huge opportunity globally,” said Dick Baker, former ceo of Ocean Pacific, who pulled the brand out of mass-market distribution to move it upmarket. “This is a big deal. The brand is a very successful upper-middle-market [player] in Japan in license with Nikki.”

Baker said it also has a strong businesses in Canada, Mexico and Central America.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for Wal-Mart,” Baker added. “To have a brand like this, a true American lifestyle surf brand, as part of their stable is great. Iconix is a great partner. My only issue is if you look at the landscape of mid-tier and mass retailers, there’s been a lack of execution with these brand deals over the last 10 years. The good [deals] have been Mossimo and Target because there was a lot of product and brand strategy that went into it, and the Candie’s strategy with Kohl’s. Other than that, there’s a lot of roadkill of brands that attempted to fit into the retailer’s domain.”

Nonetheless, Baker said, “John Fleming [Wal-Mart's chief merchant] is a great merchant. To have his hand on this is going to be a big positive. Wal-Mart has the opportunity to create a Hollister-type of execution.”

While national brands are critical to the success of Wal-Mart’s apparel business, the retail giant has been slow to make acquisitions or sign licensing agreements. It launched Levi Strauss Signature in July 2003, but the arrangement was exclusive for only a limited time; it bowed at Target six months later. Other brands at Wal-Mart include Riders, Wrangler, Faded Glory and Just My Size.

Ocean Pacific was born in the Sixties as a surfboard label. Jim Jenks, the founder, created an apparel line in 1972 that identified a burgeoning culture and connected surfing with music, skateboarding, motocross, BMX and snowboarding. The company called it the West Coast lifestyle. By the end of the Seventies, the youth market came of age and Op began aligning itself with all action sports and selling its brand of casual California clothing. The company sponsored athletes in a variety of sports and collaborated with musicians and artists.

Op in August 2004 was sold to Warnaco Group Inc. for $40 million and the assumption of $1 million of debt. Iconix purchased Op in November 2006 for $53 million. Iconix assumed 15 domestic licenses covering product categories such as footwear, sunglasses, kids’ apparel and fragrance. Upon acquiring the Op brand, Iconix granted Warnaco the license for junior swimwear. Since the Iconix deal closed, the brand has been on “hiatus,” said Baker, noting Op did $250 million in wholesale sales worldwide in 2005.

“Wal-Mart is likely acknowledging that they need help with apparel and that brands matter in this area of the store,” Christine Augustine, an analyst at Bear Stearns, said in a research note. “We view this deal as a positive and expect to see more like it in the future. Wal-Mart will work with Iconix to develop and source the product, which will be priced above opening price points. It is possible that the brand gets extended to other categories in the store, such as footwear and home.”

“It’s an upscale brand and has some recognition among young customers,” said Walter Loeb, a retail analyst at Loeb Associates. “Customers will be more receptive to that brand than some of those Wal-Mart has featured. I think they will start by putting it into 300 to 500 stores and testing it thoroughly instead of plowing it into 1,500 stores like they did with Metro 7.”

Harry Bernard, a partner in San Francisco-based Colton Bernard, worked on research for Op’s repositioning by Baker. He called the deal “a fascinating combination of totally different cultures. Wal-Mart has been hit across the bridge of the nose enough times to figure out they can’t do it on their own. Iconix can look at the market and see where it’s going not where it’s been. If [positioning the brand] doesn’t become a battle of the titans during the decision-making process, I think there’s a chance that it” will succeed.

“They’re going to make it what they want to make it,” Baker said of Wal-Mart’s handling of Op. “If I were them, I would put a lot of time and effort into positioning and strategy. It’s an iconic American brand. If they do it incorrectly it will be an injustice.”

“Black models are being sidelined by major modelling agencies”

Monday, August 27th, 2007

Naomi Campbell

“Black models are being sidelined by major modelling agencies,” Naomi Campbell told Kenyan journalists earlier this week. “It’s a pity that people don’t appreciate black beauty.” Campbell, who also complained that she is rarely featured on the cover of British Vogue, is now thinking of opening her own modelling agency in Kenya in an attempt to redress the balance.

She is, of course, not saying anything new. “Racism in fashion industry” is about as surprising a headline as “Pete Doherty arrested”. But while she has never been the most likable supermodel around, Campbell is to be congratulated for the fact that throughout her career she has never shied away from talking about the issue.

“There is prejudice. It is a problem and I can’t go along any more with brushing it under the carpet,” said Streatham’s most famous export as far back as 1997. “This business is about selling, and blonde and blue-eyed girls are what sells.” Saying this sort of stuff takes guts, no matter who you are; Campbell is not so much biting the hand that feeds as ripping it off at the wrist.For the record, Campbell has appeared on a total of eight Vogue covers, which is approximately eight more than most of us, but notably less than Kate Moss (a whopping 24). Moss-mania aside, a more realistic comparison might be with Linda Evangelista or Gisele Bündchen (13 and 12 covers respectively) – and while, in Vogue cover terms, she is roughly in the same ball park, it is unlikely that Bündchen or Evangelista has ever been turned down for a job because the designer didn’t want a white model.

Of course, Vogue is not the only barometer of the fashion industry’s treatment of black women, and Campbell is not the only black model to have faced racism.

It may seem as though things have moved on considerably since the 70s when Iman, the first black supermodel, was pitched as an illiterate Somali goatherd (she was in fact a middle-class multilingual university student), but the fact is that you can still count the number of prominent black models on one hand. While publishers remain convinced that white women won’t buy a magazine with a black woman on the cover, it is going to take more than a model with a reputation for having a bit of a temper to change their minds.

Tommy and Thierry Trench Up Against Racism

Monday, August 27th, 2007
Tommy Hilfiger
Designer Tommy Hilfiger and Thierry Henry, international soccer’s classiest goal scorer, are tag teaming to create a new fashion collection One 4 All, whose proceeds go to the anti-racism foundation, One 4 All, recently created by the sport star.
“I’m very happy to be able bring something to people who’ve had less luck than myself,” explained Henry, the official ambassador against racism for FIFA, soccer’s ruling international organization.
The two Ts plan to launch One 4 All on October 2nd in the designer’s Regent Street flagship store in London.
Thierry was the top scorer and captain of the famed north London team Arsenal, generally regarded as the side that plays the most elegant football in Britain. However, this summer Henry, a winner of World Cup and European Championship medals for France, transferred to the legendary Spanish side Barcelona.
“I am honored by Tommy’s interest in my foundation, and if I can do a little to help racism and social inequalities disappear that would be worth all my personal accomplishments,” added Henry, for whom creating the collection was his first ambassadorial gesture.
One 4 All will be a capsule collection inspired by Henry, Hilfiger stressed, and include suits, sportswear, shoes and underwear.
Across the English Channel, or La Manche (sleeve) as the French call it, Tommy will produce a limited series of 14 trench coats, each with lining featuring images of the star player.
The looks will be sold exclusively in Colette starting September 24 and will be featured in the windows of the Paris style emporium from that day until September 30.
All the earnings from the trenches, priced at 1,014 Euros, or $1,370, will go to the One 4 All foundation.
Tommy will also throw a party to celebrate the anti-racism raincoats, at which one of his fave new bands, Les Plasticines, will play.

And all for one.

Diesel Polo T Shirt

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

Diesel Polo Shirt

Pick this summer Diesel Polo T Shirt for 88$ (or 44 british pounds) at MainLineMensWear online shop. Available sizes are Medium and XXLarge.

You can view/order shirt here

Fashion-Forum.org Team

 

GARTH BROOKS, QUEEN LATIFAH, JOSS STONE AND KENNY “BABYFACE” EDMONDS JOIN ALL-STAR LINE UP FOR MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. NATIONAL MEMORIAL DREAM CONCERT

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

Tommy Hilfiger Logo Fashion

The Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. announced today that Garth Brooks, Joss Stone, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, and Queen Latifah have joined the all-star line up for The Dream Concert to benefit the building of the Memorial on the National Mall. Tickets for The Dream Concert, which will be held at Radio City Music Hall on September 18, 2007 at 8 p.m., go on sale to the public on Monday, July 30th at 9:00 a.m. Tickets are priced at $250, $500 and $1,000 and are available through TicketMaster phones and outlets and at www.ticketmaster.com. Go to www.thedreamconcert.com for more information.

Garth Brooks, Queen Latifah, Joss Stone
and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds join the world’s top artists including Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Carlos Santana, Robin Thicke, Bebe Winans, Cece Winans and Jessye Norman for a once-in-a-lifetime concert. Whoopi Goldberg has joined as a special guest presenter and Grammy-award winner Alicia Keys, along with Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino, Petra Nemcova and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, are the newest additions to The Dream Concert Host Committee. Rickey Minor has signed on as Musical Director.

Tommy Hilfiger, Russell Simmons, Joel Horowitz, Quincy Jones, David Stern and Edgar Bronfman, Jr. are co-chairing The Dream Concert, a historic gathering of the top musicians in the country, as well as prominent figures from politics, sports and entertainment to benefit the building of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, DC. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis serve as the event’s artistic directors and Ben Affleck, Muhammad Ali, Angela Bassett, Jamie Foxx, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, LaDainian Tomlinson, Kerry Washington and former Mayor David Dinkins are the previously announced Host Committee members. Al Roker will also appear during the concert as a special guest presenter.

The Dream Concert will embody the ideals of hope, love, democracy, and justice for which Dr. King stood. The concert will capture the essence of his lasting teaching by joining together musicians from across genre lines, featuring unique musical combinations not usually found on the same stage. The Memorial Foundation has already raised $81 million of the $100 million needed to complete and maintain the memorial, and this event will help secure the additional funds.

Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc.
A memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Memorial will be situated adjacent to the F.D.R. Memorial and in a direct line between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. Congress passed Joint Resolutions in 1996 authorizing Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. to establish a memorial honoring Dr. King to be built in Washington, DC. The Ceremonial Groundbreaking took place on November 13, 2006 and the Memorial is scheduled to be completed in 2008. Website: www.buildthedream.org.

Ticket Information
Tickets to all concerts and events at Radio City Music Hall are available beginning on the first day of sale through Ticketmaster Charge By Phone and all Ticketmaster Outlets, and beginning on the second day of sale at the Radio City Music Hall Box Office. All tickets purchased for Radio City Music Hall events contain a Facility Charge. TicketMaster purchases are also subject to their service charge. The telephone number for the Radio City Music Hall Disabled Services department is (212) 465-6115 for tickets and information. The TicketMaster information and Charge by Phone number is (212) 307-4111. Tickets are available online at www.radiocity.com. Tickets are also available at the Madison Square and Beacon Theatre box offices. Special VIP ticket packages are available at
www.thedreamconcert.com.

“Halloween” Arrives Early

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

Tayor Compton Fashion

It’s back, and it isn’t even October yet! The latest reincarnation of the oft-told tale of Halloween – this time it is Rob Zombie’s vision of the sick story of Michael Myers – scared its way into Hollywood on Thursday night, with a premiere at the venerable Mann’s Chinese Theater. The flick, which opens on August 31, stars 18-year-old Scout Taylor-Compton in the role that Jamie Lee Curtis made famous. She and veteran actor Malcolm McDowell (who takes over the Donald Pleasance part from the 1978 original) shared a big kiss on the red carpet, then hugged it out with Zombie and his wife Shari Moon, who also stars in the horror flick.

McDowell, whose breakout roles in “If…” and “A Clockwork Orange” came when he was not much older than Taylor-Compton is now, commented at an earlier press day that the ingénue needs to keep her head screwed on straight in order to make it for the long-term in the heady world of Hollywood movies.

“She’s got tremendous talent,” he said. “But it gets to the point where it’s not about talent, it’s about character. It will be really be up to her and her character to see whether she can come through this and move on up. That is the name of the game, and that is what is difficult.”

The actor also wants to make it clear that this new version of “Halloween” is not a slasher movie, despite the grisly murders that take place as the action moves briskly along. “I don’t like slasher movies, but this isn’t one,” he insisted. “I think this is more a classic horror film. I think it’s a sort of Greek Tragedy, isn’t it really? It’s a classic horror movie, the boy next door, that’s the scary part. It’s the boy next door, this angelic child. But it’s really an indictment about mental health, as much as anything else, if you want to get ridiculous about it.”

Joining McDowell, Taylor-Compton, Kristina Klebe, Lorielle New, and the Zombies on the red carpet were the film’s diverse stars, from gigantic Taylor Mane (he takes over as Michael Myers) to horror queen Dee Wallace, ex-Monkee Mickey Dolenz, and a gaggle of the scariest-looking actors working in Hollywood today, including Brad Dourif, Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Daeg Faerch, and Danny Trejo. Seeing those guys coming at you, you might just think you stepped into a horror movie, no matter how much the actor doth protest!

Fashion-Forum.org Team

Britney rocks again: New single and new boyfriend!

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Britney Spears Fashion

World exclusive: Britney rocks again: New single and new boyfriend!

Britney rocks again!

Despite all the rumors and the bad image in the last few months, Britney has found new strenght; everything bad that happened is behind her. As we found out from her close friends and family, she has the new single that will knock everyone down. It’s important to say new single contains a lot of Britney’s biography segments from the last period. Song called “My Dreams” is one of the best pop moments ever recorded. Some experts believe it could be compared to the best days of Madonna.

Britney is relaxing and preparing a new video for the single in her friend’s house in the little village in Australia, in the company of only her closest friends and producers.

Everyone is asking why does Britney look better than ever. The answer is simple: She has new boyfriend! She says that she never had such intimate and safe relationship that gives her power to start again. The mysterious, 27 years old Australian stylist is the reason why Britney looks amazing and prepares to rock world’s music charts again. From the closest sources we found out her boyfriend is very successful stylist and fashion designer who worked with Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabbana.

The world can’t wait to see and listen her new single. The premiere is expected to be in the beginning of the September.

Exclusive for Fashion Blog by Fashion-Forum.org