Marc Jacobs has been very strategic with sunglasses sub-licensing deal that went to Safilo, one of the world’s largest glasses manufacturing company. He decided to have two sunglasses lines Marc Jacobs – a premium line and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Both took off at their own pace. Marc by Marc sunglasses are mainly made in China, so is a lot of Marc Jacobs clothing. But sunglasses are very well made and are offered at a large variety of styles. The target market are teenagers and people in early 20’s. They can’t afford Dior and Gucci, but they want to look good and fashionable. So, Marc by Marc fills that niche. Of course, now with expected IPO of Marc Jacobs company there is expectation that sunglasses will go up in price. Here are the best deals so far:
Guccio Gucci has created a brand that remains most sought after even today. In fact, Gucci brand is named as one of the most recognizable by Forbes magazine. Amount of advertising put by the company this year is insane. I see Gucci add everywhere – on most of websites I go to, on billboards in the city, subway stations etc. This makes Gucci one of the most aggressive brands in fashion industry. Gucci is also very productive. Gucci sunglasses 2013 collection is a proof. Here are my favorite models of this year:
Marc Jacobs has announced that he is quitting Louis Vuitton after 16 years as the Chief Creative Director. He is leaving to concentrate on his own label Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs to take it IPO. Today he showed his last collection for LV in Paris, as usually with a lot of stage drama. Most of models were in black colors and short silhouettes, it is up to us to interpret it in our own ways.
The reason of his leave – an IPO work, promotes him from a designer or creative director to a real businessman, a CEO, Financial Director and so forth. Ambitions are set high to repeat the legacy of Tom Ford, who also once left LV for his own label management. The leave was a success for Tom Ford who went off to independent life engaging in business of fashion and designing nothing. Who wants to stand near the drawing board with seamstresses when he can rub shoulders with financiers.
Nevertheless Louis Vuitton can’t keep unquestionably the most consistent and hardworking designer in the industry forever. Marc Jacobs brand was launched a year before the aspiring designer joined LV. Over the past 16 years he was splitting his time between LV collections and Marc Jacobs. His own label did very well opening stores all over the world and licensing his name to various initiatives, sunglasses and glasses included. A few years ago Marc Jacobs name was licensed to Safilo for undisclosed number of million dollars.
Int past 16 years Louis Vuitton brand survived China and recession. China posed a tremendous threat to the brand when LV trademark was not granted to Louis Vuitton, but other company who immediately started to copy LV products and sell them as real. Sales went global and confused consumer started to under-appreciate the brand and buy fakes as real. Louis Vuitton fought back by opening stores in central malls in Asia, suing eBay and significantly lowering the prices of their products to close the gap between real and fakes. It is not clear what role Marc Jacobs played in this strategy, but he surely learned enough business lessons to continue as independent businessman.
An IPO for fashion companies is a great marketing tool. We expect to see more free press coverage over the next year, just like it was with Prada two years ago before Prada IPOed in Hong Kong. IPO certainly allowed Muccia Prada cash out big, while quality of her products decreased dramatically. Entire legacy of Prada shoes was erased in one year when entire manufacturing was outsourced to Vietnam. No more Devil wears Prada. No doubt that the pressure to decrease costs to increase profit was posed by shareholders who cared for stock more than long term legacy of the brand. Reputation of Marc Jacob brand is potentially on the line as well. Today brand is known for it’s immense creativity, fun factor, reasonable price and quality. It is still quite a niche brand, and IPO could allow it to grow in a good sense. It will all be up to Marc Jacobs.
Fashion weeks is a multi-million dollar business. Thousands of jobs got created because of this 20th century entertainment phenomena. These days every large city wants to host their own Fashion week. Paris, Milan and New York hold the largest fashion weeks twice a year. Other big cities that have a fashion week are Toronto, Tokyo, Shanghai, Berlin Los Angeles and dozen others.
Have you ever wondered how expensive is to participate in a fashion week? Do they charge fees? Do they pay any labels to participate? What is a real cost of presenting a collection at a international fashion week? Here is what we found out:
To participate well established labels don’t have to pay entry fee, nor they need to pay for the venue since tickets are sold to attend that cover these costs. They however have to pay for decoration and operations of the show they are putting. A fashion show revealing the new collection can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars according to Forbes. Cost is broken down between setting up the venue decor, furniture, building the runway and backstage room, hosting a reception, hiring models, stylists and make-up artists and so forth. According to Forbes interview with a famous fashion show producer Thomas Onorato, certain costs may appear surprising. Large labels can shell $20,000-50,000 just to hire a celebrity stylist or makeup artist, which in turn will pay off in increased sales if presentation goes well. Some models request a special suite, that of course, has to be built at participating label’s cost, this on the top of paying the model. A famous phrase by Linda Evangelista “We don’t wake up for less than $10,000” which was said back in 90’s gives us a rough idea how much just a few minute appearance can cost designers.
A newly emerging label has to pay differently. While it is up to them how much operating expenses they want to spend, they have to pay for venue rental on top of that. As venues compete for business, some offer value-add participation by providing services such as lighting and stage organization such as MAC and Milk in New York. But even to those, to get in, a designer has to be invited. So, you can’t be just completely new label.
As shows get larger, with close to 300 labels showcasing collections a few minutes apart during the week, scheduling of events is becoming more challenging. Paris fashion week has a reputation of a very good organization with not more than one large label showing the collection per hour. This gives media time to switch between the viewings. New York fashion week in contrary, has a bad reputation of scheduling that affects labels in the long term. If media and photographers didn’t get a chance to make good pictures there will be no publicizing later. Perhaps this is the reason why so many grand labels, such as Versace or Dior for example did not participate in the New York fashion week this year. In a slow economy labels have a choice where to put their money.