Have you heard of Couture Condoms, Couture Drugs, Couture Donuts or Couture Coke (the drinking one, not the snorting one)??? Well they do exist.
COUTURE DRUGS: These drug-chic Achraf Amiri ‘Fashion Victim’ images depict several different narcotics adorned with high-end couture logos and motifs. Who knew that a Burberry syringe could look so classy? The pictures themselves in this Achraf Amiri ‘Fashion Victim’ series are perfectly executed to seamlessly integrate iconic fashion prints, but I think the most stunning thing about these thought-provoking images is their powerful message. Is the user addicted to fashion like a drug, or is she a slave to consumerism and materialism?
COUTURE CONDOMS: A condom just isn’t the same without a little bit of Louis Vuitton or Gucci inscribed onto the smooth latex surface. Granted, it’s a lot more expensive than traditional Trojans, but this is the ultimate way to gain attention in the bedroom. These couture condoms demonstrate how fashion moguls are pushing their way into all facets of their consumers’ lives. The Louis Vuitton condom is covered with the brand’s traditional logo and for $68 you can buy these prophylactics and impress your lover. Just imagine taking your hot date out to dinner in that Marc Jacobs suit only to follow it up by a side dish of couture condoms at the end of the night. This may make loving slightly pricey, but at least you’ll look good while doing it.
COUTURE COKE BOTTLES: Manolo Blahnik used to design Coke Bottles before embarking on designing shoes, thanks to Diana Vreeland’s suggestion. This is the second time that Manolo Blahnik has been asked to outfit the most popular bottle on earth, that of a Coke. Back in 2005, the charismatic Spanish designer produced a white and red leafy design for Coca-Cola Light, reportedly inspired by thinking of what makes him smile. The new Blahnik design is equally joyful and bright as the last one, with its white background and patterned with numerous stylish Manolos, catering nicely to the shoe fetish. Following his daring footsteps, Roberto Cavalli, Karl Lagerfeld and Nattalie Rykiel produced their own striking versions of the fizzy bottle, raising the stakes on designer bottles.
Italian luxury brands Salvatore Ferragamo and Giorgio Armani are considering chaning their existing local partner, a subsidiary of real estate developer DLF, and have been talking to other corporate groups and investors.
Over the last five years, several leading luxury brands have already parted ways with the partner they chose to come to India with and have formed new alliances.
Several have changed partners more than twice. The best known example of a break-up between a global brand and an Indian partner was between the Murjani family and Gucci three years ago and more recetly, with Jimmy Choo and Bottega Veneta, both the brands dumped the Murjanis and opted for Genesis Colors. There are several other examples of luxury retailers changing partners. Ermenegildo Zegna, one of the first luxury brands to set up shop in India, has now tied up with Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Brands, while Paul Smith chose to ally with Genesis Colors. Even Genesis, which has several well-known luxury brands in its portfolio, was dumped by German luxury brand Aigner last year.
The crux of the whole problem is the standard template of a relationship that is short term and one sided in favour of the brand owner. Zegna and Reliance fought long over who would be the CEO of the alliance. Reliance insisted on having their own man while Zegna preferred their own. Add to this the problems of acute shortage of high quality real estate to house retail outlets, high customs duties that push up retail prices and the buying habits of the Indian consumer who is terribly value-conscious.
Global Luxury Brands opt for alliances of short durations and keep the controls in their hands as they anticipate that the government will eventually allow 100 per cent foreign investment in single-brand retail. But will the Government do so? I don’t see that happening any time soon.
Giorgio Armani, Gucci and Burberry are among the international luxury brands to open, each, second stores, in the National Capital Region (NCR) of New Delhi, in Gurgaon, at the newly opened OBEROI Gurgaon Hotel.
The Oberoi Gurgaon is the latest luxury hotel opening by the Indian hotel operator in India and is situated within 15 minutes from Indira Gandhi, New Delhi’s International Airport and less than approximately 45 minutes from the city centre.The new spectacular architectural development of the OBEROI Gurgaon, includes a stand alone glass and steel building which will house on one side Gucci and on the other side Giorgio Armani. For both brands – Armani & Gucci, this would be the second store in New Delhi, after their first stores opened four years ago at the Emporio Mall. Brands such as Burberry, Paul & Shark and Ermenegildo Zegna will open smaller locations, on a specially designated luxury retail wing within the hotel, with large windows overlooking the manmade lake, in the courtyard of the hotel. The new luxury shopping units are to be opened by the beginning of September.
Seems like Cannes Film Festival is more about Fashion & Luxury than Films. Louis Vuitton and Roberto Cavalli are among the international luxury brands to have recently opened dedicated stores during the upcoming CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 2011. Chanel is the latest brand to announce the set up of a pop up store in Cannes, during the festival, at Majestic Hotel.
Other major luxury brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Elie Saab, Gucci and Van Cleef Arpels are setting up showrooms at Martinez Hotel, mostly to provide assistance as well as last minute ”touches” for the hundreds of celebrities who will be wearing luxury branded clothing, accessories and jewellery.
Chanel is setting up its pop-up store or say, a temporary showroom at the luxury Eden Roc Hotel, in a large suite. Karl Lagerfeld, himself, will be present for several trunk shows and fittings with his ”muse” celebrities as well as top haute couture clients who will be in Cannes for the duration of the Film Festival.
Swiss jeweller CHOPARD, which is also a main sponsor of the CANNES Film Festival, will organize on May 14th, its traditional Trophée Chopard event, which this year will celebrate 10 years under the patronage of Robert de Niro, who is also the President of the Jury of this year’s edition. The Chopard Trophee rewards the talent of two young actors, each year, counting among its previous winners: Marion Cotillard, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Diane Kruger and Gael Garcia-Bernal.