Wednesday, July 18, 2012

HAUTE HUNTER: Sun-Days....

Hello my fellow Haute Hunters!
Last time I posted, summer was peeking around the corner.   Now, it's almost over! UGHHH!   Before I get too down, however, I must say that I'm blessed to have a  few 'mini excursions'  on the horizon to make the most of what's left of these 'sun days'.  Whether on a beach in Vieques, at a benefit in the Hamptons, or devouring a lobster roll in Cape Cod, I will use these opportunities to rejuvenate, revive, and re-ignite myself! I'm sure you have similar plans for yourself so since we'll both need some 'poolside/beach blanket reading materials',  let me hip you to the latest and greatest in all things FASHION.....

The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund recently announced their 2012 finalist. The winner will be announced this fall.  According to,   The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund "initiative was established in 2003 to help emerging American designers find success through financial support and guidance from an industry icon."  This years finalists are:
• Andrea Lieberman of A.L.C.
• Greg Armas of Assembly New York
• Sofia Sizzi of Giulietta
• Justin Salguero, Daniel Silberman, and Alina Silberman of Illesteva
• Jennifer Fisher of Jennifer Fisher Jewelry
• Jennifer Meyer Maguire of Jennifer Meyer
• Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty of Suno
• Tabitha Simmons
• Greg Chait of the Elder Statesman
• Wes Gordon

Vogue's parent company- Condé Nast,  is also implementing initiatives to support emerging fashion designers with their creation of The Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design in London's trendy Soho neighborhood. reports that the college, to open in January 2013, will initially offer a Vogue Fashion Certificate after a 10 week program.  Later in the year, a Vogue Fashion Foundation Diploma will be offered in connection with a one year program.  Check out the details at

The fashion industry has been abuzz about 14-year-old Julia Bluhm who petitioned Seventeen magazine  to utilize unaltered photos in their monthly glossy. The petition, created on, has obtained almost 85,000 signatures, as noted in and was the catalyst to Seventeen dedicating their August issue to outlining a new "Body Peace Treaty" whereby they vow to not change girls bodies or faces and to feature healthy models.  Let's see how this compares to Vogue's Health Initiative I discussed in my most recent posting.     

On the television front, NBC's Fashion Star  reality show is facing some major changes as it returns for its second season.   Both the show's host Elle Macpherson and retail partner H&M have announced they would not be returning!   Gasp- considering H&M routinely sold out of their Fashion Star offerings.  
Conversely, Heidi Klum's Project Runway  show has added Lord & Taylor as their new retail partner!   

Now, I know you all are as confused about that new "Yves Saint Laurent"/"Saint Laurent Paris" name change thingy as I am..... BUT for the sake of clarity, The Cut contends that "according to Business of Fashion, the title change will only affect the label's ready-to-wear line, not its beauty range (which is owned by L'Oreal) or the fashion house itself."  Good because I was so confused as to what Creative Director Hedi Slimane was actually trying to accomplish here!   

Jason Wu has just announced a more affordable 'diffusion' line available at Nordstrom called "Miss Wu".  The price point for this juniors collection, which will be available this coming January, range from $195 to $795.   

Also in the name of 'recession-friendly' fashion, designer Stella McCartney is launching the "Stella" collection of lower-priced lingerie ranging from $26 to $55 and giving Mz. Vickie Secrets a run for their money!

Not as concerned with the recession, however, is design team Dolce & Gabbana.  The brand recently announced that they have created a children's line to debut in stores this month for both boys and girls.  Racked reports, "some highlights for girls include...'sheepskin and cashmere capes flank tweed bouclé jackets in green and dusty pink lined with Dolce & Gabbana’s iconic white on black polka dots and leopard prints' (and) ...for boys (,) (t)ailored velvet, pinstripes and tricot jogging outfits'."

Shoe designer Christian Louboutin is also tapping into the Disney-lovers  market....well, not the kids as much as us 'more mature Princesses' who refuse to give up on our "happily ever after" fantasy,  by unveiled his version of Cinderella's glass slipper.  Take a you think these can help snag Prince Charming?  

Speaking of Louboutin, it's worth mentioning that his exhibit celebrating his 20 year anniversary at London's Design Museum has brought in over 38,000 visitors over the last two and a half months.   I must say, this man has FANS!

Fans aside, however, designer Doo Ri Chung has parted ways with her Doo Ri line and designer Vera Wang has separated from her husband/business partner Arthur Becker.   Break-ups are NEVER easy ladies... :-(

On a happier note, several of our musical divas are designing their way to stardom!  Mz Rih Rih has agreed to design a capsule for the UK brand 'River Island' while Mz J-Lo is launching a line of "luxury" t-shirts on  Bringing up the rear is 'Dream girl' Mz J. Hud, who created a line of affordable pieces to be sold on QVC this September. 

In more design news, both Virgin Airlines and McDonalds are redesigning their uniforms a la "Mad Men" style.  Virgin is teaming up with Banana Republic  to outfit 1,200 flight crew members.   Racked also noted that those of us 'on the ground' will be able to mimic the fashionable crew starting this August by purchasing some of the pieces "via the airline’s 'Red Shop' platform and in select Banana Republic stores."  McDonalds in the UK, on the other hand,  "enlisted the help of Red or Dead designer Wayne Hemingway, according to Fashionista, to offer the chain's employees, as reported in Telegraph, "a softer pallet of faded plaid, gherkin green, and muted mustard" to "pay tribute to the 1960s mod movement".    I don't expect the Mickey D outfits to be offered to us 'civilians' least I pray they aren't! ;-)

Now, let's move away from the 'fluff' for a moment to get down to real business....
Amid speculation that a sale was pending, couture house Valentino (which also own the M Missoni license business) has indeed been sold to a Qatar-based company by the name of Mayhoola for Investments S.P.C.  Although the sum of the sale is undisclosed, Fashionista estimated the worth of the Italian company to be "as much as $852 million."

In other business of fashion news, UK-based Jimmy Choo reported a rise in profits of 19.2%.  This increase comes as a surprise considering many questioned the future of the designer shoe brand after the departure of its founder Tamara Mellon late last year. 

In keeping with the good news, online site Moda Operandi recently received a $36million infusion of funds that will undoubtedly take this retailer to 'another level'!  Hopefully, this infusion of cash will encourage them to continue to offer generous credit incentive to their loyal clients! ;-)

Also making moves is drugstore chain Walgreens.  Yes, Walgreens is getting global with their $6.7Billion purchase of UK drugstore chain Alliance Boots!  I love visiting Boots when I'm in London- they have great body/beauty products (some of which you can now find stateside in Target ;-)).

Lastly, According to Fast Company magazine, Japanese retail chain Uniqlo is on tap to became the world's largest retailer after H&M, Zara, and The Gap of course.   I'm still not completely sold on Uniqlo (esp. since I missed on on the J+ offerings :-( )but Mz NC and Mz TT are steadily trying to convert me! ;-)

Taking a look at the legal side of the industry, The Fashion Law reported that Prada USA Corp. recently sued MaxMara based upon "millions of dollars in damages incurred as a result of MaxMara's unjustified breach, including lost profits projected for [Prada's] planned boutique and significant sums spent in reliance on MaxMara's broken commitment"  in connection with Prada's plan to lease MaxMara's Waikiki space to open a Miu Miu boutique.

In more news regarding Louis Vuitton's 2011 suit against Warner Bros. in connection with The Hangover Part 2's use of counterfeit bags in the film,  LVMH recently appealed the court's June 2012 dismissal. This is starting to really feel like a real 'hangover'...enough already guys!

Speaking of 'enough', Christian Louboutin is still fighting off his 'red bottom' pilferers.   Louboutin sued Zara in France recently with hopes of preventing Zara from selling a pair of shoes with red soles. Louboutin is also preparing to appeal the 'red sole' suit he lost against YSL last year.   I guess I can't blame the man for trying to protect his trademark. 

And just like LV isn't too keen on counterfeits, Hermes is continuing its fight by recently assisting police in breaking up a  $22Million counterfeit crime ring.  Apparently, Hermes employees were also involved in the ring... no wonder those fake Birkins look so real!

Now my favorite news.... COLLABORATION NEWS!

Target and Neimen Marcus have announced that they are teaming up for a Holiday 2012 collection of limited edition items created by 24 CFDA designers like Carolina Herrera, Tracy Reese, Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs, Jason Wu, Diane von Furstenberg, Tory Burch, Brian Atwood, Marchesa, Derek Lam, Judith Leiber and  Proenza Schouler.  Both Target and Neiman Marcus will sell the 50 items beginning on December 1st at price points ranging from $7.99 to $499.99. 
According to Fashionista, EBay has also created a "Holiday Collective" which include Tibi, Chris Benz, Fallon, Jonathan Adler, Ruffian, Billy Reid, and Steven Allen.

Not to be left behind, however, is Nordstrom who just brokered a deal with UK-based Topshop to install boutiques for both women and men within 14 of its stores this fall.   The boutiques will feature exclusive Topshop for Nordstrom pieces.   I'm sure that the Nordstrom locations will also- hopefully- carry Topshop's JW Anderson's capsule scheduled for initial release this fall.

As most of you already know, one of the biggest collabos this year is the pending H&M/Maison Martin Margiela joint venture.  Looking forward to the November 15 launch date!

Kohl's is also expanding their designer presence by teaming up with Narciso Rodriquez as the inaugural designer in Kohl's Design Nation initiative.   Design Nation, being introduced to Kohl's customers this November, is being developed by LF USA and will challenge guest designers to design based upon geographic inspirations.  Rodriquez's line, inspired by the city of  Istanbul (where I got mugged but I digress....), will be priced between $30 and $150. 

Coach and Anna Sui have found love.... Sui is re-designing Coach's Duffle Sac, which will be available this fall.     

Another new 'marriage' has occurred between French fashion house A.P.C. and American sports apparel line Nike.  A.P.C. designer Jean Touitou will design a collection of Dunk and Air Max sneakers available next month for $110-$150. 

 Apparently, designer sports gear is in demand these days considering the fact that:
1) the CFDA has joined forces with the New York Mets to celebrate their respective 50th anniversaries.  CFDA designers Yigal Azrouel, Shipley & Halmos, Billy Reid, and Loomstate will design shirts and hoodies for both men and women.   Order online at and purchase at Citi Field starting July 24th; and
2) Marchesa designer Georgian Chapman is linking up with the NFL to design a limited edition shirt to debut in September.  I KNOW that's gonna be cute!
I see there may be a place in sports for me after all! ;-)

In beauty news, Karl Lagerfeld and Shu Uemura are preparing for the holidays by teaming up for the Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura limited edition holiday make up collection.  The 17 piece collection is only available  in November ex-U.S.  so start planning some international trips this fall!
Both Lady Gaga and Nicole Richie have entered the fragrance game!
Lady Gaga's "Fame" perfume is being carried in 3,000 stores stateside and 30,000 worldwide in 84 markets and is retailing in the U.S. for $19-$79 depending on the size of the 'egg shaped bottle' (a nod to Gaga's Grammy 'hatching') you obtain.
 Richie's perfume, paying homage to her mother's "southern roots" will be sold for $28 to $69 in 2,000 stores stateside and in several international markets. 

MAC is coming up with some new and interesting joint ventures!  First, MAC has announced they will be creating a makeup collection inspired by the Archies (yes, the cartoon) and secondly, they have created a line of press-on nails (and matching lipstick shades) with the Ruffian clothing brand.  The Ruffian collection is only here for a limited time so get on it! 

Former MAC collaborator Hello Kitty has some news of her own.... apparently, there is a Hello Kitty-themed spa in Dubai offering "kitty-cures" and chocolate facials.  Mz CA, I know you are sooo there!

PHEW... after all of that 'news', it's time to feast our eyes on something(s) pretty! 

First, let's do some hi/lo comps (haven't done many of those in a while) and then check out some of my Haute Hunt finds in both 'hi' and 'lo' categories! ;-).

Valentino Runway SS 2012 $$$
Forever 21 $24.80

Nicholas Kirkwood $489 SALE PRICE My Theresa

Giuseppe Zanotti $750 Shopbop
Steve Madden $116.99 Zappos

Equipment Blouse $248 Intermix

Joe Fresh $29

Asos Maxi T Dress $58
Norma Kamali Hi/Lo Jersey Dress $275 Shopbop

Preen Maxi T Dress $1300

Vera Wang Dipped Hem Vest $995 Netaporter
Asos Dipped Hem Vest $19.06

Matthew Williamson Ombre Dress $2915 Moda Operandi

H&M Ombre Dress $59.95

Mary Katrantzou Print Body Con Dress $2085
Print Body Con Dress Topshop $72

Zara Floral Print Pant SALE $39.99
Tibi Floral Print Pant $330 Netaporter

Elizabeth & James Snake Print Pant $325 Shopbop
H&M Snake Print Pant SALE $15

Parker Pleated Dress $253/SALE $99
Forever 21 Pleated Dress $32.80

Now for some of my 'Haute Hunt' 'lo' finds:

Sheer Dress Forever 21 $27.80

Alice & Olivia Wrap Dress $220 Shopbop

Heather Maxi Dress $141 Shopbop

Fringe Dress $62.65 Topshop

Forever 21 Dress $24.80

Asos Split Dress $107.71

Asos Fringe Bathing Suit $58

Forever 21 Metallic Short $19.80

FNC Blouse $46.48 Asos

H&M Racer back Dress $17.95

Asos Leather  Color Block Pencil Skirt $149.13

Asos Peplum Dress $66.28

Forever 21 Asymmetrical Dress $24.80

Body Suit Forever 21 $14.80

Tribal Necklace $10.80 Forever 21

Multi row Metal Necklace $30 TopShop

Matte Gold Cuff $5.80 Forever 21

Blush Suede Pump with Lucite Heel SALE $69.99 Mango

Pour La Victoire Croc Embossed Booties $350 Shopbop

Ombre Sunglasses $5.80 Forever 21

Hi-brow Action: 

Issa Dress $775 Shopbop

Pucci Dress with Sheer Inserts  $2410 Luisa Via Roma

Norma Kamali Runway Resort 2013 $$$$

Paula Raia Illusion Dress $4460 Moda Operandi

Jimmy Choo Metallic Pump $650 Netaporter

Christian Louboutin Fringe Boot $2395

Giuseppe Zanotti Crystal Shoe $1495 Netaporter

Christian Louboutin Boot $1995 Bergdorf Goodman

OK ladies, I'm off to prepare for my first adventure for the summer! Nice Haute Hunting with you!
Follow me @MzHauteHunter



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