Sonia Rykiel folds after failing to secure new buyer

Sonia Rykiel is to be liquidated after a judge rejected the sale of the French fashion house.Founded by the legendary designer, who was dubbed the Queen of Knits, in 1968, the brand was known for knitwear designs as well as clothing, accessories, and f…

Sonia Rykiel is to be liquidated after a judge rejected the sale of the French fashion house.

Founded by the legendary designer, who was dubbed the Queen of Knits, in 1968, the brand was known for knitwear designs as well as clothing, accessories, and fragrances.

However, the iconic label is to cease operations effective immediately, with 131 employees being let go, and all four boutiques and six stores across Monaco and France closing.

On Thursday, a Paris commercial court judge ended a four-month period of negotiations by rejecting a bid from Paris-based family firm Levy to buy the struggling fashion house, according to editors at Business of Fashion.

Uncertainty first loomed over the company when its owner, First Heritage Brands, unsuccessfully sought a buyer or investment for Sonia Rykiel back in January.

In March, the investment giant – helmed by French luxury executive Jean-Marc Loubier – let the house’s creative director Julie de Libran go, and in April, it entered receivership, and closed stores in New York and London.

Agnes Trouble, veteran French designer and founder of the Agnes b. brand, told reporters at AFP that news of the fashion house folding was like Sonia Rykiel herself had “died a second time”.

“It’s the end of an era. Dior and Saint Laurent are all about bling now – they no longer have the Parisian elegance they used to have” she added.

Rykiel, who died in 2016 at the age of 86 following complications from Parkinson’s disease, made her name in fashion with the creation of the “Poor Boy” sweater’ that Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn wore in the 1960s.

Investment group First Heritage Brands – backed by Hong Kong billionaires Victor and William Fung – bought her brand back in 2011 and relaunched the house with millions of dollars of new investment.

© Cover Media

Bella Hadid channels Audrey Hepburn for Vogue photoshoot

Bella Hadid has channelled Audrey Hepburn in a special photoshoot for U.S. Vogue magazine.The model, who walked the runway for the likes of Off-White and Redemption during Paris Fashion Week in February (19), has been tapped to front the latest digital…

Bella Hadid has channelled Audrey Hepburn in a special photoshoot for U.S. Vogue magazine.

The model, who walked the runway for the likes of Off-White and Redemption during Paris Fashion Week in February (19), has been tapped to front the latest digital cover for the publication.

In the main image, Bella poses in a strapless red dress designed by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy and a large hat made from ostrich feathers created by Christelle Kocher for Koche, with the ensemble evoking the iconic Hubert de Givenchy-designed outfit Audrey wore in 1957 film Funny Face.

“Ladylike polish is feeling fresh and relevant now that fashion has returned to the idea of heritage and refocused on value and craftsmanship,” a Vogue representative captioned a snap of the cover on Instagram. “Her strapless red dress, made of an adaptable technical crepe, was designed by @givenchyofficial’s Clare Waight Keller; the dream of a marabou hat by Christelle Kocher of @koche.”

However, Bella didn’t just sport the Givenchy number for the photoshoot, and in an accompanying video feature, she is seen posing up a storm in an array of outfits from designers who showed at Paris Fashion Week.

The brunette beauty wears a dark pink silk taffeta dress by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, a knitted romper and embroidered tulle skirt by Maria Grazia Chiuri for Christian Dior, a feather-trimmed tunic and embroidered trousers made by Olivier Rousteing at Balmain, as well as a white silk suit from Chanel.

“This was one of the most magical days to date. The future of a digital Vogue! @voguemagazine cover by the most creative @gvsgvs (Gordon von Steiner, director) @jordenbickham (Jorden Bickham, fashion editor) @stuart_winecoff (Stuart Winecoff, director of photography) wearing @givenchyofficial. I love you all so deeply. This means so much to me, and to do it with you means so much more!!! Thank you to Anna (Wintour), and everyone involved on this huge production. Just wow,” the 22-year-old gushed on social media.

© Cover Media

Isaac Mizrahi spills the beans on Audrey Hepburn and Liza Minnelli in ‘crazy’ new memoir

Isaac Mizrahi has released a new memoir, reflecting on his life and career 32 years after the release of his debut collection.The American designer worked for Perry Ellis and Calvin Klein before launching his signature collection in 1987 and, eight yea…

Isaac Mizrahi has released a new memoir, reflecting on his life and career 32 years after the release of his debut collection.

The American designer worked for Perry Ellis and Calvin Klein before launching his signature collection in 1987 and, eight years later, was the focus of New York-based fashion documentary Unzipped.

Having kept journals since 1996, the fashion star opens up about a variety of celebrity encounters, including dressing Audrey Hepburn and his first meeting with Liza Minnelli.

The Project Runway: All Stars judge reflected on the process of writing the book, titled I.M., suggesting that putting pen to paper came naturally to him.

“Just give me the opportunity to (talk) and I will. I’m kind of the perfect reality show talk show guest,” he confessed to WWD. “I overshare.

“When I took the job, my mother said, ‘Oh darling, if you’re going to do this you have to tell the truth.’ I thought. ‘Wow, that is great advice coming from this 90-year-old lady.’ Then I would call her to say, ‘Remember that time when duh, duh, duh’ and she would say ‘Oh no you can’t tell that story.’”

Mizrahi went on to call the seven-year process a “great feeling,” but admitted that he “understands why writers drink and abuse stuff”.

“It is crazy, crazy commitment,” the 57-year-old mused. “The funny thing is once you do commit and you get yourself into it for a few days, there is no coming out of it. It’s like a drug — you want more and more and more.

“People procrastinate (but) after a while, you’ll just have to do it. If you keep putting it off and allowing yourself to put it off, at some point you’ll say, ‘OK, now I’m ready.’”

© Cover Media

Clare Waight Keller’s team never guessed she was making royal wedding dress

Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller has insisted that no one in her team ever guessed she was making Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s wedding dress.Waight Keller wasn’t revealed as the designer until Meghan stepped out at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in …

Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller has insisted that no one in her team ever guessed she was making Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s wedding dress.

Waight Keller wasn’t revealed as the designer until Meghan stepped out at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in England on 19 May (18) to marry British royal Prince Harry.

Fashion fans had been speculating for months over who would be behind the gown, with the designer now confirming that even her own employees were in the dark.

“The dress went backwards and forwards to Paris to be worked on in the atelier but no one in the team knew who it was for, because after the couture show in January (the designer’s first for the label), a number of high-profile orders had come in,” she shared with The Telegraph Magazine.

The finished article was made from double-bonded silk cady and featured a neckline adapted from the Sabrina design – a garment Hubert de Givenchy originally made for Audrey Hepburn when she starred in the 1954 film of the same name.

“It was a pretty open brief,” the 48-year-old recalled. “She had a sort of idea, which was about simplicity. And I didn’t want to impose anything on her, so it evolved over various conversations. I knew it had to have a sense of occasion, but also fit with the scale of the chapel – that entrance was quite narrow with all those steps. I knew there would be an immediate moment right there.”

Admitting reality didn’t kick in until Meghan came to pick up the dress, Waight Keller explained that it was only after that point that she allowed herself to get excited.

But the new royal-to-be was the picture of calmness throughout.

“Meghan was not nervous at all. She was radiant, serene and utterly stunning,” she smiled.

© Cover Media

Max Mara opens doors to extensive archive

Max Mara’s design team dip into the label’s extensive archive for inspiration on new collections.Creative director Ian Griffiths, the British designer who’s been with the Italian label for more than 30 years, has just opened the doors of the impressive…

Max Mara’s design team dip into the label’s extensive archive for inspiration on new collections.

Creative director Ian Griffiths, the British designer who’s been with the Italian label for more than 30 years, has just opened the doors of the impressive archive to the BBC, showing off everything from a handbag owned by Coco Chanel to one of Audrey Hepburn’s old coats.

Explaining why the hoard is so vital to the brand, he shared: “What you have here is one of the reasons we have an archive. It’s my design team, and what they’re working on is the next collection inspired by pieces they’ve found here this morning.

“You know, I don’t know how many other brands have an archive like this, but being here with you makes me realise just how unique it is, how inclusive, how extensive and how inspiring it is.”

Other items in the archive include a magazine collection, sketches, textile samples and rails of camel coats – Max Mara’s signature design.

There are 30,000 pieces in total, and in one room alone, 7,000 items have been sourced from vintage stores and markets.

“(We keep them) simply because they’re things that interested us at some time or will interest us in the future,” Griffiths explained, before gesturing towards a raspberry red dress wrapped in tissue paper. “This is one of the best ever flea market finds. It’s been hanging here for years, but when it needed repairing, (we) looked at it properly and discovered it’s by Jeanne Lanvin in Paris. So, it has enormous value in the history and culture of fashion, but we picked it up for dollars.”

© Cover Media

Givenchy to pay tribute to late founder at couture presentation

Late Givenchy founder Hubert de Givenchy will be honoured at the fashion house’s couture show in Paris.Now helmed by Clare Waight Keller, who was behind Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s royal wedding dress, a label representative has confirmed the show will…

Late Givenchy founder Hubert de Givenchy will be honoured at the fashion house’s couture show in Paris.

Now helmed by Clare Waight Keller, who was behind Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s royal wedding dress, a label representative has confirmed the show will be an “homage to his iconic creations, technique and personal lexicon”.

Taking place on 1 July (18), Keller has named the collection Caraman, a nod to the original name of the townhouse in Paris where the couture house is based.

“(The line will be a) celebration of his timeless elegance and grace, imbued with Waight Keller’s fresh take on the Givenchy spirit,” the rep continued.

Givenchy passed away at the age of 91 in March (18). Born into a French aristocratic family, the famed designer founded his namesake label in 1952 after working with the still-unknown Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior for designer Robert Piguet and couturier Lucien Lelong.

He enjoyed a close working relationship with Hollywood star Audrey Hepburn, designing her iconic black dress from 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, among other looks.

He also created outfits for style icons Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelly and Marlene Dietrich over the course of his career.

In March 2017, Keller was unveiled as the first female artistic director of the French label, succeeding Riccardo Tisci in the role. And it seems she’ll be the go-to designer for former Suits star Meghan, who recently chose Givenchy to outfit her for her first official royal event with Queen Elizabeth II.

© Cover Media

Fashion icon Hubert de Givenchy dies

Celebrated fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy has died, aged 91.His partner Philippe Venet, a former haute couture designer, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Monday (12Mar18) that Givenchy had passed away on Saturday. “It is with huge sadness that…

Celebrated fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy has died, aged 91.

His partner Philippe Venet, a former haute couture designer, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Monday (12Mar18) that Givenchy had passed away on Saturday.

“It is with huge sadness that we inform you that Hubert Taffin de Givenchy has died,” he said.

The designer’s nephews and nieces, and their children, share Venet’s grief, his statement added.

The French aristocrat, born to Lucien Taffin de Givenchy, marquis of Givenchy, founded his namesake label in 1952, but before that he worked with the still-unknown Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior while working for designer Robert Piguet and couturier Lucien Lelong.

He also earned his fashion stripes under the watchful eye of Elsa Schiaparelli from 1947 to 1951.

After establishing himself as a serious designer, Givenchy gained worldwide prominence thanks to his work with Audrey Hepburn, and he designed many of the actress’ personal and professional outfits, including the famous black dress she wore in 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Over his career, he also created looks for style icons Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelly, and Marlene Dietrich.

The House of Givenchy was split in 1981, with the perfume line going to Veuve Clicquot, while the fashion branch was acquired by Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) in 1989, though LVMH later bought back Parfums Givenchy.

The French fashion house has been helmed by Clare Waight Keller, the label’s first female artistic director, since March 2017. She succeeded Riccardo Tisci in the role.

In June, a Givenchy exhibition opened at the Museum of Lace and Fashion in Calais, dedicated to the couturier’s career.

“I am happy because I did the job I dreamt of as a child,” he said at a press conference.

© Cover Media