Fashion Bytes — Fashion Finance


Two weeks ago The Guardian announced the buy out of couturier Valentino by Mayhoola, an investment company believed to be backed by the Qatari royal family. The article then lists a number of other fashion houses — Jimmy Choo, Doctor Martens, Gianfranco, Pringle of Scotland, etc. — which have suffered similar fates of being bought out by large investment corporations, which usually means that the design and creative teams are changed. The Guardian calls this a new “trend” in fashion finance, but anyone paying attention to the financial aspects in the background of the 2008 documentary, Valentino: The Last Emperor knows that big financiers are not new to fashion. The article then discusses the various successes and failures these big investors experience when they become involved in the design aspects of the house, trying to use profit predictions to direct the creative process.

In February, with the departure of Raf Simons for Christian Dior and the return of Jil Sanders to her eponymous label, Fashion Bytes asked what the role of the designer was in a world where fashion now had to answer to stockbrokers as well as their clients. Worn Through has previously looked at the role of money in museum exhibits, but what about the role of investors in fashion itself?

What are your feelings about this new “trend” of financial buyouts of fashion houses? Do they breathe new life into dying labels? Or do they destroy what fans loved about them?  If the Qatari royal family is behind Mayhoola, is it a return to the tradition of royalty setting the fashionsWhat effects do these financial take overs have on the creative process? Do they incite creativity, or increase monotony? Should the financiers take the couture houses’ histories into account when they revitalize them? In what ways can they do this? How will this situation affect fashion students and their ambitions? What are the benefits of such financial backing in a creative industry? Do you know of any incidences where it has been both a financial and a creative success?

Please share your thoughts.

This week’s topic provided by Keremi. Image via WikiCommons.

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