Finish Line agrees to $558M sale to JD Sports Fashion

Finish Line has agreed to sell itself to a United Kingdom-based sportswear company that was trying to get a foot in the US. Finish Line has made the move to try and save its slumping apparel line.

JD Sports Fashion has reached a deal to take over the Indianapolis-based Finish Line for around $558 million. Finish Line has 556 stores, as well as branded floor space in 375 Macy’s locations. The company has around 13,000 employees.

Finish Line has been struggling for some time in the declining mall foot traffic. Sales at stores open at least a year have gone down 7.9% in the company’s fourth quarter, Finish Line has stated Monday.

The environment was “more challenging than we expected,” CEO Sam Sato said in a statement.

JD Sports Fashion and Finish Line will now combine into “”a leading global, premium, a multichannel retailer of sports, fashion and outdoor brands who embraces the latest online and in-store digital technology,” Finish Line said in a statement.

Rising fashion label Don Morphy has opened up its first ever pop-up store

The Dallas-based Don Morphy the ready-to-wear menswear label announced its first ever pop-up brick and mortar store in Victory Park that will be running through April 12.

The fashion startup company has been a local success in Dallas. Daniel Mofor, founder of Dan Morphy, experience with management at Walmart helped him launch the company as a kickstart campaign in 2016. The suits and shoes are designed in the US but are handmade in Florence, Italy.

Don Morphy has notable clientele such as former Dallas Cowboys star Emmitt Smith, actor Morris Chestnut, mega-pastor T.D. Jakes, and NBA players Dwight Howard and Tyson Chandler. The label was also recently recognized by Fashion Group International of Dallas as one of the “Rising Stars” in men’s fashion.

In a New York Times profile last October, Dwight Howard said, “I have a stylist, J. Bolin, and he works with a manufacturer called Don Morphy. We sit down and go over the styles. I choose the lining, the material, the colors. It’s like a day’s worth of working on these suits before the season starts.”

“We are excited to debut the Don Morphy brand to the Victory Park community. Our Victory Park pop-up will allow our existing customers the opportunity to experience the brand in a new way, and will introduce our Italian quality and flair to a new audience,” said Don Morphy Chief Operation Officer Serge Laurent in a statement.

New York International Auto Show 2018 Kicks the Year Into Overdrive

Everyone, it is  Just a few short weeks after the Geneva Motor Show, it is now time for the festivities to reach the Javits Center in the greatest city in the world: New York!

Today, March 28th begins the press days for the show, but the doors open to the public on March 30th and remain open until the show closes on Sunday, April 8th. The official opening day is on March 31st with festivities beginning at 8:30 AM.

The New York International Auto Show has enjoyed a rich history in its long-running tenure, starting way back in the year 1900 at Madison Square Garden, and the show has withstood the test of time, through wars, depression and recessions.

A major anticipated showing this year will be coming from Nissan, who will be showing the Formula E car, which they are dubbing “The Next Generation of Excitement.” Quite a claim to make, but everything announced about it so far seems to back up that statement! The all-electric vehicle has been turning many heads since it was first announced.

Several other notable reveals will be done at this year’s show, including the production version of its RDX concept car, which will feature 2.0-liter turbo power and an optional A-Spec treatment. Acura reps have described the car as the “most extensive Acura redesign in more than a decade,” which has left the automotive community salivating at the promise that statement holds.

The fan favorite Bugatti brand will also be making a much-anticipated appearance at the show, featuring the Chiron Sport on US soil for the first time ever. The Sport edition of the Chron boasts a 1,500 horsepower drivetrain while adding torque-vectoring, stiffer suspension than the regular model, more aero and is 40 pounds lighter.

One of our most unexpected interests at the show this year will be the offerings from Cadillac. The brand will, of course, feature its CT6 V-Sport which will be sure to turn some heads, but our real interest is the XT4 which will finally be unveiled after numerous teases during the Super Bowl and the Oscars. We look forward to featuring this vehicle in the coming days!

Mercedes-Benz also has quite the lineup expected for this year’s show, including the North American debuts of the AMG GT 4-Door CoupeAMG G63 and facelifted C-Class sedan range, but the world first reveals are what have us salivating the most. The brand will be showing off the updated C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet, as well as the new C63 AMG coupe, sedan and cabriolet making their debuts. 

There are many other surprises in store as well for the show, including output from Mazda, Jaguar, Toyota, Volvo and much more! From every preview released, the show looks to be quite the event, as it most assuredly is every year!

Tickets for the event can still be purchased, with adult tickets going for $17 and Child tickets (12 and under, ages 2 and under can enter for free) going for $7, with various package and premium deals available as well. We are very much looking forward to this year’s show, as we do every year! Look forward to our upcoming coverage of the event for more automotive news and highlights!

Featured Image via Flickr/Joseph Brent

Louis Vuitton Names New Men’s Wear Designer: Virgil Abloh. What Does it Mean For the Future?

Enter Virgil Abloh. Known previously as the founder of the haute streetwear label Off-White, as well as the creative director for Kanye West’s previous fashion output, Virgil Abloh now has a new claim to fame: the first African-American artistic director for Louis Vuitton.

Virgil Abloh, aged 37, is a first-generation Ghanian-American from Illinois and is now making the move to Paris to be closer to the luxury brand. Abloh’s previous work perfectly encapsulated celebrity, music, digital and hype in a way unlike any previous Men’s Wear designers at Louis Vuitton.

Abloh has no formal fashion training, but he was, however, taught the ins and outs of fashion by his mother, who was a seamstress and taught him her trade. He further increased the scope of his designs by studying architecture and civil engineering, creating a unique style that is wholly his own.

In regards to the opportunity, Abloh had the following to say:

“This opportunity to think through what the next chapter of design and luxury will mean at a brand that represents the pinnacle of luxury was always a goal in my wildest dreams. And to show a younger generation that there is no one way anyone in this kind of position has to look is a fantastically modern spirit in which to start.”

Abloh’s place in the company is part of a men’s wear shake-up for Louis Vuitton, with Abloh taking the place of his predecessor, Kim Jones, who has gone on to become the men’s designer for Christian Dior, in turn taking the place of his predecessor Kris van Assche.

Michael Burke, the chief executive of Louis Vuitton, had the following to say about Virgil Abloh: “Virgil is incredibly good at creating bridges between the classic and the zeitgeist of the moment,” quite the compliment indeed.

It will be very interesting to see where Abloh can take Men’s Wear at Louis Vuitton. Will he continue in the same vein as his predecessor? Or will he take the more likely scenario of injecting his own sensibilities and styles into the brand? We are excited to find out!

Featured Image via Wikimedia

Pakistan fashion designers are tackling stereotypes

A handful of Pakistan designers are starting to take a bold stance on topics that are predominant in the country, trying to make it okay to think a different way. Shahnaz ki Shaadi, or Shahnaz Wedding, has kicked off a campaign for new wedding dresses but in her campaign,  she has been showing off women in their 50s with their adult children celebrating with them. In Pakistan, divorce is still a weird subject, but Shahnaz’s campaign makes it obvious that love can’t be found at any age.

“Right now is the ideal time to be in the fashion industry,” Ali Xeeshan, a designer, says, “Since the Pakistani film industry is not as big as Hollywood or Bollywood, fashion gets the spotlight here. That’s why we can really make use of the situation by highlighting social issues.”

“I think all fashion brands have a responsibility about how women see themselves,” says Khadija Rahman, Generation’s creative head, whose parents Nosheen Khan and Saad Rahman launched the brand in 1983. “Women can be seen differently — they’re all beautiful, dark, fair … There’s no one fixed standard.”

Dior confirms Kim Jones as new menswear director

The British designer Kim Jones was announced as the new artistic director of Dior Homme, just two months after he has stepped down from the menswear line of Louis Vuitton. He will be replacing Kris Van Assche, who was in the position for 11 years.

The new decision to hire Jones will be part of the first of major decisions by Pietro Beccari, chief executive of Christian Dior Couture, who joined the brand from Fendi in November.

“I am delighted to welcome Kim Jones at Dior Homme,” Mr. Beccari said in a statement, adding that Mr. Jones would “create an elegant men’s wardrobe both classic and anchored in contemporary culture.”

“I am confident that he will continue to further develop Dior Homme on a global scale,” Mr. Beccari added.

“I am deeply honored to join the house of Dior, a symbol of the ultimate elegance,” Mr. Jones said. “I am committed to create a modern and innovative male silhouette built upon the unique legacy of the house.”

Supreme nominated for one of the biggest award’s in American fashion

The CFDA Awards is the closest you can get to the Oscar’s for the fashion. The CFDA Awards is set to celebrate the best American designs. Last night the nominations for Menswear Designer of the Year were announced, and they include Thom Browne, Tom Ford, Raf Simons for Calvin Klein, Virgil Abloh for Off-White and New York hype brand Supreme.

It has come to many as a surprise that a skate brand has picked up a CFDA nomination. It is odd because only Public School has been named a winner for the award that isn’t one of the big label brands. But Supreme has done nothing that Public School has. They don’t put on runway shows nor are their designers helping out with other big label brands. Instead, Supreme’s most desirable items are graphic hoodies and T-shirts while collaborating with other brands like Public Enemy.

Supreme in the past has ripped off big brands wholesale in the past but lately has been trying to get a foot closer to the giants by taking a big investment from the Carlyle Group, collaborating with Louis Vuitton and opening up a new store in New York City.

In a statement by Steven Kolb, head of CFDA, he started urging voters to consider a wider pool of brands that they had in the past. “We truly want the event to celebrate the full creative spectrum and richness of American fashion,” Kolb reportedly wrote. “Just think of how much fashion is changing, and the diversity of our industry. Designers with broad cultural backgrounds and political ideas are expressing their experiences and beliefs in their collections. Their work deserves greater acknowledgment, acceptance, and visibility.”

Walmart stuns with new private fashion brands

Walmart has now made a massive shift to push towards online apparel to compete with Amazon. Walmart is betting on four new private fashion brands to push them to the front.

“Seeking higher margins via higher-priced goods, Walmart is looking to woo more affluent shoppers who buy technology and groceries at the chain but would typically walk past its fashion and beauty aisles,” Preston Bottomy, general manager of prestige beauty, said.

The brands launching for Walmart are Time and Tru for women, plus size label Terra & Sky, Wonder Nation for kids and also the relaunch of George, a brand exclusively for men.

Walmart, in the past, has struggled to find a good fashion niche in apparel beyond basic tee’s. As Amazon continues to spread in all categories, Walmart has started becoming more and more vulnerable to the online giant, as their competitor constantly betters price and convenience.

According to Matthew Kaness, the new executive in residence and vice president of Walmart US e-commerce, the retail brand is taking a more curated approach to enhancing its product mix across all categories.

Paris Fashion Museum gets new director

Director of the Palias Galliera for the last eight years, Olivier Saillard turned the city of Paris’s fashion museum into a must visit event, thanks to ideas from performance pieces by Tilda Swinton to the very first Azzedine Alaïa retrospective in the city. The fashion community was hit with a curveball when he decided to step down and quit in January to become the director of J.M. Weston, the French luxury men’s shoe company.

The person who took his place was the relatively unknown Spaniard named Miren Arzalluz, a political historian and who has honed her curating skills for eight years as the head of the Cristóbal Balenciaga Foundation in Getaria, Spain. She ultimately pursued the new job because “this job was really going back to my thing.”

“I studied history, worked at a British think tank, earned my master’s in comparative politics at the London School of Economics. It was just after 9/11. The world was in such turmoil. I started going to the Victoria & Albert Museum for fashion exhibitions. Then I remember walking into the National Portrait Gallery bookshop and seeing a whole section on fashion history. It was a revelation. When you study history, it’s to be a social or political historian. But fashion? That was something that I had never dreamt of. I went to the Courtauld Institute of Art in Somerset House for a master’s in history of dress, and fell in love with the subject. I thought: “Oh, this is what I want to do.””

Vivienne Westwood apologizes for stealing t-shirt

The popular British fashion house recently posted on their Instagram account apologizing for stealing the graphics of two young designers.

Vivienne Westwood has based T-shirts in its Fall 2018 collection on the creations of two young designers, named Louise Gray and Rottingdean Bazaar.

The London house, which took Anthony Knight to court in 2012 for trademark and copyright infringement for copying some of Westwood’s famous punk orb logos and slogans, posted the following apology followed by the image of the original Rottingdean Bazaar T-shirt and the copied design side by side.

Paris Fashion Week gets dark at Givenchy

The red carpet has finally moved on from the time’s up blackout, but there have recently been some interesting pieces in the Givenchy and Elie Saab collections during Paris Fashion Week.

Claire Waight Keller, Givenchy designer in her sophomore season, has taken over the reins for Riccardo Tisci with a different mood, taking her inspiration from the 80’s Berlin. She turned the halls in the Paris Palace of Justice into a dark and moody maze, with models walking down in big curtains of black, slate and blue as spotlights hovered over them.

Waight Keller took inspiration from David Bowie, Stranger Things and Noomi Rapace. Waight Keller started the show with louche faux furs cinched with patent belts before turning on the sharp-cut dresses that would fit right in Germany ’83. Pencil skirts and oversized animal prints followed right behind, with both men and women in shiny trousers.

The men’s looks were mostly tailored, with the exception of the puffy white coat. The oversized equipment handled bags that were carried by the men will most likely cross over.

Fashion designer thinks outside the box

Jun Takahashi may or may not have discovered a solution for fashion. Takahashi has managed to create a collection that merges streetwear with athleisure and luxury. His Fall 2018 collection for Undercover is a major example of what many design houses should aspire to do.

The designer showed Undercover in a big white tent with clear plastic walls in the center of Paris. His fashion was in the very middle of things and not bouncing around the edges. Takahashi took much inspiration from college, as that is a time for experimentation.

Takahashi has figured out a way to blend all the elements of street style, comfort, youthfulness, nonchalance and cool, and he turned them into clothes that can be related to by anyone. He didn’t do too much and chose establishment over rebelliousness but synchronized the two in such a way that it worked out for the better.