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Editors' Top Reads: News from Chanel, M&S, the BFC and more... Team
07 June 2024

Here are some of this week’s news and features highlights handpicked by team.

Virginie Viard, Chanel

Image: Jonas Gustavsson/Sipa USA/Alamy

Chanel confirms the departure of Creative Director Virginie Viard

This week, Chanel confirmed the departure of its Creative Director Virginie Viard, who had taken over the role from the late, legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld five years ago. Viard had been Lagerfeld's right hand during his tenure and had been at the luxury French fashion house for 30 years.

Despite Chanel's "exceptional growth" for the year ending 31 December 2023, Viard had faced criticism for staying too 'samey' and playing it safe after Lagerfeld's passing.

The house of Chanel has had only three Creative Directors in its history, which began in 1910. Lagerfeld had taken over from its Founder Coco Chanel, while Viard stepped into the role following the death of Lagerfeld in 2019. Rumours are swirling that Heidi Slimane - previously at Celine and Saint Laurent - will be the fourth Creative Director to helm the storied fashion house. Let's see if Slimane, or whoever Viard's predecessor may be, shakes up Chanel.

Chloé Burney, Senior News & Features Writer.

British Fashion Council announces designers selected for BFC NEWGEN 2024/25

UK independent fashion is in a post-pandemic, post-Brexit (and post-Matches) era, meaning that now more than ever, fledgling British designers need all the help they can get. This makes it all the more heartening to see fresh talent receiving the support they deserve.

The British Fashion Council (BFC) NEWGEN programme offers these designers financial grants, showcasing opportunities and delivers individual mentoring and training sessions to assist them as they develop their business infrastructure and skills.

The panel, chaired by Sarah Mower, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent, selected the following designers for the 2024/25 cohort: Aaron Esh, Ancuta Sarca, Charlie Constantinou, Chet Lo, Derrick, Di Pesta, Harri, Johanna Parv, Karoline Vitto, Kanza Asker, Leo Carlton, Lueder, Masha Popova, Paolo Carzana, Pauline Dujancourt, Sinéad O’Dwyer, Steve O Smith, The Winter House, Tolu Coker and Yaku.

Katie Ross, Contributing Writer.

In Pictures: M&S unveils Sienna Miller design collaboration collection

It seems M&S isn’t putting a foot wrong on the fashion front at the minute. Last month it posted a 5.3% increase in turnover for its Clothing & Home division, having undergone a major renaissance in recent seasons.

Add to that, two brilliantly executed TV ads with a focus on SS24 style so far this year. First came the one in March starring actress and model Sara Sampaio, set to the soundtrack of Cyndi Lauper’s 80s hit ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’. That was swiftly followed by last month’s TV campaign with the infectious soundtrack of Technotronic’s feel-good hit from 1989, ‘Pump up the Jam’, featuring some more than decent women’s, men’s and kid’s pieces.

Now the retailer has unveiled a design collaboration with British actress Sienna Miller, who’s also known as a stylish individual who pulls off any look. Teaming up with M&S on a collection follows on from a successful partnership in September 2023, when Miller fronted the M&S AW23 womenswear campaign.

In her own admission, Miller, who says that M&S has a part in all Brits’ hearts and is where she bought her first bra, is no designer. However, she surprised herself with how much she got involved in the details of the design and how much she enjoyed the whole creative process.

It has resulted in a 33-piece collection which is inspired by Miller’s archive of clothing and favourite vintage finds – re-interpreted for the M&S customer. It went online and in 30 selected M&S stores yesterday, 6 June, and my guess is it’s going to fly.

Tom Bottomley, Contributing Editor.

David Beckham opens London Fashion Week celebrating British menswear

London Fashion Week opened its men's edition this morning with Ambassadorial President David Beckham called in to officially kick off proceedings. Beckham, who has been instrumental throughout his life in pushing boundaries in British men's style, joked that he had been stressed about what to wear for the event and, on the advice of his fashion designer wife Victoria, ended up plumping for a classic suit.

Men's Fashion Week is a different beast this time out. For a start, it's three days and not a week and it's less dominated by catwalks and is more about a wider celebration of the market with talks, presentations and an exhibition at the ICA (where Beckham addressed the market). There are event-run clubs and a pub quiz.

It's natural to question the role that fashion weeks now have in today's fast-paced, digital-first market, so I applied to the British Fashion Council for trying something different. It would have been all too easy to do nothing but British menswear deserves its spotlight and deserves to be celebrated, so I'm hoping the new format resonates and the menswear market keeps its twice-yearly spot in the sun.

Lauretta Roberts,  Co-founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief.

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