Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH has been knighted by the Queen. Well, I was in London when the news broke, making … not the headlines…. the fourth page of the FT. So I asked the Real English People of London what they thought about it. Surprise was their first reaction….
– Bernard who?
– Dior, Veuve Clicquot and consort…
– Ah Yes! That Bernard …knighted you say? But that cannot be true!
– Yes! Knighted!
– You mean honorary knight?
– Hugh? What is honorary knight?
– Well he cannot wear the title, in other words he cannot be called “Sir”. –
– Ah? He is still a knight though?
– Technically he is not…
– Well then why did the Queen make such a decision?
The FT ‘s article mentions that LVMH has created 3 000 jobs in England. Not a sufficient reason you would think. But then a few pages later, in the FT magazine, is another interesting article: Will French Women Arriving Adapt to London Fashion? With Francois Hollande’s new tax laws, it seems that (rich) French people are massively immigrating to London, buying houses and swiping all the available slots at Lycee Charles de Gaulle. Are wives tagging along going to adopt London rather laid back and hippie fashion? The FT ‘s answer is adamant: no. French women will stay as they are: chic and uptight and rather conservative. So yes! French women are arriving and London is welcoming them. And yes! Bernard Arnault, freshly knighted, will be there to dress them up! In other words, France and England are experiencing for the first time ” le parfait amour”, the perfect love!
PS: Bernard Arnault announced recently that he will seek the Belgian nationality. There is no end to globalization!
The DSK story might end up with a dismissal of charges but we have something else to worry about, another good story to chat on: Will Marc Jacobs take over Dior? It seems as a done deal. Why would Marc Jacobs refuse anyway? Following on the footsteps of Christian Dior, Marc Bohan or John Galliano, and probably securing a lucrative deal, what is there to say no? On the LVMH end, they know the guy, he is part of their team and they know he is the one. So it might be less exciting than the DSK file to follow but who knows… unexpected rebounds?
Fashion has gone too far. John Galliano has made his success on provocation and provocation has destroyed him. In the link above one can see an amateur video of John Galliano stating antisemitic remarks. The man is totally drunk, that of course is not an excuse. He is sitting next to some French girls in this restaurant in Le Marais and goes on : ” I love Hitler..”
Galliano’s boss at Dior, Sidney Toledano, a passionate Jew himself, could not react otherwise but fire him and get Galliano out of his sight. Natalie Portman, Jewish as well, and new image of Dior made public her indignation. I found Dior’s reaction quite right. John Galliano has been there for 15 years and the Maison made a fortune thanks to him but being a fashion star does not allow one to do everything and certainly not hurt people this way.
Fashion designers have become stars in their own right. Journalists ask them about the future of the world economy based on their sales, on the next Presidential election based on the garde robe of the First Lady.. They have become public figures, household guests, and of course they have responsibilities coming with the job. But for one Karl Lagerfeld cultivated and well read, how many have no education but the feel of fabrics. We are back to the problem of stardom and the deforming prism of the media…