Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Louis Vuitton Pays Homage to Barcelona Architect Antoni Gaudí in 2025 Cruise Collection 

A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Güell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, May 23, 2024. (AP)
A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Güell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, May 23, 2024. (AP)
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Louis Vuitton Pays Homage to Barcelona Architect Antoni Gaudí in 2025 Cruise Collection 

A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Güell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, May 23, 2024. (AP)
A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Güell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, May 23, 2024. (AP)

Louis Vuitton unveiled its latest fashion designs at Barcelona’s Park Güell on Thursday, providing the clothes with drama to finally match Antoni Gaudí’s architectural masterpiece.

Nicolas Ghesquiere’s ambitions for the Parisian house’s 2025 Cruise collection were unveiled before an A-list crowd, including actresses Ana de Armas, Jennifer Connelly and Saoirse Ronan.

Louis Vuitton usually unveils its ready-to-wear collections in the French capital, while choosing exotic and attention-grabbing locations for its destination cruise collections.

Where tourists tread daily in tank tops, shorts and flip flops, this UNESCO World Heritage Site for one night was home to cutting-edge garments that blended with its earthly tones that are at once organic and yet seemingly ethereal.

The models weaved their way through the 86 Doric columns that hold up a vaulted square in the center of the park that overlooks Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea in the distance.

The show notes said Ghesquiere had been inspired by Gaudí’s “legacy in constant mutation” and Spain’s rich artistic heritage.

“As if in homage to such opulent purity, the Maison’s rigorous spirit embraces the country’s passionate character,” the notes read. “The fervor of its colors, its loyalty to tradition elevated into artistic expression, dark and light that never appear contradictory.”

Dramatic silhouettes contrasted with the soft curves of Gaudí’s organic structures, which were then reflected in the dresses that draped and folded into volumes that defied gravity.

And then there were flashes that delighted: a pair of equestrian boots that finished in a bunch of tassels.

The fashion show, however, was not celebrated by all. A group of a few hundred residents protested the event for what they said were the inconveniences it had caused, including reduced parking in the area. The protest also included animal right activists.

The group of protesters located a few streets down the hill from the park’s outer wall could be heard beating drums, blowing air horns and setting off firecrackers before the show kicked off. Catalan police said they arrested one person for resisting violently to their decision to remove the protesters from a street to let traffic through.

Park Güell, pronounced “gu-ay” was started in 1900 as a planned upscale residential development designed by Gaudí, whose other works include the still-in-progress La Sagrada Familia Basilica. But a lack of buyers led to it being ditched in favor of a park that eventually passed into the hands of the Barcelona townhall.

It now receives 4.4 million visitors a year, mostly from the US, Britain, France, Germany and Italy, with Barcelona residents only representing 0.3% of the visitors, according to the park.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Burberry Axes CEO and Dividend, Warns on Profit

A person walks past a Burberry store undergoing refurbishment on New Bond Street in London, Britain, March 11, 2023. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
A person walks past a Burberry store undergoing refurbishment on New Bond Street in London, Britain, March 11, 2023. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
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Burberry Axes CEO and Dividend, Warns on Profit

A person walks past a Burberry store undergoing refurbishment on New Bond Street in London, Britain, March 11, 2023. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
A person walks past a Burberry store undergoing refurbishment on New Bond Street in London, Britain, March 11, 2023. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

British luxury group Burberry named former Michael Kors boss Joshua Schulman as its new chief executive on Monday, axing Jonathan Akeroyd after two years as it warned on profit and scrapped its dividend.
A slow down in the luxury sector has hit Burberry harder than rival brands, derailing the 168 year-old British name at a time when it had been trying to move upmarket, and triggering the latest change at the top of the company, Reuters said.
For the 13 weeks to June 29, underlying sales slumped 21% as the company said weakness in its market deepened. It warned that on current trends it would miss forecasts for annual profit and it would scrap this year's dividend to invest in growth.
Burberry has been in turnaround mode for sometime, and under a number of different bosses. Designer Riccardo Tisci exited in 2022 after less than five years. Akeroyd's predecessor left after four years.
"This is a kitchen sink exercise par excellence, and underscores the enormity of the challenge facing Burberry in a world where Chinese sales can no longer be taken for granted," Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at online trading platform IG said.
Schulman was CEO of US brand Michael Kors from 2021-2022 and before that brand president at Coach.
While some higher end luxury brands like Hermes and Prada have proved to be more resilient, Burberry has struggled.
Shoppers in the United States and Europe have grown more cautious as the cost of living has risen, while appetite in China has been deflated by a property crisis and record youth unemployment.
Burberry said on Monday it would switch its offer back to be "more familiar" to its "core customers", with a marketing campaign for outerwear to launch in October. Its last collection departed from its classic camel, red and black check print in favor of bold colors.
It said it expected to see an improvement in its second half, and would also find cost savings.
Shares in Burberry have lost 57% of their value over the last 12 months, underpeforming Britain's bluechip index which is up 13%.