Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Milan Fashion Week: Prada Projects Youthful Optimism, Not Escapism, in a Turbulent World

Models present creations by Prada during the Milan Fashion Week Men's Spring Summer 2025, in Milan, Italy, 16 June 2024. (EPA)
Models present creations by Prada during the Milan Fashion Week Men's Spring Summer 2025, in Milan, Italy, 16 June 2024. (EPA)
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Milan Fashion Week: Prada Projects Youthful Optimism, Not Escapism, in a Turbulent World

Models present creations by Prada during the Milan Fashion Week Men's Spring Summer 2025, in Milan, Italy, 16 June 2024. (EPA)
Models present creations by Prada during the Milan Fashion Week Men's Spring Summer 2025, in Milan, Italy, 16 June 2024. (EPA)

Without making overt statements, Milan designers expressed their concern over the global turbulence through their collections.

Miuccia Prada said she wanted to project optimism. “Because even if the times are bad, I feel that it was the right thing to do,’’ she said backstage at the Prada show. She is not promoting escapism. “Eventually, I propose something positive, but escapism, I don’t like.”

Not using the platform to comment would be “irresponsible,’’ said the designers behind the Simon Cracker brand, born 14 years ago to contrast the prevailing fashion system with upcycled collections.

They dedicated their collection, titled “A Matter of Principle,” to “the children victims of matters of principle.”

Some highlights from the third day Sunday of mostly menswear previews for Spring-Summer 2025:

Prada projects optimism The Prada menswear collection plays with the idea of imperfection. But nothing is as it seems.

Tops, jackets and hoodies seem shrunken, more than cropped. Overcoats have three-quarter sleeves. It’s a wardrobe somehow inherited, already lived-in. Creases are part of the construction, as technical as a pleat. Pointed shirt collars are held aloft by wires. Trousers feature faux belts, low and below the waistline. Belts also are featured as decoration on bags, as if to close them.

Miuccia Prada, co-creative director of the brand along with Raf Simons, said playing with the idea of the real vs. the fake “is very contemporary,” calling such details “an invitation to take a closer look at the clothes, up close.”

The neutral color palette is punctuated by warm feminine shades: a bright green cardigan, a floral blouse, a turquoise coat, which the designers said suggest a mother’s or grandmother’s wardrobe.

“We wanted (the collection) to be already alive, as if clothes you already lived with,” Simons said backstage.

Prada models emerged from a simple white hut, descending into the showroom down a runway flanked by a white picket fence. The designers describe the setting both as essential and utopian — and youthful.

“Here youth is the hope, it’s the future,” Prada said. “In this moment, we thought it was relevant also to encourage youth to think about our world.”

A world in knots at Simon Cracker So many knots to undo in the world, so many knots holding together the latest Simon Cracker collection of mostly upcycled apparel.

For Spring-Summer 2025, designers Filippo Biraghi and Simone Botte assembled their collection of repurposed apparel castoffs using laces and drawstrings to create skirts from tennis shirt panels, dresses from knitwear and restructure jackets. Each piece is unique.

The “nervous” color palette of black, violet, sea blue and acid green was achieved through dying, each material reacting differently to the process.

“It is a way of recounting what is happening in the world, without being too explicit,” Biraghi said backstage. “It would be irresponsible to not be political in this moment.”

The 14-year-brand’s name is meant to denote that something is broken — cracked — in the fashion system. They embrace imperfection as part of the beauty of their creations, made from forgotten or discarded garments and deadstock fabrics, this time including textiles from Italian sportswear brand Australian.

Australian, which is gaining traction with the club crowd, also created a capsule collection of black neon and technical garments for Simon Cracker, its first production line. Doc Martens provided the footwear, which the designers personalized with pins, badges and costume jewelry.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Estee Lauder's Longtime CFO Travis to Depart Next Year

An Estee Lauder cosmetics counter is seen in Los Angeles, California, US, August 19, 2019. (Reuters)
An Estee Lauder cosmetics counter is seen in Los Angeles, California, US, August 19, 2019. (Reuters)
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Estee Lauder's Longtime CFO Travis to Depart Next Year

An Estee Lauder cosmetics counter is seen in Los Angeles, California, US, August 19, 2019. (Reuters)
An Estee Lauder cosmetics counter is seen in Los Angeles, California, US, August 19, 2019. (Reuters)

Estee Lauder said on Thursday that Tracey Travis would be stepping down and retiring from her 12-year role as the MAC lipstick maker's finance chief, effective June 30, 2025.

The company said a successor for Travis has been identified and will be named in the coming weeks. Travis will work closely with this person to ensure a smooth and successful transition, it added.

Travis, who has been Estee Lauder's CFO since Aug. 2012, had joined the company from Ralph Lauren, where she served as finance chief for over seven years.

Under her leadership, Estee Lauder has significantly strengthened financially, made extensive investments in innovation and digital transformation, and also made several acquisitions of companies including Tom Ford and Deciem, among others.

"Tracey has been instrumental in growing Estee Lauder from a $24 billion market cap company in 2012 to over $135 billion at peak," Jefferies analyst Ashley Helgans said in a note earlier on Thursday.

"A fresh set of eyes on the business could be beneficial given the recent volatility and would allow for the company to reset the growth algorithm," Helgans added.

The company had lowered its annual organic sales estimate in May on persistent softness in mainland China's prestige beauty space, even as a demand rebound for its pricey items in the US and Asia-Pacific markets drove a profit forecast raise.

Shares of Estee Lauder, which have dropped more than 30% this year, were marginally up in after-hours trading.