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Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Pharrell Williams Kicks Off Paris Fashion Week with Louis Vuitton Show

A model presents a creation for the Spring/Summer 2025 Menswear Collection by the US designer Pharrell Williams for Louis Vuitton fashion house during the Paris Men's Fashion Week, in Paris, France, 18 June 2024. EPA/ANDRE PAIN
A model presents a creation for the Spring/Summer 2025 Menswear Collection by the US designer Pharrell Williams for Louis Vuitton fashion house during the Paris Men's Fashion Week, in Paris, France, 18 June 2024. EPA/ANDRE PAIN
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Pharrell Williams Kicks Off Paris Fashion Week with Louis Vuitton Show

A model presents a creation for the Spring/Summer 2025 Menswear Collection by the US designer Pharrell Williams for Louis Vuitton fashion house during the Paris Men's Fashion Week, in Paris, France, 18 June 2024. EPA/ANDRE PAIN
A model presents a creation for the Spring/Summer 2025 Menswear Collection by the US designer Pharrell Williams for Louis Vuitton fashion house during the Paris Men's Fashion Week, in Paris, France, 18 June 2024. EPA/ANDRE PAIN

Louis Vuitton men's creative director Pharrell Williams took to an outdoor, turf-lined runway at UNESCO headquarters on Tuesday, opening Paris Fashion week with an evening show.

The world's biggest fashion label, known for its checked damier patterns and monogrammed trunks, drew on a travel theme for the spring summer 2025 men's collection, with a towering globe sculpture, rows of international flags and -- in the distance -- the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop, Reuters reported.

Models strode down the grass catwalk in crisply-tailored suits, slick bomber jackets and fur coats, with rhinestone-encrusted sunglasses and chunky, airplane-wing brooches, while an orchestra and choir performed music produced by Williams.

The LVMH-owned label drew an audience of 1,500, as well as screaming crowds on the street outside, angling to catch arrivals of celebrity guests, who included NBA basketball player Victor Wembanyama, actor Michael Fassbender and K-pop star Jackson Wang.

The Paris men's fashion shows, which will be followed by Haute Couture week, come as France gears up for the summer Olympics, as well as two rounds of elections in the coming weeks, which have thrown the country into political disarray.

Globally, high end labels face waning appetite for fashion and accessories, with the key Chinese market a particular source of concern.



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%.