Tom Ford To Snatch Space Slated For Qatari Luxury No-Show

680Madison-RenderingCorner 61st

Remember a couple of years ago when we passed along the news that an upstart Qatari luxury label called Qela was opening a glittery flagship store on the corner of Madison Avenue and 61st street (rendering pictured above) in the long-gestating, renovated retail section of the former Carlton House at 680 Madison Avenue?
Not to be cynical, but that's the sort of ambitious retail debut that we usually take with just a grain or two of salt: "Heretofore unknown brand from a faraway land to make splashy New York debut at phenomenally expensive location". Well, it turns out that Qela, if it even still exists, will not be making its way to Madison and 61st Street after all. About a year ago, word was out that the space was being shopped around for a sublease, and the original lease was eventually terminated before any further action was taken, leaving it available for Tom Ford to swoop in and secure it for his next Madison Avenue boutique. No, he will not be among those with dual shops on Madison, but will instead move his flagship store downtown from the 70th street corner where he first debuted his apparel collections under his own label. The 2-level 12,300 square foot store is just a bit smaller than the current flagship, but the location, just across 61st Street from Barneys, has an even more prominent profile. While is Ford's current store is keeping company with Ralph Lauren, Prada, Bottega Veneta, Céline and other illustrious names, the new location will be sharing the block with a new Brioni boutique expected to open later this year to show off that brand's radical revamp. Other menswear neighbors include Berluti, Brunelli Cucinelli and the Hermès men's store. Though Barneys across the street as radically shrunk its fabled suit department, it also remains a major menswear store (where Ford does not sell his collection) and an important traffic generator for the neighborhood. Though Ford has shown a women's collection for several seasons, he started his signature collection with men's apparel, and it would appear to be the bigger part of his fashion offerings. There's no official time frame for the new store opening, but the raw space has been ready for a new inhabitant for quite some time now, so late 2017 might be a reasonable estimate to see how Ford will update his typically lavish retail concept.

Grand Entrance: Upstart Qatari Luxury Label Qela Plans A Major Madison Avenue Debut (1/8/2014)


Burberry Will Shift To Buy-Now Runway Shows
UPDATED: Tom Ford Follows Suit

Burberry's Fall/Winter 2016 Runway Show held in London last month

As as public fascination for the once industry-only runway shows of Fashion Weeks around the world, the entire runway show system is being upended, Designers are now questioning the wisdom of presenting their collections six months ahead of the time when they will be available for customers to purchase, and several designers have already announced that the collections they present at New York Fashion Week for when next week will be composed of merchandise to be immediately available. So far, the biggest luxury names have mused about possible changes, none have pulled the trigger on radically altering their presentation concepts —until today. Burberry's chief creative and executive officer Christopher Bailey has announced that starting this September, the label's runway shows will present only merchandise available immediately after the conclusion of the runway show. Only two shows will be presented per year mixing both men's and women's collections, eliminating separate men's shows of which the one held a few weeks ago at London Fashion Week Men's (pictured above) will have been the company's last.
Burberry has been dynamic in recent months when it comes to taking a hard look at how it does business and communicates to customers. Last year, the brand made the decision to consolidate its various diffusion labels under a singular Burberry Brand, merging both its luxury Prorsum and more accessible London and Brit collections. It's a move that eliminates the question of what is the "real" label for customers and puts it more in line with international mega-brands like Gucci or Louis Vuitton which have always eschewed sub-brands.
How this will affect other luxury level designers remains to be seen, but the restlessness in the crowded runway show schedule is clear with major designers increasingly using their clout to show their collections when they see fit. Hedi Slimane has announced that both the men's and part of the women's Fall 2016 Saint Laurent would be held next Wednesday, February 10th in Los Angeles where he lives and maintains his studio rather than in Paris, the home of one of France's most revered fashion maisons. Tom Ford, for his part has often moved his shows around to suit his own convenience, showing in different fashion capitals and even moving his show to Oscar Weekend in Los Angeles a year ago to accommodate the shooting schedule for his upcoming movie. Last season, he abandoned the runway altogether in favor of a music video starring Lady Gaga and a Soul Train line of dancing models, and for Fall 2016, he has announced that he will show both men's and women's lines to buyers and press in intimate presentations in New York.
So no livestream, then?
The longtime paradigm of multiple Fashion Weeks in various international cities is now entering a stage of flux that could change the way fashion is presented everywhere. Hang on. This is just the beginning.

Tom Ford has announced in Burberry's wake that he too would be showing Fall 2016 Collections in September of this year. He tells WWD, “Our customers today want a collection that is immediately available. Fashion shows and the traditional fashion calendar, as we know them, no longer work in the way that they once did. We spend an enormous amount of money and energy to stage an event that creates excitement too far in advance of when the collection is available to the consumer."

Burberry’s Bold Move: To Make Shows Direct to Consumer, Tom Ford Switches Show to Consumer Schedule (WWD)


Fashion Week Is Falling Apart Again, But It's OK Because Tom Ford Is Coming Back!

Now that it has abandoned its unloved tent complex at Lincoln Center for some alarmingly stark quarters in SoHo and the glacially developing Moynihan Station in Midtown, the future of New York Fashion Week still seems to be in question. The CFDA has retained Boston Consulting Group to conduct a multi-week study to determine how designers should proceed with their seasonal runway shows in the future. With Thakoon's new owners promising to upend the runway system to provide a stronger buy-now wear-now business plan and  Rebecca Minkoff promising to put on an in-season show of her Spring 2016 collection this February (does that mean she is going to re-show the collection she already presented last September?) and replace some editors and press in the audience with customers, Designers are once again questioning the wisdom of heavily publicizing their newest collections online and through social media half a year before anyone can actually buy anything. Retailers and designers are again offering opinions, without seeming to realize that if they turned fashion week into a series of buy-now promotional events, they would have to the put on some other kinds of presentations for the next season for retailers and editors who still need long lead times to fill their stores and shoot their stories. European designers -for whom live streaming runway shows to anyone with a high-speed internet connection is far more prevalent- seem to have looked in the direction of New York to basically say, "Let us know how that goes. We're going to keep doing things the way we always have".
While New York's designers quibble about what to put on runways —their main concern seems to be keeping their collections under wraps to avoid fast-fashion copyists— one expat has announced that he will be returning to show his Fall 2016 collections for men and women in New York. Yes, Tom Ford, who has been bending the fashion system to his fit his own needs for the past two seasons, has announced that he will be doing small presentations in New York on February 18th to buyers and press rather than showing in Milan or London where he has been showing in the past. Ford has been busy moonlighting on his next movie which is why last Spring he debuted his Fall 2015 collection with a star-studded show in Los Angeles during Oscar week, and stayed off the runways altogether for his Spring 2016 collection by releasing a secretly produced virtual runway show/disco party/music video starring Lady Gaga which was a hell of a lot more entertaining than a good portion of the runway shows that The Shophound has ever attended (we have embedded it below again because it is still just so much fun to watch). For the past two seasons, Ford has proved that he has enough clout and control over his wholly owned business to basically do whatever he wants for fashion week, but like Givenchy's visit to New York last September, you can now count on Ford's intimate showings in February to be the hottest ticket that will overshadow everyone else. Perhaps he is telling us that the way to win Fashion Week is to be bold and show however you want wherever it suits you. Who will have the guts to follow his lead?

Tom Ford to Show Women’s Wear, Men’s Wear in New York in February (WWD)


Saint Laurent, Paul Smith, Illesteva, Haute Hippie, TOD's, Tom Ford, Hugo Boss, Balenciaga, Tory Burch, Brunello Cucinelli, Chan Luu

Here is your weekly sampling of some of the brands you can expect to find on the bigger online Flash Sale Sites this week. You should click over to the sites themselves for a full schedule of events, and be sure to check for the correct start time for each sale. Shop well!

Saint Laurent, Hunter Boots, Sandro, Three Dots, Alana Bess Jewelry, Russell Trusso, Paul Smith, PLAC, Incotex Ivory, Ben Minkoff, Alternative Apparel, Tommy John Lounge, Matteo Bedding —join HERE
Haute Hippie, TUMI, Hugo Boss, TOD's, Tacori, Saucony, iRobot, Bodum, Bettye Muller, 88 Rue Du Rhone, Brio Toys, Hanro, Cinzia Rocca, Michael Kors, Jared Lang, Evil Twin, Zanetti, Zwilling J.A. Henckels, Sferra, Melinda Maria Jewelry, Elie Tahari, Rivkah Friedman, Illesteva, Frederique Constant Watches, Le Mystere, Judith Leiber, Swarovski —join HERE
Ajar Canada Outerwear, Tag Heuer, T Tahari, Tory Burch, BCBGeneration, Dior Beauté, Peri Luxe Furs, Rachel Zoe, Threads for Thought, Ben Sherman, Escada Sport, Kate Spade, Ray-Ban —join HERE
Kate Spade, Andrew Marc, DL1961, Creative Recreation, MUK LUKS, Hudson Jeans, Diesel, Hale Bob, Lorenzo Uomo, Vince, Asics, Vince Camuto, Judith Jack, Chan Luu, Stuhrling Watches, J Lindeberg, Mackage —join HERE
Balenciaga, 10 Crosby by Derek Lam, Oryany Handbags, Desigual, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tahari by ASL, Brunelli Cucinelli, Portolano, Chan Luu, TOD's, Tom Ford, Geoffrey Beene, Tommy Hilfiger, New Balance, Emporia Armani, Latico Accessories, Toscano, PAPI —join HERE


Tom Ford's Spring/Summer 2016 Show Is A Dreamy Lady Gaga Video

Tom Ford
is busy with a new movie right now, so the question of where and when he would show his Spring 2016 women's collection has been in the air over the past few weeks. He announced that there would be no runway show this season, and teased a video that has finally hit the web this morning, and it looks like more fun than any runway show you'll stream this season.
Ford enlisted photographer Nick Knight, a gaggle of the hottest models on the runways including Mica Arganaraz, Lexi Boling, Kayla Scott, Xaio Wen Ju, Valery Kaufman, Aymeline Valade, Lida Fox, Lucky Blue Smith, Alex Dunstan, David Agbodji and Tarun Nijjer and, the real surprise, Lady Gaga, who recorded a special cover of Chic's "I Want Your Love" for a disco soaked 3 minutes and 36 seconds of pure fashion pleasure in the form of an old fashioned Soul Train-style runway party. On his website, Ford explains how it all came together,

Instead of having a traditional show this season, I wanted to think about how to present a collection in a cinematic way that was designed from its inception to be presented online. I have always loved "Soul Train" which used to be on TV in the 70's; as it was as much about the clothes the music. I asked Nile Rodgers to collaborate on a new version of one of his great hits from that time, "I Want Your Love," and worked with Gaga to record the vocals. I then staged a full show in Los Angeles and filmed it with Gaga on the runway, Nick Knight directing and Benoit Delhomme as our director of photography.

Now, why won't anyone let models move like this on the real runways anymore?
Watch and rewatch over and over again below.


Have A Look At Tom Ford's
Fall 2012 Collection

When Tom Ford launched his women's line about a year and a half ago, he made a big deal about keeping his runway shows highly exclusive and embargoing any photo or video images of the collection until he saw fit to do so, usually several months later. Well, his shows are still exclusive and secretive, but the time frame appears to have been compressed. About a month after his Fall 2012 runway show in London, an official looking video has surfaced featuring the new collection. Perhaps since his Spring show was reportedly not warmly received, he wanted to get this minute and twelve seconds of images out earlier to prove that he was back in fine form. Take a look below at the sleek collection, and, yes, You'll see that Gwyneth Paltrow's white dress from the Oscars is included, cape and all.
(YouTube via The Cut)


Hey Kids, Tom Ford's Spring 2011 Fashion Video Is Now Online!

While the clothes themselves aren't earth-shattering or game-changing (though they are awfully pretty), we continue to marvel at how Tom Ford has managed to tease out his triumphant return to making women's clothes. As he promised, an official video of his ultra-exclusive Spring 2011 runway show has finally hit the web with all the supermodels and celebrities represented in classic fast cutting backstage/runway/front row style. Daphne! Amber! Beyoncé! They're all vamping up a storm and swilling champagne kind of like a fashion show scene in a movie where you watch and say, "Ugh! Real fashion shows are never like that!" After the jump, see the clothes that will be sold in a number of stores you can count on one hand, and you may never ever actually see in person at all.


Continue reading "VIDEO BLAST:

Hey Kids, Tom Ford's Spring 2011 Fashion Video Is Now Online!" »

The First REAL Photos Of
Tom Ford's Women's Collection

Vogue-tom-ford-A Have you been waiting like crazy to see what Tom Ford's women's collection looks like? No, we don't mean some sneaky editor's blurry iPhone pics, but real studio shots of the complete outfits. Wait no longer. has revealed the results of its Steven Meisel shoot of the highly protected collection. Sadly, there's no Beyoncé, Daphne Guinness or Lauren Hutton, but there's Karen Elson, Amber Valletta, Carolyn Murphy, Joan Smalls, Stella Tennant and others who participated in the first New York fashion show to generate real excitement in God only knows how long.

Vogue has four images online, and presumably more in the upcoming December issue along with the obligatory profile of Ford. As for seeing the collection on red carpets, the designer has promised to wait to see who gets nominated for an Oscar and offer to dress a single nominee of his choosing (so if Julianne Moore gets nominated for "The Kids Are Alright' —a distinct possibility— then we know how that's going to go).

We can't really argue with Ford's desire to slow the breakneck pace of the fashion media, even if it makes our job harder. To make matters even more frustrating, he promises to continue showing the women's line in the same way each season —but in London. The clothes are slated to start arriving in his stores sometime in December which is why they have been embargoed until this point. The photos snapped by Terry Richardson at Ford's presentation should hit the designer's revamped website at around the same time. Everything looks beautiful. It's not an earthshattering collection from these pictures. He's not reinventing the evening gown, but the line just looks appealing, rich looking and chic.

The man knows his customer.

Click the image to go to Vogue's story and slideshow for full-sized images.

Mr. Ford Returns by Sarah Mower ( VIA The Cut)

Tom Ford Spawns
At Bergdorf Goodman

Like any good designer with his sights set on Megabrand status, Tom Ford is rolling out carefully art directed shop-in-shops for his eponymous menswear collection, and a big one has landed at Bergdorf Goodman's Men's Store. It is being touted as the biggest in-store boutique that Bergdorf's has ever done (at least in the men's store) and includes all of Ford's lines including fragrance and accessories. It will be the only other outlet for Ford in the city aside from his own store. It covers the entirety of what was originally a Polo Shop (way back when the store first opened), a golf shop and more at the eastern end of the second floor. The lushly appointed suite of rooms contains a meticulous re-creation of Ford's Old-Hollywood-glam Madison Avenue flagship décor with a few strategic improvements.
Most notably, the doors are off the display fixtures. While the main boutique keeps almost everything in intimidating glass cabinets, Bergdorf's has wisely chosen to dispense with this detail, allowing for comfortable browsing without having to have a salesperson pull things out of drawers and armoires for just a brief look. By the same token, Ford's own boutique staff, whose concepts of service can veer wildly between suffocating hovering and stony indifference, is absent, replaced by Bergdorf's men's staff who, in our humble, but slightly biased opinion, are collectively the city's most skilled and professional. Also missing is the Lucio Fontana vagina-inspired painting that haunts the Madison Avenue entrance. Again, no great loss.
All this makes Ford's collection even more appealing, until you get to the prices, which are still kind of appalling, keeping it at the high end of Bergdorf's offerings - and that's a very high end. We have it on good authority, however that the prices aren't deterring customers, and Ford's $1,600 shoes are selling briskly.
Tom Ford at Bergdorf Goodman's Men's Store 745 Fifth Avenue, Second Floor, Midtown

Marc vs. Tom: The Nudie Wars

Photo by Philip Lorca di Corcia for W
How do these men expect to sell clothes if they insist on appearing without them at every opportunity?
We were really just kidding when we suggested that Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford were engaged in some sort of competition to see who can show up naked in the most magazines, but as if in response to Ford's cheeky appearance in OUT, here's Marc in the upcoming issue of W ostensibly showing off his new art collection. According to the article, Marc has replaced his substance addictions with obsessive art acquisition, tattooing and, evidently, exhibitionism. Let's just hope this isn't a prelude to some sort of ghastly Thierry Mugler-style body dysmorphic transformation.
Tom, the ball is now in your to speak. 
W Feature: Marc Jacobs (
previously: Tom Ford Can't Keep His Clothes On