At Saint Laurent, he proved himself an independent thinker and a risk-taker with a visionary perspective on design and desire. He appointed Hedi Slimane as creative director, luring him back to fashion after a five-year hiatus as a photographer. He backed Slimane’s controversial decision to drop the “Yves” from Saint Laurent’s brand name, a move that was viewed as sacrilege in some fashion quarters. He also allowed the designer to base himself in Los Angeles not Paris, which ruffled a few French fashion feathers. His take on Saint Laurent’s legacy was equally radical.
Rather than kowtow to the formidable archive of the founder, his idea was to base the new Saint Laurent identity on “the spirit and the intentions that reigned over the creation of Saint Laurent Rive Gauche in 1966: principles of youth, freedom and modernity”, which effectively gave Slimane carte blanche to reinvent the brand for the 21st century without getting bogged down in the past. The result? Saint Laurent sales are significantly up.
No wonder Apple wants a piece of Deneve. It has an unrivalled reputation for clever design, but after the death of its cofounder Steve Jobs, it has struggled to match his success and needs a new cult product. Speculation is that Deneve will handle the launch of the rumoured iWatch and ensure that it becomes a modern status symbol, as opposed to a laughing stock like the Pebble. This hi-tech wrist gadget comes on a thick nylon strap and is so eye-wateringly ugly, it must have been designed in a dark room. Even a geek would struggle to love it.
The balance between technology and fashion is a difficult one to strike. The £130 rubber Nike+ FuelBand (which records sleep patterns, counts how much energy you generate and syncs to your smart phone) doesn’t make my heart flutter with desire, but it has gained some traction with hipsters, who wear them with vintage gold Rolexes to advertise their active lifestyles. Get the mix right and a large pot of gold awaits. Experts predict that the value of the wearable technology market will top £5bn by 2018, and Apple wants to ensure it is a key player. Status symbols? This is the final frontier.
Red bag, £95, from Topshop
Let us count the ways…
1 You need a secure but stylish cross-body bag to leave your hands free for selfies.
2 Light and practical, the SC bag (by Sofia Coppola for Vuitton) was made for mooching round New York.
3 Casual doesn’t have to mean dull. Go for one in a vibrant, juicy colour.
4 Avoid holiday hunchback — pick a modest size to hold suncream, sunnies and a guidebook.