The Style File Daily Cheat Sheet

(wwd)Prince Harry Gets Royal Treatment at Governors Island

"It’s not everyday an authentic royal prince mounts a horse and plays a polo match in the middle of New York City, so the enthusiasm of the crowds that gathered at Governors Island (just off the tip of Manhattan) on Sunday afternoon to watch Britain’s Prince Harry compete against Nacho Figueras in the third annual Veuve Cliquot Polo Classic was understandable. Despite the sweltering climes—the mercury rose well above the ninety degree mark—scores of revelers—some VIPs, most hoi polloi (the event was open and free to the public) gamely donned festive chapeaus and seersucker shorts and boarded ferries from the financial district to the fields. (Further evidence this was not your typical American sporting event: elegant flutes of the sponsor’s Champagne, rather than Big Gulps of brewski, were hawked at concession stands.)" While this year’s celeb turn out—Val Kilmer, Mary J Blige—paled in comparison to last year’s—Kate Hudson and Madonna (arguably one of the only stars who could upstage an HRH)—there was still no shortage of entertainment: Namely, Harry’s head-first tumble off his horse during a pivotal moment in the game, which drew a collective gasp from the crowd. But, for the royal, who continued to play after his spill, it was presumably worth it: festivities, which also included an exclusive tented luncheon before the match, raised funds for American Friends of Sentebale, the U.S. chapter of the charity he founded to support children in AIDs-stricken parts of Africa. What’s more, Harry, whose team ultimately lost, managed even to score a goal—though the play wasn’t exactly a highlight for everyone. “They let Harry score a goal, did they?,” quipped one skeptical onlooker. “That was nice of them.” read more

(bloomberg)Harrods, Liberty Follow Saks in Creating Own-Brand Fashion to Revive Sales

"Harrods Ltd., the iconic London department store that sells diamond-encrusted Bulgari SpA sunglasses, Yves Saint Laurent scents and DKNY bags, is now banking on the brand its customers know best.  The retailer plans to create in-store shops for Harrods- branded clothing and accessories by 2012, making it the latest high-end department store to bet its name can spur sales and profit after the luxury industry’s worst-ever year. As luxury-goods makers Burberry Group Plc and Prada SpA cut their dependence on third-party distributors by opening outlets, department stores are filling selling space with their own brands. Saks Inc.’s revamped men’s collection is set to become the New York store’s largest men’s wear brand. With lower prices than mainstream luxury brands, retailers’ labels can appeal to customers who are more price-sensitive after the recession. “Department stores realize that their most valuable asset is their own name,” said Umberto Angeloni, co-owner of Italian suitmaker Raffaele Caruso SpA, which also manufactures private- label tailored clothing for retailers. At Harrods, the range of men’s clothing and accessories will be positioned as an alternative to a brand like Brioni Roman Style SpA, the Italian maker of $5,000 suits, Jason Broderick, general merchandise manager, said in an interview. The retailer, acquired last month by Qatar Holding LLC for 1.5 billion pounds ($2.3 billion), foresees a “substantial” part of future sales coming from its own brand, Broderick said. Private-label fashion is “a growing part of our business with huge potential,” he said. read more

(wwd)M&A Forges Ahead Despite Uncertainty

"Forget the cranky consumer and schizophrenic investor. Global retail mergers and acquisitions are on the rebound — for now — and Europe is the center of attention. Dealmakers have been pulling billions from their coffers for the right companies, and the questionable U.S. recovery, the European debt meltdown and stock markets’ gyrations are being seen more as potholes than roadblocks. Deep-pocketed investment funds are trying to snatch up quickly growing brands on the cheap, and strategic acquirers are looking to transform and win the postrecession consumer. Already this year, the value of global acquisitions of apparel manufacturers, as well as apparel and shoe, jewelry and department stores jumped 133 percent to $11.28 billion, according to Dealogic. And Europe led the way despite questions about the viability of the euro and sovereign finances. Europe rang up $6.98 billion worth of deals in the four sectors this year, even excluding BCBG Max Azria Group and Nicolas Berggruen’s agreement to buy Karstadt Department Store Group, which is technically a holding company and not considered a retail transaction by Dealogic.  The global retail M&A dollar figure advanced despite a decline in the number of deals to 207 from 280 at this time last year, indicating companies are starting to take bigger bets as they consider combinations." read more

(fashion'scollective)Luxury Department Stores on Twitter

"As a Twitter fanatic, it’s been interesting to watch as more and more luxury brands and retailers get on the “Twitter train.” In particular, I like checking out how the department stores (amidst their complex organizations) are innovating in this space. Unfortunately, not all have gotten on board, but there are a few clear standouts. Of particular note is Bergdorf Goodman, who despite a very limited retail footprint (2 stores if you count the Manhattan womens and mens stores separately) now have a larger Twitter following than Bloomingdale’s! The key to Bergdorf’s success in this arena has been in the cheery, loquacious personality of the Bergdorf teams’ Tweeter(s). Taking a look at the sheer number of tweets they’ve put out (5,032 as of this posting), especially as compared to “heavyweight” Nordstrom, shows how engaging they are. Barney’s continues to shine with a very strong follower base, but why don’t they make better use of their highly-entertaining Creative Director, Simon Doonan. I have no doubt he would quickly draw a lot of new fans. Twitter newcomer, Saks Fifth Avenue, is off to a good start but is going to have to step up their game and offer a more unified voice if they don’t want to get lost amongst their more chatty competitors." read more