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Best of: Background articles in 2019

By FashionUnited


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The year is coming to an end again, which means that FashionUnited takes a look back on the best article from the past year. This time we’ve collected some of the more important background articles published in 2019.

From oldest to newest, from the archive:

Why The Modist has secured investments from Farfetch, Nicola Bulgari and Vaultier7

March 2019 - The Middle East is a profitable market, but that is not the only reason why The Modist is so attractive to investors. Luxury "modest fashion" is growing rapidly in Western countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom -- about 45 percent of The Modist's sales come from those two countries. According to retail data analysis agency Edited, fashion shops in the countries mentioned above have expanded their range of 'modest' garments by 15 percent since 2017. The increase is easy to understand: in the US alone, Google receives an average of 8,000 searches per month for the term 'modest clothing'.

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Photo: Cruise collection Dior 2019: owned by Dior, of photographers Estelle Hanania and Adrien Dirand

Why Resort collections are significant to fashion

May 2019 - Cruise and resort collections were once exclusively intended to dress the elite who went on holiday at the end of the year. At this time of year, department stores mainly hung parkas and winter stuff on the shelves, and lacked summer fabrics, swimwear and a holiday wardrobe. However, in the current era of affordable, commercial air travel, these holidays are no longer exclusively for the jetset. And online shopping has made it possible to buy bikinis at winter temperatures and snowboots in the middle of summer. In short, you can buy anything, anywhere, anytime.

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Photo: Heist

Bye bye, tights that run and sag: new brands aim to disrupt the hosiery market

June 2019 - Where there is a dissatisfied consumer, there are business perspectives. A number of startups have been set up in recent years with the aim of solving consumer complaints about tights. They want to disrupt the tights market because most brands, according to them, have brought little innovation. "It's 2019 and people are still wearing the same tights as in the 60s," says Fiona Fairhurst, vice president of innovation at the British brand Heist Studios, a digital, direct-to-consumer brand established in the UK in 2015. Thanks to the complaints of 67 women, Heist has designed tights that they believe are both comfortable and durable. "Don't roll, don't t twist, don't sand", the brand promises on its website. Heist is so proud of their product that they call it "the best tights you'll ever wear".

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Silhouettes ©Sonia Rykiel spring/summer 2020 collection by Julie de Libran.

Sonia Rykiel : Why couldn't the brand be saved?

July 2019 - On Thursday 25 July, when the judge of Paris decided on immediate liquidation, the grief was twofold. No prolongation, but definitive closure of the ten outlets on 26 July, workers suddenly on the street, waiting for negotiations on their severance pay, but above all, worst of all, the end of Sonia Rykiel, a fashion brand that has been part of the French heritage since 1968. "Despite the industry's support for the brand's employees, we are extremely surprised at the virtual absence of reactions from the board of directors," confesses a former employee of the fashion house to FashionUnited. "At previous ceremonies and also at the fashion shows, the celebrities and dignitaries were at the forefront, now that the end is in sight, we can't hear or see anyone. Not even the Minister of Culture."

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Photo: Stella McCartney Facebook

The LVMH – Stella McCartney deal as seen by the market

August 2019 - Stella McCartney is, according to LVMH's owner Bernard Arnault, one of the most important people in the new, environmentally conscious luxury market. Commenting on the brand's appeal to LVMH, he says: "The decisive factor is that Stella was the first to put sustainability and ethical issues at the forefront at a very early stage. Melania Grippo, a luxury goods analyst at Exane BNP Paribas and quoted by the 'Financial Times', estimates that the Stella McCartney brand has annual sales of between EUR 280 million and EUR 300 million. According to Grippo, the new acquisition has "a marginal impact" on LVMH's annual sales and is not financially driven, but it confirms the Group's ability to attract, nurture and develop brands".

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Photo: Lajos-Eric Balogh / picture alliance / dpa Picture-Alliance / AFP

The Wertheimers: who are the mysterious owners of Chanel?

August 2019 - Chanel, one of the most prestigious French luxury fashion houses in the world, continues to create a mystery around itself and this certainly contributes to the allure of the brand. Chanel is not part of the two largest fashion conglomerates in the world, LVMH and Kering. Founded by the legendary Coco Chanel in 1910, Chanel has always been shielded from this power struggle and is not dependent on foreign capital to continue to dictate global trends. And although the company enjoys considerable financial support, it has been run by the Wertheimer family for three generations.

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Photo: Dr. Martens FW19 - Vegan

How financial investor Permira polished Dr. Martens to a shine

August 2019 - Over the years the shoe has had a number of different owners and the production location has also changed. In the late 1990s, the parent company of Dr. Martens, the Griggs Group Limited, had to relocate most of its production due to financial difficulties. To this day, a team still works in Wollaston with old machines from England that maintain the original production process. In 2013 the brand was acquired for £300 million by the Permira investment fund, then owner of Hugo Boss and New Look. Permira has worked miracles with the brand. Since the takeover, the shoe company has reported excellent growth; both sales and operating profits have increased. Also this year the profit of the British brand increased by 70 percent. What happened?

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Photo: Mao Mart SS19 | credit: Mao Mart

China’s fashion journey from manufacturer to emerging designer

October 2019 - Continued efforts for a new "Made in China" come at the same time as the relocation of production abroad as a result of rising labour costs and suppliers' attempts to get more return from the supply chain. "The labor component shows a downward trend; every season buyers demand discounts and after years of the same behavior is the cake on," said Edwin Key, CEO of Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel, in Shanghai. "It seems like a natural development to then climb up the supply chain to become an importer, provide more services and eventually become a brand owner". Around half of the exhibitors at the September edition of Chic are working on their own brand. In March, this number is historically even higher, at 80 percent. Most companies are still dependent on production for others as they build their own brands, but companies that only sell their own designs are on the rise.

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Photo: Izmir Factory | via Hugo Boss.

How Hugo Boss is turning its biggest plant into a smart factory

November 2019 - The ready-to-wear clothing industry is still heavily dependent on human sewing, a process that has not yet been automated; brands are still outsourcing large parts of production, and rely on cheap external labor instead of the more expensive alternative of advanced technology. Hugo Boss' Izmir factory, which covers 65,000 square feet, also uses manual sewing, but devises new ways for people and machines to work together. The factory produces as many as 900,000 suits a year, as well as two million shirts and 550,000 pieces of women's clothing, according to the company's website. According to Joachim Hensch, managing director at Hugo Boss Textile Industries Ltd., the factory has also started delivering orders for single pieces to pilot stores in Asia.

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This article was originally published on FashionUnited.NL, translated and edited by Kelly Press.

Main photo: The Modist Facebook

Best of 2019
Dr Martens
Hugo Boss
Stella McCartney
The Modist