Fashion's Lost Feuds
Dior Vs. Valentino was supposed to be a big (fun?) drama. Only, it wasn't. That seems to be the way things go these days.
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The big post-couture news on the internet was Christian Dior sending a letter to Valentino demanding 100,000 euros to make up for lost revenue at its Rome store. Apparently, shoppers were unable to access the boutique during Valentino’s show, held on the Spanish Steps, which resulted in street closures, preventing shoppers from casually strolling into Dior, as one does. (When in Rome, and all.) The letter’s demands seemed petty. Like, 100,000 euros? That’s what, 16 or 17 large leather Lady Dior bags? One or two diamanté watches?
Of course, the internet’s real interest was less so in the precise details and more so in one of fashion’s most important, historic, and powerful brands sniping at another. This looked to many passionate fashion followers like a brand consistently heralded for delivering near-Biblical fashion spectacles being attacked by another brand trying to pass off Lowe’s furniture as an original Eames char. (I like Valentino but do not share much of the fashion internet’s negative view of Dior under designer Maria Grazia Chiuri. I’ll also defend Chanel’s Virginie Viard while we’re at it!)
However, the whole incident was resolved around a day after it first appeared in the news. Women’s Wear Daily reported:
According to sources, Dior is asking Valentino to disregard a previous letter demanding financial compensation of 100,000 euros, citing “cordial relations” between the two luxury houses and “mutual respect.”
The whole Dior-on-Valentino aspect of this aside, this became a big story because the truth is we don’t hear about that many “feuds” or even casual spats in fashion anymore. Part of this surely has to do with a sociopolitically driven attitudinal shift around work. Being a terrifying, unreasonable, or combative person in a position power was once routine in fashion. Now, appearing in the press for being in conflict is distinctly undesirable for companies that want to be seen as progressive, inclusive, and nurturing. But a broader change also seems to be afoot in fashion’s cult of personality mentality.
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