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Fashion news: Valentino sales up 48 per cent, Samsonite buys Tumi

From a hotly anticipated designer's debut at Balenciaga to Italian brands smashing sales records in a tough retail environment, what's trending now in the world of fashion.

Valentino FW16-17 for web

A model walks the runway in a look from the Valentino Fall/Winter 2016/17 collection.

1) Valentino sales surpass US$1 billion:
Men are one big reason behind Valentino’s latest coup: Ringing up more than US$1 billion (S$1.39 billion) in sales in 2015. This is a stunning increase of 48 per cent from 2014, especially remarkable in the current sluggish luxury-retail environment. CEO Stefano Stassi cited “accessories and the increasing interest in menswear” as major reasons for Valentino’s stellar performance. Fellow Italian fashion brand Gucci has also been exceeding forecasts, with sales in the last quarter of 2015 being 4.8 per cent higher as compared to the same quarter in 2014.

A trolley bag from Tumi's 40th anniversary collection launched last year.
A trolley bag from Tumi’s 40th anniversary collection launched last year.

2) Samsonite buys Tumi for US$1.8 billion:
After watching and waiting for 15 years, Samsonite is finally acquiring New Jersey-based premium luggage brand Tumi, at the price of US1.8 billion (S$2.5 billion). It’s an ideal strategic move for both brands: This acquisition will give Samsonite, the world’s largest branded luggage producer, a foothold in the premium-luggage sector. Geographically, two-thirds of Tumi’s sales come from within North America, while Samsonite performs most strongly in Asia and Europe. The deal is expected to be completed before year end.

3) Designer du jour Demna Gvasalia (above) makes his Balenciaga debut: A few days ago, Demna Gvasalia, a former Louis Vuitton designer and the founder of hot cult label Vetements, presented his first collection for Balenciaga at Paris Fashion Week (below). Featuring suits with nipped-in waists and sculpted tent-like outerwear silhouettes, the collection was largely praised — with comparisons being drawn between his designs and those of the house’s legendary founder, Cristobal Balenciaga. We can’t wait to see what Gvasalia does next. 

A photo posted by Balenciaga (@balenciaga) on