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February 06, 2013

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Luxury retailer has transformed its 84-year-old Christmas catalog into an application for what's anticipated to be this year's hot electronics gift: Apple's .By putting the 2010 Christmas Book into an iPad app, Neiman Marcus is keeping up with its customers, said Gerald Barnes, president of the Dallas-based company's catalog and online division. That doesn't mean the printed catalog is dead. Neiman Marcus still plans to mail more than 1 million copies to customers, and the entire catalog is viewable on its website.The Christmas Book has been online since 2006 and now almost all of the company's direct sales are made on its websites. Its Internet revenue increased 10.7 percent last year, while catalog sales fell 19.2 percent.Last year, about 85 percent of Neiman's direct sales were online, up from 80 percent last year and 75 percent in 2008, according to the company's annual financial report.Going mobileOne advantage of an iPad app is customers can browse the catalog from anywhere without an Internet connection once they download it, Barnes said.Imbedded in the iPad app and the online catalog are videos showing fantasy gifts, such as this year's his-and-hers gift: a 48-by-12 houseboat with 7-foot ceilings and $250,000 price tag.There's also video of this year's car ? a 2011 Neiman Marcus Edition Camaro convertible with a 6.2-liter V8 engine that sells for $75,000.Other catalogs also soon will be accessible from the iPad app, Barnes said. "Catalogs continue to be a very important part of our advertising. This is how we get into our households."Mailed catalogs are up slightly this year from just less than a million last year, Barnes said. Before the recession, the company mailed 2 million Christmas Books.Price rangesAbout half of the 450 items in this year's 163-page catalog are again priced below $250 ? showing the retailer's sensitivity to cost-conscious buyers.After skipping the $1 million and up price tag last year, this year the famed book contains a gift costing $1.5 million: International artist Dale Chihuly will transform a swimming pool into an original, private work of art.The least expensive item is a $15 silver-plated candlewick trimmer.Neiman Marcus extends its reach with catalogs. About 40 percent of its online and catalog customers in the last two years have been from cities where it doesn't operate a store. And customers who shop both stores and online spend about four times more than single-channel customers.Last year, Neiman Marcus circulated about 48 million catalogs, down 25 percent from the prior year, as shoppers shifted to the Internet. It also sends out daily e-mails to about 4.7 million customers, alerting them to new merchandise and special offers.Even before online shopping took over, catalog represented only about 10 percent of annual catalog sales.His and hersBritish success story Burberry revealed today that it had hit a stumbling block as the luxury brand issued a profits warning.In a surprise update, the group said it had been hit by a slowdown in spending across the world.The darling of the fashion scene had once enjoyed sales growth in double digits, but today it reported that like-for-like sales ground to a halt in the 10 weeks to 8 September. Chief financial officer Stacey Cartwright said: "In the last two weeks there has been a global slowdown. We have seen this across the board in Asia, the US, Europe and the UK."Despite its issues, the brand is gearing up for where it will present its womenswear spring/summer show on Monday.Cartwright said: "We have Fashion Week, and the tremendous new flagship on Regent Street that has just opened -- our largest in the world -- while our menswear-only Knightsbridge store will open in a few weeks. Traffic has been down globally but we will not change tack."Burberry warned that profits for the full year of 2013 would be at the bottom end of market expectations at about pounds sterling 407 million. Retail sales, including from new stores, were up 6 percent.The slowdown compares with strong first quarter trading where retail sales had grown by 14 percent.Luca Solca, luxury brands expert at CA Chevreux, blamed Burberry's reliance on very high-end clothing rather than accessories such as handbags. He said: "Apparel -- on which Burberry is more dependent than other mega-brands -- is softer. In difficult times consumers prefer leather goods and hard luxury accessories as they are more visible and work better as status symbols."Analyst Kate Calvert at Seymour Pierce downgraded the stock to hold and said: "This news will obviously hit sentiment towards Burberry. However, we still consider Burberry a strong long-term growth story."The company has enjoyed a remarkable decade with its shares rising fivefold. Today the stock slid more than 18 percent, down 249p to 1125.5p, on the news.However, Mike van Dulken at Accendo Markets said: "This morning's selling may be overdone, providing a short-term trading opportunity."___(c)2012 London Evening StandardVisit the London Evening Standard at Distributed by MCT Information ServicesDiamond baubles from Cartier glittering in one window, Louis Vuitton's signature leather bags beckoning from across the street and another storefront displaying ' silk scarves.Within months this is the scene that will greet visitors to Miami's Design District, as the neighborhood begins its dramatic metamorphosis into the new hot spot for luxury shopping.Cartier and have just opened their doors. Louis Vuitton will do so on Oct. 19. Hermes and Men are under construction. Right behind that will be Pucci. By the time and the holiday shopping season arrive, there should be 8 to 10 luxury brands lining the Design District's Northeast 40th Street corridor. These openings are a sign of Miami's ascent as a fashion destination."For most luxury brands Miami is one of the top three markets in , along with New York and Los Angeles," said Valerie Chapoulaud-Floquet, president and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton North America. "The Miami market has grown quicker than the rest of North America."For decades the Bal Harbour Shops offered the only option for luxury in Miami-Dade County. But no longer is having one store in the market enough for these luxury brands."Miami has been under retailed for luxury because of the strength of the local market and the strong growth of tourists coming to Miami," said Emmanuel Perrin, president and chief executive officer of Cartier North America. "This market can support several Cartier boutiques. It was just a question of time before the luxury market evolved. Everyone has been waiting for the right project to come along."Louis Vuitton and Cartier both left Bal Harbour Shops last summer because the mall didn't have the space for them to expand. The retailers were also prohibited from opening a second store within 20 miles unless Bal Harbour's owners got a piece of the new store's revenue.Now, Louis Vuitton already has opened another store at Mall and Cartier is assessing the market. It's all part of an unfolding game of musical chairs that ends the monopoly of Bal Harbour, which has controlled the luxury retail market since 1965.By 2014, developer Craig Robins expects to have 40 to 50 luxury brands spread throughout the Design District, creating a new urban destination for fashionistas. Already committed to the area are about 30 tenants, including , Bulgari, Pucci, De Beers, Zegna, Tom Ford, Burberry and Marc by . They will join the district's original fashion tenants Christian Louboutin, and Martin Margiela."We're starting to build critical mass," Robins said. "We continue to find that more and more brands are interested in coming. This is an exciting moment for the Design District. People are going to feel the transition and the power of integrating fashion with art, design and food."Many of the brands are giving up space at Bal Harbour, which the International Council of Shopping Center recently designated the top producing mall in the world. But they say they don't believe the move will have any negative impact on their business."We have made a seamless transition," said Vira V. Capeci, president of Celine. "Our clients have followed us to this exciting location."Right now, Cartier's name sparkling against the backdrop of a bronze storefront may look a little out of place as the area undergoes a transition. But soon Louis Vuitton will make a dramatic statement across the street with a storefront covered by an original work of art from graffiti artist Marquis Lewis, known as RETNA.There may be growing pains in this gentrifying neighborhood. Will consumers be willing to spend thousands of dollars on jewelry, handbags and clothes just a few blocks away from some of Miami's more impoverished neighborhoods?At Cartier a security guard stands close by watching over an offering that includes a rare yellow diamond and a $310,000, diamond-encrusted panther pendant and necklace."I like the idea of an urban neighborhood where you have crackheads here and Cartier over there," said Denia Roth, a Miami resident who was lunching this week at Michael's Genuine in the Design District. "The diversity brings everyone together."The retailers have more freedom to design the look of their stores and open bigger showrooms featuring a wider variety of offerings. Cartier's new store is three times larger than what it had at Bal Harbour.And these stores are only the beginning. Cartier and Louis Vuitton are among several brands opening temporary locations, until they can design and build flagship stores. When these stores open in 2014, they're expected to be among the brands' largest stores in the U.S. outside of ."We want to take our client experience to the next level and serve our clients in comfort," Perrin said.Louis Vuitton felt it was important to get into the Design District early."We like to be part of building a story, it's part of our pioneering spirit," Chapoulaud-Floquet said. "We think we're going to be able to communicate with a very different clientele that is younger, more trendy and much more open to art and culture."Although it's been a year since Louis Vuitton and others started leaving Bal Harbour, operating partner Matthew Whitman Lazenby says same store sales continue to grow -- up 16 percent for the first six months of the year compared to last year.But Lazenby says his family has had a change of heart about allowing tenants to remain at Bal Harbour and still open a second location in Miami-Dade County."You can't deny there has been demand expressed by more than one tenant," Lazenby said. "Miami has reached the point in its evolution where more than one store can be sustained. We are adapting to the marketplace and trying to accommodate the needs of our tenants." ___(c)2012 Visit The Miami Herald at Distributed by MCT Information Servicesdesigner Monica Pedersen can be seen regularly on programs such as "Bang for Your Buck," where she shows homeowners how to maximize their living space and beautify their homes. A well-seasoned traveler, Pedersen who lives in the Midwest sees the potential in taking trips to Wisconsin, as well as heading overseas for a longer vacation.Q: What is your favorite vacation destination? A: , Fla. It's a low-key town right next to and about 45 minutes from . It is my go-to spot when I really want to relax. Working on TV for me means being constantly surrounded by the noise of saws and drills. So a vacation with good weather, the comfort of a private home, a charged golf cart in the driveway and no pressure to look presentable is heaven!Q: Where are your favorite weekend getaways?A: Kohler, Wis., is definitely at the top of my list and is a place my husband and I go at least twice a year. The American Club (destinationkohler.com) is charming, the golf is spectacular and the food is mouthwatering. Another fun place to go in Wisconsin is the Osthoff Lake Resort (osthoff.com).Q: What are your favorite hotels?A: The Pelham Hotel (pelhamhotel.co.uk) in London has beautifully decorated rooms. The Ritz-Carlton (ritzcarlton.com/neworleans) in New Orleans is comfortable and in a great location. The Four Seasons (fourseasons.com/dublin) in Ireland treated my mom, who was very sick while we were there, like a queen. The Soho Grand Hotel (sohogrand.com) in New York for its location. The bar can be pretty fun as well.Q: What are your favorite restaurants?A: Il Cantinori (ilcantinori.com) is my favorite restaurant in New York. I love great Italian food! In Las Vegas, definitely the Wynn Hotel and the Bartolotta Ristorante (wynnlasvegas.com/#dining/bartolotta), which is incredible.Q: When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?A: Comfortable shoes, a variety of outerwear like scarves, sweaters and my plaid Burberry rain poncho BlackBerry, cheap pair of backup sunglasses, a good book and a small container of moisturizer.Q: What are your five favorite cities?A: San Francisco is so romantic. It's where my husband proposed to me. New York for its great energy. Napa Valley is sophisticated yet friendly and has great food and wine. I love the details in New Orleans' architecture. Charleston, S.C., is elegant and loaded with Southern charm.Q: What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?A: I talk to friends and do a ton of research online. A Web site I am working with, mastercardmarketplace.com, is a great resource for vacations.Q: Where would you like to go that you've never visited before?A: Buenos Aires, . I am heading there soon to shoot an episode of a show I work on called "Bang for Your Buck," and I cannot wait. I am also going to track down the balcony where Eva Peron sang "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" and do my own version. I'm kidding!For more from the reporter, visit .I'M NOT saying I'll never be with a prostitute again. But it's hard. Parts of it are soulless and parts of it are nourishing. It's always a roll of the dice.That's our always candid friend, , talking to Playboy magazine for July/August (Massive Summer Double Issue it says, directly above cover girl .) Charlie is Charlie. Don't try to make sense of anything he says, because mostly it doesn't. And he knows it. Is it malarkey or the real deal or some wild combination of the two, which seems to be working for him. (His new show, Anger Management is doing well.)Yet at least he admits to being unfair to his longtime co-star , in the heat of Sheen's firing. I whaled on him unnecessarily ... he's a beautiful man and a fabulous dude and I miss him. I need to repair that relationship, and I will. I will reach out to do whatever is necessary.As for the now-legendary tale of a suitcase full of cocaine being delivered to his house, in the midst of a wild party, Sheen insists it never happened. Nope. He was watching a Dave Chappell sketch on TV and laughed so hard it gave him a hernia. The hernia did not occur because of too much partying and illegal substances.Look, that's his story and he's sticking to it. And even if he doesn't, it apparently won't make one bit of difference to the fans who support him.WHICH LEADS us to the conundrum of . Tom doesn't smoke (anything) drink, or carouse with hookers. He has never assaulted a woman or been accused of such a thing. He takes care of himself, his popularity has not waned. He is still, according to Forbes magazine, the highest paid actor in the world. And yet, on the front pages of the newspapers, Tom is the devil, scaring poor so much that she has to have a ring of bodyguards surrounding her when she ventures out. What's Tom crime? He's a control freak who belongs to the mysterious and controversial Church of Scientology. OK, maybe that's not pleasant to live with, but the public seems to find his driven personality and religious/spiritual beliefs more unsavory than anything Charlie Sheen does.I guess bad boys do, somehow, get more breaks.As for Miss Holmes, she will be fine. She's made her point, with her bodyguard photos, and the bits of business that have slipped out; her fears for Suri, etc. Nobody is going to be kidnapped or forced to do anything they don't want to do. She's been clever. I suppose she's had to be.Let's not forget, she knew exactly what she was getting into. It's not like Tom became a Scientologist during their marriage. There were plenty of warning signs. But Miss Holmes, apparently, was in love or lust or infatuated with his image and the attention he showered on her. And so it has come to this sorry state of affairs.Tom? Another hit movie and people will probably go back to shrugging off his beliefs. Next time (if there is a next time) Tom should marry a nice, docile Scientology girl with whom he can share his religion.I WAS chatting with a friend last week about how much Internet technology and computers, cellphones, iPads, etc., have taken over every part of our lives. Everything is controlled and connected it seems to one huge grid. What if everything blanked out one day, even for 24 hours? We've all become so dependant.Well, just a day or two later, the had a story about a summer storm in Virginia that took out part of Amazon's cloud computing service, in which hundreds of companies store data. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, and Amazon responded pretty well, but this story gave me pause. The Times reported: The ability to deal with failures has long been a feature of any computing system, but like much else in the cloud, there are no common standards to guide how much protection against disaster is enough.We are so concerned about our borders on the ground. Perhaps we should spend more time with our heads in the clouds. That's where I think the real storm of apocalyptic nightmares stores its data.WELL, IT's beginning to look like all the fan-whining over is evaporating as continues to break records even before this all-important weekend. (But then these days, every weekend is all important.) The film, which co-stars , has, as of yesterday, made more than $35 million in the United States. In Asia, the take was more than $50 million and climbing.So he was too tall, too gawky, too British, not ? Well, whatever he is or isn't, Mr. Garfield is probably set for two more installments, and set for life financially, as well. That skin-tight Spidey suit is no fun to get into for hours on end. (And it's impossible to wear anything under it.) But in-between films, he'll be able to devote himself to more comfortable Prada, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein or Burberry. (He wears Burberry in a deep blue shade on the cover of Teen Vogue. He's paired with Miss Stone, who is supposed to be his real-life girlfriend. Well, at least until the film hits the $500 million mark.)NOW THAT has come out, will on be as much smirky, giggling fun as it has been? Oh, you know -- Anderson's friend, comedienne , would come on and tease him relentlessly, implying, but never saying, what everybody knew.They've got to cook up a new act.(E-mail at .)Shortly before Daniel Hernandez moved from L.A. to Mexico to write a book about its roiling capital, a friend gave him an order. "I don't want to see you back from Mexico City until it's physically altered you, until you are different," Hernandez was told. The Western Hemisphere's largest metropolitan area, with about 22 million people, has its existential challenges: toxic air, epic traffic jams, "express" kidnappings. But it also can bestow transformative benefits on those willing to dive headfirst into its urban mosh pit. FOR THE RECORD: Daniel Hernandez: An article in the April 28 Calendar section about author-journalist Daniel Hernandez identified Hernandez as a former Los Angeles Times staff writer. Hernandez is a former Los Angeles Times staff writer and a current staff blogger and news assistant in the Times' Mexico City bureau. During a recent L.A. visit, Hernandez spoke about how his adopted hometown since 2007 has altered him and how he hopes to alter others' perceptions of it with his just-published book, "Down Delirious in Mexico City: The Aztec Metropolis in the Twenty-First Century" (Scribner). "I think as a journalist Mexico City pushed my barometer of crazy in my life," said Hernandez, 30, a former Los Angeles Times and L.A. Weekly staff writer. "But of course sometimes it's overwhelming and you think you're going to pass out, you need a limonada. You need a run out of town." Hernandez strives to capture that craziness with a combination of memoir, bildungsroman and an impressionistic essay-album of edgy young lives in a city that often feels perched on the precipice of chaos. Some reviewers have invoked Jack Kerouac and Bret Easton Ellis in characterizing Hernandez's first-person immersion in Mexico City's louche atmospherics. Matt Sledge of the Huffington Post wrote that "Hernandez's book tells the stories that we should know, if for no other reason than American culture is increasingly Mexican culture, as his journey makes clear." That journey, of course, is the reverse of one that thousands of Mexicans attempt every year. "The irony is not lost on me," writes Hernandez, who'll be appearing at this weekend's L.A. Times Festival of Books. "While millions of Mexicans are migrating northward, I go south. It is an act of rebellion. My parents, who left Tijuana and settled in San Diego in 1976, shake their heads in disapproval." Growing up as a bilingual, bicultural U.S. citizen, Hernandez often heard horror stories about Mexico City's crime, smog and corruption. But rather than dissuade him, they aroused a desire to get to know this off-limits part of his cultural heritage. What he found, upon arriving, was a cosmopolitan, multilayered city (pre-Columbian, colonial and modern) with a complex web of youth subcultures: emos, "anarco-punks," Condesa scenesters, rich trendy fresas from Polanco. "I just kind of went deeper and deeper," Hernandez said. "I was adopting certain aspects of the subcultures. I realized I had to not judge anyone's music or their style or their fashions but [ask] why had they adopted it, and to pinpoint what I see as the contradictions.", an English professor at Loyola Marymount University, said that countless young Mexican Americans have made the reverse-odyssey to their ancestral homeland over the decades, but few have written about it in long form with Hernandez's insightfulness. "Daniel is saying that the borders have to be crossed on all levels, including the self," said Martnez, author of "The Other Side: Notes From the New L.A., Mexico City, and Beyond." The haunts Hernandez describes in "Down Delirious" are far from the places most tourists see. He hangs out with graying Marxists at the weekly El Chopo open-air swap meet and parties till sunrise with coked-up chilango teens and twentysomethings in the bohemian Roma neighborhood. He canvases fashion shows, gets swept up in a surging mob at a soccer match and flees an Aztec temazcal (sweat lodge), "gasping for oxygen" and deeply skeptical of whether ancient rituals can act as curatives for the ills of modern life. In surreal detail, he recounts pilgrimages to the worship halls of Mexico City's dueling spiritual icons: the beloved Virgin of Guadalupe, the country's church-sanctioned protector since she allegedly appeared to the peasant Juan Diego in 1531, and the fearsome, skeletal Santa Muerte, "Saint Death," the unofficial patron of prostitutes, crime lords and cab drivers working the graveyard shift. Some episodes in "Down Delirious" will ring familiar to readers of Hernandez's blog, , which has a following on both sides of the border, particularly among readers 30 and younger. (Disclosure: Hernandez and I have been casual acquaintances for many years.) Just out of UC Berkeley, where he studied English literature, Hernandez first visited Mexico City in 2002 and stayed 10 weeks with relatives, an experience that "recalibrated" his life. Then in 2006, he was assigned by the L.A. Weekly to write a piece about Mexico's upcoming presidential election, which led to the contract for "Down Delirious." Laurie Ochoa, the former L.A. Weekly editor who , said that while "Down Delirious" touches on Mexican politics and hot-button issues like immigration, its greater achievement is to personalize the phenomenon of second- and third-generation Mexican Americans reconnecting with their cultural roots. "Through his individual story, he's telling the stories of a lot of people," Ochoa said. Although his book doesn't dwell on it, Hernandez writes with an awareness of the drug-war mayhem that has swept Mexico since late 2006 and of the toll that the country's economic and social afflictions have taken on its youth. One section deals with the curious persecution of Mexico's ambisexual "emo" youth, whose ambiguous identity aroused the wrath of other urban tribes. Perhaps the book's most affecting chapter, "A Feathered Serpent in Burberry Shades," recounts Hernandez's adventures with his late friend, the designer and "semi-androgynous party boy" Quetzalcoatl Rangel Sanchez. "You're dealing with real histories here and real traumas and real violence and real loss," Hernandez said. So how has his Mexico City sojourn physically changed him? Hernandez pointed to a pair of tattoos that he's acquired since living in Mexico: "La Libertad" (Spanish for "liberty") and another depicting a symbol for "speak," derived from a . "I'm a nerd, I'm a bookish Berkeley nerd," he said, "but living here has just flipped everything upside down for me." For now, Hernandez's plan is to keep getting flipped in Mexico City and maybe inspire other young searchers his target audience, he hopes to do the same. "I think it would make me most happy if it were a younger reader like that, a young reader interested in learning something about Mexico."Dear Answer Angel: I'm a little embarrassed to ask this question. I've been using the same deodorant since I was in high school, and it has always "done the job." Now, many decades later, it isn't working. I was in a crowd the other day, and I started thinking someone near me had not taken a shower after a workout or something. And then I realized that I was the guilty party. The product I'm talking about is the "regular" red label Ban roll-on. When that changed to a green container, I stuck with the roll-on "regular" with a red label. But lately, I've been having not-so-good results. Did I change, or did the deodorant? Not So Fresh AnymoreDear Not So Fresh: Your favorite Ban roll-on has changed. I asked the company and learned that it did make "relatively minor" changes in the formula. But that might not be the cause of your problem. It could be you. Ban research leader Erica Palmer says, "We are learning that as people age, they may need to switch products to compensate for physical changes in body chemistry." Palmer suggests you switch from roll-on to solid. Roll-on is gentler but "not as effective in controlling odor and wetness" as the solid, she says.You didn't ask, but others have inquired how to remove the inevitable white deodorant streaks on your sweaters and shirts that you notice just as you're racing out the door. Easy and cheap: Rub the area with dry pantyhose (or knee-highs) or a dry Mr. Clean Eraser household cleaning pad.Dear Angel: I have been struggling for years on my quest for a raincoat that's stylish and has a hood. All the stylish raincoats/trench coats I find lack a hood. I carry an umbrella with me on rainy days, but I would still like a hood to protect me from the humidity, not just the water. Are there any affordable waterproof, stylish raincoats/trench coats out there with a hood, or am I asking for too much? Mary B.Dear Mary: In fashion (as in life), you can never ask for too much! The perfect coat with a hood is out there. But it will require some searching. I like to touch, feel and try on, so online shopping isn't my favorite. But it's the way to go when you're looking for something really specific, such as your perfect coat. An online search for "hooded trench coat" (or leopard rain boot or whatever esoterica is on your wish list) will turn up a ton of options. In your case, I found a high-end lemon sorbet-colored taffeta Burberry for (gulp) $1,295 () and a cute Marc New York in black jersey knit with a hidden hood, $255 at ). Also: Gallery makes cute, colorful coats with detachable hoods, including one in bright spring green for $118 at . Happy hunting.Dear Answer Angel: Can you settle this dispute with my wife? We were in a restaurant, and the people at the next table were having a lively discussion about a movie we were about to see. We actually had just purchased the tickets for a ridiculous $11 apiece, I might add. I asked them in a pleasant way if they'd change the subject because we were about to see the film and wanted to be surprised. They seemed OK with that. But my wife wasn't. She was mortified and says I was out of line. I say I was just protecting my investment. Spoiler AlertDear S.A.: I'm on your side. As long as you were nice about it, you're fine. And, because your dining neighbors did stop talking about the movie, they, too, must have been OK with your request. Whether the issue is free upgrades on your cell-phone contract, honoring an expired discount coupon or a change of topic at the adjacent table, I say it never hurts to ask politely.Dear Answer Angel: I found the perfect jacket at a consignment store. The sleeves had been altered by the previous owner and it fit me perfectly. It's clear that whoever consigned it is exactly my size. Is it possible to find more clothes from whoever my body double is? How? No more tailoring billsDear No More: Yes! Many consignment stores such as the national chain Second Time Around () have computer software that can track all the clothes in the store from that same seller. Even without a computer program, managers of consignment stores often know their sellers so well that if you ask (preferably keep tags and receipts with identifying numbers), they can locate all the clothes in their shop from that person.Woof. Reacting to my advice to people complaining that their best friends' dogs leave them covered with hair, several e-mailers raved thusly: "Buy your friends a Furminator. Best dog comb ever. It is amazing." (furminator.com)Shop, drop, ask for helpYearning for a friend (only better) to tell you what to choose, where to look, how to get good value? Relax, now you've got an angel on your shoulder. Send questions large and small to Tattered, precious clothes: Can't bear to throw out your beat-up, beloved favorites? Those jeans? A baseball cap? A shredded sweater? Tell me your stories. Even send a photo! E-mail me atThe proprietor of Handbags in the City has a fashion sense that favors the classical, whether he's wearing a belted Burberry trench coat with a standup collar, lounging in a cashmere sweater or modeling a jacket lined with shearling.And Sparky's owner, George Sakellaris, also in Burberry, doesn't look too shabby, either. "He's a little old man, and he loves dressing up," says Sakellaris, co-owner of the store at 840 Aliceanna St., the shop where Sparky, a 13-year-old Brussels Griffon, can be found most days."Sparky has worn clothes ever since he was a baby; now he has two coats and about a dozen sweaters. Mostly, we dress him because he's short-haired and he gets really cold when he goes outside. If it's raining, he doesn't like to go out at all, but he minds it less if he's wearing a raincoat."Despite the recession, Baltimore dog owners have been snatching up sweaters, coats, raingear and, yes, even booties this winter to help keep Fifi and Fido toasty and dry."You're talking about a passionate product for a passionate consumer, and passion overrides any economic downturn," says Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst at the NPD Group, the New York-based market research organization."Even during the recession, where the consumer was cutting back, certain items became identified as necessary luxuries. Pet owners wanted to insulate their and cats against the recession in the same way that they wanted to isolate and protect their children."For instance, Beth Crisman, who lives in Northwest Baltimore, can't afford designer duds for herself or her dog on what she earns as a practicing artist and part-time professor. (She teaches photography and art history at several area community colleges.)But Crisman would no more go without sweaters in winter for Cody, her 3-year-old Boston terrier, than she would go without a coat for herself."Bostons don't do well with either extreme temperatures of hot or cold," she says, adding that she orders Cody's clothes either through online sites or catalogues, spending about $10 on average for a sweater."But he looks really cute, and he loves the attention he gets when we go for a walk. What dog wouldn't?"Virginia Byrnes, co-owner of Dogma in Canton estimates that about 30 percent of her canine customers come into her shop wearing attire of some sort. Across town, Chris , co-owner of Pretentious Pooch in , estimates that canine apparel makes up between one-fifth and one-quarter of his winter sales.Cohen said that boutique-style stores peaked in popularity about five years ago or about the same time that such top labels as , and Coach decided to expand into the pet market.Once the recession hit, many boutiques had to branch out into other dog and cat products, such as food and bowls, to remain in the black.Baltimore is a city that places a high value on being down to earth, Woodside said, so frou-frou products that sell strongly in such cities as New York, Los Angeles or even Washington do less well here."People in Baltimore are definitely more practical," he says. "It became clear a year or so ago that we were either going to have to morph into selling other products or close the front door."Still, there's practical, and then there's "practical." A sweater or coat may be a necessity for short-haired dogs such as chihauhaus, terriers or even Dobermans who walk outside when temperatures are in single digits.And if that coat happens to be quilted, beige and made by Gucci (retail value, $280) or a striped Coach cashmere sweater ($148 and up), that doesn't make it less functional.For instance, Cathy Brennan, an attorney who lives in Rodgers Forge in , enjoys dressing Dante, the surviving member of a pair of Boston terriers, in sweaters, a cape and bow ties.After their two sons headed off to college, Bill and Carolyn Walter thought the time might be right to downsize. Coming from a large, single-family home in , they wanted something smaller with a strong community association to handle outdoor maintenance, and also in the same area of northern Baltimore County.The house-hunting ended when the two came across a lovely villa for sale in the nearby community of Pebble Creek. Carolyn Walter knew instantly she wanted to move into the traditional home that connected to four others on the street, resembling a row of cottages with deeply pitched roofs and front dormers. The interior design, with meticulous attention paid to details such as two wood-burning fireplaces, wide molding and oak flooring, appealed to her taste for traditional furnishings.In spite of herself, Carolyn Walter gushed over the great find. "I told her, 'Don't say you love it so much when I'm trying to negotiate price,'" Bill Walter said, decidedly, but with a smile that indicated the outcome was inevitable.The Walters, who would be the second owners of the house, paid $410,000 for a two-level, plus finished lower level, 4,000-square-foot home on approximately one-tenth of an acre. While the home, built in 1994, was in very good condition, the Walters have made several improvements and upgrades since they moved in in 1998. During the past twelve years, the couple added new kitchen appliances, cabinets and granite countertops, hardwood flooring on the home's second level, and a deck. They had the master bathroom renovated.The couple also added a decorator wall from the entrance to the kitchen. In keeping with the traditional aspects of the interior architecture, Carolyn Walter called upon a construction design company noted for its exquisite restoration, renovation and millwork, SouthFen Inc. to create the paneled wall over the original plain one. The raised panels, Colonial in style, are painted the same shade of eggshell found in the living and dining rooms, with the trim painted a deep shade of wheat. The sight of this angled wall, embellished with three brass sconces, upon entering the hall sets the formal tone for the rest of the home."We live in the kitchen and the family room that has two doors out to the deck," said Carolyn Walter. These rooms, with walls painted a deep shade of Duron's Burberry Red, contrast in a casually elegant style with her vast collection of Delft pottery and porcelain prominently displayed in every room, on every shelf and wall and in every cabinet. From platters to large bowls, houses, urns, plates and even an umbrella stand, the delicately painted blue and white pieces perfectly accent every room's decor and wall color.The formal elegance of the dining room is enhanced by a crystal chandelier that drops from the 23-foot ceiling. A mahogany suite of Chippendale-style furniture features a double pedestal table that will seat 12 and a china closet filled with a Royal Copenhagen service for eight.The living room boasts one of the home's two wood-burning fireplaces, while cherry furniture and an entire wall of framed prints depicting various scenes of horse and hound hunts give the room a decidedly English country feel. The look is carried out in the second-floor hallway, where several services of silver sit atop mahogany side tables.The second-floor bedrooms, especially the master, which is painted soft yellow, have a distinct, manor style achieved with artwork, artfully placed armchairs and benches, needlepoint pillows and rich fabrics on furniture and beds.The finished lower level follows the same circular flow as the two above it. A library filled with hundreds of books segues to a sitting area before moving to a craft studio and finally, a separate office for Bill Walter.The couple shares a laugh over the mention of their new home being almost as large as the one they left."Yes, but we're close to everything, and the community has strict covenants when it comes to exterior work," Carolyn Walter said."And it's maintenance-free. We lock the door and go!" her husband added.Have you found your dream home? Tell us about it! Send an e-mail to .Making the dreamDream location: Bill and Carolyn Walter's villa home is located in Pebble Creek, a neighborhood development in Timonium. Though nestled in a wooden area, they are close to the amenities on the York Road corridor.Dream design: The homes are painted a light khaki and cream color with wooden trim at windows and doors that feature arched transoms. Chunky stone chimneys, stone half-walls, double-car garages and sloping roofs with prominent gables contribute to the traditional design of each house in the row.Dream element: A large, angular entrance hall presents onto a winding oak staircase that sweeps to the open hallway of the second level. The circular flow of the first floor leads to a rear kitchen and breakfast room. The layout is, Carolyn Walter says, "great for parties. Everyone is comfortable, [and] every room is used." What is it about the British and great fashion?Even in his death, 's exhibit drew thousands upon thousands to this year. Effects of the royal wedding are dominating a number of fashion trends for women this season. Lace, fancy hats are still huge. Tartan patterns, tweed, fur accents are a must. Peter-pan collars are regularly sported by personality and British import Alexa Chung, And British songstresses such as Adele, Duffy, and Estelle are red carpet regulars. And let us not forget style icon . The British are here to stay. And so are browns, grays, and nudes, which will all be big colors this season. Pop colors such as red and blue will also be everywhere.Many of these trends don't come cheap. Yes, you could head to Burberry and dress like one of their mannequins, but what is the fun in that? Be authentic and go vintage for some of those classic looks that top designers are recreating right now. Plus, doesn't it sounds so much better when you can say that a piece of clothing is vintage?About the shootb teamed with CoverGirl and Towson Town Center to conduct a regional model search for this Fall fashion spread. The models: Christie Beran, Natalie Hessler, Farrah Palmer, Michael McVearry and Ramar Robinson, were chosen from more than 100 hopefuls. CoverGirl makeup products were used exclusively for the shoot.Styling: John-John Williams IVAssistant styling: Adee Lawal and Toria TurnerHair and Makeup: Leah Sarah Bassett, T.H.E. Artist AgencyPunters have donned their tin hats and are feeling defensive today.Riskier stocks -- including most of the mining sector -- dived to the bottom of the index with Vedanta Resources and Anglo American falling hard.Revelations of a mining scam in India pushed Goa to place a temporary ban on mining. The state is the country's second-biggest iron ore producer and the news has hit Vedanta Resources. Vedanta's Indian arm Sesa Goa is currently merging with Sterlite Industries and both have been hit by the ban. Vedanta lost 45p to 957.75p but experts expect the ban to not impact the business in the long term.Anglo American, down 83.5p to 1918.25p, which is facing legal action in the High Court from African gold miners who claim that health and safety conditions have caused their lung diseases, received a downgrade today. It denies liability. Analysts at cut its price target to 1750p from 1900p.A cautious feeling swept the City ahead of a German court's ruling on its participation in the planned European bailout.Defensive stocks were in favour with British American Tobacco leading the FTSE 100, up 47.5p to 3171.5p.Hopes of progress in the eurozone were crushed as a hurdle emerged in the process to sign off the 's bond-buying scheme, causing European markets to stutter.The FTSE 100 lost 19.63 points to 5773.57.Software giant Sage fell 1.9p to 302.45p despite being given a buy rating yesterday by Galvan Research on rumours of MA activity. Analysts said there was "the distinct possibility that Sage could be a target of German sector peer SAP".At the bottom of the FTSE 100, luxury fashion group Burberry found itself down 249p to 1125.5p, after a profits warning. The 18 percent fall saw this year's share price rise disappear. Its highest point this year came in April when it hit 1586p. But the fall today prompted some traders to start bottom-fishing and buy the shares.On Aim, drug discovery company Summit has signed a technology license agreement with US based and its shares gained 0.88p to a healthy 3.38p.Sefton Resources, the US focused oil and gas group, reported that oil production increased in the first half but it recorded a loss for the period as costs increased. The California and Kansas-focused explorer saw its shares tumble 0.24p to 1.58p. Unlike many other oil and gas explorers, Kazakhstan-focused Zhaikmunai Group has announced it will pay a dividend but its shares lost 0.46p to 9.14p.There was a bad smell in the air for environmental technology group Aerte. It needs more cash after an order of air disinfection products, that it manufactured and delivered in May, were cancelled by the Chinese buyer.It found itself at the bottom of the AIM index, losing more than 41 percent, down 0.24p to 0.34p.The board said it will be "difficult to recover payment for these devices in the medium term and it is no longer expecting to receive further orders from this distributor".___(c)2012 London Evening StandardVisit the London Evening Standard at Distributed by MCT Information ServicesHE'S QUITE ... blessed! says Calamity Chang, a British burlesque star who appeared with actor/leading man/hunk in some of the many nude scenes in the movie Shame.Fassbender is the one made a sexy reference to at the -- in case you've been under a rock. But the actor, of German and Irish extraction, has a real claim to fame. It is in being one of the hardest-working men in international films. He has completed a 20-month spell of work where he shot six movies.I just saw him onscreen being kicked through a door by martial arts expert Gina Carano in the perfectly silly movie Haywire. (This is the one your teenage male offspring are so crazy about.)WAIT FOR it! The'70s super band is about to release its first new song in 20 years. In April, their first album since 1994 will be out. It's titled A Twinkling Star to a Passing Angel. -- the hit musical based on ABBA songs -- is still seen worldwide, still making money since it opened in 1999 in London's West End.UGGIE, the dog from the award-winning silent film The Artist, is being retired by its trainer, Omar Von Muller. He doesn't want to put 'Uggie' through anymore long hours. Von Muller says, He's getting tired. But does this mean the adorable Uggie won't turn up at the ? Say it isn't so.THEY SAY only seven people turned up for actor Nicol Williamson's burial the other day. The bad boy of English theater had not worked since 1997 and had turned down some great offers in his time.His obit describes him as a hell-raiser; one of the patron saints of bad behavior, almost deliberately badly behaved, prone to walking offstage in mid-performance, throwing things, an exhibitionist and the last of a breed.One of Williamson's obits by Roger Lewis refers to the actor as being possibly influenced by and method acting. This led to the story of and in Marathon Man. To look sweaty, Hoffman ran around a football field. He was panting when Oliver remarked, Why don't you try acting, dear boy? It's far easier.I SEE why movie stars like don't like to give interviews. He gave one to the recently in which he cited his depression in the 1990s when he was coping with 'the celebrity thing.'Depression is serious stuff. But almost everybody suffers from it occasionally. Headlines reporting his remarks make it seem he is seriously down. But Pitt seems very happy these days. He has Oscar nods, a stimulating relationship, lots of good charity efforts and six children.IN THESE days when the 1 percent is being excoriated, guess what? Even though the global market is shaky and buying of luxury goods is a bit shaky, LVMH is still going strong. Sales of Louis Vuitton and Loewe handbags, Krug champagne and Hennessy cognac, Tag Heuer watches, and other spirits, leather, feather and fashionable goods, including Burberry, seem to be soaring.MICHAEL JACKSON began his showbiz career as an adorable, phenomenally gifted child. He didn't need a lot of razzmatazz to showcase his pure voice and amazing dance technique, a technique that even the great would come to admire.But as the years rolled on, Michael ramped up the sets, the style and the strangeness. Sometimes he appeared to get lost under the stuff, when all he really needed was to sing and dance, period. But when people pay hundreds of dollars for concert tickets, they want spectacle as well as talent. Perhaps more of the former than the latter.And spectacle is certainly the attraction of tribute show, titled -- with typical understatement -- Immortal. The show features all the usual Cirque bells and whistles: acrobatics, LED screens, huge balloons, animatronic recreations of Michael, and, but of course, his real image and voice, as compelling as ever.Apparently, although the show was a huge hit in Montreal and Las Vegas, raking in more than $100 million, some consider it tasteless, overblown, exploitive, especially as the Jackson family is involved. Well, they have to be involved. The Jacksons, in tandem with , control Michael's music and likeness. While Michael was alive, the Jackson family didn't seem to be thriving, nor did their golden goose.But now Michael is the most successful dead celebrity ever. His estate has garnered a whopping $450 million since the pop icon's tragic death almost three years ago. Michael, who loved to break records and boast of his accomplishments, would be so happy to know he's still the King of Pop, so crowned by his friend . Michael's children, Prince, Paris and will never know a day of financial need. Nor will anybody else in the family.Immortal has plans to move on to London and other spots in Europe. As one newspaper review stated, It's like a Michael Jackson tour, without Michael. But that seems to be good enough for Michael's fans.Oh, and these fans don't care if some condemn the show as tacky, sentimental and visually overloaded.It's as close to the old Michael Jackson experience as those who adored him can get. They love it.(E-mail at , or write to her c/o Tribune Media Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY 14207.)Historically, travel hasn't been fashion-friendly. No matter how you pack, your clothes are destined for Wrinkleville. And that expensive bottle of perfume in your checked bag is likely to arrive broken or not at all.But fret not. Designers and cosmetic companies have taken note, launching mini-sized, wrinkle-free or collapsible products that help travelers stay fashionable while jet-setting. "So many designers and companies are conscious of travel-friendly fabrics and products," said Stephanie Bradshaw, a stylist based in Cockeysville. "And cosmetics have certainly come a long way particularly in the past few years."Wrinkle-free clothing has been downright hideous in the past. Not anymore. Designers such as Jude Connally and Desiqual offer colorful, trendy clothes that will hold up to the bumps of travel. And you don't have to go far to find them local boutiques have stocked up with plenty of the fashionable threads.At Trillium, a high-end boutique in Green Spring Station, some of the best-selling items are travel-friendly, said owner Sima Blue."Most of my customers travel a lot," Blue said. "They go back and forth to their second homes. They travel abroad. They want to look good when they travel."Travel-friendly selections at Trillium include wrinkle-free raincoats by Mycra Pac, cashmere ruanas by Minnie Rose and wash-and-go T-shirts by Michael Stars."These clothes are great because they are great on the plane," Blue said. "They are easy to pack. And they don't take up a lot of room."Frances Burress, owner of the boutique Caviar and Cobwebs, carries Desiqual, a popular line of clothing based in Spain that happens to be wrinkle-free."The colors are bold and beautiful," Burress said. "They are washable, and they hold up very well."She said the line has a distinct European feel that allows wearers to stand out in a crowd."They are contemporary, and they fit people," said Burress, who added that the designer has lines for men, women and children. "Their styles are for folks from 8 to 80."Octavia II, a boutique in Cross Keys, carries Jude Connally, an American line that touts its wash-and-wear clothing."You can just throw them in your bag and go," said owner Betsy Wendell, who was wearing one of the designer's dresses. "They don't wrinkle. I've slept in this dress. It looked just the same when I got out of bed. They are perfect for travel."In the past, customers would scoff at the thought of wearing wrinkle-free clothing, Wendell said. Those times have changed."The clothes have gotten much better," she said. "These clothes work into everyone's busy lifestyle."Cosmetics companies have also made changes to their products, mostly as a result of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Since the Transportation Security Administration limits the amount of liquid passengers can take in their carry-on luggage, a number of companies including cosmetics giant MAC have launched travel-size products that meet airline regulations.Travalo is a fairly new product that allows travelers to transport smaller amounts of perfume on airplanes. Other companies are offering new features aimed at protecting a product's pricey contents. Burberry, the luxury clothing line that also has a line of cosmetics, now offers lipstick packaged in magnetized gunmetal tubes to prevent spillage during travel.Stylist Bradshaw likes the new offerings for cosmetics and clothing. She said the latest advances have left travelers with no excuses to look sloppy when they are on vacation."It's just as easy to put on a pretty dress as it is to put on your juicy sweat suits," said Bradshaw, who added that the days of T-shirts, sneakers and khaki shorts are over. "Why not chose to be pretty? Pretty is fun. It also communicates to the rest of the world how you feel about yourself."Miles of styleCockeysville stylist Stephanie Bradshaw suggests packing these fashionable and practical items for a trip:Scarf: "I always carry a scarf with me when I travel," Bradshaw says. "Sometime you get cold on the plane." When you arrive at your destination, scarves are perfect to dress up an outfit. "You can put a scarf on any outfit and look chic in two seconds," she adds.Sensible shoes: Pack the more flexible shoes, and wear the bigger shoes on the plane, Bradshaw says. She also suggests that you put any sparkly shoes in a plastic bag so that the glitter doesn't get on your clothing.Fashionable bag with a comfortable handle: "I would like to take something a little more chic," Bradshaw says. Pick a bag with a supple, durable leather handle, according to Bradshaw. "It won't dig into your skin," she says.A good cosmetics bag: 's eco-friendly cosmetics bag works because it's a good size for fitting everything for a weekend getaway, says Bradshaw. "It's not too big and not too small. The fact that it is fabric means that it can squish down in your travel bag."With the holiday shopping season already under way, many of the nation's leading retailers say they plan to avoid the kind of deep, across-the-board discounts that gave last year's season an air of desperation -- and crimped profits.Instead, many are using more subtle, under-the-radar promotions to lure shoppers this year. Several big chains, including and Limited Brands Inc.'s Express division, are cutting back on the number of blockbuster discount events that they've relied on in past years to pack their stores.Even , whose buy-one-get-one-free deal helped spark a frenzy of similar activity among rivals last year, insists it's changing course."We think that particular promotion for our store has gotten a bit stale," said , a spokesman for the New York-based chain.Wall Street likes the new discipline."The trend has been to rein in harmful promotions," said Todd Slater, an analyst with Lazard in New York. This year, he said, "retailers may be prepared to leave some pockets of business on the table, which is healthy."Better outlookRetailers can't afford to reprise last year's disappointing holiday season, when sales of apparel, toys, electronics and other gifts rose by a modest 2.2 percent, according to the National Retail Federation in Washington. Early warning signals abounded last year: Sales actually slowed heading into the holiday season, prompting many merchants to rev up the promotional machine in earnest.John Morris, an analyst at Harris Nesbitt Gerard who has been tallying holiday discounts for several years, said the number and severity of markdowns increased 10 percent in 2002, on top of a 15 percent rise in 2001.This year, thanks in part to a healthier economy, retail sales are accelerating as the holidays near. And despite the better outlook, stores generally have refused to stock up on extra inventory, which means they have the luxury of being more measured in their discounting strategies."It is going to be a less-promotional holiday selling season," Morris said.Still, even while they are avoiding undignified 50 percent-off signs, some retailers are encouraging their best customers to come in early with special, targeted discounts."I think people are tired of the all-day sale," said JoAnn Brosi, general manager for the Galleria, a mall in California. "When they're on a mailing list and they're asked to be part of a small promotion, it makes them feel special."Invitation-only salesSharon Chortek, a Dallas-based TV producer, has a stack of special pre-holiday promotions she's received in the mail over the past three weeks. Each come-on has a little different twist.One, from -- a top-tier Texas mall anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and -- offers a $25 to $50 gift check to any number of Galleria specialty stores, including , Coach and Cartier.To qualify, shoppers need to spend $200 at the mall. The promotion, which began Nov. 7, runs until supplies last -- a "big incentive to get there early," Chortek said.Last week, Chortek was invited to the special three-hour sale at called Private Night, offering 25 percent to 40 percent off on such merchandise and products as Burberry, which rarely go on sale.Things just keep getting sexier along Stevens Creek Boulevard.To the north, diamonds and pearls shimmer at the newly expanded Tiffany Co. inside a Westfield Valley Fair mall that's gone gaga for glitz.To the south, 10-year-old Santana Row is bursting with new retail, residential and office projects. There's a new lingerie line at the beefed-up HM opening this week, a hipper-than-thou Italian coffee joint coming soon, and a high-end rental complex called Misora -- which, for those of you not fluent in Japanese, means "beautiful sky." With the dawning of Valley Fair's and Santana Row's "resort-style" rental apartments packed with status-hungry scenesters, the Stevens Creek corridor near Interstate 880 may well start calling itself the South Bay's Champs-Elysees. And its denizens and visitors are both fueling and feasting upon the region's ever brightening business climate."With the Silicon Valley economy coming around, especially in tech, you've now got 20-year-old entrepreneurs in flip-flops buying Cartier watches," said Valley Fair senior general manager Gavin Farnam, standing near the high-end jeweler, just one in a cavalcade of top-drawer stores settling into the mall's luxury lane. "And it's not just luxury items, but everything. We're at our highest sales level now in the history of the mall."This bifurcated boom could cause whiplash for passing motorists. With dozens of projects under way at bothsites, a tale of two malls is unfolding to the sound of jackhammers and ringing cash registers."This retail expansion is another indicator of the jobs and wage growth helping Silicon Valley lead the rest of the nation out of the recession," said Steve Levy with the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy in Palo Alto. "And for companies like Apple (AAPL) and (GOOG), employees are seeing their stock worth more, too, so it's kind of a perfect storm, at least within the tech world. People in the valley have more to spend, and that's spilling over into retail."Santana Row seems to be firing on all pistons as it celebrates its 10-year anniversary next month. Despite initial criticism that the upscale retail-residential complex would suck the life out of downtown San Jose, and naysayers who questioned whether the European-style village concept would ever work, the project now claims design awards and traffic numbers that would makeany shopping mall green with envy."It took people a while to sort of get this place," said Collette Navarrette, spokeswoman for the mall's publicly traded owner, . "It was a whole new concept when it opened in 2002 with just 35 tenants and no office space. Ten years later, we have 100 merchants, 403 rental homes and 219 condos, as well as 115,000 square feet of office space."As Santana Row's residential occupancy rates push 100 percent, Silicon Valley's boom is reflected in real time inside the erstwhile Borders on the faux village's faux main street. This week, the popular Swedish clothing retailer HM formally moves a few hundred feet down the Row into the closed book store, tripling in size to 27,000 square feet and adding new lingerie, maternity and children's sections.Lifestyle is the Row's middle name. And with a boutique hotel, spas, wine bars and enough luxury retail to satisfy the most discerning shopaholic, its owners are planning yet another phase of the expansion: They're planning to build a 220,000-square-foot office tower, then fill it with employees who can tap into the smorgasbord that surrounds them. Federal Realty's West Coast president, Jeff Berkes, said the tower is part of the economic evolution under way in the region."San Francisco and Silicon Valley are leading the United States through its economic recovery," Berkes said. "We started to see that first in 2009 in the performance of the Hotel Valencia and our restaurants, followed by the occupancy levels and rents we've been able to get for our apartments. Then we saw it in retail. And these are all signs of the confidence people have in the local economy."While it pretties itself up with new paint, a beefed-up valet station, and even plusher seating in its common areas, Valley Fair is welcoming a roster of luxury stores to a mall that has seen double-digit sales growth every month this year. Along with Cartier, a new Burberry, TAG Heuer and Wolford are joining the family.With business booming on both sides of the boulevard, the two malls say the synergy between them serves both well."Anytime you have retail nearby, it's competition," Farnam said. "But when you have that lifestyle component like you've got at Santana Row, with residential and offices, that brings more people to the area and helps all of us."Contact Patrick May at 408-920-5689. Follow him at Twitter.com/patmaymerc.A Tale of Two MallsWestfield Valley FairSpring merchandise has officially hit the stores, and one trend should be immediately noticeable: bright colors. They were everywhere on the spring-summer 2011 runways, including at the show, where candy colors managed to look minimal when shown with crisp white shirts or layered with sleek black coats, and at and Burberry, where various tones of shocking aqua and cobalt were paired for a cool (and somehow punchy) look. Color blocking, as seen on the runway, is another major trend.Other designer and contemporary brands explored the color wheel as well. "For spring we bought a lot of color, from acid pinks to orange-red to cobalt blue to tangerine," says Jeannie Lee, owner of 3rd Street's Satine Boutique, which stocks lines from designers including , , and . Retailer Hillary Rush, who owns her eponymous boutique, also on 3rd Street, has already starting seeing the color craze take effect with customers. " The oversized raglan shirt from Monrow has totally sold out in the hibiscus color," a coral-orange Rush says. "When a bright color like that sells out before the black or white, it's always a statement that people are wearing color that season."On the other end of the spectrum, shoppers are likely to encounter lots of white. The natural, yet luxe look of an all-white ensemble (which also works in winter, but is a lot more practical in the warmer months) looked fresh in the runway collections of , and . is also turning out a number of white items, from easy button-downs to wide leg trousers, all in shades of white and off-white and in stores this summer. And there's no shortage of white jeans, which are showing up in the spring and summer lines of J Brand, MIH and 7 for All Mankind.Shoppers may also notice a '60s and '70s aesthetic dictating the shape of denim this season."Denim flares are really hot," says Caprice C. Willard, vice president-regional planning manager for Macys, where brands such as and Levi's have incorporated the style. Flared and wide-leg jeans are also big sellers on the boutique level; Satine's Lee says wide-leg jeans have been flying off the shelves.On spring-summer 2011 runways such as 's, models wore wide-leg jeans with tucked-in white button-downs and chic wedge sandals. On the street we're bound to see a more relaxed version of the look, with women wearing bell bottom-style jeans with T-shirts and sandals or perhaps flared jeans with a tucked-in tank top and a blazer for evening.The other denim trend for spring is a gamine, '60s crop. The pant leg ends at least 2 inches above the ankle. The jeans look great with ballet flats or a low-mid wedge sandal.The '70s vibe also includes versions of the maxi-length skirt and dress. Floor-grazing styles were featured in the collections of and Jil Sander and are showing up in stores such as the Gap, and Club Monaco. "The maxi-dress is really important this season and we are seeing a resurgence with it," Willard says. "The maxi length actually stays important in Southern California all year long."Holiday travel is right around the corner, and you probably already dread some of the beauty pitfalls.Try to breeze through airport security with regular-size beauty products and you may find yourself pulled to the side of the line, in your stocking feet, subjected to a close, personal relationship with the worker giving you a full-body scan with a security wand. Travel by ship, train or car, and loose makeup in your purse can cause a gooey, gunky mess. A lipstick top falls off, an eye shadow shatters and you are left not only with a soiled handbag but often with ruined cosmetics too. But organization can turn holiday travel from frenzied to fabulous. A good makeup bag can help, and for everyday use, buy one that's easy to clean. During the holidays, many cosmetic companies include a makeup bag as a seasonal beauty promotion bonus, so whether you go with one of our selections below or receive one with a purchase, this is the time to find a better way to stow your toiletries.Carry onIf you're traveling by air, the first question is whether to carry on or check your cosmetics. First, get acquainted with the Transportation Security Administration's 3-1-1 : liquids, aerosols and gels must be in containers no bigger than 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) enclosed in a 1-quart clear plastic zip-top bag, with one bag allowed per person. (It's OK and a good idea to carry extra 1-quart plastic bags in your purse for emergencies).There are many 3-1-1 carry-on kits, but make sure yours comes with bottles that close properly and are made so that the product can be squeezed out readily. The Container Store sells a 3-1-1 Travel Pack ($7.99) that includes a clear 1-quart bag; three wide-mouth, BPA-free 3-ounce bottles, a pump, a mister, one 2-ounce jar, a pill case and labels. They also sell tiny Nalgene leak-proof jars and bottles at about $1.50 each. Bring a sleep/eye mask for beauty sleep.Check inIf you decide to check your beauty bounty in your luggage, make sure the tops on all liquid products close tightly to avoid shampoo or foundation spills all over your clothes. Squeeze out any excess air in plastic bottles. And double wrap your toiletry-makeup bag in something waterproof for extra protection. Tiny hotel toiletry amenities, perfume samples and store-bought beauty minis are terrific for short-trip travel.Packable options include the Household Essentials Nylon Hanging Cosmetics-Bag, which folds to fit in a suitcase and is made of easy-clean PVC microfiber with a waterproof vinyl lining ($22.99, ). Baggallini, founded in 1995 by two veteran flight attendants, makes a water-resistant Ripstop Nylon Cosmetic Bag with a detachable bottom pocket for everyday use ($29, Baggallini.com). The hang-able Emilie Sloan Paige Glam Roll ($35, Emiliesloan.com) is a pretty choice made of waterproof fabric in a variety of patterns. It's also a good choice for home use if you're short on space.On the caseGood train case options include Sephora Midnight or Metro Train Cases ($92, Sephora.com), Makeup Creation Pro Series Makeup Case ($99.95, Makeupcreations.com) and Bobbie Brown's ber-chic Limited Edition Deluxe Travel Kit with a detachable makeup bag ($115, Bobbibrowncosmetics.com). Flight001.com has travel-friendly makeup bags and Pacsafe.com sells the StowSafe Toiletry Bag, which has a secret pocket, tamper-proof zippers and what it says is a TSA-certified padlock to secure expensive face creams and perfume ($39.99).The bright sideA colorful makeup bag is easier to spot in the deep dark well otherwise known as the interior of your handbag, especially with today's extra-large purses. Sportsac and Stephanie Johnson bags allow you to mix and match designs and makeup bag sizes. Examples include the Stephanie Johnson Bollywood Pink Medium Flat Pouch ($26, Stephaniejohnson.com) and SJ Creations Sparkling Snakeskin Orange Pencil Case Cosmetic Bag ($11.99 Ulta.com). Marc Jacobs and Rebecca Minkoff have a few nice, bright cosmetic bags as well.ArtsyWhether your predilections lean toward watercolors, folk art or works by John Singer Sargent or Modigliani, some cosmetic cases prime the painterly mood. A few choices: Toss Designs Medallion Set of 3 Cosmetic Bags ($30, Tossdesigns.com); ProjectArt Peacocks Rounded Cosmetic Case it comes with a matching mini-mirror ($48, Endless.com); and Painterly Clutch Blue Motif by Stephanie Johnson ($32, Anthropologie.com).ClassicThe tried and true not trendy seduces you. You might go for the Haymarket Check Cosmetic Case in chocolate ($198, Us.burberry.com); Lantern Red Cole Haan Cosmetic Case ($68, Colehaan.com); or Kate Spade Foiled Again Large Black Pouch ($75, Katespade.com). MAC's signature Medium Softsac makeup bag is also a terrific, basic everyday option and is fully washable ($28, Maccosmetics.com).FestiveWhen it comes to cleaning, these may not be the most practical makeup bags, but they add holiday sparkle or can double as a festive evening clutch. Try the Tory Burch Mirrored Crinkle Small Cosmetic Case with metallic foil finish ($95, Toryburch.com), or Madrid Greta Medium Cosmetic Bag ($38, Stephaniejohnson.com). Bottega Veneta offers the stylish but pricey leather Nero Intrecciato Nappa Cosmetic Case/Clutch ($900, Bottegaveneta.com). Less expensive metallic options include Sephora Havana and Silver makeup bags ($7 and $18, Sephora.com) and Spiegel.com's Relaxed Glamour Signature Cosmetic Bags starting at $5 with a $10 purchase.It was who made me a foreign correspondent.Before she turned up, my newspaper career had consisted of listening to Baltimore policemen reminisce about great hangings and covering bush-league statesmen deploring the state of the world. I had also covered night rewrite: stickups, accidents, floods, fires, murders, from supper time to 2 in the morning. It wasn't a dead-end job, but neither was there a lot to look forward to except retirement after 40 years of good behavior.When the queen assignment came, I was 27 years old. Like all young reporters brilliant or hopelessly incompetent I dreamed of the glamorous life of the foreign correspondent: prowling Vienna in a Burberry trench coat, speaking a dozen languages to dangerous women, narrowly escaping Sardinian bandits the usual stuff that newspaper dreams are made of.For this reason I did not say "No" when one of The Sun's more godlike editors invited me to an elegant restaurant for a gin-soaked lunch late in the autumn of 1952 and asked, as the third round of drinks approached, whether I would like to be the paper's next correspondent.It was the most extraordinary question ever addressed to me, and I let it bounce round and round in my skull to make sure I had heard it correctly:Would I like to be the next London correspondent? That was what he said. He was offering me the job of London correspondent!Even under a heavy load of gin, it was possible to feel the earth move. Life was not going to be the same ever again.His conversation shifted immediately into discussion of how to cover a coronation, a subject of negligible concern to me until that instant, when it became clear that the pending coronation of an English queen was the cause of my rise to glory.The new queen was 27 years old. (I was, and still am, only eight months older.) I thought sending an innocent, ignorant youth to London suggested a management decision to match the tone of the coverage to the youthful spirit of the occasion.On the strength of this probably absurd conjecture, I guessed that that the paper wanted more impertinence than it usually got from the London bureau. From the outset, I decided to produce stories more likely to entertain Baltimoreans than the usual London bureau articles about diplomacy and decline of the pound sterling.Serious journalism need not be solemn. And so I came to London determined to keep the coverage unsolemn. It would include a look at pop-culture stars such as Danny LaRue, a female impersonator with a vast middle-class family following, and , an American pop singer who made audiences fill the London Palladium with screams of delight as he wept and wailed about a little white cloud that cried.The Sun was also present for 's first London revival and for the heroic display in Edinburgh of the largest assortment of Scotch malt whisky ever assembled. Its correspondent checked out Manx cats at a convention on the Isle of Man and traveled to a frigid Scottish town on the Irish Sea to inspect a decaying estate inherited, along with a knighthood, by a Maryland farmer.Movie stars, kings, sheiks, chiefs, war heroes, newspaper columnists and Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro the Elder appeared in the cables to Baltimore, along with Prince of Japan, the queen of Tonga and an embalmed whale that was attracting a big, paying audience to a London street corner.Despite the heavy file of good-time coverage, the normal meat-and-potatoes diet of political and diplomatic stories did not much decline. There were frequent visits to the House of Commons, where was prime minister again, and I never missed one of Foreign Minister Anthony Eden's briefings for American correspondents, though everybody knew they were a waste of time.I saw a consummate piece of Churchill's theatrical oratory at a party political conference in which he succeeded in persuading Conservatives that he was still capable of serving as prime minister in spite of a stroke suffered a few months earlier.Reporting the actual ceremony of Elizabeth's coronation, which was the fundamental reason I had been sent from the rewrite desk to the north transept of , was perhaps the least interesting aspect of the assignment. Nowadays a coronation would be reported as just another television spectacle from London, where they do spectacle so well. Sending a print reporter to England would be absurd.In 1953, with no satellites to bring the show instantly into American living rooms, the TV networks could only fly their pictures across the Atlantic for showing next day. It was almost surely the last time a print correspondent would struggle with words to give the public an inadequate impression of a show too gaudy for anything but television's best high-def cameras.Russell Baker is a retired journalist whose books include "Growing Up," "The Good Times" and "Looking Back." He worked for The Sun from 1947 through 1954 as a local reporter, London correspondent and reporter.Part 2 in a series of occasional articles.In the music video for hit single " the pop diva vamps across several nightmarish tableaux wearing a variety of barely there lingerie get-ups. The flashy clip caused a sensation when it debuted in November and has racked up 85 million views on . But perhaps its most striking aspect is the unabashed product placement -- conspicuous visual shout-outs to Nemiroff vodka, , Burberry and other brands. Back in the proverbial day -- say, the era, punk rock's '70s heyday, the slacker-era '90s -- a song was a song and a jingle was a jingle and rarely the twain did meet. But now, with CD sales in free fall and opportunities for radio or television airplay increasingly rare, the rules governing the interplay between and advertising are being rewritten. It's no longer possible to "sell out" -- at least, not within a certain time-cherished understanding of the term. Rockers, rappers and up-and-coming pop titans of all stripes are licensing music and image as an integral part of brand-building, which largely has usurped selling music and concert tickets as many musicians' professional end goal.Consider 's smash hit "Forever," which cracked the Top 10 in seven countries in 2008 (before his career-derailing assault on ) and went double platinum. At the start of the song's video, Brown is shown sliding a piece of gum into his mouth before heading out for a night on the town. On "Forever's" chorus, he croons: " 'Cause we only got one night / Double your pleasure, double your fun." Turns out the song was commissioned by Wrigley to promote -- you guessed it -- Doublemint gum. Three months after releasing the single, the chewing gum conglomerate aired its "reveal": a TV commercial version of "Forever" featuring Brown singing about gum and dancing with a pack of Doublemint.The spot generated outcry among music purists, but marketers greeted the spots with awe. "When the reveal happened, some people got upset," recalled Steve Stoute, founder of the firm Translation Consultation & Brand Imaging. "But the number of spins went up and Doublemint went up in awareness."Stoute, who was behind "Forever," also is responsible for 's "I'm Lovin' It" spots for as well as Beyonc's endorsement deal for 's True Star perfume and the career game plan to treat "like a brand" in her own right. "Using entertainment assets to introduce products is a platform that needed to get exploited," said Stoute, a former executive vice president of Interscope Records. "The lines needed to be blurred. When done correctly, there's consumer acceptance."Stoute said his marketing company gets several calls a week from "major artists" in pursuit of their own "Forever." It's not selling out, he argues, if there's an authentic relationship between the music and the product being hawked. "Marketing isn't successful if the consumer feels he or she is being sold something," Stoute said.Personal favorite products 's most recent CD, "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel," was accompanied by a 34-page mini-magazine bearing the R&B diva's image and emblazoned with an Elle magazine logo. It's a co-production between Carey's label Island Def Jam Music Group and Elle that features such brands as Angel Champagne, Elizabeth Arden and the Bahamas Board of Tourism intermingled with lighter-than-air Mariah-based editorial featurettes: "VIP access to her sexy love life," "Fantasy: the five-time Grammy winner goes behind the scenes of her new drama."Carey pointed out she is personally or commercially invested in everything advertised."Angel Champagne, I guess I'm part owner. The Bahamas, we have a house down there," Carey explained, between bites of caviar at the Polo Lounge. "It all has to do with things that are organic to me. And honestly? I'm a big kid. I thought it would be cute."Island Def Jam is exploring similar branded CD booklet deals for artists including , Rihanna and . It all makes rollicking 1967 concept album "The Who Sell Out" -- which featured faux commercials and cover art depicting band members shilling for deodorant and baked beans -- appear prescient. (In further irony, the Who's epochal 1965 single "My Generation" is currently featured in a commercial for Flo TV.)Scott Lipps, owner and founder of the New York modeling agency One Management, recalls a time not long ago when indie rock acts would sooner pack in their skinny jeans than appear in fashion ads. But now, Lipps has augmented the success of his agency (which represents such A-list glamazons as and ) with its offshoot One (M), dedicated to help place rock and pop stars in precisely such commercial environments. Among them: Alison Mosshart of the Kills and Dave Gahan of , who were featured in ads for the fashion line J. Lindeberg, and the New York pop-rock band the Virgins, who were photographed for a Tommy Hilfiger campaign."People's views on endorsements, doing magazine stuff -- any way to reach fans -- it's all changed. It's not taboo anymore," Lipps said.Lipps, formerly drummer for '80s rock group Black Cherry, remains attentive to the alliance of brand and band. "I'm never going to ask a very cool band to do business with a brand that they would never associate with," said Lipps. "It's about finding that right fit."After the rock quartet OK Go broke into mainstream consciousness with the homemade video for its 2006 single " (featuring the band members performing a synchronized routine on exercise treadmills), they were bombarded with offers to re-create the sequence for TV commercials. The group developed what frontman Damian Kulash calls OK Go's "hell-no criterion": "If it's a product we feel is demeaning or that cannibalizes the meaning or artistry of our song," he explained.Still, the band has remained receptive to overtures from corporate America. Last year, the musicians appeared in print ads and billboards for Banana Republic -- its spring fashion line campaign that also included such artists as , Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carrabba and Sara Bareilles -- attired in natty suits, playing their instruments. "The recording industry has so entirely bottomed out, advertising is one of the only distribution methods that still works," Kulash said after returning from Japan, where he did a photo shoot for the fashion brand Uniqlo. "The music side has a deep ambivalence. It's a pretty major paradigm shift that requires a rethinking of how we see what we do."He added: "I wish we never had to get in bed with that stuff. It doesn't feel particularly good to wear the marketing hat. But our record label isn't paying to put up billboards across the country."It's become fashionableFashion designer John Varvatos faced a similar reluctance when he approached about appearing in print ads and billboards for his streetwise clothing line in 2005. But after convincing the alt-country singer-songwriter that there would be "nothing fakey about him appearing in the clothes," Varvatos went on to land , members of Velvet Revolver and , Perry Ferrell of and 's for subsequent ads.Varvatos said attitudes toward commodifying stardom have changed."I was besieged by people wanting to hook up with us," Varvatos said. "There are a lot of people coming after us now. It's almost the opposite problem now. We have to filter out."The designer was quick to dispel the notion, however, that the performers in his ads were selling out their images in return for some hefty payday. "We don't pay the artists much of anything," Varvatos added. "They've got to really want to do this."Katie Vogel certainly has no regrets over her decision to star in Sprite's online series "Green Eyed World," a digital marketing push that aired last year. The series used YouTube clips, social networking interfaces and the promotion of soda to help the London native launch her career; she brandishes a Sprite-green guitar in the clips and at times people around her are seen quenching their thirst with a certain lemon-lime-flavored refreshment. Asked if she was concerned that the association with the brand might limit her career prospects, Vogel, who now goes by the professional moniker Katie V., insisted there were no downsides."My music, it's being heard," Vogel said. "Even if one person says, 'She's the Sprite singer,' they've heard my music. So I'm happy either way."The following is compiled from police reports from the Towson and Cockeysville precincts. Our policy is to include descriptions when there is enough information to make identification possible.CockeysvilleSunnylake Place, between 9 p.m. Dec. 23 and 10 a.m. Dec. 24. Coins stolen from laundry room machines. Bridgelake Circle, unit block, between 2:30 p.m. Dec. 22 and 1 p.m. Dec. 23; and also between 7:30 a.m. and 4:50 p.m. Dec. 23. Coins stolen from two laundry room machines. Coin slots destroyed. York Road, 13800 block, at 10:33 a.m. Dec. 23. Two men entered PNC Bank branch, threatened with a gun and took cash. They left in gray Chevrolet Suburban.Northpark Drive, unit block, between 7 p.m. Dec. 21 and 8 a.m. Dec. 22. Two laptops stolen from Pollard Associates. Rear window pried open.York Road, 1600 block, between 3 p.m. Dec. 16 and 11 a.m. Dec. 19. Cookies and cheese stolen from office. Door opened by reaching through mail slot.Valley Lake Place, unit block, between 12:30 p.m. Dec. 18 and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 19. Several items moved around but nothing missing.Cranbrook Hills Place, 10400 block, between 3 p.m. Dec. 13 and 3:20 p.m. Dec. 17. Coins stolen from laundry room machines.York Road, 1200 block, between 5:30 p.m. Dec. 23 and 9:20 a.m. Dec. 24, two offices broken into. Cash stolen from office of Dr. Jun Park, DDS. Front door pried open. Cash stolen from Dr. Michael Sherlock. Entry through boiler room wall.TowsonBlair Hill Lane, 6300 block, between 6 p.m. Dec. 20 and 2:15 a.m. Dec. 21. Glass in side rear door and office door destroyed in building. Unclear whether anything was stolen.Overbrook Road, 400 block, 2:54 p.m. Dec. 20. Two men stole two UPS packages containing two Playstation 3 games, two cookie presses, a camera and a camera bag. Men left in teal Dodge Intrepid with temporary tags.Hopkins Road, 400 block, between 9 a.m. Dec. 17 and 6:15 a.m. Dec 20. Two copper rain spouts stolen from house.East Joppa Road, 1400 block, between 5 p.m. Dec. 15 and 8:21 a.m. Dec. 19. Two air conditioning units stolen from behind building.Southerly Road, 900 block, between Dec. 7 and 5 p.m. Dec. 21. Cell phone, tools and loose change stolen from apartment.Southerly Road, 900 block between Nov. 23 and Dec. 8. Safe containing money, topaz earrings, a Burberry watch, Bulgari sunglasses, and Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses stolen from apartment. No sign of forced entry.Hampton Lane, 500 block, at 12:21 a.m. Dec. 17. Anonymous called said somebody was stealing rain gutters from Towson United Methodist Church. Police caught and arrested Timothy Poole, 20, from . He had ripped off 75 feet of copper downspouts.Valewood Court, 1100 block, between 6:30 p.m. Dec. 21 and noon Dec. 22. Christmas wreath stolen from front door.If you have information about any of these crimes, call the Towson Precinct at 410-887-2361.If you shop at the at , you've probably noticed the plastic hanging up in the shoe department and the smell of paint lingering in the air at times.They're all signs of major remodeling taking place at the department store.When the upgrades are completed in September the store will get an extended kids and intimates section and new brands in the shoe department, among other enhancements. The store is one of the better performing in the Macy's chain and has been identified by the corporate office as an "extreme growth" location, said Macy's divisional vice president Mike Trafford.Hence, all the extra TLC the department store is getting.The retailer is also trying to keep up with recent enhancements at Towson Town Center, including the addition of a luxury wing with stores such as Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Tiffany's, Trafford said.The improvements will include new carpeting in 75 percent of the store andoverhauled fitting rooms. Brighter lighting will be added to the cosmetics section, which is also the core of the store.Children's will move from the second floor to the lower level where it will have more space and more of a selection. The intimates section will also be expanded.Macy's will also offer more brands as part of the overall enhancement, although Trafford said the store is still working out the details. He'll let us know more in September, he said.So, the renovations may make shopping a little awkward for now. But be patient because Macy's promises a better shopping experience in the fall.Trafford said there are no immediate plans for upgrades at any of the others Macy's in the region.Say "so long" to short skirts and hello (again) to the 1970s. Get ready to banish black from your wardrobe and get creative with color.Now that the spring runway shows are over in New York, Milan and Paris, it's up to department store fashion directors and boutique owners to package the big ideas. Chanel's garden party, Balenciaga's punk brigade and Marc Jacobs' 1970s show were all memorable on the runways, but will they make it to store racks? Here, retailers offer their takeaways from the season, and ideas about how the trends might trickle down to you.Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director, Big idea: The vintage effect, fueled by the major YSL retrospective exhibition that just closed in August in Paris. On the runway, designers nodded to Saint Laurent's rich peasant look, Orientalism and "le smoking" [his signature tuxedo].Must haves: Fluid, sheer fabrics and longer hemlines (just above the ankle or to the floor) as we saw at Lanvin, and wide-leg trousers and a white pantsuit with Bianca Jagger swagger. The tuxedo jacket, it's not just evening wear anymore. For accessories, it's all about flat sandals because as a woman begins to add longer hemlines to her wardrobe, flat sandals work best with the new proportion.I'm also loving what I'm calling the "Helmut language" [a reference to Helmut Lang's utilitarian designs from the early 1990s], and the idea of adding a sporty attitude to dressed-up clothing using color-blocking, buckles, straps or parachute fabrics.Will punk take to the streets? Not now. We just cycled through a moment when the 1980s were really influential, along with strong shoulders, so punk doesn't look new to me. But where it ends up, we'll have to watch the runways to find out.Colleen Sherin, fashion market director, Saks Fifth AvenueBig idea: The color story. Bold, bright, vibrant color worked into color-blocked effects and combining colors in unexpected ways.Must haves: A longer-length skirt or dress as seen at and Proenza Schouler in New York, DG and Fendi in Milan and Chanel in Paris. Open-weave knitwear in natural white, ivory or beige crochet, macram, mesh or fishnet, as seen at Rag Bone, Alexander Wang, for Tse, Alberta Ferretti and Celine. And a crisp poplin shirt. We saw it with slouchy wide-leg trousers and skirts for a pared-down look. We also saw it as a play on masculine and feminine at Balenciaga, Stella McCartney and Celine. A trench coat looks great with a longer hemline peeking out. I love the sheer organza ones at Phillip Lim and Christian Cota, and the matte python trench at Emilio Pucci.In terms of accessories, fringe is everywhere on handbags, jewelry and scarves. A shoulder or flap bag is key because it fits into the 1970s trend, as does a pair of platform wedges.Will punk take to the streets? Not in a big way. We've done that trend recently with leathers and studs and grommets, and not enough time has passed to go back. But it may be something we will touch on in our contemporary department.Stephanie Solomon, fashion director, Big idea: Color and print. And this is a serious shift because we've been in love with black for so long.Must haves: A dress or skirt with a hemline hovering around the knees or below. In New York, Alexander Wang, Diane von Furstenberg, Derek Lam, Marc Jacobs, and Rebecca Taylor all had great longer lengths. In Milan, we saw it at Versace, Dolce Gabbana, Jil Sander and Roberto Cavalli. Sometimes these longer skirts have asymmetrical hems or slits, which we saw at Fendi, Yves Saint Laurent, Lanvin and Stella McCartney.It sounds like a myth that hemlines matter, but they do because when you go longer, you have to change your shoes and you have to change your coat. You need flat, wedge or platform sandals. And the long trench coat is chicest with this length. I'm also liking boyfriend jackets over longer skirts.Will punk take to the streets? In a way. You have to have the rock 'n' roll element, otherwise it would get too boring. I would take a studded leather jacket, something that looks worn and torn and ragged from Burberry Prorsum or Givenchy, and put it over a really frothy feminine dress like we saw at Dior. That dichotomy looks right. Or you can be a punk one day and a virgin the next!Follow 10 Things Before the Opening Bell and never miss an update! Please Note: Business Insider will never share your information with any other companies. You also have the ability to unsubscribe from these newsletters at any time simply by following the unsubscribe link located at the bottom of each email Another sign of how dependent the world is on China is that nearly one third of luxury shoppers in London are Chinese tourists.Chinese tourists account for 30 percent of the luxury goods market in England, CBRE tells the . They are followed by Russians, Arabs and Japanese, with British making up only 15 percent of the market.You may noticed the same trend if you go shopping in New York.While austerity-stricken Brits can't afford Gucci and Burberry, Chinese has been flooded with money. Shopping abroad Chinese can avoid the high taxes on luxury goods imposed by Beijing.High-end stores have started hiring Mandarin speakers to handle the new market, according to the Mail.Don't Miss: If you're wondering why would pay $1 billion for (a company that has no revenue) even though Facebook already has a popular photo-sharing app, the answer is that it's all about advertising revenue.We chatted with Simon Mansell, CEO of , a company that sells and manages advertising on Facebook. He gave us these insights into how Facebook might make money from its money-losing deal:1. People can follow and Like brands on Instagram the same way they do on Facebook. Instagram is one of the few social media where people voluntarily subscribe to brands such as . Brand Pages are enormously important to Facebook, as they're the bedrock and entry-level offering for most advertisers. Adweek adds:About a dozen brands, including , are already integrating their Instagram accounts with their Facebook pages through a product released by social media marketing company Vitrue last month. The so-called "tab module" allows brands to import their stream of Instagram pictures directly into their photo-friendly Facebook Timelines.2. It allows Facebook to copy . for its promoted tweets, which appear in users' tweet streams even if they don't subscribe to those brands. Instagram will allow Facebook to insert promoted or sponsored posts into Instagram users' photo streams. "Currently, if people you follow on Instagram like stuff you are not following you would NOT see that they liked this," Mansell says. Facebook could change that so that anything you like appears to your followers that it came from the original sourcethe advertiser, in this case. If Facebook allowed promoted photos, "people wouldn't think it was weird as they would have started seeing stuff from brands they are not following already."3. It keeps people addicted to photos on Facebook, and Facebook makes money by selling ads next to users' photo albums. A huge part of Facebook's stickiness revolves around photos. Who wants to leave the site that contains years' worth of family snaps? Instagram was proving so popular that it threatened that photo storage stickiness. Mansell believes this is why Facebook paid $1 billion to acquire the company even though it has no revenue: "Even if it's just 100th of a threat, and they [Facebook] pay 100th of their value, then it kind of makes sense."4. It hurts Twitter and with a single blow. Instagram currently uses the Foursquare's APIthe sign-in thingy, in non-nerd-speakfor access and location. Mansell believes Facebook will switch that to Facebook's API. That immediately renders Foursquare less relevant. With Facebook/Instagram users continuing to post Instagram pics on Twitter, the new company will now throw off a stream of data about how far its photos reach inside the Twitter environment. That's data Facebook didn't previously have on the micro-blog company. "This gives them more info on whether they're losing market share to Twitter, that's my theory."5. It helps Facebook gain local advertisers. "The Instagram/Facebook API creates a lot of location data linked to the identity information Facebook holds, and thus creates new opportunities on the site for advertisers on Facebook to target against. This could be especially interesting for local businesses for example," Mansell says. "They can get more cupcake companies and local retailers advertising on Facebook, and that will be a huge market."See Also:Singer Adele is in talks to design a plus-sized collection for luxury brand Burberry, according to a .She was reportedly approached by creative director Christopher Bailey about designing a line for "voluptuous" customers, wrote reporter Sarah Karmali.As far as we can tell, she would be the brand's first plus-sized spokesmodel.Luxury fashion houses have notoriously eschewed plus-sized customers, even as the global population gets bigger.Burberry's past spokesmodels have included lithe actresses and models like Emma , Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Agyness Deyn.But despite the fashion world's obsession with skinny young people, the people who can afford to buy Burberry and other luxury brands are olderand probably biggerthan the women they're hiring to advertise the brand.Burberry has fallen on tough times recently, on macroeconomic uncertainty.It's possible that catering to a major segment of the population will provide Burberry with the boost it desperately needs.Will other luxury brands follow suit? Time will tell.DON'T MISS:APSlimy Slinky Winfield aka Slinky Sunbeam left Adele... for a Burberry model.After the world wondered who the wretched fellow was who broke the beloved Adele's heart so badly that she later won six Grammy awards singing about it, has uncovered the now notorious man who "could have had it all."Meet Slinky, the singer/actor who hails from a faded seaside resort town in England and is described by friends as a "popular guy, the life and soul of the party.""Hes a seriously good-looking guy. He has a great body and likes to wear vests to show it off," a source (Slinky?) close to Adele told the NYP. "And he has this crazy hair which reminds me of Jimi Hendrixits really wild and untamed."Slinky and Adele initially met through mutual art world friends in London and bonded over their shared love of music, although his "material is more underground and kind of art-school trendy.And as hard as we tried to get over the fact that Slinky apparently has a penchant for wearing vests with nothing underneath, it's this video below that has us seriously questioning Adele's taste in men.But just how serious the relationship was seems to be up for debate.They never lived together, and I cant really recall Slinky ever describing Adele as his girlfriend, admits the source.Adds a music industry insider, "Im not saying she made it up, but theres a strong suspicion that shes gilding the lily.Meanwhile, as Slinky remains under the radar, some hilarious genius has created a parody account under the name, @AdelesExBF.The @AdelesExBF handle already has over 4,000 followers and has tweeted gems such as: "One time a black pen exploded in Adele's mouth and she actively did nothing about it," "Adele would print out old transcripts of 'Caroline in the City' and make me watch as she performed every role," and "Adele used to microwave single pieces of bologna because she liked it 'dry.'"One of the most interesting parts about Raj Rajaratnam's trial at the U.S District courthouse in downtown Manhattan -- ostensibly Clusterstock's second home for the next six weeks -- are the people who won't admit why they're there.People who are attempting to go unnoticed; people who say: "I'm just an observer" or "just thought I'd take a look" or "just watching."I met my first Observer in line this morning, waiting to be escorted to the courtroom. He was a slim man wearing a felt grey coat, a checked scarf, glasses and he was reading a New Yorker. Watchless and Blackberry-less, I asked for the time and if there was a special area for press.Yes, press were already being assembled upstairs, but only those with credentials. My NYPD press credentials still en route (we applied yesterday), I was doomed to wait in the "Raj Rajartnam overflow" line.I asked the man if he was credential-less press too. He was not. "I'm just an observer," he said, and went back to reading his magazine."Just an observer?" I prodded."I'm a lawyer." Pause. "I'm part of a group of lawyers for another party... I represent another party that's in the mix."In the mix = Raj's trial obviously involves a ton of other defendants, and the wider Galleon probe, even more. This man obviously represented one such person. Or people.He went on."There are a lot of people... companies... here."Ah. Of course. Characters from companies like Intel to Google to Hilton Hotels (whose stocks were traded based on alleged insider information) to hedge funds including Galleon and Spherix (who's employees are implicated) to corporate behemoths like Goldman Sachs and McKinsey (who's current and former partners may be called to testify), all have an interest in watching this trial with a hawk-eye.Suddenly the courthouse took on a sinister spirit -- I felt like there were coated, hatted individuals roaming the halls on every floor, looking for clues and intelligence to take back to more featureless faces at corporate headquarters across Manhattan. Obviously, I've watched too many movies... Or maybe I've just seen to many commercials for the new Matt Damon movie. Either way, I told myself to start thinking about Rajartnam's cherub-like face and contented demeanor before I totally lost my cool.Later on, as I was leaving the courtroom, three men in black coats walked out ahead of me. One of the men, with blonde slicked back hair, pressed the button for the elevator, and turned around and said something along the lines of -- what a blast -- drenched of course, in sarcasm."I'm waiting for the all the questions about Wall Street," I said as we stepped into the elevator."Wall Street? Which questions?" the man said."Yeah, there's a part of the questionnaire where they ask jurors if they're biased against Wall Street, and if they think bankers are greedy, and if they think they're dishonest... I cover Wall Street, so I think that will be interesting."The man nodded slowly, and said "yeah, it should be interesting."On the ground floor, we headed toward security to collect our confiscated electronics and I asked what they were doing here. A man with black, thinning hair -- taller than the other two -- in a Burberry-like tartan scarf said, "just watching.""No you're not," I said. "No-one comes here just to watch. And there's three of you. You didn't just drop by.""If you don't mind, can I ask who you report for?""Business Insider. Now will you tell me who you work for."The man smiled and repeated his earlier refrain about just-being-here-to-take-a-look.We walked through the revolving doors out onto Pearl Street."Look," I said. "I know there are a ton of lawyers here for other defendants; people watching for companies. At least tell me which company you work for, off the record."He smiled and put on a black beanie, and said, "You'll know who we are, soon enough." And then the trio walked west, phones out and ear-poised, along Pearl Street.Skyrocketing social networking andmobile usagehas led many to speculate on the key business model for mobile-social services. The most common answer is local commerce.But, checking in is not becoming a mainstream activity (see chart) and local couponing experiments aren't working so well.In a from, we analyze how another potential solution, social discovery, could become the future for mobile social-apps.Here's how it could work:In full, our:Skyrocketing social networking andmobile usagehas led many to speculate on the key business model for mobile-social services. The most common answer is local commerce.But, checking in is not becoming a mainstream activity (see chart) and local couponing experiments aren't working so well.In a on Mobile and Social from, we analyze how another potential solution, social discovery, could become the future for mobile social-apps.Here's how it could work:In full, our:disneydreaming.comPre-social media, the biggest benefit of building online stores for large brands like Nine West, Burberry or La Perla has been the ability to listen to customers. The direct link on the home page, whether its info@, assistance@ or customerservice@, has opened an easy-to-use communications tool between brand and customer that had not existed prior to the old school suggestion box.When launching NineWest.com in 1998, we immediately started getting emails from customers when we moved sandals off the site in September. They were being moved off the selling floor in the Northeastern United States, so why not on the website, which was being managed out of New York?Well, we had customers from Texas, California and Florida who had their eyes on sandals on the site, and when we moved the inventory to make room for boots, those customers were very vocal. That was my first lesson in online merchandising- you need to keep in mind customers from varying locales.While working at Burberry in 2004, one day we had increased traffic to a trench coat on Burberry.com from a Sony URL. It turns out a rap artist under the label blogged about buying the coat for his girlfriend with a direct link to the product page. Not only did he drive traffic to the page, but we also sold out of the coat. Lesson here is never underestimate the power of influence.While managing the e-commerce of LaPerla.com, another lesson learned was to pay attention to cultural influences. In 2009, while reviewing daily analytics and seeing a spike in traffic but flat conversions, when I checked the most popular key words and site referrers on Google Analytics, I noticed traffic and words related to james bond or james bond swimsuit.It turns out that three years after the theatrical release of Casino Royale, Turner was celebrating James Bond week and was running the trailer of Daniel Craig coming out of the water, wearing his La Perla swim trunks and looking like a demigod. Unfortunately, we couldnt convert the traffic since we had sold out of the trunks three years prior, and it had also been discontinued. Our team managed to order 20 remaining swim trunks from Bologna in a different style, received the product five weeks later and put them live on the site, where they promptly sold out. It is still unknown to me how many of those swim trunks we could have sold. Lesson learned- you cannot predict demand and supply. Or can you?StyleTrek is my vision for where e-commerce is headed: very social and where the influence of many and the few matter. I wanted to utilize the power of viral marketing and social media to promote unknown designers and help them sell their products online, to provide a way for designers to get input from their customers and for customers to be involved in supporting designers, either through posting encouraging and uplifting comments or participating in the creative process. I wanted to apply all my lessons learned to support emerging designers and create a forum where style experts and novices alike can have a say in which designers we feature and what products we sell on StyleTrek.Engagement with customers is often unpredictable. For established brands that have invested 50-plus years building a customer base on carefully articulated messaging sometimes based on artful illusion, social media can be intimidating. For emerging designers, social media is an opportunity to be heard, promoted and compared along with more established brands. At StyleTrek we do not fear engagement, we relish in it.Within a short timeframe, we were able to find 25 talented designers from five continents through crowd sourcing. As StyleTrek continues to evolve, we look forward to mining data so we may determine not only which designers our customers want the most, but also which trends are passing or here to stay, which colors, patterns, skirt lengths are most desirable. The evolution of e-commerce has come a long way, and StyleTrek plans to be a large part of this movement.--CPEditors Note: StyleTrek CEO Cecilia Pagkalinawan will be a featured speaker at MESA Presents: Social Commerce on Tuesday, March 15 in NYC.iframe src=http://www.businessinsider.com/embed?id=4ea1bbb185b582f765000027amp;width=600amp;height=430 width=600 height=430 border=0 frameborder=0/iframeHeres a sneak preview of the Burberry Autumn Winter 2011 ad campaign shot by Mario Testino. The winter collection for men and women is ever so British, and ever so Burberry. We are quite in love with the military wintery looks and colours. Do you have a favorite? Share your thoughts in comments belowRead more posts on Even companies at the top of the retail food chain are suffering. Luxury brand Burberry is cutting up to 540 jobs (roughly 9% of its workforce) in Great Britain and Spain, despite a 30% rise in revenue at the end of 2008. The fashion label hopes that the cuts will save as much as $50 million a year.: Burberry's decision to cut staff reflects broader troubles among makers of luxury goods, which had hoped to be safe from the hardship elsewhere because of their affluent clientele. But while some, such as Compagnie Financire Richemont SA, owner of glamorous brands such as Cartier and Chlo, have reported sales declines or laid off temporary staff, Burberry is the first to announce cuts to its permanent workers.Analysts say they expect more cuts to come at other luxury-goods companies. "In the same way that we see a trickle-down effect, in retail, we also see a trickle-up effect," said Bryan Roberts, global research director at consultancy Planet Retail in London. "High-end players are less vulnerable to the downturn, but that doesn't mean they are not affected."See Also: Burberry just warned that its Q2 earnings would come in at the low end of analysts' expectations.The stock is getting slammed.In a , the luxury goods maker said that sales had decelerated:Against strong comparatives last year, retail sales growth at constant exchange rates was 6% in the 10 weeks to 8 September 2012. Of this, new space contributed 6% while comparable store sales were unchanged year-on-year, with a deceleration in recent weeks. Ahead of the key retail trading period in the second half, Burberry currently expects adjusted profit before tax for the twelve months to 31 March 2013 to be around the lower end of market expectations.Angela Ahrendts, Chief Executive Officer, commented:"As we stated in July, the external environment is becoming more challenging. In this context, second quarter retail sales growth has slowed against historically high comparatives. Given this background, we are tightly managing discretionary costs and taking appropriate actions to protect short term profitability, while continuing to execute on our proven five key strategies.Heres the Burberry Eyewear Summer 2012 collection for men and women. The new collection features timeless aviator eyewear styles for men and women, reflecting the effortless attitude of the English brand. Burberry Eyewear is available from , Burberry stores and selected retailers worldwide from April 2012.Also, Burberry presents British musicians One Night Only, Life in Film, The Daydream Club and Marika Hackman. Curated by Burberry Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey, the campaign, shot in London, celebrates emerging British talent. The campaign features Burberrys iconic eyewear styles and encapsulates the spirit and energy of the brand, music and the British summer.Read more posts on , lead by creative director Christopher Bailey, showed its Burberry Prorsum Spring/Summer 2013 collection in Milan earlier today. Guests included British musicians Roo Panes, George Craig and Rob Pryor and British actress Michelle Dockery as well as Nicolas Vaporidis, Giorgia Surina, Elyas M’Barek, Eros Galbiati and Alex Uhlmann. Burberry ad campaign models Seb Brice, Johnny George and Charlie France walked the runway.Read more posts on Burberry Prorsums Womenswear Autumn/Winter 2012 collection hits the runway in London today, and you can watch it live on . The Burberry show starts at 4PM London time, Monday 20 February, 2012. Once it begins, you can watch the Burberry Prorsum Womenswear Autumn/Winter 2012 live stream video directly below – . Burberry chief creative officer Christopher Bailey is also around the collection, demonstrating (yet again) the that just won the brand International Retailer of the Year honors. embedSyndicatePlayer("syndicate-player-container", width: 560, height: 400, language: "en", country: "gb" ); Read more posts on Shot in London, heres the first look at the Burberry Spring/Summer 2012 ad campaign, featuring new British models Eddie Redmayne and Cara Delevingne. According to Burberry, The cast reflects different facets and attitudes of the Burberry guy and girl. The campaign reinforces the brand’s heritage in protection from the weather, showcasing outerwear including trench coats and parka. Photos © Copyright Burberry/TestinoRead more posts on The purveyor of overpriced plaid saw it's stock sink to lows not seen since it's IPO, as it warned of sluggish demand. Burberry's CEO, Angela Ahrendts says, "After 30 years in the industry, I have never been more concerned about the market environment." But it doesn't haver her feeling pessimistic, quite the opposite: "I have never been more optimistic about the prospects for our company."What's got her feeling so great? The new line of goods, of course, which includes a $187 denim handbag for the poors, and more stuff with the famous plaid pattern on it, as well as a new shipping method--no more through the air, it's on the sea. How luxurious!: Burberry Group Plc fell the most in London trading since going public in 2002 after predicting profit in the lower half of analysts' estimates and slower store openings as the global economic slump saps luxury-goods demand.Burberry slid as much as 18 percent, wiping about 160 million pounds ($240 million) off its market value. Pretax earnings may be at the ``mid to lower'' end of analysts' projections in the current fiscal year, and its average selling space will increase less than 10 percent next year, said the London-based company, which reported higher first-half profit as well.The clothier also said sales to department stores and other third-party distributors may drop in the current half after predicting no change previously. Demand for luxury goods is slowing as shrinking economies and market turmoil cause even the wealthiest shoppers to cut back, weighing on sales and profits at companies from Bulgari SpA to PPR SA.Bummer for some, but this doesn't affect us. The only time we wear Burberry is to swim:L2, a company that conducts research on digital business innovation, has released a study on the most web-savvy designers. Burberry, which this week reported a 30-percent revenue rise for the first half of the financial year mainly due to a boom in the Chinese market, came out on top proof that digital investments translate to shareholder value, according to L2.Judging from its analysis, it is safe to say that those brands that connected the dots between social media and e-commerce fared best in the ranking. Cultivating something extra, like Burberrys music division for instance, resulted in one of the top spots.Released this week, the reports top ten also include Kate Spade thanks to the highest social media score, Gucci with its shoppable video content and recent Tumblr launch, and Tory Burch whose Facebook store leads the fashion F-commerce (r)evolution.“From live streams to runway shows to an arms race on social media platforms,brands are seeking the halo of innovation that comes from inspired online programming. However, most fashion brands still approach digital as a series of pet projects rather than presenting a coherent multi-platform strategy. Although 94 percent of brands in the Index have a presence on Facebook, one in five still lacks e-commerce capability, said Scott Galloway of L2.Hugo Bosss interactive YouTube channel, Louis Vuittons Amble travel app (and a leading performance on Foursquare), as well as Donna Karans social media personality DKNY PR Girl (whos up for a Mashable award from the tech website) also resulted in high scores in the ranking.The full study can be found .Read more posts on Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts faces pushback from one of the UK's biggest lobbyist groups, which advised shareholders to take a hard line next week, when the luxury goods company holds its annual meeting. that last year Ahrendts took a $9.2 million share payment, about six times her base salary, which Pirc found "excessive."Granted, the company is doing well: its stock rose 237% over two years. In May, the London-based company announced plans to double spending on new stores and renovation around the world -- especially in China, where business is up 30%."The luxury market has turned around," Ahrendts in a recent interview. "It's up double digits around the world."For the first time in history, rich people are actually getting poorer, and luxury retailers are freaking out about it.The average income for the top 5 percent of people fell from $358,700 in 2006 to$313,298 in 2010,Pam Danziger, president of luxury research firm Unity Marketing said in a report. That means that swanky retailers are furiously vying for customers' discretionary income.We saw this trend , whose shares slid 20 percent after the retailer reported sales were down. CEOAngela Ahrendts blamed the trend on the "external environment."Danziger explained why declining incomes are hitting the luxury retailer especially hard:"Because these same consumers are significantly invested in their high-end lifestyle with income committed to a wide-range of fixed expenses to maintain that lifestyle, it's in discretionary spending where they are going to take their cuts. So that translates into less money to spend each month for clothes, shoes and handbags, jewelry and home decorative accessories. These folks have plenty of all that stuff already, so it is the easiest, most painless way to adjust one's budget when there is less money coming in each month."The days of "shop 'til you drop" for the wealthy are long gone, Danziger said. This means that luxury retailers are working hard to figure out how to catch consumers' attention.We checked out some luxury retailers for signs of the trend:To get the consumer's attention, even the luxury retailers are working harder than ever.DON'T MISS:If youre a big fan of China trademark squatting, or rather stories about the issue, check this out. have done a bit of digging and come up with some good examples of China trademark squatters who have registered famous UK brands:Investors in UK companies from Mulberry to Burberry owe much of their recent new found wealth to China’s love of prestige marques. But the country’s love of a name has taken a fresh twist.An investigation by the The Daily Telegraph has found that it’s not just handbags that the Chinese are snapping up. It’s the names of the brands themselves.In a revelation that will shock many UK business leaders, it has emerged that High Street names are being registered by Chinese individuals in their droves.Nice article, although if any UK business leaders are shocked at this information, they probably shouldnt be leading anyone about anything. This is a well-known story that international business types should already know about.Some nice quotes in there by China Law Blogs Dan Harris. I think some additional context might have been helpful to explain this one, however:Chinese courts look dimly on Western companies who complain their brand has been registered by another party in “bad faith”.This is one of those it depends situations. If you go to court (or, more likely, the Trademark Review and Administrative Board) with sufficient evidence, then TRAB will, eventually, be happy to rule on your trademark cancellation action. It might take a couple years, though, which might be a non-starter for a lot of folks. Thats why Dan suggests that a re-branding might be necessary. However, for brand owners like Hermes and Chivas, the problem was lack of evidence that they were well-known in China at the time the mark was registered by the squatter.Anyway, good stuff. Go read it.© Stan for , 2012. Add toPost tags: , , Read more posts on China posted yet another quarter of stellar economic growth in the first quarter of 2011, with its gross domestic product (GDP) growing 9.7%. However, analysts are worried about some of the side effects that have accompanied that growth- namely soaring inflation and the emergence of speculative bubbles.Inflation in China hit a 32-month high in March, and the country's real estate market is beyond scorching.Policymakers in Beijing insist they have the situation under control, and they've been trying to rein in liquidity and curb speculation to prove it. That's why China's economy, accustomed to double-digit growth, is only expected to grow 8% to 9% this year.Of course, while China may be experiencing some acute growing pains, its economy regressed the least in the wake of the global financial crisis - and it will continue to operate as the engine of global economic growth going forward, even if the United States relapses into recession.In fact, China's GDP will rise from $11.2 trillion in 2011 to $19 trillion in 2016, while the U.S. economy will increase from $15.2 trillion to $18.8 trillion, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). That means in five years China will have supplanted the United States as the world's No. 1 economy.China's share of the global economy will ascend from 14% to 18% in that time, while the United States' share will descend to 17.7%.A Guide to China's EconomyThe rise of China's economy - now the world's second largest - has been meteoric. But the time has come for the country to evolve from a source of cheap labor and manufacturing to a fully developed economic power with a consumer class that's capable of sustaining domestic growth.China already has made some remarkable progress in rebalancing its economy. The country's trade surplus is narrowing and wages are on the rise.The central government is targeting an increase in minimum wages of 13% a year through 2015. Additionally, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao aims to increase per capita household income by 7% a year in real terms during that period. He's also pledged to improve the social security and healthcare systems to help low-income households and to raise the personal income tax threshold - all in an effort to give the country's 1.3 billion people more spending power."We will ensure that people's income increases keep pace with economic growth and people's salary growth keeps pace with the productivity rise," Wen said last month in an online chat with the Chinese public.China's 31 provinces boosted minimum wages by an average of 24% last year, according to Yin Weimin, China's minister of human resources and social security. Meanwhile, the average monthly income for migrant workers rose 13% to $256.89 (1,690 yuan).Six provinces have already raised minimum wages this year, with labor shortages and government mandates likely to compel the remaining 25 to follow suit.Rising wages have directly translated to an increase in retail sales, which rose 16.3% to $657.29 billion (4.2922 trillion yuan) in the first quarter, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Sales in March rose 17.4% from a year earlier, and edged up 1.34% from February."China is trying to rebalance its economy to become more consumer oriented. Wages are rising. People are earning more and will shop more, and that's good news for Chinese retailers," Andrew Sullivan, Director of Institutional Sales Trading at OSK Securities in Hong Kong, .Shockingly, the country that for so long has been infamous for its thriftiness As of December 2010, sales of luxury goods in China rose to $10.7 billion, or 30% of total global sales, up from $9.4 billion in 2009, according to the World Luxury Association (WLA).Luxury brands like Coach Inc.(NYSE: COH), LVMH Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton SA (PINK: LVMHF), Burberry Group PLC (PINK: BURBY), and Hermes International SCA (PINK: HESAF) have all benefited from China's splurging.Coach last week reported a better-than-expected 18% increase in fiscal third-quarter profit, thanks largely to China. China revenue currently totals about $185 million and continues to increase by double-digit percentages, the company said.Rolls Royce saw its China sales rise 600% last year, putting it above Britain as the company's second-biggest customer behind the United States.China's luxury car sales are expected to rise to more than 909,900 units this year, up from about 727,200 last year, according to forecasts by IHS Automotive. And that number could climb to 1.6 million by 2015.China is already the world's largest auto market, with 18 million units sold last year. That figure is expected to grow to 23 million by 2015.As further testament to China's newfound consumer wealth, the GroupM Knowledge-Hurun Wealth Report 2011 showed the number of millionaires on the mainland is up 9.7% from a year ago. And the country has 115 billionaires according to Forbes magazine's 2011 list -- second only to the United States.Indeed, China's domestic consumption has shown the rapid growth that has become the country's trademark. But more importantly, it's advanced the central government's goal of a more balanced economy by helping to reduce the nation's disproportionate trade surplus.China in March posted its first trade deficit - about $1 billion - since 2004.Strong demand for imported consumer goods and higher prices for commodities drove the value of China's imports to $152 billion in March. The value of China's imports hit a record high of more than $400 billion in the first three months of the year.Last year, China ran a trade surplus of about $15.25 billion a month. However, 2010 also was the second consecutive year in which the trade surplus shrank, falling 6.4% from 2009 to $183.1 billion.The State Information Center forecast China's imports to rise 20% in 2011, while exports will increase by 16%. That would trim the trade surplus by 13.2%.China wants to double its imports by 2015, reducing the trade surplus to zero and emancipating itself from an export-reliant economy.Potential Setbacks to China's EconomyOf course, China's rapid transformation has not gone off without a hitch. Inflation remains uncomfortably high, and there are fears of a growing bubble in the nation's red-hot property market.The most recent consumer price index showed inflation rising at 5.4% in March, the fastest pace in three years.China's inflation rate will likely rise above 5.5% in June, a team of economists at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch said in a report yesterday (Wednesday). However, that's likely to be the peak as Chinese policymakers are working overtime to stifle inflation at the expense of growth.The People's Bank of China (PBOC) has raised the benchmark interest rate four times- an increase of 100 basis points - and the reserve requirement seven times since October."Stabilizing prices and managing inflation expectations are critical," the PBOC said in a first-quarter monetary policy report published yesterday.Still, China's economy is overheating because capital is flowing into the mainland faster than it is flowing out. China's foreign exchange reserves, having increased by $197 billion in the first three months of the year, now exceed $3 trillion.Indeed, huge trade surpluses and the large-scale purchases of U.S. Treasuries - which China makes to suppress the yuan's value - have resulted in a 17-fold increase in the country's reserves over the past decade.For every dollar that goes into China's reserves, the country prints 6.5 yuan.Furthermore, lending and money supply in the country continue to grow faster than expected.China's top four state-owned banks dispersed $40.1 billion (260.6 billion yuan) in new loans in April, slightly higher than the $37.3 billion (242 billion yuan) issued in March, according to local financial news provider Caixin. This is despite the fact that China's biggest banks are required to keep 20% of their deposits on hand as reserves."What China calls total social financing' - conventional bank loans and most other external sources of finance - was still 38% of GDP in the first quarter of 2011, almost as high as in 2009 when China implemented a credit-centric stimulus program," UBS AG (NYSE: UBS) economist . "The credit intensity of growth, or the amount of new credit generated for each unit of GDP growth, has risen from 1-1.3 before 2009 to 4.3 in 2011."Many of the new loans are going into China's property market, which is accelerating at a dangerous pace.The value of homes sold in the first quarter increased to $132 billion (860.7 billion yuan), the Statistics Bureau said last month, driving overall property transactions 27% higher to $157 billion (1.02 trillion yuan).The total value of homes sold in March alone rose to $63.7 billion (414 billion yuan), which is close to the total of the first two months of this year combined. New home construction rose 20% in the first quarter to 310.2 million square meters (3.34 billion square feet), the statistics bureau said.Overall investment in China's real estate rose 34% to $136.4 billion (885 billion yuan) in the first quarter, according to the government data.Startlingly, these figures suggest that Beijing's attempts to cool the property market so far have been ineffective."While these growth rates are below ones seen in early 2010, they remain high relative to what developers are reporting and what the policy tightening would have suggested," Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) analysts said in a report. "We see this as a sign that the tightening probably has not yet been fully implemented at the local level."A rising number of institutions are growing concerned about China's real estate market.Even China Citic Bank Corp. Ltd. (OTC: CHCJY), the seventh-largest Chinese lender by assets, said yesterday that the country's property market has become too risky and it plans to cut lending to the sector."Citic Bank relatively clearly sees that real estate risk this year is severe," Shi Yuan, the general manager of the bank's risk management section, said on a quarterly teleconference. "We especially are paying attention to risks in the funding chain for developers. We believe as tightening continuously gets stronger, the true real estate risks will appear."Still, it's important to remember that while bubbles may be forming - especially in the property market - the overall trend of China's growth is positive."Yes there are probably pockets of bubbles in China and in the real estate market, but against that backdrop you have 500 million people expected to move into Chinese cities by 2020. That means the number of people expected to move into cities is almost double the population of the United States," said Money Morning Chief Investment Strategest Keith Fitz-Gerald. "So in the context of China's explosive growth, what we're looking at are some moderate setbacks over an extended period of high growth."China Investment PlaysIndeed, China is a growth story too compelling to pass up. However, investors should focus on parts of the Chinese economy more stable than the real estate sector.That means playing trends like consumption.The Claymore/Alpha Shares China Small Cap ETF (NYSE: HAO) has a large percentage of its holdings in consumer-focused firms. Consumer staples and consumer discretionary sectors represent 9.3% and 15.8%, respectively, of the fund's holdings.You might also consider large U.S. multinationals that have a sizeable footprint in China. These companies continue to benefit from China's fast-growing consumer class and are less susceptible to potential setbacks.McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) and Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) are two food operators Additionally, the revamped General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) has a very strong presence in China. GM is expected to retake the crown for most global auto sales from Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE ADR: TM), which has been devastated by the recent disasters in Japan.The company intends to introduce more than 60 new or upgraded models for the Chinese market and aims to double sales to around 5 million units by 2015.There's also China Yuchai International Ltd. (NYSE: CYD), which manufactures and sells diesel engines - most of which are distributed in China.As mentioned earlier, luxury sales in China continue to rise as well. That stands to benefit luxury brands like Coach Inc. (NYSE: COH), Burberry Group PLC (PINK: BURBY), and Compagnie Finciere Richemont (PINK: CFRUY).Finally, Money Morning's Fitz-Gerald likes the Morgan Stanley China A Shares Fund (NYSE: CAF)."I particularly like CAF because small business ventures in China have the most to gain and most of those companies are traded only in China A shares," said Fitz-Gerald. "And CAF is the only fund that gives U.S. investors direct access' to the A-shares." A recent portfolio allocation of the fund showed 28% of its holdings were in consumer goods and services, 26% were in financials and 18% were in basic materials.CAF also holds shares in companies that make auto components and beverages, among other products, and has numerous stocks in the metals and mining sectors.This originally appeared at . American magazine editors, prepare to be jealous of Angelica Cheung.The EIC of Chinese Vogue has a great problem: too much advertising."I have to sit down at a desk to flip through it," she the Guardian. "It is going to get very difficult to read. It's too heavy. Maybe it will have to be two magazines in future."China has a huge population of millionaires -- almost a million -- and their taste for expensive products is almost exponentially increasing.According to the Guardian article, Burberry is building almost 40 more stores in the next five years, and the country will become the world's biggest luxury market in four years.All this leads to massive profit for a magazine industry that has seen advertising spending jump from $166m to $450m in a decade.Publishers are taking note. Conde in 2009, GQ in October of that year. Hearst also is in China where Harper's Bazaar .Soon, Cheung might have some new colleagues with whom to "commiserate."()Follow Closing Bell and never miss an update! Please Note: Business Insider will never share your information with any other companies. You also have the ability to unsubscribe from these newsletters at any time simply by following the unsubscribe link located at the bottom of each email wallstcheatsheet.comIn a new note, explains that one of their big investing themes is hot brands in emerging markets.The company identified these 20 stocks as being best to capitalized.They're based on a an Emerging Consumer Servey. Each stock has the characteristic of becoming more popular among higher income groups, suggesting big opportunities as people get wealthier.AP/Eugene Hoshiko was quick to lower price targets today on eight luxury good conglomerates following the close of Paris fashion week., fears that a slowing Chinese consumer will cut back put pressure on the mostly French firms. AnalystFrancesca DiPasquantonio noted that markets remain focused on 2012 uncertainty as opposed to current healthy returns.PPR, the owner of Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Puma saw the deepest cut. DiPasquantonio lowered the $14 billion firm's target price by 17% to120., holder of iconic brands like Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Tag Heuer, had its target price cut 8%.Smaller brands Salvatore Ferragamo and Burberry took haircuts of 12% and 14%, respectively. Deutsche Bank maintained mostly buy and hold ratings on the sector, expecting segment growth of 6% to outpace global GDP growth of 3% next year.Hermes remained the only company on the list with a sell rating, trading 40% above target.Harry Potter has been doing well for all-grown up Emma Watson.Emma, a 19-year-old college student in Rhode Island, was doled out $30 million in 2009, more than any other actress in Hollywood.She was also the youngest person on the list, which included Cameron Diaz and Sarah Jessica Parker, according to .She got $15 million paychecks for both Parts 1 and 2 of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.'Watson also has lucrative advertising contracts with fashion companies like Burberry.Even though she was the top-paid actress on the list, she was No. 14 on the full list.The top ten are:1. Michael Bay, producer-director ($125 million)2. Steven Spielberg, producer-director ($85 million)3. Roland Emmerich, producer-director ($70 million)4. James Cameron, producer-director ($50 million)5. Todd Phillips, director ($44 million)6. Daniel Radcliffe, actor ($41 million)7. Ben Stiller, actor ($40 million)8. Tom Hanks, actor ($36 million)9. J. J. Abrams, producer-director ($36 million)10. Jerry Bruckheimer, producer ($35.5 million)Forexpros – European stocks closed mixed Tuesday, on slowing German and Chinese industrial output amid Greek debt talk concerns . After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 gained 0.25%, France's CAC 40 advanced 0.18%, while Germany's DAX slipped 0.16%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 dropped 0.03%. Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papdemos is gathering the nation’s leaders to reach consensus on the fiscal cuts required for another European Union led bailout package. Greek policy makers have already agreed on cuts equal to 1.5% of the island nation’s gross domestic product. However, they are yet to agree on how to recapitalize banks, reduce wages and ensure the survival of pension funds. Meanwhile, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology stated that the nation’s industrial output will likely slow this quarter due to the euro zone debt crisis and worldwide economic cooling. Adding to the Chinese bearish projection, the International Monetary Fund stated that China’s economic expansion may be cut in half by the euro zone’s debt crisis. This Chinese crisis would warrant significant fiscal stimulus from the nation’s government. The IMF went on to state that China’s growth would drop as much as four percentage points from the fund’s current projection for an expansion of 8.2% in 2012. German industrial output surprisingly declined the most in three years in December. Production gave back 2.9% from November where is stagnated. Carmakers fell on the negative economic forecasts with BMW slipping 2.7% and Renault giving back 1.3%. The world’s largest watch maker, Swatch fell 4.2% after missing operating profit projections. Luxury company shares followed Swatch lower with Burberry dropping 2.2%, Christian Dior fell 3.2% and Hermes gave back 3.1%. In bullish news, Banco Comercial surged 21% after stating it will sell new shares and draw state funds to boost its capital levels. This is despite the bank posting a full year loss of EUR786.2 million. In the U.S., stocks are higher with the Dow up 0.20%, the SP 500 gaining 0.17% and the Nasdaq advancing 0.14%. Investors are awaiting Australian consumer sentiment, New Zealand employment, Canadian housing starts, as well as U.S. crude oil inventories on Wednesday.&nbForexpros - Forexpros offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.Read more on Forexpros.com or Follow us on Twitter at @Read more posts on Remember long, long ago, when you frequently heard complaints about Europeans coming to New York, treating it as a weak-dollar playground. Right in front of our eyes, they were plundering our homegrown luxury goods, and supposedly even Europeans with a secretary's salary could afford to buy a second home in Manhattan. You might have even met some of these interlopers at cocktail parties, where they could be heard bashing US foreign policy, while bragging that they only return home when the need some free dental work. Once we heard a tale of a high-end real-estate brokerage that listed all of their properties in euros, but that could have been purely apocryphal.Here's what the New York Times wrote :Jonathan Fletcher, who works in information technology, and Aine Marshall, a dentist, came to Manhattan from London to buy a $1 million investment property. Mr. Fletcher, who is considering buying in the financial district, where he believes there is opportunity for appreciation, plans to put down his deposit money first and wait for the dollar to weaken more before paying for the entire apartment. Even if he does not buy an apartment, the savings from shopping in the United States covered the cost of the trip, he said. They spent a total of $8,000 on clothes, a camera and a $5,000 drum set that would have cost about double back home.Foreign buyers often purchase quickly because they largely view these apartments as investments like a bond or a stock. Dorothy Somekh, a Halstead broker, said that in an afternoon a Belgian couple she represented bought a $1.7 million two-bedroom condo at the Sheffield in Midtown to rent out for about $7,500 a month. After the couple signed the contract, they headed to Abercrombie Fitch to shop for clothes for their daughters.Barf, right?Anyway, er, good news(?), that's all coming to an end.: Sales of apartments by foreign investors are down by at least 50 percent year to date. Industry leaders say that a number of foreigners that bought downtown are being forced to sell residences as a result of the world financial crisis. According to Melissa Cohn, president of Manhattan Mortgage, mortgage financing for foreign investors is very difficult. Commercial banks which previously provided financing to foreign investors are pulling back. Earlier this year, she said she was able to secure financing from at least ten active lenders, but today that number is down to three or four.Technically, this doesn't mean that we'll hear fewer foreign accents the next time stop in the Apple store or the Burberry store, but... well, that's exactly what it means. When the sting of reduced commerce, lower-tax revenue and declining home values, we imagine there will be more than a few people who will regret cursing the Euro influx.But don't lose hope. The New York Times in 1984(!) offers this hopeful note: .. At such stores as Hemispheres, the chic men's and women's clothing store at 1 Boulevard Emile Augier in the fashionable 16th Arrondissement, the clothes can seem like bargains. Where else, for example, can you find four-ply cashmere sweaters for $177?Of all the stores in Paris, Hemispheres offers the most satisfyingly proper but unstuffy selection of men's clothes, such as classic English suede zip-front jackets for $330. For women, there are the tailored women's clothes of Peggy Roche, one of the best-kept secrets of Paris fashion. Her navy knit suits, spare, dry and dignified, sell for $300.Forex Pros – European stock markets were broadly higher on Thursday, as shares in the financial and raw material sectors led gains, while U.S. futures indexes pointed to a higher open on Wall Street. br /br /During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 rose 0.22%, Francersquo;s CAC 40 gained 0.35%, while Germany's DAX 30 edged 0.18% higher.br /nbsp; br /The Financial Times reported earlier that European Financial Stability Facility Chief Executive Officer Klaus Regling said China was ldquo;clearly interestedrdquo; in buying Portuguese bailout bonds when the EFSF sells them in June.br /br /Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings said that the exposure of German banks to Greece was manageable, boosting lenders across the region.br /br /Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank saw shares jump 2.35% and 1.2% respectively. Shares in Spanish banking giant Banco Santander advanced 1.9%, while Europersquo;s largest financial group BNP Paribas added 1.4%.br /br /Shares in Swiss dental implant maker Nobel Biocare soared 7.35% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock two notches to lsquo;overweightrsquo; from lsquo;underweightrsquo;.br /br /French tire maker Michelin saw shares gain 1.3% after JP Morgan upgraded the company, saying a 20% drop in natural rubber prices makes tire producers the best medium-term prospects in the automotive sector.nbsp; br /br /In London, the commodity-heavy FTSE 100 rose 0.4% as commodity producers led gains after Deutsche Bank upgraded the raw material sector, saying it expected stocks in the sector to deliver a 20% return on equity this year. br /br /Shares in BHP Billiton climbed 1.1%, while copper producer Xstrata gained 1.3% after Deutsche Bank named them as its top choices in the sector. br /br /On the downside, luxury retailer Burberry saw shares drop 2.5% after it reported full-year earnings that were broadly in line with market expectations. br /br /The company said annual earnings rose 39% to GBP297.9 million however the company failed to upgrade its earnings outlook for the current fiscal year, disappointing investors.br /br /The outlook for U.S. equity markets, meanwhile, was upbeat. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a gain of 0.3%, Samp;P 500 futures indicated a rise of 0.32%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures added 0.15%.nbsp; br /br /Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish revised government data on first quarter economic growth as well as a weekly report on initial jobless claims.br /br /ForexPros.com - Forex Pros offers a diverse set of professional tools for Forex, Futures and CFDs. These include real-time data streams, technical and fundamental analysis by in-house experts, and a widely used economic calendar and .Read more posts on Forexpros – Forexpros - European stocks retreated in Friday trade, dragged down by inflation concerns and the dimming prospects for a quantitative easing from the European Central Bank.At the end of Friday’s European session, the STOXX 50 Index lost 1.48% to 2,179.66, France’s CAC 40 fell 1.50% to 2,981.96, Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 1.32% to 5,128.48, and Germany’s DAX declined 2.44% to close at 5,502.02.In Thursday trade, U.S. and European stock markets got a lift from a German parliamentary vote approving an expansion of the USD600 billion European Financial Stability Facility.But the release Friday of an unexpected drop in German retail sales sent European shares lower late in the day’s session. Germany’s Federal Statistics Office reported that retail sales fell by a seasonally adjusted 2.9% in August, down from a 0.3% gain the previous month. Market forecasts for retail sales in Europe’s largest economy were for a 0.5% decline.Additionally, the European Union’s Statistics Office reported that euro-zone inflation jumped by 3% in September, up for 2.5% in August, the largest year on year increase since October of 2008.The rise in prices quashed hopes that the European Central Bank would be lowering interest rates any time soon, complicating the ECB’s options for addressing the region’s debt concerns.Among top losers in the session were banks and financial issues, as Europe’s sovereign debt crisis weighed heavy on investor sentiment. In Paris, Societe General SA slumped 5.1%, while Deutsche Bank AG sank 4.9%.The French and German indexes closed out the quarter ending September 30, down 25%.Figures showing a contraction in China’s manufacturing sector, the third monthly drop in a row, took a toll on retailers in the region, as dealers anticipated a drop in sales for luxury goods.Burberry Group PLC fell 2.2% in London, with PPR SA, parent company of Gucci, sank by 6.1%. LVMH Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton SA dropped 3.4% in Paris.Meanwhile in late afternoon trade on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.78% to 11,067.29, the Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 1.18% to 2,451.47 and the SP 500 was lower by 1.04% at 1,148.37.Europe’s Markit Economics was due to release its Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index for the euro-zone on Monday.Forexpros - Forexpros offers a diverse set of professional tools for Forex, Futures and CFDs. These include real-time data streams, technical and fundamental analysis by in-house experts, and a widely used economic calendar and .Read more posts on Forexpros – European stock markets fell sharply on Monday, on reports Greece will not be able to meet deficit targets this year, leading the country closer to a potential default.During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 2.44%, France’s CAC 40 dropped 2.55%, while Germany’s DAX 30 posted a 2.63% decline.European equities were hit after Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou announced on Sunday that the country would not meet deficit targets this year. A draft of the 2012 budget approved by the cabinet on Sunday showed a deficit of 8.5% of gross domestic product for 2011, falling short of a target of 7.6%.Inspectors from the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank held discussions in Athens over the weekend and will soon decide whether the country is eligible to receive further financial assistance. Shares in the financial sector led losses, with France's BNP Paribas plummeting 5.67% and Societe Generale tumbling 5.44%, while Germany's Deutsche bank fell 2.74%.Belgium's Dexia also saw shares plunge 8.78%, amid media reports that French and Belgian officials are set to meet to discuss a rescue package for the bank, due to its heavy exposure to Greek debt.Peripheral lenders also contributed to the fall, with Italy's Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo dropping 2.80% and 3.36% respectively, while Spain's Banco Santander fell 2.47%.In London, the FTSE 100 shed 2.18% as U.K. lenders shadowed losses posted by their counterparts across the Continent. Barclays saw shares tumble 4.67% and Royal bank of Scotland posted a 4.04% drop, while shares in Lloyds Banking fell 2.94%. Copper producers Xstrata and Kazakhmys also saw shares decline 2.75% and 2.90% respectively, as copper tumbled to a 14-month low, while mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton dropped 2.81% and 2.26%.The luxury-goods sector also came under pressure, extending the previous week's losses linked to concerns over China's growth. Shares in Burberry's tumbled 4.94%.Elsewhere, U.S. equity markets pointed to a lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a drop of 0.53%, SP 500 futures signaled a fall of 0.52%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.76% decline.Later in the day, the U.S. Institute of Supply Management was to publish data on manufacturing activity.Forexpros - Forexpros offers a diverse set of professional tools for Forex, Futures and CFDs. These include real-time data streams, technical and fundamental analysis by in-house experts, and a widely used economic calendar and .Read more posts on Forex Pros European stock markets were mixed on Tuesday, as shares in the financial sector led losses amid persistent fears over the euro zones debt crisis, while U.S. futures indexes pointed to a higher open on Wall Street.During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 slumped 0.25%, Frances CAC 40 dropped 0.5%, while Germany's DAX 30 edged 0.08% lower.Fears that Portugal was close to seeking outside help to resolve its debt problems continued to weigh on shares in the banking sector. Spains largest lender Banco Santander saw shares fall 1.1%, Societe Generale dropped 2.3%, while Unicredit shares were down 1.3%.Also Wednesday, Deutsche Bank saw shares drop 1.95% after the Wall Street Journal reported that the lender would seek a shareholder approval to raise as much as EUR18 billion in fresh capital.However, shares in Commerzbank climbed 2.3% after it announced plans to repay nearly EUR14.3 billion of state-aid by June.Meanwhile, shares in Frances largest utility provider Electricite de France dropped 3.5%, while GDF Suez slumped 1.45% after French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said the government would freeze a planned hike in natural gas prices in July.In London, the FTSE 100 added 0.3%, as shares in retail giant Marks Spencer jumped 5.1% after it said that fourth quarter sales in its U.K. stores rose by 0.1%, defying expectations for a 2.5% drop.The upbeat data boosted other shares in the retail sector. Clothing retailer Next saw shares climb 2.9%, while shares in Burberry added 1.7%.Meanwhile, shares in miners performed strongly after gold prices rose to a record high. Randgold Resources saw shares climb 1.9%, African Barrick Gold added 1.35%, while shares in silver producer Fresnillo jumped 1.75% after silver prices rose to a 31-year high.The outlook for U.S. equity markets, meanwhile, was upbeat. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a gain of 0.18%, SP 500 futures indicated a rise of 0.19%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures added 0.25%.Later in the day, the U.S. was to release a report on crude oil inventories, while the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Dennis Lockhart was to speak at a public engagement.ForexPros.com - Forex Pros offers a diverse set of professional tools for Forex, Futures and CFDs. These include real-time data streams, technical and fundamental analysis by in-house experts, and a widely used economic calendar and .Forex Pros – pros ndash; European stock markets were mixed on Wednesday, as upbeat economic data from China eased fears over an abrupt slowdown in the worldrsquo;s second largest economy, while lingering concerns over the euro zonersquo;s debt crisis limited gains.nbsp; br /br /During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 eased down 0.1%, Francersquo;s CAC 40 dipped 0.2%, while Germanyrsquo;s DAX 30 edged 0.2% higher. br /br /Official data released earlier showed that Chinese gross domestic product expanded by 9.5% in the second quarter, broadly in line with expectations. A separate report showed that industrial production rose by 15.1% in June, the most since May 2010, outstripping expectations for a 13.7% increase.br /br /European exporters with high exposure to China, such as automakers performed strongly. Shares in Volkswagen climbed 1.7%, BMW shares rose 2.2%, while Peugeot saw shares gain 1.3%.nbsp;nbsp; br /br /Meanwhile, Ireland joined Portugal and Greece as the third euro-zone member state to have its credit rating reduced to junk status, following a downgrade by ratings agency Moodyrsquo;s on Tuesday.br /br /Shares in the financial sector were mixed. Bank of Ireland saw shares tumble 4%, Deutsche Bank dropped 1%, while Italian lenders Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit gained 3.3% and 2.5% respectively after Italian lawmakers pledged to speed up efforts to approve an austerity package.br /br /Europersquo;s largest semiconductor-equipment maker ASML Holdings sank 4.8% after it said it expected orders to pull back sharply in the third quarter as customers become more hesitant to place big orders.br /br /In London, the commodity-heavy FTSE 100 rose 0.2% as raw material producers gained after oil and metal prices advanced and as fears over a slowdown in demand from China eased.nbsp; br /br /Mining giant BHP Billiton saw shares jump 1.6%, silver producer Fresnillo rallied 6%, while shares of oil major British Petroleum added 0.9%.br /br /Fashion retailer Burberry saw shares advance 2.6% after reporting a 26% jump in second quarter revenue, as sales grew across all regions and categories.br /br /The outlook for U.S. equity markets was upbeat. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a gain of 0.55%, Samp;P 500 futures rose 0.65%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated an increase of 0.75%.nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; br /br /Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish official data on import prices and crude oil inventories, as well as a report on the federal budget balance. br /br /In addition, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is to give prepared testimony on monetary policy before lawmakers in Washington.br /br /Forexpros - Forex Pros offers a diverse set of professional tools for Forex, Futures and CFDs. These include real-time data streams, technical and fundamental analysis by in-house experts, and a widely used economic calendar and .Read more posts on Forex Pros European stock markets plunged on Tuesday, as mounting fears over Japan's escalating nuclear crisis sparked a global selloff in equities, while U.S. futures indexes pointed to a sharply lower open on Wall Street. During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 dropped 3.46%, Frances CAC 40 tumbled 3.33%, while Germany's DAX plunged 4.83%.Earlier in the day, Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan warned that radiation levels had become significantly higher around the Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant, following another explosion, this time at the stricken plants No. 4 reactor.Shares in the worlds largest maker of nuclear reactors Areva plunged 9.5% amid concerns damage to Japanese nuclear power plants would hurt demand for reactor fuel. The stock has lost nearly 18.5% this week.Utility providers linked to nuclear energy also performed poorly, as Germanys largest renewable energy provider RWE AG saw shares tumble 5.7%. Rival E.ON plummeted 6.1% after the Deutsche Presse reported that the German environment ministry wanted to temporarily shut E.ONs Isar 1 nuclear reactor in Bavaria. Meanwhile, shares in luxury goods retailers were broadly lower amid concerns over the long-term sales impact of the massive earthquake in Japan, which accounts for nearly 11% of global luxury sales.Shares in LVMH dropped 6.4%, rival Hermes slumped 5.8%, while Burberry saw shares plunge 6.7%.In London, the commodity-heavy FTSE 100 sank 2.4% as commodity prices retreated amid increased risk aversion. Shares in silver producer Fresnillo tumbled 7.1%, copper producer Xstrata dropped 4.05%, while oil giant British Petroleum saw shares slump 4.1%.The outlook for U.S. equity markets, meanwhile, was sharply lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a drop of 2.39%, SP 500 futures indicated a loss 2.82%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures pointed to a decline of 2.85%.Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish official data on manufacturing activity in the New York region, as well as government reports on import prices and the balance of domestic and foreign investment. In addition, the Federal Reserve was to hold its policy setting meeting before announcing its federal funds rate. ForexPros.com - Forex Pros offers a diverse set of professional tools for Forex, Futures and CFDs. These include real-time data streams, technical and fundamental analysis by in-house experts, and a widely used economic calendar and .We couldn't bring ourselves to actually attend the second round of Fashion Meets Finance. Last year's party was still too fresh in our minds. Fortunately, somebody made the New York Press's ace party reporter Matt Harvey go to the thing. He survived and came back with this news: models still want bottles paid for by bankers.Broke bankers and struggling models mobbed the rooftop of the Empire Hotel last night for the latest installment of Fashion Meets Finance. A tipsy brunette on crutches was trying to put her Burberry coat on so she could leave, but guys wearing suits sans ties kept jostling her as they moved past. Struggling to anchor herself with the crutches she told me her deal. I was running to work to get there on time when I fell. Its not funny! As the tiny metaphor hobbled away, a bushy-haired suit eyed my black notebook and smiled. How many numbers you get tonight? With an obscene bro-wink he added, Im just chilling because Im engaged.---The party was billed as a return to the halcyon excesses of 2007, and enough unemployed finance types fished the necessary change from their couch to pony up for a bottle of Absolut. Liz, a 20-something fashionista in a low-cut black cocktail dress, eyed them skeptically and said, just look at all the douches in those seats. Theyre all so broke. A line-up of seven models was in the DJ booth nodding to anemic dance music. One of them, Sabrina Roberts, a six-foot Afro-Chinese stunner wearing a tiny creme-brulee-colored dresstold me she wasnt giving up on finance dudes. One, theyre more interesting; and two, can you imagine if everyone was in fashion? I asked her if she had ever thought of dating so-called normal people. She twirled around, took a sip from her champagne flute and asked happily, How do normal people pay for champagne?Did any readers attend this thing? We'd love to hear more about it. Email jcarney@alleyinsider.comA social media study of FTSE 100 companies from The Group confirms what we found in a last November: firms remain wary of but are exploring the options available to them, especially Twitter.[]The Group, which has been monitoring corporate use of social media in the UK for just over a year, finds 45 percent now have corporate Twitter accounts, up by 50 percent on a year ago. :Twitter is easy to set up, easy to use and, some well-documented failures apart, a fairly foolproof way for companies to connect with various people online. Which explains why, of all the social media channels weve been monitoring, Twitter use is in the rudest health.As you can see from the chart, Facebook and blogs are used far less, however. The low uptake of Facebook is probably down to the cost and effort required to do it right, says The Group.YouTube is more popular, being employed by two fifths of UK blue chips. Of the social media channels reviewed by the consultant, however, YouTube is the least well used. More from The Group:There are some exceptions Aviva and Burberry have both put thought into their YouTube channels. The majority, however, seem content to add the odd video to the (frankly awful) channel template without much thought as to how their content will be consumed.For , it helps to broaden your sample and look to continental Europe. Here, companies like SAP and BASF are showing others how to do it with .Source: Investors pulled $15 billion out of the BRICs in 2011 as the European sovereign debt crisis escalated and the world economy decelerated.In China, all the chatter was about its problems, its property bubble, and its risk of a hard landing.Naturally, investors are anxious about pouring their money into emerging markets. And China, once an emerging market darling, is seeing bearish sentiment on the rise.Speaking at the Peter Chiappinelli, portfolio strategist at Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo Co. (GMO) said Wall Street has sold GDP growth as "the road to riches," but argued that there was no correlation between GDP growth and stock market returns. Chiappinelli spoke of a three tier short on China:"We've applied a more surgical approach to how we wanted to construct a short. We call it a three tier short. Three themes all tied to infrastructure and real estate.Tier 1 would be those names that are directly tied to China real estate, China development, China banks, China cement manufacturers, with an obvious link to China real estate.Tier 2 we would describe perhaps as less obvious, think Australian mining.Tier 3 even less obvious back to your global comment, everything is tied together. You can play a China short through European luxury goods, through , through Burberry, those kinds of names, vast majority of incremental growth is coming from mainland China. And we think they are very very exposed right now to a potentially dangerous situation. So it's more of a China theme that goes well beyond China's borders."Don't Miss: Many companies were disappointed when Google+ rolled out and banned the creation of accounts specifically for businesses and brands. Fortunately, today, , for them to start connecting with customers and followers.For an example of what a Google+ Page looks like, check out the one for the :You'll notice that you can +1 the page, see how many followers they have, add them to your circles, and confirm that the page is verified. You can share the page on your own stream. Check out all the differences here on the Google+ support page. (Bonus: are having a hangout at 4PM PST today!)Unfortunately, it doesn't look like just anyone can create a Google+ page. This is what I found, when I tried to click on the "Create a Google+ page" button:But you can see what Google+ is trying to encourage in the background. You can define whether your page is for a local business or place, whether it's a product or brand, and whether it's a company or institution. You can also further categorize it in "Arts, Entertainment, or Sports" or "Other". There's a message encouraging you to host hangouts, and create circles, and ask people to +1 you. You can get more advice from the . According to , he's been assured that .There's also Direct Connect, which simplifies searching for brands and businesses in Google search. Just go to , and type in the [+] symbol, along with the brand you're looking for. For example, when you search for "+Google", you'll be automatically taken to the . Currently this option only works for a few pages, but more is coming. In addition to the brand page, there are also a bunch more Google pages you can follow along with, including , , and . You can check them all out . Here are the non-Google brand pages that are now up and running:Have you spotted any more great brand pages? (By the way, the . How do you think the page will stack up?) Via on .Read more posts on 1) Luxurybrands have started out carefully.The article shows a great example of how Burberry back in 2009 created a, but moved cautiously, first with professional photographers then opening it up to the public (and even then maintaining some editorial control).What does this mean to you (the local business owner):You too can start out slowly. Forget what the daily deal sales person is telling you. There is so much competition in the daily deal space, you don't have to give away steep margins and creative control to participate. You should choose a vendor that uses professional photography (more cost to them) and will let you approve how the promotion is written. You should also ask the daily deal site to segment their mailing list and give you visibility into what kind of consumer is getting your email offerbeforethey send it. You should absolutely negotiate on margin and limit the number of offers you sell so you can test results.2) They've worked hard to maintain the sense of exclusivity.This article gives you a great example of Oscar de la Renta buildingwith the concept of a backstage pass to make consumers feel special.What does this mean to you:You don't need to call your promotion a deal. Think of this more as crafting a unique experience for your favorite customers. Many of the daily deal sites now have things like travel escapes, tastings, adventures, tour like bundles so they will have opportunities to package up unique local experiences. Work with your sales person to explore ways you can work creatively with other merchants in town to package a showcase of your business that feels more in line with your brand. Look at,, andas brands doing a good job of this.3)They are reaching bigger audiences.Derek Lam knew eBay could help his brand reach millions of new consumers, but these customers wouldn't all be right for his high-end products. So he was careful about which products he promoted on eBay, but he didn't ignore this audience.What does this mean to you:Don't avoid the promotion power of daily deal email lists. They can be the most effective way to put your business in front of millions of local consumers. The key is use select inventory. Control and limit your offering so that you showcase your business.This economy has made it feel like we only buy what is on sale, but that's not true. Consumers will always buy things that make them feel unique and special. Daily deal sites can get local businesses closer to thousands of local consumers without discounting what makes themspecial. The next generation of these products must deliver on that promise.This is not the student. Joe Mihalic graduated from Harvard Business School with his MBAand $95,000 in student loansin 2009. After two years of loan payments, Mihalic resolved to pay them off in 10 months.He started a blog, No More Harvard Debt (), to chronicle his experiment in cutting costs and earning more money. In March, he paid the last of hisseveral months ahead of schedule.[See.]U.S. Newsrecently spoke with Mihalic about his creative cost-cutting strategies. Excerpts:When and why did you decide to get more aggressive about paying off your student loans?In August 2011, I logged into my student loan accounts and the total came up to somewhere just shy of $91,000. This was after almost two years of paying down the loan at $1,057 every month. I had put over $22,000 into these loans that started out at $101,000. The principle was still at $90,000 because most of thewas going towards interest for the first couple of years. I looked at that total and it blew me away. I realized that I wasn't really happy with that trajectory of those loans. I felt like I was trapped. Emotionally, I felt it would just be better to be debt-free.In aclass that I took at Harvard, the professor said that debt was good. They're being held accountable to make a monthly payment to their debtors every fiscal quarter, so it keeps them focused and on track. I agree with that. The question is, "What's the right level of debt for an individual?" I thought that awas plenty of debt for an individual. This student loan debt was a little onerous for me. The pressure was too high.Do you think it was worth taking on that much debt to get your MBA?I do. I met a lot of really smart, talented, ambitious people who I probably wouldn't have met otherwise. I made great friends. The case method taught me to think in a whole new way. It made me a better decision-maker. Because of that, I was a more effective employee. I really don't think that it was that much debt when you consider that my salary doubled, as well as the fact that I was able to pay most of it down in seven months.What steps did you take to cut expenses and boost your income?I threw security and common investment wisdom to the wind and I used my life savings to kill a $25,000 loan to start my debt snowball. I stopped contributing to my 401(k), but I still have about $45,000 in my 401(k) that I didn't touch. I also had a $12,000 IRA from my old job. It started out as a 401(k), but I rolled it into an IRA and used it to pay down my loans. I took a hit on it, of course, when I did the early withdraw so it turned into $8,000.[See.]Certainly, if I had a qualified financial officer, they wouldn't say, "Withdrawing your IRA is the right thing to do," because you'll realize some loss. My situation does not apply to everyone, but it was my choice. Emotionally, I'm in a way better state now than I was this time last year.I gave up my privacy and got two roommates on . I also started a landscaping business, which was mildly successful. I also sold my motorcycle for $2,000, and I sold my bicycle for about $1,000. Then I sold some miscellaneous stuff on Craigslist: an , motorcycle accessories, bicycle accessories, even an old pair of Burberry reading glasses that I had sitting around from grad school.I saved 74 percent of my income. At the beginning of the challenge, I was making $103,000, which is really only $70,000 after taxes.I didn't go home for Christmas or to friends' bachelor parties or weddings. I didn't go on any dinner dates or to the movies. I'd hike around the park. I'd get bagels and coffee, random things that didn't cost a lot of money.How did people react in your life to this sudden lifestyle change?It takes a certain type of girl to go on a hiking date instead of a dinner date, but that's kind of the girl I'm looking for. As far as my life, I still have a great time. I hang out with friends a lot but I bring a flask to bars, which some of them thought was a good idea.For the most part, my friends were pretty frugal. I think I just may have subconsciously chosen frugal friends. Yes, most of them have houses and they do travel, but they don't really throw their money around unwisely. So, when they saw me tighten my belt a little bit they were like, "Yes. We get it. That's cool." They didn't go out of their way to do really flashy things and exclude me. I appreciated that.[See.]Do you think that the accountability of blogging played a role in helping you reach your goal?I'm pretty intrinsically motivated to begin with, but I knew that I would be held accountable at the end of every month with my progress report. "Here's how much I made, here's how much I spent, here's why." Just knowing that at the end of the month I would have to admit to my sins, so to speak, made me think twice about buying things and doing certain things.For example, when I quit my pedi-cabbing gig, it was very humbling to report that on the blog. It made me approach future revenuewith a lot more caution. There are so many pedi-cab drivers in downtown Austin just driving around without anybody in their trailers. I should have seen that and made the connection. I was just excited to be a pedi-cab driver. I thought it would be really fun. I didn't really do the due diligence. I had to admit on my blog that I failed in pedi-cabbing. It was kind of humiliating.Now that you've paid off your, will you continue some of your cost-cutting measures or go back to the lifestyle you had before?The roommates signed their lease until the end of June, so they're entitled to stay there until the end. After that, I'm thinking of renting the house out and getting a studio closer to the city, because the house is really too big for me.Spending is pretty similar to when I was paying off the debt. I haven't gone on a dinner date yet. I'm still driving my 12-year-old Honda. I'm still packing a lunch every day. My friends and I are still hitting up the BYOB place before we go downtown. I bought a couple of shirts for the first time in a year.I need to build back up mycushion to get six to eight months of living expenses in the bank just in case anything happens. Then I'll have the option to spend more. Right now, I just got used to the lifestyle I was living.People who win the lottery, their level of happiness actually returns to the baseline even though they have so much money. People who lose all their money, there will still be some dark days, but they'll rebound. I got used to that lifestyle. So, I haven't been in a rush to go spend crazy amounts of money or do anything really wild.Ethan Miller/GettyQuintessentially British label Paul Smith is attempting to crack China once again, with a flagship store in Shanghai and 24 new boutiques in the pipeline.Sir Paul Smith has cited the opening of his first as one the proudest moments of his career, and his foray in the Far East is set to continue as he takes on China next.His brand will set up a 5,000 sq-ft store in Shanghai - where European fashion houses Christian Dior, Gucci and Jean-Paul Gaultier have recently staged catwalk shows - in December and add 24 shops in China over the next five years, according to .Chinas clothing market is predicted to more than triple to 1.3 trillion yuan (128.3 billion) by 2020 from 400 billion yuan (39.4 billion) in 2010 as rising incomes fuel demand, Boston Consulting Group Inc found.This is the right time to join the race, said Balbina Wong, chief executive officer for ImagineX Group, Paul Smiths Greater China distributor. Chinese consumers are becoming more sophisticated and brand-conscious. Chinas overall GDP may slow, but the middle-class is growing.It is the second time the London Fashion Week label is attempting to crack China. The brand retreated from the country with large losses five years ago, with Smith telling the Financial Times that the Chinese market was extremely dangerous due to its high rents and because the majority of the population only sought clothes to cover their bodies.Paul Smith will be taking on earlier entrants Michael Kors and Burberry alongside fellow newcomers, Italian brands Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo.ScreenshotHow many of these are ads?The future of mobile advertising is display. To clarify: it's not in iAds or other software from OS makers and carriers. Tapping on those teeny-tiny "x"s in pop-ups requires an annoying amount of precision, and users generally ignore the ad content. The versus the enormous time spent on mobile is real, and it exists partially because of these unappealing little ads.Instead, the company proving that display advertising works for mobile is Instagram, the photo-sharing app that . Instagram's 27 million users not only look at mobile ads -- they rate them, share them, comment on them, and perhaps even like the brands using them a little bit better.Just don't call them ads. Instead, call them pictures, and if you're a brand, make sure they're interesting or beautiful to look at. See for example Burberry's hazy, over-exposed "behind-the-scenes" shots of models and fashion shoots. They're appealing in a way that glossy magazine pictures aren't, because they're not the commoditized images that consumers might expect. Instead, they're a hip, attractive, insider-y collage. And they probably make consumers think of the Burberry brand more favorably.You can hear more about smart mobile marketing and ad tactics at the , taking place June 14 in New York, hosted by . are now on sale. The covers everything from in-app experiences and stealth ads like those on Instagram, to content integration, traditional display, and geo-local targeting.You'll hear from including:They'll dive into the , such as:, and join the discussion on June 14 for a day of intense industry insight and valuable networking. Meanwhile, you can follow @BI_Events on for discounts and updates. See you in June!() - Inc, the world's largest home improvement chain, will close all seven of its big box stores and cut 850 jobs in China as the retailer changes its focus in the Chinese market to online and specialty stores and becomes the latest retailer to feel the chill from China's slowing economy.Earlier this week, British fashion house Burberry Group Plcwarned a slowdown in China could hit earnings. The profit warning came as recent Chinese data signaled a further slowing of the world's second-largest economy.Chinese home appliance retail chain operators such as Suning Appliance Co Ltdand GOME Electrical Appliances Holding Ltd, who are seen by some as China's answer to Co Inc, are also slowing their expansion to focus on raising efficiencies at existing stores and refining their e-commerce operations.China's retail sales growth in all consumer goods categories slowed to 13.2 percent year-on-year in August to 1.67 trillion yuan ($263.84 billion) from 18.1 percent in December, official data showed.Home Depot will retain two recently opened specialty stores in Tianjin and is "developing relationships with several of China's leading e-commerce websites," it said in a statement late on Thursday."China is a do-it-for-me market, not a do-it-yourself market, so we have to adjust," Home Depot spokeswoman Paula Drake told Reuters late on Thursday.The company made its first foray into the rapidly-growing Chinese market in late 2006 through its acquisition of a 12-store Chinese chain called The Home Way.However, it has struggled to expand ever since as it was a relatively late entrant into the market behind other international chains such as Britain's Kingfisher Plcwhich ventured into the world's most populous country in the late 1990s. http://r.reuters.com/far62tThe company expects to incur a $160 million charge in the third quarter as a result of the closures, but said this will not affect its full-year earnings forecast.Home Depot said it will continue to employ about 170 associates in China working in the sourcing offices in Shanghai and Shenzhen. Shares of the Atlanta-based company closed up 2 percent at $58.30 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.Last week, Suning Appliance announced the launch of a network of super stores to offset slow growth in its core business in China. The super stores will sell home appliances, general merchandise, books, and daily necessities, a move that put it in direct competition with local operators such as Sun Art Retailand Wumart Stores, as well as foreign giants like Walmartand Carrefour.($1 = 6.3296 Chinese yuan)(Additional reporting by Tej Sapru in Bangalore; Editing by Matt Driskill)A baby may be the ultimate accessory, but for women who love designer brands, it can also be an awkward wardrobe fit.Okay, we're half kidding--but fortunately for those women, high-end designers such as , Lanvin, Versace, and have all recently launched or plan to launch clothing lines for kids.Upscale children's lines started entering the scene about three years ago, but made a surge this season with Fendi showing its collection at its Fifth Avenue store in New York City and Gucci hiring Jennifer Lopez and her twins for its advertising campaign.The prices for many pieces, which children will likely only wear for one season, border on ridiculous. For example, a Gucci's , designed for girls ages 2 to 8, costs $595 dollars.But as the luxury market makes a slow comeback, the wealthy are willing splurge these items, said the Doneger Group's Creative Director Jamie Ross.We spoke to her this week about designer baby fashion became such a trend; here's what she had to say.When did we start seeing designer children's clothes become a trend?About three years ago, we started to see designer clothes for children enter the market. But the past year, we've seen it enter a good mainstream consciousness. These moms who wear the brands themselves and place their identity in them, and want their children to have matching aesthetics.Why is expanding to children's wear smart for designers?The fact that they are building costumers base that young, helps them build customers for life. If a child associates themselves early on with a brand, they have a guaranteed customer later on.So what are the trends in children's designer fashion? It's a take away from the grown-up clothes. Especially Gucci, Lanvin, and I'm sure Versace are all taking trends from their adult lines.Is it cost-effective for designers to create children's lines?Yes, absolutely. The fact that Fendi had their show at the Fifth Avenue store just generated so much hype for the line and I would say people were more excited for the Lanvin kids line than the woman's. Just generating the buzz helps the designer.As the luxury market made a small comeback in the past few years, is this how people are spending their money?For the infant clothes, we're seeing them mostly gifted. The doting grandparents are a large part of the people spending on these lines.So if the mother of the child is clad from head to toe, is there an etiquette about what type of clothing to buy the child as a gift? If it's a known fact that a mom leans in the direction of designer, it's probably best to step up to the plate and buy the designer clothes. If you even think how far diaper bags have come, women don't just carry a basic bag anymore.What designer children's line do you like the most right now?Looking ahead, Fendi looks good. It's a direct interpretation of their woman's line. The clothes are kid friendly, the prints and colors are just right. They are pushing the envelope forward. The clothes are user-friendly, some of the kids clothes (from other designers) almost look too precious to use. Fendi has utility safari fabrics, others look more washed and comfortable. They have fashion pastels for boys. It looks great, because sometimes compared to the girls, the boys lines can be boring.Children are the ones wearing these clothes, so do you think it comes with a level of understanding that the clothes will get dirty?If you're a mom and spending on this, you're prepared to have a good dry cleaner as well.WikipediaWhen Bill McComb took the helm of in 2007, he laid out an ambitious plan for kate spade new york, Lucky Brand and Juicy Couture: Build each of these marquee labels into a global lifestyle brand.Four years later, while in July, we see signs that McCombs vision is paying offkate spades sales are up 64% compared to 2010, and Lucky posted a 13% increase. And McComb says its only a matter of months before Juicy starts jumping too. Liz Claiborne Inc.s CEO talked to The High Low about these diverse brandsand the shared strategy that has put all three on the path to double-digit growth.The High Low: So direct to consumer sales grew by 77% this quarter. How did you unlock the potential of this 18-year-old brand?Bill McComb: The first step was to bring in our brilliant creative director, Deborah Lloydwhod had hugely successful runs at Burberry and Banana Republicand pair her with Craig Leavitt as CEO. Because kate spade was the last brand acquired under my predecessor, the business wasnt yet caught up in the corporate structure of the parent company which was built around sales channels, not brands and, frankly, was beginning to unravel. So I allowed kate spade to remain an independent, yet fully integrated operating company; we kept it highly entrepreneurial, and we kept it small.THL: How did this new team rethink the brand?WLM: Deborah had a clear road map for kate spade new york in terms of its handwritingits visual and product expressionand a big part of the plan was to introduce apparel, which was a risky venture and not one that many handbag companies had done successfully. In April of 2009 we were looking forward to an exciting apparel launch in the fall, but our stores were still little white handbag museumsvery plain and simpleand our traffic was plummeting. So I gave Craig, Deborah and their head of marketing, Kyle Andrew, a challenge to remake the small 5th Avenue store [in New York City] with a minimal capital expenditureand by minimal I mean $25,000 to $30,000. We would use that store as a lab, and if the concept was successful we would scale it.THL: What was riding on this experiment?WLM: Its always darkest before the dawn, and April 2009 was 3 a.m. for kate spade. Within six weeks, the team executed a colorful, energetic store format, which immediately drove major increases in traffic. Each store now is designed to look like the kate spade customers idealized apartment, which meant we defied some laws of modern retail. We actually put walls up and chopped the store up to make it feel like rooms in a home. The fall came, the new product launched, and it all worked togethercentered on a crystal clear target audience definition, a thats written up on a big wall behind the cash registers in every store.THL: You refreshed too, but in a different waywhich strategies carried through and which ones did you have to tweak?WLM: The recipe is the same: the right leadership, great product, andwithout major capitalizationnew visual merchandising to bring the stores to life. Lucky has always had a clear look and feel, but the stores were poorly edited, which left the brand too wide and uncommitted. Creative director Patrick Wade and CEO Dave DeMattei, who took over in 2009, put a laser focus on denim and the denim lifestyle, but with modern handwriting, not just the 70s peace vibe or 80s rock-and-roll. The stores now are much more consumer-friendly: its easier to find and navigate sizes and styles; its easier to see the array of washes relative to sizes and styles. Second-quarter sales were up 22% compared to 2010.THL: is the trendiest of these three brandswhy was it third in line for renovation?WLM: The founders left the business only at the end of 2009, and there was a state of suspension, creatively, before I was able to bring in LeAnn Nealz as President and Chief Creative Officer. Shes been at , Calvin Klein, Theory, and she came to us from American Eagleshe really understands the womens contemporary space, she understands the LA girl, and she has an amazing vision of where Juicy needs to go. What Juicy is really about is Southern California casual luxurya certain Laurel Canyon, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles look and feelthat is timeless. And its a look that transcends global tastes even better than traditional American preppy.THL: So whats the new Juicy going to look like?WLM: Youll see a re-couturing of the stores this falldifferent properties and elements than what we brought to kate spade, but the same lift and renewal: new art packages, new merchandising systems and, starting with spring 2012, fantastic new product. LeAnn has said that shes going to be celebrating the couture more in Juicy Couture. Its still a casual California lifestyle brand, but the quality is up, and the attention to detail on fit is tremendous. The aesthetic has a whole new beat of relevanceand the reflects that.THL: How big can these brands be?WLM: Any of them could join the ranks of Coach, Guess and Ralph Lauren, the very enviable monobrand companies, because Im recruiting people that are uniquely passionate about the brand they are buildingtenured apparel-retail veterans who run their business with a high degree of entrepreneurship and flair. Theres an affinity between each team and the product, the lifestyle, the positioning. And what that unlocks is the high double-digit growth were already seeing in some of these brandsI believe that globally, each of these brands has the potential to do $1 billion and more in sales.This originally appeared at .Earlier this summer, Mot Hennessy won a for its digital magazine, , which it launched in early 2010. The French fashion house -- and the world's largest luxury company, run by billionaire -- says its content is editorially independent, and calls the site an "information reference." It's reminscent of French or Italian , with multimedia (e.g., the short film "" was popular in fashion circles). No matter how it's packaged, it's a marketing win for , and follows a new wave of advertising for luxury brands (in 2009, Burberry launched a similar site, the ). reports that:Many luxury-goods companies, for example, have built editorial teams to socialize their brands: they are transforming the customer relationship by producing blogs, digital magazines, and other content that can dramatically intensify both the frequency and depth of interactions. on the trend earlier this year, and spoke with Miki Berardelli, chief marketing officer for Tory Burch, about how luxury advertising is changing:Were publishing content in an authentic way, and if its increasing our brand awareness, then it could be defined as advertising. Its a new way of communicating with consumers. Its taking an editorial approach to telling your brand story, and the social media space just lends itself so beautifully to that combination.Sites like NOWNESS , but those lines have been blurred since the inception of (1892) -- just a few decades after was born (1854).Social networks have changed the way we workand live.For example, 18 percent of consumers use social networking sites before even getting out of bed, according to a May 2011 Ericsson ConsumerLab study.They have also changed the way we travel, morphing business trips from a mundane experience into a data-rich opportunity to make new connections and discover or strengthen relationships. "The simplest way to think about it is that you used to fly into a city, and unless you knew someone who was there, there's no chance that you ever got in touch with anyone," notes , the -based head of location-based marketing at , an integrated global communications company."We all tend to hover around in these bigger metropolitan areas and we're closer to so many people we know than we think we are, but we just don't know it. So social media kind of tightens up that six degrees of separation, and it also makes for serendipity."But how do you keep it professional and make the most out of your next trip by utilizing social media? Here's what the experts advise.How Social Media Has Changed Business Travel: Before You LeaveBefore you ever book your trip, social networks allow you to research, interact, and enhance the experience.From a research perspective, some hotels have started to offer room specials exclusively for fans of their page. Morever, travelers can see reviews of properties from trusted colleagues, friends and strangers to make sure it's the right spot long before arriving.Lastly, you can figure out where your connections and contacts are staying if they'll be in town at the same time to simplify that process later on (travel-organizing app TripIt makes this easier with its integration into ).Travelers can also use Facebook, and LinkedIn to communicate with existing contacts to figure out details about where to stay and what to do while travelingincluding whom else might be in town. You'd be shocked sometimes at where old connections that you haven't seen in years might be living or have lived, allowing you to solicit opinions or schedule meetings with folks you never envisioned."A lot of hotels are adopting this that if they become more social-media friendly, people will start staying there," Strout says."Before I leave, I can figure out if someone I know will be there and then triangulate that data to connect for dinner. You have micro-control of it too, because you can broadcast out what you like or keep things private."Social Networks and Mobile Apps to Use Before You Travel: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn: Let your contacts know you're planning a trip to see what fellow connections are going to be in town so you can schedule meetingsformal or informaland determine places to go and things to do in your down-time. Follow hotels or airlines on the networks to get exclusive discounts not available elsewhere. book your travel wherever you choose, and forward your itinerary to . The free organizational service does the rest of the work, allowing you to access the data anywhere and also telling you if any connections are in the same area. still a relatively new service, GTrot (short for globe-trotting) connects users with Facebook friends who live where you're visiting, have visited there previously or are there at the same tim as you. With one click, you can notify those friends of your plans and solicit input or suggestions. , , or : whatever your car rental needs are, there is a way to access the best deals here. Autoslash and allow you to input dates and times of arrival and departure and then scours the Web for the best deal. With Autoslash, if you book a rental and a better deal comes across the site, it automatically rebooks you at the lower rate. is a well-known service that allows you to rent a car for hours, days or longer, often cheaper than car rental companies and with nicer vehicles (but including a membership fee). part of the rising trend of social car sharing and luxury car services, this is changing the way we get around in town. , the winner of last month in , allows car owners to safely rent out their unused car to trusted drivers when they need it most.Cyndi Lauper said it best when she stated that girls just wanna have fun. No matter what city you place a group of girls, they will inevitably find something fun to do and is no exception. Often described as a young and diverse city; it has a fascinating vibe that is ready to be explored and the perfect destination for a girls getaway. Purple Cafe and Wine Bar: What better way to enjoy the night than to chat over a few drinks and a warm meal? Purple Cafe Wine Bar may sound like a simple place to visit, but it is the Mecca for savory dishes and fine . Full of flavorful dishes like Lobster Macaroni and Cheese or Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee, it's worth every calorie. A superb wine list is a fantastic invitation to let loose and order the bubbly. Catch up on the latest gossip and feel like a local at the same time at this chic wine bar. Twist: Since girls just want to have fun, why not look for some boys that want to as well. Even if you are taken, it is fun to flirt at Twist; an upscale bar and lounge. It was recently rewarded for having the best liquor selection with a roster of 150 choices. If you don't fall in love with a cute local, you'll fall in love with their happy hour with no drink priced over $10. This bar can easily feel laid back at first, but as the night progresses it is the perfect spot for a girls night out to enjoy the local scene. Seattle Premium Outlets: What would a weekend be without shopping? Seattle Premium Outlet features all the faves like Coach, Burberry and Calvin Klein. Beware of where you can save even more money; which means you might even have to bring an extra bag with you!Salish Spa and Lodge: Live luxuriously at the Salish Spa and Lodge. Only 30 minutes from Seattle, it's close to the fun hustle and bustle of the city, yet close enough to nature. Most rooms have fantastic views of Snoqualmie Falls and other scenic landscapes. Or make a day trip out of it for the full spa experience. Just reading the spa menu is relaxing enough, with choices like the Green Tea Northwest Seaweed Salt Glow or the Cascade Escape: The Ultimate Salish Spa Experience. Treat yourself from head to toe and enter Seattle like a new woman; a $500 treat that brings the serenity of the mountains right into your very pores.Girls Night Out Classic Yacht Cruise: A great way to end your girls weekend is toasting to good times on an exclusive Ladies Night at Sea yacht cruise. Seattle is known for its dazzling waterfront, shining with city lights and skyline. range from harbor tours to cruising out to Lakes and Islands in the Seattle area.Silicon Alley Insider is a community news, information, and discussion site. Please participate in any of the following ways: By sending us background tips and ideas, by submitting comments, by posting on our , by joining our room, and/or by becoming a formal contributor.Tips. We crave news, rumors, and other info. Please send to tips@alleyinsider.com. Unless you say otherwise, we'll assume you want to remain anonymous.Comments. You can publish comments directly on articles or posts. You'll need to provide a valid email address, and please follow our Posting Rules. The content on our Community page is contributed by Silicon Alley insiders and other readers (including our staff). 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At the recently concluded CII-ET Dialogue on Luxury in Delhi, Yashovardhan Saboo, CEO, Ethos Boutiques - a retail chain of Swiss watches in India - blamed deeply ingrained social and economic prejudices for the not happy-to-help attitude. Even regular buyers of luxury brands complain that sales staff tends to judge buyers by their appearance. "If a woman wearing a sari walks into a Jimmy Choo store, the attendants will not see her as a serious customer. On the other hand, anyone in a dress and stilettos is paid much more attention," says Ragini Jaiswal, a Mumbai-based entrepreneur.Fashion consultant Harmeet Bajaj, who counts her shopping experiences at Max Mara and Marni among the best, says that selling luxury brands is a fine art. "Store attendants have to talk to the customer, understand her background and style. They should never force any product on you. In stores abroad, the attendants know their regular customers and give them personalised care. And if you are new to the brand, they are trained to assess you in a matter of minutes and guide you around. Such inter-personal skills are missing in India."When Burberry launched in India in 2008, customers were promised personalised shopping, a USP of the brand. However, when Priyanka Bhattacharya, a freelance beauty writer from Bangalore, walked into a Burberry store in Delhi, she didn't find the staff very forthcoming. "In India if you walk into any luxury store all that the staff tells you is the price of products because that is not mentioned. That does not make the service exclusive. They rarely offer you any style tips - what kind of bag will work for you? Will a short dress suit a short frame? They are not trained to assist shoppers."Luxury Stores Not Up-to-DateLuxury shoppers also find that the stores are not stocked with the latest collections. This is reported to be especially true for beauty and make-up brands. Even though the autumn-winter collections are out elsewhere in the world, in India you will continue to find lipstick from the last season. It's also been observed that luxury apparel brands prefer to keep more pret-a-porter, or ready-to-wear, collections in Indian stores rather than haute couture lines.The recent CII-A T Kearney India Luxury Review 2011 has also taken note of this gulf between customer expectations and supply. Customers, it reports, seem to be saying, "have money, will buy, but please treat me well". The Review further states: "High quality talent continues to be limited. With the entry of new brands and footprint expansion by most companies, luxury players are facing high attrition rates resulting in increasing personnel costs."The way out, feel experts, are intensive training programmes for luxury retail professionals. "Right now there's very little investment in retail training. We need to introduce long-term training programmes instead of organising sporadic workshops. It will also help to offer retail professionals opportunities to work abroad," says Saboo.Anil Chopra, former CEO Lakme Lever Pvt Ltd, cites the example of the aviation industry to emphasise the importance of right training modules. "On any given flight the same set of crew is servicing passengers in the A class, business and economy class. How do they manage this? It is possible because there are good schools and institutes training them. This can be replicated in luxury retail industry."This originally appeared on .This story was originally published by.With the removal of the cap on foreign ownership in single-brand retail, global luxury brands are expected to ramp up their presence in the domestic market."In one stroke, India may have opened the floodgates," said Sanjay Kapoor, managing director of Genesis Luxury, the joint venture partner of Burberry in India, which also represents other luxury brands like Canali, Jimmy Choo and Bottega Veneta.Most luxury brands operate through the franchise or licensing route, while some like Louis Vuitton and Burberry have joint ventures in which they own 51 percent shareholding. Many such brands which have silent partners in India may now want to buy out their Indian partners. "A lot of brands were concerned about holding only 51 percent in India. Now, there is a better chance of them coming into India," said Dinaz Madhukar, vice-president at DLF Emporio, in an report.India to Become a Preferred MarketTikka Shatrujit Singh, chief representative in Asia for French luxury firm , the parent company of Louis Vuitton and many other luxury brands globally, said the appetite to invest in India is bound to grow now. "This was the last frontier to be opened. It will make India a preferred market," he said.With the rapid rise in high net worth individuals, Indian luxury market is estimated to triple to $14.7 billion by 2015, from $4.76 billion in 2009. In a recent report, Swiss wealth manager forecast that the number of HNIs in India, with assets of $1 million or more, would more than double to 403,000 by 2015."We expect investments in India from luxury and fashion companies to benefit from this decision and the process of development of infrastructures will improve and boost the growth of luxury industry in India," said Michele Norsa, CEO of Ferragamo Group.Luxury Plans for the Country"We are waiting for the fine print. If the conditions are favourable, we will look at scaling up our stake from 51 percent to 100 percent in our Indian subsidiary," Damien Vernet, general manager, Middle East India at Louis Vuitton, said. Louis Vuitton has a 51:49 joint venture in India, with four stores. In contrast, it has 36 stores in China."I expect people sitting on the fence to now make a beeline (for India). After China, India is the next big market for luxury brands. India is expected to be the next China," said Abhay Gupta, executive director of Blues Clothing Company, which has franchise deals with luxury brands like Versace, John Smedley, Cadini and others in India. Just a couple of months ago, , who runs the fashion and leather goods unit at LVMH said the 51 percent cap was holding back foreign investments.This originally appeared on .This story was originally published by.InstagramKim Kardashian On Instagram.No, there's no dashboard or back-end metrics. And no sales team to support advertisers--yet. But Instagram, the popular photo-sharing service that , is Mecca for brand advertisers.Why?It's a place where display advertising actually works. Yep, that's right: people want to look at your ads. Just don't call them ads. Instead, call them images, and make sure they're (actually, truly) interesting or beautiful to look at. One smart angle is the "behind-the-scenes" approach taken by brands such as General Electric, , and Burberry. As a consumer, I don't know much about GE's engineering division, and I might not profess to care. But amazing, color-saturated photos of engines and repairs, which turn my into a portable gallery of industrial-flavored art? Yes, please. CEO has suggested Instagram may be the , and he now has the resources of --expected to IPO at $75-100 billion later this month -- to back him up in developing it.So how can you use Instagram and other social platforms smartly? You can find out more at , Business Insider's one-day conference diving deep into the best practices in social-media marketing, sales, branding and engagement.The Summit takes place June 7 in Chicago. You can .Brand marketers from Walmart, , , Gatorade, and more Fortune 500 companies will convene to share strategies, alongside emerging private companies and leading investors. Speakers include:They'll share industry insight on topics including:See the and for additional information, and @BI_Events on for updates and discounts. We'd love to in June! is the app that every mobile developer dreams of building.Since launching last October, the for has gone completely viral, with more than 13 million downloads. It is now adding a million new users every couple of weeks, including celebrity users like Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift. Its runaway success has propelled cofounder and CEO into sudden fame in the tech world, landing him on lists like Fortune's .And yet, Instagram has never spent a dime on marketing, and the company is still tiny, with only 7 employees working out of a space in San Francisco's South Park neighborhood.We caught up with Systrom last week before Thanksgiving to ask him how he did it and what's next for the company.Here's what we learned:Here's a transcript of our conversation, lightly edited:: How's life? How's business? You guys are up above 13 million users now right?Kevin Systrom: It's funny that you say that because you really can swap "life" and "business" in the same sentence. Life's great. We're growing like a weed, both in people joining the company and also in usage. We have over 13 million people now on the app. It's been a crazy year. It's unlike any social network trajectory in the first 12 months and we're really excited to see where it goes.BI: Why do you think the app took off so quickly?KS:We took a very basic action that everyone does in the world, taking a photo, and we put some meaning behind it, some reason behind it. The reason is suddenly all your friends can see that photo immediately, in an instant. But also we make the photo more beautiful. It doesn't take very much to convince people to do what they do every day anyway and then do it through you're product. Really we're just taking people and shifting them from taking photos anyway to taking them on Instagram.But then, because of the encouragement through making photos beautiful, people are taking way more photos than they would have otherwise because there's a reason to share them.BI: But what advice would you give somebody to get that initial notice and get that spike in usage? KS: It's interesting because I've started to work more closely with startups trying to do exactly this, and a lot of people think it's a marketing game. But really, if you build a quality app you will naturally rise through the ranks. I don't know how many apps are in the App Store, but everyone knows a fraction of a percent are really well done, quality, thought out apps. There are a lot of apps that are fun to use, they're utility apps, they're fine. But there are a fraction of apps that are in the cream of the crop. You just need to be in the cream of the crop to get noticed.I think far too many people focus on how many emails can I send the user to get them to come back at the end of the week. If you build something beautiful and useful they will come back. And sure, you should also do those things, but I don't remember the last email I got from saying "hey, you haven't been back to our site in a while."There are gimmicks, paying for downloads and stuff. But we've never spent a dime on marketing. Great products sell themselves.BI: What does your average user look like? Do you have a few "whales" who are taking tons of photos and then a bunch more casual users, sort of like with games?KS: You can split it up into personas. There are definitely people who don't take any photos but like photos and comment on photos. Like people who joined for Justin Bieber -- a lot of them are there for one reason, and the reason is Justin. At the same time, there are people who subscribe to thousands of people and not only like and comment on their photos but take beautiful photos as well.BI: You only have 7 employees, right?KS: We're going to be 9 pretty soon.BI: What are you hiring for?KS: Right now we're hiring engineers and designers. That's what we're focused on. We've had a tremendous amount of luck in the last six months finding people that we really love to work with, and the team we've built is unparalleled for what we're doing.BI: What's the kind of person you're looking for? Fresh out of college? Lots of experience in mobile?KS: Actually I really value passion for the product above experience. Right now, most of the people are within a few years, three to six years out of college. But that's not necessarily true going forward. A lot of people coming aboard are a little more senior than that, and I'm totally cool with that. We just want to build a company that focuses on the love of Instagram.BI: It doesn't seem like you need to hire any marketing people.KS: It's funny, I was talking to somebody about getting a job as a growth strategist at a company and I started thinking to myself that's the opposite of what we need right now. We need somebody [who can tell us] how do you deal with growth. At the same time, even though we're growing at our peak over one user per second, we still need three or four times that to make us happy. That'll require things like Web, things like Android, a concerted play on those areas.BI: What is the next platform?KS: The next mobile platform is definitely going to be Android and we've got some cool stuff coming, that's all I can say.BI: Are you going to target only the most recent version?KS: You mean like versus others? We're going to try to be compatible with all modern phones. I don't know enough, so I can't comment to specifics, I'm not the guy who knows a lot about Android. But in our discussions, there's always a tension between just supporting the latest or supporting a bunch of different ones. We're going to try and support as many as we can.BI: There was an , a developer told Rafe Needleman that it's sometimes better to support limited platforms because you get more marketing support.KS: The stronger point is not that will give you preferential treatment, because I don't think they do if you're not on Android, it's not that at all. The stronger point is the focus that comes from being on a single platform. We were able to iterate much more quickly than -- I don't think anybody even names any of our competitors anymore. One of the reasons why is we were able to focus on Android and really focus on the experience on the Apple platform. There will always be folks coming up with interesting innovative stuff, I'd never write anybody off, but focusing on iPhone really helped us take that market.BI: So you guys see yourselves as a platform, right? I hear that from a lot of startups these days -- everybody wants to be a platform.KS: I don't think platform means you support other people, necessarily. A platform is the base from which something big happens. In our case we're an entertainment platform in the sense that there are people signing up like , Burberry, folks like Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber. And why? Because it's their channel to control their entertainment to their fans. Whether you're a brand, whether you're a big artist, or whether you're me, just a photographer, it's a platform upon which to broadcast. What we're seeing is people spending more and more time on these things [picks up his iPhone] and this is where we're consuming entertainment. Instagram is definitely becoming a new entertainment source for people day after day.And right now we're still images, right? Imagine what happens when in the future, this really becomes an entertainment platform. I don't want to say this is an entertainment platform in the way TV is a platform because we're not going to go producing content. That being said, you could see where professional producers do produce content, do produce photos of behind the scenes things -- Audi produces gorgeous photos of all their cars and I'm sitting there and flicking through it and I'm addicted. That's very much like people sitting down on a Friday night to watch their favorite show. It's just a different platform, meaning it's a different medium, and they're consuming different kinds of content. But they're engaged, they just sit there and they open it up every 10 minutes. That's the kind of behavior that unlocks the potential of a big advertising business.BI: So that's the opportunity -- sponsorships, affiliates, advertising, something like that. Not subscriptions?KS: I haven't thought very specifically what form it takes, I've thought very generally about the direction we're moving. I don't think you should ever start a business and move in a direction where you can't see it becoming a business. Those thoughts have crossed my mind, can people buy things from the app, or sponsored things in your feed or whatever. I don't think we've landed on any one, but the good news is we add a million people every two weeks, that's a big number. When you have a big part of someone's time, there's a big opportunity, especially as dollars shift off these traditional entertainment mediums and onto online.Search ads is a very specific implementation of advertising. The question is, is there an opportunity beyond group buying, search advertising, to make a whole lot of revenue on the iPhone, on Android. I believe the answer is yes, that's what we're going after.BI: When do you have to turn the corner and show revenue? You're showing such fast growth I'm sure you could raise more money whenever you need it, and you have less than 10 people so that's a slow burn rate, but when do you start looking at the business side?KS: It was a concern from day one. I don't think it's healthy to ignore it. I look at our numbers every day and I see how much we're spending, and I understand that goes up exponentially as you get bigger. So it's on the top of my mind. It's a good problem to have. I'm not sure there's a specific time we need to turn on the faucet. It's a progressive process.We're trying to figure out a lot of things before that. How do we build a team such that we can support partners? How do we build the technology so that every weekend we're not stuck in the office trying to fix things from going out.BI: What do you think of native apps for mobile phones vs HTML5 apps? I talk to some people who think HTML5 is the way to build one app that works on multiple platforms.KS: I don't buy it, mostly because we started off as HTML5.What I don't buy is just your statement. I totally buy HTML5. It's great for some companies. For instance, I think it's awesome for bigger brands who are not technology companies to invest in HTML5. It's much more accessible, the refresh cycle's much smaller, it's just better for the organization to spend their time doing what you do well. If you're a larger brand, having the flexibility to do HTML5 is also great.But to do what we do, there's no reason why we should do it in HTML5....We were HTML5 when we were . But there were so many stumbling blocks getting it out to consumers, the second we went native it was the best decision we ever made. I think that's true, for folks to have a strong consumer experience that needs to be completely polished. I don't buy the cross-platform thing.BI: What about writing in HTML5 and then wrapping it for each different platform?KS: Why would you do that? You might as well learn Objective C. I think the big stumbling block is a lot of developers are worried that they don't know this other language so let's build it in HTML and JavaScript. But it turns out if you spend a couple of days learning Objective C, you can get really far. The experience is great, too.BI: You mentioned a Web platform, what's up with that?KS: I don't think there's any reason people shouldn't be able to consume photos on the Web. We just focused on mobile first.BI: You also hinted at moving beyond photos into video?KS: I've been mentioning this a lot lately because I don't want people getting stuck with the idea that Instagram is a photo-sharing company. Instagram is a media company. I think we're about visual media. I explain ourselves as a disruptive entertainment platform that enables communication through visual media. I don't think it's just photos. There's a reason we don't allow you to upload photos on the Web as albums. It's not about taking all these photos off your DSLR putting them into an album and sharing them with your family. It's not about that. It's about what are you up to right now out in the real world, how can you share that with everyone. It's about what's happening out in the world. It's about can I consume media from folks like Taylor Swift. That's really interesting to people. What's not interesting to me is becoming a photo storage platform.BI: has that locked up. has it, . We're not in the business of making mugs with photos on them. That's not our thing. So the reason I describe is it pushes people's boundaries of what Instagram is. Video is definitely somewhere in our future.BI: Video requires a lot more resources.KS: Everything does. So does Web. We get six million visits a day to our Web site. Imagine us launching a Web site [for sharing], how much more infrastructure would we need? All of these things are commitments. We have to see where they make sense in our lifecycle?BI: So do you want to stay independent as a company?KS: You mean versus selling? I'm excited about what we're doing, I love what I do every day I come in to work and get to work with my team, that's what I want to do as long as possible.BI: Are you a photographer?KS: It's funny, I was a photographer before I was a programmer. But in high school I basically got them to waive a bunch of science requirements so I could take more computer science. I got to college and decided I didn't want to concentrate on computer science for some random reason. But I've always done photography, in the darkroom, and I've always really been into digital photography. If you go on to , you'll see a photo that looks like an Instagram photo, from about 2007. I've always been into taking my photos, cropping them square, putting them through a filter in Photoshop. We just reverse engineered how to do filters, now we opened it up to the masses....I've done all our filters except for a few. We worked with , one of our users, who did a fantastic job on Amaro, Rise, and Hudson. He did the first three on the list and they're awesome, I use them 24/7. But we're definitely itching to get new ones out there. We talked about doing limited Christmas holiday ones, or whatever, but we're not Seasons or anything like that yet.FacebookPressing the like button on a company's Facebook page can have a much more wide-ranging impact than you might have guessed. A new study finds a possible correlation in the relationship between the financialperformance of public companies and their consumer following or fan count on Facebook.What the researchers found was that the more popular the company was on Facebook, the better its stock price seemed to do."The results suggest that changes in fan count trends could signal changes in consumer brand company stock prices, creating the potential for new applications of metrics as economic indicators," the researchers said.There is an association between a company's and how active its Facebook users are and its stock price, Pace University researcher Arthur O' Connor told BusinessNewsDaily."I am not saying because these are the most popular brands that have the greatest following of consumers on Facebook that that causes stock prices to go up," he said. "The study suggests a relationship between the popularity or greater numbers of people thinking and posting comments or sharing experiences about brands and the economic performance of the brand."O'Connor, in association with social media analytic service , which ranks and tracks social media followers, took the 30 most popular brands on Facebook and broke them into two groups. The first group included companies that sell smaller ticket impulse-based purchases and included Abercrombie Fitch, Adidas, Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Burberry, , Puma, Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, McDonalds, Oreo (), Pepsi, , Taco , , , Whole Foods and . The second group included 11 companies that offered larger ticket purchases including , , , , , Blackberry (RIM), , , Harley-Davidson, JetBlue and Southwest airlines."Fan counts for the most popular brands associated with small ticket and/or impulse purchases were found to have stronger correlation with their respective stock prices than those for the most popular brands associated with larger-ticket items and/or more complex buying processes," the researchers wrote.O'Connor believes his research has implications for how brands ."The most notable thing is that people need to start to understand that social media really does have some relationship with the conformity of behavior," said O'Connor, an information technology management consultant enrolled in the executive doctoral program at Pace University. "If everyone is thinking about and talking about your brand, that may mean something in terms of your stock price or corporate performance."With more than 800 million active Facebook users, the significance of these findings can signal a change in the way companies look at social media and its ability to serve as an indicator and even predictor of economic performance. O'Connor said he believes companies will have to be careful how they wield their newfound social media power."Popularity is a two-edged sword," said O'Connor. "The more people look at you and think about you (especially) if you do well and do right by your customers, it can be a tremendous benefit. However, if you dont do those things, it can work against you in a big way. The one thing you can take away from it is that social media is becoming a more respected and established communication channel with customers, investors and the general public. It is something to take just as serious as shareholder communications, marketing communication or other more established communications."This originally appeared on .SHANGHAI () - Louis Vuitton is courting China's wealthy with one-of-a-kind shoes and bags it is branding as unique works of art to reclaim its exclusive cachet in the luxury market.The French luxury brand, a unit of , is set to open its largest China store in Shanghai on Saturday, complete with a gilded spiral staircase and an invitation-only private floor where big spenders can get their hair done while dreaming up designs for custom bags."The made-to-order concept is the ultimate luxury," Louis Vuitton Chief Executive told Reuters during a tour of the store, which the company calls a "maison"."It's the same with art. If you are interested in art, the ultimate is to commission an artist rather than buy a piece that is already done," Carcelle said.Louis Vuitton routinely ranks among the most admired brands in surveys of Chinese consumers. But ultra-luxury names such as Hermes are making inroads, and some top-tier consumers now look down on Louis Vuitton as too common.The company hopes to cement its exclusive luxury status with the new Shanghai store, which boasts steel sculptures and carries a wide array of goods ranging from chic coats and hats to brightly colored bags made from python or alligator skin.It also sells carrying cases for tiles used to play the Chinese game mahjong and made-to-order trunks for tea sets.China is the world's third biggest market for personal luxury goods, worth at least 160 billion yuan ($25 billion). In the next three years, it is expected to leapfrog over Japan and the United States to take the top spot, with the luxury segment expanding to 180 billion yuan ($28 billion).BAD TIMING?The Louis Vuitton maison, one of 16 similar boutiques in the world, is located in Shanghai's address for luxury goods: the swanky Plaza 66 mall, where rival brands such as Chanel and Prada also have stores.Spanning four levels and with more than 100 staff, the store is currently the only one in China that offers custom bags and shoes. The company declined to say how much it spent on the boutique."Being in this made-to-order market needs sophisticated customers who know what they are talking about and own several bags, if not dozens of bags," Carcelle said."That's why the haute maroquinerie and made-to-order-shoes... are important to demonstrate in China," he said, using the French word for luxury leather crafts."As long as we didn't have this space to show them to our clients, in a world that is changing fast, we were missing our weapons," he said.Louis Vuitton's timing, however, may be less than ideal.Luxury spending is softening in China as the economy weakens. Economic growth slowed to its lowest level in three years last quarter. Britain's Burberry said last week its sales had been hit by the slowdown in China.Carcelle declined to comment on the state of the Chinese economy or its impact on luxury spending, but said he sees more "maisons" opening up in the capital Beijing and Hangzhou, a thriving trade hub in eastern China.He said Chinese consumers had rapidly matured into luxury connoisseurs, and the company needed to cater to both first-time buyers and sophisticated shoppers."Maybe in the West, this trend took 20 years but here it takes 5 years from the first purchase to the willingness to have more sophisticated products and services," Carcelle said.($1 = 6.3729 Chinese yuan)(Editing by Emily Kaiser and Miral Fahmy)- A curated list of the good things in life- Contributors from Forbes, TechCrunch, Condé Nast Traveler, Mashable and Luxist- Advertising managed by Halogen Media Group, with initial advertisers including BMW, Coach and Burberry- Upcoming functionality will include community reviews, luxury ranking and on-the-go recommendations with the Pursuitist iPhone AppPursuitist, the premiere luxury lifestyle blog, has officially launched at While in beta, the Pursuitist editors have diligently curated a rich list of the good things in life to share with affluent readers. With categories that include Arts, Auto, Epicurean, Family, Green, House, Style, Tech and Travel, the Pursuitist aspires to be the Huffington Post for Luxury. Coinciding with the launch, a few of the new contributors sharing their favorite luxuries include Carrie Coolidge (Luxist, Forbes), Paul Carr (Techcrunch, The Guardian), Gretchen Kelly (New York Post), Erica Swallow (Mashable, CosmoGirl.com), Shandana Durrani (Condé Nast Traveler, Glamour) and Leila Cohan-Miccio (Saveur).International contributors include Holly Boyle in London and Vilte S. Holstad in Paris, capturing the excitement and pulse of fashion, art and life in these vibrant cities.“Pursuitist is luxury redefined. It’s about finding and sharing the good things in life. To inspire, educate and be relevant. Pursuitists are ahead of the curve and authentic,” said Christopher Parr, CEO and Publisher of Pursuitist. Parr is an award-winning 10-year luxury online marketing veteran, a frequent speaker at luxury and interactive marketing conferences and a pioneer in web publishing. In 1996, Michael Wolff’s NetGuide named Parr’s inaugural online magazine as “The Best Site of the Year” at MacWorld.The Pursuitist is also a targeted advertising platform for luxury brands to connect with affluent readers. While in beta, advertisers on the site have included Burberry, BMW, Coach, Broadmoor Hotel, Chase Bank, Audemars Piguet, Cosmopolitan Hotel and Effen Vodka. Halogen Media Group, with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, manages advertising for the site.Bringing on world class content producers exemplifies Pursuitists understanding of influencer media and the importance of providing brand advertisers with an environment where they can interact with consumers alongside relevant content. Were thrilled to bring branded content from the worlds best brands to Pursuitist and its loyal readers, said Greg Shove, CEO of Halogen Media Group.Luxury fashion brands featured on the site include Prada, Louis Vuitton, Dolce Gabbana, Hermès, Gucci, Versace, Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Dior, Fendi and Roberto Cavalli. The editors have also highlighted amazing luxury destinations, including Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts, Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Disneyworld’s Grand Floridian, InterContinental Resorts, Conrad Hotels, The Plaza and the Waldorf Astoria. Bentley, BMW, Lexus, Bugatti, Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Audi, Lamborghini, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz are a few of the luxury auto brands that have been spotlighted on the blog.Upcoming functionality to the site will include community reviews, luxury ranking, flash sales, Facebook integration and on-the-go recommendations with the Pursuitist iPhone App.On the web at: Read below Christopher Parrs interview with Luxury Daily, regarding working with BMW, Marc Jacobs and Jimmy Choo:Read more posts on Luxury companies are complacently selling to their established customers while ignoring the next generation of millennials.This attitude could jeopardize future business because millennials are "skeptical" about luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Burberry, according to a report by So far, luxury brands have taken the easy way out and marketed to their reliable customers."Luxury marketers face a challenge repositioning their brands for this next generation of highly-educated, soon to be affluent young people," Danziger says."Luxury brands will have to adapt to meet this next generation of luxury consumers in the marketplace."Reaching the younger generation is challenging because research shows that young people think that luxury brands are overpriced and aren't worth the expense.While millennials aren't making up much of the market now, Danziger predicts that by 2020 many will be affluent and buying more expensive goods.Marketing to younger people should be luxury brands' top priority, according to Danziger:"Understanding the aspirations of Millennials for a luxury lifestyle is critical for luxury brands, including what money, status, and success means to them. They will need to both innovate with new products, services, marketing strategies and branding concepts, as well as let go of old ideas that will prove ineffective, even counterproductive, for marketing to this new generation."DON'T MISS: Joshua Linam of IGNs Askmen.com has named the . Christopher Parr, Pursuitist CEO EIC, is included on this great list, which also includes Luis Fernandez, Timo Weiland, Michael Macko, James Andrew and Ryan Cook. The bloggers, designers and luxury marketing gurus showcased on the list share their favorite fashion brands and style advice. Parr, our very own EIC, shares his go-to style staples which includes J.Crew, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Belstaff, TAG Heuer, Cole Haan adding When traveling, I grab my Belstaff jacket and go with a Barbour bag tossed over my shoulder its stocked with my iPad 2, a few Cuban cigars and Johnnie Walker Black flask.Christopher Parr might be described as the renaissance man of luxury fashion. An award-winning luxury marketer, writer, web-publishing pioneer, and go-to speaker at luxury and interactive marketing conferences, the man stays busy. Presently CEO and chief editor at Pursuitist, Parr launched the site as a curated list of all the good things in life. He recruits contributors from Forbes, TechCrunch, Glamour, Saveur, and more, to share their favorite luxury items and adventures. For over 15 years, Parr has consulted with brands on , online buzz marketing to online engagement – and has been a pioneer in web publishing, content creation, iPad app development, blogs and viral videos. In 1996, Michael Wolffs NetGuide named Parrs inaugural online magazine as The Best Site of the Year at MacWorld.Read more posts on Christopher Parr is an industry leader with over 15 years of experience in digital marketing. He is an award-winning veteran, writer, a frequent speaker at luxury and interactive marketing conferences and a pioneer in web publishing. He launched as a curated list of the good things in life, with guest contributors from Forbes, Mashable, TechCrunch, Glamour, Saveur and more sharing their favorite luxuries. Askmen.com recently named him , his family is featured in , , and Milton Pedraza, CEO, Luxury Institute, calls him One of the top expert practitioners in global luxury in marketing with a particular expertise in marketing, selling and engaging customers in the digital world. He is one of those professionals who executes brilliantly. He is innovative while looking out for the return on investmentIn 1996, Michael Wolffs NetGuide named s inaugural online magazine as The Best Site of the Year at MacWorld. He holds a MFA from Brandeis and a BA from Viterbo. Heres a QA with as he shares his digital strategy behind creating an authentic luxury platform to engage affluent readers and connect with luxury brands. Its a new age of blogging and editorial intersecting with digital luxury marketing and social media to create online buzz for the worlds best luxury brands. Can you talk a little bit about where you got the idea to start Pursuitist.com?The idea of Pursuitist.com was to create a travel, style and leisure destination for affluent consumers. For readers pursuing amazing fashion brands, hotels, restaurants, gadgets, experiences, and autos – Pursuitist is a destination site that curates the good things in life. We’ve brought in world-class content producers — remarkable writers sharing remarkable experiences. How has the experience of the site differed from what you expected it would become?It’s been a blast. As I tell my writers — write about remarkable people, products and experiences. We aspire to go beyond the bling – Pursuitist is luxury redefined. We focus on the artisans that make amazing handcrafted products – from a designer at Louis Vuitton to a 2nd generation organic winemaker in Napa. We pursue to tell the story and go behind the scenes. We officially launched in July. While in beta, the Pursuitist editors have diligently curated a rich list of the good things in life to share with affluent readers. Coinciding with the launch, a few of the new contributors sharing their favorite luxuries include remarkable writers.How does the site plan to attract affluent individuals?To build awareness, we’re launching a 360-degree advertising campaign. To attract and keep the right readers, our strategy includes word-of-month, PR, campaigns with Facebook, Twitter, banner ads on other affluent websites, and email marketing. Facebook integration is also a major tactic – the sharing, liking, and commenting is exclusively powered by Facebook to help us go viral and obtain more likeminded readers.What is your relationship to the brands you write about?As we’re able to serve up a targeted audience, luxury brands love our platform. We’re also very selective of the advertisers that appear on our site. Pursuitist is truly a targeted online destination for luxury advertisers to connect and engage with affluent consumers. Advertisers have included Burberry, Coach, Intel, BMW, Chase Bank, Audemars Piguet, Broadmoor Hotel and Cosmopolitan Hotel. The Pursuitist is a great place to be seen – as our readers are affluent (65% with an annual income of $75k and up) and influencers.How do you keep your content authentic?There’s a shortage of online destinations for affluent consumers seeking authentic experiences. Plenty of cold bling sites exist, focusing on editorial content with ultra premium and inaccessible luxuries. That’s the void, and why Pursuitist was created — there’s not another site like us. Pursuitist is one destination site with 9 targeted sections (Arts, Auto, Epicurean, Family, Green, House, Style, Tech and Travel) – best described as an online mashup of The Huffington Post and Conde Nast.Our editorial is also different — from our travel journals to our features on amazing artisans and clever destinations. With friendlier and accessible narratives – our readers tell us they feel like insiders, along for the ride.In general, what kind of lift can this kind of content offer brands? Is this something they should focus on getting more of?We’ve also worked quite closely with other luxury brands to organically integrate and feature their products – from Four Seasons, Hermes, Patron, Gucci, Prada, Robert Mondavi Wine, Ralph Lauren, Lobel Steaks of New York, to Chanel. As we only focus on premier brands and destinations, we are selective of the brands we feature. It’s a terrific halo effect – to be “Pursuitist Recommended.”Do most brands react to what you write? How do they respond to your content?They love it. The brands, from Marc Jacobs, Land Rover to Viking Range prefer to re-tweet and link to our editorial on their social media channels. (See an example of Marc Jacobs leveraging Pursuitist’s editorial .)Also read, Luxury Daily News: Read more posts on Luxury brands including Louis Vuitton and Burberry are having difficulty expanding in China because there isn't enough prime real estate to go around.According to a, four out of the five fastest-growing real estate markets are in China. But luxury retailers have trouble finding commercial space that's up to their standards and won't settle for the more up-and-coming neighborhoods.Still, China will continue to dominate development, according to the report: eight out of the 10 fastest-growing markets are there. Even though luxury retailers are puzzling over how to expand, middle-class shopping malls are popping up everywhere.- A curated list of the good things in life- Contributors from Forbes, TechCrunch, Condé Nast Traveler, Mashable and Luxist- Advertising managed by Halogen Media Group, with initial advertisers including BMW, Coach and Burberry- Upcoming functionality will include community reviews, luxury ranking and on-the-go recommendations with the Pursuitist iPhone AppPursuitist, the premiere luxury lifestyle blog, has officially launched at While in beta, the Pursuitist editors have diligently curated a rich list of the good things in life to share with affluent readers. With categories that include Arts, Auto, Epicurean, Family, Green, House, Style, Tech and Travel, the Pursuitist aspires to be the Huffington Post for Luxury. Coinciding with the launch, a few of the new contributors sharing their favorite luxuries include Carrie Coolidge (Luxist, Forbes), Paul Carr (Techcrunch, The Guardian), Gretchen Kelly (New York Post), Erica Swallow (Mashable, CosmoGirl.com), Shandana Durrani (Condé Nast Traveler, Glamour) and Leila Cohan-Miccio (Saveur).International contributors include Holly Boyle in London and Vilte S. Holstad in Paris, capturing the excitement and pulse of fashion, art and life in these vibrant cities.“Pursuitist is luxury redefined. It’s about finding and sharing the good things in life. To inspire, educate and be relevant. Pursuitists are ahead of the curve and authentic,” said Christopher Parr, CEO and Publisher of Pursuitist. Parr is an award-winning 10-year luxury online marketing veteran, a frequent speaker at luxury and interactive marketing conferences and a pioneer in web publishing. In 1996, Michael Wolff’s NetGuide named Parr’s inaugural online magazine as “The Best Site of the Year” at MacWorld.The Pursuitist is also a targeted advertising platform for luxury brands to connect with affluent readers. While in beta, advertisers on the site have included Burberry, BMW, Coach, Broadmoor Hotel, Chase Bank, Audemars Piguet, Cosmopolitan Hotel and Effen Vodka. Halogen Media Group, with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, manages advertising for the site.Bringing on world class content producers exemplifies Pursuitists understanding of influencer media and the importance of providing brand advertisers with an environment where they can interact with consumers alongside relevant content. Were thrilled to bring branded content from the worlds best brands to Pursuitist and its loyal readers, said Greg Shove, CEO of Halogen Media Group.Luxury fashion brands featured on the site include Prada, Louis Vuitton, Dolce Gabbana, Hermès, Gucci, Versace, Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Dior, Fendi and Roberto Cavalli. The editors have also highlighted amazing luxury destinations, including Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts, Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Disneyworld’s Grand Floridian, InterContinental Resorts, Conrad Hotels, The Plaza and the Waldorf Astoria. Bentley, BMW, Lexus, Bugatti, Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Audi, Lamborghini, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz are a few of the luxury auto brands that have been spotlighted on the blog.Upcoming functionality to the site will include community reviews, luxury ranking, flash sales, Facebook integration and on-the-go recommendations with the Pursuitist iPhone App.On the web at: Read below Christopher Parrs interview with Luxury Daily, regarding working with BMW, Marc Jacobs and Jimmy Choo:Read more posts on  flagship store in Herald is getting a $400 million facelift, scheduled for completion in 2015.The overhaul of the landmark department store, which was built in 1902, will add some 100,000 square feet of space and give the shopping mecca a sleek new look, .Some parts of the renovation have already been completed. Macy's recently debuted its revamped shoe section, dubbed "The World's Largest Shoe Floor," which includes a cafe space that serves coffee, Moet Chandon champagne, and hand-made chocolates from Vosges Haut Chocolate.And the store plans to debut its new main floor in time for the upcoming holiday season. It will feature a trio of luxury shops from Burberry, Longchamps, and Gucci that will be "second only in scale to each brand's own flagship location," according to Macy's.Macy's shared a few photos of its new shoe department and a rendering of the new main floor with us.Here's what the luxury shops will look like when they're completed in December 2012Courtesy of Macy'sMacy's new shoe department opened earlier this month on the second floorCourtesy of Macy'sThe department offers 280,000 pairs of shoes, according to the AP.Courtesy of Macy'sThe new department is sleek and white, and designers are given top billing.Courtesy of Macy'sIn 2006, the Wisconsin State Journal interviewed Madison web designer, writer, online marketing and social media professional of about web design and marketing for Madison, Wisconsin businesses. Wisconsin State Journal published the interview in the articles: , and . He recently rediscovered the original QA with the Wisconsin State Journal reporter and is publishing the original interview, in its entirety, as a perspective on the short history of successful online marketing and strategy. Q. Why should a Madison business have a website?A website is a spoke on the communications and branding wheel. It helps to convey a message, along side of TV, print, mobile, point-of-purchase and enewsletters. An effective company utilizes all of these mediums to their advantage. Consumers have many options, so you can’t just rely on TV or the web to get your message out. Some consumers use the web to perform research, some use magazines. A website helps to complete the picture and capture your audience. However, a website is the most engaging medium. TV and print are passive. The consumer can only watch or turn the page. A business can’t tell the whole story with a print ad. Print is great for grabbing attention, but you need to learn more. With a website, on the other hand, consumers can delve further. It’s interactive; they control where to go, what they want to learn. Q. What kinds of businesses need what kinds of websites? Are there specific types of sites that fit specific types of Madison businesses?A. All businesses, large or small, need a website; from a Fortune 100 company, to a coffee house, to a local artist. For a local company, like a restaurant or coffee house, present hours of operation, directions and the menu. And add interactive components, like the ability to create online reservations or sign up for e-coupons. Everyone is busy, so tell the story of why people should go out of their way to visit your store. And personalize it; incorporate humanistic touches to your site. Computers and most websites are cold, you can’t connect. Add in a greeting from the owner or include a picture of the staff. Make it real. In creating an effective website, content is king. Perhaps a coffee house could have a blog; write about new blends or recommendations, stories at the coffee house, feature the baristas. My wife, Alison Relyea-Parr, is a children’s book illustration – she has a website at She no longer needs to be based in New York. Publishers search and find her, which is a reversal on the selection process when artists would take their portfolios door to door to the publishing houses. The editors find her, and browse her work, at their leisure. So from blogs, websites to creating a profile for your business on Facebook, use the web to network with your customers online. The ability to connect to prospects, and nurture your current customer, is key. Q. If you had to categorize different kinds of Madison business websites out there, how would you categorize them?A. There are 100 different web strategies for 100 different Madison companies. Look at your objectives and business plan. What fits, what doesn’t? If you don’t need to go overboard, don’t do it. Some companies create an informational site to educate consumers and capture leads, so they can remarket to them via email or brochures. E-commerce is the way to go with companies offering tangible goods – in creating a national customer base. Q. What are some common mistakes Madison businesses make when theyre trying to get on the web? What do people tend to do wrong when theyre developing a web presence and selecting a Madison web designer?A. There can be many mistakes in creating a website. Speed is an issue, creating a slow site will make your customers quickly click away. Many print designers create all graphic sites that uniformly fail; while they can design fantastic brochures, the web is a totally different medium. Spend time on usability and how people access information. It’s the flow of information, hold the hand of your customer and guide them through your website. Don’t make it a mystery. Know your audience. Create a site for the customer, not what someone in your company or an agency “thinks” the site should say or do. Also, consider the new visitor — look at your site with this fresh perspective — and explain who you are and what you offer at a brief glance.Get the facts. You may go with a Madison web designer or developer because you admire one of the sites they created — but the web designer who created the site is no longer there or it was outsourced. Perhaps they just host the site — and someone else designed it. Ask who’s working on your project; find out skills and experience; call their clients and ask if they delivered as promised.The other mistake is being tied to a proprietary technology which drives your website. You end up getting married to a vendor that will milk the relationship for all it’s worth. Ask for a site that can be completely handed off to your internal staff or to another web firm, if need be. Go open source. Consider WordPress. Q. What is something that all Madison businesses should do with their web presence that not a lot do?Ideally, use your business to add value to my life. Make it worth my time – and be creative about it. Even local companies can get into the game. Great examples include Milios and Klinke Cleaners. At milios.com, customers can order their sandwiches online, for pickup or delivery. Over at klinkecleaners.com, customers can download coupons and can be alerted via email when their garments are ready for pickup.Q. If you dont have an e-commerce section to your website (and youd like one) how do you know youre ready to start it up? And, how do you make that happen?E-commerce can be a blessing and curse. If you begin receiving orders, you need to have the infrastructure in place to handle customer service, order status, product availability and delivery. Everyone wants their stuff fast – you need to meet or exceed their expectations. If you’re a larger company, turn to a web consulting firm to implement an e-commerce solution. Ideally, find a company that’s done this numerous times. They should provide a turn-key solution. Always select a web design and development firm with a track record; otherwise, they’ll stumble and delay the process – which will probably cost you more in the long run.For smaller Madison businesses, or a one-person business, you can also create an inexpensive e-commerce solution offered from Amazon, Yahoo or Ebay. Their “stores” offer low overhead, wide distribution – and you don’t need to be on the Geek Squad to set it up., CEO of , is an award-winning writer and online marketing strategist. Since 1995, the Madison, Wisconsin-based internet pioneer and marketer has launched numerous successful web projects, viral videos and online marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies. In addition to creating blogging and buzz marketing platforms, services include . In 1996, Michael Wolffs NetGuide named s inaugural online magazine as The Best Site of the Year at MacWorld. He holds a MFA from Brandeis and a BA from Viterbo. Visit to learn more.Does a great job of generating an experience- Douglas Coupland (author of Generation X)Delightfully rich and original- Roger Black (author of Web Sites That Work)Christopher Parr one of the Top 20 Most Influential People in Madison- Madison MagazineLuxury Daily News: Askmen.com names Christopher Parr NYTimes: Wisconsin State Journal: Read more posts on Last year, British retailer Marks Spencer convinced to leave Victoria Secret and promote its new Brazilian-cut underwear.The line has been so successful, reports the , that it saved new CEO Marc Bolland from a battle over his pay package, which includes a 250% bonus on his 950,000 base salary.There was talk of a shareholder's revolt at the company's annual meeting at Festival Hall on London's South Bank this week, but since lingerie sales jumped by 3.2%, analysts say he was protected against the pushback., a UK lobby group that recently encouraged shareholders to revolt at , was behind the potential revolt.The that it wasn't only the underwear sales that appeased shareholders; it was the meeting itself. Guests at Festival Hall were greeted with vanilla ice cream and wine, and a presentation by model Twiggy. The company's chairman also introduced a new edition to the lingerie line.At the previous , there were shareholder revolts over CEO pay packages.If the top luxury brands collided with McDonalds, youd get a mashup similar to the below. The concepts are created by Access, a design agency from the mind of The Cool Hunters Bill Tikos. Imagine a high-fashion makeover of McDonalds and youd have, ta-da, McFancy Who wouldnt want a Burberry Burger, Gucci Fries, Paul Smith Sundae, or DG water.?Waiters in tuxedos, silver service, private dining areas, and packaging co-created with the fashion brands that present at Fashion Week — Burberry burgers, Chanel fries on black packaging, Paul Smith Sundaes…A bit of fun among the serious business of fashion. A bite of comfort food among all the elaborate cocktail fare, Private dining rooms, a raised catwalk that winds around the perimeter of the space, and with a central bar area providing a dramatic focal point. The ceiling is constructed from stretched fabric, ribbed to provide articulation and define zones. The form of the ceiling is accentuated through the use of LED lighting. Read more posts on ReutersHermes in Mumbai. By Boby Kurian Reeba ZachariahEver noticed how the staffers at a luxury store look as premium as the products they sell? Maybe that's because they've been powdered and puffed, pampered and indulged enough to ensure they never leave. At Aditya Birla's luxury fashion chain, The Collective, for instance, they are the million-dollar employees - the ones who bring in annual sales worth $1 million. And keeping them in high spirits can only result in more moolah.Gone are the days of the over-eager 'salesman' with his oily smile and sweaty handshake. The new store executive is sharp and suave, and effortlessly showcases the product he's selling. Marquee global brands are lavishing attention on picking, training and retaining high-class staff only for the close ties they strike with the upper crest of India's spending class.So while some brands offer their employees a retention bonus to stay put, others such as , Ermenegildo Zegna and Dior have gone a step ahead and reinvented the look and feel of their store to attract well-groomed and qualified staff that has now taken on the role of brand custodian and fashion consultant.Why Employees Are PamperedConsultancy firm McKinsey estimates that over nine million Indian households are a target for luxury brands, and about 40 per cent of them - some of whom don't mind spending a few lakh rupees on a single store visits - are between Mumbai and Delhi. Not surprisingly, picking the right staff is top priority-luxury brands are focusing on making experienced hires from aviation and hospitality backgrounds while many more CEOs are descending on fashion institutes and finishing schools for campus recruitment. "There's a new store culture attracting staff from good middle-class families," says Tommy Hilfiger CEO Sailesh Chaturvedi. "We make it a point to listen to them and provide them direct access to the top brass. They drive the shopping experience that is crucial to branding these days."It pays to be an executive at a high-end store. The store manager of a luxury retailer in Mumbai's Palladium Mall takes home more than Rs. 20 lakh per year, while store staff is paid between Rs. 4 lakh and 6 lakh annually. Retired models and India-returned NRI housewives take up jobs as consultants at some stores, much like students from pedigree institutions and working models in Europe and the Far East take up commission-based work at Gucci or Prada stores on weekends."These people look at life and a career differently," says Shital Mehta, who heads The Collective. "They're not terribly excited about becoming mere store managers; it's interacting with the well-heeled that draws them." And working at a luxury store is a definite step-up in the food chain for any executive. "It connects me with the wealthy," says Navin Sonawanneya, 30, assistant store manager at Tod's which is known for its shoes and bags. "You develop a bond with them, they value your suggestions, and on occasion they call you home."Some brands go so far as to prepare a career road map as part of their employee retention strategy. Diesel, for instance, puts every store employee on a professional enhancement programme. "There are store staffers who have gone on to become visual merchandisers, buyers and designing talents," says Darshan Mehta, CEO, Reliance Brands, which operates a JV with Diesel.Burberry's country head, Nalini Gupta, argues that India's retail story has become a serious career option as several luxury and high-street retailers like Hermes and upscale men's clothier Tom enter the country, braving economic uncertainties. "A talent pool for selling luxury brands has now started to build up in India," says N S Rajan, partner, Ernst Young, "and business school grads are adding to the intelligence quotient of their sales personnel".This originally appeared at .iframe src=http://www.businessinsider.com/embed?id=5063cc6c6bb3f73b01000015amp;width=600amp;height=430 width=600 height=430 border=0 frameborder=0/iframePerhaps its the Pinterest Effect the social media network that is all about the visual side of life, but more and more brands, especially the big boys on the brand block, arejoining the mobile only app that, as per allows users to take a photo, apply a digitalfilterto it, and then share it with other Instagram users they are connected to on thesocial networkas well as on a variety ofsocial networkingservices.Originally available only to owners and now available to users as well, Instagram has seen a remarkable growth in the first seven months of 2012 going from 15 million users in early 2012 to 80 million in July an increase of over 400% in just seven months. Now I was hardly a math major in school but thats some pretty impressive numbers I would say.Apparently big brands are taking notice as according to a study conducted by, 40% of the brands listed inTop 100 have set up shop on Instagram.Now obviously the penetration rate for Instagram among the big brands is light years behind the big dogs -Facebook(which happens to own Instagram) and but you have to remember that Instagram is still a young company and is, as previously mentioned, available only via a mobile platform. Its for those reasons Simply Measured referred to Instagrams growth as very impressive and I would surely agree.And I would surely agree and recommend that all brand managers and brand marketers, who are not currently active on Instagram on behalf of their brands, get active in a hurry.The Good Reason Part Of My TitleBack in MayI wrote.The rationale behind my statement was for the simple fact that Pinterest was extremely popular among women, AKA the people who make the majority of household purchase decisions.And Instagram while not yet possessing the same gaudy numbers as Pinterest when it comes to the number of female users or the amount of trust women place in it, does have a user base that is nearly 70% female according to data from.According to Simply Measured, the leaders in the Instgram clubhouse right now are luxury brands with Burberry, and Gucci among the brands with highest number of followers. From the chart below you'll also see that andStarbuckshave the highest number of followers overall among brands but upon further review you can see that brands such as Audi and are doing a better job in terms of engagement as witnessed by the number of likes and comments in relation to their overall number of followers.In ClosingObviously if youre a brand manager or brand marketer you need to stop what you are doing and set up an Instagram account right away for the future of the free world depends on it.Ok, maybe not the entire free world and perhaps I am being a bit melodramatic but the fact remains that consumers more and more of them, are using Instagram, just as they are, Twitter,Google+ and Pinterest. And if youre not including Instagram as part of your social media strategies which should be part of your overall, you are missing out on a golden opportunity to move that needle.From the conclusion of the Simply Measured study:For brands that continue to hold out and watch as their competition is engaging users and measuring results, 80 million potential customers are being ignored.Put that in your marketing hat and smoke it 80 million (and growing) potential customers being ignored.Sources:,,GoogleImagesNamed one of the(#41) by Social Technology Review and aby Kred,is a freelance copywriter/blogger currently looking for full-time work. He has worked on some of the biggest brands in the world and has over 20 years experience in advertising and marketing. He lives in Philly and can be reached via,,or his.Readers of New York Magazine's fashion blog The Cut are in for a treat when they check in on the site Monday morning.That's when the the company plans to reveal its all new version of the bloga standalone website that will move outside its current editorial milieu of style and gossip to take on a wide range of topics that interest women, from sex and relationships to health and media. And it's putting a whole new emphasis on photos."Our goal was to create a mash-up between a high-end fashion magazine and a blog," said , editor-in-chief of New York Magazine.From what we saw, The Cut's new format could give traditional print glossies a run for their money. Images on the site appear at a super-high resolution and slideshows will feature a zoom function, meaning readers can get up close and personal with a sexy pair of shoes or a makeup smudge on a runway model's face.The site also invested heavily in its image inventory, creating 100 new celebrity Look Books (in the style of the ) and hiring freelance street photographers around the world to capture the looks of the moment.Maureen O'Connor, formerly of Gawker, will helm the new site's features section, Love War, which she said would experiment with "first-person confessionals" alongside commentary and longer pieces. Another new feature we're eagerly awaiting is "Celeberotica," in which a romance novelist is asked to reimagine tabloid stories.Altogether, there are now 11 editorial staffers on the website, including seven new hires. The new Cut will also make heavy use of outside contributors, Moss said.The launch comes as women's sites in generalBuzzfeed's , The Grindstoneare on the rise. Moss said that by expanding outside the sphere of fashion, the website hoped to capture a wider audience.It's also a boon for advertisers. Fashion is the largest single advertising category for New York Magazine, up 34 percent from last year, and digital now accounts for 40 percent of its ad revenue, said publisher Larry Burstein. Five advertisers, including Bottega Veneta, Burberry, and Cartier, have signed on for the site's launch, for campaigns that he said would "replicate print ads."While the site doesn't have any specific e-commerce plans in place for the launch, that could come next, Burstein said. And it makes sense, considering that another section of the site, Goods, will feature a range of click-to-buy products, from bargain finds to looks straight from the runway.We were big fans of The Cut before, and are excited to see what the new version brings.Here's a preview of the new homepage, TheCut.com. Click to enlarge.One of the first people to go to trial for criminal acts during the London riots is a 31 year old primary school teacher named Alexis Bailey, reports . He plead guilty to burglary with the intent to steal. He's out on bail, but has been given a curfew.London Magistrates and their staff have been working around the clock to deal with large numbers of individuals arrested during the riots. But they don't always have the power to sentence them.Chair of magistrates Melvyn Marks told the court many of the cases had aggravating features, occurring "in the middle of a very violent riot", which meant magistrates had insufficient sentencing powers."Because of the nature of this offense and because of the circumstances, we have taken the view that there are too many aggravating features on this case and our powers of punishment are not enough."Naturally, most of the crimes that the court has been related to looting -- robbing a , stealing Burberry shirts, two men went to trial for pushing around a shopping cart full of power tools that they had "found".Here's a video of Bailey leaving Wood Green Crown Court, where most of the sentencing is being done. He's covering his face with a newspaper, but you can see it clearly around second 7.Follow 10 Things Before the Opening Bell and never miss an update! Please Note: Business Insider will never share your information with any other companies. You also have the ability to unsubscribe from these newsletters at any time simply by following the unsubscribe link located at the bottom of each email Warning: This video (below) is gross.Bet she is wishing she had all those high-powered handlers around her now to prevent this embarrassment.Even Fox News is covering this.Oh, and check out the Burberry scarf she's wearing in the video (below). Fancy, fancy!: Alaska Governor Sarah Palin officially pardoned a turkey for Thanksgiving at a farm in Wasilla, Alaska on Thursday, then conducted a television interview as another bird was clearly seen being slaughtered in the background.As the former Republican vice presidential nominee spoke with a KTUU-TV reporter about returning to work in Alaska, just a few feet behind her a Triple D Farms worker is seen feeding a turkey into a grinder, periodically turning around to watch the on-going interview.Palin, who called the pardoning experience "neat" was reportedly told by the station videographer what was going on behind her, but allowed the interview to continue.Pardoning a turkey is tradition for governors in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, following a White House custom that began in 1947.Within the last couple of years GQs multi-winning designer-of-the-year Paul Smith has opened shops in and , hoping to finally crack that American market. Each of these buildings reflects an architectural through-line back to Paul Smith himself: colorful, drawing influences from sport, history, art, pop-culture or modern architecture. Paul Smith the brand continues to open stand-alone shops throughout the world, including this past month with a new 3-story flagship in Seoul, South Korea, featuring Paul Smiths personal art collection on its walls. British designer Paul Smith is not a household name in America; not yet. Where the French have always had a reputation for womens fashion, it is the Brits, well, Londons Savile Row specifically, that has the well-earned reputation for turning out men in bespoke suits, fitting the countrys elite and sophisticated and, yes, the wealthy in clothes that definitely make the man. But, truth be told, these companies churning out high-end mens fashion havent been British in the strictest sense for decades; they can be, and are often, owned by multinational corporations headquartered in France, Italy or Japan. The designers, and their sense of style, most assuredly rock a British idiom that push past typical Savile Row boundaries, leaving the shores of England as fast as any Virgin airlines jet can whisk them away. The globalization of British mens and womens fashion is certainly alive and well from Asia through to America, with the likes of British (and award-winning) designers like Christopher Bailey (), John Galliano (), and recently departed influencing the way men and woman are dressing. Bringing us back to the iconic British designer Paul Smith, who is arguably the most successful designer in British history. Knighted by the Queen in 2000, Paul Smiths fashion strengths have always played to a mans sensibility: well-made clothing with just a touch of unique style as seen in his signature multicolored stripes. Sir Pauls fashion house, still independently owned, supposedly has revenues now past $600 million from 48 different countries, including 12 different mens and womens lines, licensing and limited edition deals with Evian water, cameras, Cross pens, Barneys New York, luggage, furniture, skis, and the list and revenues go on (and on). In his book Paul Smith: you can find inspiration in everything (2003), Sir Paul says that we should seek to be childlike, not childish; and that the key to staying inspired is to see and to think about the world horizontally, where we can find inspiration from all of the things around us (not other designers). As Paul Smith expansion continues around the globe, his personal inspiration is sure to follow. Diamonds, Burberry, Rolex, Lacoste - yes, they may have more sales and inventory problems than 2003, but they are surviving. What can the small business owner learn from these individuals?...When in doubt, they're buying the most expensiveEntrepreneurs, upon going into business frequently make the mistake of lowering the cost of their product or service due to the perception that this is the only way to gain new business. They think that paying the "no profit dues" is the sole means to get in the door.As a small business, pricing your product or service correctly is nothing short of critical.When it comes to deciphering what you should charge for a given product or service, I've compiled three of the most crucial pricing tips to help your start-up sustain growth, successfully maintain the company's existing client base, as well feel that you are being compensated adequately for your expertise:If You Want A Nice Diamond, Go To Tiffany'sWhen clients call into a potential vendor, they typically have no idea about the product or service that they are inquiring about. If they did, more likely than not they wouldn't be outsourcing the job.Therefore, many clients judge the quality of a product or a service based on its price. After all, the higher the price tag, the better it is likely to be.Although logic would say that the aforementioned statement proves to be entirely false, it is what your potential clients are thinking when you answer that RFP with an astonishingly low price.Another reason why you should shy away from being the price competitor at first is that the firms that are ultimately going to use you and that are going to become your clients are not going to want to deal with future price raises and are much less likely to be successfully sold on a parallel product or service that you're offering.Cheap Clients Don't Like Price IncreasesDon't go into the game thinking that the price increase that is going to strategically be implemented in a few months won't lose you clients.Any client, especially the bargain hunter is going to be livid when you convey the news that they had the introductory offer that has now expired. Either be prepared to be known as the cheapest and form your business plan accordingly or begin in the price tier that you believe you have the best chance of competing in.If you don't want to be the cheapest, there are a few highly persuasive ways in which you can implement that will result both in you getting the fee that you deserve and will also result in the client feeling that he or she got a fair price.Cushioning The Blow - Higher Price 1stI like to refer to this tactic as cushioning the blow because upon giving a quote, you always want to give two different options or packages. The first or more expensive package can even be a dummy product.Whether the package is real doesn't matter because the buyer is going to often opt for the second mentioned or cheaper package your firm offers to its clients.Essentially, what you are doing is easing the blow regarding your costs and mitigating the chances of the potential client leaving to further price shop by stating and describing the more costly package first.This way, the regular package that you are seeking you sell them on seems very reasonable and logical to purchase.The Non-Exist ant CFOJust as you can soften the blow by quoting the higher price first, you can also soften your own image in your client's eyes by relying on a third party to play the bad guy when it comes to pricing.If your "CFO" has set a certain price minimum, or if you have otherwise number-based "rules" to follow, it is harder for a client to argue the price.Since numbers are what they are, and do not depend on your positive feelings for one client or another, setting up a third party bad cop (you could be the CFO of your start-up, but they don't know that) takes the potential for taking it personally out of the equation.APModels walk in the finale for Burberry's Mens Fall-Winter 2012/13 runway, at the start of Milan Fashion Week.Burberry, the British luxury firm known for its iconic check pattern and trench coat, saw revenue surge 21% to 574 million, or $883 million, for the three months ending December 31.Top line results were bolstered by 13% comparable sales growth, as London, Paris, Beijing and Las Vegas flagships performed above the company's financial plan."Our investment in flagship markets and digital technology has enabled our global teams to continue to drive customer engagement, enhance retail disciplines and improve operational effectiveness, further strengthening brand momentum," CEO Angela Ahrendts said.Burberry saw lift from the launch of its news women's fragrance line, Burberry Body, as well as the opening of six mainline stores, including one in So Paulo.However results were again driven by its core outerwear and large leather goods product, accounting for close to half of retail sales. The company said its fastest growing categories were knitwear, mens accessories and tailoring, perfume and watches.Burberry showed its men's fall 2012 collection in Milan this weekend to critical review. Following on past success, the company will allow customers to pre-order goods seen on the runway directly after the show, an uncommon practice amongst luxury players.Ahrendts' firm has benefitted from this strong online format, which includes the ability to tap demand at its height after a show, and through social media pushes like ArtoftheTrench.com."Looking ahead, we remain focused on executing our proven core strategies to achieve long-term sustainable growth, while staying mindful of the challenging macro environment," she said.Burberry will announce full year results on May 23APRetail sales are expected to climb 3.4% in 2012 to $2.53 trillion, cooling from growth of nearly 5% last year, the .The NRF attributes the slowing gains to a stalled employment picture and slow job creation.Our 2012 forecast is a vote of confidence in the retail industry and our ability to succeed even in a challenging economy,"NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "Retailers have played a key role in driving growth, but to continue this momentum we need Washington to act on proposals that will spur job creation and unleash the power of the private sector.Retailers had mostly finished 2011 on a positive note, with , the owner of brands like T.J. Maxx and Home Goods, posting comparable sale gains of 8%. Others saw similar improvements: , up 7%, (including its high-end Bloomingdale's brand) up 6.2%, and up 8.7%.But the industry started off the new year on unstable footing. While luxury players like , other big firms have issued profit warnings. New York Company, the mid-sized apparel company that has struggled with profitability over the past several quarters, said last week it expected gross margins to erode further.Over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend, big-box stores including announced near fire sales. Discounts reached up to 80% at the Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, chain, with ruffle dresses priced at $13.60, from $60.If the 3.4% growth estimates hold, the sector would outpace economic expansion in the U.S., with economists now forecasting growth slightly above 2%.According to local report, Shanda is investing over RMB 2 billion (US$ 309 million) in ecommerce site with two other undisclosed participants. Founded by Ge Binbin, the former head of Goldcool Games, Pinju is set to debut in this Oct. Ge said that Shanda accounts for 40% of the total sum, or US$ 1.23 million.Pinju is still under beta testing, the latest comer to the highly crowded and fierce competing Chinese ecommerce market is featuring all kinds of goods ranging from cosmetics, clothes, maternity and baby products, electric appliance, home supplies, health products, 3C products to luxurious brands including Hermes, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Armani, Gucci and so on. It seems Pinju is positioned to be an online general store.Its known to all that majority of Chinese online shopping sites(except for 360buy, the Chinese B2C giant announced its departure with Alipay because of high commission fee) partner with, using the latters online payment solution, whereas Pinju will feature, the online payment offering by shanda. That makes sense, just likerefers its customers to, Tencents approach to online payment.Shanda has long been rumored to keep an eye on the lucrative and promising Chinese ecommerce waterfront, according to the Beijing-based market research firm iResearch, the market size will passes RMB 10 trillion (US$ 154.6 billion) by 2013, how can one miss out on a chunk from this.Sina has launched a luxury B2C site called Sina Shepin (????) at the URL .Sina Shepin has different categories such as handbags, apparel, watch and jewelry, covering over 50 brands includes LV?Balenciaga?Gucci?Dior?Burberry. Sina asserts that all products sold on the site are genuine, quality products.Sinas entry into online luxury follows a number of other Chinese internet giants, including Netease (NASDAQ: NTES) and Tencent (0700.HK). Netease launched its luxury shopping platform, , in July 2010. Tencent invested in B2C jewelry site  in July 2011.Research agency Analysys International finds that luxury e-commerce sales reached RMB 3.45 billion in Q2 2011. Annual sales are expected to reach RMB 16 billion by the end of 2011.Original Chinese Source:  Read more posts on Burberry is officially the worlds most popular luxury brand online, having amassed more than 10 million Facebook fans on the social networking site. The London-based fashion house has embraced social media and digital marketing, and theyve been rewarded as their revenue has increased 29%. Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry, : “Burberry has delivered a strong first half, reflecting our continued investment in innovative design, digital marketing and retail strategies.”Ten million Facebook fans! Thank you so much for all your incredible support, Christopher Bailey, Burberrys Chief Creative Officer, posted on the Burberry Facebook page (with multiple images and a YouTube video, ). 10 million Facebook fans is a major achievement for Burberry as they take leadership on the social media platform this is almost more than Dior (5,920,960 fans) and Gucci (5,811,295) combined. Chanel is also at 5 million fans, followed by luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Dolce Gabbana. Burberry is regarded as one of the most forward-thinking luxury brands in the world. The New York University think-tank LuxuryLab the Worlds most Digitally Competent Luxury Brand in October. From live streams to runway shows to an arms race on social media platforms, brands are seeking the halo of innovation that comes from inspired online programming, Scott Galloway, professor and co-founder of LuxuryLab, . However, most fashion brands still approach digital as a series of pet projects rather than presenting a coherent multi-platform strategy. Although 94 per cent of brands in the Index have a presence on Facebook, one in five still lacks e-commerce capability.“Almost 100 percent of brands cite Facebook as a source of upstream traffic,” Galloway in August, 2011. “[Burberry] is getting more traffic from Facebook than Google. It’s the largest source of traffic to its site. Brands are transitioning from spending money on Google into Facebook programs. All of this [Facebook] traffic and investment is leading towards commerce.”What can you learn from Burberry?Luxury brands need to be focused and targeted online. On Facebook, they’re unique clubs that discerning fans want to join, the opposite of a Walmart for the masses that offers everything for everyone. The attraction, and connection, to a luxury brand is all about affiliation to a unique experience – it is a dream, a desire and something to aspire to. If you’re a Mercedes-Benz owner, you want to make a connection with that brand on social media channels and share your affiliation. You want to mingle with like-minded friends, share stories and reminisce.Luxury brands need to be on the cutting edge, as the affluent consumer is demanding – and always up on the latest technology, from amazing apps to the latest Apple iPhone. Luxury brands need to create killer content for these devices and social media platforms – from inspiring videos, cool apps, to exclusive content that offers an insider’s look into the brands. Louis Vuitton has numerous travel apps for the iPhone, with city guides for cities like Paris and New York, featuring Sophia Coppola and Rachel Weisz sharing their favorite restaurants and shops. Pull back the curtain and allow customers to have an emotional affinity with the brand. Karl Lagerfeld brilliantly unveils videos on the Chanel Facebook page previewing first with teaser images and videos – and then full-length videos. A luxury brand that basically recycles a TV spot or a magazine ad will ultimately fail at social media and engagement with their fans.Affluent consumers are active and vocal. Never passive. They’re in the know, they’re insiders, they love to be engaged and share their favorite fashions, autos and destinations. It’s all about social, and sharing their favorite things with their friends. As a luxury brand, you need to engage your affluent consumers. Invite them in, inspire them – and in-turn, convert them into brand-advocates.Christopher Parr is an industry leader with over 15 years of experience in digital marketing. He is an award-winning veteran, writer, a frequent speaker at luxury and interactive marketing conferences and a pioneer in web publishing. He launched as a curated list of the good things in life, with guest contributors from Forbes, Mashable, TechCrunch, Glamour, Saveur and more sharing their favorite luxuries. Askmen.com recently named him , his family is featured in , and .Read more posts on Burberry is officially the worlds most popular luxury brand online, having amassed more than 10 million Facebook fans on the social networking site. The London-based fashion house has embraced social media and digital marketing, and theyve been rewarded as their revenue has increased 29%. Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry, : “Burberry has delivered a strong first half, reflecting our continued investment in innovative design, digital marketing and retail strategies.”Ten million Facebook fans! Thank you so much for all your incredible support, Christopher Bailey, Burberrys Chief Creative Officer, posted on the Burberry Facebook page (with multiple images and a YouTube video, ). 10 million Facebook fans is a major achievement for Burberry as they take leadership on the social media platform this is almost more than Dior (5,920,960 fans) and Gucci (5,811,295) combined. Chanel is also at 5 million fans, followed by luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Dolce Gabbana. Burberry is regarded as one of the most forward-thinking luxury brands in the world. The New York University think-tank LuxuryLab the Worlds most Digitally Competent Luxury Brand in October. From live streams to runway shows to an arms race on social media platforms, brands are seeking the halo of innovation that comes from inspired online programming, Scott Galloway, professor and co-founder of LuxuryLab, . However, most fashion brands still approach digital as a series of pet projects rather than presenting a coherent multi-platform strategy. Although 94 per cent of brands in the Index have a presence on Facebook, one in five still lacks e-commerce capability.“Almost 100 percent of brands cite Facebook as a source of upstream traffic,” Galloway in August, 2011. “[Burberry] is getting more traffic from Facebook than Google. It’s the largest source of traffic to its site. Brands are transitioning from spending money on Google into Facebook programs. All of this [Facebook] traffic and investment is leading towards commerce.”What can you learn from Burberry?Luxury brands need to be focused and targeted online. On Facebook, they’re unique clubs that discerning fans want to join, the opposite of a Walmart for the masses that offers everything for everyone. The attraction, and connection, to a luxury brand is all about affiliation to a unique experience – it is a dream, a desire and something to aspire to. If you’re a Mercedes-Benz owner, you want to make a connection with that brand on social media channels and share your affiliation. You want to mingle with like-minded friends, share stories and reminisce.Luxury brands need to be on the cutting edge, as the affluent consumer is demanding – and always up on the latest technology, from amazing apps to the latest Apple iPhone. Luxury brands need to create killer content for these devices and social media platforms – from inspiring videos, cool apps, to exclusive content that offers an insider’s look into the brands. Louis Vuitton has numerous travel apps for the iPhone, with city guides for cities like Paris and New York, featuring Sophia Coppola and Rachel Weisz sharing their favorite restaurants and shops. Pull back the curtain and allow customers to have an emotional affinity with the brand. Karl Lagerfeld brilliantly unveils videos on the Chanel Facebook page previewing first with teaser images and videos – and then full-length videos. A luxury brand that basically recycles a TV spot or a magazine ad will ultimately fail at social media and engagement with their fans.Affluent consumers are active and vocal. Never passive. They’re in the know, they’re insiders, they love to be engaged and share their favorite fashions, autos and destinations. It’s all about social, and sharing their favorite things with their friends. As a luxury brand, you need to engage your affluent consumers. Invite them in, inspire them – and in-turn, convert them into brand-advocates.Christopher Parr is an industry leader with over 15 years of experience in digital marketing. He is an award-winning veteran, writer, a frequent speaker at luxury and interactive marketing conferences and a pioneer in web publishing. He launched as a curated list of the good things in life, with guest contributors from Forbes, Mashable, TechCrunch, Glamour, Saveur and more sharing their favorite luxuries. Askmen.com recently named him , his family is featured in , and .Read more posts on Louis Vuitton is by far the most valuable luxury brand in the world, worth $23.577 billiona 2 percent increase from last year's valueaccording to a new survey from brand consulting firm Interbrand.It was a good year for the luxury conglomerate. The company improved its digital experience and launched several apps, entered the fragrance market for the first time, and remained a blockbuster brand in China.It even got Michael Phelps to star in a .In addition to Louis Vuitton, seven other luxury brands made it onto of the world's most valuable brands. Most experienced major growth, and there were two newcomers to the list.Interbrand takes into account brands' financial performance, role in influencing customer choice, and ability to command premium prices.BRAND2012 RANK2011 RANK2012 BRAND VALUE ($millions)% CHANGELouis Vuitton1718$23,5772%Gucci3839$9,4468%Herms6366$6,18215%Cartier6870$5,49515% Co.7073$5,15915%Burberry8295$4,34216%Prada84N/A$4,271NEWRalph Lauren91N/A$4,038NEWSEE ALSO: It seems increasingly difficult to find a Hollywood star these days that is equal parts screen icon and fashion muse. There aren’t many Katherine Hepburns or Joan Crawfords running around L.A., which is why the Neiman Marcus Art of Fashion campaign featuring none other than Drew Barrymore is such a breath of fresh air. Rebellious teenager no more, Barrymore is photographed by Norma Jean Ray in the most coveted looks of the season, from Chanel to Valentino. Models like Daria Werbowy and Josephine Skriver are ethereal and gamine beauties to be sure, but there’s something to be said for using a household name in a luxury fashion shoot. Audiences grew up with the Barrymore dynasty and Drew herself has been in the public eye since E.T. Through her film and T.V appearances, people feel as though they know Ms. Barrymore and her quirky personality in a way that few top models are known. Shot over the course of 16 hours, Barrymore donned fur-trimmed Burberry Prorsum, stunning Lanvin, tribal-inspired Etro and a show-stopping emerald green Emilio Pucci cut-out gown. The shoot had the potential to be lifeless, but Barrymore’s presence and the artistic feel of the photographs give the clothing- and the overall campaign- a warm, approachable look that almost comes off as more vignette than photo shoot. And it’s a storyline you’ll want to keep following. For more information regarding the Art of Fashion and the looks featured in the campaign, visit . Read more posts on Vanity Fair's Maureen Orth on how the Church of allegedly controls Tom Cruise's life and relationships.We scored a copy of Vanity Fair at a nearby newsstand (the issue is currently only available in NYC) and read Orth's story.Here are some of her most interesting claims:The Vanity Fair issue with the full story is scheduled to hit newsstands nationwide on Monday.DON'T MISS:I'm greeted by a charging springer spaniel, wet from the morning's rain, tennis ball in mouth -- a dog whose sprightly mug I've seen before inFadermagazine and on the Urban Outfitters blog. Lancey, named for Delancey Street in's Lower East Side, is a wily hound. The dog put a drool-covered tennis ball on the back of my chair on the sly and got my chinos a little wet in the crotch with the same. A good dog.You don't typically see a dog with that much room to play in New York, but Michael Williams works out of a relatively massive showroom filled with clothing, shoes and accessories belonging to clients of his PR firm, Paul + Williams, and decorated with pieces of Americana he's picked up while digging around flea markets.Michael is wet, too, from the rainy walk between his apartment next to the World Trade Center site to his office in the Soho Building on Greene Street. It's a nice building on a block of expensive retail shops like Louis Vuitton and Adriano Goldschmied. The place looks pretty much how I expected from reading his blog,(ACL): A well-kept hybrid of men's clothing boutique, factory floor and antique barn. The floppy-eared spaniel is almost too much.Williams is what you'd call a lifestyle blogger, part of a growing contingent of guys who write about gear, fashion, food, and so on, just like what you'd find in a traditional men's magazine except that instead of a whole editorial staff, it's just one or a few people writing through a more personal lens about a niche, focused topic. Zeitgeisty stuff, mostly things you can buy. Lifestyle.Michael Williams on his hit blog, A Continuous LeanThe blog should be hyper-focused, nicheTalking to successful bloggers, guys who can or could live off of the revenue theirgenerate (directly or indirectly), I whittled down three maxims that can help us understand this whole blog thing: What it is, where it's going, and how to be successful at it -- the wholetelosof the thing.Maxim No. 1:The blog should be hyper-focused, niche. ACL was born of Williams' interest in Americana, especially American-made clothing and products. I worked for a Japanese company, so I saw all these Japanese magazine interpretations of Americana, he said. I thought it was interesting that they were so into it and that they understood it very well and at the same time didn't understand it at all... And I thought, this is something that I find interesting that's maybe worth exploring.You also get the sense that Williams, there having a game of catch with Lancey -- that damn dog is so endearing -- has an abiding interest in America that's deeper than clothes and products. He gets worked up talking about the state of things:If you look at companies like, a client of mine, they fought to keep their factories open in the States. Everyone was saying move offshore. The owner was like, I don't care. All these public companies, that sh*t would never fly. This country has a terrible three-month view of the world. It's all based on quarterly earnings. They don't give a f*ck what happens five years from now. There's no skills, no facilities, no infrastructure. What's gonna happen when it's super-f*cking expensive to make stuff in China?Thisoriginally appeared at.An age-old tale: teen throws party at her parents' house, teen guests get out of control, home gets messy and things go missing.But when the parent of the teen is Grant Eisenhofer name-partner Stuart Grant, this scenario ends in a lawsuit.Zach Lowe of reviewed the Delaware suit, which alleges the teens ransacked a part of the house they were not supposed to be in, stole a milk jug with $500 worth of coins, snorted prescription drugs they found, and took "household items."This one is a lot of he said/she said -- some of the items were returned, the defendants claim they were invited and it's questionable, the report said, whether Grant can get compensatory damages because he hired a private investigator rather than going to the police.Lowe's full report is , but needless to say this is one teenage party that ended way worse than with just your run-of-the-mill grounding.Note: the teens pictured are not the teen defendants. These are young British people enjoying a night out. The excessive Burberry is the tip-off. Morning Notes- Asian markets closed down over 1% as they were in catch up mode after Mondays weakness on SP downgrade of US credit rating- In China, the HSBC Manufacturing PMI number came in flat m/m- may suggest growth is stabilizing- In Japan, chipmakers/semi name were weak following TXNs statement yesterday that the earthquake would slow production in Q2- European bourses are trading higher- Fairly strong earnings out of Novartis (NVS) and Burberry- Positive Eurozone Manufacturing PMI number- France Services PMI came in at the highest level since September 2000- Successful Greek bond auctionclick for full articlehttp://www.hedgefundlive.com/blog/tuesday-morning-recap-positive-tone-following-solid-housing-numbers-and-gs-earningsiframe src=http://www.businessinsider.com/embed?id=4d20d75549e2ae9005110000amp;width=600amp;height=430 width=600 height=430 border=0 frameborder=0/iframeWelcome to a holiday-shortened trading weekIn the US, Memorial Day weekend serves as the unofficial beginning of summer which typically means lower trading volume, and sleepy action. This is the week when Wall Street portfolio managers start to escape the city and head for the Hamptons, and retail investors focus on travel plans rather than trend linesBut this year, the summer investment environment is a bit different. While US traders used Monday as a chance to take in a ball game or fire up the barbecue, traders in Europe continued to handicap the debt crisis with Spain now challenging Greece for the most sensational headlines.On Friday, SP downgraded 5 Spanish banks, as losses from the countrys property bust continue to mount. While Prime Minister Rajoy continues to claim that the country will NOT need a bailout, Spain has been urging the ECB to lower borrowing costs so they can roll debt obligations and still manage to keep up with interest payments.To be sure, the European debt crisis isnt new news. It seems that the continent has been in the slow train wreck process for years now and there is still plenty of motivation to continue to prop up failing banks (and countries) in order to avert the inevitable crisis.But the problem is that investors are losing faith when it comes to the crisis averted statements and with a more skeptical global investor base, comes the risk of massive capital withdrawals, from both deposit institutions as well as global equity markets.So heading into the new trading week, theres certainly a possibility for the traditional slow-sleepy trading environment, but we also see plenty of opportunities for sharp price dislocations and significant trading action. It just depends on how the chess pieces in Europe are played along with traders responses to the political maneuvering.Looking at the recent action in US equities, its pretty easy to make a bearish case for stocks.  All four of the major indices (Dow Jones Industrial Average, SP 500, Nasdaq Composite and Russell 2000) have broken below key support levels and then consolidated or drifted higher.click to enlargeConsidering the bearish patterns for the major market indices, its no surprise that there is a large number of bearish trade setups in the queue. Below are a few of the areas we are particularly interested in for the coming week: Sign Up For the Mercenary Dispatch Get our best content delivered FREE to your inbox!Check out the page to learn more.Luxury Retail Sentiment DropsLuxury retail stocks are taking it on the chin as investors adjust to slower growth expectations.  The group weathered a challenging domestic economic environment relatively well as US and European consumers reined in spending.  But now that emerging markets are also reporting decelerating economic growth, the groups prospects are becoming much less attractive.In last weeks , we made a bearish case for the retail apparel group as a number of key constituents offered disappointing outlooks.  Luxury retailers are following the same pattern with stocks breaking down as executives outline a distressed environment for selling to high net worth shoppers.Consider this, from regarding Tiffany Co. (TIF)s revised earnings outlook:Tiffany also said spending by financial sector employees has continued to slow while “substantial competitive discounting” remains a problem.Meanwhile, shoppers balked at entry-level silver jewelry after Tiffany raised prices to offset the rising cost of materials, from precious metals to diamonds.While visitors from abroad still drove sales in the Americas, Tiffany said it saw a drop in sales, especially to European tourists, at its New York store.In China, sales have slowed, echoing remarks made by such European counterparts as Burberry and LVMH. Still, Tiffany said its store growth plan there remains on track.A worldwide slowdown in luxury spending could set up some tremendous trading opportunities. This months 21% decline in Sothebys (BID) along with Tiffanys ominous warning has set up some sharp breakdowns that are now giving way to consolidation or drift patterns., has a pending short trade for Coach Inc. (COH) as the stock has completed a rounding top pattern and is now poised to continue the bearish action with any help from the overall market environment.Facebook Faceplant Creates Social Media OpportunityIts hard to overstate the importance of the Facebook Inc. (FB) IPO just over a week ago.Not only did the transaction mark the culmination of literally years of hype, the deal was also completely botched by both Morgan Stanley (MS) downgrading the stock ahead of the offering and Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ) screwing up executions on the most highly anticipated IPO in years!As noted in last weeks , the fun is just getting startedThe actual IPO transaction had the unintended consequence of , and then when the IPO started trading lower it created a cascade effect across the entire social media group.This week, were keeping a close eye on social media candidates as the initial breakdown which coincided with the Facebook transaction should lead to a continuation pattern and further bearish action.Homeaway Inc. (AWAY) looks particularly vulnerable as the stock has tried repeatedly to break above its $27 IPO price, but has met significant resistance. A fresh breakdown in conjunction with more weakness from the group could be the first step for a much more significant drop.And considering the premium multiple investors are currently paying for the stock, there is plenty of room for lower prices before value investors would start getting interested in supporting the stock.Gaming Rests Hope on Faltering ChinaFor the gaming industry, Las Vegas is just another cityThe true growth for casino operators comes from Chinas Macau province, where gambling is legalized and throngs of affluent Chinese visit for both the gaming and atmosphere, shops and restaurantsProblem is, with the Chinese growth engine decelerating, investors are starting to worry about the growth expectations for the gaming industry in Macau.Of course the industry isnt going to evaporate or turn unprofitable overnight.  In fact, we expect profitability to continue to grow over the next few years but at a slower rate than investors have become accustomed to.But as Chinas economy approaches stall speed, and economists debate whether the country will experience a soft or hard landing, Chinese consumers are likely to pull back on how much they travel, on their level of luxury spending, and even on how much they wager at the baccarat tables.Gaming stocks have already completed major topping patterns with capital flowing out of stocks like Wynn Resorts (WYNN) and MGM Resorts International (MGM).Las Vegas Sands (LVS) has completely reversed its first quarter breakout, and has spent the last week etching out a narrow wedge pattern.  A break lower would confirm the bearish trend in a sector that has already established a bearish pattern.While US equity markets were closed on Monday, Globex futures markets were relatively active with the SP contracts advancing marginally and precious metals inching slightly higher.Modestly bullish action would not be a surprise, given the light amount of economic data and the absence of catastrophic news out of Europe. Were keeping our risk points relatively tight in case we get another euphoric all clear signal out of Europe. But the majority of our pending setups are on the bearish side of the ledger as we continue to respect the price action and the risks associated with the darkening macro picture.Trade em well this week!MM (mike@mercenarytrader.com) p.s. Like this article? For more, p.p.s. If you haven't already, check out the Similar articles you might like:Read more posts on In July of 2011, Parr Interactive, a Madison, Wisconsin-based web design, digital marketing, online strategy and social media marketing company, launched Pursuitist at an online travel, style, food and leisure destination site. Contributors sharing their favorite luxuries include writers from Forbes, Mashable, TechCrunch, Glamour, Saveur and more. Advertisers on the site have include BMW, Best Buy, Intel, Gucci, Gap, Coach and Burberry. They also kickstarted Intels latest social media campaign featuring the Ultrabook on Intels official YouTube Channel: , CEO of , is an award-winning writer and online marketing strategist. Since 1995, the Madison, Wisconsin-based internet pioneer and marketer has launched numerous successful web projects, viral videos and online marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies. In addition to creating blogging and buzz marketing platforms, services include . Visit to learn more.Weve created more award-winning web sites, email campaigns, apps, blogs and videos than we can shake a stick at, says Christopher Parr. We know what works and what doesnt. Our projects drive real results. Increase market share, sales and leads. Make an impact.Does a great job of generating an experience- Douglas Coupland (author of Generation X)Delightfully rich and original- Roger Black (author of Web Sites That Work)Christopher Parr one of the Top 20 Most Influential People in Madison- Madison MagazineBio: After working in the TV, film and theatre industry, Christopher founded Parr Interactive in 1995. As Marketing/Creative Director of the award-winning interactive, digital marketing and e-marketing agency, he developed marketing strategies for many clients, included Insinkerator, Musicnotes, Rayovac, John Deere, Looksmart, Sub-Zero, Credit Union Executives, Microsoft, Bizfilings, WPS Insurance Epic Insurance. His projects have been featured in numerous publications, including USA Today, Wired, Ad Age and Entertainment Weekly, and case studies featured in Clear Blogging from Apress, Web Sites That Work from Adobe Press and HTML Unleashed from Macmillan Publishing.He was also a VP, Marketing/Creative Director for an e-commerce company, working with Warner Bros. Pub., BMG, AOL, leading the marketing team, branding and PR. Christopher also financed and co-owned an internet e-commerce startup, featuring luxury home garden goods. Christopher managed global brand communications, brand ID and guidelines, CRM, interactive, media and planning for Sub-Zero and Wolf, maker of luxury kitchen appliances. From product launches to e-commerce, he also managed B2C, B2B touch points and all things internet; social media marketing, interactive, promotions, media, video, branding, e-newsletters, blogging podcasts and developing campaigns with HGTV, New York Times, Food Network, Oprah and Epicurious. For Sub-Zero, Christopher launched an integrated campaign for Sub-Zero Wine Storage, featuring print ads, brochures, e-newsletters, online banners and a new wine blog, including wine events at Four Seasons, the Ritz-Carlton, with magazine support from Conde Nast Traveler, Wine Spectator and Food Wine.Luxury Daily News: Askmen.com names Christopher Parr NYTimes: Wisconsin State Journal: and , and Hes also married to .Read more posts on It was a choppy week for the FTSE-100 (UKX) this week. Chancellor George Osborne reportedly blamed the weather for an unexpected half percent contraction in the size of the UK economy during the fourth quarter of last year. Whether or not his assessment was correct, the figures sent a chill through the market.  Supporting Osborne’s view, the UK’s Office for National statistics blamed December’s snow for a market decrease in pre-Christmas trading, with advisory firm Deloitte calculating that retailers alone lost £750m of sales because of the weather. With VAT rises, inflation rises and fuel rises all expected to dampen public enthusiasm for getting out to the shops, Deloitte said it expected no growth, and possibly a dip, during the rest of 2011.After a bright start on Monday, the FTSE 100 lost ground Tuesday on the GDP data news but went on to rise through the week before jitters set in on Friday ahead of US GDP figures and a return to worries over sovereign debt. In a note to investors on Friday, Angus Campbell, head of sales at trading firm London Capital Group, said concern had shifted away from Europe towards Japan, whose credit rating was cut by Standard and Poor's on Thursday. Japan is one of the worst offenders when it comes to budget deficits, with a public debt that is double the size of economy.With this somewhat gloomy backdrop, it proved a good week for the insurance sector. The best FTSE 100 performer was Resolution (LON:RSL), the insurance focused investor focused on buying and merging U.K. life insurers, which saw a 7% gain. The has suffered in the last year as prospective acquisition targets have rebounded from the financial crisis. However, CEO John Tiner indicated in an interview this week that the Company will achieve its annual rate of return target even if it doesn’t make another acquisition. Separately, the company announced that Andy Briggs, ex CEO of Scottish Widows, will become chief executive of Friends Provident , joining from Lloyds Banking Group where he is currently CEO of General Insurance.Elsewhere in insurance land, while the U.K.’s largest insurer by market value, Prudential (LON:PRU) also had a good week, with the   CEO, Tidjane Thiam indicated in an interview at the Davos Forum that he was  unconcerned by rising inflation in emerging markets as the company seeks to grow in Asia. He indicated that:“We are in a sector that is relatively insulated vis-a-vis the macroeconomic situation in Asia… Our market is so under penetrated we are still in the growth phase. We are lucky we have many, many years of strong growth ahead of us.”Speaking of Davos, it was a curious week for satellite TV and broadband operator British Sky Broadcasting (LON:BSY), which found itself implicated in numerous headline news stores simultaneously. For shareholders, the big news was that pre-profits in the six months to December 31 soared by 26% to £467m on revenue up by 15% to £3.18bn. Those figures served only to heighten speculation about Rupert Murdoch’s desire to buy the 60.9% stake in BSkyB that his News Corp group doesn’t already own. Discussions over a price are understood to have been shelved until all the regulatory (and/or political) issues surrounding the deal have been resolved. Nevertheless, analysts suggested that any bid would need to be close to £8 per share on the back of the company’s latest figures. As it was,  during the week and was trading at 767.5p by the end. Murdoch Snr can now only watch and wait for an answer from regulators. In the meantime, the firestorm over phone hacking allegations at Britain’s biggest selling newspaper News of the World, will be an unwelcome distraction. In turn, his son James, the CEO of BSkyB, has is own irritations – finding a couple of new football pundits for Sky Sports.The sector hardest hit this week was banking, with Lloyds (LON:LLOY) the biggest blue chip casualty of the week. This followed the double whammy of the GDP figures  coupled with the news that the government's Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) was considering splitting up some of the banks under its remit, creating uncertainty over the future of the banking sector. on the week, although providing some respite was the testimony of the UKFI chief executive Robin Budenburg  to the Treasury Select Committee that if a ruling similar to the US Glass-Steagall Act was brought in, it would result in 'diminution of value' for shareholders. Currently UK taxpayers own 41% and 83% of Lloyds and RBS respectively. This uncertainty reduced , in contrast to it being so buoyant last week.   (LON:HSBA) and (LON:BARC) – which have remained out of state ownership, were in better shape, being flat and down just 0.5% respectively.  HSBC has however been feeling some heat after accusation of tax evasion in the US. It has emerged that federal authorities are considering serving a broad legal summons on HSBC to examine if its bankers sold tax evasion services to dozens or hundreds of its clients. The surprise downgrade to Japan's debt rating drove  down 34p to 1639p at Thursday’s close.In mining, the performance of the price of gold looked distinctly lacklustre given its sparkling upward trajectory through 2010. Gold has dipped since the start of the year and is currently trading at around $1,310 – down from the $1,400 it reached late last November. Those figures were enough to send the (LON:RRS) share price down by 4.3% during the week, making it one of the biggest losers in the FTSE 100. On the same note, the (LON:AFR) and (LON:KAZ) share prices also suffered. Elsewhere, , performing well but then sliding after news of its profits at its Australian uranium arm sliding badly. On a brighter note, the way was cleared for its £2.5bn takeover of Australia’s Riversdale after a consortium of Indian mining groups said they would not put up a rival bid. Finally, (LON:AAL) and (LON:BLT) both ended the week flat after seeing early gains wiped out as general sentiment towards miners waned.Elsewhere, no news but a great deal of speculation triggered . Ahead of its full year results on February 1, market chatter focused first on whether CEO Bob Dudley would reinstate the dividend that was scrapped to help pay for the damage caused by last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Equally, the tie-up between BP and Russian giant Rosneft announced two weeks ago, was in the spotlight. Shareholders in BP’s other (and at times troubling) JV in the country, TNK-BP, launched legal action claiming BP was obligated to carry out activities in Russia primarily through the TNK-BP vehicle. A resolution to that dispute could be resolved as early as next week.This week also saw weakness generally amongst UK listed retailers as investors in the sector grappled with the CGT increase and an uncertain economic outlook. Fashion house Next saw on the week, having reported earlier in January that the bad weather in the week before Christmas cost it £22 million of full-price sales. In similar fashion, , amidst concerns also that rising food costs . One clear exception to this retail malaise was iconic fashion company, Burberry Group (LON:BRBY) which enjoyed further strong gains. following impressive news last week that that its third quarter sales rose 27% to £470 million, ahead of market consensus of £434 million. Finally, pharmaceutical heavyweight Astrazeneca (LON:AZN) posted its earnings for the fourth quarter this week – despite declining profitability due to generic competition. Although it reported a 5% decline in net profit, the results exceeded analyst expectations, and the company also announced a $4 billion stock buyback program for 2011. It's a tough week for retail. Williams-Sonoma announced Wednesday it was cutting 18% of its workforce, which translates to about 1,400 employees. Company execs say they hope the move will reduce costs by $75 million in 2009. But the home company is not alone; several clothing retailers announced major job and price cuts yesterday.: Women's retailer Charlotte Russe Holding Inc. said it was considering a sale of the company.Phillips-Van Heusen Corp., which owns several clothing brands including Calvin Klein, said it would close about 175 stores and eliminate 400 positions...Other cost cutting measures? Price drops.Also on Wednesday, Coach executives announced plans to lower prices as much as 15% on handbags and other accessories. Mike Tucci, president of North American retail, told analysts during a conference call that the company would also bring more of its handbag prices into the "sweet spot below $300."Time will tell whether "below $300" will be enough of a price drop for consumers.See Also: Balance sheets and profit margins are not the first things that come to mind in the glamorous world of high fashion. In an industry where many of the great fashion houses sacrifice profits for prestige, it can be difficult for anyone interested in investing in fashion to make the right decisions.But vintage fashion investment is an increasingly lucrative area, and with substantial public demand for luxury clothes, fashion retail businesses have also seen impressive returnsso is there still room to get money for old rope?William Banks-Blaney, owner ofWilliam Vintagein London, shared his tips with on where to begin in the world of classic couture: "If I was going to start investing in fashion, the key things I would start with would be works by the great masters."Ossie Clarkfor British design,Diorfor French design,Norman Hartnellagain for British design. These are pieces by iconic designers that have a worldwide appeal and audience.""Most pieces appreciate quite substantially," he said. "We are finding there is between a 10 and 20 percent year-on-year uplift in good pieces of vintage."Kerry Taylor, founder ofKerry Taylor Auctions,stressed unprecedented demand: "There arent huge supplies for these things any morethey are running out."Every time I get something special now there is a battle royale between the private collectors, the very rich women who wish to buy to wear, and the museums, and when you get these three different parties all vying for the same lot, the prices escalate."Having the right eye for a collectible item is clearly important, and at a fashion auction, the prospective investor could find some real winners.Taylor told CNBC the three things to look for: "You should look for things with designer labels, you should look for things that are in good condition that dont need repairs. And you should make sure that they have not been altered."A garment with a history is an added bonus. "If it has been owned by someone like Audrey Hepburn or the Duchess of Windsor or Daphne Guinness, that adds a lovely little cachet too and makes it even more desirable and collectible in the future," said Taylor.An Audrey Hepburn gown from the film "Roman Holiday" sold for over $130,000, and Princess Diana's engagement dress went in 2010 for a massive $300,000.Steven Philip, co-owner of vintage clothes shopRellik,also shared his tips: "Look for a garment that kind of associates with the designer and look for labels."If you were going in forChaneland there was an acid green jacket (just) because the acid green is in vogue, avoid buying it. Go for a more classic piece. It will be more of an investment."If it's not vintage fashion investment you're after, business ventures in the retail industry are increasingly taking advantage of the massive boom in e-commerce and sustained public demand for great clothes.Sarah Curran, founder and CEO ofMy-Wardrobe.com, the online luxury fashion retailer, told CNBC what is takes to make online retailing pay."I started originally as a boutique in 2003 when I launched the business, so I understood the bricks-and-mortar model and the online and they are very different. The logistics behind them are very different. It is impossible to compare," she said.Since the launch of the website in 2006, Curran says the online model has gone from strength to strength, and that there are still opportunities for budding online retailers."Naturally because of the sector that we sell which is designers such asBurberry,MulberryandVivienne Westwood, they are very protective about their distribution, so it makes obstacles and barriers to entry quite tough but there is still opportunity."Online retailing can see huge returns, but Curran warned that it takes a sharp attention to detail to make it work. "It is quite a complex model. A lot of people tend to think that e-commerce is the easy option and the easy route to market, but actually it takes a lot of investment."That investment comes in the ease and navigation and performance of the site, but also in terms of the photography of the site. Equally, it's about a strong customer experience and customer service, from entry to the site to delivery to also handling of returns."Curran agreed that prospective investors should be looking to the big fashion houses like Chanel,Dolce and GabbanaandVersacefor those pieces that keep their value. And above all, she said, you shouldn't wear them."It's like if you're going to invest in wine, dont drink it. If you are going to invest in clothing, dont wear it."This originally appeared at .This story was originally published by .101 Christmas gifts for ALL ages and ALL budgets - Part TwoBy UPDATED:10:58 GMT, 11 December 2010UNDER £100 LUXURY BUY GET IT SENT Go back to part one30 SECOND GUIDE: Company makeoversPUBLISHED:08:44 GMT, 30 August 2012 UPDATED:08:50 GMT, 30 August 2012Free pedicures? We're not talking about complimentary pampering for employees. So what are they? Company makeovers are when firms try to give themselves a facelift by rebranding, changing slogan, or decking out branches or shops with snazzy new furniture. They can also involve more fundamental changes such as new products catering for a different breed of customers. Why do firms do this? One reason is that they are not doing so well and need to give the business a boost. A takeover is also a prime reason. A company makeover is the corporate version of attention seeking. Sounds like an extravagance Insurance giant Aviva was accused of squandering money when it spent £80m rebranding subsidiary Norwich Union under the same banner. This campaign featured celebrity-packed ads starring Bruce Willis, Ringo Starr and Elle Mcpherson. Surely it must work sometimes? Some makeovers have involved root and branch reform rather than cosmetic changes. Fashion designer Burberry managed to transform itself from a favourite among chavs and hooligans in the 1990s to a high-end label in the 2000s and beyond. This has been achieved by new clothing ranges and an advertising push featuring Kate Moss and Emma Watson. Accolade for Burberry's BravoBy UPDATED:00:00 GMT, 27 February 2002ROSE Marie Bravo, chief executive of Burberry UK, has been named the most successful businesswoman in Europe by the Wall Street Journal. Bravo, who transformed Burberry's distinctive tartan from frumpy to high fashion, shares the top slot with Sari Baldauf, of Finland's Nokia. Also in the top 10 is Go airline chief Barbara Cassani at number six. Gail Rebuck, head of publisher Random House, is joint ninth with Kim Winser, chief executive of knitwear company Pringle Scotland. US-born Dame Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of Pearson and last year's number two, dropped out of the charts. According to Burberry's new shopper system, are you Brit, London or Prorsum?By UPDATED:10:39 GMT, 18 November 2009It fought hard to shake off an unfortunate association with chav culture. But now Burberry has divided the country into three categories according to how smartly they want to dress.The luxury fashion house has introduced a new tripartite system, splitting glamour queens who opt for silk catwalk dresses from those more comfortable in scruffy jeans. Tripartite: Harry Potter actress Emma Watson models Burberry London, left, Burberry Brit and Burberry Prorsurm, rightUnder the categories, high-end, high-cost evening wear for fashion gurus will continue under the label Prorsum, which means forwards in Latin.A new collection called Burberry London will include day time work outfits such as smart tailored suits, dark suede and dense wools. The name is designed to reflect the clothes cosmopolitan feel.Casual dress including denim andsportswear will be branded Burberry Brit to capture the relaxed,scruffier side of the population.It will appeal to a younger market with linen jackets and cropped trousers, and a slightly lower price tag than the other ranges, a spokesman said.But after ditching its associations with chav icons such as soap star Daniella Westbrook, Burberrys distinctive house check pattern has been toned down.An advertising campaign shows Harry Potter actress Emma Watson showcasing all three labels. Thetrench coat, which she has modelled, will remain Burberrys signatureitem. The categories are currently housed in the same shops, butBurberry is looking for locations for stand-alone stores afterlaunching two in New York this autumn.Burberry shield: Madonna and boyfriend Jesus prefer to use their trench to hide from paparazziA spokesman insisted: Were not reallytalking about appealing to three different markets. This is supposed tobe Burberry girl, who can opt for evening, work and weekend wear withclear labels to differentiate them. Some department stores will havethree different sections, giving us more space. Burberry is currentlylooking for locations for stand-alone stores.The new categories will signal a fight-back after Burberry announced a 19 per cent drop in profits yesterday, despite a solid performance in the UK.Demand for handbags, sling shoulder bags, snoods and scarves helped it to reach pre-tax profits of £78.4m in the six months to September 30 this year.But the figure is down from £97m last year after the effects of discounts hit profit margins and wholesale orders were reduced.The luxury fashion house won praise after its return to the catwalk at London Fashion Week this autumn.It also said it had seen exceptional growth in London stores after the weak pound attracted foreign shoppers.The retailer said its non-clothing ranges represented its biggest growth, contributing more than a third of revenue.Shoes and childrenswear were also identified as key growth areas, anticipated to grow to make up 10 per cent each of revenues. The firm, which was founded in 1856, opened a children's store in Notting Hill this year.Chief executive Angela Ahrendts said: Burberry delivered a solid first half performance, reflecting the strength of the brand, business and team. 'We enter the second half confident in our core strategies, capitalising on product, region, channel and operational opportunities.October 2012Prize valueWinning bond No.Area£1,000,000176ND537520Overseas £100,000190YL731192Dudley £100,00086ZY785587West Sussex £100,000186AQ461669Derbyshire £100,000183SA844038Sheffield £100,0005EJ713506Northern Ireland £50,000189HA961605Bradford £50,00017QC030688Nottingham £50,000150ZZ067504Hertfordshire £50,000126RT689109Southampton £50,000111CA212785Greater Manchester £50,00024JC837905Edinburgh £50,000110ZL786330Kent £50,000147QP328139CumbriaHurrah! Cherish that crumpled skirt - it's chic to look a mess UPDATED:18:56 GMT, 16 January 2009 One of the most enchanting fashion shows of the past season was by Burberry, where Christopher Bailey conjured up, in faded linens, flowerpotmen hats and dusty colours, a vision of Englishness through the prism of fashion. His models, with their natural-looking skin, slightly dishevelled long hair and even their slight slouchy shuffle, set the mood for one of the big trends of the spring - beautifully worn-looking, crumpled clothes. Add the crumpled satins of Prada's lingerie-style suits and the trend was confirmed - big time. Of course some of us, in fact probably half the female population, naturally subscribe to this look already and if you scan a room full of women you will see the great divide is between those whose appearance is pristine almost as if they have been dressed with hospital corners and those who, no matter what they might be wearing, will always have made it look slightly rumpled and lived-in. No matter what the dictates of fashion, our crumpled or our crimped style overrides our dress. If you are a crumpled type of person, you will find a way to make an Armani suit look slouchy, but if you are a crimper you will appear calmly immaculate in the same outfit, just like Condoleezza Rice. Some women I know appear effortlessly never to have creases on the back of their skirt, wear neatly ironed shirts whose collars stay upright and cuffs remain sharply rolled back, are never seen with scuff marks on their shoes and although their jeans might be as boyfriend baggy as the next girl's, somehow manage to make them look smart. Others can just as attractively and effectively make everything they wear appear comfortable and easy. They rumple up layers of T-shirt sleeves, wear skirts and dresses of soft jersey or linen and even manage to make a gala gown look as natural to be wearing as a pair of pyjamas. That worn-in look is a much more female idea of fashion than male. Men tend to want to make women look perfect - think of Roland Mouret with his fitted dresses, Ralph Lauren with his pared down preppy style or Dolce Gabbana with their cocktail glamour. Women are far more likely to make a woman look comfortable.British designers such as Betty Jackson with her slouchy shapes, Nicole Farhi with her knits and feminine skirts, and the new names like knitwear designer Clare Tough, bring us clothes that have an inbuilt crumple factor to them. Although not British, increasingly popular French middle-market brands from designers such as Vanessa Bruno and Isabel Marandt also possess that immediate lived-in feel. To look the perfect mess takes time and effort - it's not about losing the ironing board. A twist to the cardigan, the right degree of fold in the sleeve, artfully dishevelled hair tied up in a knot - this takes practice, but you could start with a Burberry summer coat.Why a good gossip really is priceless Gossip is the new currency. As everyone's purse strings are tightened, delicious morsels of information are the cheapest way to win your way into someone's affections. With the expansion of the net and personal technology, the speed at which you can discover information and pass it on increases daily. One rumour that swept town recently was emailed to me by ten people within an hour. People are offering up titbits of salacious chat to those they want to impress and good gossips are top of everyone's guest list. In offices, those eager to impress vie to be first to Blackberry some breaking news, while others use gossip as a deflecting preamble to some possibly more unwelcome subject matter. It's inexpensive and entertaining - what more could you want. But beware stale news - it's got to be fresh from the oven or you're a sad loser. Now 'ear this: Earrings are back!It's no accident that accessories are the big story in fashion. While it's the clothes that create the image of a label, accessories are usually the more affordable 'entry point' to the brand. If you buy the key ring, you might graduate to the shoes. If you've got the shoes, you'll want the handbag and then, hopefully, you'll soon be saving up for the whole outfit. With a certain amount of well-deserved It-bag fatigue, the industry has been looking for new items to tempt us and has come up with a jewellery renaissance. Last season, enter the bangle. Simultaneously, we have all been learning to love the 'statement' necklace, which dominates the sartorial look with its splendour rather than acting as a retiring bit part, and now we're going to be all over, guess what - earrings. For years, earrings have been out of fashion. Yes, we've all worn them, and more and more of them, since only people over 40 still have one piercing in their ear, but they haven't been fashionable. The death knell of the earring really came in the late Seventies when every hemp-wearing, Marxist-leaning girl I was at university with had huge earrings dangling from her lobes - the only nod in the direction of conventional feminine adornment she was prepared to make. There was the odd pearl bauble and gold hoop to accompany the power suiting of the Eighties, but then nada. Earrings as a fashionable accessory went underground. Until now. At the last Jil Sander show, Raf Simons accessorised his girls with beautiful thin jewel-tipped spears piercing one lobe, creating a cool march of minimal warriors. Then Marc Jacobs went completely loco and piled on every accessory for his triumphant Louis Vuitton show, including amazing tribal hoops with everything imaginable hung from them. So prepare to be brave. Earrings now are brazen and enormous. They take pole position in your jewellery (there's no way you can wear both them and the show-off necklace), but they are an easy, stylish and enjoyable addition to the spring scene.It's time to have a ball (if you can afford it) No signs of dressing down at the Golden Globes - the first of the red carpet triumvirate that includes the Baftas and the Oscars.Kate Winslet might have chosen black, but it was chic YSL, and the host of presenters and other movie stars to a woman wore girlish, feminine, shimmering gala gowns.A sense of occasion and the quest for glamour persist no matter what else is happening around. For instance, it has been fascinating to see pictures of the attendees at the recent Parisian Bal de Crillon, the new Queen Charlotte's Ball where girls of 'good' families parade couture and dance with acceptable young bucks.When I first heard about the existence of this ball, I couldn't believe that anybody would want their daughter, or indeed son, to take part in this anachronistic occasion. I was amazed a few years ago when my friend Nejma, married to American photographer Peter Beard, told me she was taking their daughter to Paris to have a Dior gown fitted for the ball. At the last ball, none other than Demi Moore's and Bruce Willis's offspring and Carrie Fisher's daughter (surely Hollywood aristocracy) were debutantes alongside a smattering of the Guinness gang and European aristos.It still seems curious to me that such an occasion is flourishing and in particular that any young person should want to play a part in it. But it's possible that now more than ever, people will seek out spectacle and extravagance as an escape and antidote to the gloomy world around them. The Eighties revival is hitting hard. We've already had to get used to jumpsuits and metallic leggings, and now Bananarama-style mussed-up hair is getting back in the picture, as seen for example at the Topshop Unique show. We must pray that there isn't going to be an Eighties-style music revival, too. Batwing sleeves and ra-ra skirts are perfectly acceptable, but nobody can live through another era of a-ha, Devo and Cyndi Lauper-style sounds. Or can they?Share this article:Smashing style: Andy Murray and his girlfriend join the fashion set at Burberry runway showBy UPDATED:09:31 GMT, 22 September 2010He's more comfortable with the court than the catwalk. But Andy Murray was putting on a brave face yesterday as he attended London Fashion Week. The tennis star accompanied his girlfriend Kim Sears to the star-studded Burberry Prorsum show, exhibiting a little more style than usual. Dressed in dark blue jeans and a black felt coat, he cut a respectable figure among the well-dressed crowd. Those at the premier show included fashion stalwarts Sarah Jessica Parker and American Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Miss Sears, 22, who recently graduated from Sussex University, looked very much at home by the catwalk in her ensemble of a blue mac, black skinny trousers and spike-heeled boots. Meanwhile Murray admits he is no closer to appointing a new coach ahead of his return to ATP World Tour action next month.The world number four had hoped to find a successor to Miles Maclagan, who he sacked in July after two and a half years together, before the China Open in Beijing, which begins next month.Murray said: 'The situation is the same as it was before the US Open. I'm still looking into it and trying to find the best person that can help me.Will Wimbledon be followed by wedding bells? Kim has loved Andy for seven years and now the talk is of an off-court happy ever after By PUBLISHED:23:24 GMT, 11 September 2012 UPDATED:07:46 GMT, 12 September 2012At the moment of victory, sheer unbounded Grand Slam-sized joy was written all over the face of girlfriend Kim Sears.That enviable mane of glossy hair was whipped by the wind into a golden crown as Murray made his way, shoeless, to embrace her very much as he did after winning Olympic gold at Wimbledon last month.Later he posed with his arms around Kim and the cup quite a mark of devotion.Kim has loved Andy for seven years and now the talk is that they will find the time to formalise an off-court happy ever after, too. Perhaps a wedding after Wimbledon next summer. When asked recently about such rumours, Murray demurred: 'I have no plans to get married right now. I am still fairly young. But we'll see.'It was a half admission. If true, it would delight all his family and his team of coaches, moneymen and advisers because Kim is universally recognised as a perfect tennis wife.By her background her father is a leading tennis coach and by virtue of her polite, uncomplaining nature, she is well fitted to a supporting role. She doesn't chafe at the 35 weeks a year which professional tennis players spend on the road.Shy, polite and clever, she attends all major tournaments, but otherwise spends most of her time at home in Surrey.A typical 'tennis wife' task was to carefully dry in an airing cupboard the bouquet Andy was given after his Olympic win. It now hangs in her studio office.The versatile Kim is known for her domestic skills making a mean sloe gin from berries picked by her mother.She is 24 but looks younger in fact, she was asked to show her ID in her local Waitrose in Cobham when buying a bottle of spirits. And after dabbling in acting, fashion and design, and weighing up a career in publishing, she now makes portraits of dogs and cats for wealthy owners.Andy says approvingly: 'She wants to have her own career, not just pose in Hello! magazine.'Awaiting her return from New York are commissions for paintings of a cat, a labradoodle and a labrador. (She's believed to charge about £1,500 per canvas.) Her website boasts several apologies to potential clients for her backlog of work. She works in the guest wing of the £5million home which she and Murray share in the footballer-and-stockbrokers territory of Oxshott, Surrey.While Andy's daily life is travel, training, ice baths and Grand Slams, Kim's is a gentle round of activities.Painting aside, she takes daily walks with border terriers Maggie May and Rusty. Recently she bumped into footballer John Terry's wife Toni, who was walking their bulldog. Kim, who was an A-grade student at the private Burgess Hill school in West Sussex, likes to listen to Classic FM, and drink tea.An English literature graduate, her circle of friends include a cupcake baker who has made special cakes decorated with pictures of Kim's dogs which she served Andy on the silver tray he got as Wimbledon runner-up this year. Theresulting photos were then posted on Maggie May's Twitter page, which Kim runs. (Indeed, she has been asked if she will write a book in MaggieMay's name an offer she is considering.) Andy's mum Judy always stays with the couple during the Queen's Club and Wimbledon tournaments in the early summer.The two women are firm friends and Judy doesn't see it as a slight that Andy embraced Kim before her after both his Olympic and US Open victories.Kim is so sweet-natured that she is happy to put up with anything that makes Andy happy. The couple met when she was still a teenager in the sixth-form. Her father Nigel was the head of UK women's tennis coaching and she was visiting him at a tournament in America. Andy wooed her with flowers and texts.They moved in together in 2009, but then split briefly for six months to give each other 'space'. Both of them were miserable apart.In the early days, she used to act as his chauffeur because he couldn't drive he bought her a £40,000 Mercedes as a thank you. An associate who had dinner with the couple recently said: 'Kim's just a lovely, young middle-class girl. She is very sweet and quite shy.'How long, then, before Andy Murray proposes a romantic game of doubles at the altar?VIDEO: A happy man. Murray looked delighted, posing with his US Open trophy in New YorkMurray, Khan, Pendleton and more swap sport for style at London Fashion Week By PUBLISHED:09:09 GMT, 18 September 2012 UPDATED:10:09 GMT, 18 September 2012Forget about training for a while - it seems like the Burberry Prorsum's London Fashion Week show was the place to be for some of Britain's top sports stars on Monday.US Open winner and Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray left his racquet behind as he was given a front row seat with his girlfriend Kim Sears at London's Kensington gardens. Scroll down for videoThe Scottish tennis star was not the only Olympic star spotted at the event. Boxing star Amir Khan, who won silver in Athens in 2004 and Victoria Pendleton who retired after the 2012 Games were also present.Khan was in attendance with his fiance, Faryal Makhdoom. The boxer has recently split from his coach Freddie Roach after defeats to Lamont Petersen and Danny Garcia but was clearly in a light-hearted mood as he enjoyed some downtime. Pendleton, meanwhile, took some time out from her Strictly Come Dancing training to make an appearance at the show. She has been partnered with ballroom dancer Brendan Cole in the BBC programme. The former Olympic cyclist bowed out after winning gold in the women's keirin in August. Paralympic sprinter Jonnie Peacock and Olympic rower Pete Reed also showed up, both having won golds in the summer. The former picked up his medal in the T44 100m sprint and the latter in the men's coxless fours, a category he also won gold in four years before, in Beijing. Argos and Burberry star at GUSBy UPDATED:00:00 GMT, 20 November 2003RECORD results from Argos, Burberry and its Experian credit checking arm helped GUS push its profits up by an impressive 44% to 354m over the first half-year. Shareholders are rewarded with a 16% increase in the interim dividend payment, to 8p.Chief executive John Peace said each of the group's main businesses had continued to perform strongly and there had been 'considerable progress' at the Homebase DIY operation.'Although we face some challenges in the second half, we remain confident in the outlook for the future,' he added.Group sales for the six months to 30 September were up by 24% to 3.77bn and the 44% profits rise was achieved before goodwill and exceptional items. Even after adjusting for acquisitions and disposals, GUS said the profits increase was 27%.Argos continued its stellar performance, with a 14% increase in sales, or 7% like-for-like, to 1.39bn and a 27% profits jump to 73.9m.Earlier this week Burberry reported doubled profits and GUS yesterday cut its stake in the luxury goods business by 10% to 67%, raising 180m in the process.The cash will initially be used to reduce debt but GUS raised the prospect of a cash return to shareholders.GUS said it remained 'a committed investor in Burberry', but did not rule out further sales of the luxury retailer's shares. It also signalled the prospect of a further windfall from elsewhere within the group, indicating that the flotation of its South African Retailing business should occur next year. Argos and Burberry stars at GUSBy UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 15 April 2002CATALOGUE stores chain Argos and the Burberry luxury brands business continue to show strong sales growth for parent company GUS but there has been a slowdown at the group's North American business information arm, Experian. A second-half trading update from chief executive John Peace showed an underlying decline of 2% in North American turnover at Experian, although the UK and international operations turned in improved figures. Experian is GUS's biggest profits earner and overall sales were ahead by 2%. Burberry, which is scheduled for a partial flotation on the stock market in June, enjoyed a recovery after the 11 September terrorist attacks on America, with like-for-like sales ahead by 5%. But Argos remained the star performer, with like-for-like sales jumping 13%. GUS will report its full-year profits at the end of May, when it is expected to give further details of the Burberry float. Arm candy! Downton's Michelle Dockery surrounds herself with some sexy rising British stars at Burberry show in Milan By PUBLISHED:21:30 GMT, 23 June 2012 UPDATED:22:33 GMT, 23 June 2012In real life she lives with her architect boyfriend and on-screen she finally got her man after Matthew Crawley proposed in the snow at Christmas.But that's not to say that Michelle Dockery doesn't appreciate a bit of arm candy from time to time - and with that line-up, it's hardly surprising. The Downton Abbey star, 30, was a guest at the Burberry Prorsum catwalk show as part of Milan's Men's Fashion Week and was surrounded by handsome young rising British stars.As she took her front row seat at the show for the Spring/Summer 2013 collection by British designer Christopher Bailey, she was joined by George Craig, lead singer of band One Night Only and the former boyfriend of Harry Potter star Emma Watson.He is also a model for Burberry as is Rob Pryer, who sat next to George, and singer songwriter Roo Paynes, who is fronting the fashion house's autumn/winter campaign. But if Michelle was excited about her handsome fellow attendees, she certainly didn't show it as she sat engrossed in the new collection.She was dressed in a very unusual outfit that many could not pull off but looked lovely on her tall, slender frame. She wore a calf-length dark teal velvet skirt which she accessorised with a skinny tan belt tied in a bow at the front.Sheteamed that with a dark grey T-shirt which was decorated with a bejeweled owl design and she wore brown heeled brogues on her feet.Michelle was taking a break from filming the third series of Downton Abbey in which she plays Lady Mary Crawley.It was last on screen for a Christmasspecial in which Lady Mary finally found love after Matthew Crawley, the heir to her father's fortune, proposed to her in a very romantic moment in the snow.And having worn some stunning costumes during the first two series, which were set between 1912 and 1918, Michelle said they had finally moved on to more comfortable attire.Shesaid: 'Were over halfway through the filming, and were moving into the Twenties now - its very feminine and the corsets are definitely softer. we feel much more free!' As Bob Diamond waits on multi-million bonus we reveal other lavish fat cat perks By and PUBLISHED:07:37 GMT, 27 April 2012 UPDATED:07:37 GMT, 27 April 2012When the shareholders of Barclays file into the Royal Festival Hall today for the banks annual meeting, they will be heading for a showdown with chief executive Bob Diamond that could prove a watershed for boardroom pay.Diamonds multi-million-pound jackpot this year has ignited a furious battle with big City investors, and a last-minute attempt by the bank to placate shareholders fury by attaching performance conditions to one of his bonus schemes failed to soothe tempers. It is being predicted that as many as a third of shareholders could vote against his pay package today.Some leading investors are so frustrated at the banks stubborn behaviour over top pay, which has remained in the stratosphere despite the austerity sweeping the country and Barclays poor investment performance, that they are threatening to retaliate.Barclays controversial decision to make a £5.75 million payment to the U.S. tax authorities to cover Diamonds personal bill was the catalyst for anger from normally quiescent shareholders, some of whom are poised to vote against the banks pay report. Influential City lobby group the Association of British Insurers has slapped Barclays with an amber top alert on pay the corporate equivalent of footballs yellow card signalling there are serious concerns with its pay strategy. The tide, it seems, is turning against unfettered rewards for bank bosses even on Wall Street, the birthplace of the monstrous bonus. Earlier this month, shareholders voted down mighty Citigroups pay report, forcing the board to reconsider top executive pay levels.Whatever happens at Barclays meeting today, the High Street lender has already inflicted serious embarrassment on itself.By now, perhaps, we should all be inured to any sense of shock when it comes to the obscene levels of pay in Britains board rooms. After all, the outsize rewards routinely given to bosses, virtually regardless of their performance, have been a stain on corporate Britain for two decades.But the truth is that, despite the financial crisis and economic worries enveloping the country, the indulgence bestowed on these captains of commerce has not abated one iota.In fact, the latest round of pay reports shows them to be more rapacious than ever. Diamond is a case in point of just how ingenious companies have become in finding new ways to milk shareholders who are, ultimately, ordinary British pension-fund members on behalf of their top management.Diamond, who is paid through a U.S. subsidiary, has convinced his board not only that the bank should foot his £5.75 million personal tax account, but also that it should pay any further tax demands from the U.S. authorities for as long as he remains in his post.In addition, as part of a £474,000 benefits package, Diamond has been given money to spend on personal financial advice even though you would expect him, of all people, to understand money management.Barclays decision to pay his £5.75 million tax bill takes the total rewards disclosed in the annual report for Diamond to an astonishing £26.6million, including long-term incentive packages that are linked to performance and pay out over a number of years.In 2011 a year in which the banks share price fell sharply Diamond made £13 million, if his latest long-term share awards are taken into account, including the £5.75 million tax payment.It is not as if the company has met its performance targets quite the reverse, in fact. Barclays shares have fallen over the past five years by 70 per cent, and Diamond him-self described the performance as unacceptable. This greed in executive remuneration makes a nonsense of his public commitment during a Radio 4 interview to good corporate citizenship.It has resulted in howls of outrage from senior political figures. The bank has also attracted the ire of organisations such as the Association of British Insurers and the National Association of Pension Funds, both thoroughly capitalist outfits representing investors, many of whom are appalled by what they perceive as an unconscionable reward for failure. But then, while hard-working families stump up their tax, make ends meet on modest salaries and pay for their own homes, clothes and childrens education, life is rather different for pampered executives and not just at Barclays.And it is not just the seven-figure salaries: the company bosses lavish lifestyles are also heavily subsidised by shareholders. Perks such as clothing, housing and travel allowances, even subsidised energy bills, are scattered like confetti at their feet by the fawning pay committees that rubber-stamp their rewards.For example, Angela Ahrendts, the impressive chief executive of Burberry, can afford to buy her own trench coats, courtesy of her £3.5 million package and a £7.3 million incentive to stay in her job to 2015.Yet she receives a five-figure annual clothing allowance £25,000 in 2009, the latest figure available plus a hefty staff discount on her purchases from Burberry.Sam Laidlaw, chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, receives a multi-million-pound pay, bonus and long-term incentive package, making him one the few people who can pay his fuel bills without flinching. That did not stop him from being awarded a staff discount of up to £684 on his energy bills, even as pensioners shivered because they were too poor to turn up the heat.And Mick Davis, chief executive of mining giant Xstrata, received a £6 million pay, pension and bonus award in 2011 after a record year for the company he built. So it is unlikely he really needs the annual housing allowance of £114,000 to live in his palatial, art-filled home in Hampstead, North London. Davis also received £300,000 for his personal use of a corporate jet, along with a pension contribution of £2.7 million last year.Parents struggling with private education costs may grind their teeth to learn Peter Voser, head of Shell, took £97,000 in benefits including school fees and tax compensation.Similarly, Nicandro Durante, who leads British American Tobacco, took more than £323,000 benefits including home security on his homes in Britain and Brazil. What is most galling is that this tsunami of excess continues unchecked despite endless promises by governments and big investors to curb it. Even the Institute of Directors which, as its name suggests, represents the executive class across the country concedes people have lost faith in the way company pay is set.The tragedy is that business leaders have succumbed to a sense of entitlement that has overwhelmed any semblance of common decency. They are quite unabashed as they cut the pay of employees and slash their pension benefits while luxuriating in their own ever-expanding packages.The claim firms make to justify such pay-outs is that they are approved by shareholders the individuals, investment firms and pension funds that own their companies. But the prevalence of hedge funds that think in the short term, as well as the number of overseas shareholders, means only a small band of long-term British investors can be relied on to act as responsible stewards.And even if the shareholders as a whole do vote through the pay awards, they certainly do not win public approval.Perhaps that is why some major companies try to sneak out their pay reports at times when they hope the embarrassingly large numbers will slip under the radar. This year, a number of firms that should know better delivered their reports online on a Friday afternoon, when newspaper business pages have already been written and the City is packing up for the weekend. They included Centrica and state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland.Of course, there is nothing new about unrestrained greed in the boardroom. Two decades ago, John Majors Tories were embarrassed by the huge pay rises for public utility chiefs post-privatisation notably the 900pc pay rise over a few short years for British Gas boss Cedric Brown (who retired with a £5.5 million pension pot).Around that time, ministers asked Marks Spencer chairman Sir Richard Greenbury to examine how best to curb excess. In his 1995 report, he came up with the idea of long-term incentive plans that would link rewards to performance over several years.But instead of displacing the bonus and short-term share awards, long-term share plans became an added extra the icing on an already over-rich cake. Such multi-million-pound, long-term options act like time-release pills, filling the coffers of executives each year, even in economic bad times.At the heart of the great pay robbery are the remuneration committees that set the pay of executive directors.These are supposedly independent, but in reality often represent a back-scratching old-boys club. At least nine chief executives of the nations top FTSE-100 companies sit on the pay panels of other leading companies.Paul Walsh, chief executive of global drinks giant Diageo, earned £3.2 million last year. He sits on the pay committee of Unilever, where chief executive Paul Polman collected a package of pay, allowances, share awards and other benefits worth almost £5.5 million in 2011.Similarly, Centricas Laidlaw is on the pay committee of global banking giant HSBC, where boss Stuart Gulliver received a £7.2 million pay cheque.Research by the High Pay Centre, an independent think-tank set up to monitor rewards at the top of the scale, found that no fewer than 46 per cent of people sitting on the remuneration committees are current or former top executives at other top firms.Pay committees invariably set awards by looking at what their equivalents in other FTSE-100 companies or firms in the same sector are paying. The higher they ratchet up the pay-outs at the company where they sit as independent directors, the more likely it is that they, too, will hit the jackpot in their main job.Committees also rely heavily on highly paid consultants who often double up as head-hunters to draft their complex pay schemes. Any consultant recommending a pay cut would be unlikely to last long, so no one has any incentive to advocate restraint.Pay in the UK is set using data from around the world, mostly the U.S., where the pay of directors is often off the scale.Apple boss Tim Cook recently received a share package worth an astonishing £236 million.By using these transatlantic comparisons, British bosses can argue they are underpaid and must be handed more if they are not to be poached.The reality, of course, is that it is only too rare that the boss of a UK firm makes it to the top of a U.S. corporate giant. This so-called global market is something of a fiction.Another wheeze the big firms have developed is to put out reports on corporate pay and behaviour, which are screeds of meaningless jargon.At HSBC, for instance, the report runs to 25 pages of tiny type, much of it legal gobbledegook. This has made it all but impossible to give a single definitive figure for what any given executive takes home in a year.HSBC gives three widely different figures for its boss, Stuart Gulliver, for 2011: £7.1 million, £6.6 million or £4.1 million, depending on how it is calculated.This makes a mockery of the idea of transparency and allows corporate PRs to present figures that vastly understate the full rewards as the real or fair ones.Within the world of chief executives, there does appear to be a slowly growing realisation that the gulf between rewards in the boardroom and pay elsewhere needs to be bridged.The bandwagon that saw directors in FTSE-100 companies achieve a 45pc pay rise in 2010 and possibly even more in 2011 a year in which the economy barely grew needs to be addressed urgently.Even some of those who receive big pay-outs recognise the need for change, though they will rarely look a gift horse in the mouth.Sir Andrew Witty heads one of the UKs most successful enterprises, GlaxoSmithKline, which pours £5 billion of resources into new research each year. He is one of the Coalitions favourite businessmen.He accepted a pay freeze in 2009 and 2010, recognising the hardships of those losing their jobs in his own company and the strains on ordinary households.But last year the dam burst and all the admirable restraint was cast aside as Witty saw his pay, benefits and bonus package rise to £6.8 million, including incentive awards that matured in 2011.So who will tackle these corporate behemoths? Director- general of the Institute of Directors, Simon Walker, a former Downing Street adviser, is a powerful voice advocating change. He argues that the old practice of signing up retired chief executives to serve on pay committees must be stopped.U.S. fund management giant Fidelity Worldwide, a big investor in most FTSE-100 companies, is also demanding that City shareholders tackle the problem and use annual general meetings as a chance to vote against big pay deals.It believes the pay of corporate chiefs should receive the support of 75 per cent of shareholders before approval.Thus far, much of the anti-fat-cat venom has been directed at bankers, whose mistakes led to the biggest fall in household income since the Twenties.But chief executives in other industries, from retail to mining, have also been paid sums totally divorced from the rest of society. The clubby atmosphere in the boardroom and the supine attitude of big shareholders have allowed a culture of sheer avarice to flourish.It has spawned the most cosseted and grasping generation of bosses ever seen in this country and it is time for shareholders to call a halt.As Burberry snaps up the pretty Harry Potter actress, is Emma Watson the new Kate Moss?By UPDATED:22:39 GMT, 14 June 2009While Kate Moss and Peaches Geldof continue to make headlines every time they unveil an outrageous look, a new British style icon has been gracefully emerging. When Emma Watson first appeared as Hermione Granger in Harry Potter, at the age of nine, she was a photogenic schoolgirl. Ten years later, she's undergone a metamorphosis and for the past few years has been quietly building a modelling portfolio that's beginning to rival her acting career. In 2008 Chanel appointed her the face of their perfume Coco Mademoiselle, replacing Keira Knightley. Since then, the fashion house's supremo Karl Lagerfeld has become her new best friend. A touch of elegance: Emma's smokey eyes and softly tousled hair add to Burberry's sophisticated feelPicture perfect: Kate Moss pictured in her 2006 Burberry campaign holds a similar profile to the young and blooming Miss WatsonLast month, he photographed her for an edgy French magazine. 'This was a dream come true,' she said. (And that's the other thing about Emma: you won't find her being less than gracious, a welcome contrast to mouthy types such as Lily Allen.) Emma's latest coup is the lucrative Burberry campaign. With smoky eyes and softly tousled hair (right), she adds a touch of sultry elegance to the British label's signature trench coat. Here's hoping she inspires the next generation of teenagers to turn away from tacky tattoos and jeggings. Well, we can dream, can't we? As Emma Watson wows at Burberry's London catwalk comeback, we look at the history of the luxury brandBy UPDATED:10:24 GMT, 24 September 2009 It wasn't so long ago that Burberry check was the fabric of choice on council estates, defining chav fashion. Fast-forward five years, and the luxury brand is virtually unrecognisable. The label's first show at London Fashion Week for more than adecade was this week's hottest ticket, with a front row bristling withA-listers and fashion editors including Vogue's Anna Wintour, current'face' Emma Watson and long-term fans Victoria Beckham and GwynethPaltrow. Huge relief, then, for the brand that has endured a somewhatcheckered history since its humble beginnings in a Basingstoke store in1856... 1879Thomas Burberry invents gaberdine, the world's first breathable fabric. The beginnings of the label's trademark coat are born. 1914During World War I, Burberry designed mackintoshes forofficers of the British Royal Flying Corps, later the RAF. The militarymodel became known as the trench coat, and would later be adopted bycivilians. 1924The famous Burberry check, registered as a trademark, was introduced as a lining to the trench coat. 1983The Prince and Princess of Wales (above) are photographed in Burberry ensembles while holidaying in Nova Scotia. 2001Designer Christopher Bailey (right) takes the helm and downplays the Burberry check as part of the label's unofficial re-branding.2002Burberry's heritage chic becomes the look of choice for celebrities from Madonna to Mr and Mrs Beckham, with the check print scarf selling out in stores from New York to Tokyo. 2004Daniella Westbrook and her daughter are 'papped' in head-totoe Burberry. The soap star and some-time cocaine addict is crowned Queen Chav. Her response? 'It's a real compliment.' 2006Kate Moss returns as the face of Burberry in a campaign shot by Mario Testino nine months after the fashion house scrapped her campaign following tabloid accusations that she used drugs. 2007Burberry discovers model de jour and former fish and chip shop worker Agyness Deyn, who stars in its autumn campaign of this year. 2008Burberry begins its ascent to global adoration. With a 25 per cent jump in profits, the label makes the top five luxury goods brands in the world. 2009In A bold move, Harry Potter star Emma Watson (above) becomes the label's new face. Runaway success at London Fashion Week galvanises Burberry's starry future, with the company worth £1.2 billion. Asian boom lifts Burberry to new highsBy UPDATED:00:13 GMT, 20 April 2011Shares in Burberry soared to anall-time high on the back of strongsales in China, Hong Kong andother emerging markets.The 155-year-old fashion retailer,best known for its distinctivecamel, red and black check, beatCity expectations yesterday whenit revealed in a trading update itscore fourth quarter sales had risen33 per cent to £390million. Analysts hadexpected the firm to post revenuesof around £350million.The London-based businesswent on to raise its full year forecaststo between £279million and£300million. In January it had set arange of between £250million to£290million.The stock initially rallied 8.6 per cent to1245p, before easing back to closeup 69p at 1215p.The firm also said it planned toboost its retail space by 12 per cent year,and would look at sites in Asia,Latin America and the MiddleEast.Burberry opened seven newstores in the second half of thiscurrent year, including São Paulo,New York and Milan, and plans toadd 20-25 stores next year, mainlyin China, Latin America and theMiddle East.Chief executive Angela Ahrendtssaid: Burberry had a strong finishto the year. While the luxury industryfaces global challenges in theyear ahead, we remain confidentin our teams ability tooutperform.Burberry shares have surgedmore than sixfold over the pasttwo-and-a-half years after thegroup slashed costs during theeconomic downturn and then benefitedfrom a faster-than-expectedrecovery in the luxury sector.Richard Curr, an analyst BrandCommunications, said: Five or sixyears ago the brand was not seenas being worn by trendsetters inthe UK. But it has since traded onits strong English name in the FarEast and has not looked back.Burberrys stock was hit after theearthquake and tsunami in Japanlast month raised fears aboutdemand from the worlds third-biggestluxury goods market. Fashion-forward Emma Watson is a Burberry beauty as she dazzles at pre-BAFTA bash in £1,700 coatBy UPDATED:17:11 GMT, 12 February 2011She may not be the face of Burberry anymore, but Emma Watson showed her loyalty to them remains last night by stepping out in the luxury label.The Harry Potter star looked gorgeous in a new take on the brand's iconic trench coat.The 20-year-old attended a pre-BAFTA Awards party thrown by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein at Almada bar and restaurant in Mayfair wearing a £1,700 Burberry Prorsum trench coat with eye-catching leather sleeves. The party was in honour of Colin Firth and The King's Speech, the runaway success of this year's awards season, which The Weinstein Company produced.The party continued well into the early hours, with Emma arriving at nearby Mahiki nightclub in the film chief's Rolls Royce.When they were accosted by eager autograph-hunters in between parties, Weinstein jumped in to chivalrously guide Emma through the crowd.For Firth and many of his fellow revellers, who included flame-hairedMad Men star Christina Hendricks (in a stunning low-cut floral print silk gown), it was the start of a party-packed weekend in the run-up to Sunday's BAFTA Awards. Other stars feted at Almada's included Amy Adams, star of The Fighter, Rosamund Pike, Dougray Scott and Claire Forlani, Neve Campbell, new 'It' girl Felicity Jones, Ralph Fiennes and designer Vivienne Westwood.Ronnie Wood spent the night flirting with a variety of young female delights, but left arm in arm with girlfriend Ana Araujo.Sam Taylor Wood and Aaron Johnson also took in the heady atmosphere along with Noomi Repace, Elizabeth Mcgovern star of TV hit Downton Abbey, Sally Hawkins, Matthew Freud and wife Elisabeth Murdoch. Appropriately, theatrical knights Sir Derek Jacobi and Sir Ben Kingsley were in attendance. Sitting chatting with friends was Ricky Gervais, he was keeping a low profile and didn't insult anyone.'It's my night off', joked the comic who hosted January's Golden Globe ceremony.Tom Hooper , director of The King's Speech praised his film's leading man for helping to turn the movie into a global phenomenon.'We all hail King Colin', Hooper told guests. During dinner executives from Momentom Picture, the film's UK distributor, revealed that Friday night's ticket sales for the movie hadpushed the UK box-office takings to well over the £32 million mark.Firth said he would be pacing himself at all the BAFTA festivities. 'People don't come up to me and say, 'Oh congratulations' or whatever. 'They just want to know how I'm coping with all the travelling back and forwards from London to Los Angeles and back again,' the actor laughed.'I am now in the possession of so many cures for jet-lag I could open a chemists.' Firth, who arrived at the soiree in time for dessert, added: 'But in-between going to awards shows I have to fit in the school run when I'm home in London. 'But that keeps you grounded and I love to do things with my family.'He and his wife, Livia Giuggioli had their first courses at Cecconi's, where Vogue magazine threw a pre-BAFTA bash.On Saturday there are several 'happenings' for the stars in town.Momentum are hosting a brunch at the new hotel Corinthia in Whitehall while Charles Finch will be 'at home' at Mark's Club, the private members' dining club in Mayfair.On Sunday there are post-BAFTA parties all over town including the Fox and Pathe studios combining to host an after midnight affair at Sketch while Momentum and the Weinstein film company will be in high octane party mode at the new W hotel in central London.Do you have a story about a celebrity? Call the Daily Mail showbusiness desk on 0207 938 6364 or 0207 938 6683. For U.S. stories, phone 310 642 2317.Behind the scenes of Burberry's atmospheric autumn/winter campaign starring Gabriella Wilde and Roo Panes By PUBLISHED:16:35 GMT, 1 August 2012 UPDATED:07:00 GMT, 2 August 2012Burberry is continuing to create a buzz on social networking sites after embracing the power of social media to promote their Autumn/Winter campaign starring Roo Panes and Gabriella Wilde. Since images of the campaign have been released, the fashion house's Twitter and Facebook fans have rocketed whilst also raising Wilde and Panes's profiles.Now the fashion brand have released behind the scenes pictures of their atmospheric shoot which was filmed at night by Mario Testino under the creative direction of Burberry's Christopher Bailey at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich London.One of the pictures shows St Trinians actress Wilde in make-up as she prepares for her close-up. Another shows Testino and Bailey behind the camera as the glamorous shoot takes place.Bailey said they were delighted with the resulting pictures and videos that were produced following their night of filming. He said: 'Using London as the backdrop, we shot the series of cinematic, emotive black and white images and short films with the incredibly talented Gabriella Wilde and Roo Panes, who effortlessly bring the campaign and our collections to life across all of our platforms.'The resulting pictures and videos have been cleverly trickled out via social networking sites and Burberry's own website. Today, as well as the behind the scenes pictures, the fashion house also released more pictures of Wilde and Pane modelling clothes and accessories from their range with the titles 'the long wait' and 'footsteps and shadows'. A video called 'London Streets' has also just been released which is a continuation of previous short films starring Wilde and Panes in the classic old Hollywood movie style. The campaign has been well-received with Burberry currently up to 13,180,946 likes on Facebook and1,162,741 followers on Twitter.As well as Facebook and Twitter, their cross platform campaign has also been sent directly to Burberry's fans on Burberry.com, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Sina Weibo, Douban, Kaixin001 and Youku. Thanks to the involvement of Panes, who can add singer-songwriter to his list of talents, Burberry have also released an official soundtrack on iTunes featuring Pane's songs which have also been used on some of the campaign videos. The latest 'London Streets' video however, which you can view below, uses British singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading's 'It Could Have Been Better' as the backing track.Fans of Panes will hear more from him though as the Burberry campaign continues to be released while Wilde will be seen again on the big screen soon as she is to star in the remake of classic horror film Carrie, which will be out next year. Bespoke on a budget: Now you don't have to be A-list to afford made-to-measureBy UPDATED:09:21 GMT, 1 February 2011Burberry has announced it is to launch Burberry Bespoke - a website where you can customise one of its iconic macs to make it just the way you like it. But if you want to put your own stamp on your style, high-end fashion houses arent the only places to go. There are a host of companies offering you the opportunity to design your very own wardrobe, for a ­fraction of the price.CLOTHES styleshake.comSick of not being able to find the clothes you want in the sizes, fabrics and styles that you like? Help is at hand in the form of StyleShake.com, a brilliant website that gives you the chance to design your own dress.Youcan customise one of their existing designs or start from scratch, choosing the colour, fabric, length, neckline, sleeves and trimmings. You then choose a standard size or, for an extra £5, give them your exact measurements and get it made to measure.Jerseydresses start at £41, 100 per cent silk frocks at £71 and you can also make skirts, from £37, tops from £41 and matching accessories including shrugs, £30, and clutch bags, £30.Standard delivery (up to ten days) is £7 and they will even do free alterations to ensure that your outfit fits you perfectly.KNITWEAR granniesinc.co.ukIfyour own grandmother is not much cop with a pair of needles, but you still like the idea of handmade knitwear to your specifications, then atGranniesInc.co.uk you can pay someone elses grandma to make you a hat,scarf, snood or wrist-warmers. You decide on the colours youwant it made in, pick the size and any extras a pompom, bow or some ­tassels, perhaps and then a granny gets knitting for you. The prices start at £34 and all items are made from 100 per cent British spun merino wool. Deliverytimes will vary depending on which granny you choose and how busy she is. But expect to have your item within eight days, sent by first-class post for £3.95.COATS KatherineHooker.comA good coat or jacket is the ­definition of an investment buy and the right one will last you for years. But finding a coat off the peg isnt easy, which is where Katherine Hooker comes in. Shes the woman whom the likes of Kate Middleton, Sarah Brown and Jerry Hall trust for ­stylish outerwear. This ­winters ­collection has seven coats, ranging from the fashion-­forward cape coat to a classic belted coat, ten jackets and two waistcoats. Choose from a wealth of fabrics and ­colours, select the lining and trims, and between four and six weeks later youll have your own designer coat. Coats start at £520, jackets at £470 and waistcoats at £295. Delivery will cost you £10.Made-to-measure: Examples of a StyleShake.com's dress, a Granniesinc.co.uk scarf and KatherineHooker.com coat LINGERIE GildaPearl.co.ukInspired by the sirens of the silver screen, Gilda Pearls silk and lace confections are Agent Provocateur without the scary dominatrix ­overtones. Whether you want jet black, jewel-like tones of red and ­purple or creamy ivory, theyve got something to suit. And if they havent, or you want it without the bow or with an extra ribbon, theyll make it for you. Every item they sell is handmade in ­Britain, so they can tweak their designs to suit your needs.The semi-bespoke underwired bras start at £78, while knickers are from around £52. You can get a semi-bespoke ­garter from just £22. Standard delivery is free and ­usually takes two weeks.WEDDING SHOES emmyshoes.co.ukThis luxury, custom-made ­wedding shoe venture is the brainchild of Emmy Scarterfield, who started out designing shoes and ­accessories for top labels Bottega Veneta and Giorgio Armani.She later returned to ­Britain to set up glamorous accessory ranges for French Connection and Reiss.Emmy has devised a series of ­beautiful ­vintage-inspired designs that can be ­customised, according to what you want. So you can choose every tiny detail, from the height of the heel and shape of the toe to whether you want them in cream leather, ivory suede or any number of other luxury materials.You can also add any embellishments that take your fancy. Prices start at £260, but creep up if you decide on Thirties pearl detail or some hand-embroidered ­daisies. The delivery charge is £10 and can take between ten and 12 weeks. Perfect fit: A GildaPearl.co.uk bra, an emmyshoes.co.uk wedding shoe and a bag from bagsoflove.co.ukPHOTO BAGS bagsoflove.co.ukWe know it was Anya Hindmarch who started the craze for photo bags, but while her offerings are undoubtedly exquisitely made, they do start at £115 for a washbag. Instead, check out the far more affordable offerings available from Bags Of Love.Their make-up bags, which can be personalised with a photo of your choice, start at a more pocket-friendly £35 (and unlike Anyas, which can take up to ten weeks, theyre ready for delivery in just a couple of days).You can order totes from £89 and laptop bags from £49 all personalised with your favourite photographs.Standard ­delivery is £3.85.SPORTSWEAR store.nike.comAt the online Nike store, you can ­personalise a whole range of sports kit and were not just talking about getting your name printed on the back of a football shirt. While the Nike ID concept started with trainers, its expanded and you can pick the colours, badges and slogans on a complete range of kit from hoodies, £65, and sports bags, £60, through to the ­original Air Max trainers, from £115. Delivery takes a fairly long three to four weeks and costs £6.50. But there is ­something quite appealing about getting shoes, or a hoodie with whatever you want embroidered on the back.HANDBAGS belenechandia.comA handbag created to your specifications in the colours of your choice sounds like the sort of thing only A-listers can get their hands on.But luxury bag brand Belen Echandia offers that for half the price of your average It Bag. Simply go to the website, browse the archive of handbag styles from clutches to totes pick one and start to customise.Prices start at £400. You can choose the leather and lining, a zip or magnet closure and whether you want an extra internal pocket or studs on the outside. Your bag is handcrafted in an Italian atelier using traditional techniques.You can expect to receive it a couple of weeks later and delivery costs £9.Now that's what you call a ball-gown! Tennis player Bethanie Mattek-Sands goes Gaga at pre-Wimbledon party in wacky yellow dress By Created 11:02 PM on 16th June 2011Bethanie Mattek-Sands has described herself as the Lady Gaga of the tennis world due to her flamboyant fashion taste.So who better to dress the American tennis player than one of Gaga's own designers.The 26-year-old made an attention-seeking entrance at the Women's Tennis Association pre-Wimbledon party in association with Range Rover in London last night in a tennis-inspired dress.Scroll down to see a video of how the dress was madeThe startling dress included a neon green corset made of parts of tennis balls, with matching shoulder pads.More tennis balls were then attached to some neon green chiffon to create a Mohican-style hat.Mattek-Sands, who is currently No.31 in the world rankings, commissioned British designer Alex Noble to create her flamboyant gown for the bash at the Kensington Roof Gardens.Sony Ericsson Xperia Tennis Hotshot Mattek-Sands is no stranger to breaking the style rules, who was fined for wearing a cowboy hat on the court in 2005.A lover of crazy fashion, Mattek-Sands knows she will have to tone down her wardrobe to adhere to Wimbledon's strict dress code.So the pre-Wimbledon bash was the perfect opportunity for her to show her individualism outside the rigid rules of the South West London club.She said last month: 'I don't think I can really challenge the colour rule right now.'You know, I got to figure something out. Obviously the white, you got to work with a lot of the cuts. Obviously I'll be wearing my high socks. But yeah, it's always challenging to think of new things for Wimbledon.'I think the fans that come to Wimbledon appreciate everything I do. I think it's more probably the members and the people higher up that are tut-tutting me.'Mattek-Sands and Noble met up in Madrid and Copenhagen earlier this month and was open to his idea of making the gown out of tennis balls.In an online video following the making of the gown, Mattek-Sands said: 'Fashion has always been super-interesting for me.' All white on the night: (L-R) Singer Eliza Doolitte wore a daring little white dress, Holly Branson opted for a white, blue and glittery shift, while Holly Valance kept it laidback in a shirt and skirt Going to the dark side: (L-R) Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki wore Stella McCartney, actress Patsy Kensit looked sleek in a long shift, while Sinitta wore a maxi dress and flip-flopsDescribing the dress, Noble said the corset section made of tennis balls 'is like an armour, which really suits Bethanie's personality.Wondering what the reaction would be on the red carpet, she admitted: 'I like keeping everyone on their toes'.While lots of guests at the bash were horrified by Bethanie's outfit, some applauded her for her sense of fun. Feeling blue: (L-R) Spanish model Elen Rivas in a floral maxi dress, Pussycat Doll Kimberley Wyatt in a silk Sixties dress and RB singer Alexis Jordan in an asymmetrical mini Leggy: (L-R) Socialite Tamara Ecclestone wore a very tight cream dress, Jelena Jankovic looked red hot in Vivienne Westwood, while retired tennis player Annabel Croft wore a blue summer dressAustralian player Casey Dellacqua Tweeted her: 'Totally love your dress Bethanie...u look smashing!!!!! :)'The event saw 15 female tennis players wearing gowns by the best British fashion designers.All the dresses will then be auctioned off during the tournament with proceeds going to WTA charities and the British Fashion Council's Princess of Wales Charitable Trust.Guests at the star-studded bash braved the downpour to feast on a summer barbecue and sipped cocktails, champagne, Evian water and Jacob's Creek wine - the official wine of Wimbledon.Tennis stars Serena Williams and Maria Sharipova joined Holly Branson, Holly Valance, Tamara Ecclestone and Eliza Doolittle for the raucous party.The grey weather didn't dampen the party spirit as the A-listers dancing to old-school tunes on the dance floor until the early hours and play dress-ups in the photo booth.Big spenders help Burberry defy recessionBy UPDATED:08:36 GMT, 20 January 2010The rich are still spending in spite of the recession according to the latest figures from luxury good retailers. Burberry, the 154-year-old maker of trench coats and handbags, yesterday showed that an appetite for designer goods remains strong as it smashed forecasts to report a 10pc rise in underlying sales. This compares with analysts' expectations of a rise of 3pc for the three months to December 31. The group, famous for its camel, red and black check, has cut costs and jobs and managed stocks to ensure it can perform well through the downturn. Shares in Burberry jumped 8pc to close the day 49.5p ahead at 649p as the retailer, which features Harry Potter star Emma Watson in its advertising campaigns, forecast profit growth in 2010-11. Evolution Securities analyst Dennis Weber said: 'Burberry is beating its competitors on all counts and the trend is still getting better.' The group has enjoyed strong growth in Europe and Asia. The news came as upmarket jeweller Theo Fennell said it expected to post only a marginal loss this year following a bumper Christmas with sales up 25% in the three weeks to December 24. The company, whose pieces have been spotted on David Beckham and Sir Elton John, has managed to turn itself around after suffering losses of 3m last year. Shares added half a penny to 48.5p. Earlier this week, Richemont, the group behind Cartier watches and Chloe fashion house, said shoppers have started splashing out. Tiffany recently said that its profits should beat expectations following strong sales. Thank you for your excellent website, and in particular please thank Joanne Hart and her team for their expert stock picking advice, which is serving me much better than I had even hoped for. - R Jeffery I've followed your column for many years and really appreciate all the good tips. Of course, one can't act upon all the info, but, most recently, I did buy 1,000 Immupharma and was impressed when I saw that they'd won a prestigious award. - David M Midas is the first thing I turn to when we get the paper! - Karen Love the Midas section of the Mail on Sunday - keep up the good work. - Simon P Blue-chip boards still lack women By UPDATED:08:27 GMT, 2 December 2010The glass ceiling in the UK looks shatterproof: despite efforts by the government and the chairmen of our largest businesses to increase female representation, the number of women at the top of FTSE 100 companies has remained stagnant for the third year in a row. The 2010 Female FTSE report from Cranfield School of Management reveals today that women hold just 135 directorships out of 1,076 total board positions in the blue-chip share index, or 12.5 per cent, barely up on last year's figure of 12.2 per cent. Of the 135 new appointments to top corporate boards, only 18 were women and there was a net rise of just three female directors over the year, taking the total to 116 women holding 135 positions. One glimmer of hope is that the number of companies with no female directors at all decreased to 21, from 25 in 2009. Smaller companies are even worse at promoting women to board level than their bigger brethren, with an 'unacceptable' 52 per cent of firms in the FTSE 250 having all-male directorates. The new UK Corporate Governance Code calls on companies to 'pay due regard' to diversity on boards. Former trade minister Lord Davies of Abersoch is spearheading a government drive to get more women on boards. Roger Carr, the chairman of Centrica, and Sir Win Bischoff, chairman of Lloyds Banking Group, have founded the 30% Club, a group of chairmen aiming to get that proportion of women around their boardroom tables. Leading the Female FTSE 100 is fashion retailer Burberry, led by chief executive Angela Ahrendts, with women as three out of its eight board members, followed by Alliance Trust, whose chief executive is Katherine Garrett-Cox. Dr Ruth Sealy, co-author of the report, said women had won positions on executive committees just below board level in 82 of the FTSE 100 companies but too few were making it to the directors' suite. 'These women are a rich resource pool for future board directorships,' she said. Equalities minister Lynne Featherstone said: 'Making boards more diverse is not about political correctness - it's about making sure companies draw senior staff from the widest possible pool of talent, which is good for business, good for staff and good for customers.' The UK lags behind other countries for boardroom diversity, including Australia, where nearly a third of new appointments this year went to women. In France a quota law is in the pipeline stipulating at least 40 per cent of directors must be female. Norway introduced a 40 per cent quota in 2004 in a move that is widely seen in that country as having been successful. Boom time for Burberry as company bucks the trendBy UPDATED:20:53 GMT, 22 May 2011The belt-tightening taking place elsewhere in the economy does not appear to have affected luxury fashions, which are going through a boom period.Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts, pictured, is in line for a £12m pay and bonus package, thanks to strong demand for her pricey wares. The group is expected to announce a 40 per cent profit rise to £300m this week. And womens love of stilettos has proved lucrative for Tamara Mellon, whose 17 per cent stake in the Jimmy Choo brand she founded was valued at £85m in a takeover by luxury goods group Labelux last night. She will reinvest in Labelux and continue as chief creative officer.Bravo poised for Burberry windfallBy and UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 23 June 2002BURBERRY'S chief executive Rose Marie Bravo is in line for a windfall of more than 10m, if the float gets off to a good start. GUS, which owns the luxury fashion brand, will today unveil details of a bumper package that will make Bravo the most highly paid female boss of a quoted British company. The 51-year old Italian-American already earns about 2m in salary and bonuses each year. The glamorous New Yorker is also paid a clothing allowance of more than 10,000. But these amounts will be dwarfed by the shares and options award that GUS has agreed to give her when Burberry floats. Some argue it is a price worth paying, but the package will inevitably raise questions about excessive executive rewards. When Bravo was poached from US department store Saks Fifth Avenue in 1997, Burberry was estimated to be worth just 200m. Now it is worth more than 1bn, with 500m annual sales. Bravo is credited with revamping the brand, now worn by the likes of Madonna and supermodel Kate Moss. GUS chief executive John Peace will today defend the award and announce the price range for Burberry shares. The retailer, which also owns Argos, is floating about 25% of Burberry. It is valued at 1.2bn to 1.5bn, though analysts reckon it will be priced at the lower end of the range. Bravo gets a large chunk of shares immediately, but her option award will be based around a longterm incentive plan which depends on the performance of the group. British luxury brand Burberry to terminate tie-up with Inter Parfums as it seeks more profitable relationships By PUBLISHED:20:56 GMT, 27 July 2012 UPDATED:08:34 GMT, 28 July 2012British luxury brand Burberry will terminate its tie-up with French fragrance-maker Inter Parfums as it seeks more profitable relationships.The group, best known for its trademark camel, red and black check pattern and raincoats, yesterday said it had ended talks after failing to agree new terms. Burberry continues to pursue various strategic options to develop fully its fragrance and beauty business in the future, Burberry said.A week ago the company marked its tenth anniversary on the London Stock Exchange, a decade which has seen its market value leap from £1.2bn to £5.6bn larger than Marks Spencer.Analysts say Burberry (up 6p to 1284p) aims to boost its fragrance and make-up business by developing new products, strengthening control over its brand and enhancing profits.The group is still a minor player in the fragrance business, which is estimated to be worth only about 2 per cent of its sales.But perfumes and cosmetics accounted for around 21 per cent of the 191bn global luxury market in 2011, according to estimates by consultancy Bain Co and industry body Altagamma. Buoyant Burberry beats forecastsBy UPDATED:00:00 GMT, 16 November 2004LUXURY goods group Burberry topped analysts' expectations with an 18% increase in underlying profits to 78.8m over the first half and a big increase in the dividend. The group, headed by chief executive Rose Marie Bravo, is also planning to buy back up to 250m shares. Its shares responded with a 22p surge to 417p. Womenswear did particularly well, with underlying sales ahead by 18%, and the new Brit fragrance for men also had a successful launch. But the group sounded a warning note about the current-state of the retail market. Finance director Stacey Cartright said 'There has been some softness on the retail side, particularly in the United States.'She added: 'We are outerwear-dominated, so the mild weather has not been particularly kind to us.'Based on this subdued demand, Burberry said it is 'planning retail sales conservatively for the second half'.Total sales were ahead by 14%, at 347m and the interim dividend is raised by 33% to 2p. A big beneficiary will be retail conglomerate GUS, which holds a 66% stake. Buoyant Burberry looking to growBy UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 14 April 2003BURBERRY's underlying retail sales have soared by 30% over the winter half-year, the luxury goods group reported, though the gloss came off the figures after it warned of the effects of the Iraq war and the deadly flu virus Sars. The growth figure for its fourth quarter, the three months to the end of March, indicated slowing sales as it came in at 28%. 'During March, various factors increasingly affected performance, particularly in the UK and Hong Kong markets,' the company said. The company, which floated last summer, said underlying sales climbed 15% in the six months ended March, with total revenues ahead 30%. After opening seven new stores in the past six months, Burberry aims to open another eight this year, including in the fashion capital of the world Milan. The shares rose 15p to 247p. Burberry beats forecasts with 24% first-quarter growthUPDATED:08:17 GMT, 13 July 2010Luxury group Burberry beat forecasts with a 24 per cent rise in first-quarter underlying revenue, helped by a bringing forward of wholesale orders and strong demand for outerwear and accessories.The 154-year-old maker of raincoats and handbags said it made £282million of revenue, excluding a restructuring at its Spanish arm, in the three months ended June, led by growth in Asia and the rest of Europe.That compares with an average forecast of £263million in a Reuters poll of eight analysts.Sales at the group's retail outlets rose an underlying 16 per cent,including a 10 per cent increase at shops open at least a year, whilewholesale revenue leapt an underlying 46 per cent, helped by a pullforward of orders into the first quarter.Burburry, bestknown for its camel, red and black check pattern, said it was keepingits guidance for a high-teens percentage increase in first-halfunderlying wholesale sales.Luxury goods firms mostly enjoyeda strong start to 2010 as the world economy moved out of recession. Butmoves in several countries to rein in government borrowing, like highertaxes and public spending cuts, have raised fears demand will slowagain.Burberry weathered the recession better than manyrivals thanks to a quick response which saw it cut costs, jobs, stocksand ranges. In May it announced plans to step up its expansion, with afocus on emerging markets, e-commerce and menswear.Burberryshares have beaten the STOXX 600 personal goods sector by 25 per centthis year. They closed on Monday at 789.5 pence, valuing the businessat about £3.5billion. Burberry: 'Float is still on track'By UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 10 July 2002FASHION house Burberry is seeking to dispel fears that it could pull its float on the London Stock Exchange, scheduled for Friday. A spokeswoman said: 'Nothing's changed. The float is still on track.'Earlier reports, citing banking sources, said parent GUS could drop the plan if markets kept falling. The retailer wants to float 25% of Burberry, valuing the business at 1.14bn to 1.45bn. Brokers Tullett & Tokyo quoted a grey market spread of 239p to 244p for the shares, down from Wednesday's spread of 242p-248p and compared with the indicative price range for the float of 230p-290p.The Burberry listing has taken centre stage after several other market hopefuls pulled their plans to float, blaming turbulent markets. SAB Miller, the world's number two brewer, late on Wednesday shelved a share sale to raise about 614m, within hours of unveiling the plan. Irish drinks and snacks firm C&C pulled its float on Monday.Trench coats boost for Burberry as movie stars helped attract younger shoppersBy UPDATED:07:52 GMT, 19 January 2011A raft of star-studded celebrity backers including actress Gwyneth Paltrow have helped luxury fashion group Burberry boost trading over the key Christmas period, writes Rupert Steiner. Endorsements by movie stars helped attract a younger, more aspirational shopper to the 155-year-old firm, which saw underlying sales rise a hefty 14 per cent over the three months to December 31. The shares rose 5 per cent after finance director Stacey Cartwright said full-year profits, which analysts forecast at between £254million and £291million, would be at the higher end of expectations. Burberry (up 56p to 1115p) has benefited from wealthy tourists splashing out on its trademark camel, red and black check trench coats, boosting total revenues to £480million from £380million for the period, and is aiming for continued success with its spring collection, pictured. It follows Cartier owner Richemont and France's LVMH in posting stellar festive sales. Cartwright added: 'We are seeing an influx of newglobal luxury consumers in India and the Middle East which counters anyissues in the traditional core market.' Burberry a star for upbeat GUSBy UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 10 April 2001BURBERRY, the luxury goods brand best known for its plaid-lined raincoats, continues to pile up spectacular sales gains ahead of its 1bn-plus flotation.The business, part of Great Universal Stores, raised its underlying sales by 41% in the second half of the year, with significant growth reported on the wholesale and retail side. Burberry was the best-performer in the GUS empire, which ranges from the Argos retail chain to Kay's and Great Universal home shopping catalogues. By far the biggest part of the group, however, is its Experian credit-checking business, which accounts for 40% of profits. Experian's progress cheered GUS followers, sending the shares up 43p to 490p. Experian's operations in North America alone account for more than a quarter of GUS's profit and there have been fears about the impact of the US slowdown on the business. But GUS said that while the outlook for the US economy remains uncertain, sales at Experian North America had continued to grow in the second half after a better fourth quarter last year. Worldwide, Experian sales were ahead by 7%, including a 4% rise in North America, where the group said business was boosted by strong demand for credit reports related to mortgage financing. British sales jumped by 14%. Argos pushed like-for-like sales up by 6%, reporting particularly strong sales of mobile phones, furniture and jewellery. Margins also remained firm. In home shopping, sales were down 5%, which GUS said was in line with its plan to reduce the business. Sales per customer increased as the group continued to target more profitable customers. GUS has previously indicated that it would float around 25% of Burberry by summer 2002, raising more than 250m for the company.Finance director David Tyler dismissed some analysts' fears that the Burberry brand may be fast moving past its peak, damaged by a horde of downmarket imitations. 'Plaid is only one very small part of the Burberry offer,' he said. 'It is less than 20% of what we sell and we are not unduly concerned. Imitation is the price of success.' Results for the year to 31 March will be released by GUS on 5 June and the group also promises further news on the Burberry flotation plans. Burberry and Argos boost GUSBy UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 25 July 2000Burberry continues its remarkable renaissance with sales of the luxury goods business well ahead over the first quarter. Parent company Great Universal Stores also highlighted continued double-digit like-for-like growth for Argos, at 12%, and said margins at the catalogue showrooms chain had also risen. GUS's biggest profits contributor, the financial information business Experian, staged a recovery over the first quarter after last year's disappointing performance, while the group's traditional mail order operation saw sales slide by 6%. GUS said the decline reflects continued weakness in the clothing market together with the planned reduction in spending on customer recruitment. Overall, the group says, trading for the three-month period is broadly in line with market expectations. Burberry and Bailey unveil the thorn birdsLast updated at 10:53 14 June 2007They are the new English roses - only these girls havethorns.British models Agyness Deyn, Lily Donaldson, Kiera Gormley andGeorgia Frost have been chosen to front Burberry's newautumn/winter advertising campaign. The results are seen hereexclusively.While the models' complexions are pure English rose, theirthorniness derives from the clothes they are parading - thetoughest, sexiest collection to date from erstwhile romanticChristopher Bailey.Scroll down for moreYorkshireman Bailey has had a long love affair with prim Englishdressing, but for autumn he has traded Princess Margaret for Queen- not our monarch but the rock group.One image is reminiscent of the cover for their 1974 album,Queen II, featuring the four band members' heads on a blackbackground.The edgy Burberry pictures, photographed by Mario Testino, arewell suited to the rock-inspired spirit of the campaign, which alsofeatures members of modern bands such as The Paddingtons, The Viewand Larrikin Love and singer-songwriter Patrick Wolf.However, it is the pale blonde duo of Donaldson and Deyn thatdraws the eye.Both models were featured on the cover of last month's AmericanVogue as two of the influential magazine's 10 most promising modelsof the year.The Burberry campaign-one of the most prestigious in the fashionindustry, is likely to cement their reputations.Also featured is the new "It" bag for autumn, the Knight, socalled because of its studded, rugged appearance.Made of soft nappa leather, it will cost 1,595.That may sound expensive, but its predecessor, this season'sManor bag, was sold out within weeks.A regular Burberry fixture who does not appear this time is KateMoss. But Bailey insisted her absence was entirely innocent.He said: "Although she doesn't feature in every advertisingcampaign, she remains part of the Burberry family."Share this article: Feisty Adele is just the girl to get Burberry back on song By PUBLISHED:00:56 GMT, 16 September 2012 UPDATED:06:57 GMT, 17 September 2012Singer Adele may be looking forward to the birth of her first child later this month but shes already got a new project lined up working with Burberry. Fashionistas say that Burberry chief Christopher Bailey has approached the Someone Like You singer, offering her the chance to take on a role with the British fashion house.This could give Burberry a boost after last weeks profits warning saw about £1.3billion wiped off its stock market value.Bailey credited with reinventing a brand that was once linked to chav culture personally wrote to Adele, above, at the start of the year, inviting her to visit his studio, and she has since been working with the firm.He is said to be keen for the award-winning singer to take on a consultative role and, along with her stylist Gaelle Paul, create bespoke designs that reflect her position as an ambassador for stylish, curvy women. Adele has always had an interest in fashion and Christopher is keen to get her involved because she knows exactly what suits her and likes to be involved in the creative process, says an insider.He invited her to come to the studio with Gaelle Paul and together they collaborated on creating dresses for the awards season with her.Adele was hands-on with her dress for the Brits, and she did the same for her gown at the Grammys. There could well be a plus-size collaboration in the future.Bailey is also seeking Adeles backing for the Burberry Acoustic project, which seeks to showcase young British music talent.Burberry said: It is a private matter that we wouldnt comment on. A spokesman for Adele declined to comment.Meanwhile, the Burberry Prorsum dress worn by Samantha Cameron to last years Royal Wedding has popped up on eBay. The silk teal gown, which was praised by fashion critics, is being sold in aid of Save the Children. I love the dress and am thrilled to donate it to Save the Childrens Born To Shop auction, said Samantha, a British Fashion Council ambassador. The first bid, placed yesterday, was for just £12.99 lets hope bidders get more generous over the next few days!Milliner to the stars Philip Treacy will make his catwalk comeback tonight after a ten-year hiatus. Philip the go-to hatter for royalty and celebrities managed to bag all of fashions biggest stars Naomi Campbell, Yasmin Le Bon, Kate Moss, Stella Tennant and Christy Turlington for his debut in 1993, so big things are predicted for tonights London Fashion Week show at the Royal Courts of Justice in The Strand. Im told Grace Jones, Bryan Ferry, Boy George and Duran Duran will all be at the show and that there will be a few musical surprises in store. Irishman Treacy, 45, has had a busy few years culminating in his transition into a Royal milliner, although the pretzel hat he made for Princess Beatrice at last years Royal Wedding wasnt well received.Wheelchair athlete David Weir received help from an unlikely source on his way to Paralympic glory fashion mogul Sir Philip Green. The 33-year-old, who won four gold medals at London 2012, has received private funding from the Topshop boss since a friend of Sir Philip saw him training in Richmond Park four years ago. A spokesman for Sir Philip said: He was delighted to help. He saw David last Thursday and will continue to keep in close touch with him.Burberry axes up to 290 to guard profitsBy UPDATED:11:55 GMT, 20 January 2009Fashion house Burberry today said it is axeing up to 290 UK jobs to protect profits. The luxury goods group is closing its sewing factory in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, as demand sinks for its traditional trench coats. Operations will now be focused on its plant in Castleford, West Yorkshire. Burberry, famed for its check design, was locked in a row with unions in 2007 when it decided to shut its poloshirt factory in South Wales. Burberry said like-for-like retail sales fell 3% in the final three months of 2008 but total revenues rose 9% to 329m, boosted by heavy discounting in December and an influx of tourists into its London stores, tempted by the weak pound. 'In a difficult and volatile environment, our performance has been very satisfactory, with menswear and childrenswear doing particularly well,' chief financial officer Stacey Cartwright said. Burberry forecasts a decline in the 'high single digits' in revenue at its wholesale arm in the second half of the year as US stores reduce orders.Burberry baby Mason Disick enjoys designer-clad park date with his parents By UPDATED:13:43 GMT, 22 September 2011Most of his famous family have tried their hand at modelling, with the youngest Kardashians Kendall and Kylie set to take the modelling world by storm.However 21-month-old Mason, the son of Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick, looked ready to give the girls a run for their money when he went to the park with his parents today.He wore a checked baby Burberry jumper and some blue pinstripe trousers, along with a pair of tan leathermoccasins, for the family day out. He accessorised the adorable look with a pair of white-rimmed baby sunglasses, which he sported to cover up his recent injuries after a fall left the toddler with a bandage on his nose and one above his eyebrow.Kourtney, 28, had something of an overreaction when she whisked son Mason off to a plastic surgeon after he bumped his nose.And worried that he may injure himself further, she has since been seen carrying the energetic toddler around. But today as they filmed an episode for Keeping Up With The Kardashians, stylish Mason was living the life of a normal toddler as he played in the park.Kourtney and husband Scott, 28, took Mason for a stroll and the little boy appeared to be good as new as he raced his mother down a double slide in the playground.Meanwhile his mother wore a casual ensemble of cream knitted jumper, black leggings and brown and black riding boots.But the reality star managed to make the look glamorous with lashings of red lipstick and her brunette locks slicked back in a plait. The family spent the morning filming for the show in New York.Kourtneyrushed Mason to the surgery after his fall and kept a blanket covering him when she left her hotel and was snapped by photographers.But the reaction appeared to be slightly over-dramatic and Mason needed no more than a bandage.His parents were back on schedule later on in the day as they stepped out for a romantic dinner date. Burberry bags itself a hefty rise in profitsBy UPDATED:10:31 GMT, 26 May 2011The enduring popularity of Burberry handbags and the fashion houses allure for Chinese shoppers spurred a 39% rise in annual earnings.The luxury goods giant posted an underlying pre-tax profit of £298m for the year to March 31. Revenue increased 27% to £1.5bn, and the full-year dividend was hiked 43% to 20p.The 155-year-old maker of raincoats revealed sales of its non-apparel goods, such as handbags, jewellery and shoes, grew 35% in the year.The firm said its focus on non-apparel had paid off as the sector accounted for nearly half the group's sales growth.Burberry and the luxury sector have experienced a more rapid recovery than the rest of the retail industry, as sales are driven up by demand from Chinese shoppers and tourists.The company's underlying retail sales increased by 32% in the year, of which 12% was driven by China, where the group has 57 stores.Chief executive Angela Ahrendts hailed the strong operational and financial progress achieved during the year.While mindful of global macro challenges in the current year, we will continue to invest to drive growth across our portfolio by channel, region and product, she said.New store openings were focused on emerging markets, which make up 16% of retail and wholesale revenues, including India, Brazil and Mexico.The group has accelerated its store growth in the last year - mainly in China and emerging markets - and it has 174 mainline stores, 199 concessions in department stores and 44 outlets.Shares in Burberry were down 39p at 1,281p in trading today.View from the CityKate Calvert, retail analyst at Seymour Pierce, said Burberry operated in a market place with strong long-term growth opportunities.She added: We expect it to deliver continued outperformance relative to its peers.Broker Dolmen Securities noted that growth was quite strong across all of the groups regions, with Asia Pacific particularly strong. Those invested in the luxury goods sector should also take comfort this morning from Ms Ahrendts comments that she sees a modest improvement in the groups full year operating margin, which is in contrast to Ralph Laurens margin warning yesterday, it commented.Analysts at asset manager Investec said the results were slightly better than they forecast given Spanish losses were lower than expected.After a strong run the shares may pause for breath, but we remain buyers for the sustainable growth story, they said.Burberry benefits from the Kate Moss effectLast updated at 13:50 11 October 2006Burberry became the latest fashion house to benefit from theKate Moss effect today after sales of the luxury handbags shemodels soared.The London-based firm said retail sales lifted 23 per cent inthe first half of the year amid "extraordinary" demand for its newrange of handbags.See also...Among the most popular was the 750 Manor Handbag carriedby Moss in a high profile advertising campaign which also featuredfellow Burberry supermodel Stella Tennant.It came just a year after Moss was ditched from an advertisingcampaign by Burberry following allegations that she snortedcocaine.Today the company said Moss was an "icon" and insisted she wasalways "part of the Burberry family" as it posted a 10% rise intotal sales to 392 million for the first half of theyear.Burberry, famous for its camel, red and black check, said it wasalso boosted by the clamour surrounding its 150th anniversary.Chief executive Angela Ahrendts said: "Continued strength inouterwear and womenswear, as well as the extraordinary consumerresponse to the launch of the Burberry Icons Collection of luxuryhandbags, have fuelled excellent retail performance acrossmarkets."Our distinctive 150th year advertising campaign andunprecedented editorial coverage contributed to the salesmomentum."As a whole, performance in the first half is consistent withexpectations for the full financial year."Alongside soaring sales at its 300-plus stores and concessionsaround the world, including in New Bond Street, Regent Street andKnightsbridge in London, wholesale revenues lifted 1 per cent inthe six months to the end of September.It sent shares up 5% to a record high today.Share this article: Burberry blazes a pink trailBy and and UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 24 May 2004THE great ambition among British upmarket retailers these days is to do a Burberry. You take an old-fashioned British brand, inject it with some design razzmatazz - and bingo, you have a success story. If only it were as easy as that. But one suspects Belinda Earl is going to find out at Jaeger that it is far more complicated. Burberry's great success under Rose Marie Bravo, the best rewarded woman in British business, is that she proceeds cautiously. The radical chic of Burberry stores, from Berlin to Tokyo, has been built around its traditional strengths of quality and outerwear. It is on this base that flair, design, colour and fashion have been added. As a result, it has become one of the most desirable luxury brands in the world. With the opening of new frontiers to riches, from Moscow to Beijing, Burberry has been quick to cash in. But it is careful to partner local companies and share the very generous margins, rather than take on too much of the risk itself. The formula, which delivered a big advance in profits this year and a 50% lift in the dividend, was based around pink and pastels, a far cry from the dull but staple fawn Burberry check-lined raincoat. Somehow Bravo and her team have convinced the fashionable that they need not just one Burberry coat, but several in different colours, and some coatstyle dresses to complete the ensemble. The careful branding has also been usefully passed down through accessories from umbrellas, delicately decorated with flowers, to perfumes. Menswear has been a little more tricky but is starting to get the Bravo makeover with the launch of Burberry Brit for men. One of the advantages that Burberry has over its rivals is that it still sources heavily in Britain, with some work done in Italy, which provides consumers with a traditional assurance of quality. The capital spend will continue at 40m to 50m in the next financial year, demonstrating a belief in the long term by the Burberry board and its main shareholder GUS. In any fashion business maintaining momentum, after a splendid year, is difficult. Bravo appears as confident as ever, even introducing the cropped trench coat for the new global warming age. Who knows what the next trick will be? Caz choiceONE institution having difficulty adapting to modern times is blueblooded stockbroker Cazenove. The 180-year- old broker, which represents many of Britain's top Footsie companies, is struggling since it converted from partnership to corporation. The change was seen as essential-so that it could properly pay its staff. But as an investment bank it is struggling to make waves. The advice of chairman David Mayhew, 64, is still sought in the City on critical transactions. In fact, Caz was the first financial institution to show Conrad Black the door after it felt it had been let down over a share placement. But in the world of the bulgebracket investment banks, Caz is a minnow. The choices it faces are to go ahead with an independent float, valuing it at 800m or so, or to sell itself to one of the big boys. The history of merchant banks taken over by international giants is not a happy one. After the initial burst of enthusiasm the accountants, compliance officers and marketing men eventually get the better of the enterprise and the culture is quickly gobbled up. That is certainly the case for a range of great British financial names from Flemings to Kleinwort Benson. Can Cazenove survive as a free- standing broker? There is no reason why not. Other less illustrious names like Close Brothers have done precisely that. In the case of Close, the trick has been to run its businesses as separate independent enterprises and not to be tempted into believing that clients of, say Winterflood, its broking arm, are necessarily going to be corporate advice customers. Independence is a far more attractive option than subservience. Vanishing reservesCAN anyone be sure of Shell? The blue-chip oil giant has been forced to cut its oil reserve levels for the fourth time this year as it has come under pressure from regulators and auditors to clean up its accounts. As a result, the company has had to jettison several key executives, including former chairman Sir Phil Watts, has lost its 'triple A' topgrade investment rating, and suffered enormous reputational damage. If it wants to salvage its reputation, it has no time to lose in unifying and streamlining its British and Dutch boards. Burberry booming in the Far East and outlets expected to grow By UPDATED:00:05 GMT, 18 January 2012Burberry, best known for its posh raincoats and handbags, is cashing in on the boom for its pricey wares in China.Sales in Asia Pacific most of which are in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan grew by 36 per cent in the final three months of last year, said Burberry yesterday.Asia Pacific now accounts for well over a third of group sales. The company expects its number of outlets in the region to rise from 60 to 100 within five years and the average size of outlets will double. Burberry predicts it will see continuing increases in like-for-like sales.Even in crisis-torn Europe, the rich are continuing to splash out on Burberrys goods: sales were up by an underlying 20per cent.Burberry, which has recently signed model Cara Delevingne (pictured above) for its summer advertising campaign, said its global sales grew by more than a fifth in the final quarter of the year to reach £574m.The only area of the world to see sluggish growth was the Americas, where sales rose only 4 per cent. But Burberry said that was because it had stopped supplying discount department stores. Burberry shares edged up 1p to 1301p. Burberry boosted by China and EuropeBy UPDATED:09:19 GMT, 15 October 2009Chinese and European tourists taking advantage of the low pound have boosted Burberry's UK sales. The luxury fashion group, famed for its check trench coats, says people are still shopping but are being more discerning about purchases. Its shares, which have had a stellar run recently, rose a further 28.5p to 565.5p after it posted a better-than-expected second-quarter performance. Total underlying global revenues were down 5% to 343m, hit by a drop in wholesale volumes. Underlying retail revenues rose 5% with a double digit rise in Europe and Asia. The Daily Mail City team looks at how the snood - a cross between a scarf and a hood - is driving sales at the likes of Burberry.Pardon? Think fashion not finance. A snood is a cross between a scarf and a hood. A tubular item, it looks rather like a balaclava without the face hole.Traditionally favoured by women trying to protect long hair, a snood can be pulled over the head like a hood, or pushed down around the neck like a scarf that can't come undone.A throwback to the '80s?Snoods were rather popular among teenagers of 20 years ago. In garish pink or bright jade, they made sure the wearer was always visible after dark, even if they didn't flatter the skin tone.But snoods are actually far older than this. The word was widely used in the Middle Ages for cloth or net head coverings.Crocheted snoods were popular in the 1940s and '50s to keep women's hair in place while they went about their work.Snoods are also popular with Orthodox Jewish women.And now? Snoods are making a comeback, albeit on a far grander scale. Luxury goods group Burberry says bumper turnover of snoods and leather handbags is driving sales. But its 'pull on scarves' are nothing like the £5 snoods found on market stalls in the 1980s.These luxury wool and cashmere items, complete with trademark Burberry check, go for £175 a pop. If you are short of cash, just knit a short fat scarf and sew the two ends together.Burberry boss Angela Ahrendts bags big salary and bonus By PUBLISHED:21:09 GMT, 8 June 2012 UPDATED:09:40 GMT, 9 June 2012Angela Ahrendts, the chief executive of Burberry, received a total of £16million last year in pay, bonuses and long-term incentive schemes that bore fruit in 2011. She is one of the best-rewarded female bosses in the UK thanks to the stellar performance of the luxury group. Burberry, famous for its distinctive red, black and beige check, has been one of the best performers in the FTSE 100 under her leadership.Ahrendts received a package for 2011-12 that added up to £3.7million, including a salary of £990,000, a £255,000 pension supplement and £76,000 of benefits. She receives a five-figure annual clothing allowance £25,000 in 2009, the latest figure available plusa hefty staff discount on her purchases from Burberry to help maintain her polished appearance as a global ambassador for the brand. She reinvests her bonus in the business each year.In addition, during 2011 she received £12.3million of shares and dividends from a Co-Investment Plan awarded in 2008 and an Exceptional Performance Plan awarded in 2007. Burberry said that under her leadership the company produced exceptional returns for shareholders in a period of economic turbulence. It added that last year Burberry delivered record revenue and profit, along with job creation in the UK and abroad.Michael Spencer, the boss of currency dealer Icap, which suffered a stinging pay rebellion last year, enjoyed a pay and bonus package for last year of £5.5million and also gained access to shares worth £4.2million from previous incentive plans, taking the total during 2011 to £9.7million.Spencers pay and bonus deal was reduced by 27 per cent from £7.6millionlast year. The company has overhauled this years pay scheme after shareholders urged the company to link pay more closely to performance. According to Icaps annual report, directors will face higher hurdles to reach the criteria for their bonus, with the targets rising each year. The chief executive of credit checking firm Experian took home a total of £9.1million from his 2011 package plus incentives maturing last year.Don Roberts was awarded a basic salary of £973,000 and received a bonusof £1,9million, which he will take in company shares.He also has a company car and petrol allowance, as well as healthcare and life insurance worth a total of £285,000, including a housing allowance of £250,000. Three long-term plans from 2004, 2005and 2006 paid out during the year netting him a further £6million, and taking his haul to £9.4million. INVESTMENT EXTRA: Burberry boss Angela Ahrendts snaps up shares after 20% plunge By PUBLISHED:20:51 GMT, 14 September 2012 UPDATED:09:20 GMT, 17 September 2012Burberry issued a profits warning this week which immediately knocked over 20 per cent off the value of its shares. But this led to an interesting response from the luxury goods retailers chief executive, Angela Ahrendts. She immediately showed her continuing confidence in Burberry by acquiring £543,000-worth of shares in the group. A number of other directors bought with her.Ahrendts has been chief executive of Burberry since 2006. She is reported to have earned a total of £15.6m last year in salary, bonus, cashing in shares and her clothes allowance. The luxury goods giant has enjoyed a sustained period of growth despite the economic downturn. It blamed this weeks earnings alert on fewer of its wealthy customers travelling abroad on shopping trips, uncertainty over the eurozone debt crisis knocking consumer confidence and the rich in China spending less as export-led Asian economies slow down due to contracting demand. Burberry boss feels the heat over success of turn-around plan By PUBLISHED:21:06 GMT, 5 October 2012 UPDATED:11:33 GMT, 6 October 2012Burberry boss Angela Ahrendts is under pressure to set out a series of new initiatives aimed at reversing the fortunes of the luxury fashion chain when she updates on trading next week. The firm issued a surprise profit warning last month.Investors will want reassurance sales have picked up or details of Ahrendts self-help plan.The American had blamed fewer wealthy customers travelling abroad, and the eurozone crisis denting consumer confidence, for flat sales over the 10 weeks to September 8. But shoppers appeared to have made it through the doors of rival Hermes, which beat first half forecasts last weekend. Burberry admitted trading conditions were becoming more challenging but it is too early to tell whether theproblems are industry wide or company specific. October 2012Prize valueWinning bond No.Area£1,000,000176ND537520Overseas £100,000190YL731192Dudley £100,00086ZY785587West Sussex £100,000186AQ461669Derbyshire £100,000183SA844038Sheffield £100,0005EJ713506Northern Ireland £50,000189HA961605Bradford £50,00017QC030688Nottingham £50,000150ZZ067504Hertfordshire £50,000126RT689109Southampton £50,000111CA212785Greater Manchester £50,00024JC837905Edinburgh £50,000110ZL786330Kent £50,000147QP328139CumbriaBurberry braves tough tradingBy UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 13 October 2002LUXURY goods group Burberry reported continued sales growth over the second quarter, pushing underlying sales ahead by 9% over the six months ended September. Retail sales, which account for just under a third of the group total, rose 17%, or around 8% like-for-like. 'These results were particularly notable given the trading conditions,' said chief executive Rose Marie Bravo, although she cautioned that the trading environment remains uncertain. The figures were at the top end of analysts' expectations and compare with underlying growth of 5% in the first three months. Burberry opened five new stores in the first half. It will open or replace eight in the second half, including a new store in London's Knightsbridge. The group, famous for its beige check, floated on the stock market in July, at 230p, but swiftly fell to a discount and its shares are currently trading at 209p, up 9p. This values the business, in which GUS retains a 77.5% stake, at just over 1bn and Bravo's stake at just over 10m. Burberry buoyed by strong tradingBy UPDATED:12:49 GMT, 21 April 2009Sales at fashion chain Burberry showed no signs of wilting in the recession today after the luxury retailer reported improved trading so far this year.The group said store-based sales, which account for nearly 60% of its business, were up 3% on a like-for-like basis in the three months to March 31, compared with the fall of 3% seen in the previous quarter.Though still challenging, Burberry said its markets in the United States, Europe and Spain all performed better, with operations in Korea and the UK posting 'exceptional' performances in the period.With the company also on track to deliver £50m of annual cost savings, Burberry said it expected results for the 2008/09 financial year to be around the middle of the current range of market estimates.Chief executive Angela Ahrendts said: 'Burberry made good progress in the second half.'Shares rose by more than 1% following today's update.Burberry said non-clothing ranges delivered the strongest growth, while a move into childrenswear continued to go well after the opening of five trial stores - in the US, the Middle East and one in Notting Hill, London.The better performance in retail was offset by second half declines in wholesale and licensing revenues, down 11% and 13% respectively. Burberry said the drop in wholesale business was partly due to conservative inventory management by department stores.Numis Securities said the two figures were slightly weaker than expectations and highlighted the tough trading conditions facing the group.Analyst Nick Coulter added: 'This release will reassure and offers some evidence that consumer resilience is not confined to the UK. However, we remain extremely cautious on the outlook for the global luxury goods market in 2009/10.'Numis raised its forecast for full-year profits to £174m, with a similar figure expected for the following financial period. Burberry's talented new models Gabriella Wilde and Roo Panes spark Facebook and Twitter storm with new multi-media campaign By PUBLISHED:15:02 GMT, 4 July 2012 UPDATED:15:53 GMT, 4 July 2012It is the social networking world's favourite fashion brand. With 13 million 'likes' on Facebook and well over a million followers on Twitter, Burberry has made the transition from heritage brand to multimedia hero with ease. And today, as Burberry releases its latest autumn/winter campaign via a dozen different social networking sites, complete with video, and a song composed by the hot young musician starring as model, the British brand scores another massive social media win. For while other brands drag their feet where modern media is concerned, Burberry have jumped in with both.This latest campaign has been launched in what is called in the social media world a cross platform experience, with imagery, video and music sent direct to Burberry's fans on platforms including Burberry.com, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Sina Weibo, Douban,Kaixin001 and Youku. In social media terms, Burberry is the most popular kid in the class. Campaign star Roo Panes, who follows in the footsteps of musician and model George Craig and actor Eddie Redmayne as a Burberry face, wrote the accompanying song 'Indigo Blue' exclusively for Burberry - and it has been released on iTunes as the official soundtrack.Of course, it helps that the models Burberry choose to front their campaigns are never just pretty faces. While Panes has his musical talent too, hisco-star in the Burberry campaign, Gabriella Wilde, is one of Britain's most sought-after new actresses. Born Gabriella Zanna Vanessa Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, she is the daughter of businessman John Austen Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe and Vanessa Mary Theresa Hubbard - a former model who was photographed by David Bailey during her career. Wilde - whose moniker, as it sounds, was inspired by the legendary Oscar of the same name - starred in her first film St Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold in 2009 at the age of 20, and is set to play one of Hollywood's most coveted roles alongside Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore in the 2013 remake of classic horror film Carrie.Burberry say that this 'innovative digital experience', which allows visitors to explore and purchase from the campaign through short films, imagery andmusic, will bring the campaign and collections to life every month. The 'live' campaigns are a continuation of the brands Runway to Reality concept, which has seen consumers able to buy the Autumn/Winter 2012collection directly through the campaign gallery on Burberry.com for the first time. Burberry checks in big sales riseBy UPDATED:00:00 GMT, 13 January 2004LUXURY goods group Burberry today reported further double-digit growth in sales, despite a sluggish performance in Britain, and strong consumer response to its spring/summer ranges. Chief executive Rose Marie Bravo, Britain's best-paid businesswoman last year, said sales over the fourth quarter to the end of December were ahead 15% on an underlying basis, with the retail arm up 11%.On the wholesale side, the group expects high single-digit growth for the spring/summer season, after a 23% jump over the third quarter.Bravo pointed out that the figures were achieved against the 'exceptional' numbers seen in the previous year. With healthy order books, the group 'enters the remaining quarter of the year with continued momentum', she added.Growth on the retail side was driven by new stores, with only a 'marginal' performance from existing outlets. New stores were opened in Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore.The US market remained strong while Korea was resilient in a 'volatile' environment. In Europe, the UK performance reflected the 'sluggish' market while continental Europe continued to gain momentum.There was strong growth in licensing, with an underlying sales rise of 18%, although the important Japanese market was static after two years of substantial gains.The group did particularly well in fragrances, following the 'outstanding launch' of its Burberry Brit perfume. YESTERDAY'S FTSE TRADING: Burberry checks into the FTSEBy UPDATED:12:38 GMT, 2 September 2009It's a big month for Burberry. The 153-year-old British luxury fashion house will be showcasing its spring 2010 Prorsum collection at the 25th anniversary of London Fashion Week on September 22. It will be the first time it has shown its collection on home soil, having decided to switch its show from the catwalks of Milan. But before then, on September 9, chief executive Angela Ahrendts and the rest of her board should be popping pink champagne corks in celebration of the group's first admission to the elite Footsie index since floating on the London Stock Exchange in July 2002.Trendy tracker funds busily bid for stock in anticipationyesterday, chasing the shares up to 502½p before they closed 5.6pbetter at 489¼p.Burberry, whose trademark black-red-tan tartan is known the worldover, has displayed resilience during the recession. Retail hascontinued to see strong double-digit sales growth in Europe, especiallyin the UK, helped by tourist traffic and Asia. The U.S. and Spain hasremained difficult. Following first-quarter figures in July, Investec upgraded its2010 pretax profit forecast from a bottom-end-of-the-range £161millionto £171million, and from £185million to £202million for 2011. Historically a weak month for equities on both sides of thePond, September began on a dull note. Some profits were taken off thetable following the recent strong summer advance. The FTSE 100 closed 89.20 points down at 4,819.70 and the FTSE 250 197.83 off at 8,619.68. Shanghai's 6.7 per cent fall overnight on concerns that lending curbsin China will dampen growth in the world's third largest economy rockedthe boat. Then dealers heard that broker Credit Suisse had reduced itsweighting on the UK equity market to 5 per cent from 15 per cent. Wall Street slumped 152 points in the early stages despite aleading survey showed the U.S. manufacturing sector returned to growth inAugust after a prolonged slump. Buyers were all over drugs giant AstraZeneca like arash and the shares touched 2930p before closing 16p better at2855½p. They were excited by news that in a clinical trial, Brilinta,its blood thinning pill, had significantly reduced patients' rate ofsuffering a heart attack or dying from cardiovascular problems whencompared with the blockbuster drug Plavix, sold by Sanofi-Avents andBristol-Myers Squibb. Goldman Sachs raised its AZ 12-month target priceto £30 from £28. Reports of a pending upbeat circular lifted household goods giant Reckitt Benckiser 27p to 2880p. Growing fears that a £600million rights issue is on the agenda left insurance group RSA down 6¼p to 124.4p. Renewed buying in anticipation of pleasing half-year figures later this month helped insurer Gable Holdings edgea fraction higher to 10½p. Chief executive Bill Dewsall's strategy isto tap into profitable niche insurance businesses in a number ofEuropean markets. Computer games retailer Game Group zapped 4½p higherto 165p amid industry gossip that the price of Nintendo Wii is about tobe reduced to £149 from £199. Altium Securities says were it to happen,it would be the third of the three major consoles to cut its price in alittle over a week. Hardy Oil Gas gushed 21p to 362½p afterdrilling the first well on the group's D9 exploration licence. It holdsa 10pc participating interest in D9 which is operated by RelianceIndustries. It is located in Krishna Godavari basin on the East Coastof India. Kiwara cheapened 2p to 40p on profit-taking. Sellersmight well rue the day because rumours doing the rounds last nightsuggested a further upbeat resources statement on its Kalumbila copperprospect in Zambia is imminent. Canary Wharf's largest landlord Songbird Estates added1p at 34¾p. Qatar Holdings, part of the Gulf country's sovereignwealth fund, has said it plans to become its biggest shareholder.Songbird last week revealed plans to sell shares to institutionsincluding Qatar and China Investment Corporation, to repay an£880million loan. Demand ahead of today's interims helped K3 Business Technology climb 7p to 92½p. The provider of retail and manufacturing software to Adidas andRymans said in July that the business remains strongly cash generative. Burberry checks out male marketBy UPDATED:13:22 GMT, 10 July 2006UNDETERRED by the sight of English football fans in Burberry baseball caps, Angela Ahrendts, the new boss of the iconic brand, is planning ' menonly' stores in a move to reach a wider audience. The American, who last week replaced Rose Marie Bravo as chief executive of Burberry, downplayed the company's reputation as the brand of choice for 'chavs'. 'This is a very British notion,' she said, adding that Burberry is perceived as a 'modern classic brand' globally and that different formats, including dedicated accessory stores, will be looked at. New ranges for men will be modelled by singer Bryan Ferry's sons Otis and Isaac, as well as members of the band Kasabian. Kate Moss and Stella Tennant will be among the models promoting Burberry's creations when it launches an autumn advertising campaign. Ahrendts, former vicepresident of Liz Claiborne in the US, added that she was keen to expand Burberry's presence in North America. Burberry will report firstquarter trading on Wednesday. Analysts at JPMorgan expect a 16% rise in sales to 131.6m.Burberry cuts 300 jobs and closes factory as credit crunch hits luxury brandsBy UPDATED:11:38 GMT, 20 January 2009 Luxury clothing brand Burberry said today that it was cutting up to 300 UK jobs and closing one of its factories.Burberry said the plant in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, which sews basic outerwear for the label, is to shut with the loss of 170 jobs.Further UK staff whose work relates to the Rotherham factory could also lose their jobs. Hit by recession: Victoria Beckham steps out in a Burberry headscarf in 2000 while Kate Moss models for the luxury clothing brand in 2003The cuts could mean the loss of up to 290 UK workers.Burberry, which employs 2,000 staff in the UK, said production would be consolidated at its other Yorkshire factory in Castleford.Meanwhile there further job losses at a food firm that supplies Marks and Spencer. Dutch-owned Vion said 470 jobs will be lost at its Haverhill site in Suffolk, 200 at Malton in North Yorkshire and 150 at Cambuslang in Scotland.Burberry said the measures were part of a global cost-cutting campaign which will see a total loss of around 540 jobs in the UK and Spain.It said the move would save the company between £30 million and £35 million.Tim Roache, regional officer of the GMB union, said: "This is very bad news for Rotherham. We will want to have a thorough discussion with Burberry on the logic of this rationalisation before we are able to move forward."We have been around the blocks with Burberry before as they sought to move jobs from the UK to China - we want to make sure nothing like that is happening this time." Job cuts: Burberry has annonced that it is cutting up to 300 UK jobs and closing one of its factories. Agyness Deyn (middle) pictured in the Spring 2008 campaign In 2006 Burberry announced the closure of its factory in the Rhondda Valley in South Wales, which employed 300 people. The move prompted a celebrity-backed union campaign but the closure went ahead.The company, which employs 6,000 staff globally, said it had no plans to leave the UK.Burberry said the job cuts were linked to "evolving its supply chain" and were not prompted by the global economic downturn.However, Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts said: "This will position us to trade through the current difficult environment and emerge even stronger when the global economy recovers."The Rotherham sewing facility has been owned by Burberry for less than five years.Other UK jobs affected are at the firm's Castleford and Keighley factories, neither of which will close.The company said only 7 per cent of its sales were in the UK.Burberry also announced today that underlying group revenues grew 9% in the three months to December 31.It said profit would be in line with previous guidance, which was in the mid to lower half of market expectations. Burberry cuts a fine figureBy UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 13 October 2002LUXURY goods group Burberry reported continued sales growth over the second quarter, pushing underlying sales ahead by 9% for the six months to end-September. Sales on the retail side, which account for almost a third of the group total, were up by about 8% like-for-like. 'These results were particularly notable given the trading conditions,' said chief executive Rose Marie Bravo. Burberry floated on the stock market in July at 230p but swiftly fell to a discount and the shares are trading at around 196p. Burberry trench coat and bag sales defy fears of slowdown in demand for luxury goods By UPDATED:10:28 GMT, 12 October 2011Burberry has shrugged off concerns about the global economic outlook, stressing demand for its luxury branded coats and bags remains strong.The company said bumper sales through its Chinese outlets and flagship stores in London, Paris and New York helped half-year revenues jump by 30 per cent to £830million in the six months to September 30.Although the update beat City hopes, Burberry shares slumped when the markets opened, but they recovered to trade 2 per cent or 29.5p ahead at1,293.5p by mid-morning.Burberry, which is famous for its red, black and camel-checked clothes and accessories, said Chinese outlets acquired a year ago showed same store growth of 30 per cent over the past six months.Worldwide retail revenues rose by 45 per cent, with like-for-like sales growth up slightly in the second quarter to 30 September to 16 per cent, from 15 per cent in the first three months.Total retail growth slowed to 42 per cent in the second quarter from 49 per cent in the first.Outerwear and large leather goods accounted for half of the growth, with the Burberry London trench coat range a major contributor.Chief executive Angela Ahrendts said the company's first half performance 'clearly demonstrates' the continued global momentum of the Burberry brand, though the group was prepared to 'respond appropriately' if there was any significant change in demand in the luxury sector.Burberry said wholesale revenues rose by a better-than-expected 20 per cent excluding China. Shoes, childrenswear, menswear and men's accessories all did well, Burberry said, especially in the U.S. and emerging markets.Licensing revenue rose by 4 per cent, but like the retail arm, both licensing and wholesale's growth slowed in the second quarter compared to the first.Over the remainder of the year, wholesale revenues are expected to slow again and rise by mid-single digits, against 9 per cent in the first half, with licensing to rise by a similar percentage to the first six months.Margins improved slightly over the half with a modest rise expected for the full year.Burberry added it expects to add 15 per cent more store space over the rest of the year through between eight and 10 new stores, including a store in Paris and outlets in Latin America and China.At the end of September, the group had 187 retail stores, 210 concessions. 44 outlet shops and 52 franchises.View from the CityDavid Jeary, an analyst at asset manager Investec Securities, said concerns about growth in China had been overdone and today's update underlined the strength of the group's strategy. He forecast profits for the year of £365million.Dolmen Stockbrokers, which has a buy recommendation on the shares, said: 'Overall, this is a strong set of sales numbers by the luxury goods retailer who has outperformed the FTSE 100 by 18 per cent year to date and while the stock trades at over 17 time earnings, the brand is still clearly still in vogue.' Burberry defies UK gloom as top global shopping cities hold up demand for luxury goods By UPDATED:13:46 GMT, 17 January 2012Burberry reported strong trading in the last quarter of 2011, shrugging off concerns over faltering demand within high-end markets thanks to its popularity in the worlds top shopping cities. Strong performance in London, Beijing, Hong Kong and Paris helped the luxury brands revenues up 21 per cent in the three months to December 31.The luxury brand, famous for its check design and trench coats, said retail like-for-like sales were up 13 per cent thanks to growth in knitwear, mens accessories and tailoring, fragrance and watches along with strong sales of traditional Burberry favourites such as jackets and leather handbags. Overall underlying revenues were 36 per cent higher in booming Asia Pacific markets, offset by more subdued growth of 4 per cent in the Americas. In Europe, underlying revenues were up 20 per cent, helping Burberry offset fears of dampened demand for high-end goods in the wake of the eurozone crisis.Chief executive Angela Ahrendts pointed to the brands investments in flagship markets and digital technology as the key to the growth in sales. She said: Looking ahead, we remain focused on executing our proven core strategies to achieve long-term sustainable growth, while staying mindful of the challenging macro environment.Burberry continued to expand during the period into markets with new-found disposable income for luxury items, such as Brazil, but also consolidated in more traditional shopping cities, with six new stores opening in cities such as Sao Paulo and Paris. The company also said its social media strategy was helping as it attracted over 10million fans to its Facebook page. Burberry enjoys 49% profits rise but shares slipBy UPDATED:11:23 GMT, 16 November 2010Luxury goods group Burberry beat forecasts with a 49% jump in first-half profit as fewer markdowns and better management of stock combined with an already-reported rise in sales.Chief executive Angela Ahrendts said she expected the group's trademark trenchcoats to sell particularly well this Christmas.'We cannot keep them on the shelves. I think trenchcoats are going to be a best seller this year,' she told reporters, adding the 154-year-old firm would launch an online service allowing shoppers to create a bespoke coat early next year.Burberry, known for its camel, red and black check pattern, made a pre-tax profit of £129m in the six months to September 30, beating a forecast for £114m in a Reuters poll.The group's positive tone echoed that of other luxury firms such as LVMH and PPR as the world moves out of recession and high-end companies benefit from a surge in big-spending Chinese tourists.However, US consultancy Bain forecast last month that luxury sales growth would slow to 3-5% next year from 10% in 2010, as the basis for comparison becomes higher and currency moves could hamper tourist flows.Burberry said last month it expected full-year profit in the top half of analysts' forecast range of £240-270m , after a 21% rise in first-half revenue boosted by sales of coats and leather goods.Finance chief Stacey Cartwright said she did not expect analysts to change their forecasts after upgrades then.Citi analyst Thomas Chauvet, however, said he thought the consensus profit forecast would rise to £280-285m , though he kept a 'hold' investment rating on the shares, saying the good news was largely priced in after recent strong gains.Burberry shares, which have surged by around 70% in value this year, periodically boosted by bid speculation, were up 0.5% at 0850 GMT but fell back by 1100 to stand 2p (0.2%) down at 1,018p.'The shares may have fallen foul of high expectations in early trade, despite having beaten most analyst forecasts,' said Richard Hunter, head of UK equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers.'The increase in both margin and in particular profit is stellar, even if this had been largely trailed at the trading update in October,' Hunter said, but added that the second half may be more difficult.The company continued to expand, opening 20 stores in the first half in addition to 43 stores acquired in China as it converted operations from wholesale to retail. Burberry said it plans to open 10 more stores in the second half, with half of them in China.Burberry said it had net cash of £181m, but Cartwright declined to be drawn on how this might be used apart from the already-announced expansion plans, and said the board believed it was right to retain a prudent balance sheet.The group, which is opening stores and investing online, lifted its interim dividend by 43% to 5p a share.Burberry enjoys Asia swingBy UPDATED:22:14 GMT, 17 April 2010Burberry is expected to confirm on Tuesday that its sales are continuing to boom in Asia. Sales in countries such as Japan have jumped by a fifth in the past three months on the popularity of expanded ranges of shoes and childrenswear introduced across the globe. Worldwide own-store sales are believed to have grown by more thanten per cent in the second half of its financial year to March,excluding the impact of foreign currency changes.Dennis Weber of broker Evolution Securities predicted 'strong' figures. Analysts expect profits to have grown by 14 per cent to £200 million on annual sales of £1.3billion. Burberry enjoys Asia upswingBy UPDATED:11:21 GMT, 18 April 2010Burberry is expected to confirm on Tuesday that its sales are continuing to boom in Asia. Sales in countries such as Japan have jumped by a fifth in the past three months on the popularity of expanded ranges of shoes and childrenswear introduced across the globe. Worldwide own-store sales are believed to have grown by more than ten per cent in the second half of its financial year to March, excluding the impact of foreign currency changes. Dennis Weber of broker Evolution Securities predicted 'strong' figures. Analysts expect profits to have grown by 14 per cent to 200 million on annual sales of 1.3 billion. Burberry entrenches its market shareBy UPDATED:10:48 GMT, 15 October 2008Shoppers' continuing love affair with Burberry trench coats and its iconic camel check helped the luxury goods retailer rack up a 13% rise in revenues to £539m for the six months to September. Chief executive Angela Ahrendts said she was pleased with Burberry's performance 'against the background of an increasingly challenging external environment'. But in a sign Burberry (down 33p at 288p) may not be recession proof, underlying sales growth slowed from 4.5% in the first quarter to 2.5% in the second quarter.In light of the slowing growth, the firm said Christmas would be difficult to judge. Stacey Cartwright, Burberry's finance director, was hopeful the group's focus on unique gift items ranging from exotic handbags to jewellery, hats and scarves would help keep sales buoyant. 'The fact that we are delivering positive like-for-like sales in almost all our markets shows there is still confidence at the higher end. It's not all about gloom,' she said. However, the group admitted a lower percentage of merchandise was sold at full price, impacting gross profit margins by around two percentage points. Cartwright stressed this was offset by tight control of discretionary expenses and was 'entirely manageable'.Burberry eyes expansion after robust resultsBy UPDATED:17:09 GMT, 26 May 2010Shares in Burberry rose on Wednesday as the luxury goods group posted better than expected results, boosted by new stores and an online marketing drive. The firm, famous for its camel, red and black check pattern, said profits before tax jumped by 23 per cent to £215million for the year to the end of March, beating City forecasts of £205million. Retail sales increased by 19 per cent to £748.8million, accounting for 58 per cent of total sales following the opening of 21 outlets in the year and the closure of nine. 'We do believe that Burberry, distinct from what's happening in themarketplace, has got specific momentum in the brand right now,' StaceyCartwright, the groups chief financial officer said.Burberry said it would almost double its capital spending to £130million to support its expansion drive. Its plans include new stores inemerging markets such as Brazil, Mexico and India as well as furtherinvestment in e-commerce and menswear. Cartwright also said that the company would launch a new digital platform later in 2010 to replace a number of local websites. The full-year dividend was lifted 17 per cent to 14p a share. Burberry eyes expansion drive after strong end to the yearBy UPDATED:09:28 GMT, 19 April 2011Shares in Burberry jumped nearly 8 per cent during early trading on Tuesday after the fashion house reported strong results.The company, best known for its camel, red and black check, said it expected full-year profits to be at the end of expectations after posting a 32 per cent increase in revenues to £390million in the three months to March. Retail revenues came in 42 per cent higher to £596million in the six months to March, while wholesale revenues rose 14 per cent to £214million in the same period. Burberry said wholesale revenues were driven by soaring sales in China, while the Americas and Asia Pacific also outperformed. Burberry had a strong finish to the year, driven by our design,digital marketing and retail initiatives, as well as good earlyprogress in China, said Angela Ahrendts, Burberry chief executive.She added: While the luxury industry faces global challenges in theyear ahead, we remain confident in our team's ability to outperform,underpinned by the consistent execution of our key strategies. Burberry also announced ambitious plans to step up its overseasexpansion by increasing store space by 12 per cent to 13 per cent inaverage retail selling space in the financial year to March 2012,mainly in China, Latin America and the Middle East. Analyst Katharine Wynne, of brokers Investec, said the fashionhouses expectation of full-year profits to March 2011 at the top endof forecasts implies a figure of £290million. Burberry eyes up Laura AshleyBy UPDATED:00:00 GMT, 22 February 2004ROSE Marie Bravo, the chief executive of the Burberry fashion group, is believed to be looking at a bid for beleaguered store chain Laura Ashley. Bravo, the highest-earning female boss at a British quoted company - she has a pay and bonus package worth 6m a year - has told close friends she is considering a number of options and is keen to take on a new challenge. According to one source, Bravo has sounded out a major US private equity firm, thought to be KKR, about a deal to buy Laura Ashley. The company, famed for its floral print dresses, is 43 per cent-owned by Malaysian United Industries. The business has spectacularly failed to return to the black despite millions in investment. Laura Ashley reported an eight% fall in fashion sales in the 24 weeks to 10 January, though there was a three% rise for home furnishings. Shares ended last week at 11 1/4p - compared with a 12-month high of 17p - valuing the company at slightly more than 84m. Though family commitments mean that the American-born Bravo would like to spend more time in her native country, she has also been closely linked with the chief executive post at luxury goods and fashion group Gucci. Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, which owns Gucci, has made repeated offers to Bravo to succeed Domenico De Sole, who leaves in April. The latest deal, said to be 'breathtaking', was offered just a few weeks ago, according to another close source. Bravo has headed Burberry for seven years and was recently named as the 'most powerful woman in fashion', outranking Vogue's Anna Wintour and fashion guru Donna Karan in a magazine poll. She is credited with turning the 148-year-old Burberry plaid into a style icon, used on everything from umbrellas to ball gowns. But although Burberry recently announced an 11% rise in retail sales, the UK market has been tough. Bravo has endured shareholder revolts over the size of her pay package. If her contract were to be terminated she would be in line for a 12m pay-off. Neither Bravo nor Burberry would comment. Burberry fashions bumper trading to shrug off gloom By UPDATED:21:00 GMT, 12 October 2011Soaring sales of mens shoes and trench coats helped Burberry smash through half-year trading targets. The bumper update from the UKs biggest luxury goods firm catapulted Burberrys stock market value ahead of its more pedestrian rival Marks Spencer. The firm famous for its camel, red and black check has been a stellar retail performer shrugging off the gloom engulfing the High Street as its wealthy followers of fashion, seduced by a raft of fancy new products, continue to spend through the downturn. The fashion house beat forecasts with a 30 per cent rise in total sales to £830m for the six months to September 30, with underlying sales at its store network grew 16 per cent. Revenues from wholesaling rose 9 per cent to £248m while licensing grew 4 per cent to £54m. Burberry along with rival luxury goods firms LVMH and Richemont has seen strong demand from a burgeoning middle class customer in China and Brazil. Finance director Stacey Cartwright said while the firm was not immune to the downturn there is some insulation for the luxury sector as a result of new wealthy clients you see around the world. She added there was no evidence of any slowdown what we have seen is consistent strong brand momentum and business growth.Burberrys shares rose 4 per cent or 50p to 1314.03p on the back of the update, pushing its market value to £5.7bn, well ahead of Marks Spencer at £5.2bn. New products in menswear including trainers, shoes and leather skins for iPads drove sales, along with new store openings and tourists from around the world, including China, Brazil and Russia. Spending by travellers accounted for half the revenues seen in flagship Burberry stores in many of the worlds major cities.Over the past six months customers have piled into the firms trademark trenchcoats, which can cost anything from hundreds of pounds to as much as £12,000. While Burberrys new fragrance for women has also sold well. A slowdown in the Chinese economy, which wiped 16 per cent off the value of Burberrys shares earlier this month, has yet to show any sign of affecting sales. David Jeary, an analyst at broker Investec, said: Concerns about Chinese growth have weighed on the shares of late we feel this is overdone, and the statement demonstrates the continued momentum of the group and the strength of its strategy. There has been no slowdown in China stores. Burberry fashions fuller figuresBy UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 23 May 2004TOP fashion outfit Burberry's full-year profits rose 21%, as its colourful new lines cut a dash in a resurgent global luxury goods market.Earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation (EBITA) came in at 141.2m, up from the previous year's 116.7m as total revenues rose 15%.The 150-year-old company, whose trademark beige check still ranks among the top sellers of a range that now includes candy check pink accessories, said it looked ahead to the current financial year with confidence as its EBITA margins rose to 20.9% from 19.7%.Shares in Burberry, which is majority owned by retailer Great Universal Stores, closed at 367 3/4p on Friday. The shares have underperformed the UK retail sector by about 5% this year.A final dividend of 3p per share was proposed, making the total payout for the year 4.5p, a 50% increase.Burberry shares closed on Friday at 370p, valuing the group at 1.85bn.Burberry feels the pinch as rivals cut pricesBy UPDATED:11:31 GMT, 12 January 2005SALES growth slowed at luxury goods group Burberry over the third quarter, hit by a combination of weaker consumer spending in Britain and price-cutting by rival fashion chains.Underlying sales, which exclude the impact of currency movements, were ahead by 7% in the three months to 1 January, a performance described by chief executive Rose Marie Bravo as 'solid'. She expects the group to meet City analysts' full-year profit expectations of up to 160m.Best sellers over Christmas were charm watch bracelets, small leather accessories and ponchos. For the current season, Burberry's 495 Cinda bag is selling particularly well, with a waiting list at stores. US retail sales increased in line with space growth, while in Asia, Korea remained 'volatile' and there was 'vigorous' growth in Hong Kong. The UK market, which accounts for around 10% of group sales, was weak. Finance director Stacey Cartwright said Burberry's popularity with so-called 'chavs', who have hijacked its traditional plaid pattern, 'won't have helped'. But she added: 'As we move into 2005, it's yesterday's news.' Burberry shares were down 13p at 404p by mid-morning.Burberry finance chief heads for exitBy UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 4 August 2003ROSE Marie Bravo's Burberry is losing its chief operating and financial officer, Michael Metcalf, who has decided to 'look for new opportunities' outside the fashion and luxury goods group. Burberry dismissed suggestions of any boardroom rift, saying the departure is entirely amicable. Metcalf, who earned almost 1m in pay and bonuses last year, will stay until the end of next March and will not get any compensation payment. The search for a replacement is already under way. Metcalf has been with Burberry for five years but, at the age of 51, is thought to be keen to secure a chief executive position. Before joining the luxury goods group, he was chief executive of Thorn. Bravo was generous with her praise for Metcalf: 'We will be sorry to see Mike go but we respect both his decision and the thoughtfulness with which he is orchestrating his departure.'Burberry braved turbulent markets when it floated last year. Former parent company GUS retains a 77% stake. Burberry shares were today down 3p at 294 1/2p, against the float price of 230p. Metcalf will retain options on more than 194,000 shares, exerciseable at the float price. At today's level, they are worth 577,000. Burberry first quarter in the pinkBy UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 18 July 2004FIRST-quarter revenues at Burberry made good gains driven by strong retail sales, the British fashion house said on Monday. Burberry said sales for the three months to 30 June rose 14% at constant exchange rates as retail sales pushed 15% higher. The company, whose traditional beige check remains a British design icon, did not provide a cash value for its first quarter sales performance. 'The financial year is off to a good start ... we achieved strong sell-through of remaining spring/summer merchandise and experienced an encouraging initial consumer response to our autumn/winter collections,' Bravo said in a statement.Burberry's traditionally conservative image has been radically re-engineered in recent years, and the company said in May new lines such as a pink version of its classic raincoat had helped it post a 21% increase in earnings for the year.Burberry shares closed at 398 3/4p in London on Friday.Burberry flotation on courseBy UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 6 July 2002FASHION Group Burberry is shrugging off market turmoil and pressing ahead with its flotation this week. The 150-year-old company that trades on its British-ness is said to be attracting a large number of investors because of its strong sales potential in Asia and the USA. It recently opened stores in the trendy SoHo district of New York and in Beverly Hills, California.Shares are expected to start trading on Wednesday towards the bottom of their 230p-290p price range - probably around the 250p mark, say City bookies.Burberry follows Avatar's lead as first label to stream 3D show at London Fashion WeekBy and UPDATED:16:57 GMT, 8 February 2010Red and green glasses are not much of a fashion statement - but this appears little obstacle for British fashion label Burberry, which is set to make history by broadcasting its upcoming catwalk show live in 3D.The 154-year-old brand, which continues to defy the recession with soaring profits, has announced plans to stream its upcoming London Fashion Week show at a string of parties in New York, Paris, Dubai, Tokyo and Los Angeles. Guests can expect to enjoy something akin to a front row experience - which was limited last season to A-listers including Gwyneth Paltrow, Freida Pinto, Alexa Chung, Mary-Kate Olsen and Liv Tyler - to see details such as the texture of fabrics.Taking fashion to a new dimension: Burberry will be streaming its upcoming London Fashion Week show in 3D at a string of parties in New York, Paris, Dubai, Tokyo and Los Angeles in FebruaryThe parties will be by invitation only, but fans of the label can watch the show like - albeit in 2D - on the Burberry website.Christopher Bailey, Burberrys chief creative officer, said: 'We are very excited we are hosting the first ever truly global fashion show. 'This unprecedented event will enable people to experience the energy and atmosphere of this show from around the world.'3D technology will bring our global audience into the London show space allowing them to see the colours and fabrics, to hear the music and to be a part of that moment when it all finally comes together.' By Invitation only: The stars will no doubt steal the show again, as they did last September. From left, Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Alexa Chung, Mary Kate Olsen, Liv Tyler, Emma Watson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario TestinoHe added that there would also be pre-show behind the scenes coverage, backstage footage and red carpet arrivals.The decision to broadcast the show in 3D follows the success of James Cameron's latest epic, Avatar, as well as Sky's plan to show weekly 3D football matches in pubs from April.Burberry's innovative business acumen has resulted in sales soaring to £380 million in the final three months of last year, following the launch of an advertising campaign starring Harry Potter star Emma Watson, 19 - last week named Hollywood's highest-paid actress. The label returned to London last September, after a decade of showing in Milan bringing along an A-list audience, including Anna Wintour.The U.S Vogue editor made an appearance at London Fashion Week for the first time to attend Burberry's show. The upcoming autumn/winter 2010 womenswear collection is to be shown at the Chelsea College of Art on 23 February.The British Fashion Council revealed last week that it will be streaming shows live in 2D via the London Fashion Week website.Magic moment: Emma Watson, who is the face of the label, was named Hollywood's highest-paid actressBurberry hits 10 million mark to become most popular luxury brand on Facebook - and unveils new Eddie Redmayne and Cara Delevingne films to thank fans By UPDATED:18:47 GMT, 4 January 2012As Burberry today unveils its new spring/summer campaign in store windows and across social media networking sites, millions of ardent fans will be watching.Just last month, it was announced that the British company had become the world's most successful luxury fashion brand on Facebook and Twitter, with a record 10million fans on Facebook, and almost 700,000 following the brand's regular UK feed on Twitter. Meanwhile, they have thousands more global Twitter fans following their international feeds and post exclusive content on their own YouTube channel.Burberry's social media success has grown exponentially - and it is still growing fast. The secret, say consumer experts, is the fact that Burberry share so much unique content exclusively with their followers on social networking platforms, and post new and different content to each one. What is posted on Facebook will be different from that on Twitter, and dialogues are constantly being carried out across both.Just this morning, Burberry placed three new videos from their latest campaign, starring My Week With Marilyn star Eddie Redmayne and Cara Delevingne, onto their YouTube channel.And at the news that the brand had reached 10million Facebook fans, Burberry Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey uploaded a personal thank you via a video message to the site. Days later, a further 163,000 had joined.BURBERRY'S NEWLY RELEASED FILMS FOR SPRING/SUMMER, STARRING EDDIE REDMAYNE AND CARA DELEVINGNE, AND A PERSONAL THANK YOU FROM CHRISTOPHER BAILEY: About the videos, Bailey says: 'We wanted to capture a moment in the lives of two exciting and inspiring British actors who have been part of the Burberry family for several years. 'The images reflect the mood of the collection through Eddie's and Cara's energy, playfulness and effortless elegance and I have such huge admiration for them both.'Follow Burberry at www.facebook.com/burberry, www.twitter.com/burberry, www.youtube.com/burberry, www.burberry.com and www.artofthetrench.com. Burberry hits high note in public debutBy UPDATED:00:00 GMT, 19 November 2002LUXURY goods group Burberry delivered an impressive 32% jump in first-half profits today to 55.1m in its first set of results as a publicly quoted company. Its 1m-a-year chief executive, Rose Marie Bravo, said there had been good gains in the core womenswear operations and further expansion in the higher-margin accessories business, which now accounts for 28% of sales, up from 25%. Menswear also staged a recovery after its recent sluggish performance, benefiting from higher sales of suits and ties. 'Gentlemen are getting back to dressing up again,' said Bravo. Group sales for the six months to 30 September were up 15% to 273.7m, including a 32% jump on the retail side, or 17% like-for-like, to 85.6m. Profits, which were at the top end of expectations, excluded costs related to the group's July flotation. After tumbling as low as 150p at one stage, the shares have since bounced back to outperform the market by 15%, and added 3p today to take them to 250p. There is a maiden interim dividend of 1p. Although highlighting the uncertain economic outlook, Bravo said: 'There will be a Christmas and people will, as usual, exchange gifts.' Top sellers will be cashmere scarves at 150 a throw, as well as handbags and small leather goods. Burberry in defiant mood despite growth slowdownBy UPDATED:08:21 GMT, 15 July 2008The global credit crunch and the worst retail environment in a decade have not stopped luxury fashion house Burberry - yet. The company still best-known for its distinctive check designs says sales continue to rise, but the speed of growth has slowed. Sales in stores rose at 4.5% in the three months to the end of June, against a 6% rise the previous six months. Only 7% of Burberry sales are in the UK, meaning the company is hardly a barometer for the health of the British High Street. But analysts will take heart from signs that the luxury industry is defying the downturn. The troubled Spanish arm remains the only blot on the success story, with sales in Asia and America continuing to soar. The latest must-have item for the fashion-conscious woman-about-town is the Lowry handbag, which at a mere 1295 is a bargain compared with its predecessor - the 11,000 Warrior. Total sales for the period, including new-store openings, are up 22%. Chief executive Angela Ahrendts claims that Burberry remains under-exposed across the world. HSBC, which rates the shares a buy, agrees. It said in a note to investors: 'Burberry's less-mature state of development-than its peers in many markets should enable it to gain new clients.' It is the only major luxury brand with a British heritage, giving it a niche position. Burberry shares have suffered with the rest of the retail sector, down from a year's high of 681p. Today they fell 3p to 393p. Finance director Stacey Cartwright has been working to improve the company's supply chain, so that goods ship when they should. She said today that while more work remained to be done, 'we have certainly made enormous improvements'. Ahrendts said Burberry had made a good start to the year in 'an increasingly challenging environment'. Call the fashion police! Burberry introduces risque $695 leather dress - for TODDLERS By UPDATED:16:48 GMT, 29 October 2011They may be most famous for their trench coats, but Burberry is stirring the fashion pot with its fall line that includes a leather dress - for toddlers.With a price tag of $695, the dress features a round neckline and a back zipper with a flared skirt that comes just to the girls knees.The fashion giant presents the dress as 'finely tailored in buttery soft lambskin from Italy, creates a look of modern luxury.'A post on the website TotSnob.com protested that the Burberry frock is 'wrong on so many levels.'The rant, posted by 'Bag Snob Kelly,' read: 'A leather dress for a little girl? For real? Burberry, you've gone too far Sticky! Uncomfortable! Unbreathable! Sexy! Unseemly!Burberry, with hundreds of stores across the globe, is likely pushing the dress as its latest attempt to target a younger audience with its brand. Fashionista: Harry Potter star Emma Watson poses with her younger brother Alex for Burberry's Spring/Summer 2010 campaignIn 2009, Burberry inked a deal with Harry Potter star Emma Watson after creative director Christopher Bailey claimed she was the obvious choice for their campaign.Miss Watson described it as the 'biggest ego boost of my life.'The British fashion house named Transformers actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as the face of fragrance Burberry Body in July 2011.And Kiernan Shipka, 11, who plays Don Drapers daughter Sally on AMC hit Madmen, was recently photographed donning a Burberry hat. Burberry is top UK label for foreign richBy UPDATED:09:12 GMT, 30 January 2007Burberry may have had a chequered reputation in Britain, but new research shows the raincoat group's reputation is waterproof with overseas label-hunters. Global investment bank UBS has cited 500 international businesses that play to the fantasies of the rich and beautiful. It picks Burberry as the principal UK-listed luxury goods company. The research reflects how, with the help of Kate Moss and some stylish advertising surrounding its 150th anniversary, the company has cracked the international market. It has also overcome the stumbling block that most customers at the luxury end are wealthy middle-aged people in the US and Japan looking for status symbols rather than clothes. Maureen Hinton at retail research group Verdict said: 'Burberry is doing very well at the moment and a lot of the growth there is down to accessories such as the 425 Cinda bag.'In Britain, Burberry's image was pulled down after its clothes became essential kit for chavs - street kids obsessed by labels and jewellery. However, the company has recently re-rated itself under new chief executive Angela Ahrendts, and the shares have risen 50% over the past 12 months.Most of the companies cited in the 176-page research report are Italian and French but there are 22 British clothes groups ranging from Aquascutum to one-time punk designer Vivienne Westwood.Eleven jewellers are also named, including Asprey Garrard, Bentley Skinner and Longmire. There are 24 leather goods and shoe groups ranging from the well-known Church's and Mulberry to the recherch such as WH Gidden, plus perfumes and pens such as Jo Malone and Conway Stewart. Yasuhiro Yamaguchi, UBS's luxury goods specialist, selected 10 companies, including Burberry, for detailed inspection. He tested the UK company alongside a powerful collection of French and Italian companies-with internationally known names - Bulgari, Christian Dior, Hermes, LVMH, Richemont, Swatch, Tod's, PPR and Valentino. Yamaguchi says British companies lag their Continental peers due to diffidence about selling themselves. 'French companies are very good at presenting their heritage and raising the brand value,' he says. 'UK companies make equally high-quality goods but their marketing penetration is weak to non-British customers.'Burberry joins the internet revolutionBy UPDATED:00:00 GMT, 1 November 2004BURBERRY has moved online in order to boost its push into America. The luxury goods group's finance director Stacey Cartwright says: 'It is very early days.' But she hints that internet shopping could soon become a massive source of revenue. When Burberry's US website started selling goods over the internet in September, the public started buying immediately. Cartwright says: 'There are great swathes of the United States where we have no presence. There is a pent up demand.' UK customers could be buying over the internet within a year. It is hoped that the venture will increase the value of the brand which has soared to 1.9bn compared to just 200m when boss Rose Marie Bravo took over in 1997. Burberry keeps rebels in checkBy and UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 25 May 2002RETAIL group GUS is to press ahead with the flotation of fashion house Burberry, despite fierce opposition from some shareholders. GUS, which declares its full-year results on Wednesday, aims to raise up to 375m from floating 25% of Burberry on the London stock market. The listing would value Burberry, which has been made fashionable in recent years by celebrities such as supermodels Kate Moss and Elle Macpherson, at up to 1.5bn. According to sources, Burberry is on track to list towards the end of June. GUS is expected to confirm the float on Wednesday. But investors have called for GUS to demerge Burberry. Under a full demerger, existing GUS investors would receive a share in Burberry and one in the remaining GUS group for each share they currently hold. A source close to the float told Financial Mail: 'Some shareholders made the management look at the possibility of a demerger. They are worried about Burberry not selling at a high enough price in a difficult market for new share issues.' But GUS's management, led by group chief John Peace and Burberry chairman Victor Barnett, are believed to have convinced rebel shareholders to accept a stock market listing. Peace and Barnett believe they can get the right price for Burberry stock in a flotation. GUS has hired American investment bank Merrill Lynch to manage the Burberry flotation. Merrill ran the flotation of pubs group Punch last week - which got away successfully at the second attempt. Punch priced its shares at 230p, raising 160m. It was hoping for 250m. But sources say Punch marked a turning point and convinced GUS to pursue its flotation. One banking source told Financial Mail: 'The market is wide open as long as the price is right.' Burberry lifted by new rangesBy UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 13 April 2004FRESH evidence the luxury goods market is on the mend came today as Burberry posted a 14% jump in retail sales for the first three months of the year on the back of strong demand for its spring and summer collections. The group, best-known for its trademark check design, said business in Britain was picking up after sluggish pre-Christmas demand. It enjoyed 'vigorous' growth in the US and strong orders in Asia. Chief financial officer Stacey Cartwright said: 'This time last year, we had Sars and the Iraq war affecting the UK, and certainly as we have gone through the quarter there has been an improving trend.' Just 15% of Burberry's clothing now carries its plaid design as chief executive Rose Marie Bravo, one of the best-paid women in the City, continues to rejuvenate the brand. She said colour was the 'key catalyst' for sales across the business with womenswear, floral designs and trench coats selling particularly well. Retail sales were up 14% in the three months to 31 March - the final quarter of Burberry's financial year - against 11% in the third quarter. Wholesale sales increased 16% in the second half. Burberry lifts sales in fine styleBy UPDATED:07:58 GMT, 12 July 2006BURBERRY'S new chief executive today said global sales were up 12% in the spring and early summer. Angela Ahrendts, the former Liz Claiborne boss who started in her post this month, said sales in the UK were among the strongest risers, up more than 10% in April, May and June compared with the previous year. The wet start to the British summer is widely expected to have benefited the group famous for its trenchcoats. Sales from Burberry stores were also strong on the Continent and in the US. Wholesale sales remained sluggish with a 2% increase. Ahrendts has declared that she would be pushing harder to expand the brand in the US. Burberry loves Chinese takeawaysBy UPDATED:15:21 GMT, 13 April 2006A sensational revival of Burberry's fortunes in London has been driven not by chavs but by Chinese. Finance director Stacey Cartwright said a new influx of big-spending tourists from China was splashing out on its classy new ranges in London's upmarket Burberry stores. They are rapidly adding to the more established fan base of rich customers from the Middle East and Russia. Sales from Burberry's shops in the UK were up 6 in the last three months. The figures will be welcomed by incoming chief executive Angela Ahrendt, who replaces outgoing Rose Marie Bravo in July. Burberry's better guesswork on its ranges in the past three months fuelled much of the improvement. A year ago, it put its lightweight spring/summer ranges on the shelves in January, when shoppers were still shivering in snow in many of its key capital cities. This time around, it kept its warmer lines out for longer, with the trademark Burberry trenchcoats and outerwear retaining their prominence. 'Cold weather was good for us this time,' said Cartwright. Sales at Burberry stores across the world in the six months to 31 March were up 13, although wholesale takings were down 7. Burberry makes debut Down UnderBy UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 21 October 2003BURBERRY has opened its first stand-alone store in Australia, in an upmarket shopping mall under a Melbourne casino owned by Kerry Packer. The London company's products have been distributed in Australia for 15 years through duty-free and wholesale operators, but only now is it dipping its toe into the retail market. The company, which is opening stores in Moscow, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Hong Kong, also suggested it would look at other sites in Australia. Burberry Group president Thomas O'Neill said in Melbourne he believed the Australian market had the potential to support up to five Burberry stores. The company's decision to open in the Crown casino complex comes at a time when other luxury retailers such as Gucci, Tiffany and Armani have left the site on the south bank of the river to move into Collins Street, a stylish central Melbourne shopping thoroughfare. O'Neill said he might consider a Collins Street store too. 'For luxury brand retailers it's all about opportunities on the real estate side,' O'Neill said. 'We have been looking in Sydney for some time and frankly if something came up on Collins Street in Melbourne we wouldn't discount that.' Burberry last week announced revenues up 17% in the first half. Chief executive Rose Marie Bravo attributed the result to three new shops in Milan, Virginia and Las Vegas. The company has 70 stores and its strongest market in the US. Asian operations were hit badly this year by the Sars virus and the Iraq war. Burberry may be a luxury bargainBy UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 13 July 2002IN the face of turbulent stock markets and after a string of companies pulled their market debuts recently, retail group GUS managed to float its luxury goods business Burberry on Friday. But GUS, which also owns Argos, succeeded only by pricing the shares at the very bottom of its planned range. Issued at 230p, the shares fell even further and closed at 225p in restricted trading, valuing the whole company at about 1.1bn. Just 22.5% of the company has been floated, with GUS retaining the rest. Could the share price mean it is a bargain opportunity for private investors? Burberry, which will begin its independent life with 10m in cash, has come to market after a remarkable recovery engineered by its highly paid chief executive, Rose Marie Bravo. Operating profits have surged in the past two years and hit 90m in the year to March. They are expected to top 100m next time. This has been achieved by closing loss-making stores, opening outlets in potential growth markets such as East Asia and the US, and taking back control of distribution from licensees wherever possible. Compared with other general retailers, the issue price was slightly high given Burberry's earnings. But the group has expanded its range into products such as perfume and is successfully positioning itself as a luxury products group in the same vein as Gucci and Hermes. Shares in these luxury groups are typically valued at about 14 times forecast underlying earnings. At its present price, Burberry is valued at just ten times its predicted earnings for 2003. But there are dangers for Burberry. First, the sharp rise in profits has so far been brief and some analysts question whether it can sustain anything like that level of growth. Second, there is GUS's stake. GUS has guaranteed not to sell more shares for six months - a short period, which could make the market nervous. On the other hand, GUS is unlikely to undermine its own offspring by selling further shares at less than the original issue price. Midas verdict: Full trading in the shares starts on Thursday, and four days is a long time at present. At current levels, the shares look inexpensive but given the market's jitters they could go still lower. At 210p or below, they are a buy. Otherwise avoid. Engineer is a haven in times of trouble SINCE the technology bubble burst, many investors have turned to old economy companies such as engineers or traditionally defensive sectors such as food and tobacco. Specialist engineer Molins combines both characteristics. The group is a key supplier of machinery to the tobacco industry, with most of the world's big cigarette makers, including British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco, among its clients. Its other line of business is designing and making packaging machinery, and clients include the likes of Unilever. Molins' recent performance has been solid. In 2001, sales rose by 11% to 111m, with pre-tax profits up 40% to 9.4m. It was not always so good. The late Nineties was a difficult period for the tobacco business, particularly in China, where there was huge overcapacity. But the company has turned round its tobacco division and this was the driving force behind its surge in profits. Its packaging business has been less consistent and it made a small operating loss in 2001. But at this year's annual meeting, chairman Peter Byrom said the division was trading ahead of last year and was profitable. As an added extra, the company is planning to redevelop 17 acres near its UK factory at Saunderton, Buckinghamshire, as office space. Surveyors have estimated Molins could reap between 13m and 22m from this. Shares surged to 400p in early May, but the stock has fallen back and ended Friday at 320p. This is just over eight times historic earnings. Midas verdict: As a profitable business linked to highly defensive sectors, Molins offers a relatively secure haven in the troubled shares market. Assuming that it can realise the value of its property and deliver another year of profit growth as expected, it looks cheap. At 320p, the shares are a buy. Midas update SINCE Midas recommended Waste Recycling Group in March at 411p, the shares soared to a high of 463p in May before closing on Friday at 397 1/2p. But aside from the general stock market slump, there is little obvious reason for this fall. Last month, the company announced that chairman Pat Barrett was quitting for 'personal reasons'. While such a sudden departure is not ideal, there is no reason to suspect anything untoward about the announcement. Investors should hold their nerve through this difficult patch. Interim results next month should confirm that WRG is in line to hit full-year targets. Investors in Project Telecom, suggested as a buy by Midas in March at 77 1/2p, should also hold tight. The shares have dipped to 72p, but nothing fundamental has changed about this cash-rich and profitable company. In April it acquired TW Telecom, which manages mobile phone services for a number of organisations in Manchester, including Manchester Airport, and several local councils. Like WRG, Project Telecom will release half-year results next month that should show the group still enjoying rising profits. Burberry posts 13% fall in profitsBy UPDATED:15:24 GMT, 19 May 2009Luxury goods firm Burberry today reported a 13% fall in underlying profits, despite annual revenues topping more than £1bn for the first time.The company has endured one of the most challenging years ever seen in its sector, with profits down to £174.6m for the year to 31 March.Sales, up 21% at £1.2bn, were more than offset by reduced consumer demand which led to a lower proportion of full price sales.Steps taken by Burberry to tackle the global slowdown have included a £50m inventory reduction and a £50m efficiency programme.To date, some 800 staff have left the group - representing 15% of the total workforce. Nearly 300 employees have gone in Spain, with another 400 in manufacturing and the rest from across corporate functions. In January, Burberry announced 170 jobs were going as a result of its plan to close a sewing facility at Rotherham, south Yorkshire.Burberry said revenues in Europe increased by 17% on an underlying basis, helped by an 'exceptional' performance in its London stores.Retail operations contributed just over half the region's revenues, driven by favourable currency rates and increased tourism, as well as its new store at the Westfield shopping centre in West London and concessions in leading department stores.After a strong first half, Burberry said European wholesale revenues declined in the second half due to consumer conditions and store rationalisation.For the first half of this financial year, Burberry is planning to reduce its number of small wholesale accounts by more than 200 - as its own retail presence is increased. Retail now generates more than half the company's revenues, following expansion in regions such as the Middle East.Today's results were ahead of expectations, but shares fell more than 2% after Burberry outperformed the broader market by 40% in the past quarter.Burberry checks into menswear after 26 per cent jump in annual profit By PUBLISHED:21:04 GMT, 23 May 2012 UPDATED:21:04 GMT, 23 May 2012Burberry said it will trial a stand-alone menswear store in London as it posted a 26 per cent jump in annual profit.The luxury fashion brand, which started life 156-years ago selling raincoats sporting its trademark camel, red and black check pattern, overcame the general retail malaise to hawk its high end clothing and accessories.Luxury goods firms have largely been immune from the downturn as wealthy tourists continue to travel and snap up luxury brands. Burberrys chief bean-counter Stacey Cartwright said it operated from a different end of the high street than firms like Clinton Cards which recently collapsed into administration.Pre-tax profits rose to £366m from £295.7m for the year to March 31, in-line with expectations, on sales of £1.8bn.But the shares fell 5pc at one point during the day recovering to close down 17p to 1369p over fears that Europes long-running debt crisis could help trigger an economic slowdown in emerging markets such as China. The dividend was lifted to 25p-a-share from 20p. Burberry president quits after two yearsBy UPDATED:13:02 GMT, 15 November 2005FORMER Gucci top man Brian Blake is quitting Burberry as president and chief operating officer after just two years in the job. The luxury clothes group said that Blake, who oversaw its wholesale, retail and licensing businesses, was leaving for family reasons. He ruled himself out as a possible successor to chief executive Rose Marie Bravo on the same grounds last month. She is to be replaced by New York fashionista Angela Ahrendts, who joins in January on a 19m package. A decision as to whether to find a new chief operating officer will be taken once she has her feet firmly under the desk. Blake, 50, was paid 1.19m in the year to last March, including a 530,000 bonus. But he will receive no pay-off from Burberry when he leaves at the end of the year. He is not expected to take up another job. Bravo said the current cold snap in Europe and the US was welcome as it should trigger sales of the iconic coats and scarves, which had been slow in recent warm weeks. She said: 'With cold weather arriving and the holidays approaching, we enter our most important time of the year with cautious optimism.'UK sales have been hit by the slowdown in consumer spending and by the July terror attacks. Europe saw an underlying decline of 1% in sales with Spain and the UK soft but Italy strong. The US was the strongest performer with a 5% sales rise. Asian sales were 9% better if Japan, where there was a slight decline, is excluded. Emerging markets such as Turkey, Poland and Saudi Arabia improved sales substantially. Sales rose 2% in the six months to end-September with pre-tax profits slipping 1.6% to 78.1m. But before the 3m costs of the Atlas programme to redesign infrastructure, headline operating profits were up 2% at 78.8m. The interim dividend rises 25% to 2.5p. ? Argos owner GUS will reveal details of the demerger of its 66% Burberry stake, worth 1.9bn, on Thursday. Burberry profit warning wipes more than a fifth off shares as China's wealthy shoppers feel the chill By PUBLISHED:09:17 GMT, 11 September 2012 UPDATED:15:39 GMT, 11 September 2012A shock profit alert from luxury fashion house Burberry has knocked a fifth off its share price today.Investors fled the stock, wiping £1billion from its market value, after Burberry admitted sales ground to a halt then started to fall in the past few months, and said profits would come in at the bottom end of current forecasts.The luxury goods firm spent much of the year bucking the gloomy trend in the retail sector due to its exposure to robust emerging markets, especially China. But an industry analyst said today's warning from Burberry showed it was 'not immune' to current economic conditions, as the lengthy global crisis shakes the confidence of even the most wealthy.Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts acknowledged the external environment was 'becoming more challenging'.'Given this background, we are tightly managing discretionary costs and taking appropriate actions to protect short term profitability,' she said.The flat like-for-like sales in the in the 10 weeks to September 8 are a sharp slowdown from the 6 per cent hike reported for the first quarter to June 30.Burberry reported a 24 per cent surge in annual profits to £366million in its last financial year, while total revenues were also up 24 per cent to £1.9billion, as key Asian markets showed more strong growth and flagship stores in London and Paris performed well.The previous range of market forecasts for the current financial year had been for Burberry to achieve profits of between £407million and £455million.Burberry has announced plans to add a further 12 per cent to 14 per cent of selling space in this financial year, but did not give details of store openings in today's update.The group has been focusing on larger format stores, such as its relocated site in London's Regent Street.It is due to issue another trading update on October 11 before its interim results for the six months to the end of September on November 7.Shares in Burberry had plunged 287p at 1,088p by late afternoon.The firm, which was founded in 1856, has 196 retail stores, 207 concessions, 48 outlet shops and 58 franchise stores worldwide,Income shares watch: Burberry hiked its total annual dividend by 25 per cent to 25p when it reported full-year results last May. The shares yield 1.82 per cent.View from the City'Burberry's latest results show that even the top-end of the market isn't functioning at full capacity in the current economic climate,' said Jaana Jatyri, CEO of fashion forecasting company Trendstop.com.'The global economic crisis is dragging on and the longer it drags on the less confident even wealthier individuals become. Unfortunately, people lacking confidence do not shop at Burberry.'By no means will Burberry implode, as it has an in-built hedge in its high net worth customer base and a CEO with an acute understanding of the market, but these figures show that even it is not immune to market conditions.'A percentage of the aspirational buyers that have driven Burberry upwards are starting to run out of steam. In recent years, Burberry has thrived in the emerging markets, where people crave democratic luxury, but even the emerging markets are slowing.'Keith Bowman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said: 'While disappointing, the cautionary update is not a total surprise. The groups own "clean-up programme", where management is axing cheaper fashion lines in order to buoy prices, is likely to take some responsibility, while the groups exposure to China has already been extensively highlighted.'Comparatives have become increasingly challenging, while a still spluttering U.S. economy remains unhelpful.'In all, and given the additional profits warning, investor appetite is now being thoroughly tested. The connectivity between the developing and developed markets appears to be making itself clear, while management moves to protect the groups long term luxury brand status may now be denting short term performance.Investec Securities analyst Bethany Hocking said: 'We have been fans of Burberry, and remain of the view that the strategy, luxury positioning and management team should lead to long-term sector outperformance.'Today's statement does, however, imply a significant slowdown and Burberry is not immune from wider macro-economic turbulence.' Burberry profits jump by 24% lifted by strong menswear sales By PUBLISHED:12:47 GMT, 23 May 2012 UPDATED:12:47 GMT, 23 May 2012Trenchcoat maker Burberry today reported a 24 per cent jump in annual profits helped by good performance in its menswear division and overseas markets. The luxury fashion group said menswear sales were up 26 per cent thanks to attention to tailoring and enhanced ranges, while non-clothing sales, which include small leather goods, bags and accessories, increased by over 50 per cent. More strong growth in its key Asian markets as well as in flagship stores in London and Paris helped Burberrys total revenues up 24 per cent to £1.9billion in the year to March 31, with pre-tax profits lifted to £366million.The group, which currently has 63 stores in mainland China, accounting for 12 per cent of revenues, said it planned to open 15 new stores over the next year. There are plans for up to 10 new stores to be opened in Central and Latin America as the group continues to invest in growing luxury markets such as Brazil and Mexico. Its focus will be on larger format stores such as its relocated site in Londons Regent Street. As well as doubling its number of Facebook fans to 12million at the year end, Burberry has extended its presence on Chinese social media platforms and launched other initiatives such as Tweetwalk during London Fashion Week. View from the City Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown stockbrokers, described the annual results performance as robust.He added: A 24 per cent rise in pre-tax profits defies some of the economic gloom, whilst the companys exposure to some strong local markets continues to propel prospects. Burberry pushes ahead with floatBy UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 23 June 2002RETAILER GUS has set an indicative price of between 230p and 290p for shares in the flotation of its luxury goods and fashion arm Burberry. It said the shares should start trading on 12 July. The partial float, via a global offer to institutions, will value Burberry at between 1.15bn and 1.45bn and could make its American chief executive Rose Marie Bravo a total of 10m. The luxury goods market has been struggling since 11 September, leading some analysts to question the timing and pricing of the float. The market had initially looked for a value of 1.2bn to 1.8bn.Last week Gucci posted a worse-than-expected fall in first-quarter profits. Burberry said its autumn/winter sales were likely to be flat, with wholesale orders of the new collection, 'broadly unchanged compared to the prior year'.Burberry denied this meant the brand's rejuvenation had been a one-off hit with the public, saying it primarily reflected 'the effect of the current difficult macro-economic environment on the luxury goods sector and soft domestic demand in Spain'. It also warned that the yen-sterling exchange rate would mainly wipe out the expected increases in Japanese licence income. Sales at Burberry's retail operations 'enjoyed double-digit revenue growth' in the first 11 weeks of the current financial year, but Burberry offered no information on like-for-like sales. Although this is the key measure for UK retailers, Burberry said it should be compared with other companies in the European luxury goods sector such as Gucci and LVMH, which do not reveal these figures. Selling 25% of the issued share capital at the mid-point of the price range would raise a net 282m. Most of this will be spent repaying inter-company debt, leaving Burberry with 10m in cash. Bravo will be paid a basic salary of 1m with a 100% performance-related bonus. She will be granted shares worth 1% of the company's value and options over another 0.5%, giving her a total package worth up to 10m over the next three years. Burberry also named Philip Bowman, group chief executive of Allied Domecq, as a non-executive director alongside the former president and chief executive of L'Oreal USA, Guy Peyrelongue, and GUS finance director David Tyler. Burberry will be chaired by GUS chief executive John Peace. Michael Metcalf, who worked with Bravo at Saks Fifth Avenue, is finance director. Analysts said Burberry had been 'priced to go' to get the float away. John Baillie of SG Securities said: 'If you accept it is a luxury brand, and there is some debate on whether it is, it has been priced conservatively.' Burberry would have a price-earnings ratio of 15-19 while Gucci generally trades at 25-30. Burberry is priced at between two and 2.5 times sales but shares in other luxury brand companies are nearer three times. Fashion that must check outBurberry recovers from downturnBy UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 13 July 2003LUXURY goods and fashion empire Burberry today reported sales of its distinctive checked clothes and accessories were recovering strongly from the poor start to the year. The designer and retailer, which boasts a host of celebrity clients from Madonna to Lyudmila Putin, wife of the Russian president, worried investors in the spring when it warned that like-for-like sales through its stores had fallen in the first seven weeks of the current quarter. It blamed the impact of the Sars virus and the Iraq conflict, which stopped upmarket tourists from travelling and splurging on its exclusive merchandise.But today, chief executive Rose Marie Bravo was able to deliver positive news on sales, saying that the group's like-for-like sales had turned positive since the first seven weeks, and had ended the quarter on 30 June with same-store sales ahead of last year's. Many analysts had been banking on a recovery at the group, saying the pick-up in international travel cited by airlines and hotel companies in recent weeks should follow through to Burberry, which relies on tourists for about a quarter of its sales.The statement should take some of the heat off Bravo, who has faced controversy over her potential 12.4m termination contract. At tomorrow's annual general meeting she faces shareholders who have been urged by activists including the National Association of Pension Funds to vote against her terms and conditions. Burberry reports 13% fall in profits despite sales riseUPDATED:10:17 GMT, 19 May 2009Luxury goods firm Burberry today reported a 13 per cent fall in underlying profits, despite annual revenues topping more than £1billion for the first time.The profits decline to £174.6million for the year to March 31 came as Burberry endured one of the most challenging years ever seen in its sector.Sales were 21 per cent higher at £1.2billion, up 7 per cent on an underlying basis, but this was more than offset by a decline in margins as reduced consumer demand led to a lower proportion of full price sales.When including restructuring costs of £54.9million and balance sheetwrite-downs of £129.6million, Burberry posted bottom-line losses of£16.1million, against profits of £195.7million a year earlier.Steps taken by Burberry to tackle the global slowdown have includeda £50million inventory reduction and a £50million efficiency programme.To date, some 800 staff have left the group - representing 15 per cent of the total workforce. Nearly 300 employees have gone in Spain, with another 400 inmanufacturing and the rest from across corporate functions. In January,Burberry announced 170 jobs were going as a result of its plan to closea sewing facility at Rotherham, south Yorkshire.Burberry said revenues in Europe increased by 17 per cent on anunderlying basis, helped by an 'exceptional' performance in its Londonstores.Retail operations contributed just over half the region's revenues,driven by favourable currency rates and increased tourism, as well asits new store at the Westfield shopping centre and concessions inleading department stores. Burberry sales jump on strong Chinese demandBy UPDATED:15:31 GMT, 18 January 2011Luxury clothing brand Burberry said on Tuesday it expected full-year profits to be at the top end of forecasts after it reported another better-than-expected rise in third quarter sales.The retailer, known for its red, black and camel tartan design, said group-wide retail sales surged by 36 per cent in the quarter to December 31, boosted by a strong performance in the UK and higher demand from Chinese consumers. Overall revenues jumped by 27 per cent on an underlying basis in the period, while underlying wholesale revenue increased by 15 per cent, the company said. 'As a result, we now expect adjusted profit before tax for the currentfinancial year to be at the top end of market expectations,' said chiefexecutive Angela Ahrendts. The news prompted Numis Securities to upgrade its pre-tax profitsestimation from £271million to £287million, while shares in the companyrose by more than 40 per cent on Tuesday.The fashion group said same-store retail sales jumped by 14 percent, while its operations in Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe alsodelivered double-digit growth. Burberry added that comparable store growth from stores in China was higher than 30 per cent. Burberry sales lifted by luxury goods boostBy UPDATED:20:21 GMT, 26 May 2010Burberry is accelerating its growth plans after strong sales helped the luxury goods group to a 23pc jump in profit in the year to March 31. The better-than-expected result catapulted the shares to the top of the FTSE 100 leaderboard as they closed the day up 46.5p, or nearly 8pc, at 659p. Burberry - which this year features Harry Potter star Emma Watson in its Spring/Summer advertising campaign (pictured) - reported pre-tax profits of £215m. Underlying retail sales increased by 15pc to £748.8m. The result provided further evidence that the market for luxury goods may be rebounding after Prada posted a near six-fold jump in first-quarter revenue on Monday. Both companies benefited from a strong increase in demand among emerging markets. The 154-year-old British company said it would almost double capital spending over the next year to £130m as it announced plans to open between 20 and 30 new outlets over the period, mostly in the Americas and Asia Pacific region. Burberry reported £433.6m of revenues from its wholesale business and £97.5m from its licensing operation, giving total group sales of £1.28bn. Burberry sales surge to 449mBy UPDATED:09:12 GMT, 16 October 2007Recession might be in the air and housing prices could be tumbling, but fashion house Burberry is not feeling the pinch. Sales at the check coats to pricey handbags group rose 19% to 449m in the six months to September, as the company continued to re-invent itself as a major player in the luxury market. The second quarter was particularly strong, thanks to pent-up demand for Burberry items from the newly rich in China and Russia. Finance director Stacey Cartwright said the numbers reinforce the fact that we have elevated ourselves into the luxury market - an industry that has natural insulation from wider economic downturns. Burberry admits a slight problem remains with its supply chain, putting pressure on warehouses. Chief executive Angela Ahrendts in the trading statement said: Our new luxury outerwear, apparel and non-apparel collections have again driven demand in both our retail and wholesale channels. Ahrendts, who took over more than a year ago, remains a low-profile figure but has been meeting investors to explain her long-term strategy. Burberry sees sales getting 10% smarterBy UPDATED:16:04 GMT, 14 November 2006Burberry today upped its sales forecasts after seeing stronger demand from retailers for its quintessentially British fashions. It had suffered from dwindling orders from fashion and department stores frustrated by poor supplies and a botched early move to light, warm-weather ranges in icy January 2005. But it has built up its retailer customers' confidence since then with a host of successful new ranges and a better supply system. Wholesale orders are expected to be close to 10% up on last year. Pre-tax profits in the six months to 30 September fell 2% to 74.6m because of the 9.6m costs of a new supply system but sales rose 11% to 392m. London store sales are booming in the run-up to Christmas. Burberry shares cool as eurozone crisis and US slowdown put brakes on emerging market growth By PUBLISHED:10:15 GMT, 11 July 2012 UPDATED:10:46 GMT, 11 July 2012Shares in Burberry fell 5 per cent today as the luxury giant posted a slight slowdown in quarterly sales amid 'more challenging' trading conditions. The group, which started life 156 years ago selling raincoats with its distinctive camel, red and black check pattern, said total revenues were 11 per cent higher than the same period last year, at £408million, in the quarter to June 30.The rise was lower than the 15 per cent seen in the previous quarter and below City expectations. Store sales were up 14 per cent to £280million, with underlying sales up 6 per cent, boosted by higher prices and a continuing strong demand for its men's clothing and non-apparel range. Burberry, which posted a 16 per cent jump in annual profit, said it saw growth in the UK, France and Germany,with double-digit comparable sales growth in China, with particular strength in Beijing, despite recent fears of a slowdown in Asia. Burberry's and other luxury goods firms' shares have wobbled in recent months over worries about Europe's debt crisis and slowing growth in some emerging markets like China, where runaway demand for high-end goods has offset weaker trends in the United States and Europe. Chief Executive Angela Ahrendts said: 'With continued brand momentum, Burberry has delivered a robust first quarter.'Building on our balanced business model and strong operational foundation, we continue to invest in our retail, digital and marketing strategies to drive long-term sustainable growth, while remaining responsive to the changing external environment.'The group, which opened six mainline stores including the fourth store in Brazil and Russell Street in Hong Kong, is set to reopen two large flagships in London and Chicago later this year.Burberry said it plans to increase its average retail selling space by 12-14 per cent by 2013, with a shiftfrom smaller to larger format stores, such as its relocated site in London's Regent Street. Its sales growth compares well against many of its high street counterparts, with Marks Spencer yesterday reporting a 6.8 per cent drop in non-food comparable sales - its worst performance for more than three years. However, there are concerns that Burberry's performance will slip as the global economic woes take their toll on some of its markets. Burberry's US arm delivered the weakest sales growth in the first quarter, at 2 per cent, as it continues to be hit by the planned rationalisation of wholesale distribution. The group said it expects double-digit percentage growth from its US department store customers, which should reassure that demand remains strong in a key market, according to Seymour Pierce analyst Kate Calvert. She said: China delivered double-digit comparable growth so there appears to be no weakness there which is a concern that has impacted the wider sector generally.We consider Burberry a strong long term growth story, she added.Helal Miah, investment research analyst at The Share Centre said Burberry had a good business model but remained vigilant of the global economic conditions. 'These weaker than expected revenue figures may be a reflection of the worsening confidence in the Eurozone and the Chinese economy experiencing a slowdown. 'Also, the share price has seen an impressive run in recent years and although there has been a moderate pull back in recent months, we continue to recommend investors hold until valuations become a little more attractive.Burberry shares knocked despite profit rise as fashion brand targets 25 wealthiest cities By UPDATED:11:04 GMT, 15 November 2011Burberry suffered a share price fall today despite meeting expectations of a 26 per cent rise in first-half profits thanks to resilient tourist spending.Luxury clothing and accessory brand Burberry posted a profit before tax and one off items of £162million in the six months to September 30, and also pledged to pushed ahead with plans to expand in the 25 wealthiest cities in the worldThis was slightly ahead of expectations - a Reuters poll had predicted £159million of profit on this basis.However, the result left investors nonplussed and Burberry shares traded lower today. A short time ago they stood 64p, or 4.5 per cent, lower at 1,357p.In a statement to accompany the results, Burberry said: 'We remain mindful of, and prepared to react to, any local or global uncertainties'The maker of raincoats and leather goods has performed well despite the financial crisis and responded to the 2008-9 economic downturn by cutting jobs and inventories.Today it said that it would stick to ambitious expansion plans, saying demand in top cities like Hong Kong, London and New York would prove resilient in any downturn.Chief executive Angela Ahrendts said Burberry made 60 per cent of retail revenue in 25 cities that are home to the world's wealthiest individuals and attract high numbers of tourists.'Those top 25 markets are much more sheltered during a downturn,' she told reporters.Morgan Stanley analysts said while the company had good momentum, there was little scope for profit forecast upgrades.Nomura analysts noted Burberry shares trade at 20 times forecast earnings, compared with a multiple of 16 for the luxury sector, and kept a neutral rating on the stock. Burberry shares rise on 16% sales surgeBy UPDATED:16:05 GMT, 13 July 2010Shares in Burberry rose nearly 3% today after the company posted a big jump in sales.The luxury clothes maker and retailer, which has an ad campaign fronted by Harry Potter actress Emma Watson, said it saw strong demand for accessories and outerwear.Fresh from a 23% jump in profits to £215m, for the last financial year, Burberry said revenues were up by a better-than-expected 24% in the first quarter to the end of June. The company's share price rose steadily throughout the day to close up 24.5p at 814p - a rise of more than 3%.Sales in its stores were ahead 16% on an underlying basis - which excludes new outlets - and included another strong performance from its UK stores.Burberry said items such as handbags and other non-apparel items were its strongest performing area of business, while outerwear also did well.The company has introduced a pricing policy which has ensured that heritage products such as rainwear and cashmere scarves were never marked down.It has also brought greater clarity to its offering through the labelling of Burberry London as its wear to work range and Burberry Brit as casualwear. And a larger proportion of its marketing spend has been shifted online, boosting awareness and the reach of the Burberry brand. It has more than one million Facebook followers and its social media site, , has received more than several million page views since its launch in November.The company's plans for the current financial year include an increase in capital expenditure to £130m from the £70m spent last year. This will feature between 20 and 30 new stores in areas such as the Americas and Asia Pacific, as well as store refurbishments and investment in digital commerce.It has also sought to 'purify' the Burberry brand by closing inappropriate wholesale accounts. Meanwhile model and actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has been revealed as the new face of the brand while Watson takes a break from modelling.'Although it is early in the financial year, forecasts are likely to move up,' says Evolution Securities in a note to clients, keeping a 'neutral' rating on Burberry shares.'They need to in order to justify the premium share price rating. The shares are on a 17 times full-year 2011 price-to-earnings ratio, a 5% premium to the sector.'Charles Stanley analyst Sam Hart said the near-term trading outlook remains uncertain given the possible impact of austerity measures on global demand. He added: 'Our best guess is that demand will hold up relatively well and continue to slowly recover from the depressed levels of 2009.'Longer term prospects remain good, given the iconic Burberry brand and plans to leverage the franchise.'Burberry shares gained 170% in 2009 and are up almost 30% this year, compared to a 40% and a 12.5% respective gain for the personal and household goods sector.Burberry continues its global march as sales jump 23 per cent By PUBLISHED:11:03 GMT, 17 April 2012 UPDATED:11:10 GMT, 17 April 2012Strong demand for luxury goods in key markets including the UK, France and China lifted retail sales 23 per cent at Burberry. Sales of knitwear, men's tailoring and accessories, fragrances and watches were all up, and traditional Burberry favourites such as jackets and handbags also did well. Like-for-like store sales were 12 per cent higher, bringing in £743million from the whole 192-shop estate in the six month period to March 31. Broadly in line with the City's expectations, shares never-the-less dipped slightly in trading today after hitting a record high yesterday. They are currently down 80p (5 per cent) at 1,506p. The retailer wants to increase its selling space by between 12 per cent and 14 per cent in the current financial year, with growth weighted towards making stores larger.Across the group and including wholesale markets, revenues were up 18 per cent to £1.03billion in the half year.Burberry's profits are expected to be £372million for the year just ended, compared with £295.7million a year earlier, Investec Securities said.Keith Bowman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown stockbrokers, added that Burberry's growth was the envy of most other retailers, helped by its expansion in Asia and emerging markets.He said: 'Burberry's luxury brand status remains undiminished, with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations potentially providing a boost.' Burberry smashes forecasts after flaunting it at Fashion WeekUPDATED:09:47 GMT, 14 October 2009Luxury goods firm Burberry followed up its successful return to London Fashion Week today by posting sales figures at the top end of expectations.The group's shares rose by more than 3 per cent after it reported a positive response from shoppers to its autumn and winter collection, with handbags and casual outerwear particularly popular.Like-for-like sales in its stores rose by 5 per cent in the quarter to September 30, compared with the flat performance seen in the first quarter.The UK was again one of the company's best performing markets as visitors to London took advantage of the weak pound.Burberry, which was founded in 1856, received praise fromcommentators last month after the fashion house returned to the catwalkat London Fashion Week.After shrugging off its links with 'chav' culture in the UK in recent years, the brand has regained its upmarket reputation.Evolution Securities analyst Dennis Weber said: 'Today's statementconfirms our view that the Burberry brand is likely to continue tooutperform the rest of the luxury sector in the current difficultenvironment.' Out of the cold and into the black: How Burberry's snood is behind 10 per cent rise in profitsBy UPDATED:10:55 GMT, 20 January 2010If you're a luxury fashion house, it seems there is just one way to beat the recession - and the cold.Burberry has attributed strong profits over Christmas to the success of its snood - a cross between a scarf and a hood.The cashmere garment, which costs between £175 and £895, is marketed as the 'new scarf' and was one of the best-selling products in the run-up to a successful December for the business.It bears the classic Burberry print and was one of the key pieces behind the 10 per cent rise in like-for-like retail sales over the period.The snood is supposed to be worn over t-shirts and jeans for a 'casual chic' look.Harry Potter star Emma Watson modelled it in the autumn-winter collection and stars like Gossip Girl's Blake Lively have been snapped in it. There are 11 styles in the autumn-winter collection, from tweed cable knit and fair isle knit to reversible wool check, melange check and plain cashmere.Its success has led to high street versions appearing in shops like Warehouse.Burberry's classic trench coat and accessories such as the Sling and Woolf handbag also helped put the store's profits up.Stacey Cartwright, chief financial officer for Burberry, said sales of the snood had risen by five per cent in the three months between October and December compared to the previous three months.'Snoods landed in stores a few months ago and are proving popular,' she said.She added that consumers were 'willing to spend where they feel thatwhat they are buying is an investment piece, rather than something thatis frivolous and of the season.''Burberry is positioned well in that environment,' she added.The company's annual profits are now predicted to be 'towards the topend of market expectations' - which currently range from £175million to£200million.Meanwhile, Burberry, which has 127 stores throughout the world, is hoping to drum up interest in the brand among the younger generation with high-profile adverts featuring young stars like Emma Watson. It also has more fans on facebook than any other luxury brand.Britain was one of the key countries behind Burberry's rise in profits, with double-digit growth.Although the fashion house did not fare as well a year ago when the recession was at its height, its London stores have been bolstered by the weak pound, attracting foreign shoppers. Tighter stock control has also meant it has discounted fewer items in sales.The 10 per cent rise will come as welcome news to the business after analysts predicted a rise of just three per cent.Angela Ahrendts, chief executive officer, said: 'Burberry has delivered a strong performance in both retail and wholesale, as customers around the world responded positively to our collections.'As a result, we currently expect profit for this financial year to be towards the top end of market expectations. Burberry soars 13% as retailer beats the bluesBy UPDATED:23:45 GMT, 21 April 2009The recession has failed to dent demand for luxury goods from Burberry, sending the company's shares soaring more than 13pc. Burberry said sales through its own stores, which account fornearly 60pc of its business, were up 3pc on a like-for-like basis inthe three months to March 31. In the previous quarter, there had been a 3pc fall.The company said its markets in the United States, Europe and Spain all performed better, with operations in Korea and the UK posting 'exceptional' performances in the period.With the company also on track to deliver £50m of annual cost savings, Burberry said it expected results for the 2008-09 financial year to be around the middle of the current range of market estimates. Chief executive Angela Ahrendts said: 'Burberry made good progress in the second half.' The shares rose 43p to 374.5p, valuing the business at £1.4bn. Burberry sounds sales alarmBy UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 12 October 2004BURBERRY, the iconic designer label run by Rose Marie Bravo, today warned that it could see a slowdown in sales in its second half, with wholesaling of its spring/summer range for 2005 likely to show 'mid-to-high single-digit growth'.But it said its first-half performance and outlook 'is consistent with expectations for the financial year'.Burberry said in a trading update that wholesale sales, which account for 57% of the total, had moved ahead by 13% on an underlying basis, driven by the US and Asia, although this fell to 8% on a reported basis because of the strength of currencies in its main export markets.It made no comment on sales of its trade-mark checked baseball caps, which it is reported to have withdrawn after adverse publicity about them being worn by less desirable members of society than Burberry's normal target customers.New stores helped drive retail sales up by 12% on an underlying basis in the six months to end-September. Four stores opened in the first half and four more are planned to open in the second. The biggest growth came in the smallest division, licensing, which saw a 31% rise in sales thanks in the main to the launch of the fragrance BurberryBrit for men.Bravo said: 'We are delighted with our new fragrance licence which will deliver ongoing financial and marketing benefits.'The group has signed a new, long-term agreement with Inter Parfums, its existing producer of fragrances. Burberry steals the show at London Fashion Week with fake showers at Hyde Park By UPDATED:13:14 GMT, 21 February 2012London Fashion Week goers were left open-mouthed today when a rumble of thunder and crash of lightning roared through Hyde Park - followed by a downpour that was not predicted in this mornings forecast. But the heavy showers running down the glass windows of Burberrys specially erected show space were not an unexpected weather pattern but the work of a highly-skilled production team. The effects managed to raise excitement from the most jaded followers of fashion even Anna Wintour cracked a smile.Scroll down for videoCountryside colours were muted - burgundy, khakis and mustard tones.Bailey also proved a fan of peplum this season, working the trend into jackets and pencil skirts featuring pockets so large and deep you wouldnt need a handbag.As the last model exited the supersize runway, a moment of silence ensued before the rain started, followed by gold confetti falling on a cacophony of umbrellas for the finale.All looks are now available to buy on Burberrys website for the next seven days.And with clothes like these, you will be praying for real rain. Fashionfront line: 1) Bollywood beauty, Sonam Kapoor; 2) Black Eyed Peas rapper and music producer will.i.am; 3) Model and presenter, Alexa Chung; 4) War Horse star Jeremy Irvine, 5) Birdsong star Clemence Poesy;6) Birdsong actor and Burberry model Eddie Redmayne; 7) Model Rosie Huntington-Whitely; 8) photographer Mario Testino; 9) Actress Kate Bosworth Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Eddie Redmayne and Kate Bosworth attended the LFW presentationBurberry steps up its Olympic effort at the final hurdleBy UPDATED:20:40 GMT, 17 April 2011Luxury fashion house Burberry is in a sprint to beef up its presence in London ahead of next years Olympics.Chief executive Angela Ahrendts said the retailer known for its distinctive check pattern was planning to ramp up purchases of retail space in the capital, in a bid to make London its flagship market.She said the increased number of Chinese visitors to Britain was a key factor in the decision, while the Olympics would bring in millions of foreign shoppers.October 2012Prize valueWinning bond No.Area£1,000,000176ND537520Overseas £100,000190YL731192Dudley £100,00086ZY785587West Sussex £100,000186AQ461669Derbyshire £100,000183SA844038Sheffield £100,0005EJ713506Northern Ireland £50,000189HA961605Bradford £50,00017QC030688Nottingham £50,000150ZZ067504Hertfordshire £50,000126RT689109Southampton £50,000111CA212785Greater Manchester £50,00024JC837905Edinburgh £50,000110ZL786330Kent £50,000147QP328139CumbriaBurberry surges 24% with new rangesBy UPDATED:13:44 GMT, 17 April 2007Outstanding demand for its spring outerwear ranges, luxury handbags and a much smaller January sale helped Burberry to a stronger-than-expected final quarter. Retail sales in the last three months of its financial year to March rose by 24%, matching those of the third quarter. Wholesale and licensing growth was as usual slower but still total sales for the year were 15% higher at 850m with much stronger growth in the second half than the first. Finance director Stacey Cartwright said the success of the new ranges had cut short the January sales and brought forward the spring and summer ranges. She said the closure of the Welsh factory last month had not damaged the brand. We announced the closure in September. Some celebrities gave their views without hearing our side of the story. 'But if you want to see the impact on the brand just look at the last half 's sales. Burberry takes a tumble as fears Japanese will slash spending spreadBy UPDATED:22:00 GMT, 14 March 2011Fears the fashion-conscious Japanese will slash spending on luxury goods have wiped more than £200million off the value of Burberry. Its shares fell as much as 6 per cent after investors counted the potential cost of the tsunami. Japan is the world's third-biggest luxury goods market after the US and China, but the Japanese still spend more on high-end brands when adding overseas purchases.Burberry (down 51p to 1122.5p) generates about 7 per cent of its sales in Japan. Concerns over Japan's nuclear crisis hit Amec, down 37p to 1125.1p amid fears of a slowdown at its nuclear services division. Investors placed their bets on providers of alternative energy. Shares in BG Group jumped 54p to 1504.66p on hopes that Britain's largest natural gas producer will be able to help fill Japan's energy breach. Drax, which operates Britain's biggest coal-fired power station, saw its shares rise 12.4p 408.4p. And Aggreko, which makes temporary power generators, soared 116p to 1483.94p, making it the steepest riser on the FTSE 100. Burberry takes axe to British staffBy UPDATED:00:00 GMT, 22 December 2002FASHION group Burberry is axing a quarter of the British workforce that makes its famous check cloth. It is the clearest signal yet that its no-nonsense chief executive Rose Marie Bravo is distancing herself from the beige, red, black and white plaid that has been Burberry's trademark for decades. Twenty-four staff at Burberry's factories in Bolton, Greater Manchester, and Keighley, West Yorkshire, are being made redundant and there is speculation that the two sites may be merged. Much of Burberry's manufacturing has already been moved abroad. Burberry's stock market flotation in July was seen as a bold move at a time when many other luxury brands were suffering. Investors expressed concern that the fickle world of fashion would soon turn against the Burberry check, which has graced everything from bikinis to raincoats and famously even 'It girl' Tamara Beckwith's dog. Bravo, who joined the company in 1997 when it was a subsidiary of mail order giant GUS, has already axed many of the brand's licensees and wholesalers. Sales have more than doubled to 500m in the past three years. However, the Burberry check has been a growing area of concern. Though clever designs and a bold advertising campaign by fashion photographer Mario Testino briefly revitalised the check, its popularity was recognised as fleeting. And as soon as it became the chosen uniform of some football fans, it was dropped by the fashion elite. The check still accounts for 26% of Burberry's business, but Bravo has tried to move the brand on by creating a 'Burberry stripe'. Shares in the firm, which is still 75% owned by GUS, closed on Friday 3p below its flotation price of 230p, valuing the business at 1.1bn. Burberry to defy 'chav effect'By UPDATED:07:38 GMT, 13 April 2005LUXURY goods group Burberry will beat profits expectations this year despite sluggish trading in Britain, where its trademark check pattern is a badge of honour among 'chavs'. Total sales for the second half, to 31 March, rose 6% on an underlying basis and retail sales were up by the same amount. On the wholesale side, the increase was 5%. Describing the figures as 'solid', chief executive Rose Marie Bravo said she expects profits of at least 162m for the year, against expectations of 160m. She added: 'We continue to be encouraged by the vitality of the Burberry brand and the opportunities it presents.'More new stores are in the pipeline, including outlets in Naples, Florida, San Antonio, San Diego and Atlantic City. In Europe, a new shop will be opened in Madrid. Burberry is two-thirds owned by Argos-to-Homebase retailer GUS. It said in January that its UK business had suffered from a lower number of United States tourists visiting London due to the strength of sterling against the greenback.It also said the so-called 'chav' factor 'probably had not helped' the previously upmarket brand's UK performance. However, it downplayed their impact on its business, saying the UK accounted for less than 10% of the group's worldwide sales.It said its fourth-quarter retail performance had been consistent with that of the third quarter.In its US business, as a result of a muted consumer response to early spring women's fashion styles and significant store refurbishment activity, sales growth was driven by extra store space.Burberry to open in MoscowBy UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 13 October 2003LUXURY goods group Burberry, famous for its raincoats and plaid check patterns, is to open its first store in Russia, chief executive Rose Marie Bravo said.News of the Moscow store came as the group reported better-than-expected sales for the first half, with underlying revenues jumping 16%.Bravo said the group had traded strongly in the six months to 30 September, as the improved conditions of the first quarter continued. It did particularly well in the United States.'Our retail investment, geographic expansion and product development strategies continue to deliver excellent results. With this performance, Burberry's trading is clearly in line with market expectations for the financial year.'Most analysts expect the group to push full year profits ahead from 85m to 128m.Total sales for the six months were up 17%, while underlying retail sales jumped 20% and now account for around a third of the group total.Growth was driven by new stores, with only a 'marginal' contribution from existing outlets. While the US performed well, there were 'varying degrees of recovery' in other markets.Three new stores were opened during the period, in Milan, in Virginia and a second store in Las Vegas. The group remains on schedule to open six new outlets in the second half.The Moscow store, which will be 5,000 square feet, is scheduled to open early next year and will be operated by a third party.On the wholesale side, sales rose by 14%, driven by double-digit gains for the autumn/winter season. Burberry trench biscuit, anyone? The afternoon tea treats inspired by the latest fashion trendsBy UPDATED:00:55 GMT, 19 December 2009Recession or no recession, new designer clothes each season were always out of our price range. Thank goodness then for the wittily-named Pret-à-Portea at The Berkeley, which features cakes and biscuits inspired by the latest collections as part of its afternoon tea. For a snip of the price of the real thing, you can dine on Dior macaroons and Matthew Williamson mousse in the hotel's deliciously-named Caramel Room.Louis Vuitton bunny ears (à la Madonna) feature in this season's collection, as well as Roger Vivier thigh-high boots complete with signature buckle and concave heel. And we adore Mulberry's coveted leopard-print tote, recreated in delicious coconut and white chocolate.Plus, to celebrate Burberry's return to the London catwalk in September, the talented pastry chefs even created a cinnamon trench coat biscuit.To complete the experience, the stylish confections are served up on Paul Smith china, and Champagne is served in Baccarat crystal flutes.It's a truly fashionable experience, but if the winter chill has deterred you from leaving the house, we've got two Pret-à-Portea recipes exclusively for MailOnline readers. CINNAMON BURBERRY TRENCH BISCUITMAKES 20-25 BISCUITSINGREDIENTSMETHODMix the butter with icing sugar, add the flour and cinnamon, followed by the egg whites and melted butter. Put in the fridge to rest for one hour. With a rolling pin, roll it down to ½cm thick and cut into trench coat shapes.Bake in the oven at 180C for approximately 8 minutes. Use two different colours of icing to create the design.TIP: Start with a line of icing on the contour of the coat, let it dry slightly and fill in the middle part. Let it dry completely before adding details like buttons.WHITE CHOCOLATE AND COCONUT MULBERRY HANDBAGMAKES 20-25 CAKESINGREDIENTSFOR THE GANACHEFOR THE MODELLING MARZIPANMETHODFor the ganache, bring the cream to the boil and pour on the chopped white chocolate.Let it cool to 35C then add the soft butter and Grand Marnier. Fold in the toasted coconut and pour on a tray to cool down and become solid. Cut into handbag-sized rectangles.Mix all the ingredients for the modelling marzipan together. Let it rest for 1-2 hours then roll very thin. Cut into a cross shape large enough to put your white chocolate and coconut ganache piece in the centre.Fold the sides of the marzipan 'cross' around the ganache, with the uppermost piece last.Roll a small piece of marzipan for the handle and use edible gold leaf for the clasp. Burberry turns fans' love into 'likes' as it beats Dior to become Facebook's most popular fashion brand By PUBLISHED:20:29 GMT, 19 March 2012 UPDATED:12:00 GMT, 20 March 2012Burberry has taken the lead as Facebook's highest fashion label recipient of post 'likes', surpassing previous leader, Dior.According to market research conducted by , just 18 posts on the British label's page in February, generated 138,537 'likes'. Dior, which was the second most popular fashion brand, generated 118,387 for the same period.Also in the top ten were Coach, Louis Vuitton, Armani and Dolce Gabbana as well as the lesser-known label Yepme which made a surprise entry in the ranking.Butit is the ongoing popularity of streetwear brands like Converse which continue to surprise fashionistas. Fellow footwear brand DC Shoes also made the top ten as well as Nike Football.It was Converse, though, that has the most popular Facebook page (rather than posts), with a mammoth 22.9million page likes. Burberry, by contrast, has just over 11million.It shows how luxury brands are being outdoneby the sportier labels when it comes to page 'likes'. Adidas has 13.2million page likes, making it the second most popular Facebook brand. Nike Football has more than 11million and Puma has just under 7million. Burberry's heightened Facebook presence may be thanks to the label's newest advertising campaign, starring It model Cara Delevingne and British actor Eddie Redmayne, and shot by famed celebrity snapper Mario Testino. It has also more than doubledits activity on the site since January, when it generated just 61,000 post likes.Burberry was also active in the lead up to London Fashion Week,which was staged mid-February. The brand featured preparation updates for its Fall 2012 women's wear collection on Facebook, and also streameda recording of the show. Froma marketing perspective, Facebook post likes are a valuable marketing tool. If a Facebook user chooses to 'like' a brand's content, it demonstrates first-hand approval. Gemma Craven, Head of New York said 'liking' something online can translate to actual sales. 'Brands such as Burberry have realised theres a new customer journey - one that is defined by the increasing impact our social networks have on our purchase decisions,' she said.It is becoming increasingly common for fashion brands to look to Facebook as an indication of product likeability.'The business case for being on Facebook is clear,' said Miss Craven. 'Recent numbers show 60per cent of Facebook fans are more likely to recommend brands they follow.'However, Burberry's current success is undeniable. The label's London Fashion Week showing for Fall 2012 was well-received by critics. Style icons Kate Bosworth and Rosie Huntington-Whitely were both seated front row.As for the show itself, the theatrics seemed endless. Staged inside a glass tent, faux rain poured in an extremely life-like fashion down the side of the glass walls.And elsewhere in the web-sphere, Burberry maintains a popular Twitter feed. Followed by more than 853,000 users, it has been reported that the brand relies on divvying up its exclusive content between social media platforms, to attract optimal fans.Burberry hold star-studded party to launch luxury new watch collection - accompanied by slick Mario Testino campaign By PUBLISHED:15:46 GMT, 3 October 2012 UPDATED:16:13 GMT, 3 October 2012Continuing with his plot for world domination, or at least fashion world domination, Burberry's Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey has launched his first collection of super-luxe automatic watches. The Britain is a range of slick timepieces created to celebrate 156 years of the brand - harnessing all the core elements that are the essence of Burberry: history, craftsmanship, and quality. The collection was launched with a stellar party at the new Burberry flagship at 121 Regent Street - 44,000sq ft of prime fashion real estate that has a hydraulic stage and concert-quality sound system. And that sounds system certainly got tested to its limits last night, as a host of young, beautiful Brits gathered to pay homage to Bailey's latest baby.Olympic gold medal winner Victoria Pendleton rubbed Burberry-clad shoulders with homegrown actors Olivia Grant and Gemma Chan, and singer Ren Harvieu, who performed at the event. Stars of the current Mario Testino-lensed watch campaign were in attendance - actress Gabriella Wilde, who is currently shooting a remake of the horror film Carrie in Los Angeles, musician Rob Pryor and art dealer Harry Scrymgeour.Musician Roo Panes, who composed the track for the autumn/winter campaign, again shot by Testino, was also there in his Burberry best.'The Britain is the embodiment of our rich, British heritage and all our inspirations,' Christopher Bailey said of the timepiece collection.'It is a very personal project that we have been working on for a long time The Britain is this powerful balance of modernity and tradition, mixing strong attitude and innovative design with craftsmanship and timeless quality.' Burberry warmed by rising revenuesBy UPDATED:15:25 GMT, 13 October 2010High street retail was warmed by news that fashion house Burberry revealed a 21% rise in half-year revenues as customers snapped up coats and leather goods. The company, which took centre stage at the recent London Fashion Week, said it continued to build momentum with strong performances in markets including Hong Kong, the UK, Italy and France.It is also targeting more of the Chinese market after recently agreeing a £70m deal to buy out its franchise partner in the country.The company's retail division posted sales growth of 22% in the second quarter, up from 16% in the first quarter after the addition of new space and the transfer of the Chinese operations.Same-store sales rose 8% in the quarter, down from 10% in the previous three months, with outerwear and large leather goods accounting for half the growth. Shoes, childrenswear and its Prorsum collection also did well.Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts said the company expected profits for the full year to be in the top half of market expectations, adding that new products, online and customer service initiatives and the Chinese expansion were helping to underpin confidence. However Nick Raynor, investment advisor at The Share Centre, was unconvinced about the figures as Burberry did report that sales were slowing.  'Although Burberry cautiousness is understandable in the current climate, we feel that bid speculation is keeping the share price above 1,000p and current figures are not backing up the share price.  'We therefore downgrade Burberry to a sell.'This afternoon its shares are down 27p or 2.6% to 1,012p.Burberry, Argos good for GUSBy UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 11 October 2000Burberry, one of the most globally venerated names in British fashion, has hitched up its plaid skirts and is dashing for growth. In a first-half trading update, parent Great Universal Stores reported that Burberry sales have leapt 38% at constant exchange rates, with wholesale orders for next spring pointing to more growth in the pipeline. 'Particularly pleasing is how widespread the gains are,' said GUS finance director David Tyler, 'extending to Asia and the US, and from womenswear into men's and accessories such as handbags and ties'. The glitterati were clinking glasses to celebrate the launch of the new flagship store in London's New Bond Street. Another big store will open in Tokyo in December, and Burberry is doubling the size of its New York store. The other big success has been Argos where, as with Burberry, new GUS chief executive John Peace has shaken up the management. Like-for-like Argos sales were up 11% in the half-year to end-September, led by sales of furniture and mobile phones. Analysts, concerned by a 16% sales slump in South Africa, are holding full-year profit forecasts at 470m. Burberry's Body: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley unveils Brit label's new fragrance By UPDATED:14:57 GMT, 1 September 2011After single-handedly turning the trench coat into a wardrobe staple, it seems Burberry's influence on fashion is going from strength to strength. So it was only a matter of time before the British label unveiled a new fragrance.And with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as the face of the scent, it won't be long before thousands of bottles of Body are flying off the shelves.The supermodel features in the new campaign to promote the range, wearing nothing but a gold trench - and a few drops of the scent of course.Shot by Mario Testino under the direction of Cheif Creative Officer Christopher Bailey, the campaign will be shown online and on TV and Burberry Body will be available in over 160 markets from tomorrow.The scent has so far featured on Facebook, giving users a chance to preview the scent.The page has had a staggering 8 million 'likes' as the brand continues to push the boundaries of digital media.It was the first high-end label to stream its shows live during Fashion Week - setting a new precedent.Bailey said: 'Burberry Body is the most exciting launch that we have ever created and captures the iconic spirit of the brand today in a striking and sensual way. The supermodel wears nothing but a trench - and drop of Burberry Body'Rosie's effortless style and her staggering beauty made her the natural choice as the first Burberry Body.'The Transformers actress, who has also been busy starring in the new MS campaign, was announced as the face of Burberry in 2010.She said: 'Itsa huge honour to be working with Burberry again, a brand that put my career on the map and helped launch me. To be asked to be the first 'Burberry Body' is an amazing compliment.'CLICK PLAY TO WATCH THE BURBERRY BODY COMMERCIAL...CLICK PLAY TO WATCH BEHIND-THE-SCENES FOOTAGE OF ROSIE...Burberry's distinguished decade as luxury fashion brand goes from strength to strength By PUBLISHED:21:00 GMT, 19 July 2012 UPDATED:21:00 GMT, 19 July 2012Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts opened trading at the London Stock Exchange yesterday, ten years after the luxury fashion brand first listed on the bourse, and capping a decade of outstanding growth.Over that time Burberry has grown into a fashion powerhouse, using its English heritage to generate sales in Asia, the Middle East and the US.When Burberry first listed on the LSE in July 2002 at 230p, its market capitalisation was £1.2bn. Yesterday the shares closed up 57p at 1289p, a 460 per cent increase since it floated, giving the fashion house a stock market worth of £5.6bn larger than MS.Ahrendts, pictured centre, said the last ten years were a remarkable chapter for the business that was formed in 1856.Burberryfinance director Stacey Cartwright received stock worth £1.7m as part of a reward scheme dating back to 2009. She sold shares worth £1.5m. After buying stock worth £456,000, she was also gifted shares worth £1.9m. Burberry's fashion hothouse: Young talent stars in spring campaign By UPDATED:17:02 GMT, 10 December 2008 Winning a place in the Burberry advertising campaign is a little like winning the X Factor. The unknowns who are cast in it often go on to great things, such is the exposure from one of the most prestigious gigs in the fashion business. There is no better indication of who will make it big. And according to Burberry's spring 2009 campaign, pictured above, it could well be Eden Clarke. It is only 18 months since the 19-year-old was spotted at a festival on her native Isle of Wight but she was on the cover of last month's British Vogue with new Model of the Year Jourdan Dunn and is now with a quintessentially British brand that has boosted the likes of Kate Moss, Agyness Deyn and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Joining her in the Burberry line-up is 18-year-old Alexina Graham - the Nottingham teenager got her break after winning a modelling competition. Lily Donaldson, 20 - discovered in Camden market - is in her eighth season with the brand.Also photographed are 19-year-old George Craig, from Yorkshire band One Night Only, and Tooting photographer Emily Hope, 23.Photographed by Mario Testino in a Richmond greenhouse, the campaign sees Burberry revert to basics. "This reflects the true heritage of Burberry outerwear, the iconic check and our British attitude," said brand creative director Christopher Bailey. "I wanted the mood to be gentle, relaxed, romantic and about a quiet, beautiful sense of luxury." Alexina Graham, George Craig, Eden Clarke and Donaldson in outfits marking a return to the brand's heritage as a designer of outerwear the fashion business The walk-in website for fashionistas: Burberrys hi-tech new superstore opens in London's West End ahead of Fashion Week By PUBLISHED:13:32 GMT, 13 September 2012 UPDATED:14:34 GMT, 13 September 2012As the global fashion pack move from New York to London tomorrow all eyes are on our capital city.With this in mind, classic British brand Burberry have pulled out all the stops to revamp their flagship store.The existing store on Regent Street has undergone a fashion fabulous facelift and has been turned in to a walk-in website, mirroring the label's fashion forward digital world and offering a totally new shopping experience for the West End. Just in time for this season's biggest fashion show, the label has created 'Burberry World Live' which has been designed to mirror their website.It boasts nearly 500 speakers and 100 screens and notes to accompany the store launch describe it as merging fashion with technology and having many functions: serving as both and events space and innovation hub ... meaning that shoppers can expect exciting digital add-ons like virtual rain showers and mirrors transforming into runways while they browse the beautiful trench coats. There will be musical talent on display too with the launch of Burberry Acoustic: a live stage hosting creative talent.And for those of us not lucky enough to join celebrities and fashionistas at the shows, satellite technology means that fashion fans can experience live streamed events direct from the store. The store itself is rich in history. Constructed in 1820 for the Prince Regent, the building has housed galleries, a cinema, livery stables and a radio broadcaster over the course of 200 years. 'Burberry Regent Street brings our digital world to life in a physical space for the first time, where customers can experience every facet of the brand through immersive multimedia content exactly as they do online. 'Walking through the doors is just like walking into our website. It is Burberry World Live.We call Burberry a young, old company: forever moving forward while never forgetting our 156-year heritage. The fusion of history and innovation in Burberry Regent Street is the brands most comprehensive creative and commercial expression,' said Angela Ahrendts, Burberry Chief Executive Officer. Christopher Bailey, Burberry Chief Creative Officer added: 'We are so excited to launch Burberry World Live at our new Regent Street flagship, bringing our physical and digital worlds together to create amazing experiences that encompass everything from fashion, to heritage, to music, to the Burberry Foundation.Burberry Regent Street is one of the most architecturally and culturally significant projects we have undertaken. In renovating this iconic London building we have worked with some of the UKs finest craftsmen to restore a wealth of historic features, at the same time as pushing the boundaries of digital technology. Theresult is a space defined by contrasts: at once imposing and intimate, its juxtaposition of craft and innovation is designed to delight, surprise and entertain. It is a reflection of how we approach everything at Burberry - revealing the different layers of the brand's heritage within a modern context, and forever celebrating design and expert craftsmanship.' Feel like you are on the front row for Burberry's London Fashion Week show as it's streamed live on the FEMAIL channel By PUBLISHED:12:56 GMT, 17 September 2012 UPDATED:13:56 GMT, 17 September 2012Fashionistas don't need to worry if they haven't been able to get a ticket to Burberry's London Fashion Week show. The British brand are harnessing the latest technology to stream their Prorsum Spring/Summer 13 show live so fans around the world can tune in to view the catwalk display where ever they are. The show will be streamed as it happens via their website from 4pm and you can also view it at the.Scroll down to watch teaser... Burberry's new collection will be previewed by more than 1500 guests at the brand's custom-built show venue in London's Hyde Park. A host of celebs are expected to be on the front row and you can see them arriving for the anticipated event before the catwalk show begins via the live stream.Fashionistas will have more access to the show than ever before via their mobiles as they will be able to connect to the show via Facebook and Twitter for exclusive content and share what they like with friends. Guests at Burberry's recently re-opened flagship store in London's Regent Street will also be able to feel like they are at the event by experiencing it live from 'Burberry World'.The show will be streamed simultaneously onto the tallest retail screen in the world at their West End store.The Hyde Park, Regent Street store and social media show experiences will be linked via an advanced social stream, integrating real time content from the London events, Facebook, Twitter andInstagram. Burberry say their aim is to 'blur the physical and digital' by bringing all the facets of their live show to a global audience via their personalised cross channel viewing experience.Guests at over 35 Burberry Retail Theatre events and those watching through Burberry World will then be able to purchase the runway collection exclusively for one week immediately after the show, before the products go on sale globally eight weeks later.To watch the Burberry Prorsum Spring/Summer 13 show from 4pm click to visit the.See the show teaser here... Burberry's profits boosted to £196million as rich Texans and Arabs buy their wives handbags and shoesBy Last updated at 2:02 PM on 28th May 2008 Cool Britannia: The Spring Summer 2008 advertising campaign by Mario Testino, featuring Agnes Deyn, has helped boost Burberry's sales by 25 per cent. Picture by Testino/Burberry Burberry, the British fashion house with an American chief executive, unveiled a credit crunch-defying jump in sales and profits today as wealthy women across the globe continued to shop with abandon.Burberry - famous for its trademark check design - said wholesale revenue doubled from markets such as China, the Middle East and Russia, while North America underlying sales rose 26 per cent.The luxury handbags, belts and clothing group enjoyed a 25 per cent jump in profits to £196million on the back of a 17 per cent rise in revenue to £995million for the year ending in March.Angela Ahrendts, approaching the end of her second year at the helm, insists Burberry has much further to grow, especially in markets such as Russia where rivals LVMH and others have more exposure. 'Compared to our luxury peers, we are significantly under-penetrated,' she said. 'It will be quite a few years before those markets are tapped out.'Burberry has been around since 1856, and continues to promote itself as a luxury brand with a particularly British sensibility. But it is a global concern now, and its iconic West End store is merely the UK flagship. Although much of the retail sector is struggling of late, the luxury end has so far not suffered from the downturn.Finance director Stacey Cartwright said: 'Our luxury positioning gives us some insulation, but we are not saying we are completely immune.'The problem for all luxury businesses is how to grow while retaining an exclusive feel. Until Ahrendts arrived, Burberry was opening five new stores a year at best. Now it is more like 15. Although the statement warned about "an external environment that became increasingly challenging during the second half", Ahrendts sees no reason to slow down.The debt on the balance sheet fell by £25million to £64million, although this figure is expected to rise next year.Burberry tended in the past to be run as a series of fiefdoms, with businesses in different countries pursuing their own designs and developing their own supply chains.Ahrendts has been working on turning Burberry into a single company with common advertising.This is probably an attempt to take greater control of the brand and avoid past mistakes that for a while saw Burberry associated with Essex girls - a temporary boon to sales that was a potential long-term disaster.The most recent marketing gambit has focused on the film of Sex and the City - Burberry is one of the brands favoured by the character played by Sarah Jessica Parker. New product lines in the works include luggage, while shoes and childrenswear are just starting out. The dividend is up 14 per cent to 12p. The shares have fallen sharply from a year high of 707p, but today put on 11/2p to 5081/2p. That values the company at about £2 billion. Forget the It bag: Male satchels boosts Burberry's sales by 27%By UPDATED:14:34 GMT, 19 January 2011Forget the It-bag, it's now the man bag helping fashion brands boost profits.Burberry has reported a 27 per cent rise in sales in part due to the trendy piece.And it seems the item made a popular gift choice in the run up to Christmas.The totes, selling for between £295 and £895, have proved particularly popular with Chinese and Asian shoppers.Chief financial officer Stacey Cartwright said: 'In China and the rest of Asia where Burberry has a big fan base mens accessories are a huge market'.The latest menswear collection features brightly-coloured bags with Sixties-style duffel coats and transparent ponchos and was unveiled in Milan on Saturday. Total sales in the three months to the end of December hit £480 million, meaning Burberry expects annual profits to come in at the top end of City forecasts.Analysts are pencilling in pre-tax profits of almost £290 million for the 12 months to the end of March. Cartwright said its stores in the UK and on the east coast of the US suffered during the snow, but she was 'delighted' with the performance of Londons stores where almost a third of customers come from China. Shoppers from the Middle East, Russia, the rest of Europe and Brazil also helped to drive up sales. The luxury brand with a chequered past, Burberry's shaken off its chav image to become the fashionistas' favourite once more Last updated at 9:17 AM on 02nd June 2008 Profitable fashion. It's a difficult balancing act, one only a handful of labels have been able to achieve: how to keep your brand exclusive and cutting-edge, but at the same time shift enough of your product to keep the accountants happy.Make your brand too famous and it will inevitably fall into the wrong hands, ensuring your high-end customers - always in search of the Next Big Thing - desert you in droves.Become too niche, and while the girls who worship Vogue might hanker after you, the rich wives of Russian oligarchs will turn up their newly chiselled noses. In the late Nineties, Burberry , once a staid store selling raincoats, decided it wanted a piece of the burgeoning mania for designer labels. It upped its advertising budget and used its trademark check not just as a discreet lining but plastered over absolutely everything. Reinvented classics: Burberry's Spring/Summer 2008 collectionUnfortunately, Burberry became too ubiquitous for comfort, and soon the distinctive house check was adopted as a badge of honour for the newly emerging chav generation. The day that former soap star Daniella Westbrook and her daughter stepped out head to toe in Burberry sounded the death knell for the company's credibility. It had to change, and it had to change fast. News released last week confirms it has done just that. Burberry enjoyed a 25 per cent jump in profits to £196 million on the back of a 17 per cent rise in revenue to £995million for the year ending in March. It is now one of the top five luxury goods brands in the world. It's interesting that the Burberry renaissance has been driven by two canny American businesswomen: Rose Marie Bravo, who left the most prestigious job in fashion - as president of Saks - to head up Burberry in 1998; and Angela Ahrendts, who took over two years ago having cut her teeth at Donna Karan. What the women have in common is that they are both anglophiles who fell in love with the history of the company. Founded in 1856, Burberry dressed not only Sir Ernest Shackleton for his exploration of Antarctica, but also provided Army officers with the raincoats they wore in the trenches of World War I (hence the term 'trench coat') and clothed debutantes in floor-length duchesse satin. The straight-talking Bravo recognised that this unique slice of Englishness could be successfully marketed around the world. In 2001, she hired the down-to-earth Yorkshireman Christopher Bailey to reinvent the label and put the chavs firmly off the scent. Bailey grew up in Halifax, the son of a carpenter and a Marks Spencer windowdresser. His love of fashion came from his grandmothers, who were both seamstresses. After graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1994, he worked for, among others, Donna Karan and Gucci. One of the first things Bailey did at Burberry was to spend months poring over the archives, before reinventing the classics, fashioning a military jacket out of gold sequins, say, or buttery soft leather. With the younger label Burberry Prorsum (Latin for 'forwards'), he has come up with numerous trends: the balloon sleeve, the cocoonshaped overcoat, the liberal use of metallics and, of course, the trench coat in ever more luxurious fabrics. His collection for winter 2008 includes myriad exquisite variations, covering the simple trench with tiered feathers and leather leaves; the £3,000 chevron coat has even made it onto the back of Sarah Jessica Parker in the new Sex And movie. And while Bailey, talking about his label's chavdom, is keen not to sound elitist - 'I'm proud we had such a democratic appeal' - he has been instrumental in returning to the brand its coolness, while at the same time sending top-end sales soaring. He was at the forefront of the money-spinning mania for vertiginous shoes (Burberry sold more than 300,000 pairs at more than £300 a pop last year), and for the hugely expensive handbag, fashioned from exotic skins. This spring's Warrior bag, which, despite its £13,000 price tag, sold in its hundreds, added nicely to the bank balance, while its success had a knockon effect: the dizzying height of the Burberry price range enabled the brand to increase the average price of its bags by more than 25 per cent, the resultant buzz helping to push Burberry accessories to make up 31 per cent of total sales. The ad campaigns have been instrumental in the brand's success, too. Shot in black and white by Mario Testino, they look more classically beautiful than ever before, use models who might actually be members of the British aristocracy - such as Stella Tennant, granddaughter of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire - or merely look as if they are, such as new Brit stars Agyness Deyn and Georgia Frost. It is an inspired conceit. But that is exactly what it is: a conceit. The English countryside, as depicted by Testino, no longer really exists. Nobody in the countryside actually wears this stuff, or carries the new Burberry Beaton bag (only 8 per cent of Burberry sales are in the UK). But it is the illusion that we do that has helped propel the latest sales figures, and enabled Ahrendts to open 15 new stores in developing markets. Burberry continues to trade on its 'Englishness', of course it does. Bailey cites as his inspiration the warmly-coated figures depicted by the artist L. S. Lowry, and says proudly, 'We have two factories in Yorkshire - in Rotherham, which we saved from closure, and Castleford, where we make the iconic rainwear. We still use fabrics from the traditional cloth mills. I love those solid English cloths.' But you wonder how long it will be before Burberry - which closed down its factory in South Wales last year, at the cost of 300 jobs - is forced, or tempted, to move all its production to China. The big challenge for the next few years will not be whether a D-list celebrity has got hold of your clothes, but whether consumers will stomach the poorly-paid worker churning out ever more expensive 'things' that are supposed to remind us of a more gentle, bygone age, all in pursuit of that all-important bottom line. Share this article:Burberrys future isnt so Rosie UPDATED:00:09 GMT, 19 October 2008 Supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has been dropped by leading fashion house Burberry following the publication of a picture of her with what appeared to be a drug pipe.Sources close to Rosie, right, who is dating Rolling Stone Ronnie Woods son Tyrone, say she was not approached to appear in the latest Burberry campaign, which was shot last week.Dropped by Burberry: Rosie Huntington Whiteley The snap of 19-year-old Rosie with the pipe was printed by The Mail on Sunday in July.Rosie thought she was doing two or three seasons for Burberry, Im told. But they asked Eden Clark and Alex Pettyfer to do the shoot. Burberry said: The campaign is not finalised. We dont release information until the official launch. Share this article:Celebrity style finder: Where can I find Eva Longoria Parker's dress and Sienna Miller's boots? By UPDATED:11:27 GMT, 20 August 2009From Kate Bosworth's trench and Nicole Richie's jewellery to Alexa Chung's handbag, we show you how to get A-list looks at a fraction of the price.EVA LONGORIA PARKER'S DRESSEver the diva, Eva hit the redcarpet at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles wearing this dazzling,strapless fringed Marchesa dress with an embroidered bodice (£3,300,marchesa.com or net-a-porter.com) a season before it was in the shops. Make a similar statement for a fraction of the price at goddiva.com (£35), which specialises in copying celebrity outfits. SIENNA MILLER'S BOOTSWe love Sienna's laidback boho style, with an edge - and these slouchy, studded brown suede biker boots epitomise her wearable look. We tracked them down to Russell and Bromley (£295, russellandbromley.co.uk). As ankle boots are a trend that's here to stay for autumn we think they're worth investing in, but you can also get cheaper versions in Miss Selfridge and Kurt Geiger for a more affordable £75-£100.ALEXA CHUNG'S BAGWe adore Alexa's power satchel,which glams up even the grungiest outfit and holds everything you couldever need. Alexa's is the Daria satchel from 'It' bag designer labelMulberry and costs £550 (mulberry.com) - if you can get to the front ofthe waiting list, that is. Fortunately, Vanilla Paris does a double-take version in a range of colours from £70 (vanilla-paris.co.uk). NICOLE RICHIE'S NECKLACEKnownfor her quirky retro style, Nicole Richie is never seen without hersignature bold jewellery. You can bag her look with this House ofHarlow gold and resin Triangle necklace (£68, asos.com) which Richiedesigned herself in collaboration with jeweller Mouawad, or find acheaper version at Freedom for Topshop, where chunky necklaces costaround £20. KATE BOSWORTH'S TRENCH COAT If you don't have a trench coat already, trust us, they'll be everywhere come October. Kate Bosworth made sure she wasn't caught out on a wet Manhattan day recently in this dip-dyed Burberry Prorsum trench coat, a modern update on their classic mac. It's an eye-watering £1,195 (burberry.com), but we've seen fantastic trench coats everywhere from Zara to HM (349). If you want one with the checked inside, Topshop has a stylish number for £195. Chav-tastic coat of paint for wacky artist's house turned into Burberry shrineBy UPDATED:17:43 GMT, 19 November 2009Once a symbol for all things chav, Burberry had successfully re-branded itself as one of the UK's most sophisticated fashion labels.But a Norwegian artist looks set to undo all of their hard work after painting the exterior of his house - a former public toilet - in the brand's signature check.Jens Werner, 33, covered the entire building in the famous beige, black and red tartan design. The re-painting of the building in Larvik took several weeks at a cost of thousands of pounds.A gathering place for happy people: Artist Jens Werner painted his house in Burberry's signature beige plaid Fashion house: Mr Werner on the windowledge of his home, which he painted in the famous check because he thought it would be 'a fun idea' The makeover of the property was part of an effort to turn Jens'home into a 'gathering place for happy people, peace-on-earth-mentalityand art-loving people'. He explained how he came up with the idea after waking up onemorning and thought that it would be 'a fun idea' to repaint thebuilding, which he has owned for six years.Burberry, which is over 150 year old, is a favourite with fashion-forward celebrities including Alexa Chung and Agyness Deyn.It became famous for its raincoats after the label was commissionedby the War Office to adapt its officer's coat to suit the conditions ofcontemporary warfare. After the war, the garment became popular withcivilians.The company's signature print, the Haymarket check, becameubiquitous in the Nineties among football hooligans and the new chavgeneration. Fashion forward: Agyness Deyn, Alexa Chung and Emma Watson all regularly wear Burberry designsIts popularity sparked thousands of imitations and the print wasreplicated on everything from baseball caps to shoes. The label'sluxury status was dealt its final blow when former EastEnders actressDaniella Westbrook stepped out with her young daughter, bothhead-to-toe in the house tartan, complete with matching buggy.After fighting hard to shake off its unfortunate associations withchav culture the firm has divided the country into three categoriesaccording to how smartly they want to dress.The luxury fashion house has introduced a new tripartite system,splitting glamour queens who opt for silk catwalk dresses from thosemore comfortable in scruffy jeans.It was U.S. businesswoman Rose Marie Bravo who transformed thebrand's image when she joined the company in 1998, spearheading arenaissance that saw the likes of Kate Moss, Rachel Weisz and EmmaWatson star in its advertising campaigns.Mr Werner is not the first to have turned his home into a tribute to a fashion label.Footballer Philip Neville turned his 18th century grade II-listedhome into a Versace-themed palace after he bought it ten years ago.The decor featured gold-panelled ceilings and monogrammed gates sparking widespread ridicule.The property was on the market for a year before selling for £1.5million below its £4million asking price earlier this year.Renaissance: Kate Moss starred in advertising campaigns for Burberry after its re-brand Chequered results for BurberryBy UPDATED:06:00 GMT, 25 May 2005EVEN Burberry's much-loved raincoats are not immune to the retail gloom in Britain, but its Asian stores are growing strongly.Finance director Stacey Cartwright blames a 'lack of US tourists' for an estimated 5% drop in underlying sales in the UK in the fourth quarter.The retailer said group profits before tax rose from 140m to 164m in the year to March. Gross margins improved from 57.9% to 59.3%. Turnover rose 6% to 715m.China and Hong Kong now account for 6% of sales and are growing at more than 30% a year, though analysts fear progress could be slow in Burberry's more established markets. Accessories are growing strongly, thanks to new Candy and Bluebell handbags - a modern version of the traditional trademark check. Cartwright reckons the next big seller will be the new Haymarket range.Investors were rewarded with a 50% jump in the final dividend to 4.5p. But concerns that majority shareholder GUS may sell some of its shares are hanging over the stock.Burberry also unveiled plans to spend 50m over the next three years to upgrade its computer and supply systems. Cartwright says: 'This will enable us to spot global trends that much faster.' China helps Burberry to 32% revenue growthBy UPDATED:09:48 GMT, 19 April 2011No hard-up retail story from Burberry as it plans to expand store space by more than 10% following a bumper finish to its financial year.Reporting a 32% surge in revenues to £390m in the three months to March, the fashion house predicted full-year profits would ring in at the top end of expectations.The 155-year-old maker of raincoats and handbags best known for its camel, red and black check, said it would increase store space by 12% to 13% by March next year, mainly in China, Latin America and the Middle East.Burberry and the luxury sector has experienced a more rapid recovery than the rest of the retail sector, driven by demand from Chinese shoppers and tourists.Angela Ahrendts, Burberry chief executive, said: 'Burberry had good early progress in China.'While the luxury industry faces global challenges in the year ahead, we remain confident in our team's ability to outperform, underpinned by the consistent execution of our key strategies.'The group said retail revenues were up 42% to £596m in the six months to March, while wholesale revenues gained 14% to £214m in the same period. Retail growth was driven by its new stores in China, but all regions experienced double-digit growth. It said its Burberry Prorsum and Burberry London brands outperformed. The company opened seven stores in the final six months of the year, in New York, Milan, Beijing and Shenzhen in China, Delhi, Sao Paulo and Puebla in Mexico. Wholesale revenues were similarly driven by a surge in sales in China, but the Americas and Asia Pacific also outperformed.The company's licensing division saw revenues decline 5% to £50m, but this was in line with expectations, as growth was offset by the planned termination of the Japanese leather goods licence in 2010. It warned licensing revenues in Japan, where a licensed dealer sells Burberry goods to about 800 outlets, would be broadly flat throughout the year.Shares in the FTSE 100-listed company gained 67p (5.8%) to 1,213p after today's update.Katharine Wynne, an analyst at brokers Investec, said Burberry's expectations of full-year profits to March 2011 at the top end of expectations implies a figure of £290m.Ms Wynne added there was also scope to revise upwards its forecast for the year to March 2012.China's passion for British fashion sees Burberry sales soar By PUBLISHED:20:26 GMT, 14 April 2012 UPDATED:10:10 GMT, 15 April 2012British luxury giant Burberry will reveal this week that sales have soared over the past six months as more wealthy Chinese buy the brand. The popularity of the label with shoppers at the fast-growing number of luxury department stores in the country and its promotion by actresses such as Fan Bingbing meant global sales rose by nearly a fifth to more than £1billion in the six months to the end of March.Chinese and Russian tourists across Europe have also helped lift sales nearer to home, Burberry will report on Tuesday. Global Blue, which tracks spending bytourists from outside Europe, said the number of purchases by Chinese visitors to Britain rose 35 per cent in the first three months of the year compared with the first quarter of 2011.And the value of each transaction for which they claimed back VAT rose 20 per cent to £747.Young tourists are coming to Britainto buy designer labels. They are also looking for products that wont be available in China so they can stand out from the crowd when they gethome, said a spokeswoman for Global Blue, which will also publish figures this week. China now accounts for a fifth of non-European shopping in the UK and was second only to the Middle East in the first quarter. Chinese customers' demand fuel Burberry boom By UPDATED:01:38 GMT, 17 November 2010Burberry is the latest fashion retailer to record a boom in half-year profits following a surge in demand from Chinese customers. The retailer, famous for its camel, red and black checked raincoats, pictured, has benefited from the same increased consumer confidence that lifted Cartier owner Richemont last week and rival French fashion house LVMH. Chief executive Angela Ahrendts unveiled better-than-expected profits for the first half of £117.7million, up from £78.4million, on sales of £641million. The business has net cash of £181million and Ahrendts hiked the interim dividend from 3.5p to 5p. She said the star performer of the first half has been leather handbags. Burberry (down 16p to 1004p) has been focused on driving sales of accessories so the firm is not so dependent on high-fashion items.Customers have snapped up its range of heritage handbags that will not be changed with the trends of the season, which will underpin its offering. Finance director Stacey Cartwright said Burberry will absorb any hikes in the cost of raw materials. Chinese demand boosts Burberry salesBy UPDATED:21:41 GMT, 13 October 2010A surge in demand for Burberry's iconic trenchcoats among wealthy Chinese tourists helped boost half-year sales at the upmarket retail chain. The fashion group shrugged off the downturn to post a 17 per cent rise in underlying group sales for the six months to 30 September at a time when many of its High Street rivals are struggling to woo customers. Finance boss Stacey Cartwright said performance at its network of 50 stores in China was particularly strong along with a pick-up in demand from fashionconscious Chinese men, like Hong Kong actor and popstar Eason Chan. Revenues in the past quarter rose 12 per cent to £359million, up from£282million in the previous three months, prompting the firm to say profits would be at the top half of expectations. But its shares fell 31p to 1008p on disappointment that the firm did not lift its forecast even further. Cartwright was upbeat on future trading saying Burberry would not be affected by a spike in cotton prices. CITY DIARY: Retail sector under the spotlight By PUBLISHED:14:46 GMT, 18 May 2012 UPDATED:14:46 GMT, 18 May 2012The retail sector will come under the spotlight this week when Marks Spencer, ASOS, Mothercare and Burberry will update on how they are coping in tough economic conditions.Monday Ryanair will publish its final year results. TuesdayHigh street bellwether Marks Spencer will suffer its first fall in annual profits for three years as the squeeze in its customers living standards hits home. Profits had smashed through the £1billion barrier for the first time in a decade in 2008 but the financial crisis hurt shoppers and heralded an era of fierce discounting on the high street. In that time, the UKs biggest clothes retailer has come under pressure from the success of budget retailer Primark, while Next has grown sales online to make up for a fall in store sales. And its food sales are competing against fierce discounting in the supermarkets, prompting it to launch a new 500-strong Simply MS value range to appeal to austerity Britain. The group, which has more than 700 stores in the UK, will report a 3 per cent fall in pre-tax profits to £694million in the year to the end of March, according to City forecasts. Like-for-like sales of general merchandise are expected to have fallen by about 1.7 per cent in the year, but food sales have put in a much stronger performance, with margins set to have grown slightly. Booming demand for mobile internet access in the UK and strong growth in emerging markets will help Vodafone weather the financial storm in southern Europe. The mobile phone giants shares approached their pre-financial crisis peaks in early 2012 but have weakened in recent months amid fears that its stellar growth is beginning to slow. The Newbury-based firms performance has been hit by recessions in Spain and Italy, while the fees it can charge for connecting mobile calls are being reduced in markets such as the UK.These effects are offsetting gains from its rapid growth in India and Turkey, and from growing demand for data as people use smartphones to get online. Wednesday Angela Ahrendts star will continue to shine when luxury goods group Burberry reports that profits have risen by a quarter. The brand, famous for its red, black and camel-coloured check design, has remained resilient in the face of the worsening global economy, helped by strong demand in key markets including the UK, France and China. Under the leadership of chief executive Ms Ahrendts and creative director Christopher Bailey, the group has tapped into demand from well-heeled travellers for high-end British fashion.Burberry recently allayed fears that the slowdown in China would hurt its growth when it reported that sales from its retail estate, which includes 192 shops and 208 concessions, rose 23 per cent to £743million in the six months to March 31. As well as sales of traditional Burberry favourites such as jackets and handbags, the company reported strong growth in knitwear, mens tailoring and accessories, fragrances and watches.The City expects profits for the year of about £376million, compared to £298million a year ago.ThursdayMore details on the rescue plan for Mothercares UK operation will be unveiled when new chief executive Simon Calver presents full-year results. Mr Calver joined Mothercare at the end of April from internet movie rental company Lovefilm and is expected to endorse the transformation strategy announced by executive chairman Alan Parker last month. Alongside a drive for more online business and continued overseas expansion, Mr Parker revealed plans to cut the number of stores in the UK from 311 to a core 200 profitable stores by 2015. It follows months of weak trade, including a 9.5 per cent drop in like-for-like sales in the 12 weeks to March 31. Panmure Gordon stockbrokers analyst Jean Roche said annual profits were likely to dwindle to just £1.1million, driven by the impact of competition from supermarkets, specialist chains and Amazon. Asos will shrug off fears about its growth when it reports a 40 per cent rise in profits to £40.3million in the year to the end of March - in-line with City expectations - helped by margin improvements. Sales are expected to rise 46 per cent to £495million in the year, after it continued to expand its reach overseas with new websites in Spain, Italy and Australia. The group, which also sells fashion favourites such as River Island, American Apparel and Ralph Lauren, is expected to repeat that it is on-track to hit its target of growing sales to £1billion by 2015. The companys website now attracts 18.5million unique visitors a month and has some seven million registered users from 191 countries. Retail sales and adjusted GDP figures will be published along with BBA Mortgage Approvals data. Friday No major economic or corporate news is scheduled. City news in brief: Burberry, AmecBy UPDATED:07:27 GMT, 16 October 2009A roundup of the shorter news stories from the Financial Mail on Sunday...Burberry magic is still aliveStill basking in the glow of its success at London Fashion Week last month, Burberry is this week expected to show that it continues to steal luxury market share from rivals, even though like-forlike sales are likely to be flat.Analysts at investment bank Nomura say the brand should post a solid performance on Wednesday for the three months to the end of September.The label took London by storm with its catwalk show, where guests of honour included Emma Watson, the Harry Potter star and Burberry model.Jenks owners sued for debtA former marketing director of Abbey bank is being sued for £150,000 after his sales and marketing company went into administration earlier this year.Ambrose McGinn is being sued, along with Ross Beattie, after their business, Jenks Sales Brokers, went bust in May owing more than £10m.The directors, who each owned 50 per cent of the company, are being sued by Venture Finance, a factoring company that helps businesses manage and collect debts.According to a High Court writ filed last month, Venture Finance claims its is owed £10.4m by Jenks.It also claims that Beattie and McGinn had signed guarantees making them personally responsible for £150,000 each of the company debts to Venture.Jenks acted for leading High Street brands in their dealings with supermarkets. Clients included Mars and DelMonte.Profits warnings halved over yearThe number of companies issuing a profits warning has halved in the past year, but could rise again sharply if they become overconfident, according to accountant Ernst & Young.Its survey of profits alerts published this weekend showed 52 UK quoted companies issued a warning in the three months to the end of September, down from 111 in the same period last year.But the authors said the drop was not necessarily a sign that the economy was bouncing.Companies may have become more realistic in their forecasts after last year's financial shock.Government lending schemes and low interest rates were also providing a short-term lift, it suggested.The drop was limited to those companies with a turnover of £1bn or more.Landing craft could net shipbuilders 30 ordersIt is a bizarre mixture of catamaran and hovercraft, but a contract for a high-tech military vessel could mean multi-million pound orders for its maker, Griffon Hoverwork.The £6m craft, called the Pascat, which is undergoing trials for the Ministry of Defence, can travel at twice the speed of similar craft and carry twice the payload for a vessel of its size.The trial vessel, destined for use by the Royal Marines, has been bought by defence group QinetiQ on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.If the trials are successful, orders could be placed for 30 more.Griffon, based in Woolston, Hampshire, is leading a team made up of Aluminium Shipbuilders, BMT Nigel Gee and BMT Marine Projects to build the Pascat.The trial vessel, which took 18 months to build, is designed to offload a number of armoured vehicles and troops in waters as shallow as 2ft thanks to its hovercraft capability.The Pascat is powered by twin waterjets, driven by diesel engines, which lets the craft travel at speeds of up to 25 knots.A decision on orders will be made 'within months', said a QinetiQ spokesman.Amec joins India's drive for reactorsEngineering and project management group Amec has joined forced with Hindustan Construction, one of India's biggest construction firms, to spearhead a multi-billion-pound nuclear building programme.The two have signed a memorandum of understanding that will harness Amec's nuclear expertise to design and provide safety systems for nuclear power stations.The agreement follows India's announcement of plans to build hundreds of reactors over the next 40 years as it starts to bridge the energy gap and replace oil and coalfired power plants. At present, 400m people in India have no electricity and the country is dependent on oil for most energy needs.The country plans to boost its nuclear output 100-fold.Amec is involved with French energy giant EDF in Britain's nuclear power plant programme. TV football row grows for OfcomThe premier League has told media regulator Ofcom that the proposal to force BSkyB to offer its top-flight football and film rights to rivals at regulated prices is a mistake.Ofcom said earlier this year it wanted the pay-TV satellite broadcaster to offer its premium services on a regulated wholesale basis to rivals to 'ensure consumers have an increased choice of supplier and platform'.BSkyB has owned most of the rights to live Premier League matches since the league's foundation in 1992 and paid £1.8bn for the rights to most of the live games for the three years beginning in 2010.Ofcom's proposals that BSkyB should now offer this programming cheaply to its rivals has infuriated the broadcaster, which has threatened legal action to defend its position against what it called 'unwarranted intervention'.The Premier League has told Ofcom that it also believes the proposals are 'fundamentally flawed'.'Forcing BSkyB to wholesale Premier League rights to live games would remove any element of competition when it comes to bidding for rights,' said a Premier League spokesman.'If BSkyB is forced to wholesale the rights, competitors will be able to pick up Premier League rights in a risk-free, low-value manner. We believe we should encourage as much competition as possible.'Claws come out as Burberry blondes start acting up... By PUBLISHED:00:40 GMT, 17 June 2012 UPDATED:13:18 GMT, 17 June 2012A battle of the blonde models has broken out between the two recent faces of the Burberry fashion house.Leggy beauties Cara Delevingne, and Gabriella Wilde, are said to be at loggerheads as a rivalry between the rising young stars grows.Cara is adorable, talented and very friendly but she and Gabriella are too alike to get on, says a fashion insider.A distinct rivalry has brewed between them, based as much on their acting as their blossoming fashion careers. They are both looking for a big break in films.Gabriella, 23, has appeared in two childrens movies and will star in a remake of Carrie opposite Julianne Moore.But Cara, 19, is set to make a serious acting debut in a new film version of Anna Karenina alongside Keira Knightley. They are competing with each other and the claws are out, says the stylist.Caras reign as the face of Burberry came to an end when she was replaced by Gabriella earlier this summer.Brothers rewarded in birthday honoursThomas Hughes-Hallett, right, has been rewarded for being one of Britains most generous philanthropists with a knighthood from the Queen.And the recently retired chief executive of Marie Curie Cancer Care wont be going to Buckingham Palace alone his brother James has also been named on Her Majestys Birthday Honours list.Eton-educated Tom, 57, ran Marie Curie for 12 years, giving up a highly paid banking job to join the charity.Last year he helped Marie Curie whose yellow daffodil badges are widely recognised raise £130million and he is Hugh Grants favourite philanthropist after the actors mother was helped by Marie Curie nurses.Tom was last year chairman of the Philanthropy Review a body set up to boost charitable giving in the UK and his knighthood is for services to palliative care.James, 62, is chairman of export company John Swire Sons. He has been made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George for his services to British business interests in Asia and Australasia.Actor Nicholas Hoult had Prince William in stitches after swapping tips on horse-riding technique.The pair met at last months Audi polo tournament and X-Men star Nicholas, 22, says: I told him I had to learn to ride for my last role, but when it came to filming the scenes they wouldnt let me get on a horse because the insurance didnt cover me.'So I had to get on an oil barrel instead and use some rope as reins pretending to ride it as if it was a real horse. William found that very funny.Coats and leather goods boost Burberry's half-year revenues By UPDATED:09:41 GMT, 13 October 2010Fashion chain Burberry said on Wednesday it expects full-year profits to be in the top half of market forecasts after posting a 21 per cent jump in half-year revenues. The luxury clothing brand said it was benefiting from robust performances in markets including Hong Kong, the UK, Italy and France. It is also eyeing a larger share of the Chinese market following its recent £70million deal to buy out its franchise partner in the Asian country.Higher demand for coats and leather items resulted in a 8 per centincrease in same-store sales in the second quarter, down from 10 percent in the first three months.Burberry's retail division reported sales growth of 22 per cent inthe last three months, up from 16 per cent in the first quarterfollowing the addition of new space and the transfer of the Chineseoperations. Angela Ahrendts, Burberry's chief executive, said that theintroduction of new lines, online and customer service initiatives aswell as the expansion in China boosted the group's confidence. Concern as Burberry's new Kate Moss is pictured clutching a VERY suspicious pipe By UPDATED:00:18 GMT, 27 July 2008 As the new face of Burberry, she is following in the footsteps of Kate Moss and tipped to be the next big thing in the fashion world.But a curious picture showing Rosie Huntington-Whiteley holding what appears to be drug paraphernalia may be cause for concern for the clothing labels bosses.The company has already been dragged into a drugs scandal, after Ms Moss was pictured apparently snorting cocaine, so will be keen to avoid any further adverse publicity. Worrying photo: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley pictured with the bong and fellow models Jennifer Pugh, Alexsandra Rastovic at the party The picture of Rosie enjoying herself at a party with friends has appeared on a fashion industry website. Casually dressed in jeans and a gilet, the rising star is seen clutching what appears to be a bong. Also known as water pipes, bongs are used to smoke tobacco, cannabis or other herbal products. They are filled with water which cools smoke before it enters the lungs, making it easier to inhale. Users can therefore draw in a large amount of smoke quickly, rather than smaller, more frequent puffs on a pipe or cigarette.With her head thrown back and mouth open, the model is pictured huddled with fellow models Jennifer Pugh and Aleksandra Rastovic, who is the face of Armani and Calvin Klein. As Croatian-born Aleksandra, 20, looks on, American Jennifer leans towards Rosie and poses provocatively with her tongue out. Close: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley with her boyfriend Ty Wood Rosie, who has been dating Rolling Stone Ronnie Woods art dealer son Tyrone, 24, since last year, was snapped at a friends private party a couple of years ago. The picture was later posted on fashion industry website supermodels.nl, attracting several comments from the models, bookers and fans who use the websites open forum. Last month, 21-year-old Rosie was unveiled as the new face of Burberry. She appears in their autumn/winter campaign, shot by Mario Testino, alongside British actor Sam Riley.The fashion giant has a history of turning unknown models into international catwalk stars and was one of the first to sign Kate Moss in 1998. They dropped her from a planned advertising campaign in the wake of the Cocaine Kate scandal, but reinstated her when police charges against her were dropped. Work: Rosie in the Burberry campaign with actor Sam Riley The Burberry contract has already caused problems for Rosie, leading to tensions with Agyness Deyn, whom she replaced.Rosie grew up the eldest of three children in Quither, a four-house hamlet near Tavistock in Devon.The family owned a farmhouse where they grew organic vegetables and kept chickens, ducks, pigs and sheep. But Rosie said she knew from an early age that she was destined for bigger things.I was made for the city, she said. I knew that I was going to leave Devon and that, whatever I did, it would be big.She first posed for the camera five years ago after she was discovered as a 15-year-old GCSE student doing work experience at London model agency Profile. She got her first big break in January 2004 when she appeared in a New York fashion shoot for Teen Vogue, and she made her catwalk debut the same year.Speaking three years ago, she said: Im pretty level-headed and down-to-earth. I had a regular upbringing . . . that keeps me pretty normal.Now signed to Models 1, she has been photographed for Chopard perfume, Clinique, Jaeger, DKNY, Abercrombie Fitch, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger. She has been seeing Tyrone Ty Wood since meeting him at a Rolling Stones concert in Barcelona last year.In a recent interview, Ty said he was madly, deeply in love with her, while she has said: I think its serious. Theres a healthy future ahead of us.Rosie says she is the luckiest girl because of her lifestyle, adding: I have some great memories and experiences, and look forward to achieving even more. Im truly blessed and fortunate to be in my position.Burberry declined to comment on the photograph, but a friend of Rosies said: She is aware of the pictures existence, but she was 18 or 19 when that was taken. Shes just turned 21 so its two or three years old.Speaking from the family farmhouse yesterday, Rosies mother Fiona, a personal trainer, confirmed it was her daughter in the picture. But she added: I really cannot say anything about it, my darling. Isnt it lovely that someone so young is doing so well? A very sweet move by Mr Fry as chocolate heir Cosmo marries for the third time By UPDATED:09:07 GMT, 25 January 2012His first marriage lasted six weeks, his second around six years. So its hardly surprising chocolate heir Cosmo Fry has taken his time about exchanging vows for a third time.But, at 53, Old Etonian Cosmo has taken the plunge again and wed his long-time lover, former fashion writer Lulu Anderson. The couple, who were this week at a party for the revival of Alan Bennetts play, The Madness of George III, have a ten-year-old son, Jude, and live in Somerset, where Cosmo is a director of Baths Theatre Royal. Cosmo tells me: Ive got married after 15 years of being with Lulu. Im not sure why after all this time we decided to marry after all, having been wed twice before I am aware of the pitfalls. But all good things come to those who wait!Unlike his first marriage to the Marquess of Londonderrys daughter Lady Cosima Somerset, which was at smart St Peters church in Eaton Square and had 500 guests including Zac and Jemima Goldsmith, his latest nuptials took place at a Bath register office with just a few close friends.He and Lulu had the union blessed at a church and, some days later, held a party for 200 at their home, where guests included Richard E. Grant and Jasper Conran.How to Cruz into HollywoodFlamboyant turban-wearing socialite Amanda Eliasch, who married the multi-millionaire pal of Prince Andrew, is on the move.Two years after selling the Belgravia house she shared with her ex-husband, sportswear tycoon Johan Eliasch, she has a canny addition to her extensive property portfolio.For she beat other hopefuls to buy the Hollywood mansion that was formerly owned by film star Penelope Cruz.Artist and playwright Amanda, 51 the granddaughter of the late St Trinians film director Sidney Gilliat snapped up the three-bedroom house for around £2.5million.It is a mere snip compared to her other homes in London and Paris. She has since spent a further costly sum renovating the property and moved in this week.The house is transformed, says Amanda. I adore it. I fell in love with the house and I fought to get it. I just knew it was for me.Amanda, who has two sons, adds: I begged Penelope to sell it to me. Meanwhile, Amanda, who is hoping for her semi-autobiographical play, As I Like It, to premiere on Broadway, has put her Grade II-listed house in Londons Cheyne Walk up for sale.She says: I love the house, but its too big. Nicky Haslam, who decorated it for me, says its the most romantic house in Chelsea.After a somewhat turbulent past, during which his aristocratic wife left him for a tattooed gamekeeper, James Hervey-Bathurst found happiness second time round with the Duke of Rutlands cousin, Lucy Manners, a pal of the Duchess of York.He also worked hard to turn his 97-room Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire into one of the nations best countryside attractions hosting weddings, conferences and shooting parties.But, alas, James, 62, will be counting the cost after organisers of the Big Chill musical festival, held in the castles 5,000-acre grounds, decided to cancel this summers event.Its bound to have a huge knock-on effect, says a friend of James. I gather the organisers decided not togo ahead because it clashed with the Olympics and, presumably, that means James is set to lose his fee for the use of his grounds.Thissetback comes nine years after father-of-five James was left by his wife Sarah, after her Lady Chatterley-style romance with gamekeeper Mark Smith, who worked on the grouse moor of her father Viscount Inglebys Snilesworth estate in Northallerton, North Yorkshire.Their love affair fizzled out. Meanwhile, James fell for Lucy, an interior designer, who was a one-time lady-in-waiting to Fergie. The couple have since married and have two children to add to his three children by his first wife. Two years ago, his daughter, Isabella, then a third-year student at Trinity College, Cambridge, was voted fittest girl at the university.James, affectionately known to his friends as Dirty Bathwater, has various business schemes to help pay for the hefty upkeep of the Norman-style turreted castle, which has a twin-towered gate-house, arboretum and lake. It has been used as a backdrop for various TV shows, including Bargain Hunt and Simon Cowells Red Or Black gameshow. Land Rover has also used the estate for off-road testing. Last years line-up for the Big Chill included The Chemical Brothers and Kanye West.Suddenly, handsome Birdsong star Eddie Redmayne is everywhere. And theOld Etonian friend of Prince William yesterday picked up yet another award this time for being Best Shakespearean Actor.Redmayne was as stylish as ever when he received the gong at the prestigious Critics Circle Theatre Awards dressed head to foot in Burberry. Yes, these are lovely clothes, but theyre not mine, he says. I have to give them back afterwards. Its all Burberry. Cambridge-educated Eddie, who is appearing in Richard II at Londons Donmar Warehouse, can be seen cavorting with model Cara Delevingne in the latest Burberry campaign. Redmayne, who has female TV viewers swooning at his role in the Sebastian Faulkss World War I novel, adds: Im back to work later filming Les Miserables at Pinewood. ..........................................................Growing political instability in Yemen is posing significant problems for a new film set in the country starring Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas and Ewan McGregor. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, based on the book by Paul Torday, is due for release in March, but I gather producers are increasingly nervous aboutwhether it will be appropriate to premiere the comedy, as the situationin the benighted country worsens. It tells the story of a British scientist who becomes involved, somewhat reluctantly, in a project to bring salmon fishing to the wadis of the highlands of dirt-poor Yemen.Former mercenary Simon Mann has been relating how he survived five years in two of Africas toughest prisons by carrying on solitary conversations in different voices in his cell for hours on end. I became skilled at imitating Peter Sellers directing air traffic control as Inspector Clouseau, Mann told guests at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill. The Old Etonian former SAS soldier, whose self-penned book of his incarceration was published last year, says libel laws prevented him naming the figures behind his failed coup in Equatorial Guinea.PS She's game for most challenges, but former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe, touted as a possible police commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, has ruled herself out because the role doesnt offer enough power. The former Strictly Come Dancing star says: Its all very well being able to hire the Chief Constable, but if you then have these silly differences about whos in charge of operations or policy, its no good. I would do it if I thought I would be able to say we will have zero tolerance. No crime will be too small. Unless you can do that, youre never going to get on top of the problems. Im afraid it wont be me.Is that appropriate for a family lunch? Cristiano Ronaldo and Irina Shayk share passionate embrace at the tableBy UPDATED:09:07 GMT, 26 May 2011When dining with their boyfriend's parents, many women would be concerned with their manners in front of potential in-laws.Irina Shayk clearly feels at home with her footballer beau Cristiano Ronaldo's family, as the pair got down to some serious kissing at the table during lunch in his hometown, Funchal, Madeira.But while the gorgeous Russian model was wrapped up in her boyfriend's embrace, laying her head back and closing her eyes, Cristiano appeared a little distracted.The Real Madrid player looked over Irina's head as the pair embraced, before pulling his head away.Irina did not appear happy with the snub, playfully pouting and trying to pull Cristiano's face back towards her.Their comical interaction was witnessed by the footballer's family and Cristiano's little boy Cristiano Jr, who they have been spending time with in the Ronaldo's home town on the Portuguese island.The good-looking duo are enjoying their down time, with Irina going casual and make-up free.As an in-demand model, she spends most of her time coiffed and preened to perfection, but Irina was happy to step out in a simple white vest and jeans, with tousled, natural hair and not a scrap of make-up on her beautiful face.Cristiano, 26, was typically decked out in designer gear in a Gucci cap. The day before, Cristiano was pictured for the first time with his baby son.And, in the first shots of 10-month-old Cristiano in many months, the resemblance between the father and son is uncanny.With a head of downy black hair and olive skin, little Cristiano looked adorable as he was carried by his proud father. Thebaby also appeared to have taken after his father in terms of his love of designer fashion, as he was wearing a Burberry checked shirt, denim jacket and matching Burberry baseball cap - which he wore backwards to make it more trendy.And it seems Irina has adapted well to the family style of life, as she was seen cuddling up to her boyfriend's super-cute son in the back of the car.Irina has remained loyal to Ronaldo despite the revelation last year that he had become a father. The baby was allegedly born to a 20-year-old British student following a fling with the star after they met in a London club. The Portuguese star stunned the world when he announced out of the blue last July that he had become a father.The winger said from the start that the child would be under his 'exclusive guardianship'. But his mother Dolores is helping to raise the child.After announcing the birth on Facebook, Ronaldo wrote: 'It is with great joy and emotion that I inform I have recently become father to a baby boy. He said recently: 'Of course something like this affects you. It's a different type of responsibility.'Maybe I feel more comfortable. I'm comfortable when things are going well: my family, the club, my friends,that gives me important support for everything else.'Of course I change the nappies. It's not the thing I like best in the world, but I do it.'Do you have a story about a celebrity? Call the Daily Mail showbusiness desk on 0207 938 6364 or 0207 938 6683. For U.S. stories, phone 310 642 2317.Pictured: Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo takes charge of his baby son... and girlfriend Irina Shayk gets a cuddle tooBy UPDATED:10:46 GMT, 24 May 2011Cristiano Ronaldo has been pictured for the first time with his baby son Cristiano on a day out in Portugal over the weekend.And, in the first shots of 10-month-old Cristiano, the resemblance between the father and son is uncanny.With a head of downy black hair and olive skin, little Cristiano looked adorable as he was carried by his proud father.Thebaby also appeared to have taken after his father in terms of his love of designer fashion, as he was wearing a Burberry checked shirt, denim jacket and matching Burberry baseball cap - which he wore backwards to make it more trendy. Also on the outing was Ronaldo's girlfriend Irina Shayk, who looked chic in a tight pair of grey trousers, black vest top and white blazer jacket.And it seems Russian model Irina has adapted well to the family style of life, as she was seen cuddling up to her boyfriend's super-cute son in the back of the car.Irina has remained loyal to Ronaldo despite the revelation last year that he had become a father. The baby was allegedly born to a 20-year-old British student following a fling with the star after they met in a London club. The Portuguese star stunned the world when he announced out of the blue last July that he had become a father.The winger said from the start that the child would be under his 'exclusive guardianship'. But his mother Dolores is helping to raise the child.After announcing the birth on Facebook, Ronaldo wrote: 'It is with great joy and emotion that I inform I have recently become father to a baby boy. 'As agreed with the babys mother, who prefers to have her identity kept confidential, my son will be undermy exclusive guardianship.'And while Ronaldo's mother Dolores isessentially raising the baby between Madrid and Portugal due to the football star's career commitments, Ronaldo spoke recently about how hislife had been affected by becoming a father.He said recently: 'Of course something like this affects you. It's a different type of responsibility.'Maybe I feel more comfortable. I'm comfortable when things are going well: my family, the club, my friends,that gives me important support for everything else.'Of course I change the nappies. It's not the thing I like best in the world, but I do it.'City news in brief: New Star, Chrysalis, BurberryBy UPDATED:08:44 GMT, 16 April 2008We round up the shorter business and finance stories from the Daily Mail City pages.Pound battered on poor housing surveySterling took a pounding after a gloomy housing survey, while oil leapt to a record high as investors tried to hedge against a weak US dollar. The pound dropped to $1.96 against the greenback and hit a low of 80.65p per euro. A Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors survey which showed a fall in the key house price index to a 30-year low has increased hopes that there will have to be a series of interest rate reductions. Weak retail sales and steady inflation has also reinforced hopes for a cut. Meanwhile, oil rose above $113 per barrel, touching a high of $113.93 in the US before easing back again. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who travels to Washington today for talks with President Bush, called on oil producers to act to calm prices. New Star fund boss has a Pease of the actionNew Star's top fund manager Richard Pease pocketed a whopping 5.7m last year, up from 4.7m in 2006, despite a slump in the group's share price. Pease, who earned a basic salary of 197,000, got the bulk of his money from managing a hedge fund, which gave him 5.5m in performance fees. Though his own performance has been strong, investors may still not be best pleased at the huge payout since New Star's share price has tumbled by 75% in a year. The stock closed up 2p to 112p yesterday. Boris gets a DiamondBarclays executive Bob Diamond, one of the best-paid men in the City, has agreed to be an adviser to Conservative candidate Boris Johnson if he is elected Mayor of London. American, Diamond, whose Barclays pay package was worth 21m last year, has agreed to help Johnson find sponsors for a Mayor's Fund designed to tackle youth crime and social problems in the capital. Diamond could use his extensive network of City contacts to help find corporate and individual donors for the fund. Chrysalis rejects HandsGuy Hands suffered another setback after music business Chrysalis rejected a 104m takeover from his Terra Firma private equity firm. Chrysalis, which controls the publishing rights for writers including Gnarls Barkley, The Raconteurs and Feeder, said Terra Firma's 155p-a-share offer significantly undervalued the company. It is no longer in bid talks. Chrysalis fell 20p to 115p. Hands, who also controls EMI, was set on driving consolidation in the music industry. Burberry brushes off credit concernsFashion conscious consumers appear to have shrugged off credit fears to keep on buying luxury items from Burberry (up 42p to 438p). Retail sales in the three months to March 31 rose 20% to 121m, while total sales for the period increased 12% to 292m. The other end of the high street remains gloomy. Icelandic retail investor Baugur has raised the 'for sale' sign over MK One, the struggling cut price fashion retailer which made a 17.4m loss last year. BE hit by shutdownBid target British Energy (down 11p at 730p) has again been undone by its ageing portfolio of nuclear power stations as it shut down Unit 1 of its Torness reactor in Scotland because of a 'small leak'. The latest problem follows an outage at the facility in December and January and another weeklong outage at Unit 2 in February. £25bn debt chaosBanks face a 25bn mountain of 'problem' unsecured debt as the credit crunch forces more people to default on their loans, warned a leading credit analyst. TDX says up to one million Britons are in danger of falling behind on their loan and credit card repayments. Those opting for Individual Voluntary Arrangements could double to 800,000 in 2008. Debut-day drop for BurberryBy UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 11 July 2002INSTITUTIONS that backed the 1.15bn flotation of fashion group Burberry were left with bloody noses today as the shares slumped on their stock market debut. They slid 2% from the offer price of 230p to 224p. The issue was already at the bottom end of the expected range, so City bookmakers had expected it to trade at least 10p higher than the starting price by the end of the day. The fall means Italian-American chief executive Rose Marie Bravo's 11.5m stake has already fallen in value by nearly 250,000. However, brokers praised owner GUS for getting the float away in a turbulent market that has seen a host of share offers being axed. One trader said: 'You've got to hand it to the GUS management. They've been saying for 12 to 18 months that they'd offload Burberry and they've done it. If they hadn't managed to do it now, they would have come in for some major stick.' In its capacity as stabilisation manager, Merrill Lynch went into the market to buy shares after they tumbled as low as 219p at one stage. Investors who were bullish about Burberry said the offer price, of 15 times prospective earnings, was a 40% discount to luxury goods businesses such as Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, Gucci and Bulgari. Burberry remains confident despite 20% profit slideBy UPDATED:22:51 GMT, 17 November 2009Luxury goods firm Burberry has posted a 19 per cent profits fall but said its performance was 'solid', helped by strong demand for handbags and scarves.Burberry said pre-tax profits were £78.4million in the six months to September 30, down from £97million last year as the effects of discounting hit margins and wholesale orders were reduced.The firm - praised by commentators after the fashion house returned to the catwalk at London Fashion Week this autumn - said it had seen 'exceptional growth' in London stores after the weak pound attracted foreign shoppers.Burberry said it now planned to split its clothing brands into three distinct categories - casualwear will come under the label Burberry Brit, workwear and tailoring will be known as Burberry London and its catwalk collection will continue as Prorsum.After shrugging off its links with 'chav' culture in the UK in recent years, the brand has regained its upmarket reputation.The firm, which was founded in 1856, opened a children's store in Notting Hill during the period.It said its policy of focusing on its retail stores had started to pay off, with this now accounting for 54 per cent of all sales.The retailer said its non-clothing ranges represented its biggest growth area in the first half, contributing 34 per cent of revenue.The firm said larger handbags, 'sling' shoulder bags and accessories like snoods and scarves had all proved increasingly popular as it looks to diversify its offering.Shoes and childrenswear were also identified as key growth areas, anticipated to grow to make up 10 per cent each of revenues in the medium term.Like-for-like sales across the business were up 2 per cent over the half year, improving to 5 per cent in the second quarter.Chief executive Angela Ahrendts said: 'Burberry delivered a solid first half performance, reflecting the strength of the brand, business and team.'We enter the second half confident in our core strategies, capitalising on product, region, channel and operational opportunities.'Cost cutting measures helped limit the fall in underlying profits to £82.6million, from £95.3million a year earlier.The firm has cut 1,000 roles as part of moves to save £50million a year, which also involved improving its infrastructure.The retailer now expects to grow its selling space between 8 per cent and 10 per cent for the full year, with plans to open a further 15 stores in the period mainly in Asia and the Americas.Meanwhile, the firm expects wholesale revenues to fall around 15 per cent at constant currency in the second half, with about half due to Burberry's own actions, while stockists also move to cut their inventories.The awkward moment when Will.i.am and Denise Lewis arrive at the Burberry show wearing the same trench coat By UPDATED:13:25 GMT, 21 February 2012It's a wardrobe must-have associated with the label.But perhaps heptathlete Denise Lewis and Will-i.am should have consulted one another before donning their Burberry trench coats today.For the designs were exactly the same.And the designer's highly-anticipated - not to mention star-studded - London Fashion Week show was the worst place to make such a fashion faux pas.The stylish, beige number, which comes in a men's and women's style, featured the usual double-breasted design with black buttons and piping.Either star could have easily chosen another trench coat from Burberry's vast collection.The label would have no doubt sent the coats to the pair along with an invite for the front row of the show at Kensington Gardens.Black Eyed Peas rapper Will.i.am, 36, - real name William Adams - paired his coat with jeans and stylish trainers and some gold-rimmed glasses.Former Strictly Come Dancing star Denise, 39, who won gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, wore red velvet tights under hers, along with open-toe black boots.Will.i.am kept his fans updated throughout the show, via Twitter.He said: 'The @burberry fashion show in london was amazing...christopher is an amazing designer, angela is CEO with vision #embracetechnology.'He added later: '@Burberry is leading the future of fashion social connectivity...they do it all...great art leadership...http://bit.ly/wIsgV1.'VIDEO: Will.i.am chats after the Burberry catwalkSell-out celebs: Seen a star in a High Street frock you love? Hit the shops quick - or they'll all be gone By PUBLISHED:22:56 GMT, 7 June 2012 UPDATED:09:54 GMT, 8 June 2012This week, MarksSpencer announced that one of its dresses has sold out in just two weeks, after actress Denise Van Outen was pictured wearing it at a party. The £37.50 green hummingbird print dress from the MS Limited Collection range flew off the shelves in 14 days - prompting more than 200 calls to customer services from people desperate to buy it. The store says it will reissue a new version of the must-have, in an owl print, next month. But this isnt the only time a celebrity has caused a stampede after being spotted in an item of High Street clothing. From pop stars to politicians, we look at the other celebs who made us hit the shops... ALESHA DIXON TOPSHOP DRESS: After Alesha Dixon wore a £350 'lampshade' dress by Mary Katrantzou for Topshop for the Britain's Got Talent auditions this February, left, the dress promptly sold out online and vanished from stores within a day. Alesha wasn't the only star spotted in the dress, from the Greek designer renowned for vibrant prints. A month earlier, Poppy Delevigne, centre, wore it to the Elle Style awards and former Made In Chelsea cast member Amber Atherton, right, wore it on the front row of the Fashion East event. The dress is now on sale for upwards of £499 on eBay EMMA WATSON CRUMPET SCARF: As the face of Burberry and fan of high-end designers, Emma Watson has become something of fashion darling but most of her A-list wardrobe is out of our reach. However, when she was spotted walking down the street in a Scottie-dog print cashmere scarf by a British knitwear company called Crumpet in September, left, Harry Potter fans took note. The £179 scarf sold out within a week. Over the next three weeks, sales of all the firms scarves increased by 62 per centKATE MOSS TOPSHOP PANTHER PRINT DRESS: Everything Kate Moss wears becomes an instant fashion hit. When she wore a piece from her own Topshop collection, a panther claw print dress, centre, on a night on the town, the design sold out within 15 minutes of being put on sale at the Oxford Street superstore. The £100 dress, which was part of her Christmas 2008 collection, sold out online within two hours and within a day it was being sold on eBay at double the price. Topshop reissued it in 2010. In June, her power to shape what we wear was demonstrated again, when the 38-year-old borrowed a poncho from a friend during her hen-do at the Isle of White festival. The £18 Aztec print Primark piece sold out within daysALEXA CHUNG RUSSELL AND BROMLEY LOAFERS: British shoemakers Russell and Bromley had been quietly making their sensible loafers since 1873, but when TV presenter Alexa Chung started being spotted in them in 2008, right, the stores £125 flats soon sold out CHERYL COLE WOLFORD BONDAGE TIGHTS: Cheryl Cole may have started some stylish fashion trends, but there is one look we dont thank her for bondage tights. After she wore the Wolford hosiery on the X Factor in October 2010, left, the tights sold out online within hours. All 600 pairs vanished from stores the next day. But the tights were neither flattering nor classy they were soon seen on the likes of Katie Price and Chantelle HoughtonTWIGGY MS SEQUIN BLAZER: When Twiggy designed a collection for MS, she was photographed at the launch in April wearing a £79 silver sequined jacket, centre. It sold out within two hours of going online and vanished from stores within two days. It was not the first time the store had benefited from the Twiggy effect. In 2011, MS sold ten times more macs in one week than ever before after Twiggy modelled a £39.95 trenchYASMIN LE BON WALLIS DRESS: Back in 2009, the great and the good flocked to Hampton Court for a lavish fundraiser organised by Mikhail Gorbachev. But while most were wearing couture dresses worth thousands, model Yasmin Le Bon wore a full-length yellow gown from her own collection at Wallis, right. The £120 Peridot evening dress sold out within a week and that year Harpers magazine voted the 48-year-old model the fourth best-dressed woman in Britain How brolly inconvenient! Dita Von Teese drops her umbrella at LFW show... and waits patiently for someone to pick it up By and PUBLISHED:22:30 GMT, 17 September 2012 UPDATED:06:58 GMT, 19 September 2012Dita Von Teese narrowly avoided an embarrassing error as she turned up to the Burberry Prorsum show at London Fashion Week on Monday. The burlesque dancer gave off an air of sophistication ready for her photo opportunities at the starry event.But she almost had to face bending down in her figure hugging dress in front of the waiting paparazzi who were ready to catch the move when she accidentally dropped her umbrella on the ground.Scroll down for video... She then took her seat on the front row when she was inside, but was joined by a rather unlikely companion next to her.One Direction's Harry Styles showed of his fashion credentials as he attended the high fashion event.While to her right Aaron Paul sat next to her as she posed perfectly with the umbrella in its position. American dream: Dita Von Teese and Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul caught up before the showFashion's other finest names turned out to witness the Burberry Prorsum London Fashion Week show and model Tali Lennox led the way with her undeniable style.The teenage model showed a much more mature side as she stood out from the crowd at Kensington Gardens, London, on Monday afternoon.Tali, 19, arrived looking every inch the style icon as she bravely wore brown and blue in the same ensemble and managed to pull it off. With his cheeky smile and messy hair the One Direction member looked like a young gent as he smiled for the cameras.In contrast Tali kept her make-up simple as she let her mane fall elegantly over her shoulders.Having modelled for Prada, Roberto Cavalli and Burberry, Tali knows the fashion scene well and fitted in with the front row despite normally being on the catwalk herself. The 35-year-old wore a black dress with a pair of leather boots but bizarrely also wore a huge V medallion with a pair of sunglasses that had the word 'vogue' on the lenses.American actor Aaron Paul, best known for his role of Jesse Pinkman in TV show Breaking Bad, was looking exceptionally dapper in a black and white suit.Reality TV star Olivia Palermo made a stylish entrance in a brown jacket and chocolate colour trousers, while Alison Mosshart made less effort in a leather jacket. US Open champion Andy Murray arrived with his stunning girlfriend Kim Sears on his arm while many more athletes also attended the show.Olympian Victoria Pendleton looked lovely in a lilac peplum dress with her hair down and her slim figure on show.Fashion royalty also rocked up to the show in the form of Anna Wintour and Mario Testino. The style stalwarts were in good spirits as they joked and laughed their way into the venue. VIDEO: Harry Styles attends the Burberry showDo your clothes reveal your character flaws? That's what a leading clinical psychologist claims. I puts her to the test... By PUBLISHED:22:19 GMT, 25 April 2012 UPDATED:14:13 GMT, 26 April 2012Clothes are one of my greatest pleasures, but also the source of much anxiety. Faced with any social occasion, I invariably go over the top, agonising for months about what to wear. I never, if I think about this honestly, feel comfortable in what Im wearing. And this isnt just because I work in fashion and am surrounded by women who look incredible in the latest must-have clothes. While I often experience extreme envy when I see a catwalk model a craving that makes me forget my age, bank balance and shape this lack of self-confidence stems from earlier in my life.I grew up, the youngest of seven children, in a family where money was tight. Consequently, I wore hand-me-downs from my three elder sisters and clothes that were made by my mum: little checked pinafores and rough, hand-knitted sweaters.So, from an early age, I craved beingable to buy clothes from shops. I was painfully shy and believed I was ugly. Its no surprise that, as a teenager, I was in thrall to fashion magazines. I soon got into debt buying expensive clothes because I had been so miserable always being the poor relation.I realise I go over the top in my bidfor perfection. When I was asked by the BBC to report live from a banquet held at Buckingham Palace in honour of President Obama, I boughta black Alexander McQueen trouser suit, new shoes and a bag. I felt I had to wear something British, and spare no expense. This is me all over: I thought my commentary would be pedestrian and halting, and so I had to make up for my inadequacies somehow. Because I also feel ugly, I never dress provocatively: I never show my legs, arms or cleavage (even on my wedding day I wore a cream tuxedo suit, not a dress). So, I choose expensive items because I grew up poor. I dress like a man at work because I think Im stupid. I cover up because I believe Im repulsive. I have long understood that the way I dress is my shield, my solace, my safety net.But can someone else tell that just by looking at me? Whats more, can anyone help me with the issues behind my wardrobe choices? U.S. clinical psychologist Jennifer Baumgartner, author of new book You Are What You Wear, says so. Baumgartner paid her way through university by working in a Ralph Lauren store, where she noticed how many women are confused about their identity, and act out their neuroses by spending inappropriately.Often, wardrobe mishaps are simply our inner conflicts bubbling to the surface, she says, wisely. Baumgartner claims that by just looking at a woman she is able not only to diagnose what is wrong, but fix her psyche in what she calls the psychology of dress. But does her method really work? Can Jennifer not only identify my deep-seated problems just by looking at my four signature outfits, but also, more importantly, offer me help? EVENING WEARBlack strapless gown and clutch by Bottega Veneta, peep-toe sandals by LouboutinJENNIFER SAYS: Why has Liz, with a knockout figure, allowed herself to be swallowed by this great sloppy satin beast? She allows only a glimpse of her inner sparkle with her metallic shoe. The oversized outfit makes me think she is unaware of her body shape. I am waiting for Liz, like someone after a makeover, to rip off this dress to reveal a better one. If I had thick, lustrous hair like this, I would not hide it in a messy updo. She is also weighed down by the eye make-up on the lower lids.LIZ SAYS: This dress is not too big for me: its a size 8, and the integral corset means I can hardly breathe! But Jennifer is right: I hate my body, and try to hide it at all times and at great cost. When I wore this dress to an awards ceremony, I added a metallic Aquascutum jacket. Its strange that she mentions my heavy eye make-up without apparently understanding why I wear it. Isnt it obvious that Im hiding behind a mask?CASUALJaeger London trousers, MS Cashmere sweater, Burberry patent platformsJENNIFER SAYS: Im getting a university student vibe from this outfit and Lizs hair style. It conveys a youthful energy. The colours are bold, bright and fresh, and she is not afraid to mix and match them, but unfortunately they work against each other. She seems to be comfortable with being noticed in a crowd, as the bright pink of the jumper will stand out. Id team the jumper with white skinny jeans and either nude flats or colourful sandals. Id alter the trousers to eliminate bagging, and pair them with a tweed blazer and boots and throw in a printed silk scarf or load up on gold accessories.LIZ SAYS: She is half right. I do have youthful energy. I am passionate and hard-working. I try my best all the time. She says I am comfortable being noticed in a crowd, but this is not true at all. I might wear a raspberry Sloppy Joe jumper, but this belies my deep-set neuroses.DATEGold lace skirt by Suzannah, white T-shirt and sandals by PradaJENNIFER SAYS: Lizs make-up gives all the evolutionary indicators of fertility pink cheeks and lips, and glowing skin but then she lets us down with a very non-seductive, plain white T-shirt. This outfit suggests Liz is relatively conservative and the pieces dont match, suggesting Liz may have pulled the outfit together in a rush. She should wear this skirt with a fitted black top, a black patent leather belt and stilettos. I would shorten the skirt to right below the knee, and nip it in slightly to create a more streamlined silhouette. This outfit begs for accessories, too.LIZ SAYS: Oh dear. I chose this outfit to cover all the things I hate about myself. Jennifer says I am conservative, when, in fact, I am very shy, afraid of being sexy, feel unattractive and I hate my knees. Just telling me to wear a sexier top is unhelpful. She should have said: This woman has problems with self-esteem and has no idea of her own worth, which I could have told her.OFFICEBlack Alexander McQueen trouser suit, Burberry patent platformsJENNIFER SAYS: Lizs smart, tailored outfit says she is a no-nonsense go-getter, but the shoes suggest a fun side. Black is a no-frills colour for work, where people feel they are taken more seriously in dark colours. The shoes are quite different. Research says people associate platforms especially red ones with women who are not very intelligent, and possibly promiscuous. Liz sidesteps these associations by wearing them with a conservative outfit. She should try skinny trousers, instead of cropped, or a skirt, and try a daintier shoe to complement her frame and update her look, as the days of the platform are over, or so says designer Manolo Blahnik.LIZ SAYS: She is pretty spot on. I am ambitious and I also have humour. I disagree about my shoes. I bought these in 2003, still love them, and dont think I should change to suit Manolo Blahnik. To me, this outfit screams my deep insecurity: Please dont sack me! and that I spend too much on clothes.HOW COULD SHE GET ME SO WRONG?The verdicts on the way I dress in no way show that Jennifer Baumgartner has spotted my deep-seated insecurities. She missed that I am borderline anorexic, have body dysmorphic disorder, fear ageing, men and sex, that I am in awe of clothes rather than know how to enjoy them, and that I spend way too much money.She should have deduced, as a therapist who claims to use only clothes to make her diagnosis, that I am divorced, that I hate my body, am hugely stressed, and oh! that Im broke! Reading her book, Ive found Jennifers prescription for someone like me who struggles with self-loathing is to filter my media restrict the magazines I read and websites I look at to go out in a crowded shopping centre wearing only a tight-fitting top and skinny jeans, to be more assertive and to choose bright colours. But it all sounds a bit simplistic, a bit Gok Wan to me. When addressing disorders in her book, she writes: Life is too short for such silliness. A clinical psychologist should know better. Wearing a bright sleeveless top exposing my arms is not going to begin to cure me. You Are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Reveal About You by Dr Jennifer Baumgartner is published by Da Capo Life Long, priced £10.99. Double digit growth for Burberry in Europe and Asia offset by difficulties in U.S.UPDATED:14:05 GMT, 15 July 2009Harry Potter actress Emma Watson has cast her spell on Burberry sales in the UK since featuring in an ad campaign for the fashion house. It posted an 'exceptional' performance in Britain, with sales at stores including key outlets in Regent Street and Knightsbridge up 12per cent in the past three months.But growth in Europe and Asia was offset by weakness in other markets. Burberry said customers had responded well to its Spring/Summerranges, particularly mens tailoring, denim, sport and childrenswear.The firm added: 'Europe and Asia both delivered double-digitpercentage growth, with exceptional performances again in the UK andKorea (both helped by favourable currency movements).'Meanwhile Burberry's wholesale business saw sales drop 28per cent ascustomers face the recession by slashing the amount of stock held,while Burberry is also restructuring its wholesale division and closingsome operations.Angela Ahrendts, the retailer's chief executive, said: 'Burberry hasmade a solid start to the year in what remains a challengingenvironment.'Burberry plans to add between 10 and 15 stores to its portfolio this year.A new American headquarters and showrooms were opened on Madison Avenue in New York during the quarter, as well as three franchise stores in emerging markets, including the first Burberry store in Bahrain.The firm said as of the end of June it had 118 retail stores, 253 concessions and 84 franchise outlets in over 25 countries.Burberry said its cost cutting initiatives were delivering the expected results.Steps taken by Burberry to tackle the global slowdown have included a £50million inventory reduction and a £50million efficiency programme.The company endured a 13per cent fall in underlying profits last year, despite annual revenues topping more than £1billion for the first time.The firm shed around 15per cent of its workforce in the last financial year.In January, Burberry announced 170 jobs were going as a result of its plan to close a sewing facility at Rotherham, south Yorkshire. Doubts raised over Burberry floatBy UPDATED:23:00 GMT, 10 July 2002THE Burberry float could be dropped tonight if markets keep falling, banking sources said. Owner GUS, which is due to float up to 25% of the luxury brand company on Friday, does not want itss debut to be a flop. A decision will be taken at the last minute, but Wednesday's stock market slide is adding to pressure to delay. The shares are trading at 241p-248p in the grey market and have generated much interest. This is within the 230p-290p indicative price range, but GUS must consider whether they would fall after the placing. It would be very damaging to the public perception of an upmarket consumer brand such as Burberry if the shares slumped in the after market. Kate in command: Duchess of Cambridge does dress uniform as she carries out first military role as a royal By Created 11:26 AM on 25th June 2011The Duchess of Cambridge took on her first military role as a royal today as she handed out operational medals to members of the Irish Guards.Alongside the Duke of Cambridge, who is Colonel of the Irish Guards, Kate presented medals to soldiers who have recently returned from serving in Afghanistan.A royal aide said the Duchess was very pleased to be undertaking the role for a regiment 'so close to her husband's heart'. The 1st Battalion Irish Guards returned in April from a six-month tour in Afghanistan where they were deployed to 22 different locations in Helmand Province, tasked with developing the Afghan Army.Sixsoldiers returned home two weeks before the royal couple's wedding day and had ceremonial duties to perform in London on the day. The Duke of Cambridge spoke of his pride and humility today as he presented the medals. Private Nadine Gwendu, 25, from Newhaven, Brighton, who is originally from Zimbabwe, said meeting the Duchess was like a dream come true.Now I have seen her, and she has shaken my hand it is something different, he said.She was very calm and down to earth, you wouldn't think she is a duchess because she is so down to earth. She asked me what it was like livingwith so many men in Afghanistan and I told her that it was all right because I was like a priority to them. From the time I joined everyone has been great, from the Guardsmen to the highest rank.Also it was so important for William, the Colonel, to present our medals and we all really appreciate that.Six soldiers from the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, swapped their combat uniforms for ceremonial dress participate in the Royal wedding, with a handful returning to the UK just seven days earlier. The Duke of Cambridge paid tribute today to the extraordinary soldiers like Sergeant Paterson,who within days of returning from fighting in Afghanistan, took part in his marriage celebrations.William said: As Catherine and I rode through the centre gate of Buckingham Palace on our wedding day, there you were, formed up as the Queen's Guard with your commanding officer at your head.If ever there was an illustration of why the Foot Guards, and the Micks in particular, are special, that was it.To exchange combat kit for ceremonial uniform in the space of two weeks is nothing short of remarkable.To be amongst the most proficient in the world wearing both is just simply extraordinary.There's a supermodel behind you! Eddie Redmayne only has eyes for his Birdsong co-star Clémence Poésy as Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is ignored at Burberry By UPDATED:13:17 GMT, 21 February 2012They played young lovers in this year's hit BBC film Birdsong.And could life be imitating art of Eddie Remayne and French actress Clémence Poésy?The pair looked smitten in the front row for Burberry at London Fashion Week yesterday.Scroll down for video Despite gorgeous supermodel, and Eddie's fellow Burberry model, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, sitting beside him, he only had eyes for his blonde co-star.They looked deep in conversation as Clémence continued to clap as the model strutted in front of her at Kensington Gardens. Birdsong, which premiered last month, was an adaptation of the Sebastian Faulks novel of the same name. The two-part series saw Eddie as Stephen Wraysford and Clémence as married Isabelle Azaire with whom he had an affair.Set during Work War I, the story is told in flashbacks. Also on the guest list was Will Young, who played it safe in a blue jumper and black trousers. English model Laura Bailey was seen wearing a floaty yellow and green dress that was also donned by one of the models on the catwalk.The women even wore similar brown heels, but the catwalk model added a pair of black studded leather gloves. Rising model Cara Delevigne, sister of socialite Poppy, led the other models on the massive white runway, holding umbrellas as fake snow fell.Hundreds backed the venue, photographing and admiring the latest collection. VIDEO: See all the celebs at the Burberry catwalk show The new Brit Pack: Rising stars Roo Panes and Tali Lennox join Eddie Redmayne to help Burberry celebrate first men's fashion weekend By PUBLISHED:15:14 GMT, 18 June 2012 UPDATED:15:21 GMT, 18 June 2012British brand Burberry celebrated the first weekend-long event dedicated to men's fashion with a cocktail party attended by a number of rising young stars.Attendees included Roo Panes, a singer-songwriter not many people have yet heard of, who fronts their autumn/winter campaign, and one of their catwalk models, Tali Lennox, who is currently only recognisable thanks to being the daughter of the famous Annie Lennox.But Burberry are confident the pair will soon become household names in their own right - and they haven't been wrong before.The brand were the first to sign Harry Potter actress Emma Watson, who has gone on to be a major fashion icon, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley who has gone from the catwalk to starring in major Hollywood blockbusters including the third Transformers film.Their eye for spotting talent has already been proven this year after they used actor Eddie Redmayne in their spring/summer campaign. He is currently in demand for acting roles as well as modelling work following his starring turns in the Oscar nominated film My Week With Marilyn and acclaimed BBC production of Birdsong.Redmayne helped Burberry mark the first men's fashion weekend by hosting a cocktail party at their store in Knightsbridge, London, on Sunday with the British brand's chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey.The event was well-supported by a number of the new bright youngs things from the showbiz world. As well as Lennox and Panes, model David Gandy, comedian Jack Whitehall and actor Russell Tovey rubbed shoulders, while indie music star Miles Kane, formerly of The Last Shadow Puppets, provided entertainment as he performed a set of his solo material.Not to be outshone by the up-and-coming stars, Sir Elton John also attended with his partner David Furnish. The singer chose not to blend into the crowd by wearing a shiny fuchsia pink suit with clashing bright metallic green loafers and yellow rimmed glasses.The Burberry party was part of the first London Collections: Men, a weekend-long event dedicated to men's fashion organised by the British Fashion Council. The aim of the weekend was to put the spotlight on men's clothing which is often overshadowed by women's wear collections at established fashion weeks.The weekend featured shows, exhibitions and digital programming from top fashion brands and was launched by Prince Charles at St James Palace on Friday. How fame lost its magic for Hermione (that's despite Emma Watson's £30million in the bank)By UPDATED:11:10 GMT, 17 May 2010While several hundred flashbulbs are fizzing in unison to mark the arrival of Emma Watson at New York's hottest red-carpet event, just a few feet away, a rather less glamorous spectacle is drawing a sizeable crowd of its own. The driver of the Harry Potter starlet's limousine is involved in a heated and vaguely comical exchange with one of the event's parking supervisors. Amid much rancour, the official is accusing the actress's car of blocking the arrival of her fellow A-list guests, who include Sienna Miller and boyfriend Jude Law, Mick Jagger and Renee Zellweger, outside the city's Metropolitan Museum of Art. But her chauffeur is refusing to budge. The reason: he insists he has been specifically instructed by the British actress to remain close at hand should anything untoward happen to her stunning, specially created Burberry gown.He is on red alert, he is saying, in the event that a careless reveller spills red wine or inadvertently drops a crab puff on Emma's handmade, white, floor-length frock. Whereupon he will be expected to race inside on a mercy mission clutching an exact copy of the stunning gown, deposited in the boot for just such a calamity. Clearly the focused Emma is in no mood to leave anything to chance. This may explain why her 'plus one' for the Met Ball fashion gala two weeks ago was not her new Spanish boyfriend, but Burberry's chief creative officer Christopher Bailey. Who better to have on hand should the off-the-shoulder, slashed-to-the-thigh frock need any final tweaks? For, despite her tender years (she celebrated her 20th birthday last month), the determined Miss Watson is very much hands-on when it comes to the subject of her public image. Witness the actress's over-the-top reaction this week when she called in her lawyers to remove doctored pictures from an obscure website that appeared to show her naked. At the same time, her spokesman issued a statement insisting: 'If you look at it you will see that the head is marginally too big for the body and the angle of the face is physically impossible with the body in that position.' Presumably this might equally apply to just about any of the faked naked pictures of female celebrities that litter the murkier reaches of cyberspace. Would it not have been wiser for Emma, who plays schoolgirl witch Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, just to ignore such nonsense rather than draw attention to it? The single-minded Miss Watson is not, however, inclined to take such liberties lying down. Despite her movie stardom and assured public appearances (she is paid more than £1 million a year to promote Burberry at fashion events), Emma, it is said, is still struggling to adjust to being public property. This dilemma is neatly illustrated by her rather schizophrenic approach to her public and private worlds. Take, for example, the morning after that glamorous fashion gala in New York. Emma was whisked from her five-star Manhattan hotel in a gleaming black Cadillac SUV to the airport to make the short flight to Providence, Rhode Island, where she is about to finish her first-year studies at the prestigious Brown University. But by the time she arrived back on campus, her transformation from international film star and designer fashion icon to freshman student was complete. Dressed down in jeans and a simple green top, she returned to the dormitory she shares with other first-year students at the Ivy League college and the tiny room, complete with two single beds, in which she bunks down with a female member of the athletics team. All of which might seem a tad surprising for a young woman who this year was officially declared the best-paid actress in the world, outdoing Angelina Jolie and Julia Roberts with the £20 million she earned from filming the final two in the series of Hogwarts movies. Particularly as back home in London, Emma has invested some of her growing fortune in a £3 million townhouse in North-West London and a £1 million Swiss ski chalet. But Emma, who turned down a place at Cambridge in order to study women's European history and acting at the American university, insists she wants to lead a normal student life. Frustratingly, however, that has not always been possible. Fellow students told me this week that after arriving on campus last summer, Emma was persuaded by a male member of the university rowing team to become coxswain of the college's varsity eight crew. Soon, the dainty Emma was a regular sight at the club boathouse or coxing the crew's boat on the Seekonk river. But it is understood that she was forced to give up her role after the university discovered their insurance did not cover having on board someone who is conservatively said to be worth £30 million. Nonetheless, the college authorities have issued strict instructions to their students that their famous fellow undergraduate must be allowed her privacy. At times, however, this well-meaning policy has been taken to rather farcical extremes. Two months ago, Emma appeared in her first amateur college production of the Chekhov play Three Sisters put on for free at the university. Her performance won her a standing ovation. But the reviewer sent to cover the event by the college newspaper, the Brown Daily Herald, was barred from even mentioning that the character of Irina in the am-dram production was played by one of the world's most famous actresses. 'We've been told that we mustn't say anything about Emma,' Oona Curley, a fellow member of the theatre group told me. 'We're banned from talking about her.' Unsurprisingly perhaps, Emma, who was brought up in Oxford and London by her divorced parents, lawyers Jacqueline and Chris, has been the victim of jealousy from some students at college. At one point towards the end of last year, she was even considering giving up the course and coming home. This month, she told Vanity Fair magazine she has found the experience a difficult one: 'It was just awful,' she said. 'I thought I must be mad. Why am I doing this? I felt as if I'd walked into an American teen movie.' But despite her homesickness, there have been compensations in the shape of acting student Rafael Cebrian, whom Emma has been dating on and off since November. The Spanish-born Cebrian, 20, who is the drummer in up-and-coming rock band The Monomes, was spotted kissing the actress at an ice hockey match at New York's Madison Square Garden at the end of last year. The dark-haired Cebrian is certainly well connected. This year, he was voted the fifth most eligible bachelor in Spain and is the son of Juan Luis Cebrian, the owner of a media conglomerate and co-founder of El Pais newspaper. But troublingly for Emma, the would-be rock star is known to have a reputation in his home country as a ladies' man who has dated a string of beautiful women, including actress Mercedes Sanchez and singer Ana Lopez. It is for this reason that he is said to be viewed with some suspicion by Emma's parents, who had tried to persuade their daughter to continue her education in Britain where they could keep a watchful eye over her. They have had to step in once before to call a halt to Emma's fledgling flirtation with Johnny Borrell, the inappropriate singer and guitarist with indie band Razorlight. They are said to have gone up the wall two years ago when Emma was photographed partying with the self-confessed former heroin addict, who is not only ten years her senior, but also a former friend of Pete Doherty. Not least because the actress has a strict good behaviour clause in her contract with Warner Bros who own the billion-dollar franchise to the screen versions of the huge-selling JK Rowling books. And Borrell, who claimed he was 'a smackhead' at 16 and has previously dated Hollywood starlet Kirsten Dunst, clearly did not fit the squeaky-clean bill of her ideal suitor. He was quickly replaced in her affections by well-bred financier Jay Barrymore, until she called time on that relationship two months ago. It had been claimed that her affair with the square-jawed, 28-year-old London University graduate fizzled because he remained in London while she has been in the U.S. But, in fact, Barrymore, who is an expert in renewable energy and clean technologies, also left Britain at the end of last year to begin a new job with a non-profit organisation in India. The couple tried to keep the long-distance relationship going, say their friends, and after splitting up twice had a miserable make or break holiday at the exclusive Round Hill resort in Jamaica at the end of last year. And while their relationship foundered, Emma - who shot to fame at the age of 11, appearing opposite Daniel Radcliffe in the first Harry Potter film - was becoming ever closer to the charming Cebrian. Meanwhile, Emma, who will finish her degree in 2013, has been busy preparing for life after Hermione when the final film, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows II, is released next year. But sources close to her say that she has yet to be offered the bigbudget starring roles they had expected would be rolling in. Instead, Emma has been bemoaning the lack of decent offers. 'The scripts all have happy endings, they're really badly written and they are sending them to an English literature student,' she says, rather sniffily of the parts she has so far been offered. But it is generally accepted by crew members on the Potter set that Emma is the least naturally talented of the three co- stars (Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley). Indeed, despite her big-screen success, she told an interviewer last year: 'There's no burning passion to act.' I am told by her friends she may yet consider quitting films in favour of starting a career away from showbusiness. Whatever she does, there is one thing that Miss Watson - the somewhat reluctant movie star - can be sure of: she is never likely to need the money. Emma Watson enjoys a magical night at the theatre with fellow Burberry model Georgie CraigBy and UPDATED:11:53 GMT, 10 June 2010Just last week she appeared distraught while filming the final scenes for the last of the Harry Potter films. But life goes on, as they say, and Emma Watson is getting on with everyday life taking time out to watch a production of Michael Morpurgo's War Horse at the New London Theatre. And she was accompanied by a male companion to watch the new play, a friend who was definitely not her most recent boyfriend Rafael Cebrian. Her male companion was in fact one of the models she worked with on a recent Burberry campaign, George Craig. The 19-year-old is also frontman for rock band One Night Only, for whom the drummer is his brother James - one time drummer for indie band Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong.Emma and Georgie can be seen working closely together in a behind the scenes video from the Mario Testino shoot, and they appeared to get on famously. Relative unknown Craig and his band's debut album Started a Fire was released in February 2008, and charted at No. 10 on the U.K. Top 40 Album Chart.Burberry designer and creative director Christopher Bailey, a self-proclaimed fan of George's band was so impressed by Craig that he cast him in the 2009 ad campaign alongside Emma. He is also featured in the campaign for men's fragrance Burberry The Beat For Men.Bailey has said: 'Hes an incredibly talented young British musician. I love Georges energy and his effortless style.'Hes also a joy to work with, and it just so happens that he comes from my native Yorkshire in England.'Last night Emma went for a laid back look in a bold shoulder leopard print top with tight black skinny jeans and heels. While musician and model Georgie looked cool in a blue mac, black jeans and a striped T-shirt.The pair rocked up to see War Horse, a production adapted by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris for the stage,billed as a 'thrilling and spectacular production' based on Morpurgo'scelebrated novel.Set in the First World War it is a tale of the extraordinary bond between a young recruit and his horse.Theactors in the production work with life-sized puppets, created by theinternationally renowned Handspring Puppet Company, to take audienceson a journey through history.Emma is certainly enjoying the single life since her split from boyfriend Jay Barrymore.Up until last month she was dating fellow Brown University student Rafael Cebrian. Dark-haired Cebrian was voted the fifth most eligible bachelor in Spainearlier and is the son of Juan Luis Cebrian, the owner of a mediaconglomerate and co-founder of El Pais newspaper.The Spanish-born 20-year-old is also a musician, playing drums in rock band called The Monomes. Emma and Cebrian were spotted kissing at an ice hockey match at New York's Madison Square Garden at the end of last year.The young actress who earned £19million in 2009 and was ranked number 6th on Forbes magazine's list of Most Valuable Young Stars was pictured filming the final scenes of the last of the Harry Potter movies in Stevenage last week. Thanks, big sis! It's a Watson double act as Emma recruits her brother for BurberryBy UPDATED:01:23 GMT, 7 January 2010She is a star of film and fashion and has flown the nest to study in the U.S. but Emma Watson hasn't forgotten her roots. The 19-year-old actress appears to have secured her brother a job modelling alongside her for Burberry's Spring/Summer 2010 collection. Executives at the brand signed up 17-year-old Alex for their latest national advertising campaign, shot by Mario Testino. Scroll down to see a behind-the-scenes videoIt is the second campaign for Burberry that the 19-year-old has takenpart in, and looks as though it will be as successful as her first.Also appearing in the campaign are George Craig, frontman of indie band One Night Only; Matt Gilmour, the son of Pink Floyds David Gilmour; and model, Max Hurd, a grandson of the former Foreign Secretary, The Lord Hurd of Westwell.The adverts feature three of the Burberry fashion brands, Prorsum, London and Brit, all designed by Christopher Bailey, the current British designer of the year. But the aspirational high-fashion brand which has undergone a renaissance in recent years after the iconic print became a favourite among 'chavs' is hardly affordable for most people Emma's age.Spoilt for choice: Emma cuddles closer to Matt Gilmour, the son of Pink Floyds David Gilmour, while Max Hurd (r) - grandson of former Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd - strikes a pose A woman's classic trenchcoat starts from an eye-watering £625, and the same goes for the pricey menswear modelled by Emma's equally youthful brother.Emma, best known for her role as Hermione Granger in the HarryPotter movies, said during the shoot: 'Today is really special for mein a number of different ways.'It's so nice to see Mario and Christopher again. They also shot my brother in the campaign. 'He's having such a great time. He's so psyched.'It is the first modelling assignment for Alex, who has also appeared as an extra in Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, but he has now been snapped up by London model agency Storm.He said: 'It's such an honour to be a part of this. It's really exciting.'Christopher Bailey, Burberry's chief creative officer, said they were thrilled to be working with Emma again. 'We'veworked again with Emma Watson who has a classic, effortless beauty andis incredibly talented,' he said. 'We wanted this kind of eclectic but very cool crowd of people.'He added: 'We always talk about how much fun we have making theseimages and I wanted to capture some of the excitement that you feel onset when all these different creative attitudes and personalities cometogether. 'Mario has shot these as both stills and video so we can sharesome of that energy with a wider audience.'Burberry Spring/Summer 2010 campaignbehind-the-scenes videoSpeed read: The Mackintosh is back so let it rain!By UPDATED:12:55 GMT, 22 January 2011This week sees the opening of the first ever Mackintosh store in Londons exclusive Mayfair, nearly 200 years after the classic British Mac was invented. Loved by everyone from Audrey Hepburn to the Queen, the stylish waterproof was created by a Scottish scientist called Charles Macintosh in 1823. He invented the process of spreading rubber onto cotton to make it resistant to the wettest of weather and now, almost two centuries on, its a fashion classic. Nor is Mackintosh the only name in town: thanks to Emma Watsons glossy ad campaign, Burberry trenches are also enjoying a fashion moment, and are an off-duty staple for stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham. So stop moaning about the weather: let it rain, let it rain, let it rain! HOW TO WEARSHOPPING LIST Move over Harry... how Emma Watson has her sights on megastardomBy UPDATED:09:36 GMT, 17 March 2011As she quits college to be a style icon, the awesome ambition driving her...They are wondering, in the rooms she shared at Brown University on Rhode Island, what their most famous student plans to do with her things.A jumble of books and clothes cream Prada pumps, suede Louboutin platforms and piles of Agnes B casual wear remain. The girls in her dorm, who include Scout Willis, the daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, expect she will send someone to pack.They are already saying how much they will miss Emma Watson, the unassuming star of the Harry Potter films, who bunked down in a single bed in a shared room for the past year and a half.She started studying history at the college in September 2009, and was on course to complete her degree in 2013. That has been deferred, she says just by a few terms, though many believe she wont be back at all.And the reason, it seems, is that Emma 21 next month is confident she can put the Potter films behind her and become a star in her own right.This week, it was announced she has been anointed the face of Lancome, succeeding Julia Roberts. It is a huge role that will not only net her millions, but ensure her face is on billboards all over the world. Lancome said: Emma Watson has become the icon of her generation.She is emerging from her shell. After a couple of years of uncertainty, Emma no longer feels crushed by her £30million wealth or embarrassed by her success.Whenshe first found out how much money she had made, aged 18, she says she felt physically sick. It seems it has taken her all this time to get used to it.After ten yearsof playing Hermione Granger and, she says, sacrificing her childhood and normality on the altar of the Warner Bros agenda, she was ready to give it all up. That, though, has changed.Shes learning to enjoy the pleasures of success. Youll see her taking a spa break with friends in Thailand and propping up the bar in top London clubs. Home is a £3million pad in North London, where her Toyota Prius is proudly parked outside. She has had cookery lessons from celebrity chef Joel Robuchon as she is tired of paying caterers for her dinner parties. Its all rather grand.Her friends are starting to include the glitterati, and she has shown a particular interest in making an impression on all of the more important people in fashion, such as Burberrys Christopher Bailey and Antoine Arnault, son of LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton) boss Bernard. Shell soon shoot a campaign for Joel Robuchon with Mario Testino.One who knows her socially said that all her friends know to never mention Harry Potter. She pulls a bad smell face if you even say the name, she said.Come Bafta season this year, she was the most flirtatious of all the starlets, parading in a series of carefully chosen outfits, and working the room at the best parties.Film mogul Harvey Weinstein, the man who helped to make the careers of Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchett, was among those she dazzled.For ten years she has been this schoolgirl in the Harry Potter films and now you see her as a woman for the first time, he said. She has an elegance about her she looks like Jean Shrimpton plus she has a gift for comedy and drama, and were just starting to see her range. I feel were going to work together a lot in the future.This week, her starring role in a new film is to be announced possibly a project with Weinstein.She has already filmed a small part in My Week With Marilyn about Marilyn Monroe, starring Michelle Williams, and from May she will be shooting the film Perks Of Being A Wallflower.Over the summer, she will have to fit in a final hit of promotional activity for the last instalment of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows a task which, it seems, may not fill her with delight.For Emma has moved on. When the cast and crew held a wrap party after shooting the final set of re-shoots around Christmas, she didnt go. Co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint did. While the three key actors were genuinely good friends during the making of the early films, the bond seems to have loosened considerably during the last movie. Perhaps there was resentment over the way Emma took her time signing for the final two films. Her contract came up for renewal in 2006, but while Daniel and Rupert signed for five years without a second thought, she admitted in an interview this year that she agonised before deciding that she would, and was considering giving up being an actress.So why the sudden change of heart about her film career? People who know Emma say its simply a question of having had some time to catch her breath she needed to get some space away from the Potter juggernaut and to decide whether she wanted a life in the public eye.Friends say the revival of her career ambition is also partly down to the sage counsel of her father, lawyer Chris Watson.An Oxford graduate who works at a senior level for one of the larger London firms, he has supported her every step of the way. He has often been with her on publicity junkets and film premieres around the globe. She adores him, and takes his advice on everything. Significantly, his views were the first she sought on that haircut the pixie crop she had to celebrate the end of her Potter years. She says: He said: Dont get carried away. Youre not Audrey Hepburn yet. But he loves it now, and so hes eating his words.He and Emmas mother Jackie were divorced in 1995. He has since remarried, to Elizabeth Green, and they have three further children, Toby and twins Nina and Lucy. Their North London home is a five-minute stroll from Emmas.Her one financial splurge a £1million ski chalet in France was made with her father in mind. He is a passionate skier.Those who know her from the Potter days say that, even though she lived with her mother, her fathers influence was paramount.She was, though, troubled from time to time by their wringingly awful divorce.And it was even whispered that her parents had opposing views on whether she should make the Deathly Hallows films at all.All I can tell you is that there was a lot of unhappiness connected with the parents, says a Potter source.Will she ever go back to university? She says she fully intends to return to Brown and her academic career is very important to her.But there is rather a lot of cynicism about that on the Ivy League campus, where it has also been noticed that she chooses to hang out with only the wealthiest and best-connected girls. Her best friend is Scout Willis she went to her home over New Year. Shes also close to Madison Utendahl, a glamorous young lady whose banker father is stepping out with supermodel and TV personality Tyra Banks.Her college romance was again with someone connected to the fringes of stardom a Spanish acting student named Rafael Cebrian, who is the son of the co-founder of El Pais newspaper.He was also the drummer in The Monomes. It seems Emma has a weakness for rock musicians. Take her flirtation with Johnny Borrell at a Fashion Week party in 2008 or her romance last summer with George Craig, singer of pop band One Night Only.They did Glastonbury together, and were spotted snogging in hospitality tents across the site. But it didnt last Emma says she is starting to wonder if her wealth is an issue.I hope it doesnt complicate relationships for me, she says. I think it can make guys quite uncomfortable. I do have to be sensitive.She probably neednt worry too much. Because the direction in which she is heading means that pretty much everyone she meets from here on will be wealthy, famous or both.Golden girl Emma Watson upstages Victoria Beckham at Burberry's London catwalk comebackBy and UPDATED:09:39 GMT, 23 September 2009When they signed her up for their ad campaigns, Burberry might have wondered if it was a risk too far.But as Harry Potter star Emma Watson arrived at London Fashion Week, she proved she is worth her weight in gold.Wearing a stunning metallic Burberry minidress and towering black heels, the 19-year-old actress turned heads as she arrived at the Burberry show.She even managed to upstage the perennially glamorous Victoria Beckham, who arrived in an understated black knee-length dress.Emma wore dark eye make-up and styled her hair in a loose up-do, proving she was perfectly at ease among the fashion know-how.Emma got the look just right, one eyewitness said. It would have been a big mistake to try an over the top outfit. Her dress wowed the crowds but looked sophisticated at the same time. Other attendees included Slumdog Millionaire stars and off-screenlovers Freida Pinto and Dev Patel, who are now happily flaunting theirrelationship after a spell of camera-dodging.Agyness Deyn turned up in a ruffled mint green dress and black stockings while actress Liv Tyler opted for black leggings.Earlier in the evening, fashion giant Burberry announced it was'thrilled to be back' in London as top industry names gathered tonightfor one of the most eagerly-awaited catwalk shows of the year.The sunglasses are back: American Vogue editor Anna Wintour, MTV presenter Alexa Chung and Donna Air dress to impressThe brand switched its fashion show to London from Milan to help celebrate 25 years of fashion in Britain.American Vogue editor Anna Wintour was among a host of leadingfashionistas watching the show, which will help bring this year's eventto a close.Angela Ahrendts, Burberry's chief executive, said the company -which has enjoyed a surge in popularity over the past year - was doinggood business at the show.Of the decision to switch the brand's show to London, Ms Ahrendtstold Sky News: 'You know it just felt like the right time for us. Thecity is celebrating 25 years of London fashion.'It's been unbelievable the support we have had. We are thrilled to be back.'A tremendous amount of business is done here. It is a halo for the brand.'Burberry was founded in the mid 1800s when a 21-year-old draper'sapprentice opened a small outfitter's shop in Basingstoke, Hampshire. After shrugging of its links with 'chav' culture in the UK in recentyears, the brand has regained its reputation as an elite brand,featuring in the Sex And The City film.The eagerly-awaited spring/summer collection for Burberry Prorsum,designed by the Yorkshire-born Christopher Bailey, marked the firsttime that the global fashion brand has shown on the LFW catwalk sinceMr Bailey became creative director.Miss Watson, who plays witch Hermione Granger in the Potter films,took time out from university in the United States to attend the Burberry catwalk show.The actress is studying at Brown University in Rhode Island, and started her English Literature course this month.Althoughshe is likely to have to get used to having a mini fan club on campus,she has said she hopes the novelty will wear off.I do hopethat it will only be a short time before I am known as Emma Watson,the student from the UK rather than Emma Watson who starred in thoseHarry Potter films".' It is unlikely, however, that her fellow students will be able to forget her rise to fame quite so soon.MissWatson will have to return to the studio during her university holidaysto film the last two instalments in the Harry Potter series.MissWatson was unveiled as the new face of Burberry in June this year,joining a roster of past stars that includes Kate Moss, Rachel Weisz andAgyness Deyn. She modelled their autumn/winter 2009 collection for an estimated six-figure fee. Earlier this month Miss Watson and her Potter co-star DanielRadcliffe were named as the highest-grossing actors of the decade afterconjuring up billions of pounds each.While Radcliffe, 20, made the studios an average of £537 million afilm for the first five movies in the series, Miss Watson saw heraverage reach £544.88 million per film.She earned more than her co-star following the success of animated hit Tale Of Despereaux, in which she voiced a main character.The figures were revealed in the latest edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. Spring showing: Catwalk queens model the eagerly-awaited spring/summer collection for Burberry Prorsum designed by Christopher Bailey Model chic: Emma Watson steps out in studded-sleeve trenchcoatBy UPDATED:22:48 GMT, 16 November 2010She's making a name for herself with an increasingly individual and eclectic fashion sense.And Emma Watson didn't disappoint yesterday when she stepped out in New York wearing a very stylish Burberry trench coat with studded sleeves.She also carried a matching black studded bag to complete the whole edgy look.She wore a very unusual thigh-skimming ink blot minidress underneath that showed off her gamine figure to perfection.And the Rorsache test-inspired design shows that the Harry Potter star isn't afraid to play with unusual and untraditional looks.Emma wore the dress and the Burberry jacket as she arrived at the New York studios for the David Letterman show, where she was a guest last night.And for the show itself, she changed into a vibrant sparkling red and black dress. It looks like the 20-year-old is developing a real passion for fashion - she recently revealed that she will be collaborating with design house Alberta Ferretti.With an established line for People Tree already to her name, this will be her second design venture.Emma says She [Alberta] wrote to me and said, "I saw what you did with People Tree and I think its a great idea and will you do something with me?"'The actress also appeared on Live With Regis Kelly this morning to promote Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.Wearing a green knee-length dress and black boots, she looked stunning.And she wasn't afraid to poke fun at herself either, joking that she was engaged to co-star Rupert Grint.She said: 'OK fine, we're getting married, and we're going to have little ginger-haired kids, and we're going to live in a beautiful house.'She then pretended to show off an engagement ring on her left hand.The actress made headlines when she dramatically cut her hair into a crop.But she won't be doing anything more to change her look.'The hair is as dramatic as it goes,' she told E! News. 'I think I'd have to shave it to get any more dramatic.''I'm loving it. I don't really miss it. I'm not going to lie. I can wash my head, in a basin, in a sink. Takes me like five minutes to get ready. It's great.'Meanwhile her Harry Potter co-star Daniel Radcliffe appeared on the Jimmy Fallon show last night in a smart green suit, to promote new film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Classic beauty Emma Watson swaps her Hogwarts scarf for Burberry checkBy UPDATED:13:21 GMT, 9 June 2009Well, its nicer than her Hogwarts uniform. After weeks of speculation, Emma Watson was today unveiled as the face of Burberry. Photographed by Mario Testino, Watson looks extremely grown up in trench coats from the autumn/winter collection.Despite persistent rumours linking her to Chanel, and her ubiquitouspresence at international fashion shows, Burberry is the first majoradvertising campaign that the 19-year-old Harry Potter star has landed. And it's predicted the prestigious contract will boost her estimated £8million fortune by sixfigures.Shot by Mario Testino in Westminster, close to Burberry'sheadquarters at Horseferry House, the images capture Watson in a collection inspired by Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury set.Burberrys creative director Christopher Bailey told The Evening Standard: 'Having known and admired the lovely Emma Watson for quite some time,she was the obvious choice for this campaign.'Emma has a classic beauty, a great character and a modern edge. Hercharm, intellect and brilliant sense of fun made the whole shoot feellike a picnic on the Thames.'He added: 'I felt Emma would be strong enough to hold the campaign as the only girl, and I loved the idea of her being surrounded by these young, cool British guys.'Watson first appeared as Hermione Granger alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint in Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone in 2001.The sixth film Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince is released on 15 July. Emma Watson's new six-figure deal for Lancome proves that there is life after HermioneBy UPDATED:19:03 GMT, 13 February 2011Emma Watson is about to sign a six-figure deal to become the latest ambassador for Lancome.The campaign is to be shot by celebrated fashion photographer Mario Testino next month, and will feature Emma as the face of the French beauty brand in posters and TV advertising.Its so exciting, I cant wait to start shooting, Emma, 20, said. Although I dont wear much make-up Im a big fan of Lancome products, especially their mascara. The fresh-faced actress will be quite a change from Lancomes previous thirtysomething ambassadors, who have included Juliette Binoche, Uma Thurman and Julia Roberts. The deal comes as Emma prepares to bid farewell to the Harry Potter series, in which she has played Hermione since she was ten, with the final film out later this year. The star who cut her hair short to mark the end of life as Hermione will fit her Lancome role around studies at Brown University in America.Emma was being her usual stylish self on Friday night at a party at the Almada bar in London's Mayfair in honour of Colin Firth and The King's Speech, the runaway success of this year's awards season, accompanied by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. Hollywood giant Weinstein produced the Oscar-nominated film which is tipped for BAFTA glory tonight.The party continued well into the early hours, with Emma arriving at nearby Mahiki nightclub in the film chief's Rolls Royce.When they were accosted by eager autograph-hunters in between parties, Weinstein jumped in to chivalrously guide Emma through the crowd.For Firth and many of his fellow revellers, who included flame-hairedMad Men star Christina Hendricks (in a stunning low-cut floral print silk gown), it was the start of a party-packed weekend in the run-up to tonight's BAFTA Awards. Other stars feted at Almada's included Amy Adams, star of The Fighter, Rosamund Pike, Dougray Scott and Claire Forlani, Neve Campbell, new 'It' girl Felicity Jones, Ralph Fiennes and designer Vivienne Westwood.Ronnie Wood spent the night flirting with a variety of young female delights, but left arm in arm with girlfriend Ana Araujo.Sam Taylor Wood and Aaron Johnson also took in the heady atmosphere along with Noomi Repace, Elizabeth Mcgovern star of TV hit Downton Abbey, Sally Hawkins, Matthew Freud and wife Elisabeth Murdoch. Appropriately, theatrical knights Sir Derek Jacobi and Sir Ben Kingsley were in attendance. Sitting chatting with friends was Ricky Gervais, he was keeping a low profile and didn't insult anyone.'It's my night off', joked the comic who hosted January's Golden Globe ceremony.Tom Hooper , director of The King's Speech praised his film's leading man for helping to turn the movie into a global phenomenon.'We all hail King Colin', Hooper told guests. During dinner executives from Momentum Pictures, the film's UK distributor, revealed that Friday night's ticket sales for the movie hadpushed the UK box-office takings to well over the £32 million mark.Firth said he would be pacing himself at all the BAFTA festivities. 'People don't come up to me and say, 'Oh congratulations' or whatever. 'They just want to know how I'm coping with all the travelling back and forwards from London to Los Angeles and back again,' the actor laughed.'I am now in the possession of so many cures for jet-lag I could open a chemists.' Firth, who arrived at the soiree in time for dessert, added: 'But in-between going to awards shows I have to fit in the school run when I'm home in London. 'But that keeps you grounded and I love to do things with my family.'He and his wife, Livia Giuggioli had their first courses at Cecconi's, where Vogue magazine threw a pre-BAFTA bash.On Saturday there are several 'happenings' for the stars in town.Momentum are hosting a brunch at the new hotel Corinthia in Whitehall while Charles Finch will be 'at home' at Mark's Club, the private members' dining club in Mayfair.On Sunday there are post-BAFTA parties all over town including the Fox and Pathe studios combining to host an after midnight affair at Sketch while Momentum and the Weinstein film company will be in high octane party mode at the new W hotel in central London.Do you have a story about a celebrity? Call the Daily Mail showbusiness desk on 0207 938 6364 or 0207 938 6683. For U.S. stories, phone 310 642 2317.Emmys 2010: Mad Men girls' hourglass silhouettes herald fashion trend for curvesBy UPDATED:09:00 GMT, 31 August 2010The hourglass silhouette will be de rigueur for fashionistas next season - and if any further proof was needed, it was all over the red carpet at the Emmys last night.Mad Men stars Christina Hendricks, January Jones and Elisabeth Moss all wore figure-hugging gowns that made the most of their famous curves.January Jones's shimmering blue Atelier Versace dress played on the retro look with a fitted waist and full skirt, while Christina Hendricks wore a plunging lavender gown by Zac Posen with ostrich feathers at the sleeves and skirt. Elisabeth Moss wore a cream Donna Karan gown with a flattering ruched waist and bustline.She said of the designer: 'I've always been a big fan,' but admitted that posing in it was not as easy as it looks.'I'm just thinking about trying to make the dress look good. I'm just trying to pose right and put my feet where they're supposed to go,' she said.But Armani was clearly the label of the night - Jon Hamm, who plays Don Draper in the series, and his girlfriend of 12 years, Jennifer Westfeldt, both wore the classic Italian label, while Claire Danes shimmered in a gold sequinned Armani Prive gown. Oscar de la Renta was also a favourite, and Glee's Lea Michele did the designer proud in a sculpted strapless navy gown with cascading ruffles.Kim Kardashian, who wore a whiteGrecian-style Marchesa gown was quick to praise the starlet's choice ofdress, admitting she was 'freaking out' over it. Tina Fey, who was nominated for 30Rock, also chose Oscar de la Renta - a silver embroidered number with ahigh neckline and fishtail skirt. She told reporters: 'I feel fancy!' Emmy debut: Glee's Lea Michele did Oscar de la Renta proud in a strapless navy gown with cascading rufflesWhile on the red carpet, Kim was quizzed about her relationship status, but refused to reveal any details - despite being seen out and about with NFL star Miles Austin.When asked whether she was 'taken' by E! presenter Ryan Seacrest, the curvy brunette said: 'I don't know, I don't know. I'm dating.'And even though she looked immaculatein the figure-hugging number, Kim complained of difficulties choosing the right dress because she felt bloated from overeating the previous day.That didn't appear to be a problem for Heidi Klum, who wore an embellished black Marchesa minidress. Golden girls: Anna Paquin (left) in Alexander McQueen, Sofia Vergara in Carolina Herrera (centre) and Claire Danes (right) in shimmering Armani Prive Back to black: Eva Longoria Parker in Robert Rodriguez (left), Heidi Klum in Marchesa (centre) and Kelly Osbourne in Tony Ward Couture (right)The supermodel, who attended with husband Seal, proved that being a mother-of-four had not harmed her figure in the slightest, showing off acres of long tanned leg.And she wasn't the only one to be flaunting her figure. Being single certainly hasn't done Kelly Osbourne any harm, as she looked phenomenal in a couture gown by little-known designer Tony Ward.Working a similar Jessica Rabbit silhouette was Eva Longoria Parker, who wore a black Robert Rodriguez gown embellished with roses. Newlywed True Blood co-stars Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer both wore Alexander McQueen, with Paquin in a flowing black gown with almost gladiatorial gold embellishment at the neckline. The dress was part of the late designer's final collection.Navy was a strong trend throughout the evening. Glee's Jayma Mays, who plays schoolteacher Emma Pillsbury, looked a far cry from her dowdy on-screen character in Burberry Prorsum, while Padma Lakshmi, who presents U.S. show Top Chef, accessorised her Carolina Herrera gown with a necklace from her own jewellery range. The Good Wife actress JuliannaMargulies also went for a navy gown, in a L'Wren Scott dress that wascovered in shimmering inky-blue sequins. 'Apparently navy is the colour,' she said. Glee cheerleader Dianna Agron was as pretty as a princess in a pale pink and black lace Carolina Herrera gown. She accessorised with over £1million worth of Cartier diamonds.'I'm a very lucky girl,' she commented.But the Emmys were not without the odd flash of colour. Julia Ormond's fuchsia gown made an eye-catching statement, while Glee's Jenna Ushkowitz went for a red halterneck style with black and gold strapless platform sandals. Colour me happy: Julia Ormond in fuchsia Escada, Jenna Ushkowitz in a red Kevin Hall creation and Emily Deschanel in Max Azria Atelier Bones star Emily Deschanel went for abold ruffled purple number by Max Azria Atelier - and she wasn't theonly one to choose the regal hue. She was in good company with JaneLynch, who won the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedyfor her role as Sue Sylvester in Glee, and Kyra Sedgwick, who wore aprincess-like Monique L'Hullier number.But almost as many stars opted for white - from Kim Kardashian to Rose Byrne, who also went for a Grecian style in a Gucci column dress.Pretty Dexter actress Julie Benz also worked a similar look in a gown by Pamella Roland - though we weren't sure about the cut-out detail at the hip. Neither was she by the look of it - she appeared to be covering it in most of the photos. All white on the night: Reality television star Kim Kardashian in Marchesa (left), Troy actress Rose Byrne in Gucci (centre) and Dexter's Julie Benz in Pamella Roland (right)Like Hendricks, The Devil Wears Prada actress Emily Blunt also went for a lavender-coloured gown - though hers was by Christian Dior. The pretty applique flowers were a nod to the label's couture show earlier this summer, which was a riot of flower-inspired dresses inspired by the summer garden of Dior's childhood home.Actress Toni Collette also went for a floral theme with a delicate Valentino gown that appeared to have been hand-painted. Another to break the style mould was Tom Hanks' wife Rita Wilson, who wore a Prada dress draped with a crystal overlay - but it was less successful than some of the other red carpet ensembles.The actress and producer, 53, had obviously put some effort into the outfit though, as her shoes were embellished with the same crystals as her dress. Butthe clear straps of the lucite sandals looked cheap, and the teardropcrystals should really have been left on the chandelier. It was a small fashion blip on the red carpet landscape though, which was relatively free of fashion faux pas.There were some brave choices - AnnaPaquin and January Jones win points for that in particular, though therest were classic rather than safe. And for the most part, dresses were cut to fit, flatter and play on curves, proving that designers next season really are working towards impressing consumers with timeless shapes that will genuinely look good on every woman - not just on the red carpet. Now if only we could afford them...Visit msnbc.com for , , and End of season... and the beginning of another means a lot is changing in the fashion world By UPDATED:12:28 GMT, 1 February 2012Fashion, known for its ever fleeting nature, doesn't boast of having too many constants in its repertoire. These pieces, that exist like old family traditions give fashion a structure to rest its ever changing younger props on. The LBD from Chanel, the bandage dress from Hervé Léger, Aviator glasses from Rayban, traditional weave saris from South India, jodhpurs and precious jewellery from Jaipur, the travel trunk from Louis Vuitton, red soled heels from Louboutin are some of the items that have made to the list. The Burberry Trench is one such piece that has stood the test of time. To celebrate the iconic fashion item, an exhibition titled Art Of The Trench, curated by Burberry Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey, will showcase streetstyle images captured in India by local photographer Manou of wearabout. Here's a sneak preview of the images on display from the 3rd-12th of Feb at the new Burberry store at Hotel Oberoi, Gurgaon. The fashion award goes to the traditional sari for eleganceThe Sari is getting all the awards from popular to critics this award season. Giving a break to the flowy gowns and bandage dresses, most B-town beauties are being spotted in different sari styles at several red carpet dos. While some like Karisma, Vidya and Anushka stuck to traditional designs, the others such as Priyanka, Katrina and Deepika experimented with more of contemporary styles like nets and georgettes. The sari has had a style boost recently with, international TV host Oprah Winfrey choosing a kanjivaramfor her recent visit and style acer Sonam Kapoor donning it to polo matches and couture outings. Anushka (pictured left) looks stunning in a velvet sari from Sabyasachi, actress Vidya Balan (pictured centere) dressed in a silk traditional weave, while Priyanka keeps it minimal and classy in an all white ensemble (pictured right) End of the super-rich boom?: Why the good times at Burberry have shuddered to a halt By PUBLISHED:22:00 GMT, 11 September 2012 UPDATED:12:13 GMT, 12 September 2012It was only ever going to be a matter of time before the downturn permeated through to the super-rich.Since the beginning of the recession the worlds biggest luxury goods firms had appeared immune to the economic conditions battering their more pedestrian rivals. But that all came to a crashing halt yesterday.Burberrys first profit warning since the demise of investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2008 sent a shock wave through the sector, wiping more than 21 per cent, or £1bn, off its market value.The earnings alert is being seen as a clear signal the wheels have come off the luxury goods sectors diamond-encrusted shopping trolley.Rivals LVMH, PPR the firm behind Gucci and Cartier-owner Richemont all saw their shares tumble as the quintessentially British firm, famous for its raincoats decked out in a camel, red and black check, warned underlying sales have fallen in all of its markets over recent weeks. Even China, the powerhouse of growth for the luxury goods market, has been affected.Burberry has been hurt by fewer of its wealthy customers travelling abroad to indulge in high octane shopping trips.Uncertainty over the eurozone debt crisis has also knocked consumer confidence and the rich in China are spending less as export-led Asian economies slow down due to contracting demand.Its a powerful cocktail of gloom that is beginning to filter through to the tills.Burberry said total sales grew 6 per cent for the 10 weeks to September 8 but this was due to its aggressive expansion plan.Underlying sales from the same number of stores open as the previous year, and excluding new space, were flat.That represents a marked slowdown from first-quarter retail revenue growth of 14 per cent and comparable store sales up 6 per cent.It also noted a deceleration in recent weeks and warned: Burberry currently expects adjusted profit before tax for the 12-months to March 31 2013 to be around the lower end of market expectations.The shares fell 287p to 1088p yesterday.Analysts had expected Burberry to post pre-tax profit for the year to March 2013 of between £407m and £451m with a consensus of £433.2m, according to Reuters.The retail groups finance director Stacey Cartwright said the firm is not alone in taking a hit to earnings: Luxury has been insulated from the downturn but it is certainly not immune and we dont believe we are alone.We pick up trading trends on the ground and know others, not everyone, but others have been impacted. This is not just about Asia and China, the last couple of

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