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Must Read: What an $8 Billion Valuation Means for Levi's, Hermès to Introduce Skin Care and Cosmetics

Plus, what's the difference between luxury and fast-fashion sneakers?
Levi's employees and owners ring the Opening Bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Levi's employees and owners ring the Opening Bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

These are the stories making headlines in fashion on Friday.

What a $8 billion valuation means for Levi's 
Levi's is now worth more than $8 billion — about 30 percent higher than the company's own estimates — after its return to the public market on Thursday. With its new market capitalization, the 166-year-old blue jean maker plans to open new stores, develop its fabric technology, offer more points of customization and improve its e-commerce experience. "I'm trying not to get too excited about it. It's not so much where the stock trades on day one or day 30," Levi's CEO Charles Bergh told Business of Fashion. "We're going to be a publicly traded company for a long, long time, and it's about sustaining growth on our business and that will drive the stock price over time." {Business of Fashion

Hermès to introduce skin care and cosmetics
Hermès plans to launch skin care and cosmetics ranges next year. The French luxury brand already has a lucrative fragrance business, but adding makeup and skin-care products into the mix will help it to become a great global name in beauty. The collections will be developed in-house and will use plastic-free packaging. {Business of Fashion

What's the difference between luxury and fast fashion sneakers?
It's nearly impossible to tell the difference between luxury and fast-fashion sneakers, because their shoe designs are converging: "First, luxury houses have learned to speak streetwear. Second, fast fashion has matured, with its own collections and own collabs," writes Alex Rakestraw for Highsnobiety. The upside of this convergence is that it creates a more dynamic sneaker market, wherein macrotrends are overexposed more quickly, giving more of an incentive for the technological and design breakthroughs that create new archetypes. Unfortunately, it also means less of the benefit goes to the innovator. {Highsnobiety

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American fashion looks to LA for the future 
With Hollywood hero Tom Ford taking the helm of the CFDA and a handful of headlining NYFW acts starting to show out west, LA is emerging as America's fashion capital. Now, industry insiders are floating around the idea of creating a real LA Fashion Week as early as next February, given that next year's Oscars date (Feb. 9, 2020) will overlap with the NYFW Fall 2020 season, and sponsorship opportunities for shows in New York are becoming harder to find. {WWD

Victoria Beckham unveils 11-piece capsule inspired by her past 
This spring, Victoria Beckham is introducing an 11-piece capsule collection of formal dresses inspired by past silhouettes. "I delved into the archives in the run up to my brand's 10-year anniversary, revisiting some of my favorite styles and reimagining them for the Victoria Beckham woman today," she told British Vogue. "The collection celebrates where my brand has come from and what we have achieved, and offers timeless dresses for all occasions that blend seamlessly into any wardrobe." The line, which is priced from £950 to £1,825, lands on on Mar. 22. {British Vogue

Luxury in France is under attack 
Luxury in Paris is a way of life, and yet, it's become a dirty word. "The hatred of money has metastasized and hybridized with a populist egalitarian ethos that is proliferating against a backdrop of conspiracy theories, anti-Semitism and a hodgepodge of social worries," writes Laurence Benaïm about the yellow vests movement and French people's growing distaste for an industry committed to craft and couture. "Luxury is a symbol of success, but it is also a scapegoat. In a country where the fashion industry generates €150 billion a year — surpassing the automotive and aeronautics sectors — and employs some 580,000 people, it is nonetheless accused of being anti-social." {Business of Fashion

36 Black-owned high fashion brands to shop now 
Over the past few months, high fashion labels like Burberry, Gucci and Prada have come under fire for controversial, racially insensitive designs. And despite their apologies and promises to implement new diversity initiatives, some consumers have maintained a strict boycott of these brands. Luckily, there are a plethora of unproblematic Black-owned luxury labels on the market to shop instead. Buzzfeed's Senior Beauty Editor Essence Gant rounded up 36 of them here. {Buzzfeed

Kith launches Beauty Quickstrikes 
Kith is launching a new program where a curated selection of beauty and wellness products will drop each month. Dubbed "Beauty Quickstrikes," the program begins on Friday with an ingestible-themed collection that features products from Cap Beauty, Crushed Tonic, The Nue Co and Moon Juice. {Fashionista inbox} 

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