Givenchy has indeed gone a long way from the horrific licensed goods that proliferated in the nineties,
(Polos like these, sadly, were my first encounter with the brand.)
and the mediocre accessories commonly peddled in airports around the world.
Ricardo Tisci has spearheaded the fashion house's turnaround into one that is progressive, current, and most of all, relevant. A look at Givenchy's men's accessories for fall/winter 2009 proves the point.
These duffels are near-perfect to me; they tick all the boxes: roomy, unstructured, and with an option to be carried hand-held or cross-body. The front pocket is a plus, too. The blue-and-black and the black patent versions do make a statement, but the versions in all-black leather might just be the bag you'll love to use forever.
I still am quite unsure about the man-hobo; there's something in the way hobos are carried on the shoulder that comes across as awkward on a man. (In terms of form, a tote may be perceived as feminine, but the manner of carrying a tote, especially a large one, isn't very much different from carrying a piece of luggage, e.g. an overnight bag.)
These hobos though, with their interesting extra-deep shape, and the strap along the sides that may allow one to carry them knapsack-style, force me to rethink my views on hobos for men. Perhaps someday? I never say never.
I'm always on the hunt for a good pair of "statement" shoes and over the years I've learned that versatility has got to be considered in purchasing shoes as an investment, for what good is a pair of ridiculously beautiful shoes if you can only wear them with a couple of outfits in your closet?
I believe these bandage-strap and leather hybrid shoes tread the fine line between beauty and practicality: the sober colors and pretty much conventional shape make them work with a variety of different outfits, and the addition of the bandage-straps provide textural interest that would prove to be more intriguing upon close inspection (not to mention the subversive touch of BDSM). The zippered backs are a fresh touch, I've never seen them on lace-ups before.
And if you want to take the concept of "statement shoe" a little further, here are boot versions, and lace-ups in what seems to be glitter-mottled leather. They somewhat remind me of a pair of degrade-embroidered Raf Simons shoes I saw at Colette recently:
Raf Simons Spring 09 black and white embroidered laceups
The way the threads are embroidered to this effect is eerie, almost haunting, and I would've really wanted them, save for the exorbitant price of EUR 830. Sorry Ricardo, Raf beat you on this one.
Two more bags in quilted vinyl:
And a couple of pairs of clever gloves infused with details borrowed from womenswear (corsetry and fishnets):
So much to buy, so little cash. Now if I can only get to finally sell that bag...
*photos from ModeMan