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In February, this year, it was reported that SKP Beijing had become the highest-performing luxury department store in the world. The news highlighted what is arguably the defining transition – both pre- and post-pandemic – for the global luxury fashion market: Chinese consumer appetite and purchasing power is now sustaining the profitability of many Western brands.
System has spent the past six months exploring the world of SKP for our cover story. This is the first time its founder and chairman Mr Ji has agreed to be interviewed, so we took full advantage and invited Patrizio Bertelli, CEO of Prada, and Jonathan Anderson, creative director of Loewe and JW Anderson, to record conversations with him, before Mr Ji led photographer Juergen Teller on a personal guided tour (remotely, of course) through SKP’s younger-and-edgier sister store, SKP-S.
Meanwhile, our second cover story features José Neves, founder of e-commerce giant Farfetch. In a wide-ranging interview, Neves discusses the realities of online success in lockdown, the convergence of virtual and physical fashion, and how the Farfetch-coined ‘Luxury New Retail’ is transforming the shopping experience. With portraits shot by Juergen Teller.
Also in System’s 300+ page issue:
When Kim Jones asked acclaimed painter Peter Doig to collaborate on this season’s Dior Men collection, the uncanny ties between the artist and Christian Dior himself slowly began to reveal themselves. Doig and Jones spoke to Jerry Stafford, with photographs on location in Zermatt by Benoît Peverelli.
Couture’s rebellious outsider Azzedine Alaïa spent his life amassing a 35,000-piece collection of fashion history, to which no one had access – until now. Fondation Azzedine Alaïa director Carla Sozzani and curator Olivier Saillard discuss Alaïa’s eye-watering collecting habits, his sense of fashion history, and the future of this unique time capsule. With photographs by Robert Polidori.
The darkness and lightness of Walter Van Beirendonck’s life in fashion, as told to Tim Blanks, with photographs and styling by Belgian image-making duo Willy Vanderperre and Olivier Rizzo.
Saint International is the model agency changing lives and expanding horizons. From his base in Kingston, Jamaica, Saint founder Deiwght Peters discusses the increased presence of Black models on catwalks, covers and campaigns, and the barriers they continue to face.
And in a further exploration of Jamaica’s fashion scene, photographer Luca Khouri and stylist Marika-Ella Ames reimagine dancehall culture.
Will the next great Japanese designer come from Coconogacco fashion school in Tokyo? System spoke to its founder Yoshikazu Yamagata about why his promising design students are taught to think differently, before asking the school’s current undergraduates, ‘What makes Coconogacco unique?’ With photographs by Takashi Homma.
Fashion critic Angelo Flaccavento in conversation with Italian duo Sunnei about their fiercely non- Milanese brand from Milan with the kindergarten-for-adults aesthetic.
How New York label Area is shaking up couture. Its founders Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk discuss elitism, club culture and what makes crystals so very special with Hans Ulrich Obrist. Photographs by Brianna Capozzi and styling by Akeem Smith.
Why Max Mara’s ongoing Steven Meisel-shot ad campaigns epitomise the Italian brand’s mantra of ‘evolution not revolution’.
The looks of the season, featuring a convergence of styles, brands and exclusive products selected from SKP Beijing and SKP-S. With photography by Leslie Zhang and styling by Lucia Liu.
The Future of Spaces.
As the world continues to face the Covid-19 crisis, System invited a group of unique voices from the worlds of art and culture to share their own thoughts and feelings about the future of spaces: architect Rem Koolhaas, filmmaker Jenn Nkiru, creative collective No Vacancy Inn, and museum director Chris Dercon.
An intimate photographic look into the life of Parisian jewellery designer Elie Top.
Giovanna Engelbert answers Loïc Prigent’s bespoke ‘Gio’ questionnaire.
An exclusive portfolio unveiling Juergen Teller’s limited-edition capsule collection for Palace Skateboards.
Plus, Kim Hastreiter on how her latest publication was created on a New York City park bench; Camille Charrière on the edge of influence; and Patrick Li’s personal take on #StopAsianHate’s past, present and future.
System Issue 17 is accompanied by ‘Counter Culture’, a Farfetch print supplement that surveys the world’s most-loved independent boutiques in 2021.
System is available exclusively at Dover Street Market in London, New York and Los Angeles and 0fr. in Paris, from June 25th. Then at quality press vendors and newsstands internationally from July 2nd.
Click here to buy online